Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekly Workout Recap and a No-Equipment Required Circuit Workout!

My weekly workout recaps are starting to follow a pattern. Each week seems to include a couple days of yoga, a couple strength training sessions, and 3 runs (easy, speedwork, and long). I'm settling into a groove that I'm pretty happy with, so I'll see if that continues!

Monday: Rest Day!
Tuesday: Ran 4.62 miles (speedwork) and walked 3 miles
Wednesday: 45 Minutes of Yoga, 30 minutes of upper body and core strength
Thursday: P90X Plyometrics (1 hour)
Friday: Scary 1.57 mile snake run, 25 minutes of yoga
Saturday: At home circuit workout (40 minutes)
Sunday: 10 Mile Run, 2 Mile Walk, 30 minutes of swimming

I'll take it! I wish my mileage was higher (about 16 miles of running) but with everything else added in I'm happy.

Since I postponed by long run from Saturday to Sunday, I had some time on my hands Saturday morning. I put together a simple circuit workout that worked my whole body, needed NO equipment (such a bonus for me) and can be adjusted for any fitness levels. Here's what it looked like:

Push-ups x 20
Sit-ups x 20
Russian twists x 20
Squats x 20
Sumo squats x 20
Walking lunges x 20
Planks = 45 seconds
Jumping jacks x 30
Burpees x 12
Jog in place 1 minute
Repeat entire circuit!

Each circuit took me roughly 8 minutes, so I did 5 rounds for a total workout time of 40 minutes. I'll definitely keep this to do in the future, especially on vacation. You don't need much space to do it in, and if you blast some music on in the background it's really fun and high energy! 

What's your favorite cross-training activity? 
I think my favorite lately has been yoga. I'm not flexible, so every little bit helps, and it seems to pair well with running. 

What are your weekout goals for the week? 
This week I would like to decide on a marathon training plan, and begin it! Have to get on it so I'm prepared!

Captain America, Fro-Yo, and My Long Run

Yesterday when I woke up I was NOT in the mood for a long run. After my snake incident  on Friday night, I was genuinely too freaked out to run on the trails around the lake. So, I stayed inside, doing a circuit workout instead. Hubs, our houseguest, and I set off around noon to visit Five Guys. Now, I've been there before, and love the burgers. But I wasn't feeling meat, so I settled on the veggie burger.

Heads up--there's no actual "burger" in the veggie burger. Just veggies on a bun. It was actually really tasty! I loaded mine up with grilled onions, grilled peppers, lettuce, tomato, pickle, ketchup, and mustard. Yum. It is weird that I honestly thought it tasted like a hamburger? I guess I like the toppings more than the actual meat itself. Anyway, paired with some peanuts it made a great lunch:

I had some coupons for for free fro-yo that obviously needed to be used immediately, but the boys wanted to see some silly comic book movie. Thankfully, Captain America is ridiculously, um, strong. Let's just say I enjoyed the movie. I got to use the coupons afterwards:

Which made my frozen yogurt come to a grand total of $1.38. That's a price I can be happy about! My concoction of white chocolate mousse, vanilla, and caramel mocha:

Good thing I had some fro-yo yesterday, I needed it to fuel my long run today. I was up and out the door by 6am, to try and beat the sun! Thankfully my whole run was done before it got sunny, although the humidity made the air like soup. All in all, I'm pleased with my 9:24 pace, especially on the gravel hills and lake trails!

What's the last movie you saw? 
Captain America, but the one before that was Horrible Bosses. 

Do you ever eat veggie burgers? What's your favorite type, brand, etc?
I am a fan of most kinds of veggie burgers, as long as they're covered in ketchup! I have always liked the original Garden Burger brand though. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Snake By A Lake and Fluffy Unicorns

Yesterday I kept pushing off my run due to the heat, and finally headed out around 8:30pm. It was just starting to get darker, and in the shaded areas around the lake I was running, I couldn't see much of the ground. So imagine my surprise when I stood on a SNAKE, and it sprung up at me. Holy cow people. I was freaking out, and I'd only run about a mile at this point. I booked it so fast the half mile or so to where hubs and his friend were fishing. I would say it was about this big:

And it probably looked like this:


And no, of course I'm not exaggerating. Come on, would I do that?

I've been warned to "watch for snakes" since I've been in Georgia, but I have been quite happy to see very few until last week, when this guy was parked right outside our front door:

He might not look big in the picture, but when it's right outside your door every snake looks scary!

Anyway, after the snake rudely cut my run short (I was too freaked out to continue) I headed home and made up for it with 30 minutes of yoga, and then called it a night. This morning was supposed to be long run morning, but even now I'm a little too freaked out to run around the lake. On the plus side, between the snake and the prisoners, I'm definitely picking up my pace!

Do you ever see snakes where you run/live? Do they freak you out?
Just three snake sightings since we moved to Georgia, and yes they freak me out! I think it's also because I don't know the difference yet between the harmless ones and the dangerous ones, so they're all dangerous to me!

To cheer me up and stop me from being so freaked out, tell me something happy and fluffy and unicorny please!
I'm just thinking of all that Cadbury's chocolate that was hand delivered to us. That should cheer me up! Plus I bought a yoga mat, which is one million times more comfortable than the floor, yay!

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Favorite Finger Foods (AKA I Eat Like a 7 Year Old)

If I'm completely honest, I'm a snacker. A muncher. A grazer. As much as I like sitting down to a delicious meal around the dining table, that just doesn't happen too often for me. Quick, simple meals are my speciality, and I happen to have a love for foods made for children. I love eating with my hands. I've decided to embrace that lately, by making meals that are essentially hearty snack combinations.

Plates like this one, with popcorn, hummus, cucumber slices, and some sliced ham, are perfect for me. And if you haven't tried dipping popcorn into hummus, you are missing out big time. DELISH. Or yesterday's combination of roasted sweet potatoes, kale chips, and toasted corn tortillas: 

On a side note, I love my kale chips extra crispy. Which means that twice this week, I've set off the fire alarm when pulling them out of the oven. Seriously? That alarm must be crazy sensitive because we're not even talking smoke here. Reminds me of when my grandma used to turn on the oven, leave everything going, and then when the smoke alarm went off she would scream, "Supper!

We have another house guest staying with us as of yesterday--one of hubby's good friends who lives in England. I'll be honest and say that the thought of two 30-ish guys in my house worries me, and I foresee  epic midnight video game battles and long fishing trips in my immediate future. I don't mind though, I'll just remind hubby of that when I invite 27 of my blog friends over for trail runs and fro-yo. Sounds fair to me. To be fair, our guest did bring two giant bags of Cadbury's chocolate with him when he arrived, so he's already a great visitor in my book!

Do you ever set the fire alarm off cooking? Please say it happens to other people. 
It happens the most to me with kale chips, since they crisp up so quickly. But I've also set fire (recently) to the edge of a kitchen towel, which I really don't have any excuse for. My bad. 

Do you appreciate finger foods like me? Or are you all grown up with a knife and fork?
I really love eating things like snacks! Even my veggies I would prefer to pick up. Don't worry guys, I am fully capable of using cutlery when I'm eating a proper meal :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More About Me...(You Know You're Curious!)

If you missed the first half of my questions and answers, you missed out! I talked all about Mr. Gourmet Runner, how me met, and where I've lived in the past. Today: the rest of the questions. What I do, all about my workouts, and tons of fun questions!


What do I do for work now? I'm pretty lucky to be able to work from home as a content writer. Yes, that means I get all the perks like no commuting and setting my own hours, but on the downside it can be really tough to focus and really get down to business with all the distractions (*ahem* your blogs)

What did I do in Hong Kong? Hmm...I guess I've never had an official "profession". In the past four years, I was an English teacher, part-time bookkeeper, intern at the Clinton Global Initiative, and fitting model for La Senza and Victoria's Secret. Obviously they hired me for my ample bosom. Oh, no, wait. Maybe not.

Food and Workouts:

What's your ultimate guilty pleasure food? I really love raw cookie dough! I don't feel guilty because of the calories, but I know I shouldn't because of raw eggs...but oh my gosh it's so freakin' tasty!

If you weren't a runner, what other sport or hobby would you pick up? I would probably turn to swimming. I love to just be underwater and zone out, but I am certainly not fast!

Where do I get inspiration or workout ideas? Honestly, so much of what I think of comes from other blogs! I also get running workouts from Runner's World (magazine and the web site). I also try to create some basic strength training workouts from what I remember when studied to get certified as a personal trainer.

Why did you start running? I have run off and on since I was about 14, mostly as preparation for sports. A couple of years ago it was to lose weight, but now it's because I have such a passion and love for it!

The Fun Stuff:

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? Obviously, I would run at super speeds! Don't worry, I would slow it down a little to give everyone else a chance to catch up. Maybe 5 minute miles? That seems fair.

When am I coming to Montana? When can we meet up? Haha! To everyone who ever wants to meet up, you know where I am! I love meeting new people when we have things in common. I'm planning a meet  up soon nearby--anyone interesting in the GA/TN area?

What animal would you be? I guess I would have to be a little kitten! I love my fur babies, and they have the best life ever. Sleep. Cuddle. Eat. Repeat.

Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter? Harry Potter! Except I love the books, not the movies. The movies scare me, actually! I'm not a scary movie fan--even ones technically made for kids!

Your turn! Answer one of these questions so I can learn more about you too!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Changing Locations and How to Win a Pukie Award

Hello there lovelies! The super fit, super cute, and super pregnant (34 weeks!) Liz over at Pojo Fitness asked me to do a guest post for her while she is away this week. Of course I was happy to do it, so head over there so she doesn't regret having me on the blog!

I talked about pre-race nutrition. Here's the quick version:



Bad (Get Ready for a Pukie Award):

And there you have it. Pretty basic, right? If you want more, check out my guest post!

What's your go-to breakfast before a workout?
Oatmeal! (Surprise, surprise, I know...)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Prisoners Make Me Run Really Fast

I'll get to the prisoner part in a bit, I promise. First: my timed mile as part of Running Ricig's "Proof You Didn't Peak In High School" Virtual mile.

Yes, I'm excited. Mostly because this was by far the fastest mile I've ever run! A few months ago, I ran a treadmill mile in 7:45. Today? 7:01!!! Woo-hoo, that's a 44 second PR, baby--and it was on solid ground, not a treadmill!

Now, my confession--I may have been spurred on by a few outside events. Halfway through the mile, I heard some whooping and cheering, and then a lot of harsh shouting. The cause? Some Georgia Prison inmates in a truck with the small back windows open, getting pretty excited to see me running by--and then getting scolded by the sheriff! They were on their way to pick up litter along a different road, but it still scared me. I guess it was good though, since it got me to run faster to pass them while they were stuck at the light!

After a warm-up mile, and then a timed mile, I was almost ready to pass out. I slowed to a walk for a while, and then picked it back up with some 1/2 mile intervals, and 1/4 mile hill sprints. Even though it is NOT fun doing speedwork in this weather, I have to hope it's making me faster!

If you haven't signed up for the virtual mile, you still have time! The deadline is the last day in July. It's a great way to measure your progress, and predict future race times. Plus, you get a super cool bib like this:

I know I'm not even sweaty here---my run ended 30 minutes before this picture was taken. I had to get home and have someone take my picture!

Have you ever done a virtual race?
This is my second one! I also did a virtual 5k race a few months ago. I think it's such a great idea, and makes me work harder since I have to submit my time.

What's the scariest thing that's happened to you on a run/walk outside?
Even though the prisoners today scared me a bit, I knew I was obviously safe. But there have been times where people stop where I'm running and yell that truly worry me! Once, it was getting to be dark on a Friday night, and some guys in a Jeep stopped and tried to get me to get in their car. There were a few other cars driving by, but I was petrified!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Q & A Answers: The Hubs, The Marriage, The World

I got so many great questions from you all, I thought I would address them all in general. To start:

The Hubs:

He dabbled as a rock star. Swoon.

How old is he? 31

Background? Born in England, moved to Hong Kong at age 2, went to University in London, and was teaching English at the University of Hong Kong for the past few years.

Did he know to to build/design a house? I think he qualifies as a "city boy" who has completely embraced rural Georgian life. He is crazy artsy and creative though, and designed the entire house. Plus, he researched each aspect of building a house and followed through. Superman. 


How did we meet? Rather ordinarily, actually! We were introduced by a mutual friend at a local concert.

Did you give him a ring? This one made me laugh! No engagement ring I'm afraid, but we do have matching wedding bands that we picked out together.

How long did we date before marriage? We started dating in December of 2009, and were married in July 2010. Yes, that's very quick, but I think we both knew early on it was the real deal, and we were excited to get out of Hong Kong and get started on our new life here in America. 

Wedding Pressure? Nope! Our families were pretty great about accepting our decision to have a small, casual wedding. And yes, we saved a ridiculous amount of money. It's about the marriage, not the ceremony!

Global Adventures:

Why have I lived in so many countries? My father (and also my step-father) both moved around for work. My family lived in Germany when I moved to the USA for college, and then I wanted to transfer to try out a new place. I moved to HK to be closer to family as well.

Favorite place to live? Aside from right here in Georgia, I would pick the town I lived at in Germany: Herzogenaurach. Small and quaint!

Where would I want to travel to? My dream vacation is to go to Bora Bora! One day...

Up next will be the answers to questions about me, my work, my workouts, and eating. Plus all the fun stuff (hint: superpowers and guilty pleasures are involved!)

Did you have (or do you plan to have) a big or small wedding? Somewhere in between? Why?
I'm always curious how and why people choose their wedding plans. And to all you people who had destination weddings, I am incredibly jealous!

What's your dream travel destination?
I promised one day I would take the hubster to Bora Bora, and hopefully we will get there before we're too old to enjoy it!

A big thank you to the wonderful bloggers who asked these questions: ChristinaChristyWells L.MegPamJessLindseyKatherineNikLisa, and Sammy!

Black Bears, Kayaks, and Weekly Workout Recap

I think we should start circulating "Bad Blogger Awards," because I would definitely get one for my lack of documentation yesterday. Here's what I missed by not bringing along a camera:

-amazing scenery kayaking along the Hiwassee River in Tennessee with friends
-Dinner at a great local restaurant: veggie burger with sweet potato fries baked in brown sugar
-a black bear cub in the woods

Yeah, I think that's my most exciting day in a long time and I have no proof it even happened. Bummer.
Instead, I'll give you a random old picture of me being posing with a green water gun, bright blue beret, and skeleton shirt. Because goodness knows I'll never be able to segue into using it any other time.

You're welcome.

Here's the round-up of the week's workouts:

Monday: 45 minutes of Yoga
Tuesday: 4.75 mile Run (tempo run)
Wednesday: 30 minutes Elliptical
Thursday: 5.5 Mile Run
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 9.25 Mile Run, 2 Mile Walk
Sunday: 2.5 hours of kayaking

Total Running Mileage: 20 Miles

I'm pretty happy with the week, but I didn't get in any core work or my recent favorite, P90X Plyometrics. Next week! I would really like to up my long run, getting 12+ miles next weekend.

What's the most exciting thing you've done and didn't manage to document?
Before blogging, I would never take pictures of anything. There are entire vacations I don't even have proof happened because I didn't bring along a camera. 

Have you ever been kayaking/canoeing? Love it?
I have kayaked on the ocean before, but this was so much fun in the river--especially when we would hit the (admittedly small) rapids. I loved it so much, and already we want to buy a kayak so we don't have to rent one. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What Julia Roberts and I Have In Common....

I know, I know. You all guessed our winning smiles and close relationships with Hugh Grant. (Did I say relationship? I meant I saw Notting Hill 12 times.)
Anyway, our common link is this:

Julia Roberts used this phone booth in a movie called Something To Talk About, which was filmed in Savannah. Yeah, sorry. Pretty anti-climatic, huh?

Now that I have your attention, I'll tell you all about my amazing sushi experience on vacation. If you're new, you'll need to know I LOVE sushi and have a hard time finding any here in rural Georgia. I got this amazing plate in Savannah last weekend:

Come to mamma. Shrimp and eggplant tempura, tuna sashimi, tuna rolls, and "seafood salad," whatever that is. After that, and some appetizer called fried bread which I'm pretty sure is way more Southern than Japanese, I was stuffed. But there was a fro-yo place right across the street. Decisions, decisions. 

Obviously I went, even though I was the only one who felt the need to get dessert. PLUS the fro-yo place had rock em sock em robots! Hubs and I played a few games, got way too competitive, and then called it a night. 

While I was in Savannah, I met up with the lovely lady behind Kat Runs Like a Girl for a Starbucks trip and in one hour she managed to convince me to sign up for another marathon. Yikes. The one I'm thinking about would be in January, 2 months after my first 26.2 miles. Craziness or good planning?

Has anyone ever run marathons close to one another? Any advice on running my second one so close to my first? 
I'm a little worried I'm being overly ambitious. Did you want to train much after your first marathon?

Favorite Julia Roberts movie. Go. 
I love Notting Hill of course, but can't forget about Pretty Woman. I've seen that way too many times!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Long Run and "Solemates"

Thanks to all the people who left questions on my last post, The One Where I Reveal All the Crap You're Dying To Read. I'm working on the answers to your questions, but keep them coming if there is anything more you want to know about me!

First, my "solemate":

Yep, those are hubby's feet. And for the record, he came up with that. Also for the record, it's lame stuff  along those lines that makes me love him. Moving right along.....

This morning I was determined to get a long run in, despite the heat. Genius that I am, I only started at 8:30. It took about 3.5 minutes before I was drenched, head to toe. I thought I had a pretty good plan though--hubby dropped me off on a 2-mile running loop, and would come back to pick me up 2 hours later. I had no choice but to keep going! I ran 9.25 miles at a 9:14 pace, and then 2 miles of walking. Pretty happy to have that done, even with temps in the 80s and 95% humidity!

I stopped halfway through to get a cold drink in the grocery store. I realized that the money that was in my shorts pocket was SOAKED through. I was too embarrassed to hand it to the cashier, it was that bad. Thank goodness for self check-out!

Any long runs today? How are you doing in this crazy heat?
Ugh. Not what I wanted but I'm just happy it happened at all. Too hot!

Do you ever stop in a grocery store/gas station/public place on a run? Or head somewhere afterwards before changing?
I really don't mind being gross, sweaty, etc for vanity reasons--but I hate when I'm so wet that I leave drips on the floor behind me! I usually don't run anywhere near stores. Or people, for that matter. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Post Where I Reveal Random Crap You're All Dying To Read....

I love reading all the random bits of information people share on their blogs, thanks to things like blog awards, Q & A posts, and regulars like Three Things Thursday. Except...I've never shared my own random list of information. Sometimes (I'll be honest) because it sounds like too much work, and other times because I swear there aren't many interesting things you guys don't already know. So here it goes, my attempt to share more of myself with you!

1. I was born in South Africa, and lived there until I was 5. I also lived in Hawaii for nearly 10 years, Germany for one year, Pennsylvania for 2, New Jersey for 1, England for 3 months (does that even count?) Hong Kong for almost 4 years, and now Georgia for the last 6 months. (If you're doing tons of crazy math to figure out how old I am, I'll save you the trouble--I'm 23)

2. I have paddled on an outrigger canoe team, ridden a horse in a barrel racing competition, competed in rugby tournaments in college, danced my heart out on a stage, paddled in a dragon boat race in Hong Kong, and signed up for my first marathon this November. Jack of all trades, master of none. 

3. I proposed to my husband. We had discussed marriage previously, but I specifically said for him never to ask me. I knew if he did, I couldn't say no, whether I was ready to or not. One day, I suddenly got very serious, and asked him to marry me. He said yes!

4. It took me one hour to find, try on, and buy my wedding dress. And shoes, for that matter. I bought a simple white sleeveless dress fro Ann Taylor, nude heels from Aldo, and was ready to go. The day of my wedding, I did my own hair and make-up (in front of the hubs) and it took me about 15 minutes.

Me and the rentals on my wedding day

5. I hate bananas. As one of the big "running foods" you might expect to see them on my blog. Never. I once lived on a banana farm and ate more of them than any person should eat in a lifetime. At some point I decided enough was enough. I don't care how much potassium is in them, I just won't do it! I will, however, eat banana bread, banana muffins, and banana flavored candies. Go figure!

6. I have always wanted braces and straight black hair. Living in Hawaii, I had a lot of Japanese friends growing up, and many of them wore braces. I tried to purposely have an overbite at the dentist, and hated my curly blonde hair growing up! It got darker with age, but what I would give for straight hair, even in humidity.....

My very un-blonde, not-straight hair at age 5

Alright, enough randomness for one post. I would love to do a Q & A post too, where I can answer any questions you have for me--running, work, fitness, family, marriage, food, whatever. Post them in the comments, or send me an email and I will leave it anonymous in the future post if you prefer.

Anything random you want to share with me? Or any questions for a future Q & A post?

What Heaven Must Be Like.... (Candy and Running)

I should have realized when I checked into the hotel and got a warm cookie, that the trip was going to be sweet. Thank you Doubletree, for causing a three day addiction to sugar. 

The cookie part was great, but they must pipe that smell through the hotel. All I could smell was warm gooey deliciousness every time I stepped foot in the lobby. 

I heard rumors of a great candy store in Savannah, so surprise, surprise, that was our first destination. What? It was so close to the hotel! Little did I know the place was like Willy Wonka's factory. 

Taffy conveyer belts along the roof

Taffy machine. Oh the swirls!

Those barrels? Heaven. Just leave me in any one of those and pick me up when the candy runs out in a day or two. Now, even though I'm not a candy apple fan, they were like works of art. Seriously! Just amazing creations. I was tempted to buy one in particular:

Obviously, a caramel and chocolate covered apple decorated like a pig would make an AMAZING souvenir of Savannah, right? I resisted the urge, but I did happen to go back to that store 3 times in 3 days, and yes: I bought something each and every time. Tuesday: chocolate covered marshmallow on a stick, Wednesday: hard candies from the dispensers, Thursday: pecan pralines. 

Shame none of them made it all the way home. Whoops. 

Don't worry, there were some workouts in those three days too. Actually, since there was a gym, I was so excited to work out inside! A month without a gym membership = way too many hot July runs in Georgia. So my workouts went like this on vacation:

-Tuesday afternoon when we arrived, I was desperate to stretch my legs. Did 4.75 miles on the treadmill, with 1 mile warm-up @ 9:50, 3 miles tempo @ 8:30, and then 10 minutes or so of cool down jogging. 

-Wednesday morning was a quick 30 minutes on the elliptical. I was going to hop in the pool afterwards, but I forgot my bathing suit. How does that happen?

-Thursday: Another run on the treadmill. 5.5 Miles in 50 Minutes at 1.5% incline. Watching Saved by the Bell. I had to actually tear myself off that thing to meet everyone. I really wanted to know what happened after Kelly dumped Zach! Next time, I guess. 

What's the worst thing you've forgotten to pack on a vacation?
I still remember leaving a toothbrush at home on a camping trip when I was little. I learned the "brush with your finger method." Gross. 

Do you ever watch TV on the treadmill/elliptical? What do you watch?
At my old gym I would watch whatever was on the big screens--usually the news. But old re-runs is way better! Saved by the Bell is an old favorite, and yes I wanted to be Kelly growing up. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Guest Post: Need Some Motivation To Run?

Hello Gourmet Runner readers! I’m Rachael and I blog over at Happy Healthy Runner about my adventures in running, marriage and life. I was thrilled when Vanessa reached out for guest posting and I recently received an email from an old friend asking how I stay motivated to run, which I thought would make a good post. I’m also navigating my way through training for my first two marathons, so staying motivated through the grueling weeks of marathon training is definitely important. Because let’s be real, some days you just don’t want to run. 
The Lovely Rachel at a recent race!
1. Write it down. 
I am a notorious list maker. I make lists for daily tasks. I make lists for weekly tasks. I even make lists for lists sometimes. I am pretty much lost without my planner. But as tied I as I am to my planner (and yes, I still use the old-school, “write it down” way, there is no list on my phone because I would just never open it), having it written down holds me accountable. I almost feel guilty when I write down something and then don’t cross it off, and I get extreme satisfaction for marking a big fat line through a “task” on my list. And that’s one way that I look at my scheduled runs – a task that I have to get done that I happen to enjoy 90% of the time.

2. Do it first thing
My workouts happen first thing in the morning. I pretty much roll out of bed and into my workout clothes (which I leave conveniently laid out and ready in my bathroom every day) and get out the door (or on the treadmill) without even giving myself time to think about it. That way I’m refreshed and ready to face the day once my workout is over, I can already cross something off my list, and I’ve started my day off on a positive note. It’s not always easy to get up and go in the mornings, but I try and remind myself how great I’m going to feel after to motivate myself. Plus, there’s something magical about seeing the sun rise while you’re running.

    3. Cross train
I think cross-training is arguably one of the most important factors of training. As runners, I think we  tend to get caught up in only running, and cross-training plays such a big role in keeping physically fit while still giving your body a break from the stress running puts on it. And even though I hate some forms of cross-training (such as the elliptical), I still try and get in one good cross-training day a week (and a few strength-training days, gotta keep those muscles in tip-top shape!) to keep my body in good form.

    4.Take rest days
I hate the idea of taking rest days. I love to be active, I love to get my blood pumping, and I love to get in a good sweat session. But I learned the hard way how important rest days are – not just physically, but mentally. Your body needs some time to recover, and so does your mind. Nothing rejuvenates me quite as well as a good rest day. 

    5. Sign up for races
Even though I’m hardcore into marathon training right now, I still sign up for local 5 or 10k’s once a month. It gives me something to look forward to and gives me a run that isn’t a scheduled training run. Instead of worrying about if I’m hitting my goal or tempo pace, I run fast and hard. Nothing gets my blood pumping and my motivation going like a good race, and I think it’s important to continue to race throughout your training.

    6.Read blogs
Whenever I really don’t want to run, I go read some of my favorite blogs and within 5 minutes have usually laced up and left the house. The blog community is such an awesome forum for motivation. Plus I post my weekly workout schedule on my blog, and I hate doing weekly workout recaps and not hitting the workouts that I said I would do. 

Hopefully these things will help you out like they do me! And when all else fails, I buy myself new running clothes (looking cute when you run is a major mood booster)! 
What do you do to stay motivated?

If you don't follow Rachel yet, shame on you! Head over to Happy Healthy Runner and show her some love!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Guest Post: Want Guns Like These?

As you know, I've been reducing my mileage quite a bit lately, reducing my weekly running from about 35 miles each week to closer to 20. Instead, I've been adding in a lot more cross-training, in the form of yoga, strength training, and home work out videos. Christy from My Dirt Road Anthem is a big fan of, so I knew I had to listen. Um---check out these guns:

Interested yet? Exactly. Check out this wonderful guest post from Christy on her take on cross-training.

I would like to thank Vanessa for letting me do a guest post for her.  I love her blog.  She is so cute and always posts about something dear to me  Mmm.  

I decided to write about what I do for cross training for my guest post, I will try to keep this short because I could sing the praises for this all day and not get bored. 

I first learned about nearly a year ago.  My sister kept telling me about it and trying to get me to check it out.  I was pretty sure it would be like a lot of other things on the internet I had seen boring, hard to follow, too easy, too expensive, etc.  Finally the day after Halloween I looked it up and tried the workout that had been posted for the day.  I felt exhausted, energized, and was hooked immediately, here is why.  You would think they paid me for this but they did not.  I just love!

1. It is free.  Completely free.  All I have to do is open the website and pick a workout.  I don't have to join anything.  No spam.  You can donate if you want but they don't even push that.  There is just a button at the bottom of the post if you so decide.

2. New workouts every week.  It is easy to not be bored because if you want, you never have to repeat the same workout twice.  Occasionally she goes back and visits an old workout, but it is actually fun to do because you try to beat your old scores.  I have been amazed at the progress I have seen.  I redid my first workout a month later and saw big changes.  Right now there are 323 workout to choose from. 

 3. Minimal equipment.  She uses an interval timer, a jump rope, a pull up bar, a dip station, and a sandbag.  Occasionally a ball.  I use an interval timer on the internet, have a jump rope, use the backs of two chairs for the dip station, made my own sandbag filled with rice and already had a pull up bar.  I was out no money to get started.  Oh-- and I had the ball already too.  A lot of her workouts are bodyweight  exercises only.  No equipment needed.

4. Most workouts are super quick.  12-20 minutes for the majority of them.  A few are longer, but all leave me exhausted when I have given it my all. 

5. I saw results I loved.  After 3 months I started getting lots of compliments on my arms.  I noticed my abs were more toned and defined and my legs were more defined also. I haven't picked up any of my free weights since last Halloween and my arms look pretty awesome.

6.  After not running as much as I wanted to over the winter due to cold, snow, and rain, I PRd in the spring in the 5k and the 5 mile and most recently the half marathon.  I believe the high intensity interval training I have done with is partially to be credited for that. It not only has made me stronger it has taught me to push through the pain just a little harder. 

7. I have learned new moves like one legged squats, dive bombers, monkey pushups, reptile pushups, scorpion pushups and many more kinds of pushups I had no idea existed.  I do fun moves like ninjas and surfers and clapping pushups.  I do things like jump lunges and high knees, burpees till I think I may puke.  

8. I have tried videos before.  By the time I had done them 5 times I hated them and was bored.  I have been bodyrocking for almost 9 months now and it is still the first thing I check when I get home from work to see if they have posted a new workout yet.  

Are you convinced yet?  Have you tried it before or even heard of it?  
Any other BodyRockers out there?  I would love to hear why others love or hate it.