Happy Friday, Indeed!

August 31, 2012

Its FRIDAY! 🙂 And what makes Friday even better?  A three day weekend folks – yup!  Does it seem like the week before a holiday weekend are always just a little bit harder to get through for anyone else too?  Jeepers.

After a two days of solid work in the beginning, my week settled out pretty well, so I took advantage of the extra breathing room to bring myself back up to speed on the workout routine.  Like I said yesterday, I haven’t quite kicked myself back into early am running, but I’ve managed to fill my week with a workout each day.  Here’s how it turned out:

Monday: Got my butt out of bed and to a second consecutive week of Bodypump.  I really have missed starting my day with the girls in the class and the instructor.  Even though I don’t know them personally, there’s something about the motivational comments, the mutual grimaces, sighs of relief and blood pumping music that screams “best way to start a week” to me.  This was also the morning that I realized I am sadly out of practice with green smoothie makings.  Clumpy and tasteless, but it held me over until lunch.  Yikes.  Bonus?  I could walk like a normal human being afterwards.

Tuesday:  Here’s where I almost gave in.  The idea of hitting the gym after an exhausting day of work with only myself to motivate me through a simple 30 minutes of cardio.  I gave myself until after dinner to relax a bit, get back some energy from dinner and walk out that door before I could decide to “wait until tomorrow” to get back to it.  I ended up with something closer to 35 minutes (I’m a weirdo and HAVE to finish my workout on an even time and mile).   

Wednesday: Wednesday pushed myself to get out the door and a little early so I could fit in a 20 minute elliptical session before my yoga class, which felt great.  I think when its possible, I’m going to try for this more often.  Especially with a forced 1 hour stretch session afterwards.  Yoga this week had a KILLER downward dog series that if you follow me on dailymile, you’ll know had my shoulders screaming at the end.  I am in awe of anyone who considers that a rest pose.  Yow.zas.  But the core workout was great and I felt stronger than I have in weeks. 

Thursday:  Just another simple 30 minute session on the elliptical.  I’ve focused on a cardio exercise with less impact to start back up again with this week.  I want to get my body reacquainted with endurance and cardio workouts before I start filtering back in the running.  Happily, I’m starting to feel that urge to work a little harder, so I think I may incorporate some runs next week.  This go-round though, I tried out the “reverse workout” function.  5 minutes forward and 2 minutes in reverse.  It starts out ok, but 2 minutes of reverse on an elliptical can get ROUGH, especially when you up the resistance.  Rounded out the workout with a cooldown, totaling 35 minutes and 4 miles.    I topped the night off with a big bowl of bulgur wheat, grilled veggies and tofu (FINALLY). 

Friday:  The last big test of the week, the 5:45 am Bodypump+CxWorks gym class.  45 minutes of lifting and 30 minutes of core work with resistance bands and weights, etc.  First things first – I WENT.  Secondly, I think I held a plank/hover today for the longest I have ever done (with toe/knee taps mixed in!).  I kind of wanted to throw up a little afterwards.  But I’m ridic proud  of doing it.  Oh and one more thing?

(holy bad angle, batman!)

I’m getting a lot better at those smoothies…round 2 was green and delicious.  Thank you, ripe banana, thank you.

Smoothie: Almond milk, handful of spinach, flax seeds, Maca root powder, hemp protein powder, P2B Chocolate PB, a dash of vanilla and 1 bananananananana.  Werd.   (I followed with a coffee chaser 😉 )

I am happy, I am awake and kind of excited that my abs are finally coming back out to play.  So lets start the countdown for the holiday weekend, kids!  We have lots of plans for friends, cookouts, breweries and fun. 

Since we’ll be on the go a bit, I think i’m going to whip up these little beauties tonight, so we can have something healthy to enjoy with our coffee or just grab and go for the drives.   

Who’s got fun weekend plans??

xo

ps – Check out these photos from CNN.  I think numbers 3,6, 11 and 15 are my favorites.

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Dear world,

What is UP.

Love,

Katie.

The news has been a little disheartening lately – stuff that need not be mentioned more than it has to and I would just love, really love, if all of us stopped for a second and did something GOOD for someone else.   Slow down and let someone have their turn to pull out or merge into traffic, hold the door for someone you don’t know, breathe through the moment when you’re cut off instead of driving like a maniac, give a compliment or just plain old smile.  Simple little things that I have to believe can make a difference.  Sheesh.  Thanks in advance…

Moving on.

Lets talk about June and some new goals for the month!  I know, I know – MORE goals?  But honestly, I’m pretty bad with staying at “status quo” and don’t trust myself to stay at status quo instead of regressing to some Paleolithic state (I kid…).  So to combat that, I like to come up with personal goals every so often to try and ensure I’m working on being a better person and finding new ways to improve.  There are a few things I’ve already set in motion for this, like taking some online courses.  Nothing for credit, but some short courses that should help me improve on areas that I think are lacking.  This summer I signed up for an online course in Personal Finance through our local community college.    Now that I’ve got my cc debt cleaned up, its time to take the next step and understand some of the finer points of my finances, so not only do I not get stuck in that position again (ahem, shopping), but because I truly believe that the best option when it comes to finances is to be in control and understand everything you can about it (thanks dad!).

You also read the other day that I think I need to work on my core strength in order to get stronger and better at running.   So I proposed a challenge to myself and of course anyone else who wants to join in, to do core work every day.  I’m pretty lucky that Monday, Wednesday and Friday I have built in core work with my body pump or Yoga classes.  So I’m going to try and incorporate a few of those moves into the rest of the week.  I thought it’d be fun to show you some of the ones that I find to be most challenging and plan on getting better at as the weeks go on.

First up:  The Sprinters Crunch.  We use this move in Yoga a lot to work our core and while we only do a few, they’re not easy, even though our instructor makes it look like a breeze!  You start lying down on your back in a T position,

and then in one move, exhale and bring opposite knee to opposite elbow and hold.

Then, before you go crashing slowly back down to the floor, extend your arms and leg and continue to hold.  Finally, slowly return to your starting position and repeat with the opposite elbow/leg combo.  It looks easy, but try not to use momentum to pull yourself up and control your descent.

 

Next:  C-crunches (for lack of a better term).  On Friday mornings, the last half of our body pump class is a CX class, which focuses on core and postural muscles.  Which I love.  For one of our tracks, we do variations of these crunches, mixed with some pretty wicked plank moves.   I’m pretty sure I’ve seen variations of this move with a medicine ball or exercise ball also, but in class, we do it with a weight plate.  I don’t have plates yet for my home gym, but I do have hand weights, which I’m going to try.  The variation that I prefer is the hardest version of the crunch – where you start with your arms at your head (with the weight) and your legs either at a 90 degree angle, or just straight up.

Then slowly lower both legs to the ground while reaching your arms (with the weight) backbehind your head.  Then crunch your legs in, while coming up to meet them with your hands/head in a “normal crunch” move.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did that make sense?   If this variation isn’t your thing – modifications that we’ve done in class include losing the plate, keeping your legs bent and touching down with your toes, or even just touching down one toe at a time.  Any way you do it, they are killer!

Planks/hovers:  Whatever you call these guys, they can be rough.  We do them in both Yoga AND Cx/Body pump, and supposedly they’re one of the most effective core workouts you can get.  Sign me up!   There are side planks, wide planks, planks on your forearms, planks on your hands, planks on your knees, planks on the exercise ball.  Its pretty crazy.  But the great thing is, any one of these moves WORKS.  Some of my favorite variations include the step out, step in approach (with hands OR feet), raising your opposite arm and opposite leg, the leg stomp (literally marching in place while in a plank position), or even the plank crunch.  This one is a little tricky, and requires you’re in the plank position with your hands (pre-pushup position).  Then lean forward on your toes and once you center your balance, bring your knee up to the opposite elbow.  A few of these and you’re thinking “ok, I can do this”, a whole song’s worth and you’re red in the face wondering why artists sing such long songs anyhow…

never mind the sweat streak, This was post run 🙂

 

I have a few other goals, but this post is pretty lengthy – so maybe I’ll save those for next time, but for now – whataya say?  Some smiles and core work everyday for June?  Sounds like a challenge to me, who’s in!?  🙂  I’ve got a head start and  did my core work after a cross training run.  Your turn!

xo

Monday Reset

February 6, 2012

And just like that, another start to the week.  Monday, done.  In actuality, my week’s beginning wasn’t so bad.  I ended last week at work on a really great mental high, so I’m glad I was able to carry that over into the weekend.  One thing I’m glad I won’t be carrying over, is my tendency to eat more than necessary last week/weekend.  Stress does strange and curious things, my friends, like make my body think it needs a Hershey Chocolate nugget (or 2) each day. Not only is this bad for the middle, milk chocolate tends to make me break out if I eat it too consistently.  I’m putting a nice ol’ stop to it right here and now.  But seriously, after last week’s pizza binge and this weekend’s superbowl festivities (which, I guess weren’t really SO bad), I feel like I need to clear out the system.  Despite my best and probably somewhat successful efforts, I still feel like all I did these past few days has been eat eat eat eat eat.  I try for the healthy – and being a vegetarian really helps with that, but sometimes you just can’t help packing it all in.

What’s interesting is that even though I enjoyed eating what I did, my mind and body cannot WAIT to get back to a healthier lifestyle.  Even eating leftovers for lunch all last week, instead of fresh salads really changed how I was feeling.  My appetite was out.of.control.  I was starving every second of every day! So this week, my goal is to wrestle that appetite back under control, with some high fiber, high protein meals, especially at lunch time.  Add in some healthy as possible dinners and some serious booty kicking at the gym this week – I think I’ll be good.    So I’m going to break it down and ya’ll can keep me honest this week! So here goes:

  1.  MENU

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Roasted portabella caps, stuffed with “creamed” spinach mix.  Side of lentil/quinoa mix.

Veggie Burger Paninis – I’m thinking with some sort of chipotle/spicy sauce

 Vegetarian Chili

I’ve found some interesting recipes online for TOFU chili, and I’m super excited to try!to go on top?

Leftovers/out?

Homemade Pizza

My reign of cooking delicious food that photographs horribly, continues!

I made my “creamy spinach” based loosely on this lovely recipe.  To make a long story short, I didn’t use kale or olives and swapped out Almond milk for the soy.  For my own twist, I added some slivers of fresh garlic, a generous helping of ground ginger and some grated carrots.   To round out the meal with some protein (lentils) and grains (rice), I did a side of lentil/brown rice mixed together with some lightly sauted onions and currants, for a little bit of sweet.  DELISH.

I love the flecks of orange you can see in the spinach

 

2.  WORKOUTS

My training schedule this week will include at least THREE days of lifting.  I’ve decided to increase my lifting regiment, in an effort to be more dedicated to weight training and see some results.   I’ll also be doing two days of 4 mile runs and 2 days of XT, 40 minute each day and this weekend I have a 6 mile run on the books.

Here’s what I’ve decided for lifting tonight –it got to be a little tough towards the end with all of the plank/stability moves, but I definitely was sensing some  form of improvement at the end.  Similar to last week – I’m trying to incorporate some more core workouts by adding in the stability ball.  Definitely a good way to tire out your arms!

Stability ball DB Tricep extensions – 3×12

Stability ball DB bench press – 3×12

Ball squats w/ curls combo – 3×12

Kettel Bell Figure 8s – 3×10

Stability ball leg curls-3×12

Stability ball plank leg lifts – 3×10

Plank to Pike – 3x as many as I could muster

DB shoulder press – 3×12

Reverse DB flies – 3×12

Stability ball back extension – 3×10

 

Other than that, my goals this week are to quit the snacking and break that nasty habit of chocolate every day.  I’m also going to try as HARD AS I CAN to keep my coffee consumption to two cups a day.  Usually I have about 3-4 cups on any given day, especially after an early morning workout.  It’s a nasty way to dehydrate yourself and its time to switch over to water and tea (decaf!) in the afternoon.   Hopefully this will get me back on track to feeling awesome in no time!

What do you guys think of my goals for the week?  Do you find yourself trying to “reset” after most weekends? How do you do it – does it help to write it all out, like I do?