Tuesday, February 27, 2018

February Miles | Tuesdays on the Run

My February miles got off to a slow start after being down with the flu for about 10 days, but I think I rallied back pretty well.

I'm still logging all of my miles on my trusty Wave Sky (affiliate): 7 runs (I even ran three times in one week like the good old days!) and 17.32 miles total. This is just a little less than I ran last month and I lost a bit on my average distance during my big post-flu comeback ---> it was slow and painful.

When I wasn't running, I was (recovering from the flu, ha!) working on strength training, hiking, doing yoga...all my other favorite things to do. I even played some tennis with mrC!

I took on a couple of challenges this month: FAB AB FEBRUARY has been going all month and focuses on core with sit-ups, push-ups and planks. MIND BODY PILATES is a ten day challenge that focuses on strength and mental wellness. Sometimes I need a good challenge to keep me motivated and both of these are helping me do the core work that I tend to slack on.

I also started using a BCAA prior to and during my workouts. I am definitely leaning towards the positive. I have more energy during my workouts and my recovery time seems shorter. I'll do a proper review a little later.

Overall, despite missing the first 10 days or so, February turned out to be a pretty good month.

PS - here's a challenge for March from Aly in case your looking for one. I'm undecided because of all those burpees. Then again, maybe that's a reason I should do it...

How was your month? What are looking forward to in March?

Today I'm doing the link-up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run! 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Weekly Wrap - When everything clicks

I love when I have good workout weeks. When everything just clicks. The workouts are challenging but fun. I'm motivated. My knee is happy. The weather cooperates. These are the fun weeks.

This week mrC and I also started carb cycling again. Using what I learned from the Faster Way To Fat Loss Program (affiliate - I get a small fee if you sign up using my link), I planned my workouts and food days for the week. It felt good to be following a plan again. I've been needing some purpose to my workouts even though I really enjoy just winging it.

Here are my workouts for the week:

Monday - Run with sprints

One mile warmup and 10 sprints at 20 seconds work 40 seconds rest. This was an awesome workout, but tough because it was later in the day and warmer.

Tuesday - HIIT workout 

At home session ---> Class Fitsugar video. This was challenging but hit all the good parts. I will be doing this video again.

Wednesday - Run and upper body strength 

I took my workout to the fitness center because I wanted to have the right weights. My options at home are limited to two sizes. Started with The Lazy Runner's Short and Sweet Workout from Lisa and then did the Dirty Dozen Arm workout (another oldie that I'm bringing back). Then I started a pilates 10 day challenge, because there's an Athleta gift card up for grabs!

Thursday - Full body strength 

Another at home workout ---> Fit and Sexy Full-body Workout Class Fitsugar video. I went with another video mainly because I couldn't decide what gym workout sounded good.

Friday - Hike

This was supposed to be a rest day but I switched it up so that I could try out my new hiking shoes. First impressions are good but we will see after my BIG hike today.

Saturday - Rest

Unplanned rest day after a late night out at the Chris Botti concert. I was tired, my body was tired, so I listened and took the day off.

Sunday - Tennis fun

It was a nice day so we went to the courts to hit the balls around again. We even played a couple of games at the end for fun.

Do plan out your workouts for the week or wing it?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Three Things Thursday #2 - What's New?

Some new things happening lately.

I started a new book recently (Thanks to Jennifer for mentioning it to me). After I read the blurb, I knew that I needed to read it. When I used to train for half marathons, I noticed that I always ran much better at the beginning of my period which seemed like an odd thing to me. Apparently not. Sims basically explains how our (women) hormones affect our fitness performance and results, and the ways that we can make the most of it. Have you read it? What did you think?

I was hoping to break in my new hiking shoes today, but it was raining (affiliate). I'm very picky about my shoes. These are really trail running shoes, so I'm hoping that my feet will like the lighter weight and the cushion. I've tried traditional hiking shoes in the past only to have tired and achey legs after big hikes.

So instead of hiking, I ended up getting my nails done. Picking a nail color is as hard as picking a wall color because the colors always look different on than they do in the bottle or in pictures. Most of the time I leave knowing definitively that I like or don't like the color I chose. Today, I'm on the fence.

What's new with you?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I Love Running, But...

What's not to love about running? If I scroll through my Instagram feed, I see pictures of runners with smiling faces talking about their happy runs and how they're rocking all kinds of personal bests. BUT, we all know that running isn't always a bed of roses. There are a lot of things that make running hard. Things that keep other people from actually doing it or sticking with it.

What do you like least about running?

Here are mine...the things that I like least about running are:

It's two-faced - One day running feels so awesome and it's my best friend. I laugh and smile and float along. The next day it sucks and stabs me in the back. The struggle is so hard that it almost hurts. I really wish it just felt easy every time I laced up my Mizunos (affiliate).

Pubic sidewalks - There are no running trails where I live, so I have to play dodge the clueless pedestrians. When did giving space become such a hard thing to do? It's even worse when the dog walkers come out and they think making me hurdle a leash is acceptable.

Personal safety - I do not like that there are times when going for a run scares me. Where I run now, I mostly worry about aggressive dogs/animals. Sadly in the US, I worry about being alone on a trail and being attacked which is why I wear my Wearsafe tag when I run.

HILLS - Hills are so hard and now they are doubly hard for me. I've never been a fan of running them except I knew that it would help me be a better runner. Now, my knee is not a fan of running down them. So the only good thing about hills has become the worst part.

You have to really love running to get past the challenges!

Today I'm doing the link-up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run! 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Weekly Wrap - Let the Exercising Begin!

What a difference a week makes!

After nearly two weeks of being down with the flu, I made my big workout comeback. I took it slow though ---> I didn't want to go crazy and over-do it only to feel bad again. So, I eased into the week, made modifications and picked the workouts that felt right for me at the time just like I said in my goals for 2018.

FAB AB FEBRUARY Challenge - I'm happy to report that I have stayed on track and completed the sit-ups, push-ups and plank each day for 18 days now. I've never been strong at full push-ups, but this challenge (and maybe my time at Bodypump) is really helping ---> I can do 15 good ones at this point!

Monday - WALKING

After needing a nap Sunday afternoon, I decided to skip a big AWA group hike and went to the Lunar New Year Flower Market with mrC instead. This extra day of rest was just what I needed to be ready for my big comeback the rest of the week.

Tuesday - RUN - 2.0 miles

I had a pretty yucky run on Saturday, so I was ready for a redemption run. I thought intervals might help so I set my timer for 4:1 run:walk. mrC joined me and we walked down the big hill (because my knee is not a fan of downhill running) to get to a flat part of our neighborhood and ran an easy loop that took us along much of the waterfront. I was feeling good about things until it was time to head up the big hill, haha. I struggled but it was a normal feeling struggle up the hill.

Wednesday - HIKE

I joined the AWA group hike on Dragon's Back ---> one of my favorite Hong Kong trails. I knew that I could manage this one even if my energy wasn't back to 100% (although I was feeling like it was). I was fasting for Ash Wednesday, but felt really good for the whole hike.

Thursday - RUN - 3.05 miles

After a successful run on Tuesday, I went for a bit longer on this one and mrC joined me again. I didn't know how far I was going to go when I set out, but since the 4:1 intervals were feeling so good, I ended up looping through the park to finish with 3 miles. Even the run up the hill felt better this time.

Friday - TENNIS

After running past the tennis courts I mentioned to mrC that I'd like to play again sometime, so he booked us a court on what turned out to be the best weather day of the week. We didn't play tennis (like actual games) we just like to hit the balls around and got a really good workout. It was fun!

Saturday - RUN - 2.30 miles & LEG DAY

I thought I might sign-up for GRIT class, but for some reason I felt like going with mrC to the fitness center instead. After walking there together, I ran 2.3 miles on the treadmill still using my 4:1 intervals. Then I did a leg workout using drop sets: leg presses, calf raises, goblet squats, single leg deadlifts.

Sunday - YOGA

I used a Yoga with Adriene video for some active recovery. My legs were feeling a little tight from leg day (although not as sore as I thought they might) and got a nice stretch from the practice.

BCAAs ---> Last week I mentioned that I was going to be trying this supplement for the first time. I first heard about BCAA when I was doing the Faster Way to Fat Loss carb cycling program and then at Bodypump but for some reason I put off trying it. The flu fatigue finally motivated me to order some. I used it prior to every workout this week. So far I can tell you that I like the taste (a lot) and it reminds me of when I used Cytomax on my long runs.

How many full push-ups can you do?
Tell me something good about your week!

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Weekly Wrap - Bouncing Back

Bouncing back from the flu has taken A LOT longer than I thought it would. I started feeling better at the beginning of the week but I struggled to find the energy to do much of anything.

So it was a week filled with lots and lots of rest days. I did get out for a walk every day and I continued to do my daily core challenge: I'm now up to 35 sit-ups, 10 push-ups and 35 second planks. But it wasn't until Saturday that I finally felt up to doing a real workout.

I was so excited to put on my running shoes and a pair of shorts (affiliate links) ---> the temperature is getting back into the mid-60s around here lately. Perfect running weather. My heart wanted to run two miles but my body was only feeling one. My head settled things and I called it quits after 1.66 miles and then I walked the big hill home for my cool down.

I was quickly reminded that a run can be awesome and terrible at the same time. As much as I wanted it to be perfect, my body is still recovering. To help with my energy I ordered some BCAA supplement to add to my routine. I'm hoping to feel improvement in my stamina initially and in the long run, maybe I'll see some improvements in fat loss and muscle recovery.

Do you take BCAA?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Weekly Wrap | The FLU and My January Miles

Last week I managed to get in one full workout before getting completely run over by the flu.

I took Monday off to run errands after being away all weekend, but made it to Bodypump on Tuesday. It was day 2 with my heavier weights and it was another tough workout. I had to really push at times and the shoulder track was seriously KILLER. I felt good about my effort when it was over though.

Since the rest of my workout week got put on major pause, I thought I would take a look at my January miles. I ended January with 17.76 miles. I'm really happy with that number since it is more than quadruple what I ran in January 2017, although I was really hoping to have one final run on Wednesday. I'm still happy that I ran nearly twice a week and that most of my runs were in the 5k range.

Besides my one strength class, I did manage to start my February core challenge. This challenge increases the intensity over time, so the first few days were light enough for me to do while I wasn't feeling great. Even though I was extremely lethargic, it felt good to move a little each morning (it's when I had the most energy) because I was missing my workouts.

Monday - REST

Tuesday - Bodypump

Wednesday - Run ---> REST

Thursday - Bodypump ---> REST and started FAB AB February

Friday - REST

Saturday - REST

Sunday - REST and a walk

Now that a new week is starting, I'm wondering...how soon do you return to workouts after being sick?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!