Bootcamp

I’m Seeing Double!

“Run with your heart instead of your mind.

When you think with your mind, you think of the things you can and can’t do.

But when you run with your heart you forget about what you can’t do, and you just go out and do it.” 
-Gerry Lindgren

 
Double digits that is!  Woohoo!  Today I ran 10.3 miles as part of my training for the Colchester Half next weekend.  It was the first time I covered that amount of mileage since the Marathon in October.  I have run periodically since then, but never more than 8 miles, so this was a big deal for me.
Up until now I was pretty nervous about how my IT bands would behave during the half, and whether I would be able to finish at all.  After a lot of talking myself in and out of going, I ultimately decided to run to my mother’s house.  I picked it based on the fact that it’s a tough, hilly ten miles (almost every street on the route has “Hill” or “Mountain” in the name if that helps you get an idea).  I figured if I could get through it, then I’d probably be okay this weekend.  Plus, it’s straight shot instead of a loop, so I knew I would have to keep going.  Quitting early wouldn’t be an option, unless I called for a ride.  I was extremely grateful that Adam offered to pick me up if my knees acted up, even if he and I both knew I wouldn’t.  In reality, I think he could tell I how nervous I felt and was, thoughtfully I might add, trying to reduce some of my anxiety.  He also gave me a big hug before I left, which I appreciated IMMENSELY.
The first mile of the run only served to strengthen my fears.  I had to walk a few times to get up the hills because my quads were burning.  I instantly started kicking myself for picking such a challenging run when I was already doubting my ability.  However, once my legs were warm, I ate those hills like they were breakfast!  I tried to visualize myself as a little Pac Man munching up all those little tenths of a mile.
Overall, I was surprised at how strong I felt, especially after my painful Vermont run.  I did some SERIOUS training last week and really beat up my body, but it didn’t seem to affect my run at all.  Not to say I wasn’t miserable at times, but it was SO MUCH BETTER than my previous ten miler on the same route.  It only took 1:48- less time than my previous attempt with more distance (since I couldn’t see Runkeeper in the sun, I ended up running extra because I was so afraid of coming up short on miles). 🙂
I was BEYOND GRATEFUL that all the Insanity and boot camp have been paying off.  I felt so much stronger than I expected.  I was able to keep
my form for almost the entire run.  It was such a great feeling to run easily so long into the run- especially when I was able to let go of all that anxiety!  I was so glad I dragged myself to do it!
The best part was the look on my grandmother’s face as she drove down my mom’s street and watched me run toward the driveway.  She asked where I came from, and her jaw dropped when I told her “from home”.
In the end, I outlasted my hydration pack which sprang a leak at some point during the run.  It actually turned out helpful as the cold water and weather effectively iced my lower back. 🙂  However, by the time I finished I was soaked (and stoked!).
It was a small victory, but a victory none-the-less.
I hope everyone else is having a terrific day and going after some goals and dreams!
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Running, Llamas, and Too Much of a Good Thing

“Beautiful women are strong and powerful.

They are athletes, capable of every feat under the sun.

They have muscles borne of hard work and sweat.

They gauge their self-worth through accomplishments not by numbers on the scale.

They understand muscle weighs more than fat, and they love the fact that their designer jeans don’t fit over their well-developed quads “

– Jon Gilson

(I love this quote!!! Borrowed from Fit and Feisty)

Yup, that pretty much sums it up!

So I haven’t posted in a little while because I took a little mini vacation for my B-day in the Green Mountains in Vermont for some relaxation.  I found an awesome deal on Groupon to stay at the West Mountain Inn for more than 50% off their regular price.  🙂  I was totally sold by all the pictures on their website of the amazing scenery and hiking trails… okay it was mostly the LLAMAS!!!  I love llamas!

llamas!!!

It was definitely worth the money and the drive. The food was AMAZING.  In fact, told Adam I was going to get fat because their were always yummy fresh baked goods out.  Luckily, I was able to control myself…

Despite the tranquil atmosphere, Adam and I still got a chance to get in a tough trail run (only 6+ miles, but the hills were so steep it felt like double that!)  I pretty much felt like I was going to die for the majority of it while Adam bounded upward like a damn gazelle.  Needless to say, I hated him.

I spent half the trip sick (again!) with sinus/cold symptoms, but after a day to recuperate at home I got back to Insanity and boot camp and have been getting my butt kicked!  Thursday night Mike had us doing the beyond insane workout from the week before, but made it even more difficult by changing some of the exercises and making us do all the circuits straight through without rest at the end.  I was happy to make it through without any palpitations or near fainting spells (I only almost threw up once!), but my body has been hurting everywhere ever since!   I’m sure it didn’t help that yesterday I did Insanity and a group session where Mike had us doing 400 reps (split with a partner- my partner was AWESOME by the way) of all different types of upper body torture including battle ropes, curls, dead lifts, punches, and some other fun stuff.  We were definitely creating some liquid awesome!

We also did a mile run as part of our warm-up (outside, in the cold, in shorts…I hate you Mike 😉 ) and I finished in a respectable 6:54 (motivated primarily by the fact that I was COLD and wanted to get inside).  Adam finished a full minute ahead of me, but his legs are twice as long as mine.

Nothing says "I love you" like a SUPER BLENDER

After our super tough workout, Adam and I treated ourselves to some chocolate peanut butter protein shakes in the new industrial strength blender he got me for Valentine’s Day (because nothing says “I love you” like a blender with more horse power than your car…I told him the only thing that would make it better is if it came in pink or orange).  In case anyone is wondering, I can now make a protein shake in 3 secs. Hardcore, right?

That pretty much catches us up to the present- with the exception of a Birthday recap, which I still need to post.  I’ll get around to it…eventually.

I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend!  I started mine off right with some more Insanity- that means 3 weeks down!  I’m also hoping to get a long run in at some point to help prep for the Colchester Half Marathon next weekend (Yikes!!!)  I’m a little nervous about my lack of training (in terms of not having run much recently), but I keep reminding myself that it won’t be as bad as a marathon.

Later folks!

PS. The torture was worth the great view 😉

Good bye Modesty

“Exercise is nothing short of a miracle.”
Cher

I love to exercise!!!! It is like instant Prozac that makes you look better sexier as a side effect. 🙂  Today I not only did a core work out with Adam in the morning, over 6.5 miles of trail running/hiking (some areas had footing not safe for running), but also a TOUGH boot camp workout (all the “break” time consisted of holding a low plank while your partner did their reps- yikes is right)!  I am so high on endorphins right now. lol  Or maybe I’m just buzzing from all the sugar in my chocolate peanut butter protein shake.  Just for the record, I don’t normally pull this many workouts in one day, BUT I worked the last 3 days in a row with no time for exercise (other than the stairs at the hospital) so I was withdrawing BIG TIME.

As excited as I was to get 3 workouts in this morning, I have to admit that I have created a monster… In what is clearly a direct response to my kicking his butt at boot camp last weekend, Adam has started working out on a daily basis.  He is on a mission to redeem himself and get into better shape than me. (GAME ON!)  Instead of me dragging him to boot camp or begging him to run with me, he is reminding me to go.  Before, I would try to nudge him into working out in an effort to get him out of his funk, but now he’s taking it a little to the extreme. lol (I know, “hello pot, meet kettle” right?)
Anyway, our run today was not my most stellar, but there were a lot of great hills.  As an added bonus, the scenery was nice with views of the reservoir from the trail.  As luck would have it, the second we got there I was painfully aware that my bladder was full.  Of course there were no restrooms!  I didn’t want to call off the run, but there wasn’t anyplace close by to stop.  I don’t camp, and I’ve never relieved myself in the woods.  I’m the type of person who wears pants over my running tights to cover up, so the whole idea of exposing myself in public wasn’t exactly appealing. Adam offered to give me a lesson on how it’s done, and I’m pretty sure I shot him a dirty look in response.  However, as desperate times call for desperate measures, (and I realized I couldn’t run with all the pressure in my bladder on the bumpy, rocky trail)- I finally gave in and took Adam’s advice (once I was sure that he wasn’t looking and no one else was in view- not even a squirrel!).  I have to admit that it wasn’t as bad as I imagined it would be; and I instantly felt better!  It was almost liberating. lol I told Adam that maybe I could handle camping after all. haha
Of course, that wasn’t the end of my running discomfort.  My homemade guacamole from lunch was working on leaving my system for most of the run.  Plus, it turned out to be much warmer than I expected; so I was peeling layers as we went.  It was so hot in the sun, that at one point I considered stripping down completely just to get a break from overheating. lol  I’m sure it would have been a sight!  Luckily, I managed to continue with what modesty I had left. 😉
Overall, it was a great day.  I was SO THRILLED about the the warm weather and sunshine!  Plus, it was nice to finish things out with a boot camp session with our awesome crew.  I feel so lucky to be a part of their group!  It has definitely changed the way I work out, and my life in general!  Tomorrow will probably be a low key day, maybe just a light run- if I can still move. lol
BTW anyone interested in tips on getting fit, some motivational reading, or great recipes for healthier cookies, try checking out my trainer/boot camp instructor’s blog. 🙂
Have a great night everyone!!!!

I can’t lift my arms!

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

~Oprah Winfrey

I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve!  I -for one- am looking forward to saying goodbye to the old and in with the new!  Last year was really tough for me, but I also had a lot of great breakthroughs including running my first 10 K, 15 K, Tough Mudder, half marathon, and full marathon.  I also started this blog,  joined CT-Alive and, did fundraising for both the Wounded Warrior Project and victims of domestics violence through the Running for the Color Purple Campaign.  Oh, and I joined Boot Camp and made the commitment to get my butt kicked on a regular basis!

Despite my mixed feelings about 2011, I have to admit that I met a lot of AMAZING new people- especially the Arch Angels and Boot Camp crew.  There was plenty of good to go with the bad, and the best part is a lot of it is documented here for me to go back and read. 🙂

I had a low key New Year.  I threw a holiday leftover pot luck dinner party with my mom for our immediate family and then headed to bed early.   Of course, the rest of the neighborhood had other plans and decided to set of fireworks at 3 am- leaving as sleep deprived as I would have been if I had partied the night away. lol  It also didn’t help that boot camp left me so sore that every time I moved in my sleep it woke me up.  (Thanks Mike)

In terms of crazy workouts, boot camp yesterday consisted of stations at the gym including bench press, box jumps, decline sit-ups (with a twist to make them even harder), sand bag push, burpees, ball to wall, jump rope, pull ups, and a host of other “fun” stuff.  I still struggle with jump rope and box jumps, but pushed as hard as I could.  The large box was up to my waist and I made it up 5 times on the first round before I missed and landed on my shin.  I switched to the medium box and got called out by the trainer!  The next round I did the tall box the whole time without falling.  The highlight of the workout was beating Adam (yup the marine who is twice my size) on his reps at many (most) of the stations (even doing the same weight on some of them).  That DEFINITELY made me feel like I’ve made HUGE progress. lol 

Thanks to all the new winter running gear I got for Christmas (Yea! new workout clothes!!!!) I have been keeping up on my running too.  I have been logging much in the double digits, but I have been getting out consistently, despite the cold.  My chilliest run to date was 23 degrees. 

I hope everyone has an amazing New Year!!!! I’m sure the universe has many great things in store for all of us.  🙂