Weekly Workout Recap

First things first, good luck to all the wicked fast runnahs conquering Boston today! You all amaze and inspire me!

I’m still trying to get into some sort of groove with my exercise.  Since starting CrossFit I honestly feel a bit lost with my workouts these past two weeks and I’m logging some of my lowest miles in over a year and a half.  Now when I started CrossFit I knew that my running would be put on the back burner but I didn’t count on how much I would miss my runs.

I think part of the problem is that I haven’t set myself up on a new training plan since running my last marathon in February.  I thought I would like the flexibility of no plan, but I really thrive on structure.  This week, I’m going to make an effort to come up with something a bit more concrete with my workouts; find a better balance between running and CrossFit.

I’ve also realized through crossfit how stiff my body is.  I don’t know if it’s a lack of running or just lack of consistent yoga but I am horribly tight.  In an effort to loosen myself up in the morning and also work on improving my technique, I’ve created a mini am circuit to do each day this week.  I’m curious to see if I’ll notice any benefits with my flexibility and technique after this week.

workouts (edited)

Without further adieu, my workouts from last week.

Monday: Yoga

Tuesday: 2.5 mile warmup, Crossfit (rowing & pushpresses)

Wednesday: Weights – upper body (biceps, triceps, deltiods)

Thursday: Yoga, Crossfit  (wall balls, pushups, and a feeble attempt at rope climbing)

Friday: 13 mile kayak trip with my hubby ❤

Saturday: 8.75 mile run

Sunday:Rainy, lazy day.  (Love thunderstorms!)

Saturday was actually supposed to be a 10 mile run but I wasn’t properly fueled; my energy tanked and I started feeling a bit woozy.  I even took a gel at mile 5 to keep me going but it didn’t help a ton.  Usually I don’t have to fuel at all on 10 mile runs.  Long runs and lack of fuel was one of my concerns with switching to a Paleo(ish) diet so I’m really going to have to make an effort to research various whole foods to get my glycogen levels up.

So even though my workouts were less than stellar, I actually had an amazing weekend.  Lots of fun in the sun and quality time with my hubby.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

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kayak

My view all day Friday.

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Question:  What activities do you like to do with your significant other, family or friends?

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Viking 1/2 Marathon Recap

Crossfit, crossfit, crossfit. I haven’t been in this much continuous pain in a long time and I am loving it! Last night we worked on deadlifts and push presses.  I have really bad form with a lot of different things we’ve done but I’m totally cool with that.  It just means I have room to improve and makes me want to try harder.

Alright, now that I have procrastinated enough on putting up my latest race recap.  Here it is for your viewing pleasure…. Last Saturday Karla, one of my running friends, and I ran the Viking ½ Marathon.  I went through a few different emotions with this race.  I was on the fence about it when I registered, then I became really apathetic about it and could have cared less to run it, and finally got excited about it the week of the race.  Sheesh, all those emotions for one darn race!

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Friday, Karla and I made the roughly 5 hour drive to Greenwood, Mississippi, for packet pickup.  Greenwood is in the part of Mississippi that’s known as the Delta.  It has incredibly flat lands which was one of the big selling features of the race.  Another selling feature {for me} at least was the fact that the race was offering a free make your own trail mix bar for the runners.  Unfortunately, when we got to the ‘expo’ (it was actually just a packet pickup location), there wasn’t even a stray piece of granola signifying the bar even existed.  I’m assuming that they ran out of stuff. *sigh* I was disappointed.  Anyways, we grabbed our bibs, shirts and some information about the town and headed to our hotel.

Really disappointing race shirt; the bib was cool though.

Disappointing race shirt; the bib was cool though.

I just have to take a minute to brag on the hotel we stayed at, the Hampton Inn.  Their staff was out of this world friendly and the hotel actually opened up the continental breakfast an hour early just for the runners.  In all the races I’ve traveled to, that’s never happened.  After getting a recommendation from the hotel clerk we headed to eat at a place called Websters.

How cute is this place?

How cute is this place?

It was SUPER cute and once again, the staff was incredibly friendly.  Southern hospitality at it’s finest, I tell ya.  Not to mention it was absolutely delish!  I ordered a grilled chicken gyro with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and feta complete with a plain baked potato and fried dill pickles.  Don’t judge.

Whole lotta noms on that plate.

Whole lotta noms on that plate.

6:30 Saturday morning my alarm went off; it was super nice getting to sleep so late.  I grabbed my clothes that I prepped the night before and went in search of food.  Usually I eat my own food but I knew that I could get my hands on freshly made waffle from the hotel.  It didn’t disappoint.

Waffle

Side note – I ate terrible those two days… But it was good!

Karla & I

Karla and I got to the race, snapped a few pictures and looked for a the portopotties.  I didn’t find any. Fabulous, I love starting a race having to go pee. Whatever, time to line up. Since this was such a small race there were no corrals, just go where ever you wanted.  I had a good laugh at the guy on the loudspeaker because he was giving instructions for the fast people  to be in front (duh), average in the middle, and “if you ain’t ever ran a ½ marathon and don’t know your pace, just go ahead and get in the back.” Well ok.

starting line

The National Athem was sung and before I knew it, we were off.  The downtown roads of Greenwood are really pretty brick pavers which is great if you’re not running on them.  The unevenness of the pavers coupled with the fact that they were wet from the rain kept me guessing how long it would be until I tripped (which thankfully never happened). Did I mention it rained/sprinkled the entire time we were there?

Anyways, I had previously decided not to race this and just enjoy the run which is exactly what I did.  I was bummed that there weren’t a lot of course spectators but the ones that were there were great.  The other thing I was bummed about was that the course had so many turns I couldn’t really enjoy the scenery.  Seriously, we made a turn on average every .25 miles. I joked to someone that I felt like Alice in Wonderland; I kept waiting for the Cheshire Cat to make an appearance.

Mile 3 I stopped for a potty break, mile 6 I rocked out to some AC/DC, mile 7 I did a little dance knowing I was over ½ way done.  I was having fun just letting my body run it’s happy pace (somewhere around 9:30ish).  Mile Everything was going great until mile 11.25 where I got a shooting pain under my left knee cap.  It felt like someone had stabbed me with a knife and I almost crumpled to the ground.  But as quick as it came, it was gone.  Very bizarre.  That same shooting pain would happen two more times before the finish. It didn’t slow me down, just scared me a bit.  At one point towards the end of the race we were actually sharing a lane with traffic; there was less than a foot between myself and very large vehicles.  That was TERRIBLE planning and incredibly dangerous.

Finally, mile 13 came and I knew I was in the home stretch.  I entered the finisher’s chute and heard someone scream my name.  At first I thought there was another Gina (I’m in a strange town, far from home) but I looked any way and saw my friend Karla! 🙂 I was completely confused but found out later she was having foot pain and decided not to push herself through to the finish.  (She’s a smart cookie.)

Medal

I dig the medal.

We headed over to the finisher’s fest,  grabbed some water and pizza and then listened to the band for a little bit before heading back to the hotel.  My final time was 2:05:31; not too bad for just having fun.

WatchOnly the finish was chip timed (not the start) so I’m going with my Garmin on this one.  Overall, I enjoyed the race.  Although, I’m not sure if I’ll make the drive back up here again next year or not.  The hospitality was amazing but the race itself wasn’t.

Question:  Have you ever felt unsafe during a race?

CrossFit….The Original Alphabet Soup

Funny title, right?  I’ll explain in a minute.  Last night was my first night of CrossFit. Oh. My. LANTA. What in the world have I gotten myself into?  A whole lotta of pain is the answer that jumps into my brain first.  Followed quickly by the answer something amazing.

Obviously I conduct myself in only the most serious manner at CrossFit. I named this my 'poo' stance. Life's too short to take yourself seriously!

Obviously I conduct myself in only the most serious manner at CrossFit. I named this my ‘poo’ stance. Life’s too short to take yourself seriously!

After work last night I headed to Bandit Crossfit for my first on ramp class.  I was a bit nervous so I got there early and did an easy 2.25 mile run before class to get the jitters out and loosen the muscles.  Not sure if that was a good idea or not but I think I’m going to make it my routine.bandit

My class is pretty small, 8 women, one guy and our instructor.  She keeps it small so she can keep an eye on us newbies.  Make sure we don’t do anything really dumb.  One thing that I’ve heard about CrossFit is how supportive the community is so I’m definitely looking forward to sharing some serious blood, sweat and tears with the ladies in my class. Well, hopefully no blood.

I don't know about you, but I see a lot of death and injury in this waiver. *GULP*

I don’t know about you, but I see a lot of death and injury in this waiver. *GULP*

My instructor is Janice Marie Ferguson.  She’s really sweet but hardcore at the same time.  Like I’m pretty sure she could take down just about any guy.   She’s competing in the CrossFit Games….with a broken arm.  She really seems like she’s a take no crap type of instructor which I’m looking forward to.

Do you see her legs? I would kill to have legs like that!

Do you see her legs? I would kill to have legs like that!

Getting back to the title of this post, CrossFit….The Original Alphabet Soup, that comes from my utter lack of all CrossFit vernacular.  WOD (ok, I knew that one), AMRAP, CFWU, SS…. You get the point.  I’m pretty sure the guy who founded CrossFit was eating a bowl of alphabet soup one day and just started making phrases out of the letters he found.  And here I thought the military had some insane abbreviations…. Luckily, Janice didn’t throw very many of the abbreviations out last night but I’m sure they’re coming.  If you’re curious to learn some yourself, I found this article which is awesome.

I’ll learn them eventually.  Or I’ll at least pretend to know what they mean and then try to slyly pull out my cell to Google it.  I realize you may be wondering why in the world I’m stepping so far outside my runner’s comfort zone to play with weights.  And the answer is simple.  I want to get buff.  Not like Arnold buff, but I want to increase my overall strength.  By doing this, it will do nothing but benefit my running {and help me look good in my running shorts}. 😉  Win-win, right?

I also want to learn proper technique, too.  I did my first WOD last night and caught myself unintentionally trying to cheat. (Pushups without bumping my chest to the ground, pullups without extending my arms all the way, etc…)  There’s really no point in me doing CF if I’m going to self-sabotage like that.  I got caught up in the time factor and wanted to finish quickly.  My next class I’m going to make sure to not cut any corners.

First WOD

-1st WOD-
200m row, then descending sets (15-12-9) of squats, pushups, & pullups, finished with a 200m row. That time can only get better as I learn more.

Overall, I think I’m really going to enjoy this next month.  I thrive in structured environments and am looking forward to pushing my body to its physical limits.  I know that there will be challenges and times where I don’t think I can do something but I can’t wait to prove myself wrong.

Question:  Have you ever tried CrossFit? If not, what’s holding you back?

Weekly Workout Roundup

I did it!  Marathon #2 is in the bag.  It was fun, tough, challenging, and painful but I’m glad I did it.  My time was 4:18:50 which is a 9:50 pace.  I really didn’t have a concrete time goal so I’m pleased with it; I am looking forward to taking more minutes off of the next one!

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Newest bling to add to the collection

I’ll have a full recap later on this week so for now I’m just going to do my workout recap.  Although, between tapering for the marathon and being sick, the workouts were pretty pitiful.

Monday: 3 mile run.

Tuesday: 150 pushups.

Wednesday: sick, sick, sick…

Thursday: 170 pushups, 4 mile run.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Yoga – sun salutations and seated hip openers.

Sunday: Rock-n-Roll New Orleans…..26.3 freaking miles! (Yes, I managed to run an extra .10 of a mile.)

Also, last week, I finished the 100 pushup program!! This was the six week program that I attempted last Nov/Dec and ended up quitting with just two days to go.  It was still incredibly challenging towards the end but I’m proud of myself for finishing.  I’ve been joining Jennifer, Alex and Jacki with their #nogirlypushup challenge and I think the extra accountability really helped.girly-pushups1

If you haven’t checked out their challenge, do so.  You can will some very cool prizes! Last week, I won some socks from The Sox Box.  Waaahoooo!  I’m still going to continue with the pushups but I don’t think I’ll be doing 170 in a day anytime soon again.

Question:  How was your weekend? Did you do anything extra special or just have a relaxing few days at home?

Weekly Workout Recap & It’s Marathon Week!

In case the title didn’t give it away, I’ve officially made it to marathon week.  In 6 days I’ll be running my second 26.2 in New Orleans.

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It’s so hard for me to wrap my head around this fact and I’m pretty sure I’m in some sort of denial.  I have zero nerves right now (they’ll probably kick in Saturday) and I haven’t even given much thought to race weekend logistics (which includes not having a clue what I’m wearing).

I have a pretty laissez faire attitude towards this race which is the exact opposite of how I was during my first marathon four months ago.  I pulled up my recap from the last week of my Marine Corps Marathon training and was amused to see such a difference in attitudes.  My nerves were pretty darn apparent in the week leading up to the MCM.

This weekend my running girls and I got together for our last long(ish) run.  I say ‘ish’ since it was only 10 miles.  Despite being cold and windy, we had a great run.  I’m so proud of us for making it to the end of training and I’m especially excited for my friend Lorena who will be rocking her first marathon – EEK!!

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Stretching post 10 mile run.
Next long run will be the 26.2. Say whaaaaat!?!?

I’m linking up with Kat from Sneakers and Fingerpaints to bring you my weekly workout roundup.

workoutroundup

Monday: 3 mile run, weights (biceps, triceps, deltoids), and I attempted a 15-1 WOD of jumping squats, pushups, leg raises; however, I only made it down to 10 in 12:12 which is 75 total reps each. #OUCH
Tuesday: Cycling 15.91 miles in one hour, 86 pushups
Wednesday: 7 miles tempo run, kettlebell workout
Thursday: 100 pushups, jump roped for the first time since I was a kid – hello calf pain
Friday: 4.08 miles, 120 pushups
Saturday: 10 mile run, yoga
Sunday: 130 pushups

Whew.  Even though I had reduced running miles, I actually feel pretty proud of my workouts last week.  I tried a few new things (WODs and jump roping) that I’m excited to work into my regular routine.  I’m also pretty darn pleased on the pushup front.  I did a total of 511 pushups last week!!

It’s been really nice to have support from the ladies behind the #nogirlypushup challenge. I made it to week 6 day 1 of the 100 Pushup program – the final week.  If you remember from the 100 pushup fail post this was the furthest day I got to before quitting.  I’m feeling really good so far and am looking forward to completing the program.

girly-pushups1

As far as my workouts go this week, I’m really going to take it easy.  I’m going to finish out the pushup challenge but I’m not going to do any weights workouts or anything else that would tax my muscles.  I want to make sure to be as fresh as possible for next Sunday.  So here’s hoping I stick with that plan.

Question:  Do you do anything special during race week?

Weekly Workout Roundup

Looking back on last week, I have mixed emotions on my workouts.  I had some really great ones, and some really terrible ones.  Because I like to focus on the positive first, take a second to check out Saturday’s work  out.  🙂

*BOOM* Sub 2 PR!! I’ll have a full recap later this week, but suffice to say, Saturday’s race was ah-maaaaa-zing!  I kept a pace of 8:54 but what really surprised me is that I totally could have pushed it harder.  So a big thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your encouragement! I really didn’t think that I could do it.

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Another proud moment from last week’s workouts is the fact that I got in 215 {total} pushups.  If you remember, I decided to start the 100 pushup program again after failing to finish it last time.  I just nailed week 4 and today starts week 5.  This is really where it got hard last time but my friend Jennifer from Wine to Weightlifting started a “No More Girly Pushup Challenge” which is helping motivate me.

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Even though I’m 4 weeks ahead of everyone else, I’m really loving the support and encouragement.  Plus there are PRIZES!! Take a second to check it out if you’re interested.

Now let’s talk about where I fell short.  No cross training or weightlifting whatsoever and Tuesday’s 8 mile speed work session ended at only 2 miles.   Rarely do I cut runs short but my heart was just not there.  That was the night before Starla’s surgery and I just couldn’t focus on speed work.  I had full intentions of making it up but then I traveled for work the next day.

So here’s the breakdown of my workouts this week.

workoutroundup

Monday: (am) Yoga – hip flexors, (pm) 6 mile run.

Tuesday: (am) 63 pushups, yoga – sun salutations, (pm) 2 mile run.

Wednesday: travel for work

Thursday: (am) 72 pushups, yoga – hip flexors, (pm) 5 mile run.

Friday: Rest.

Saturday: Mississippi River Inaugural Marathon (13.29 mile in 1:58:24)

Sunday: 80 pushups

The marathon is now less then 2 weeks out which means that my miles are reduced significantly.   BOO.  I didn’t experience any taper madness during the first marathon so hopefully these next two weeks will go by without me clawing my eyeballs out.  I do plan on hitting the gym hard this week for both cross & strength training.

Question:  What was your proud moment from last week?

Kettle Whaaaat?

For those of you that follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you may have seen noticed this picture I posted on Friday.

Say hello to my little friend.

Say hello to my little friend.

Let me introduce you to Big Blue, my newest tool to help me reach my core / upper body strength goal.  Yep, I named my kettlebell.   Thanks to my friend Stacey, I’m now the proud owner of a 15lb piece of pain inducing, muscle making cast iron free weight.  Yippee!!

After owning up to my 100 Push Challenge flop I wasn’t ready to give up on my goal of increasing up core and upper body strength.  Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Don’t ask why I just randomly quoted Dirty Dancing.  It seemed appropriate to me.  But I digress…

I remember the first time I heard someone talking about doing a kettlebell workout, it was about two years ago and all I could picture was a huge cow bell.  For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to swing a cow bell around as a workout.  Oh, Gina.  *sigh*

Yeah, I'm not ashamed to say this is what came to mind when I first learned about kettlebells.

Yeah, I’m not ashamed to say this is what came to mind when I first learned about kettlebells. Whoops….

Fast forward to me getting back into shape and the light bulb comes on… Oh, you mean it’s not actually a cow bell?  And it’s not just for upper body strength?  Cool!  I’ve actually been wanting one of these torture devices for about a year now but every time I thought about buying one I needed new shoes, or I registered for a race, or bought workout clothes, err, you get the point. So when Stacey offered to give me her’s I jumped at the opportunity.  SAHWEET!!  I love freeeeee.

I took my new prize home and immediately started googling.  I’m a dork and like to know the history behind things, how they work, why they work, etc… so I did some research on kettlebells.  Turns out they’re not new at all, just to me.  They were developed in Russia in the 1700s and were used as part of their army training programs well into the 20th century.  Cool right?

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Russian stamp featuring a kettlebell.
Source: Wikipedia

And kettlebells aren’t just for building upper body / core strength.  They’re actually a really great total body workout tool.  I quickly found out that it’s one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can have at home.  The versatility should make my hubby the minimalist happy because it means less equipment he has to try to find a space for.

After checking out the history  and benefits, I naturally wanted to give it a try.  I turned to the best free video resource out there….Youtube….and found a workout video that looked doable.  It was only 12 minutes long and had you do a 3 sets of shoulder presses, kettlebell swings, bicep curls, and clean and presses.  Sounds easy right?

HOOOOOOLY TAMOLE

The first 120 seconds went well.  I’m like this is cool, challenging, but cool.  I finished the first set.  During the 2nd set I started to feel the burn and by the time I finished the 2nd set, my body was full on, OMGeeee, what the heck are you doing to me?! I didn’t do the third set but I was really happy with my workout. Plus it gives me something to work towards.  If you’re curious to check out the video I used, here is the link.

And then, because I’m a total glutton for punishment, I did 6 miles of speed work immediately after my kettlebell workout.  Hello Yassos!  My goal is to run a sub 2 at my next 1/2 in February (2 weeks before the Rock-n-Roll marathon) so I need to start focusing more on speed.  All-in-all, I’m really excited about incorporating the kettlebell into my routine.  I plan to do it twice a week along with using the weight machines at the gym once a week.  After the beating I gave it last night, my body hates me today, but doggoneit I’m making good on my upper body strength goals!

Question:  Have you ever done a kettlebell workout? What’s your favorite way to strength train?