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Upcoming Races in August

Now that I know my schedule with my new job, I’m able to figure out my racing schedule.  It is seriously so weird not to have to worry about late night parties/working all day Saturday and Sunday/and setting up for huge events.  I haven’t quite gotten use to my new schedule, but I know in time, I will.

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I finally was able to sign up for my Minnesota half marathon!!  On Monday evening, after triple checking my calendar, I signed up for the Healthy Human Race in late August!  The bling is great and they had a challenge… so why not?!  If I’m planning on running 4 races in a row in January, 2 shouldn’t be that bad right??  So, I’ll be doing a 5k on Saturday night (I’m mostly planning on walking it) and then the half marathon on Sunday.  I’ll get a medal for the 5k and a medal for the half as well as two technical shirts.  I also signed up for the spaghetti dinner after the 5k on Saturday (only $9… great deal!).  In addition, I got my hotel room on priceline (seriously love that site!) for only $65 total (that’s everything including taxes!)—the cheapest hotel on the race website is $72 (probably more when taxes are involved).  The exact same hotel that I got is advertised for $89!  Now I just have to mentally prepare for the 5 hour drive!

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In addition, I signed up for the Chicago 10k.  I’ve always wanted to run this race (well, always as in for a few years), but I always had the largest golf tournament the night before, so doing a race the following morning was never in the cards.  Sadly, this race is in 12 days, so I didn’t get any sort of discount—so I had to pay $60 for the race. I also paid $10 for the VIP race day packet pickup (that is totally worth it because it would cost me more than $10 to get downtown  to get my packet) and another $5 to make the shirt a technical shirt instead of cotton (I like working out in race shirts, so technical is a must!).  There is also a medal for this race, so I’m excited about earning that too.

We’ll see what September brings, but for now, August racing is all set!

Kathleen

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Weekly Recap & August = AB CHALLENGE!

Monday, July 21st: TRX Class

Tuesday, July 22nd: 2 miles running

Wednesday, July 23rd: Bootcamp Class

Thursday, July 24th: 2.24 miles running

Friday, July 25th: 8 miles running

Saturday, July 26th: Jillian Michaels One Week Shred DVD

Sunday, July 27th: Traveling

This past week, I completed my longest run since the marathon – 8 miles on Friday. I had started the run thinking I would only do 7 miles, but I felt pretty good so I kept going! I maintained a 9:16/per mile pace, which was pretty good considering I wasn’t really pushing myself that hard to go fast. I was planning to go to a spinning class on Friday, but after my long run I decided that probably wouldn’t be the best idea for my legs.

On Saturday, I finally tried out the Jillian Michaels One Week Shred DVD. I got this DVD months ago, but have forgotten to use it! The DVD is for people who are looking to shape up fast, but really anyone can do it at any time. BUT, let me warn you…IT IS SO HARD! There are two different workouts, a strength and cardio. If you want to shape up in one week, you are supposed to do the strength in the morning and then the cardio at night. I only had time to try out the strength workout, and even though it is only 30 minutes, I wanted to quit about 20 minutes through! The moves are really advanced, and I have done pretty much all her DVD’s so I know she has challenging exercises, but I wasn’t prepared for how hard these would be! I made it through though and I will definitely try it out again as it was a great workout. One week, I will test it out how it was made to be done and let you know how that goes lol.

Right now, Justin and I are on a short vacation in Colorado. It is so beautiful here! I love that people here are so active, especially with outdoor activities. We have already been hiking and biking, and I am going for a run today. Can’t wait to run in this high altitude! (And, a little nervous!) I will be sure to share all my pics with you once I get back!

Also, CONGRATS to Quentin C. for winning the Armpocket Giveaway!! I hope you enjoy your Armpocket as much as Kathleen and I have!!

Now, onto something I am very excited about sharing with you! As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been doing some 30-Day Challenges from this website that Phu told me about. I got through many days on several different challenges, but they were a little boring to me because (at least for the ones I did) they are the same exercises, just an increasing number of reps each day.

I want exercises that focus on my abs, because I know that having a strong core will make me a stronger runner. So I thought to spice up the 30 Day Ab Challenge from that website, I would make my own version of the Ab Challenge that I could do for the month of August. But instead of the four same exercises every day (Crunches, Situps, Leg Lifts, and Planks) I wanted to switch it up a bit. I put together my own plan (click link below for PDF) that I will follow during the month of August, that have a variety of different exercises for each day (except for crunches and planks which I have included every day because I think they are very beneficial). I would love if you would all join me on on this challenge :) It will start this Friday, August 1. Make sure to take a picture of your abs that day so that you can see how much you progress you have made by the end of August!

August Ab Challenge!

The Exercises I Have Included in this Challenge:

Basic Crunch:

Bicycle Crunch:

Sit Up:

Reverse Crunch:

Roll Up:

Leg Lift (Raise):

Plank Jacks:

Mountain Climbers:

Plank:

Side Plank:

Let me know if you want to join in on the challenge! I don’t want to be all alone!! :)

Lauren

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Vega Sport Energy Bar Review

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Recently, I became a SweatPink ambassador and part of being an ambassador allows you the opportunity to test out fitness related products. One of the products that I got to try out was the Vega Sport Energy Bar. I have been using the Energy Bar the past ten days for my various training activities. I received a box of the Chocolate Coconut Almond flavor to test out.

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I’m not going to lie, I was a little hesitant at first about trying out this product. Vega Sport products are plant based and completely “clean” products for athletes to use to help fuel their activities. I’m not a Vegan by any means, so I wasn’t sure first on how these bars would taste (I’ve had Vegan food before that I definitely did not love). Also, most energy bars in general I hate the taste of so I didn’t think these would be any different. These bars promise to provide immediate and sustained energy for your workout, but I doubted that I would actually be able to see a difference in my performance just by taking the product.

Well, my first doubt was proven wrong because these energy bars are DELICIOUS to say the least! They were so rich in flavor and were very moist I really felt like I was eating a brownie! The coconut was not overpowering at all but just enough and I am a big fan of almonds so I was happy that there were plenty of them in the bar as well. Some days, I could only eat half the bar because they were so rich.

My second doubt was also incorrect because I could see a difference in my level of energy in my workouts. The first day I tried out the bar, I was only going to go for a quick two mile run, but during the run I felt like I could go longer so I extended it two extra miles. I also took the bar before my Bootcamp class and felt great throughout the class and was able to keep pushing through the hard circuits while others in my class could not keep up. On my other runs I had while eating the bar beforehand, I felt a similar level of increased energy that I might not have had if I didn’t eat the bar.

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Vega Sport has a really cool campaign going on called fuelyourbetterThe main page has different reasons that may be holding you back from performing at your highest ability, and then once you click on the reason you can see how Vega Sport can help you overcome this challenge. My challenge was definitely maintaining my energy throughout the workout, but eating this energy bar definitely helps with this.

Here were some pictures I took while that helped me #fuelyourbetter :

On a hot run in the STL!

On a hot run in the STL!

 

Feeling great after a run!

Feeling great after a run!

Yummy Vega Sport Energy Bar!

Yummy Vega Sport Energy Bar!

Lauren

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Weekly Recap (Kathleen)

Monday, July 21st: Rest day
Tuesday, July 22nd: 75 minute yoga class (YIPPY!!)
Wednesday, July 23rd: 4 miles running (10:43 pace)
Thursday, July 24th: Rest day
Friday, July 25th: 4 miles running (10:52 pace on treadmill)
Saturday, July 26th: Rest day
Sunday, July 27th: 7 miles running (10:39 pace on treadmill)

I had a pretty successful week!! I was so happy that I was able to go to my yoga class. Unfortunately, it does not look so good to go this week as I’ll be super busy at work on Tuesday and Thursday.

Friday and Sunday were super nasty humidity and heat so I had to take my runs inside. Running in 75+ weather and 90%+ humidity is not my friend, so I made sure to get my runs in on the treadmill. I really don’t mind running on the treadmill, so it doesn’t bother me when I cannot go outside.

I’m hoping this week to get in 2 cross training sessions in addition to my mileage! And I’ll have another race to add to the list soon too..just a 10k… not a half.

Kathleen

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Fitbit Love

In March, I won a free Fitbit from the hotel I stayed at for the Little Rock Half Marathon.  After my crazy experience getting home, I was shocked and excited that I won the Fitbit that I signed up for at the hotel on a whim. 

Since getting the Fitbit, it is so cool to watch and see how many steps I can get in a day.  Whether I have a rest day or if I am running loads of miles, you can track how many steps, active minutes, food, sleep, and weight as well.  It also shows you how “bad” you’re doing on rest days or lazy days (we all need those kind of days as well). 

Unfortunately, since starting my new job two weeks ago, I have noticed that I am not putting in as many steps as I use to.  At my old job, I would constantly have to go up and down stairs, set up tables and chairs for events, and I was rarely sitting at my desk.  At my new job, the furthest I have to travel is to my pool deck which is maybe 100 steps away and I only do that a few times a day.  Most of the time, I’m sitting at my desk doing paperwork, going to meetings, or just being “inactive.”  I know the fewer steps will help me when I start marathon training (I won’t be so tired), but I don’t like it right now!

My mom and my sister also have a Fitbit, which makes it really fun to track and see how you are doing compared to others.  Lauren usually always is on top of the leaderboard and since I forget to wear it all the time, I sometimes slip below my mom too! 

For a small investment (the clip on Fitbit costs between $50-60 (this is the one I wear) or the bracelet (higher cost—Lauren has this one)), you can learn a lot about your health from this one small device!  I would highly suggest getting one if you don’t have one yet.  If nothing else, telling your friends you took 30,000 steps (that is usually what I’ll get in a half marathon day) makes you look like a bad ass :)

Kathleen

P.S. Still a few hours left to sign up to win an Armpocket!

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

DISCLAIMER:  I was not given any compensation for my thoughts about the Fitbit.  I won my Fitbit from a raffle at a race weekend from an outside company. 

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TRX Review

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On Monday night, I went to my first ever TRX class. I knew it was going to be challenging, but I had NO idea how hard it would actually turn out to be! I thought I was in pretty good shape, but 5 minutes into the class I wanted to quit it was so difficult.

TRX is all about using your bodyweight to perform various different types of exercises. It relies a lot on your core and you also need pretty good arm strength. I have a pretty strong core, but my arm strength is definitely a weakness of mine. So when the first move was to do pushups standing up with the TRX suspension trainer, I knew I was in trouble! I can’t even do a regular pushup without getting on my knees, so I had no idea how to even attempt this! I tried the best I could and the teacher helped me out, but I was definitely struggling lol. There was about 5 other people in the class, and I was the only newbie so I was pretty embarrassed!

The class lasted an hour, and as it went on, I start to feel more comfortable with what I was doing. We did a lot more arm exercises and some planks and then the class was over before I knew it! At the beginning of the class I absolutely hated it and really contemplated leaving, but as it progressed I actually started to like it! Especially at the end when we got to kind of hang with our feet from the straps and do some ab work, that was actually kind of fun!

At the end of the class, the others were very encouraging and told me it would get much easier as long as I kept coming. I definitely will continue to go, unfortunately next week I won’t be able to because I am on vacation in Colorado, but after that I will make it a part of my weekly workout routine.

I’m really happy I took this class because it showed me that it’s always a good idea to step outside your comfort zone. I know by taking TRX I am going to really improve my strength and that even though it might not be the easiest thing in the world for me, it will definitely be worth it. I am going to push myself with taking different types of classes so that I can continue to explore different types of classes. This Friday, I have the day off work because I work on Saturday, so I am going back to the gym for a spinning class which I have never done before! I will let you all know how that goes as well :)

And, you still have time to enter to win an Armpocket!

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

Lauren

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Weekly Recap – Kathleen

Monday, July 14th: Rest day
Tuesday, July 15th: 30 minutes elliptical
Wednesday, July 16th: 4.5 miles running (10:31 pace)
Thursday, July 17th: Rest day
Friday, July 18th: 4 miles running (10:45 pace on treadmill)
Saturday, July 19th: Rest day
Sunday, July 20th: 6 miles running (10:38 pace)

Well, this week was super busy since I finally started my new job!! I’m so happy to report in the first week that I am beyond happy and grateful for this new opportunity!! I had to work on Saturday (I’m one of the people in charge of our outdoor pools and it was my “on call” weekend… thank goodness for beautiful weather so it was easy to visit the pools and no one called :)) but was done with everything by 3 pm. No more 2 am bed times :)

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to my yoga class. I love the instructor but now I’m much further away… I am hoping that I may be able to make the 6 pm class this Tuesday. My muscles are missing it.

But since I work for a park district, I now have access to a great gym that is on my way home from work and has tons of equipment and classes to choose from. I’ll figure out how to get my yoga in there now in the future.

I also made the decision to run my next half at the end of August in Minnesota. I totally forgot that the earlier half– Minnesota Half– is on a Saturday. And since it would take me 6 hours to drive there, it’s not smart to drive after work on Friday to run in a half first thing on Saturday morning. Therefore, it was an easy decision to switch up my schedule for the next half to be at the end of August (the race is on Sunday—so I’ll be able to drive 4 hours easily on Saturday, go to the expo and get some good rest before the race). I’m considering bringing my dog with me too! She’s a very easy traveler (only 12 lb shih tzu) and she does fine being caged during the day. Possibilities!

And you still have a chance to win a free Armpocket armband! –

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

Kathleen