Friday, May 31, 2013

Lifting Heavy or Hardly Lifting...?

Completed my lifting at the gym. I figured I'd talk a little bit about the New Rules of Lifting for Women book. It's a strength training program for women, and a comprehensive one at that!

It starts off with why women need to strength train and not solely do cardio. Then there's a section about nutrition, what all the micro-nutrients mean and do (such as protien, carbs, fat) and what your body actually needs instead of what fad diets tell you to eat. Included is a suggested meal plan that you can use religiously, as a guideline, or ignore (like I do...)  Finally the last section of the book talks about what types of workouts are best, areas that get neglected, and a detailed workout program with instructions and pictures demonstrating how to properly perform the moves. I can't rave enough about how informative this book is. The workout program and demonstrations taught me, a woman who'd only ever dabbled in the weight machines how to be a seasoned veteran in the free weights. It truly helps you understand how to do everything safely and effectively. And now I love seeing other women in the weights section!
I look depressed, but I was just trying to snap a picture quick without drawing any weird looks. Just me after my squats. I'm up to 95lbs, and hoping to increase again soon!

I know I keep mentioning my runner's knee, but I don't know if I've explained it at all. In the beginning of February or so I was on my college's track and field team. I think I upped my mileage too quickly and neglected strength training, but who knows what the actual cause was. Any-who, I got this intense, burning pain behind my left kneecap, but not in the actual joint. This debilitated me from running. I couldn't continue on the track team and went about two months doing minimum physical activity. It SUCKED. Majorly. I eventually got fed up with the fact that I had been running about 6 miles a day plus a long run and was now reduced to a half a mile before I was forced to stop, almost in tears from pain. It warranted a trip to the doctors. After weeks upon weeks of physical therapy, taking it easy, wearing a knee brace, and consuming 2 horse-sized anti-inflammatory pills a day, I'm as good as new (almost). Still on the road to recovery, but being on the road is way better than on the couch! And I started healing just in time to start training for my 15K on July 14th and my half marathon August 3rd :) Strength training and listening to your body is absolutely necessary in any workout program. I wish I hadn't waited so long to go to the doctors, when just a little stretching and flopping around on the floor (or what the doctors call exercises hehe) would fix my problem and make me much more tolerable to others. I was miserable without running.

So it leads me to wonder... Why do you think strength training is important? What do you do for strength training? Do you make your own program or do you use ones that others invented? Do you wing it?! Leave me a comment and help me gain insight into how you get stronger.

Safe and happy running,

Test Run & Workout Room

This morning I was just so excited about my Garmin that I did a test mile with it. It calibrated nicely with my brain, lol. Meaning: the route I thought would be a mile was pretty spot on. For example, I would think, "okay, it's probably about 2 tenths of a mile till the next corner." Sure enough! I guess I've gotten really good at measuring running distances for being severely directionally challenged. So far so good :) I still have to use it on a longer run and see how well it charges and transfers my data onto the computer. All in good time!

My actual workout today was 35 minutes of cross training on my spin bike.
Well, 35:05 because I'm an overachiever! This workout consisted of five minutes to get used to the bike. Then the "work" part started. Five sets of four thirty seconds hard and thirty seconds rest with one minute of rest between each set. Except for set number four. I had a brain fart and did an extra sprint, which never hurt anyone! Again, overachiever :)

You may be wondering what the rest of my bike looks like. Here, I'll show you!
It's a Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike. Works well for my purposes. One issue I've had with it is that the right pedal fell off during a particularly fast spin... When it did, it stripped some of the threads used to screw it on, so after just about every workout I have to ensure that it is still secured onto the bike. One more falling out and I doubt I'd be able to get the pedal back on!

So I also decided that today I'd show you the rest of my workout room, since the spin bike is just a sneak peek.
In all it's sweaty glory... Shown is my spin bike in it's position when I'm not riding it, my Proform treadmill, my free weights, and my stability ball. In the bottom left corner you can see a smidgen of one of my running shoe boxes. There's also my fan because it's blazing hot to work out in a 2nd story apartment when it's 90 degrees out, and my printer. Out of the frame is my desk next to the printer, although it's mostly covered in running things instead of office things. The corner I'm taking this from has a loveseat we are waiting to have picked up. I also have a step, yoga mat, foam roller, and jump rope that didn't make the picture. Psychedelic wallpaper, right?

That's a brief overview of the toys I work out with. After my quick cardio session this morning it was off to shower and get ready for my day. Part of which included making my lunch, which I pack every day (mostly). Today I harvested some veggies and herbs from my garden for a salad totally from my victory garden!
I picked red leaf lettuce, romaine, some basil leaves, and across the top are a few chives. Yum! Kinda skimpy for now but other veggies will be added as soon as they grow!


The first sprouts are baby radishes. This picture was taken yesterday, and they were already triple that size this morning! The second sprout is collard, also taken yesterday and also larger this morning!
This is an overview of my entire victory garden.  Further along the railing on the right where it cuts off there is another hanging off the railing and a topsy turvy hung. All the veggies and herbs in my garden are as follows: zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers, radishes, spinach, swiss chard, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, burpless cucumbers, roma tomatoes, collards, basil, oregano, chives, and cilantro. I can't wait until everything is ready to harvest!

Later today holds the arrival of my RoadID Slim in purple. Needless to say I'm excited! Not as excited as I was for my Garmin and bras (one of which I'm wearing today, super comfy), but still pumped. This afternoon I'll do a lifting session from the New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROLFW) book. I'm on stage 1 and will be doing workout A for the 3rd time.

I did NROLFW last summer too and was really pleased with the results. Although the number on the scale went up a little, as it does with building muscle, my stomach was definitely more toned and flatter.  I'm hoping for the same results this summer, especially after my runner's knee hiatus. We will see how it goes!

Safe & happy running!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It Has Arrived!!

My antsy day is over! Hellooooo Garmin :)
I haven't taken it off since I got it. I also haven't taken the GPS for a run yet... It's about 92 degrees out and humid. I'd probably keel over dead if I tried to run in this heat... Or I'd sweat out any remaining liquids in my body and shrivel up, mummified.

I have, however played with every feature possible. And I must say I'm pretty impressed. I only hope I continue to be impressed on my long run Saturday (or possibly a trial run tomorrow morning). We will see what the weather holds. Lately there's been severe thunderstorms that come and go in an instant with damaging winds and hail, along with flash floods... Not my cup-o-tea to run in. The watch has been pretty comfortable so far considering I'm hot and sticky due to weather.

The sports bras also arrived and fit wonderfully, as I knew they would :) Trusty Moving Comfort, always keeping the girls safe and happy. 

Above is a picture of the Maia style that I was raving about in my earlier post. If you see this bra anywhere buy it immediately and don't look back! You can thank me later. It also comes in black, white, and "surf," aka blue.

Lastly, my interview at Dick's Sporting Goods went well! After about 40 minutes of questions, I advanced to round two *ding*ding*. I did a survey thingy on their computer and the results will be sent to the big wigs all in good time. Hopefully I will hear from them tomorrow about setting up another interview with said big wigs, if the survey results are favorable. (But why wouldn't they be? I'm awesome hehe) I didn't realize it was such an intricate process to be hired at Dick's... Good for those who already work there. Granted if I got the job, I'd be in it for the long haul. Through getting my MSW, anyway. I really wish it wasn't so damn hot! At least the bedroom has an air conditioner.

Well, that about sums things up for now. In the future I plan on telling whoever stumbles upon this blog about my victory garden, some of my healthy recipes I try to eat, my daily workouts (I may even post my training schedule), and other random stuff, like things in my workout room, or a list of my workout songs for those who care. I know I'm always looking for new running songs!

But really, I've got to go spend time with the fiance while he's home. That never happens in the summer!

Avoid the heat waves and run safe!

Where Shall I Begin...?

Okay, since I absolutely love talking about running and just working out in general, I figured, "why not blog about it and give my poor family and friends a break?!" And let's face it, who wouldn't want a group of followers hanging on their every word?! (Note: this is NOT a cult... yet, haha!) Please excuse my sarcastic and usually inappropriate humor. I was a Psych major for my bachelors, and we're all a little crazy... This blog will focus on my running/fitness journey, as well as my education (I start working towards my MSW in the fall), struggle to eat a healthy diet, and anything else I feel like rambling about. Occasionally I will promote products. (Another Note: I don't receive any compensation for ranting or raving about products, I just let you know what works or doesn't work for me)

On to what's on my mind! Today is a special day because I have two packages coming in the mail! I love getting packages, and I feel like a giddy little child at Christmastime. The first package contains six, count 'em SIX, sports bras! They are Moving Comfort brand (my all time favorite!) and I got them through There was a sale of some sort (it may still be going on) and my high-impact bras for large-busted ladies that normally go for $40-50 were between $9-13. I'd call it a steal. So that's the first package and I'm ecstatic about it! I'm training for a 15K mid-July and my very first half marathon the beginning of August, so the four sports bras I own were just not cutting. I was in desperate need and got an awesome deal. The six I bought contained two Moving Comfort styles I've never tried and four of the Maia style, which I live by. Even though I've never worn the first two, I have faith in Moving Comfort. And they're true to size, so whatever you wear in a normal bra is usually what your size will be for them. In case anyone wants to order any... :)

The even more exciting package number two contains... drum-roll please... a Garmin Forerunner 210 Special Edition GPS Running Watch! What a mouthful! I am extremely pumped about this purchase. I was in the market for a new running watch because my trusty Timex Ironman's band was (is) finally beginning to break. I considered just replacing the band, and I still might; that watch has been good to me. But after two years of running strong, the allure of a GPS running watch finally got to me. Once the idea wormed its way into my brain I was a goner! I committed to the FR210 and it will arrive today and I'm having a hard time focusing on other things I should be doing... like working, since I'm at my job. Oops! :) And it's not just today; I've been excited all week. Case in point, on Monday I painted my nails to match my Garmin once it arrives:

Yes, it is going to be white, with that color green! Ahh, why don't I just show you?!
And there she be! I really like that it is going to be HR monitor compatible (in case I decide to shell out another $50 or so for the chest strap). One thing I wish it had is virtual pacer, like the Garmin Forerunner 10 has. I'll get over it though. It still has real time pacing, and I'm more than capable of knowing if that pace is faster or slower than I'd like to be going. Perhaps I'll give a review of it after I've used it awhile?? There aren't too many reviews on the FR210... in English, anyway.

Those are just the packages expected today.  Tomorrow I'm expecting my RoadID Slim in purple, and I hope I got the sizing right. Gotta stay safe in case of an emergency out there!

On Monday I'm expecting the final piece to my new battery of running gear: a red, refurbished 3rd generation iPod shuffle.

At 2GB, or 500 songs, I should be good to go. My current workout playlist had 110 songs on it. After ordering my shuffle I went on the hunt for more music resulting in 132 songs. Either I'm picky, or I didn't hunt hard enough because those extra 21 songs were the product of an entire Saturday.

My previous running gear, before this overhaul, consisted of my Timex Ironman stopwatch, my iPhone for music and Endomondo (a free GPS tracking app for workouts), and occasionally my knee brace. I'm recovering from runner's knee, but I'll save that for a different post. This one's getting a bit long!

The final thing I'm excited about today and will shut up after this, is an interview at Dick's Sporting Goods! :) This news is both good and bad. I'd be getting the job as a second to my full time day job for some extra money, so to be hired would be great! The not-so-great is that my entire paycheck would probably be funneled right back into the store. Imagine all the running clothes, shoes, and fitness goodies I could get with an employee discount! We'll see what happens though. I've interviewed at some other places but since my availability is pretty much limited to weeknights, I'm not sure if they'll take me or not.

And with that, I wish you all happy and safe running!