Tag Archives: Strength training

Strength & Selfies

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“Hey there, ho there, how do ya do…”

Okay, sorry, I just accidentally channeled my inner Lana (Mandy Moore) from The Princess Diaries.

I wish I had more than a few minutes to stay and play, especially given that I have blogged a very sad number of times this month, but I am positively swamped. I’m putting in 20-25 hours per week at my Internship site — which I am absolutely loving — plus I have more than a lot going on classwork-wise. That’s all I’ll say so as not to go on a stress-induced rant… Besides, sometimes life just gets in the way of blogging. Sorry I’m not sorry that I don’t have the mental or physical dedication to get up an hour early just to make sure I post something daily. As much as I love blogging and I genuinely appreciate the feedback I receive, I don’t anticipate receiving this year’s Hardcore Extreme Blogger Award.

Tonight I want to talk about my two self-challenges for October (y’all know I love a good challenge ;-)) — strength and selfies.

[Ummm… what?]

My first self-challenge is to complete three days of strength-training for every one cardio workout. Whether that be yoga, weight-lifting, intensive stretching, or what have you, I am determined to fit more strength-training into my workouts. I’m not seeing the muscle tone or definition results I’d like, and my weight loss has all but stagnated. I’m not gaining weight, but I’m certainly not losing it, either. I’m hoping to take progress pictures to remind myself of how far I’ve come and of the gradual progress I’m making toward the fit woman I aspire to be! I haven’t decided yet whether these will grace the blog. I’m not one of those brave souls out there who can bare all via Instagram for the sake of comparison. More power to ya, but my tummy ain’t makin’ the front page anytime soon!

My second challenge is to take more pictures of myself! This does not literally mean the blog will suddenly be full of selfies, but… Well, I do live alone… So yeah, that’s probably exactly what it’ll mean! In looking through my iPhone recently, I have found that about ninety percent of the photos I take are of food, food prep, grocery-shopping, adult beverages, wedding dresses… basically anything and everything except myself. I realized that what makes me enjoy other bloggers’ sites so much is their photos of them actually doing the things they’re blogging about. This is something I’d like to beef up, too.

That said, I’m off and running! No rest for the weak and weary, is there? 😉

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Thanks for stopping by!

Lackluster 10k Training

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So, I’m running (running being the questionable word here) the Monument Avenue 10k in Richmond this coming Saturday. Last May, when I was preparing to run my first-ever 5k, I trained for 12 weeks. That may seem excessive, but that training program was one of the most disciplined and challenging fitness experiences I’ve ever had.

I ran a 5k in October and another one in January, and I didn’t officially train for either one. Dad and I were able to cross the finish line of all three, running the entire time. Ever since my first 5k, that’s been my ultimate goal. In January, we even worked on improving our personal best time because we were confident we could run the whole thing.

This time around, though, I haven’t “trained” much at all. I went through a strength-training phase that lasted a few weeks, during which all I wanted to do was lift weights, practice lunges, and work on my core. I gained noticeable muscle definition and strength (don’t worry about your jaw dropping to the floor–I’m no Adonis), but my stamina didn’t improve whatsoever.

Usually, I’m all about cardio, but I tend to lean toward the elliptical.

In short, I’m not prepared for this 10k because I’ve been a bit lazy in the gym. A typical week in workouts looks like this:

Monday: strength-training session (30 minutes)
Tuesday: long-distance treadmill run (35-50 minutes)
Wednesday: elliptical workout (30-60 minutes)
Thursday: strength-training session (30 minutes)
Friday: zero
Saturday: zilch
Sunday: nada

I feel accomplished with a workout week like this, but it doesn’t help in terms of race preparation.

I’ve had several people tell me that the excitement on every block, the music pumping, and the spectators cheering helps runners not notice the distance of this particular race. Being that I’ve never surpassed 5 miles, I’m not so sure…

This week, I’m planning to run several days, do a bit of strength training to help my knees absorb the impact of running on concrete, and rest at least 36 hours prior to the race.

To say that I’m nervous about this race would be inaccurate. I’m more so excited and even a little bit anxious to see whether Dad and I can run the entire thing. Our goal is to finish in 70 minutes, though with 40,000+ participants, I’m not sure how we’ll fare even though we’re set to begin with other people running our pace.

Wish us luck! …just don’t tell us to break a leg 😉

P.S. If you’re going to be at the race this weekend, let me know! Oh, and if you have advice about running a 10k or about training for future races, I’d love to hear it!

Establishing a Routine

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As part of individual supervision today, my on-site supervisor at my Practicum and I were discussing self-care with regard to diet, exercise, and weight loss. I divulged that over the past 13 months, I have lost — and maintained the weight-loss of — 35 pounds. She asked me how I had done it with such a busy schedule. (I imagine that she was trying to place my running and strength-training sessions in her daily routine, and having difficulty. Everyone’s busy schedule is unique, so what worked for me won’t necessarily work for her, and vice versa.) She is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), which is my down-the-road aspiration. Her schedule is so action-packed that I wasn’t surprised to hear her say she doesn’t have time to work out, and when she does find time, there are other things she’d rather be doing.

Our conversation got me to thinking…

When I’m out in the real world, I (hopefully) won’t be trying to balance a full courseload, planning a wedding, finding summer employment, establishing an Internship site, traveling back and forth between school and Richmond, managing a somewhat long-distance relationship, carrying out daily-living tasks and classwork assignments, and finding time to exercise and eat well.

However, I will be trying to manage a household, balance my career with my marriage and my social life, and find time to exercise and eat well. Lord only knows what my life will look like when kids are factored into that equation…

This not-so-distant-future got me to thinking:

How valuable it is to establish a routine so that when all of these requirements, time demands, and stressors collide, I will (again, hopefully) already know where treating my body right fits into all of that chaos! I have an established routine now, and even the added 10+ hours of weekly Practicum didn’t disrupt my routine much. Next semester, when I’m in my Internship, I’ll have to re-establish my routine yet again. This is all good practice for Big Girl World and the adult responsibilities that come with it.

That being said, I’m off to the gym for a little QT with my iPod and some weight machines 😉

[Edited to add: For the month of February, I traveled 56.22 miles! In keeping with my 2,013 in 2013 goal, I “should have” traveled 154.42 miles for a total of 325.389 miles in 2013 thus far. Last February, I traveled 41.83 miles. Always improving!]

Gym Tunes

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This post has been a long time coming — I desperately need some new music to jam out to while I run! Here’s what’s currently on my iPod under the “Gym Tunes Mix” I created an embarrassingly long time ago:

“Do You Remember,” Jay Sean feat. Sean Paul and Lil’ Jon
“Backseat,” New Boyz feat. The Cataracs and Dev
“Alpha Delta Pi,” DJ $crilla
“Country Girl (Shake It For me),” Luke Bryan
“Leave Out All the Rest,” Linkin Park
“Drunk on You,” Luke Bryan
“Can’t Be Tamed,” Miley Cyrus
“Cupid Shuffle,” Cupid
“Little Smirk,” Theory of a Deadman
“We R Who We R,” Ke$ha
“Electric,” DNC feat. Ms. Amani
“Take It Off,” Ke$ha
“Just a Dream,” Nelly
“Down,” Jay Sean feat. Lil’ Wayne
“Whatcha Say,” Jason DeRulo
“Buzzin’,” Mann
“Sorority Girl,” Luke Bryan
“In My Head,” Jason DeRulo
“More,” Usher
“Carry On Wayward Son,” Kansas
“Blackout,” Breathe Carolina
“DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love,” Usher feat. Pitbull
“Superbass,” Nicki Minaj feat. Ester Dean

Please, give me suggestions of music you listen to while you bust out cardio or pump iron! 😉