Showing posts with label challenges. Show all posts
Showing posts with label challenges. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pilates Tuesday: Abs and Arms

The doors to the office make a beautiful backdrop for my fitness photos and it's fun to squeeze in a workout in there. There's more room lengthwise, but I take my yoga videos to the main living area.

30 Day Pilates Body
Day 21 - abs
No sit-ups or crunches. Plank variations, down dog abs and tabletop V-ups! 

21-Day Arm Sculpting
Day 13 - 14 reps x3!!
Kickbacks are getting harder. Full disclosure: my weights are 2kg or 4.4lbs. It doesn't take heavy weights to get the muscles burning.

I enjoyed a light breakfast on the balcony. We have a much broader view of the water and today I watched the harbor fill up with fishing boats. That usually only happens when there is bad weather coming, but I haven't heard about anything other than a lot of rain this week.

Tuesday is Pilates at Vitality day.
I look forward to this class because it kicks my butt every time. The focus seemed to be on the glutes/hips today, which I need. Ooh, the burn!

After class, I stopped by the salon to get my nails done. They were busy, so I walked home for some lunch and then went back after the bottled water was delivered. I went for a Spring color.

Are you seeing signs of Spring yet?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Knee Rehab Week 11: And We're Done!

I passed my final post-op assessment, and just like that, knee rehab has come to an end.

Even though I'm done with PT, I still have strength work to do, so I promptly signed up to take three SurfSet classes over Winter Break. I'm planning to steal ideas from class to do at home to hit those "need work" areas according to my Skulpt Aim measurements.

Runs: 37.3 February miles

Tuesday - 3.15 miles
The plan: run 30 minutes

The cold weather and snow piles are still chasing me inside to the treadmill, but at least I am enjoying the time.

Thursday - 4.3 miles
The plan: run 40 minutes with 20 minute tempo

mrC and I put on our outdoor running gear with plans to run downtown after his appointment, but it was so cold and cloudy that we decided to just go home. Allie over at Running on Peanut Butter blogged about her tempo run, so I decided to give it a try. The tempo speed I selected was a little slower than it's supposed to be, but now I know where to go the next time.

Sunday - 5.08 miles
The plan: MRTT group run - 5 miles

I had to get outside for at least one run, even if it was colder than they said it would be. There's nothing like a few miles and good company to take your mind off the cold though! It was a flat out and back route early enough that the traffic was light.

Weekly Workouts:

Monday: FAB ab day 23 + SurfnTone + final PT assessment

Tuesday: FAB ab day 24 + run + arms

Wednesday: FAB ab day 25 + SurfnTurf

Thursday: FAB ab day 26 + run + arms

Friday: FAB ab day 27 + arms + legs

Saturday: FAB ab day 28 + SurfnTurf

Sunday: MRTT run + arms


I finished up FAB Ab February, one of my favorite 30 day challenges, and am feeling so good that I began MAD Abs March. Give me something to cross off and I'm a happy camper.

Even though the pRana #TakeTheLeap yoga challenge is coming to an end, I'm going to continue to do daily poses and try to limber up! Here are some of my favorites from the week.

What did you finish last week?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Knee Rehab Week 9: Running for Time

My return to running after knee surgery has come with a new perspective on my runs. Instead of running for distance, I am setting run duration goals. I used to get all caught up in the miles (which probably led to many of my injuries), but this year one of my goals is to "just run."

Running by time reminds me of the time I bought my first brand new car. It was a base model with no extras…not even a radio. Oh, and it was a standard which I had never really driven before. Without the radio, I was forced to listen to the engine of that car as I learned to drive it. Now, without the distraction of hitting a certain distance, I am learning to drive my runs. Running by time is allowing me to pay attention to my breathing and how I feel.

Tuesday - 2.55 miles
The plan: Run into town and back (thinking 25 minutes)

Instead of running the neighborhood loop, we decided to do a snow test of the sidewalks and the side streets. All of the sidewalks were a mess, but the streets were mostly pavement. If the snowbanks weren't crowding the roadways, we could've easily run against traffic and enjoyed the rare sunny, snow-free February day. By the time we got back to school, my quads were burning from running on the snowy sidewalks!

Thursday - 3.07
The plan: run 35 minutes

My chiropractor appointment was right after school and then it started snowing, so I had to make a date with the treadmill. About 20 minutes into this run, I started to feel blah. I hung in there for another 10 minutes before calling it quits. This was just a low energy run (aka I need a break from winter!).

Saturday - 4.65 miles
The plan: run 45 minutes

It was bitterly cold before the arrival of yet another snow storm. Even if the temperature wasn't a feels like -3, there's nowhere to run as the sides of the roads are lined with 3-4 feet high snow banks! After spending the last couple of days rolling my gluteus medius with a tennis ball as suggested by my chiropractor, my hip felt pretty darn good! So happy with this run and relieved that my knee is not showing any problems as I increase my running time.

Weekly Workouts

Monday: #tightercore + FAB AB day 9 + PT exercises

Tuesday: Run + #tightercore + FAB AB day 10

Wednesday: PT + #tightercore + FAB AB day 11

Thursday: Run + #tightercore + FAB AB day 12

Friday: PT exercises + #tightercore + FAB AB day 13

Saturday: Run + #tightercore + FAB AB day 14

Sunday:  #tightercore + FAB AB day 15 + PT exercises

This 12 day challenge is part of the prAna #TakeTheLeap 30 day yoga challenge. During the 12 days, prAna Ambassador, Michael Fukumura, shares a “Spring Awakening” sequence that offers daily poses. I love being exposed to new poses and seeing how my body responds. I'm learning that I have tight muscles in more places than I expected and that I'm not as strong as I thought I was.

Do you for time or for distance?

Congrats to Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts winner
Holly D!

Monday, January 5, 2015

#HolidaySweat Week 6 Final Update

When I joined this challenge I had plans to be fast and furious. Then I had knee surgery during week 3. It slowed me down for a couple of weeks, but I finished better than I started in ways that I wasn't expecting.

My knee rehab took what felt like a giant leap last week. I was so excited to add bridges to my at-home workout, but then Dr. Bri added some lunges and balance work. The first day of lunges were tough and I was only doing 2 sets of (almost) 10. By the end of the week those 2 sets were much easier to do. I can't wait to see what week 3 of rehab will bring.

Although it's not exactly part of my rehab, I did get the ok to do my favorite ninja abs workout. After nearly 4 weeks of limited exercises, this made me feel one step closer to my old self.

In addition to my PT exercises, I continued to walk 1 mile everyday. I think mrC is enjoying the walks as much as the dog.

A surprising outcome has been my awareness and increased consumption of fruit and water. During the first weeks of the challenge, I realized that I eat a lot of veggies, but my fruit and water intake was below acceptable. Using the Plant Nanny app for water reminders has been a huge motivator and my garden is growing.

This challenge reminded me that being healthy is about more than just moving. I'm looking forward to maintaining the positive effects of participating and continuing my adventures in fitness.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Training Truths: ZOOMA Week 10 - Taper Week

Before the start of official taper week, my hopes of running the ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon strong and healthy were starting to dwindle. After all, my premature tapering started more than two weeks ago after feeling twinges of a shin splint. I spent a lot more time doing low impact activities like riding my bike. (ICYMI here and here).

After a session with my PT last Monday, I was back in business and ready to run. Turns out I never had a shin splint; it was a knot in the muscle that just needed some active release therapy.

Monday - Visit to the PT + #FFWallSit challenge day 14

Tuesday - Ran 3.5 pain free miles on the trail with the run club and mrC. I cannot explain how happy I was to be running! #FFWallSit challenge day 15

Wednesday - barre3 Rejuvenate Core + Cool Down and #FFWallSit challenge day 16. I also became a member of a new run club.

Thursday - Another 3.5 miles on the trail with the run club and mrC. #FFWallSit challenge day 17 + planks.

Friday - A little Friday at the Barre with some co-workers before hustling to littleC's soccer match. #FFWallSit challenge day 18 + planks.

Saturday - Back to SurfSet for some sweatfest fun with the TI Fitness gang. #FFWallSit challenge day 19 + planks.

Sunday - Final long run before race week begins. We set out to run 8 miles on the trail, but at some point my GPS watch lost accuracy. Instead we ran 9.33 and felt great! #FFWallSit challenge day 20 + planks.

What do you like to do during race week?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

5 aMAYzing 30 Day Challenges

There are so many good, I mean really good, challenges out there this month. I have been known to take on more than one at a time, but May is looking like a record setting month.

Most of the challenges I follow require Instagram, Twitter, or Challenge Loop participation in some way to be entered to win the prizes. That part is appealing to me because I like the feeling of teamwork and the motivation I get from seeing others. However, you can also do the challenges without posting a thing!

Here's what I'm doing:

#ZOOMAphotoaday by ZOOMA Race Series - This challenge is for fun, but every week you have the chance to win a Fastdraw 20 Handheld water bottle from ZOOMA race sponsor Ultimate Hydration.

#MakeFitHappen by Fitness Magazine - Another fun photo-a-day challenge with a definite fitness focus and the chance to win a daily prize. Fitness Magazine is also hosting a Pinterest version of this challenge and the grand prize is a Willow 3 Beach Cruiser from Brooklyn Bicycle Co!

#SweatADay by Under Armour - Shauna Harrison leads you through the daily moves via Instagram. I've participated in this monthly challenge in the past and loved it. I learned new exercises and felt stronger every day. A couple of things make this challenge fun: the weekly shout outs and a chance to win an awesome UA swag bag.

#FFYoga by FitFluential & MPG - As a runner who has faced many injuries lately, this challenge is just what I need to limber up. Two winners will be outfitted in MPG Mondetta Performance Gear.

#SweatPinkYoga - by Fit Approach - Another fit and fun challenge (without a monthly calendar) and a chance to win a Sweat Pink yoga mat. Daily challenges are posted to Instagram.

May is shaping up to be an a-MAY-zing month of challenges. I apologize now for the flood of photos I will be posting! Hopefully I can keep up, especially since I will be running the Ragnar Cape Cod relay next week. I wonder how many van-mates I can get involved?

Do you like 30 day challenges? Which one(s) are you doing?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Training Truths: The Cortisone Fix

Since February I have been trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with my knee! After a knee cap adjustment, the pain went away but it has remained CRUNCHY.

Last week I finally heard the answer...patellofemoral arthritis. I knew this day was coming, after-all I have had two major knee surgeries. I just thought it would come later, much later.

Fortunately, the treatment plan seems to be working and I have been able to run and do almost all of my workouts pain free.

Monday - strength for runners workout

Tuesday - Visited the sports medicine doctor and learned through a series of X-rays that the crunchies in my knee are caused by patellofemoral arthritis. First step in the treatment plan was a ultrasound guided cortisone shot followed by 48 hours of rest.

Wednesday - Joined the FitFluential April plank challenge. Have you heard about the new plank form? According to this post on PopSugar, it seems that planking with your palms up will engage the core better and improve posture.

Thursday - My knee was feeling ok and with the beautiful spring weather tempting me, I laced up for an easy 5K to beach and back. My first post-cortisone run felt good. Still clicking & clacking, but better movement probably because the cortisone attacked the inflammation inside. Post-run planking with my buddy.

Friday - planks

Saturday - Planks before SurfSet class - where we did a ton more on the boards! For the third week in a row we stayed downtown to do our long run. It did not warm up as much as I hoped, but 50 minutes of sweating through urban surfing was an excellent warmup and the sun did eventually come out to warm our legs. Other than some uncomfortable downhills, my knee remained happy through both of these workouts.

Sunday - Planks and then I met up with Katherine for a morning Booty Barre class. It was much more crowded than the last time I was there (January) and in a new (somewhat) smaller space, but it was still a killer workout...seriously, it is really hard! I like this class because it's a good mix of old moves that you recognize and new moves that keep you interested. It's also awesome that there is a class on Sunday mornings!

Did you find any ANSWERS last week?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Training Truths: Closing the door on February

February did not turn out the way I expected. Instead of finishing my half marathon training strong, I found myself dealing with a tight ITB and a crooked knee cap!

At the beginning of the month I started the #FFburpee challenge sponsored by FitFluential, but my cranky knee prevented me from being able to finish. I was hoping to develop a love for burpees, instead I settled for having made it to the halfway mark of the 1000 burpees goal.

During the month I kept myself busy with the three week #MNBchallenge sponsored by Lorna Jane and Fit Approach that focused on how to move, nourish, and believe everyday. I loved this challenge!

I did cross a goal off my 2014 list though. I ran my first new race of the year in Newport and followed up with my 11th half marathon (recap coming soon).

While on vacation in Florida at the end of the month, I learned that I will be returning to the ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon in the fall as an Ambassador!

After much TLC on my cranky knee, I did get in two nice 5Ks last week. On Thursday morning mrC and I enjoyed a leisurely trail run wearing shorts! My knee felt pretty good and the new patellar band that my chiropractor recommended felt better than the KT tape and less bulky than mrC's brace.

After running errands back at home in NH on Saturday afternoon, we enjoyed another easy 5K to the beach and back. It was the best my knee has felt, so I'm hopeful that I am fully on the mend.

mrC had to go on a three day trip, so it was just me to take the dog for a walk on Sunday. We took a two mile round trip to the waterfall and back.

I am happy to be closing the door on the month of February. Looking ahead to March, I am once again involved in a couple of challenges. Angela is hosting the #HappyFitMarch challenge on Instagram and Twitter. FitFluential is sponsoring the #FFMarchMiles challenging participants to run, walk, or hike 100 miles. ZOOMA is hosting the #ZOOMAphotoaday challenge.

What are you looking forward to in March?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Training Truths - Running Solo

In three weeks I will be running half marathon #11, which is going to feel awesome after a DNS at ZOOMA Cape Cod and my crazy finish of the BAA Half. This week I did all of my runs solo. I don't mind running alone, but I definitely prefer to have a partner. On the bright side, running on my own has helped me to focus on my running, especially paying attention to my effort.

Monday - After school I went for a sports massage. My left IT band is still tight and causing some pain along my left hip. Jeanie really knows how to get in there and work the muscles.

Tuesday - We had good 15 degree weather so I did my regular 4 mile loop. mrC and the dog played leap frog and Booney even got in a .25 mile sprint.

Wednesday - I joined the FitFluential #FFBURPEES Challenge to do 1000 burpees by February 28. After a little math, I calculated that if I do 35 burpees everyday, I will hit the goal before the deadline. I'm combining this with the #30DayRagnarChallenge. 35/1000

Thursday - It was nearly a heatwave around here with 26 degree temperatures after school, so I was able to do another 4 miler, out & back this time. Then I completed 35 driveway burpees. 70/1000

Friday - While making some blueberry protein bars I used my wait time to do 35 more burpees and some daily stretching. 105/1000

Saturday - We spent the morning at the beach watching my stepdaughter take her first Penguin Plunge as part of a fundraiser for the Special Olympics. Before heading out to my Ragnar Team dinner meeting I squeezed in another 35 burpees which also met the Under Armour February #SweatADay daily challenge. 140/1000

Sunday - I finally enjoyed a weather cooperative long run. This was my first solo 10 miler. Although I was uneasy about going out alone, it turned out ok. I struggled up our notoriously BIG hill, alternating between running and walking the 130' gain over a half mile, but it worked. After some bonding time with my compression gear, I did 35 single leg burpees. 175/1000

Here's a great warmup exercise video from Runner's World:

Do you like to work out on your own, with a partner, or in a group?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Training Truths: Rebuilding the Runner in Me

Let me start by sharing the results of the fitness calendars giveaway. The winners are:

Presley - Complete Runner's Day-By-Day Calendar Log
Allie - Runner's High 2014 Day-to-Day Calendar

Check your inbox for an email from me!

Last week I continued to rebuild the runner in me. I'm at day 49 of my #squatstreak and I added a few days of wall sits also. The #sweataday challenge has been getting a little tougher, but I'm using the modifications and pushing to increase my upper body strength. Fortunately the mini-workouts often include upper body exercises, like the reverse burpees I tried on Friday.

See that terrible form? Time to build up some strength!

Monday - I started the day with a nice two mile run with my veteran. I decided to go back to avoiding hills until all the muscles in my hamstring and quad are back to 100%. This "flat" out and back was much speedier than I expected, but felt good.

Wednesday - After 30 minutes of ART, I learned that my IT band is tight. Now I have a new stretch to add to my routine and more reason to stay focused on strengthening my hips and glutes.

Thursday - I ran two miles after school on the same route as Monday and felt awesome. Again, I was speedier than I expected which felt good, but I'm pretty sure that I need to continue to restore the base mileage first.

Saturday - mr.C joined me for a 3.5 mile run along the river. I was very happy with my run, and even though I went out too fast, I managed to reign myself in and almost hit my goal pace of 9:30. Afterwards I tested out some new trail shoes for a review.

Sunday - I joined up with the NH Bloggers and Tweeters at Strength in Balance NH for Booty Barre class and I had a blast! Like SurfSet this class is a great cross training option. This class was a perfect strength session with tons of stretching (especially the hips) worked in.

You know I like a good reward challenge and logging miles to win prizes is about as easy as it gets. I was recently contacted by Nick from the National Running Challenge - a challenge that rewards you for running races. The NRC is basically a series challenge that assigns points for the miles you run in races. You submit your races during the current series. At the end of a series, winners are chosen. You can learn more here. Even though I'm not running many races right now, I know a lot of friends who are piling on the miles and would probably win some prizes!

What are you rebuilding?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Training Truths: Switching Gears

Last week should have been a taper week for the ZOOMA Cape Cod half marathon, but instead it was another injury-induced-no-running week. I haven't become a couch potato during my time off though because I'm hoping to bounce back enough to be ready for my next running event in just two weeks!

Monday - My 50 squats a day streak continued first thing in the morning and after a chiropractor adjustment, I did some touchdown lunges.

Tuesday - Morning squats and a 5K walk along the New Boston Trail with mr.C and the dog. Threw in my challenge workout while we were there: superman pulls.

Wednesday - Morning squats and another 5K walk with mr.C and the dog. This time we went to the beach and when we got there I did some dolphin walks on the dock.

Thursday - Morning squats and a quick walk after school on the Goffstown Trail before heading to my step daughter's soccer game. Does jumping up and down while cheering count as exercise? I think so! For my evening workout, I broke out the PAPER PLATES for some gliding saws.

Friday - Morning squats and then we were off to Cape Cod for the ZOOMA weekend. We walked around Falmouth after lunch doing some sight-seeing and some shopping.

Saturday - Spent the morning working the ZOOMA Cape Cod race handing out personal best medals. In the afternoon, we went exploring on a 15 mile bike ride along the Shining Sea Bikeway from Falmouth to Woods Hole.

Sunday - Started the day with a little yoga and a walk on the beach before leaving Cape Cod and heading home.

Have I mentioned how much I love the Under Armour September Challenge? Every day there is a new exercise that pushes me to try something new. As much as I have enjoyed focusing on some strength work the past 6+ weeks, I'm ready to put on my Mizunos again and go for a run.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Training Truths: ZOOMA Week 5

I have really been liking my summer running schedule of 4 days per week. In preparation for my September half marathon, I have been running 5 mile routes 3x per week and then following my long run plan on either Saturday or Sunday. The bad news is that my left hamstring has started bothering me, so I did a couple of walking workouts using the new laptop board my husband made for me and took some extra rest days.

Wanting and needing a change of scenery, on Monday I drove into town and ran 5 miles along the river. The weather was cool and the route was semi-peaceful - just a little morning traffic and one barking black lab protecting his domain.

Spoiled by my bike trail run in Ohio, on Wednesday I recruited mr. C for an adventure. We drove 25 minutes to Peterborough to check out the bike path I heard about from my Daily Mile friend Colleen. It was a mix of paved path-sidewalk-neighborhood road. We loved it. We parked on the south side and ran north through Depot Square where we found a quaint collection of shops and cafes.

I developed a pain in my left hip- turned out to be a tight inner hamstring muscle - that went from nagging to almost making me limp, so on Thursday I went for an easy walk of 4.15 miles on the treadmill and used my brand new laptop board. I told mr. C that I wished I could multitask during my walking workouts and voila! He's the greatest.

My 5 mile run on Friday became a another rest day to give my tender hamstring more rest time before Sunday's long run. I still completed my daily exercises for the #AugustCoreFocus and #SweatADay challenges I am doing this month. I also iced, rolled, and compressed in my Aspaeris pivot shorts.

Feeling in good shape, Sunday we went back to the Peterborough Trail to do my scheduled 9 miles. This trail is a gold mine for runners who like paved paths, peace from traffic, and shade. I made a point to stop to stretch my crabby hamstring a few times during the run, but overall it was a good run.

Heading into next week, I know I need to take it easy or this hamstring issue could get worse. I'm thinking I might return to a three day running week again and cross my fingers.

How do you deal with injury?