Ectomorph, Mesomorph or Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger?

Ok, so Power Rangers have absolutely nothing to do with this post.  I just like to bring it back to my childhood every once in a while.

I seriously can't believe I liked them so much.  I wanted to be the yellow one so badly.

I seriously can’t believe I liked them so much.  I wanted to be the yellow one.

So if Power Rangers aren’t the topic of today’s post, what is? Body types.  I’m talking about them and had fun doing my research.

All my life I have been that skinny girl.  You know the one that I’m talking about.  The one that can eat whatever she wants and doesn’t gain weight, the one that looks awkward with her gangly limbs, the one people whisper about having an eating disorder because ‘she unnaturally skinny’. Yep, that’s me.  Hi, nice to meet you.

{This is where I would normally insert an embarrassing old photo. Unfortunately (fortunately?) I don’t have access to any right now.}

But in full disclosure, I don’t want to be that girl.  That skinny girl.  The fact that I can eat anything (even though I’m very particular about what I eat) and not gain much weight annoys the snot out of me and is really the bane of my existence.  While most people workout to burn calories, I’m in a desperate fight to hold onto all the calories I intake.  I crave muscle tone and body mass but can’t seem to build it.  I could seriously workout in the gym for hours on end and only get leaner.

On the other hand, I have plenty of friends who struggle with their weight.  They have to watch what they eat like a hawk.  BUT put them in a gym and they get buff just looking at the dang weights.  (Yes, that was a twinge of jealously you heard.)

So what gives?  Body types.  That’s what gives.  There are three main ones:

  • Ectomorphs
  • Mesomorphs
  • Endomorphs

Ectomorphs (ahem, me) are characterized by the following traits: delicate built body, flat chest, fragile, lean, lightly muscled, small/rounded shoulders, takes longer to gain muscle, thin.

Jim Parsons AKA the fabulously funny Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

Jim Parsons AKA the fabulously funny Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

Mesomorphs are characterized by: athletic, hard body, hourglass shaped (female), rectangular shaped (male), mature muscle mass, muscular body, excellent posture, gains muscle easily, gains fat more easily than ectomorphs, thick skin.

Ah, young Marky Mark.

Ah, young Marky Mark.

Endomorphs are characterized by soft body, underdeveloped muscles, round or pear shaped physique, weight loss is difficult, gains muscle easily like the mesomorph, has trouble keeping lost weight off.

The stunningly beautiful Marilyn.

The stunningly beautiful Marilyn.

And just to complicate things a bit more, I should note that you can also be a combination.  To read more about body type characteristics, this is a great article.

So what’s the point of all this body talk?  Because it’s important to know what you are when setting goals for yourself.  A few months ago I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment that I can workout as much as I want, inundate myself with calories and protein, yet still fall short of the muscular body type I so desperately desire.  It’s the same thing with people who are struggling to lose weight.  If you have curves, wonderful, natural curves, you will never get rid of them – it’s kind of hard to change your bone structure.

It doesn’t matter if you’re overly thin or overweight, if you have an unrealistic expectations you most likely will not succeed.  You’ll get frustrated, overwhelmed and end up saying to heck with that goal.

But don’t get discouraged, that’s not the point of this body type talk.   In fact, discouragement is the exact opposite of my intent.  Instead, my point is to empower you to succeed with your goals.  Knowledge is power and understanding your body is key in setting attainable goals.  Not sure where to start or how to set realistic goals?  Consult with a professional; internet research will only take you so far (not to mention it’s wildly unreliable).

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Wow, this post went full circle from body types to goal setting.  It wasn’t quite the body type post I had in mind but sometimes the tangent that I go on is much better than what I was going to write.  Hopefully that’s the case with this one and you learned something new and helpful.  The best version of you is possible.  Hard work, dedication, perseverance.  Don’t let anybody stop you in achieving what you want.

Before I forget, don’t forget to enter my Gymboss giveaway!

Question:  Have you ever taken into account your body type when setting goals?

March #GoalGetter2013 Checkin

goalgetter2013

Alright, I know that I’m a week late with my March goals check-in, but better late than never, right?  As a recap, here were my March goals:

Get better!! This one may seem like a silly goal but it’s super important right now.  I haven’t been this sick in years and it’s really messing with me mentally.  I feel like I’ve regressed, fitness wise, tremendously.

Spend more time in the kitchen. Yep, I putting this one back on my list; however, I’m going to be more specific this time.  I will make at least one meal the both of us can enjoy.  One of the reasons I find this such of a struggle is due to the fact that Jody aka the hubster refuses to eat clean.  After 1 1/2 years of clean eating, I still haven’t been able to get him on the bandwagon.

  • I would give this one a B-.  I did end up finding some things that we can both enjoy but still didn’t spend as much time as I could have in the kitchen.
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100% clean {and husband approved} Sausage Stuffed Baby Portobellos.

Enjoy my next half marathon.  At the end of the month I will be running the Viking Half Marathon and I just want to have fun.  I’m not worried about time goals or PRs.  Just whatever happens, happens.

Medal

Cross train, cross train, cross train! Now that I’m not training for a marathon (first time since last July) I can focus my attention on cross training without fear of injury.  I will be hitting the weight machines pretty hard, cycling my little legs and {of course} still getting in my running – just not 40 miles a week worth of running.

  • C.  Because it took so long to get over being sick, I really only had two full weeks in March to cross train.  I did make it to the gym several times during those two weeks.

Focus more on my spirituality.  I have dropped the ball big time with my devotions and Bible reading in the past few months.  Instead of getting up and getting into His word, I find myself jumping onto the computer to check the blog/social media/my favorite bloggers.  My priorities definitely need re-arranging.

  • D.  Once again, I let this goal slide by me.

Now for my April goals:

Prioritize my spirituality.  I’m making this my number #1 goal this month.

Don’t die in CrossFit.  Ha! I’m loving crossfit so far but I really need to make the most of it with learning proper technique.  Right now, running is on the back burner as I attempt to increase my overall strength.  I’m still doing two short weekly runs and one long{ish} weekend run but I’m not logging my usual miles this month.

Maintain a mostly Paleo diet.  When in crossfit, do as they do, right? My instructor encouraged/challenged us to try going Paleo so I’m going to give it my best shot.  I’ll share some more thoughts on it in a later post.

Complete my first mud run / obstacle race.  I’m signed up for the Warrior Dash on April 20th and am completely stoked to run it.

Haven’t joined the #GoalGetter2013 challenge yet? It’s never too late to get started working towards a better you.  Check out this introduction post and then join some of my favorite blends (bloggers + friends = blends) as we work toward achieving our 2013 goals!  This is your #GoalGetter2013 team:

Question:  How are you coming with your goals? What are you wanting to accomplish in April?

February #GoalGetter2013 Checkin

I realize that February is the shortest month but it really seemed to fly by this year.  And so far, March has lived up to it’s in like a lion, out like a lamb stereotype.  Thanks to getting diagnosed with bronchitis and sinusitis, I have been down for the count.  Not only have I been cooped up in my house since Thursday, I haven’t done any workouts – literally ZERO – since the marathon last Sunday.  This is also the longest I’ve ever missed work.  My house is starting to feel like a prison and I’m beyond stir crazy.

Now that it’s March, it means I say goodbye to my February goals and hello to March goals.

goalgetter2013

Here’s how I did on my February Goals:

Run marathon #2 aka Rock-n-Roll New Orleans.  I don’t have an official time goal.  I want to finish somewhere in the 4:20s.

  • Goal accomplished.  And while I wanted to finish in the 4:20s I actually finished with 4:18:50!  If you missed my race recap you can find part 1 here and part 2 here.

Love this guy so much!{best husband ever}

GotSub 2 hour 1/2 marathon (PR). I’m not sure if this is going to happen. With marathon training, I’ve been focusing more on endurance then speed so I’m not sure if I’m conditioned enough to run a sub 2 but I’m going to give my best effort.

half

Spend more time in the kitchen.  These past few months I have gotten way too comfortable with blending my meals (smoothies / protein shakes) instead of taking time to cook something.  This often leaves hubby hanging for supper which means he seizes the opportunity to get fast food. #WifeFail

  • Fail.  While I did cook more then I have been, I still didn’t do a great job with this.  Sorry hubby.

Here are my March goals:

  • Get better!! This one may seem like a silly goal but it’s super important right now.  I haven’t been this sick in years and it’s really messing with me mentally.  I feel like I’ve regressed, fitness wise, tremendously.
  • Spend more time in the kitchen. Yep, I putting this one back on my list; however, I’m going to be more specific this time.  I will make at least one meal the both of us can enjoy.  One of the reasons I find this such of a struggle is due to the fact that Jody aka the hubster refuses to eat clean.  After 1 1/2 years of clean eating, I still haven’t been able to get him on the bandwagon.
  • Enjoy my next half marathon.  At the end of the month I will be running the Viking Half Marathon and I just want to have fun.  I’m not worried about time goals or PRs.  Just whatever happens, happens.
  • Cross train, cross train, cross train! Now that I’m not training for a marathon (first time since last July) I can focus my attention on cross training without fear of injury.  I will be hitting the weight machines pretty hard, cycling my little legs and {of course} still getting in my running – just not 40 miles a week worth of running.
  • Focus more on my spirituality.  I have dropped the ball big time with my devotions and Bible reading in the past few months.  Instead of getting up and getting into His word, I find myself jumping onto the computer to check the blog/social media/my favorite bloggers.  My priorities definitely need re-arranging.

Haven’t joined the #GoalGetter2013 challenge yet? It’s never too late to get started working towards a better you.  Check out this introduction post and then join some of my favorite blends (bloggers + friends = blends) as we work toward achieving our 2013 goals!  This is your #GoalGetter2013 team:

Question:  How are you coming with your goals? What are you wanting to accomplish in March?

Looking Ahead

I hope y’all had a lovely Valentine’s Day! Hubby and I aren’t really into such a commercialized holiday so we kept it low key and enjoyed some wine and fantastic steaks.  I married a man that can throw down on the grill.

I did get some really beautiful roses. <3

I did get some really beautiful roses. ❤

I can’t believe it but tomorrow is my last long(ish) run before Rock-n-Roll New Orleans – EEK!  I say long(ish) because it’s only 10 miles.  I know the people who came up with tapering know what they’re talking about but I get a bit nervous that my legs are going to go dumb and forget how to run.

Also, during taper, I find myself with lots of extra time which leads to looking to the future and planning more things to do.  {side note: There are a TON of cool races out there.}  I’m what I like to call a spontaneous planner.  I really love having races on my calendar (gives me something to look ahead to) but I also am guilty of spur of the moment or impulse registering.

Case in point, last week I added two new events to my race calendar and have a third event in the works.  To remind myself that money doesn’t grow on trees, I thought it would be good to look at what I have coming up next month and also what I goals I plan to conquer.

These are the two major goals I want to accomplish in March & April:

  1. Go to an actual crossfit class.
  2. Take swimming lessons.

I have been wanting to try crossfit for awhile now but didn’t want to risk injury during marathon training.  Now that I don’t have that excuse, bring on the pain!

My newest fitness items.  Weight lifting gloves and a jump rope.

My newest fitness items. Weight lifting gloves and a jump rope.

As for the swimming lessons, in order to even consider a triathlon I need to be able to do more then doggie paddle or float while holding a drink with a little umbrella in it.  I can swim, but not proficiently.  I have a small, very small, triathlon that I’ve been eyeballing for May but I’m not registered for it yet.

And these are the events that I’m looking forward to:

rnr

2/24 Rock-n-Roll Marathon (full), New Orleans, LA.   This will be my last marathon until November.  Apparently I’m a masochist because I’m really going to miss training.

viking
3/30 Viking 1/2 Marathon, Greenwood, MS.  The same event company that put on last week’s half in Greenville is doing this one.  I have high hope for this half to be just as amazing!

zombie

4/6 Zombie Run, Gulfport, MS.  Oooooooh yes! I will be in full zombie costume (clothes & makeup) chasing runners.  This is just going to be way too much fun! Proceeds go to benefit the smile train which helps children with cleft paletes.

yoga
4/13 Yoga for Nonviolence, Ocean Springs, MS.  It will be interesting going from being a violent zombie one weekend to a peaceful yogi the next.  I will be doing 108 Sun Salutations (YIKES!) in observation of nonviolence.

WarriorDash_Logo1

4/20 Warrior Dash, Jackson, MS.  This is the last event I’m registered for and most likely will be the last big event until fall.  By the beginning of May, the heat is already so hot in South Mississippi that racing season is basically over.  I know I’ll want to move to Antarctica.  Call me crazy but I’m looking forward to jumping over fire and getting my fuzzy, horned hat.

So that’s everything, minus a few local races that I’m undecided about.  I’m hoping that I can just pull this post up whenever I get the itch to register for something new…Here’s hoping my logic works.

Oh, and I just have to show you one picture from the half marathon last week.  (Of course the professional pictures came out the day that I released my post…)  The picture was taken right before crossing the finish line and I think my smile says it all.  I rarely buy a professional race pic but this was such a special race that I think I might just get this one.

half

Question:  What events do you have coming up that you’re excited about?

Mississippi River Inaugural Marathon (1/2) Recap

This past Saturday I ran the Inaugural Mississippi River {half} Marathon in Greenville, Mississippi.  I had decided to run the race in honor of my stepmom Starla’s ongoing battle with breast cancer.  She’s actually going back this morning for more surgery.  They thought they got everything with the double mastectomy last week but found a small amount of cancer in one of her lymph nodes.  We’re all praying that this will be the final surgery.539568_582279051800520_2118421503_n

Friday afternoon my running buddy Stacey and I made the 5 ½ hour drive up to Greenville.  We arrived at packet pickup and were greeted by amazing friendly volunteers.  In just a matter of minutes we got our bibs, shirt and some freebies (GU chomps and a cowbell) then headed to find some last minute cold weather gear.

bibs

Apparently Stacey and I both missed the memo that it was going to be FREEZING race morning.  Whoops.  We found some adorable gloves on clearance at JCPenney but no head gear.  Then it was time to grab some grub.  We went to a restaurant, Garfields, in the mall (where packet pickup was) and waited….and waited…and waited for our food.  It finally came but wasn’t anything special.  However, it was food which I guess is all that really mattered.

food

My turkey avocado sandwich with very little turkey and basically no avocado.
And french fries I didn’t want…

Stacey and I headed to the hotel to get ready for an early morning wakeup call.  Since this was a point-to-point race the runners had to be bused to the starting line.  We had been cautioned several times through e-mails to make sure to be at the buses no later then 6:30 or risk being left Saturday morning.  We made it to the bus area by 6 and hopped on.  I have never been so happy to be on a school bus in my life; it was 35* degrees outside and I was in a skirt.  Fantastic planning, Gina.

buses

We made the 13ish mile trek to the starting line in Arkansas and were treated to a beautiful sunrise.

sunrise

herding area

I enjoy the irony of the picture. The check out the sign.
The way the buses lined up, it really felt like herding area for the runners.

MS River

The downfall of being bused in was that we had roughly 1.5 hours of waiting time before the start.  I snapped some pictures and tried not to freeze.

Brrrr

Before I knew it we were lining up for the start.  I had my sub 2 hour goal in mind but I really doubted that I was going to be able to do it; especially since I would be squaring off against an incredibly strong {and cold} headwind.  See the thing about running in the Delta is that it’s all open plains; no trees or buildings to block the wind.  On the plus side, the Delta is incredibly flat.  The only incline was the bridge and that was basically flat, too.

before running

Ready to run but I can’t feel my legs…or my toes…or my nose…

3…..2….1….. And we were off.  I knew that I would need to maintain around a 9:10 pace to get my sub 2 goal but I wanted to give myself a bit of wiggle room so I planned to keep it around 9.  The first 2 ½ miles took us over the Mississippi River; the bridge was absolutely gorgeous.  Looking up and seeing the suspension beams was so cool.

Hwy_82_Greenville_MissRiversource

Miles 3-6 were the absolute toughest for me.  My toes were numb and I was having fairly bad calf pain, most likely from not stretching / warming up properly.  Coupled with the headwind I really thought about ditching my sub 2 goal and just using this race as the training run for the marathon in 2 weeks.  Then I thought about my stepmom and how she couldn’t give up with her fight.  I felt terrible having even considered backing down.

Mile 7 was where I put my big girl panties on and stopped internally whining. I had been watching my splits and knew that I could still pull off a sub 2.  I decided to lose myself in the run and just have fun.  The crowd support was amazing and I was having a blast high-fiving any poor soul that happened to put their hand out in my direction.  I thanked the volunteers at the water stops and shook a few of the police officers hands for directing traffic.  The next time you’re running, thank the people who are helping out, race volunteers are seriously amazing!

Mile 10 came and I knew that there was only a 5k left.  I remember actually feeling a bit disappointed knowing I only had 27ish minutes left to run; however I was also excited because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was going to get the sub 2.  I wasn’t fatigued at all and knew I could pick it up a bit. {side note: When you’re just getting into a groove by mile 10, you know you’re made for marathons.}

Mile 13 came and I finally caught a glimpse of the finish line.  Sweetness.  I kicked the speed up and coasted to the finish line at a 7:53 pace for a finish time of 1:58:24.  I’m not usually an emotional runner (I didn’t even tear up after I finished the MCM in memory of my brother) but I actually got a bit choked up thinking about Starla and everything she had just gone through with the double mastectomy.  She is such an amazingly strong and courageous woman and inspired me throughout the entire run.  I was proud of my sub 2 finish but even more proud of Starla.

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splits

My {negative} splits.
You can see where I was having trouble with the early miles.

Stacey also finished very strong (especially for being sick all week) at 2:06.  After the race, a friend of ours that lives in Greenville surprised us.  It was so great seeing her and getting a quick hug.  Then we all headed over to get some food and chocolate milk.

Laura

Donuts

My overall impression with this race is that it was amazing.  With inaugural events you never really know what to expect but the event staff did a great job building hype and then living up to that hype.  From packet pickup, to the finish line, and everything in between, this race was exceptional.  There were plentiful aid stations, volunteers, and phenomenal crowd support with lots of cheers for the runners.  You could tell that the entire town really took pride in this race.  I think this inaugural event was just the tip of the iceberg and that it’s going to become a ‘must-do’ race in this area.  I can’t wait to see how awesome it is next year!

Question:  Have you ever fought hard for a goal? How did you feel once you reached it?

Weekend Plans

First of all, let me start by saying ‘thank you’ to each of you for your prayers and sweet comments regarding my stepmom’s surgery.  Each comment was so sweet and pretty much had me in tears from the outpouring of love.  The surgery went very well and now she is recovering.  Starla still has a very long and hard road to travel with recovery, but we all feel very blessed with the current outcome.  She is such an inspiration to me and really all that she comes into contact with.

With that being said, I will be traveling later today to pickup the packet for my next ½ marathon and tomorrow, I will be running the Inaugural Mississippi River (half) Marathon.

ms river
This is the race that I’ve been talking about trying to reach my sub 2 goal.  I will be running it in honor of Starla and the battle that she’s going through right now.  With only two weeks until my marathon, I’ve already been lectured about trying to push myself too hard but if Starla can go through a double mastectomy, surely I can push myself for a measly 13.1 miles.  That’s my thought on that and I’m not going to change my mind. {crosses arms indignantly}

The race starts in Arkansas and finishes in Mississippi so this will be my first interstate race – yay!  The course brags about how flat it is and judging from the event page, I’ll have some beautiful views.

mississippi_run_slide7

mississippi_run_slide1  mississippi_run_slide5Photo Source

I’ve updated my playlist and will be jamming to some major rock songs from the 80s (think AC/DC, Scorpions, Joan Jett…) along with some newer songs from Neon Trees, Mumford and Sons, and Young the Giant.  Sprinkle in some oldies from the 60s & 70s  and some 90s heavy metal and you have a good idea of my playlist.  It’s pretty eclectic &/or random…just like me.  And hopefully will distract me for no longer then 1 hour, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. 😉

Question:  What are your weekend plans?  Do you ever race in the weeks before a marathon or 1/2 marathon?

January #GoalGetter2013 Check-in

In case you haven’t realized it yet, today is first day of February.  So that means four things.

  1. Tomorrow is Groundhog day.  Now that I live in the South, this doesn’t mean much any more but to my Northern friends, it’s still a fun tradition.  I’m betting good old Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow.
  2. This is officially marathon month – EEK!
  3. The Super Bowl is this weekend.  I’m not going to pretend I actually follow football, but I will be cheering on SF.
  4. It’s time to recap my January goal.  (Yep, I only had one.)
How could anyone care more about a football game then this cute little guy? It's the overbite that does it for me.

How could anyone care more about a football game then this cute little guy? It’s the overbite that does it for me. {photo source}

But before I recap my January goal, I want to brag for just a sec.  That sounded totally narcissistic, didn’t it?  Anyways, I had a killer training month! I logged a total of 205 (+change) miles in January. I ran 141 miles and cycled 60.  Woot-woot!! Alright, I’m done patting myself on the back and can now move into the rest of the post.

If you remember, some of my fellow blends (bloggers + friends = blends) came up with a fun Instagram challenge to keep us on track with our 2013 goals.

goalgetter2013

My goal for January was to increase my upper body strength.  If you remember I tried to increase my upper body strength last year through my 100 Pushup fail challenge.

Before: Taken 11/17/12After Taken: 12/30/12

Before: Taken 11/17/12
After Taken: 12/30/12

But I didn’t see any visible results.  When something doesn’t work for you, don’t quit.  Try something new.  So to the drawing board I went to create a new plan of attack and came up with Big Blue, my new tool for success.  I also set mini goals of going to the gym once a week to hit up the weight machines.

How did I do??

Taken: 1/29/13Ignore my awesomely sweaty self.  That's what 7 miles of speed work does to me.

Taken: 1/29/13
Ignore my awesomely sweaty self. That’s what 7 miles of speed work does to me.

I by no means turned into the Incredible Hulk but I’m so proud of my baby biceps! Might not look like much, but there was a lot of hard work that went into that teeny-tiny bulge.

Even though January’s firmly in the rear-view mirror, I’m not giving up on my strength goal.  This is just the beginning of progress.  I have a whole year to develop the muscle tone I want. Watch out 2013, I’m coming for you!

February’s Goals:

  1. Run marathon #2 aka Rock-n-Roll New Orleans.  I don’t have an official time goal.  I want to finish somewhere in the 4:20s.
  2. Sub 2 hour 1/2 marathon (PR). I’m not sure if this is going to happen. With marathon training, I’ve been focusing more on endurance then speed so I’m not sure if I’m conditioned enough to run a sub 2 but I’m going to give my best effort.
  3. Spend more time in the kitchen.  These past few months I have gotten way too comfortable with blending my meals (smoothies / protein shakes) instead of taking time to cook something.  This often leaves hubby hanging for supper which means he seizes the opportunity to get fast food. #WifeFail

Those seem totally doable.  I have a 20 mile run on tap for tomorrow and then bring on the taper! How did this marathon sneak up on me? It seems like just yesterday I was just starting to train for it.

Question:  Do you think Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow?  Who do you want to win the Super Bowl?