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Insanity Week 1 & Fit Test

January 25, 2014
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Week 1 of Insanity is officially in the books!  I can’t say it was easy, nor can I say I was looking forward to the workout each day.

Day 1 – Fit Test
The Fit Test consists of a short warm up, followed by 8 exercises you do for 1 minute each.  After each exercise you record the number of reps performed for each exercise.  I also chose to only measure my weight and not all the other measurements the program recommends (for example: waist, hips, thighs, etc).  My results were as follows:

Switch Kicks: 116 (total)
Power Jacks: 48
Power Knees: 92 (right leg)
Power Jumps: 30
Globe Jumps: 9.5
Suicide Jumps: 17
Push-Up Jacks: 15
Plank Oblique: 46

Body Weight: 147.6 (I can’t believe I just put that out on the searchable interned!)

Keep in mind my results are going to be worse than some and better than others.  Everyone has a different starting point, all that really matters is that your own results improve over time.

Day 2 – Plyo Cardio Circuit
This is the only workout I really remembered from my first round of Insanity a few years ago.  Overall it wasn’t too bad until I hit all the abs work at the end.  All those months of only running for marathon training with no core work is coming back to haunt me!

Day 3 – Cardio Power & Resistance
This workout wasn’t as bad, and was worse than I thought it would be all at the same time!  Most of the work standing up was fine for me, but all the triceps dips and push-ups did me in!  I also seem to have a love/hate relationship with power jumps!

Day 4 – Cardio Recovery
Ah recovery … wait what’s that, this isn’t going to be a half hour of stretching?  Well crud!  Half an hour of holding/pulsing squats and lunges, my legs felt like jello and I could barely walk up the stairs!

Day 5 – 3 Mile Run with Dad
Today was supposed to be Pure Cardio, but my parents were in town and a run with Dad seemed like a much better idea.

Day 6 – 3.5 Mile Run with Dad
Instead of doing Plyo Cardio Circuit for the second time, I went for another run with Dad.

Day 7 – Rest

 

Since I’m sure someone will ask, I’m not following the diet plan.  I’m currently gluten and dairy free so instead of trying to force my dietary restrictions on the given plan, I’m sticking to my usual foods and trying to limit snacks.  One week in and I already feel like my pants fit better🙂

Totals:
4 Insanity Workouts
6.5 Miles Running

Back to Insanity

January 22, 2014

It’s now been almost 3 months since the marathon and I’ve just now gotten back into a workout routine.  After the marathon I took a few weeks off to recover, then struggled finding a new routine.  I didn’t want to immediately start running again but after nothing but running all summer/fall I didn’t know what to do.

Back to my old standby … Beachbody!  I was torn between starting P90X or Insanity again, but in the end I decided to restart Insanity.

Last Monday I took the fit test and oh my goodness I forgot how difficult Insanity is!  I can’t say my fit test results were anything impressive, especially compared to what they once were, but I’m excited to track my progress over the course of the program.  I’m even more excited to have a fitness routine again.

Week 1 update to follow!

Marine Corps Marathon Recap

November 16, 2013

The 2013 Marine Corps Marathon has come and gone and I have to admit, I’m glad it’s over and done with.  This wasn’t the race I was hoping for, although looking back it was probably predictable.

My training leading up to the race wasn’t the picture of perfection.  Initially my long runs were all running, but later in the training cycle I had to switch to a run/walk and even then it took everything I had to get through my 18 mile training run.  I wasn’t even sure I would start the race.

The day before the race, I woke up to 30 degrees and this:

photo 4

At this point, all I could think about was not having any throw away clothes for the start of the race and how none of my training runs had been below 65 degrees.

Telling myself “what’s the worst that could happen?” I started the drive to DC.

Two years ago, when both Hubby and I ran the MCM, it was hailing, sleeting, and freezing cold the day before the race when we picked up our bibs at the expo.  This year, thank goodness, it was relatively warm because look at the line that greeted me:

photo 2

These pictures don’t do the line justice.  The start o f the line was on the opposite side of the tent complete with amusement park style line lanes.  The line then spiraled out, went the length of the tent and the field pictured, then spiraled back into the middle of the field.  I had to ask three different people just to find the end of the line!  Fortunately it moved quickly and the two hours in line I was expecting took just over one hour.

After picking up my bib, I went inside the expo and picked up my shirt.  This year, the mock turtleneck race shirt the MCM is known for went technical!  What a change for the best!  Not only can I run in the shirt, but it’s extremely comfortable.  I’ve only worn the 2011 shirt once, but I’ve already worn this year’s shirt three or four times!

photo 7

After walking around the expo for a bit, I headed to my hotel for the night.  Not a bad view huh?

photo 5

The following morning I woke up at 5am, checked out of the hotel, and made it to the shuttles in Crystal City by about 5:45.  Continuing with the weekend’s theme, there was a long line to get on the shuttle to Runner’s Village at the start.

By 6:30 I was off the bus and walking around the Pentagon to Runner’s Village.  It was too early to head to the start, so I found a place under one of the tents set up and tried to keep myself warm and loose.  Little did I know, I had ended up in the tent being used for Church services by the Marine Corps Chaplain.  As some of you know, I’m not a religious person, but at that moment I figured every little bit could help!

Finally it was time to head to the start.  I lined up around the 4:45 – 5:00 expected finish time and then just waited.  The national anthem was played with the flag at the feet of a veteran skydiver and it was time to start.  Well let me clarify, it was time for the elite runners to start.  I was so far back, I didn’t cross the starting line for another 18 minutes!

The first mile I could barely feel my legs.  All the time just standing around at the starting line I had gotten cold.  I didn’t really start to warm up until after the first mile marker, and didn’t really settle in until after the first water stop past mile two.  The first four miles were exactly what I remembered from two years ago, except fewer spectators.

Crossing the bridge into Georgetown the course turned right instead of left like the previous course.  Two years ago, the run through Georgetown was my favorite part of the race.  The course itself was packed, there were spectators rows deep, and there were 3 bands playing all within a few miles.  But this year, we turned right and started a long out and back section.  There were very few spectators and no bands playing music.

It was coming back on this section that I noticed my right shoe was a little lose.  Looking down, the laces were still tied, so I decided I wouldn’t stop to retie it unless it actually became untied.  That turned out to be a mistake, but we’ll get to that later.

It was about mile 11-12 they had placards each with a picture  of a service member KIA with their name on the side of the road.  One after another after another.  I had to stop looking at them because they made me choke up.  I got myself under control but after the placards were about 50 people on the side of the road, each holding an american flag.  Running past the flags my eyes filled with tears and I lost it.  It took me until the half to get myself back under control.

Up until this point I had been feeling great.  I may not have been breaking any speed records maintaining 11:30 – 12:00 pace, but I felt good and felt like I could maintain the pace for the whole race.  There was another water stop just past the half and I decided to walk for a few minutes.  That was when things started to unravel.  I started running again when I crossed the 14 mile mark and things just didn’t feel right.  My feet hurt and my right knee felt tight.  I figured it would go away after a few minutes, and the pain in my feet did, but the tightness in my knee soon turned to pain.  By mile 15 my knee hurt and I had to start walking a little.  Luckily I was able to keep up a run/walk until mile 20, but by then my knee hurt so much I simply couldn’t run anymore.  So I walked; past the people handing out Dixie cups of beer and past the donut hole food station.  I walked past the security guard who was kind enough to remind us we had signed up for this (not what I needed to hear at mile 24).  I walked across the starting line for the second time, climbed the final hill, started running when I saw the finish line, and finished the race.

photo 6

After getting home after the race, I started to survey the damage.  Even though I had trained in the shoes I wore for the race, my feet still blistered.  A few days later I noticed one of my toenails had started to turn black.  Thinking back to mile 8, I should have just stopped the 30 seconds it would have taken to retie my shoes.

Now that the blisters have healed and my knee no longer hurts, it’s time to reevaluate my running shoes, my training, and what distances my body is really capable of completing.  As much as I’d like it to be, the marathon distance just isn’t for me.  So for now, my runs have been under 2 miles, I’ve started riding my bike again, and am focusing on fitness and strength rather than training for anything specific.

The 2013 Marine Corps Marathon may not have gone they way I hoped, I may not have PR’d, but I’m proud of myself for finishing the race, even when the going got tough.

Strength and Goals Revision

February 16, 2013

Almost 2.5 months after starting crossfit I’m still hooked.  Each week I’ve seen/felt improvement in my strength and overall fitness.  I’m almost willing to say I’m stronger now than when I was competing in NCAA Div III shot put and discus.

In my college weight room, there was a board listing all the athletes who had bench pressed certain weights.  I don’t remember what the three weights for men were, but I do remember for women the lightest bench press to get your name on the board was 100 lbs.  Multiple attempts over 4 years and I never had my name on the board.  I would always have a successful 95 lb bench press, but I was never able to hit the triple digits.  Fast forward to now and I’m still hovering just below the triple digit barrier in bench press.  As much as I want to finally bench press 100 lbs, I’m strangely OK with matching my best college effort.  Especially considering that was longer ago than I care to admit!

But while some of my lifts are the same as my college efforts, other lifts are better.  About a month ago I was able to back squat 153 lbs and knew I had more left in the tank.  In college I was never able to front squat/back squat/any squat more than about 110 lbs.  My front squat max is currently 125 lbs, more than what I could do in college, and well on my way to reaching my front squat goal.

Which leads me to my original crossfit goals for 2013:

1.  Front Squat 150 lbs
2.  Be able to do kipping pull-ups
3.  Clean & Jerk 120 lbs

I’m also making progress toward my clean & jerk goal, having accomplished 93 lbs a few weeks ago.  But now it’s time for some new goals.

4.  20 Kipping pull-ups (I can currently do 10)
5.  Get rid of the extra swing in my Toes to Bar
6.  10 Ring Dips
7.  Over 100 lbs for all lifts

I also entered the CrossFit Games Open!

Open Registration 2013

What’s so great about the Open is anyone can enter!  Even though I have no shot at regionals,  I’m still excited to see how well I can do, and how I compare to other crossfit athletes in my region.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the video “The Only Thing Speal Quit”!

“What am I gonna do with all this fitness”  Love it!

Have you entered the CrossFit Open?  

Yogurt … You’re Back!

January 9, 2013

Overnight oats, it’s what’s for breakfast🙂

Lets start at the beginning.  All through high school and college I had acne.  Nothing seemed to help.  I tried all different creams and treatments without success.  Then when I was a senior in college, my mom stumbled on a health article discussing why gluten could be the cause of acne.  Figuring I had nothing to lose and clear skin to gain, I went gluten-free.  It was difficult at first, especially while still in college before gluten-free became trendy, but now it’s my norm.  I still eat bread, pasta, and oatmeal, just different brands.  To this day, I always know when I’ve accidentally eaten something with gluten.

Then a few months ago, in my ongoing quest to improve my diet, skin, and to find what works best for me, I started to wean dairy out of my diet.  I started by cutting out cheese, then just stopped buying dairy all together.  By not having dairy in the house its been really easy for me to stay away from it all together.  Just like with gluten, I’ve used alternative foods.  For example, almond milk.  Overall I feel great and the best part, my skin is still improving!  Win!

Which brings us back to yogurt.  Before I stopped eating dairy, I would eat overnight oats for breakfast almost every morning.  My acne started to make a reappearance so I stopped eating the yogurt and my skin cleared up again.  Recently I found So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Yogurt!!!  Surprisingly delicious without a heavy coconut flavor.  Mixed together with some gluten-free rolled oats, a tsp of almond butter, and flaxseed and my favorite breakfast is back!

To make the overnight oats, I mix the one cup of yogurt together with 1-2 tsp Justin’s Almond Butter, 2 tbsp raw rolled oats, and 1 tsp ground flaxseed.  Then pop the mix in the fridge overnight and consume in the morning.  Quick, easy, and filling.

Please keep in mind I’m not a nutritionist or a registered dietitian.  These food choices are simply what I’ve found to work for me through trial and error.

Have you ever tried overnight oats?  If so, what’s your favorite recipe?

2013 Goals and Resolutions

January 6, 2013

The start of a new year means new goals and resolutions.  We don’t have to wait until the first of the year to make and begin working toward a new goal, but there’s just something about January 1st that makes you want to change your ways.

GOALS

Running:
1.  Run a 5K under 30 minutes

  • This has been a goal since late 2010, I know I’m capable of finishing the distance under 30 min but just like my running before the holidays, mentally I’ve been holding back.

2. Participate in another marathon

  • A PR would be great, but I’m going to keep the pressure off for this distance and just make my goal to toe the starting line.    One of my sub goals for this distance will be to run more of the total distance (not have to walk the last 10K).

373337_271381289589862_1185591757_n

Crossfit:
1.  Front Squat 150 lbs
2.  Be able to do kipping pull-ups
3.  Clean & Jerk 120 lbs

  • Since I’ve only been doing crossfit for a month, these goals are all tentative.  I’m confident I can achieve each of these by the end of 2013, but I don’t want to set my sights too high.  I can always revise these/add more.  With any luck (and a lot of hard work) I’ll have to revise each of these sooner rather than later!

Triathlon:
1.  Finish the Tune Up Tri under 40 minutes

  • I came close to this time last year, but I know I can do better.

2011

RESOLUTIONS

Running:
1.  STICK TO THE TRAINING SCHEDULE

  • I can’t emphasize this enough.  Looking back I can track all of my disappointing races to being unprepared, and it’s completely my fault.  This year I’m determined to stick to my training plans and be as prepared as possible.  I’m already off to a good start with the Couch to 5K program.  I’ve changed the program slightly by running more in the past few weeks, but I’ve been running 3 times a week without fail from week 1.

2.  Stretch after every run

  • Every bit of discomfort I have during runs could have been prevented if I stretched more.  It takes no time at all to stretch a little after each workout and before bed, I just need to get off my lazy butt and do it!

Swimming:
1.  Incorporate more early morning swims

  • Before the Tune Up Tri 2 years ago, I was swimming every morning and I loved it.  As much as I hate getting up that early, it’s so peaceful being the only one in the pool with only the lights beneath the water surface turned on.

Lifestyle:
1.  Clean up my diet

  • This is a resolution I make every year and while I’m not where I’d like to be, I’m making progress.

Most importantly, this year I want to finish all my races feeling like this:

post tune up tri

5 Miles? NBT!

January 5, 2013

Today I ran 5 miles like it was No Big Thang (NBT)!!!!!  This afternoon Hubby, the Puppy, and I headed out to a running hot spot in town so I could run and they could hike.  As they headed off into the woods, I headed down the road.  Initially I thought I would run 4.5 miles but I felt so good at the 4.5 mile mark I decided to keep going.

Before the holidays I was struggling to run more than 15 minutes at a time.  During my runs I would allow myself to use the excuse that running hurt too much and would walk.  Now I know I was struggling mentally not physically.

Dad to the rescue!

While visiting my parents for the holidays, my Dad and I did a lot of running together.  We started out running 25 min straight, per the Couch to 5K plan.  The time seemed to fly by and while I still had some lingering discomfort in my legs I was able to run the entire time.  This first run made me realize that my mind was holding me back, not my body.  It didn’t hurt to have Dad to talk to and distract me either!

Each time we went out to run, Dad and I would run a little more than the last run.  Most of our runs were on the local high school track.

Run With Dad Satellite Image

I promise we stayed on the track😉

While boring to run in an oval for miles on end, the track was the perfect place for me.  Without the hills and Dad to talk to, the laps seemed to fly by.  On our run later in the week, I heard my watch beep 3 miles even though I could have sworn we were still on lap 9!   By the time we left, Dad had gotten me back to running more than 4 miles at a time!

Which brings us back to today … Without Dad, I started my run today a little nervous.  But armed with my iPod, the miles seemed to tick by in nothing flat.  I wasn’t running any faster or slower than usual, but for the first time in over a year I was able to just zone out and run.

After getting home I immediately consumed my favorite “recovery drink”.

I’m not convinced it really helps with recovery, but it’s tasty and has turned into my running reward since I only drink them after a run.

What’s your favorite way to recover from a run?

 

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