Showing posts with label challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label challenge. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

12 Days of Core Challenge

The biggest holiday of the year is just around the corner, so it seemed like it would be a great time to launch a fun challenge to help you stay focused through the craziness and channel some winter energy! Are you ready for the 12 Days of Core Challenge?

Get ready because it is time to build some fab abs with 12 days of exercises that will have you feeing strong and toned. I will be here cheering you along as you reach and CRUSH your goals. You are going to create a strong core that will help you reduce injury, improve your posture and generally make completing daily activities easier!

Here's how the 12 Days of Core Challenge works:

Each day I will give you a daily core exercise (with video). The fun part is that just like the song, you will add on each day. You will complete the exercise for the day and then complete all of the previous days as well. I will be giving you serious ab inspiration throughout the challenge too. You will receive a FREE Macros to Muscles guide, intermittent fasting tips, fun holiday recipes and tips to avoid the Holiday 15!

If you want to have yourself a Merry Little Fit-mas, then I've got you covered. My goal is to help you keep your head in the game and give you the accountability and motivation you need to avoid gaining any extra pounds during the holiday season!

To join the 12 Days of Core Challenge, simply click here to join the private Facebook group and get ready because the fun begins on December 10!

Have a question? Leave it in the comments or send me an email at

Are you joining me for the 

12 Days of Core Challenge? 

Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Popsugar Fitness Two-Week Video Workout Challenge

After taking a brief hiatus from scheduled workouts and enjoying a bunch of family fun, I was ready to get back to regular workouts. I was in the mood for something different, so I challenged myself to follow the Popsugar Fitness 2-Week Video Workout Plan.

For 14 days, I did a variety of 30 minute workouts that mixed cardio, strength, Pilates and yoga. One day a week was dedicated to active rest with stretching and foam rolling.

Here's the plan and my thoughts on each workout:

Day 1: Cardio workout (burned 335 calories). This was a fun video with a blend of cardio and strength circuits to keep things interesting. Each circuit takes about 5 minutes to get through 4 moves and you do each circuit twice. A couple of minutes of stretching is included at the end.

Day 2: Cardio Pilates workout (burned 268 calories) Mix of cardio and Pilates with weights that really worked my abs. After a cardio warm-up, the exercise sequence targets legs, arms, and abs...spending about 20-30 seconds on each move.

Day 3: Power Yoga Flow (burned 154 calories) Perfectly timed full body yoga to stretch things out that were feeling very sore. A typical yoga flow, the workout stretches and tones at the same time.

Day 4: Active Rest with Foam Roller (burned 65 calories) Full disclosure, this was a pretty painful session, but another well timed activity. The must-do foam rolling moves provided probably made this the best foam rolling session I've ever done, especially because I actually timed myself.

Day 5: Tabata Workout (297 calories) I love this form of HIIT that alternates between 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest in four minute rounds. Just when you think you can't go any longer, you get a quick break. Another bonus to this workout was the instructor ---> great energy and super funny!

Day 6: Strong, Toned and Full-body workout (253 calories) Another circuit training session, but this time with weighted moves added in. I like the mix of exercises in circuit workouts.

Day 7: Active Rest with Stretching (95 calories) I did both the 10 minute video and the ultimate stretching guide (see it here) ---> 28 different stretches. My body was grateful for this head to toe love-fest.

Day 8: Cardio Boxing & Core (308 calories) This was my first try at cardio boxing and I didn't love it, but was pleasantly surprised to see the calories I burned. Obviously no experience necessary to get a good workout, even one that feels a little awkward.

Day 9: Pilates workout (196 calories) This should have been called Speed Pilates! The pace was hard to keep up with at times, so I focused on going at my own speed. Some of the moves were killer, but the instructor kept things fun and lively.

Day 10: Feel-Good, Feel-Strong Yoga (186 calories) easy to follow flow that hit all my favorite poses. I liked how the instructor grouped poses together and tossed in a couple challenges ---> like side plank with leg raise!

Day 11: Active Rest with Foam Roller (did not track) This was the same as the previous foam rolling day but it didn't hurt as bad. That's a clear reminder that the more you roll, the happier your muscles are.

Day 12: Cardio and Toning Boot Camp (283 calories) Simple 8 move circuit repeated 3 times. I liked the mix of cardio (jump squats, mountain climbers) and strength, but I loved the combination moves (squat shoulder press, bridge chest press) the best.

Day 13: Total Body Toning (262 calories) This workout had a fun mix of moves that focused on legs, cardio, arms, and abs. Each move was demonstrated in modified version first and then the advanced options were shown.

Day 14: Active Rest with 10 Minute Stretching (74 calories) Easy 10 minute stretching routine that hits all the important areas. It's a nice option to always doing the same stretches from memory and some of the stretching variations were new to me.

So, what did I think?

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen the answer ---> I LOVED following this two week workout plan. It was a great way to get away from repeating the same workouts day after day, which I am known to do. The mix of cardio, strength, yoga, Pilates, and rest days felt really good on my body too.

30 minute workouts really are manageable and effective. It was apparent right away that I was getting good workouts because I was sore! On the days that I missed my morning workout, knowing that it would be 30 minutes made it easier for me to get myself moving to do the workout in the afternoon or evening.

In addition to the 30 minute video workout, many of the days I also walked (usually 2 miles) or swam laps. I LOVED that I could do the video workouts at home, especially since we were having a lot of rainy days during the two weeks, but I also love to get outside.

I would definitely do it again.

PS: To make it easier, I created a playlist of the videos on YouTube here. There is also a direct link to the Popsugar Fitness plan there.

Have you ever followed a free online workout plan?
Do you like workout videos?

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

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sweaty Saturday, Funny Stuff and a BIG Challenge

Welcome to April!

Since I've been running A LOT more lately, it feels appropriate to talk about my stats up until now.

January - 3 runs 4.30 miles

February - 4 runs 9.80 miles

March - 8 runs 27.18 miles

Whoa, March! I like the way you look!!

I'm starting April feeling positive and healthy and I'm super excited to find a 5K to enter sometime soon. Oh, and I ran today.

Today's run was fantabulous! I finally got to run on a sunny day and I ran more than 4 miles ---> 4.73 to be exact. My longest run in 2017.

I ran the same route that I did with mrC a couple days ago, except today I also did an out and back on the promenade. My intervals were the same 90:60 seconds run/walk and everything felt really good. I think I'm going to stick with this interval for another week before increasing the run time again.

A funny thing happened in the beginning of my run. My phone rang. It was mrC calling from Thailand and since we hadn't spoken since yesterday, I had to answer. I love FaceTime. If you have it, feel free to call me 😍

After my run I did my 5 essential stretches for happy legs. I must not have stayed in my glute stretch long enough after Bodystep class yesterday because my butt was really sore when I got up this morning and it's only gotten worse since my run.

I'm really happy with today's run. The only thing that could have made it better is a running partner.

If you've followed this blog for more than a couple of years (first a BIG thank you for that!), then you know that I loved running with my dog, Booney. And boy, did he like to run, too.

I saw this on Twitter today and it made me think of him. He would have loved his own pair of running shoes. It's so nice of Brooks to think of our furry running buddies, don't you think?

In other (serious) news, I'm thinking of doing a burpee challenge. 30 burpees a day for 30 days. Seriously. This is not a joke. Want to join me??? I'm going to start on Monday. I could probably start today, but then I might be ahead of you. ;) 

I made a calendar that you can download to mark off each day you do your 30 burpees with me. We should probably have a hashtag because all challenges have one. So share your progress with me on Instagram or Twitter and tag me @runningescapade #30for30burpees ---> I promise to cheer you on.

I'm also doing 30 days of April yoga with Adriene and her awesome videos. You can find all the details on this website or just go right to the video playlist here.

Here's a glimpse of day 1: 58 minutes of Shakti Power Flow. This is goddess pose near the end of the session and my quads were SCREAMING! I'm pretty sure my arms/hands are wrong because I couldn't hear over the pain in my legs, haha.

April is going to be a fun month, right?

Do you like April Fool's Day jokes?
What are your sweaty Saturday plans?
Goals/plans for April?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Double Pilates & Taco Tuesday

When I wake up in the morning, I put on my workout clothes right away to make sure I don't lose my motivation to do my morning workouts. It works most the time ;) I have to do the work if I want to get stronger right?

Reporting in on my 30 Day Pilates Body challenge.
Day 7 - abs
It felt like a quick and dirty workout. Just when I thought I couldn't take it, it was over.

I did not do my daily yoga camp video. Part of me wanted to chill after my core workout, the other part wanted to pick up where I fell asleep last night Netflix-ing Gossip Girl . Ultimately, I ran out of time to do yoga before my meeting with a friend about writing a press release for her friend's company. They hired me for my English skills, not surprisingly, a common practice here in China. Other than the occasional sponsored blog post, this is my first "job" in China.

I headed back to Vitality for another fitness class. On my way there, I ran into a friend who offered me my first scooter ride. It was super sweet of her to give me a ride and fun, but the people at Vitality are probably thinking I don't know how to tell time. Since I was early (again), I had plenty of time to check out all the magnets on the side of the beverage cooler.

The class. I took the Pilates class today. Overall, it was just what I like, challenging (including being completely in Chinese). I like walking out at the end feeling like I did something. The instructor covered everything: booty, legs, abs, arms. Her style was more drill-like than I've had here, but it helped me keep pushing when my muscles were on fire. She took a picture of the class. I did not.

We often go to our favorite Mexican place for Taco Tuesday, but since mrC was getting back from his trip I was inspired to bring Taco Tuesday home. A quick stop at the butcher and the international store on the way home from Pilates, and I had everything we needed (although my tacos are pretty simple).

Happy Tuesday friends!
Do you taco on Tuesday?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Summing Up Sunday

It was a slow, quiet day around here. This morning I had a nice walk with mrC before he left on his trip...back to the Maldives (lucky guy). It is slowly warming up in southern China, so more and more people are out in the mornings.

I did yoga camp day 26. There were lots of well timed hamstring and quad stretches. My legs were a little stiff when I woke up this morning.

30 Day Pilates Body Challenge
day 5 - Upper body again (it was pick your favorite workout from the week).
Honestly I would have rather done a core workout, but we didn't have one (yet), so I gave my legs a rest. Plus I only do push-ups when someone is telling me to.

This little life saver has been put to use many times the last couple of days. Not only were my legs sore from HIIT class on Friday, but my trapezius muscles have been very tight (I think from all those shoulder presses we did). Laying on the tennis ball for a couple of minutes makes a huge difference.

That's it. I had some eats. Netflixed. 

I told you it was a slow day!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fitness Accountability and a Bike Ride

I started the 30 Day Pilates Body Challenge today.

The challenge actually started on March 1, so I had a couple of workouts to do before time zones start messing with things. By that I mean, when I wake up on day 3, it is still day 2 in the US and I don't have the day 3 email yet. I work out in the morning. Yada yada get the idea.

So today, I reached out to my BFF in the US to sweet talk her into joining the challenge too. She will be my workout buddy (aka accountability partner). My other accountability partner is YOU, my blog friends. I promise to share something from each daily workout to help me stick with the program.

Day 1 - legs
I honestly had a flashback to Booty Barre. In less than 10 minutes my legs were shaking and burning. Ah, I miss that.

Day 2 - arms
Ok, I have done triceps dips on the floor, but never while raising one leg into table top. Wowzer, that is hard and my arms are going to feel that later.

After my little Pilates workout I grabbed a quick breakfast. I am so excited that we found GF Cheerios at our favorite international store. These are perfect on days like today when I have a bike ride date with mrC.

We finally rode all the way to the Mangrove Ecological Park located on the Shenzhen Bikeway. 

Shenzhen is an interesting city with large districts that feel like they could be cities on their own. We left Shekou behind us, rode toward Futian and that's Lohou in the distance.

One of my favorite parts was the Coconut Grove, a perfect spot to escape the sun, have lunch and/or take a nap.

Because biking and selfies always go together, right?

Who/what is your fitness accountability?
Do you bike ride?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga!

Since I haven't been running lately, yoga has become my new obsession. I never thought I would say that, but a perfect storm of all things yoga just kind of happened...

It started with Pilates class. I started taking Pilates to try to fill the space missing from my SurfSet and Bootcamp days at TI Fitness. I fell in love with Pilates. I love that for 60 minutes I work my butt off while confined to my yoga mat and only using my bodyweight. My instructor is amazing and I can feel myself getting better and stronger. I just wish the class was offered more than once a week.

Then the SweatPink #flexandflow Challenge started on Instagram. It's a pose of the day challenge and I find these completely addictive and motivational. I love seeing everyone's photos and the different variations.

And recently I found Yoga Camp with Adriene. I signed up because it's a home-based program, FREE, and her videos are (so far) short enough to cooperate with my unreliable China internet. I'm so excited to complete the 30 day camp and improve my yoga. You should check it out here.

I used to only do yoga for stretching after a run. Sometimes.

Now, the more I do it, the more I like it.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Long Run Fun

The plan for today was to go out and try to run 5+ miles, without a group of MRTT running friends. Yikes! Haven't been able to do that for awhile, let alone in China. Fortunately mrC decided to get up early and ride along on his bike. My very own escort, chaperone, and mobile cheering section.

Once I got all my devices organized, we set out toward Shenzhen Bay Park. I figured it would take me about 1.5 miles to get there and then I could decide to turn around at 2.5, or 3 if I was feeling good. The temperature was already feels like 82 degrees at sunrise (6:30), but luckily it was cloudy. There was also a nice breeze coming off the bay which always helps.

The point of running to the park was to avoid sidewalk traffic, but it's a popular place on weekends. One nice feature of the park is the extra wide walkway...plenty of room for walkers, runners, and bikers. We saw what looked like a large local running group warming up and eventually running a 5K together. It felt like a race, but no one was wearing a bib and all the signs were in Chinese.

At the halfway mark of my run, my shirt was already soaked and my face felt like it was on fire. People keep telling us that the weather is going to cool off. After enjoying the cold weather back home, I'm even more impatient for the change to happen here.

Overall, today's long run was a success. Having mrC riding along side made it easier and my feet are happier in my new running shoes. My heel pain is not 100% gone, but significantly better. I'm glad that I made buying a new pair of shoes a priority when we were home.

I was ravenous after running 6.3 miles, so mrC's breakfast hit the spot. I also had a cup of yogurt and some coffee before sliding into my compression socks and setting up the iPad to watch a little Buckeye football.

Since I'm sharing food, we went to Sam's Club yesterday and I found Italian meatballs. Throw them in the crockpot with some bbq sauce and a secret ingredient...yum! Not exactly a warm weather meal, but seriously good.

Even though winter temperatures are delayed here in China (and in a lot of places back home too), there is less and less daylight happening. I jumped on the Oiselle #chasethebird bandwagon to make sure I don't fall into any bad habits and because I'm super motivated by challenges.

What do you do to get through a long run?
Are you doing any challenges right now?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Lazy Day Wasn't So Lazy + 60 Second Challenge!

Today was supposed to be a lazy kind of day, but instead I found myself cleaning, working out, and biking to some errands.

I woke up early to speak to mrC before he left Singapore and to watch the other World Cup semi-final game. During half-time I decided to vacuum the floors. What a workout! This vacuum was gifted to us by a friend who returned to the US, and I have the hardest time getting it to cooperate!

After the game and cleaning the apartment, it was time for a morning strength session. I did the same stability ball workout from yesterday plus the 7 minute HIIT workout I shared a few days ago. 30 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, x12, repeat. Shewww!

I also took the PopSugar 1-minute plank with arm and leg reach challenge. She did 14 reps. I did 9. How many can you do?

After my workout, all I wanted was a smoothie. I took quick bike ride to Peninsula, about a mile away, to a local international store because I was running low on smoothie ingredients.

It's common to see street vendors selling local in-season produce at corner stands. On the way back from the store, I stopped to buy some watermelon.

For lunch I had left over cheesy quinoa & tuna and a smoothie made with fresh spinach and strawberries. 

What do you do during halftime of sporting events?
What's your favorite smoothie ingredient?