Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fitness Center Workout: Body Blast Interval

I love pinning workouts on Pinterest, but what I love even more is when I actually use them! While waiting for the power outage to end here in New Hampshire, I took advantage of the hotel fitness centers and my Pinterest page.

Yesterday I created my own morning workout with a mix of strength and cardio. I am a big fan of HIIT workouts because even though they make me breathe harder, they burn more fat calories.

My RPE was level 5 on the stationary bike and I tried to keep the RPMs in the 70s. Not an easy task. Each round on the bike got harder and harder. My legs were basically jello.

Each circuit got harder after the first because I was out of breath from the bike. At times I didn't think I could even move my arms let alone my whole body. Those are the moments that leave you smiling after the workout, right?

You can find the Body Blast workout that I pinned from Pop Sugar here.

Fitful Focus

Today's #FitnFashionable look is all Oiselle. The Off the Grid Knickers were perfect for this fitness center workout in front of a wall of windows. Plus the side zipper pocket kept my room key safely tucked out of sight. I'm a big fan of racer backs and the Winona Tank doesn't disappoint. It's form fitting but without revealing the insecure spots (my gut!)

Do you like to create your own workouts?
Any fitness clothing you are loving right now?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday Sweat: Turkey Burn

My highlight of the day yesterday was going to the morning #SurfnTurf class for the annual Turkey Burn Workout at TI Fitness. I would have loved to do the Bootcamp class AND the 5K Run, but the whole no-running thing squelched that option.

I watched about 15 people leave after the Bootcamp class ended and then noticed that I was the only one remaining. I guess the other people who signed up for class were no-shows (not cool). So I basically had a private session with the owners.

We did a new move on the board during Surf called reverse table and added some leg lifts. I could feel my whole core working on that one.

The focus for Turf today was arm strength. We did 4 stations with dumbbell exercises and weighted transitions in between. I struggle with arm exercises and love being pushed out of my comfort zone in class. We also took a "break" from the stations for a little HIIT with the jump ropes and kettle bells plus some pushups added for a kicker.

My body felt like lead and my heart was pumping hard. Turf is seriously challenging for me!

I always look forward to seeing how many calories I burn during these 25 minutes Surf and 25 minutes Turf classes, but this class was shocking. I think it's my PB for Surf classes.

Have you ever shown up for a class and you are the only one in it?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Powerless Thanksgiving - Shake It Off

mrC had a trip on Wednesday and when I heard the forecast for heavy snow, I should've known that the power was going to go out. It rarely happens when he is home. As pretty as it is to see the snow stuck to all the trees, it's a serious bummer when the trees fall or break on the power lines.

Original pic from Allie

I normally tough it out in the house with our small generator and as many small appliances as I can plug in, but not this time. This time I grabbed the dog and the credit card and checked into a local Holiday Inn. 

So instead of being surrounded by family on Thanksgiving, I found myself surrounded by fitness machines. 

When the power went out, I was not a happy camper. After walking by the fitness center a few times, I decided that I needed to shake it off. It was the perfect place to earn a little #holidaysweat workout challenge points.

I started my workout with a 20 minute ride on the stationary bike. I do not use fitness machines often (ever) besides our own treadmill, so I really had no idea what I was doing. I choose a calorie burn workout with a max level of 7. OMgoodness. It was HARD and I was seriously sweaty.

Next I jumped on the elliptical. On this one I selected a 20 minute cardio workout. Loved it. I felt like I was running. The best part was my mom FaceTimed me during the workout. She thought I was an awesome heavy breather, haha.

At the end of the 40 minutes, the smile was back and I was feeling better. Can you blame me? Look at the calories I shook off.

After my workout, I leashed up the dog for his workout. We walked for about a mile.

How was your Thanksgiving?
Did you get in a workout?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Fitness Shopping Deals 2014

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope you are enjoying the day exactly the way that you want to. We are snowed in a little here in New Hampshire, but we're enjoying our adventure. 

I know for many of you shopping after Thanksgiving is a BIG thing. LittleC is going with a friend at midnight! Not me. No thank you.

Nowadays, shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday requires planning and maybe even a little training if you're thinking about sprinting through the stores to snag that must have fitness gear! I'm all about finding a good bargain and there are a lot of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals being offered by our favorite fitness brands.

Vega Black Friday Sale
Love chocolate peanut butter protein bars!

Banjees wrist wallet is my favorite item!

Love my Foot notes!

Use code GIVETHANKS to get 10% off
your order from Run Far Girl

Happy shopping!

Are you planning to shop Black Friday (tonight) or Cyber Monday?
What do you like about it?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Workout Wednesday: SurfnTurf through a Snow Storm

The day before Thanksgiving means early dismissal from school for this English teacher. Translate: I could go to SurfnTurf class!

As soon as my last class was over, I changed into my workout clothes and headed to TI Fitness. It was just starting to snow and I loved the idea of making some #surfsweat while there was a snow storm going on.

View from the 4th floor studio

The first part of the class was on the boards with a fast paced mix of cardio. One thing that keeps me coming back to these classes is the challenge of the pace. As soon as I think I'm going to keel over, the instructor slows things down just a bit to let me catch my breath. 

After a brief break, the fill class was divided into three groups to move through stations that combined strength and cardio. We ran the stations for 4 minutes each repeating the exercises until time was up. 

Station #1 was with the hand weights: 15 cross punches, 15 squat press, 15 plank rows. 

Station #2 moved to the cones: 5 high knees, medicine ball jump, repeated 4x, suicides, and jump rope 10x. The instructor modified the suicide for me to jump rope 30x.

Station #3 was with medicine balls: 15 full sit-ups, 15 squat toss, 

Station #4 was at another set of cones: shuffle cone to cone with squat jump at each, up & down the stairs 2x (hand weights optional).

Station #5 was at the kettle bells: 15 swings, 15 figure 8s, and 15 jacks.

Station #6 was at the ladder: plank walk, side jumps back to start, 10 sit-ups.

We finished up with a round of abs…ugh. I'm going to feel that tomorrow.

As usual it was a great workout. I'll be going back for some Turkey Burn on Friday.

Are you burning some calories today?

**Note: I was in the process of writing this post after getting home from the class when the power went out. The snow storm is dropping tree limbs and drivers are knocking down poles. I am now comfortably checked into a hotel where I will wait for the power to come back on! **

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Trail Tuesday: Top to Bottom Circuit

Even though I'm not currently running, I still spend Tuesdays and Thursdays on the trail…watching the high school Run Club runners.

We meet after school in the parking lot and then they head out. I walk to the trail and wait for them to pass by about a mile into their run. It works.

Today I decided to be more active while waiting for the runners and the trail seemed like a good place to do my first #holidaysweat challenge workout.

I received the workout in the Holiday Sweat Challenge Monday email. It was designed to be done on the TRX (which I don't have), but the email included modifications (love that). I completely changed the atomic push-ups to spiderman planks aiming for the same over-all effect.

It took a while, but I did find a relatively soft spot on the trail to do the workout (not where the photo was taken, that's just for the blog (; ).

My arms are going to be sore tomorrow. I can feel it.

Did you workout today? Tell me about it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

November Beach Day

After a frigid couple of days, Sunday turned out to be a very nice day, so mrC and I decided to get out and enjoy it. We leashed up the dog and headed out for a leisurely 5K walk to our favorite local beach and back.

When we left the house the temperature was in the low 50s but it was sunny. I picked my outfit hoping I would be warm enough while putting some of my new running gear to use, even though I wouldn't be running.

Oiselle birds of a feather long sleeve and Eddie Bauer vest

Athleta Miles Compression Tights and Mizuno Wave Rider 18

Part of the walk to the beach takes us through a shady section, where we paused to watch some friendly horse riders pass by. Because there was a breeze, it got a little chilly out of the sun.

At the beach we took in the views from the lifeguard stand, watched some ducks, and took a moment to stretch. My legs were a little sore from my Saturday morning workout.

Once we were sufficiently warmed up in the November sun, we headed back. On the way home we stopped to check out the new bridge and stone work. I love that there is always something new to see on our trips to the beach.

My outfit kept me comfortable on the walk, but I would have been too warm if I had been running (even without the vest). It was a perfect day for a walk to the beach, and I know mrC and I weren't the only ones who enjoyed it.

Do you like to visit summer places outside the season?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Staying Healthy through the Winter Months

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do
I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.

When it comes to the winter months and the holidays, staying healthy gets harder for me.

As much as we all want to curl up under a warm blanket with a cup of hot cocoa, we need to remember that staying active will keep us healthy. This article explains the benefits physical activity.

Here are some tips that I try to follow to stay active and healthy through the winter months:

1. Have a plan: since my normal routine disappears over the holiday breaks from work, I try to plan my workouts in advance. I've posted about this before here and here. I will literally schedule my workouts on the calendar around all of our other obligations so that the family knows. Often times, I can get someone to join me and teach them the importance of staying active by showing them.

2. Check out your local gym/studio: many gyms/fitness studios offer holiday discounts on classes or packages. The fitness studio I use also offers classes at times that I usually can't attend, so I like to check out their monthly schedule and see when I can squeeze in a class. 

3. Set goals: pick goals that you know will benefit you based on your fitness level and the type of fitness you are focused on. If you are training for a race, make it a running goal (distance total or total number of runs to do). If you are just looking to burn calories make a goal for the number of workouts that you do or the amount of time you spend working out that can be squeezed in at any time. If you are trying to get to the gym more often, set a number as your goal.

4. Add a workout buddy: this does not have to mean that you workout together. It just means, pick someone that can hold you accountable and encourage you. Share your activities with each other through email or text messages. If you are on social media, share Instagram pictures or Facebook posts. I like to join challenges that offer a support group, like the Holiday Sweat Challenge

5. Pick a reward: this keeps me motivated, especially because I reward myself with new fitness gear. Think of something that you really want and use it to hold yourself accountable. Get other people involved in the reward so that it becomes a group effort (combine with "Add a workout buddy").

Hopefully if we all follow these tips (or at least some of them), we will find staying healthy throughout the winter months and all of the holidays to be much easier.

Feel free to leave a tip of your own in the comments!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Sweat: Wake-up Workout

This morning I got up too early, but I guess that's what I get for going to bed at 8:30 last night.

Weekend plans kept me from my favorite Saturday morning activity, SurfSet, so I put together my own workout session in the basement.

All of the mini-workouts are Tabata or HIIT (my favorite) and I use my GymBoss interval timer to keep track of the rounds.

If you are interested, I posted about the ab workout here and the jump rope workout here.

Fire the Glutes was a mix of moves that have been recommended to me by Dr. Bri and other runners over the years. I did two rounds of a 20/5 Tabata set.

The 30-ish minute workout was a great wake-up workout that got my heart pumping.

The cool down was a nice 5 minute stretch session.

I'm still waiting out my TFL injury and soon will be recovering from my meniscus repair. In the meantime, I hope to use workouts like these to get in some cardio and strength. Otherwise, I think I would go crazy!

How do you sweat it out on busy Saturdays?
Do you have a wake-up workout? Leave a link so I can check it out!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Training Truths: Coping with Limits

Last week I was able to comfortably complete some at-home short strength and cardio workouts, but my TFL test run did not go as I had hoped.

On Thursday, I was allowed to run after a two week hiatus. Run if it doesn't hurt, he said. So I did. Two miles with the high school Run Club. My TFL felt a little different, tight maybe, but it didn't hurt. At all.

Fast forward to my PT appointment about an hour after my run. Pain. It was back, just like the last time. Dr. Bri put me back on the no-running list, but gave me the ok to do cross-training as long as it doesn't cause pain. I went home after some Graston, ART, and another cortisone patch feeling bummed. Running is my thing. I don't want to give it up.

Friday I met with an orthopedic surgeon to discuss my torn meniscus - the root of all my problems. He recommended a repair. Seems like a good time since I can't run anyway. More on this later.

After seeing Dr. O, I had a sports massage from my favorite masseuse, Jeannie. She almost made me cry, but when I woke up Saturday morning, my hip was feeling TONS better!

I was feeling so much better that I decided to go to SurfSet. The instructors are great about offering modifications to moves during class for injuries and also different fitness levels. It's one of the reasons I love going.

SurfSet is a HIIT class mixing moves on the board with strength exercises using hand weights, kettle bells, and medicine balls. It was just what I needed.

I hate that I can't run, but my body has reached it's limit. So until my meniscus repair to fix the instability in my legs, I will continue to cope with my new limits with strength training and cross-training.

How do you cope when you can't run?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Girls On The Run Fall 5K Volunteer

When you're feeling down because of an injury and you can't run, I highly recommend volunteering at a race to lift your spirits.

This morning I met up with several members of the Manchester MRTT group to volunteer at the Girls On The Run Fall 5K. This is the first of two annual events held for the various GOTR groups across the state of New Hampshire.

We were in charge of setting up the first of two water stops along the 5K course. Fortunately we had plenty of hands to help get all those cups of water ready.

When the first runners came around the corner, we were ready and waiting.

Within moments of handing water to the first runners, it felt like all of the remaining 1500 smiling little runners were surrounding us and they were thirsty! We soon realized that being a hydration specialist is not as easy as it looks!

Then, just like that, the massive wave of runners, coaches, and parents were headed toward the finish line. We received a lot of thank yous while handing out the water today, but the best part was seeing all of the smiles on the girls' faces as they passed by.

Girls on the Run is an organization devoted to helping girls grow up to be self confident and healthy young ladies. They combine training for a 5K with lessons on problem solving and making healthy decisions.

Everyone can support the non-profit GOTR program this month through the Hug A Runner virtual race series (5K, 10K, or 13.1) hosted by Run The Edge. Find out more here. You can also donate directly to the GOTR program here.

Do you have a GOTR program in your area?
Do you like to volunteer?