Tag Archives: fitness

Push Through

Yesterday after our ice storm it was supposed to warm up to 50 degrees. We didn’t quite make it up that high, but I still managed to get in a run outdoors after work. I had 3 miles to do and my fella had told me when I got back, there would be dinner waiting on me. OK! It was a slow 3 miles but I did it. Not only did I do it, but I pushed myself to actually run the last .9 miles without a break. They say the first mile is the hardest and they aren’t joking! I finally got my body on board that this was happening whether it liked it or not and I ran. I kept seeing that I was close to another round milestone.

“C’mon, you’ve run to 1.20, you can run to 1.25.”
“C’mon, there’s a hill, you can run DOWN hill.”
“C’mon, run to 1.75 and you can walk .1 mile.”

push2

So I ran much of mile 2 and almost all of mile 3. Some of what helped me push even though I knew I was slow? I was one of the few people outside actually exercising. There were a few little old ladies walking their dogs, there were some people walking home from work, but I was out there for fitness. So yeah, I was slow, but I was out there working on it!

And, as promised, when I got home K had a small appetizer just for me! Multigrain Tostitos with goat cheese and guac. (Just a few.) Then it was time for dinner. He made me a PSPSP–Pesto Shrimp Provolone Spinach Pizza. Does this guy know me or what? Those are like all my favorite things and it was a relatively healthy meal. I think he loves me and I think I’ll keep him around.

pspsp

 

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Roasted Southwest Veggies

It’s finally Friday! I don’t know about y’all but this has been a LONG week. I started my half marathon training and I’ve done 9 miles thus far. On Sunday I’ll run 4…ok, I’ll run/walk 4. So let’s keep our fingers crossed that the weather stays warm(er) and dry so I can run outside. Running in the gym is for the birds. But enough about that, let’s get to what you should make this weekend or next week for a fast after work dinner.

Roasted Southwest Veggies (with Butternut Squash)

5 cups fresh butternut squash, cubed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp Cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine butternut squash, peppers, and onions in a large bowl. Add olive oil and toss/stir to coat veggies. Mix seasonings in a small bowl and add to the veggie mixture. Toss/stir to coat evenly. Pour veggies in one even layer onto a greased baking sheet. Bake 30-35 minutes until squash is fork tender.

Now…the good part? You can eat those just as they are. Add a little guacamole and sour cream for extra deliciousness. But I took the veggies one step further. I put a couple of spoonfuls and some shredded cheese onto a tortilla, rolled them into burritos and baked them in the oven for 5 minutes so the cheese would melt. I’ll be honest, at first bite, I didn’t love it but the more I ate, the more I liked it. Even my meat loving fella liked them. While they may not be a weekly appearance in our kitchen, I do think they’ll show up from time to time when we’re wanting something a little different and really easy.

Enjoy the weekend!

Pin-Up Workout

This is a workout that you’ll want to pin-up and use again and again. It alternates core exercises with weight exercises. I use a Bosu trainer, kettlebells, and some lighter dumbbells for the bicep curls. For the Bosu plank and balancing bicep curls I flip the Bosu over so the round part is on the floor.

If you don’t have access to a Bosu or kettlebells, you can certainly modify this workout with dumbbells and try balancing on one leg for the bicep curls.

BosuKB

Kettlebell Sunday Morning

This morning I woke up ready to warm my muscles up. So I picked up my kettlebell and put together a quick circuit. I only did the workout twice through because I did a 45 minute cardio video after but this workout would be great for a 30 minute strength busting workout. I used a 15 pound kettlebell for all the kb moves but use what works best for you. And if you don’t have kbs then use hand weights.

KB workout

 

It’s time

Well, hello. Long time no talk. Truth be told I’ve been quite a busy bee. After Christmas K and I were quite busy with social events such as Capitals hockey tickets, seeing friends and family, (work..boo, hiss), and oh yeah…we went to NYC for a whirlwind trip this past weekend. We’ve got a lot of fun stuff coming up in the next 4 months and most of that has been planned in the last 2 weeks so we were busy planning, too, I guess. But now…it’s time to settle a bit and get serious about this half marathon training. Over the last few weeks I’ve done some light cardio but probably more in the way of strength. I quit my gym and trainer. I know. I’m not fully ok with it yet because you know I loved both but it just doesn’t work with my new commute. Well, sure, I could make it work if I want to run myself ragged and set myself up for failure. So with the idea that I need to run a lot in the next 4 months, I quit them but I’ve started building my own little home gym. The idea will be that once K and I move in April or May we’re going to use the spare room for a gym area…so our guests can workout, too! 🙂

So I’ve bought a 15 lb. kettlebell, a Bosu trainer (after a sale at Target twisted my arm), and I have intentions to buy some resistance bands and more kettlebells once I build up a little more. I’ve also been working on a plank and push-up challenge. I have to say I just completed 3 days of 90 second planks. Not. A. Fan. Today it jumps to 120 seconds. Really? The push-ups are too bad though. They’ve been slowly increasing by 1 or 2 a day and right now I’m only at 18 for the day. I set an alarm in the evening to do them just in case I haven’t gotten around to them yet. Helpful yet a dreadful reminder at 7:15p.

So…I’m over my break and I hope to get back to sharing all the fun things that are happening along with my training progress. I’m a little nervous but I’m excited about it at the same time. Until next time…

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Thinking of a New Schedule

Well, it’s been a while but it IS that time of year where things go crazy! I hope y’all had lovely Thanksgivings and are enjoying the start of the holiday season!

For a while I’ve been in a regular routine:
Zumba on Monday evenings (with the occasional Monday morning Spin)
PT on Tuesday evenings
Spin on Wednesday evenings
Spin and PT on Friday mornings

Well, folks, that’s all about to change and it’s freaking me out but kind of exciting me. See, my office is moving to a land far, far away in less than 2 weeks. Ok, not really far, far away but it will increase my commute quite a bit and make it hard for me to get to certain classes in the gym with a new work schedule I’ll be starting. I’m keeping my PT times and Friday morning Spin but I don’t know what I’m doing about Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays yet. I believe I’ll be going to Spin on Monday mornings but attendance is so low there lately, it wouldn’t surprise me if that class was canceled. I thought I’d keep up Spin on Wednesday nights but that will require a lot of back and forth driving later in the day and I have to be up early on Thursdays. Add to this that I will start my half marathon training after the first of the year and I’ll have to give up some classes so I can make sure I’m getting my runs in. So….I’m planning to use the second half of December to play with my schedule and see how things work out. I’m nervous because I’ve been great about getting to my gym and it keeps me accountable (I’m not a good solo worker outer anymore). But I’m kind of excited because lately, going to the gym has seemed harder and I think that’s a sign I need a new routine to renew my excitement and passion for working out. I also think it may contribute to breaking through my weight loss plateau.

Stay tuned!

Friday is Fabulous Because…

I don’t know about y’all but I’m extra glad that it’s Friday. This week has just been long. I’m taking my PMP exam next Wednesday so I’ve been studying extra hard this week. I’m just ready for it to be over now. I’m taking off Tuesday to study a bit and just relax my brain then Wednesday morning I’ll probably be a nervous wreck until noon when it’s time to take the exam. So today I’m telling you that Friday is fabulous because:

1. I started the day with an extra powerful “push/pull” series in my training session right after a seriously heart pumping Spin class. 

2. The fella and I are headed to Amish country tomorrow for the day. I can’t wait to get away and and enjoy some special time with my favorite person! (He’s also pretty damn fabulous himself.)

3. This Friday is fabulous because in 2 weeks at this time we will be hanging with my family for 4 days in North Carolina. Cannot. Wait. Family time is a need right now.

4. It’s finally warmed up a smidge around these parts. This week has been bitter cold and it’s finally just a teeny bit warmer.

5. I’m looking forward to SO many fun things coming up in the next 6 weeks that every day feels fabulous because it gets me closer to something fun! 

Happy Friday!

Monday Thoughts

I woke up early this morning to get to the gym for a 5:30a Spin class. Monday mornings are so much harder than Friday mornings even though I go to bed about the same time. But I was up and at ’em in the dark and the cold. Tonight I’ll head back to the gym for PT and Zumba. This morning as I was getting ready for work I started thinking about my office’s upcoming move to Rockville. If you don’t know, that move is going to increase my commute from 15 minutes (with no traffic) to about 40 minutes (with no traffic). That’s not too bad in the mornings but the afternoons? There’s always traffic. So it’ll likely be a hour to get home. Fortunately, my guy lives 5 minutes from my new office. And actually, I could probably walk to it in 10 minutes. But…my gym and my trainer are staying put. So…I’ve got to start making some schedule changes. Currently, I’m at the gym 2 mornings a week between 5:30a to 6:30 or 7a and 3 nights a week with my times ranging from 5:30p to 8:15p (not that whole time every night). So…if I’m going to be working 40 minutes or more from my gym, I need to change something. I believe I’m changing my work hours a bit but not every day. I think the one thing I’ve decided is that my Zumba class is going to have to go. I love Spin more than Zumba and I get a better workout. Plus, if I’m going to be meeting my trainer at 5:30p on Tuesdays still, I’m going to have to leave work earlier on Tuesdays, which means an earlier start, which means I don’t want to be at the gym until 7p and have no evening time before bed. I haven’t figured the rest of my week out yet but I’m going to try to do that this week and come to terms with the fact that my cozy little HoCo life is changing. See…in 6 months, I’m moving out of my current apartment and more than likely, I’m moving out of HoCo, which means I’m going to be leaving my gym and my trainer. I think I’lll stick with both as long as I can because well…I have a half marathon in six months and I’m going to need that for training. So…a lot is tumbling around in my brain this morning but it’ll all work itself out…I just gotta keep my eye on all the good the future will bring me.

fall apart

What a Workout! (and a smoothie)

My trainer is forever keeping my workouts different and exciting. She knows what type of workout I prefer (cardio circuits) and tries to sneak those in on occasion when I’m needing more than some strength. Yesterday afternoon she texted me asking me if I wanted my butt kicking workout that night or Friday morning. Um? Great. So I opted for last night because Friday morning I train after Spin and I’m half dead. Thank goodness I chose that option. I would’ve been on the floor to stay if I did it after Spin!

It was 3 circuits of 3 exercises. I did each circuit for 7 minutes seeing how many rounds I could do. The idea is that you can see your improvement over time so I’ll be doing it again in a couple of weeks. Plus, the workout FLEW by since you only take a 1-2 minute break in between circuits.

Circuit 1:
10 push-ups
20 walking lunges
30 jump ropes (I didn’t actually use a jump rope)

Circuit 2:
5 burpees
10 barbell chest presses
15 sit ups/roll ups (knees can be bent or extended)

Circuit 3:
15 squat pulses
10 jumping jacks
5 TRX pull ups

It may be you can’t do some of them depending on your access to equipment but you get the idea of what muscle groups are working and could switch out. I thought my abs were gonna give out on the last set of roll ups. I ended up doing 4 rounds of the first 2 circuits and 8 of the last one. So that breaks down to:

40 push-ups
80 walking lunges
120 jump ropes

20 burpees
40 barbell chest presses
60 roll ups (dying)

120 squat pulses
80 jumping jacks
40 TRX pull ups

All in a half hour’s time.

In other news, this morning I decided I’d try a pumpkin pie shake as part of my breakfast. Last night I froze pure pumpkin in ice cube trays so I could just pop out a couple for smoothies. This is what went in to the delicious breakfast treat:

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
1 c unsweetned vanilla almond milk
2 Tbsp frozen pumpkin (use more if you want it thicker)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
pumpkin pie spice

Blend it all up!

Mental Block or Mental Crackdown?

I’m studying for a professional certification for my job. It’s an intense experience and rather difficult, particularly for someone who hasn’t studied in over 7 years. The plan was for me to take a mock-exam this morning but yesterday I decided there was no way I was ready. Well, this morning I woke up and decided I would take it but I would use a cheat sheet of things I should know by the test…just like I did in the course I took a few weeks ago. Well, I took the test and didn’t perform as well as I wanted (but better than I thought I would as I was taking the test). The good news is I discovered a lot of areas I need to work on in my studying. So I’m bummed out by the amount of work ahead of me but I feel more focused.

Well, I had a few hours before needing to get ready for my plans later this afternoon. So I decided, why not go for a run? Well, I laced up my shoes and out I go. I got shin splints FAST. I realized I’d be walking more than running but my head got in control and I started feeling down about the test, I started feeling down that I couldn’t run, I started getting in my head about every little thing I get bothered by about myself. So instead of pushing through, I turned around and came home. This, of course, made me feel worst initially but I eventually worked it out in my head that maybe it was my head saying, “Take a break.” Maybe it wasn’t and it’s just me justifying giving up but I do believe sometimes our heads say, “That’s enough. Give up now and start fresh later.” I also believe that sometimes you have to push through the pain, through the hurt, through the frustration, through the negative talk. Regardless of what I was supposed to do today, I gave up. The only way I can be ok with that decision is to not let it result in a downward spiral of beating myself up for giving up. Otherwise, it truly is giving up and not just taking a break.

What do you do when your head gets the best of you? Push through or give in?