Fitness Update | Marathon & Strength Training

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Its time! Time for me to hit my Marathon Training hard. I have been doing the Jeff Galloway 52 weeks plan most of the year, but recently I found myself bored with it, so last week I began the Hal Higdon Novice 2 training plan for the Marathon. I am exactly 16 weeks out, meaning I changed over last week starting in week 2 of the program.

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I wasn’t feeling mentally prepared for my long runs on the Jeff Galloway program, which is totally subjective. The plan was effective as I was in good shape to switch to Hal Higdon’s program. I am enjoying his program, and will continue with it until the Marathon. I also wanted to incorporate some strength training, but I did not want to go to a gym or spend an hour on an at home fitness routine. Plus, all of the weight training programs I was running into on the internet did not take into account that I am running so much. In other words, I did not want to sacrifice my running for strength training.

After much searching, I ran across a strength training plan for runners on Runners Connect.com for $49. It just so happens that my $70/month gym membership contract just ended, so I went ahead and purchased the program. Its low budget, but who cares. It is set up specifically for runners! The program should help me stay injury free and give me the necessary strength to complete my first Marathon with less of a grimace on my face :-).

strength kit

I begin the Strength Training for Runners program today, so I will update in four weeks. In the meantime, I plan to purchase a Camelback because I am finding that I need more water for my long runs and the handheld water bottles I have are heavy and annoying. Have I given up Yoga? Nope, never! I still practice Yoga most mornings, I haven’t been to a class in awhile because they do not fit in my schedule, but I have been keeping up with my Tara Stiles DVDs, Kino Yoga on Youtube, and I recently discovered Yogabycandace.com.

I am staying active, eating healthy, and it shows (I’ll post a current pic of myself laster tonight)!

Fitness Update : May 2014

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So,  you know how I signed up for a gym and was going to spinning and les mills classes, yea…….I haven’t done that in MONTHS! I still pay for the membership because I am under contract, but I have decided that Gym Memberships just are not for me.

Have I quite exercising completely? HELL NO! If anything I am much more consistent now that I am not forcing myself to go to classes. I run 4-5 days a week depending on the length of my long run and practice at least 30 minutes of Yoga daily. Post run, I like to do Yoga for Strength and Flexibility, on non run days I focus on inversions, breathing and the meditative side of things. I purchased the Tara Stiles DVD set a couple of months ago, so I just pop in a DVD and do one of the many flow routines. Once my Gym membership runs out, I will rejoin my favorite Yoga studio in town and go to classes a couple of times a week.

How is this working out for me? Quite well! My exercise is now consistent, I have lost more weight, I look leaner and am just plain happier with life (my legs look freaking awesome!). I am even getting up Earlier to get my exercise in (which is major for someone that likes to stay up nights and wake up later than the 8-5 crowd).

Legs 🙂

Like I have said along this journey before, I am finding what works and sticking with it!

2014 Fitness Challenge | Daily Yoga

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Last year, I focused on running and getting a consistent fitness schedule started, and that was largely successful. This year I want to focus on Yoga by practicing once a day every day.

For the month of January I focused on doing Surya Namaskara A and Surya Namaskara B daily, paying special attention to breath and just getting stronger. 

By the way, I have been practicing Yoga on and off again for several years now, my first Ashtanga class being some time in 2008. With January past, I decided to add some poses, aka a mini challenge, for the month of February. I have also begun going to Ashtanga Yoga class once a week again.

After my Vinyasas I work on Dancer’s Pose, which I realized I have not done outside of Hot Yoga class. Its much easier when sweat is not dripping down your foot :-).

Bow pose is next. I have tight quads, so this is a nice way to challenge my body to take itself a step further each day. I really focus on getting deeper into the pose by way of breath.

The last of the mini challenge is focused on the ever elusive split. Did I mention that I also have tight hips? Welp, as far as splits go, my philosophy is to just work towards them. A true split will more than likely take me years to achieve, but it will never happen if I do not work towards that goal.

I usually end my flow with an inverted pose or two because they are my favorite and believe it or not, the easiest for me. Probably because I used to do walking hand stands all the time as a kid. I end my practice with Shavasana for a total of about 20-30 minutes of yoga every day.

Before and After | January 13′ vs January 14′

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13-14 bodyWell, I did it. the pics on the left are even before shred, and before I lost a couple of pounds. The pics on the left were taken yesterday morning. Last year was a good year in health for me. I lost and kept off a total of 15 (maybe if I am being completely honest, 17) pounds and I really started living a much healthier lifestyle. I made it through the holidays losing one pound instead of gaining 20 like I did in 2012. I plan to loose at least another 5 lbs this year and ultimately loose 10 more pounds. I plan to be consistent with my healthy eating, not eating so many sweets, and to just keep eating tasty and healthy food. This year is off to a good start, and I am quite optimistic about my goals. *Cheers* to a great year in Health & Fitness!

 

Weekly Update + Grocery List

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Sorry, its been almost two weeks since my last update, so I am going to throw a lot into this post. I have been consistently running and doing my group fitness classes since my last post. Last week I did 2 spinning classes, 1 body pump class, 1 yoga class and three runs. I ate well, I went out of town and still managed to eat well. I did have dairy queen ice cream one night, but after that I kept things healthier. This weeks goals were to continue to eat well and not slack off on my exercise.

I also signed up for a 5k!!! Yep, I will run a 5k November 9th and I am also thinking of running a 10k at the end of November. I am signing up for a half marathon in February this week, so the 10k may be a good in between race to run. However, right now the only thing set in stone is the 5k. I am running four days a week and training for the half right now.

I went grocery shopping Sunday with the idea of making banana bread, a couple of Indian chicken dinners, and chicken noodle soup for lunch. Accordingly, my list looked like this:

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Lemons

Sweet Potatoes

White Potatoes

Tomatoes

Bananas

Pears

Carrots

Thyme

Raspberries

Green Bell Pepper

Onions

Chicken Thighs

Chicken Drumsticks

Chobani Yogurt

White Whole Wheat Flour

Eggs

Baking Powder

Baking Soda

Vanilla Extract

Vegetable Broth

Sweet Potato Fries

Ginger Ale, Rum and Moscato for a party punch

Rolled Oats

Fennel Seeds

I have already made a couple of the dishes, and I plan to do a couple of recipe reviews this weekend. If you haven’t noticed, I am not mentioning my weight because I do not plan to step on the scale until October 1. In the mean time, I’m gonna go make some banana bread.

Group Fitness Classes

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I stated in the video about my plan for this month that I am doing group fitness classes this month. Well, the first  week of the month was a bust. I just didn’t find the time to go in and sign up for the gym, etc. Well, the second week I made sure I signed up first thing Monday and signed up for spin class that evening. Last week I went to two spin classes and once Les Mills Body Pump class. I freakin LOVED IT!

1st: Spinning

I haven’t done a spin class since my Freshman year of college, so that was an illuminating experience. I was happy to find that I was able to make it through the class, meaning that I am in shape! Plus the class was a challenge, which means that it is right for me. I was so very sore the next day (especially in the parts of my but that the seat resides)! The class was high energy, the music was loud and PERFECT, it really helped to push me harder. The instructor was wonderful and very helpful with set up. I went back for my second spin class with a different instructor and enjoyed the class just as much.

2nd: Body Pump

HOLY HELL!!! That class was the challenge of my life! I thought I was pretty strong thanks to Zuzka, but the ladies in that class put me to shame! I wasn’t even using much weight! The combinations were just so effective at getting your muscles to that point where they are working hard. I mean I have never been so sore for so long in my life! I barely made it to the end of the 55 minute class! I felt like such a wimp in the end, but I am also really excited to see what this class will do for my body. Its just the challenge I am up for. The instructor was very helpful, and pumped to be there.  The atmosphere was one of seriousness, those ladies were there to lift and then once class was over they turned into the sweetest people you could meet. I am only doing this class once a week for now.

3rd: Yoga

I am still going to the same yoga studio, but I am now doing a flow class once a week (its in a heated room). I want to get more into my yoga practice and I feel that flow yoga is what I want right now. I was FINALLY able to do Wheel Pose, I didn’t think about it, I just suddenly went from Bridge to Wheel without any problems. I knew I was having a mental block with the pose, and I finally broke through. The high that came from that achievement lasted me days.

All in all, I think I FINALLY found the perfect sustainable fitness for me. I LOVE group fitness, and I am glad I decided to spend the money on that instead of renewing a standard gym membership. I will be doing the same classes this week, two spinning, one body pump, and one flow yoga class plus 3 days of running. Yep, I am kicking my own ass to reach my goals.