fitness

Life Without Boot Camp…

“I found every single successful person I’ve ever spoken to had a turning point.

The turning point was when they made a clear, specific unequivocal decision that they were not going to live like this anymore; they were going to achieve success.

Some people make that decision at 15 and some people make it at 50, and most people never make it at all.”

Brian Tracy

haha you know it's true!

In case anyone is wondering (or worried) I am continuing to survive my time without boot camp (just barely 😉 ).  Only one more day to go, and it will take nothing short of an act of God to keep me from class tomorrow night!!!!!  I have been continuing to use my Jackie Extreme Timesaver Workout DVD and adding additional exercise reps to keep myself from completely withdrawing.  Meanwhile, I continue to wait for my Insanity DVDs to arrive (it’s taking FOREVER!!!- or maybe it just feels like it and I’m being dramatic…).

As an added workout, Adam and I hit the climbing gym today.  It was the first time I had been there in a long time, and I was surprised that my harness was really loose when I pulled it on. (I’d say Woohoo for boot camp weight loss, but I have actually gained (stupid muscle weighing more than fat!)…so instead I’ll says Woohoo for inches lost in all the right places!)  Luckily, it still fit once I synched it down.  I was a little nervous about my arms being fatigued after all the upper body work I did in my morning workout; however, once we began climbing I was excited to find that my endurance was dramatically improved.  Unfortunately, my technique was totally off- apparently rock climbing is not like riding a bicycle.  Shocking, I know!

Prior to boot camp, I had to rely primarily on maneuvering my body efficiently to get up to the top.  Now that I have significantly more strength, my initial impulse was just to power up using my new and improved muscles.  Of course, this was not nearly as effective.  Looks like I’ll be needing to brush up on my skills.

Overall, it was still lots of fun. I would definitely recommend rock climbing to anyone looking for a fun, challenging total body workout.  This is definitely the most sore I’ve been in a long time!  Hopefully I can still move tomorrow!

Finally, in case anyone needs a laugh or a little inspiration, I wanted to share a couple links.  The first is a blog called “My Time is Now”  (also now located in my blogroll) which is written by a friend and fellow boot camper.  She is truly a thriver in my book –in addition to being one of the most inspiring, driven, caring, and compassionate people I’ve ever met. She’s risen above circumstances that would have caused others to crumble, and actually has a second blog I’d recommend that chronciles her mother’s battle with stage IV lung cancer.

Then- to help you clear up the tears– all my runner friends out there should check out this post by the Tortoise Runs for a good laugh.

One more funny thing for good measure:

Oh, I would also like to point out that I have added my trainer/boot camp instructor’s blog to my blogroll as well.  He was jealous insulted that I had added Kelly’s first, in spite of the fact that I regularly rave about how awesome he and boot camp are and frequently link to his page in my posts… (You knew I would call you out, right? ;-p I know, extra burpees tomorrow. Bring it on! lol)  Seriously though, his blog has some great advice and recipes.

  That’s all for tonight folks!  I hope you all are enjoying what’s left of your weekend!!!!

One week with no boot camp…

The key to successful training is comprised of motivation, determination,

and a healthy fear of your trainer.”

-The Running Thriver 😉

makes me a sad girl. 😦

My work schedule is in complete conflict with boot camp this week, which essentially means two things 1) I need to find a new job that is more accommodating of my boot camp addiction, and 2) I need to seriously kick my own butt this week.

I spent my entire morning running around in circles (on the phone, not literally…unfortunately) between ticket master and the Hartford XL Center trying to track down my missing hockey tickets (it took NINE separate phone calls and multiple emails) before it was finally decided I could pick them up at “will call”.  Keep your fingers crossed for me; I have a feeling it’s not over…

After all that drama, I truly needed a work out!  I popped in my trusty Jackie DVD and sailed through the workout.  Of course, now that I am a hardcore boot camper, I didn’t stop there.  Instead, I did the 1000+ rep ab workout I missed a few weeks ago from class.  I had been wanting to try it, so I was glad to have the perfect opportunity.  Luckily, my fellow boot camp addicts members were kind enough to post the full workout online. I had to look up a few of the exercises on YouTube to figure out how to do them, but that only took a few minutes and I was good to go.

The one part of the workout I didn’t do was the sprints.  I figured shoveling snow this morning and doing the DVD would make up for it.  I did do the rest though!!!  In fact, I am pretty sure I did a couple hundred extra reps because there were several points when I lost count and started over. lol  I also assumed that the flutter kicks were in the typical sets of 4 (counting 1-2-3-1, 1-2-3-2, 1-2-3-3, etc) and did 800+ total, which may or may not have been the intended amount.  There were a couple times I wanted to quit out of boredom with the high number of reps and general disdain for a few of the exercises (SKI ABS- BOOOO!), but impressed myself that I had enough discipline to complete everything without someone standing over my shoulder.  I have to admit though, that I did not get the same warm, fuzzy feeling after finishing that I do after a real boot camp session.  It was certainly better than nothing though!!!! I am going to just have to take what I can get until Monday…

AB workout Maximum Results Boot Camp Style

In related news, I am to breaking up with Jackie.  We had a lot of growth together, but she just doesn’t challenge me the way she used to.  It’s always the same routine with her, and I’m really ready to try something new.  I’ve officially invested in Insanity and am hoping Shaun T. will take me further in my fitness journey.

Joking aside, I really am looking forward to a new challenge; and I am hoping that these workouts will be a good substitute for the days I can’t make boot camp.  Hopefully my new DVDs will arrive soon and help with my withdrawal!!!!

I am an Addict…

“I do it as a therapy.
I do it as something to keep me alive.
We all need a little discipline.
Exercise is my discipline.”
-Jack LaLanne
I would like to dedicate this post to my boot camp family…
Ladies and Gentleman,
I am addicted to boot camp.  Just in case you are worried you might be an addict to, I have complied a list of signs and symptoms to assist you in recognizing it.
1)  You spend most of your waking hours thinking about boot camp.
2)  You know how many hours it’s been since your last session and how many until your next one.
3)  You find yourself trying to schedule the rest of your life around your workouts.
4)  Everyone you know is aware that you do boot camp, including what days of the week you go.
5)  At least one person has mentioned how much you talk about boot camp and/or asked you to stop bringing it up
6)  You have tried to convince all your Facebook friends and coworkers to join, and have dragged at least one in person.
7)  More than 50% of your status updates involve boot camp, the gym, or working out.
8)  You know all the regulars at the gym…
9)  You find yourself doing boot camp workouts on days when there isn’t one scheduled.
10)  You have begged, badgered, or nagged your trainer to a hold group session because the boot camp sessions were too far apart.
11)  You regularly walk with a limp.
12)  You’re afraid that when you brush your hair in the morning you won’t be able to lift your arms.
13)  You frequently use stairs backwards.
14)  You’ve bribed someone to do your laundry to avoid using stairs all together.
15)  You have a fear of dropping things because your legs are too sore to bend.
16)  Your leisurely hikes turn into rock climbing sessions.
17)  You find yourself having difficulty with simple tasks like opening a car door, getting into the car, or turning the steering wheel after your workouts.
18)  You’ve done back-to-back boot camp sessions.
19)  You are constantly trying to find new ways to add protein to your diet.
20)  You own multiple items of clothing with a boot camp logo.
21)  You got a bunch of exercise equipment/apparel for Christmas- and got really excited about it.
22)  Your workout apparel is more expensive or nicer looking than your regular wardrobe.
23)  You have conversations about the “green monster” that don’t involve baseball.
24)  You think a 10+ mile obstacle race involving freezing water, fire, difficult terrain, obstacles, and electrocution sounds like a good time.
25)  You don’t think one workout in a day is enough.
26)  You spend more time with your boot camp family than you actual family.
27)  Missing a session of boot camp ruins your day.
28)  When you listen to the radio you evaluate each song’s potential for your workout playlist.
29)  Missing long periods of boot camp triggers bouts of depression.
30)  You find yourself evaluating objects for their potential as exercise equipment (examples: furniture movers, window sills, radiator covers, tree stumps, etc)
31)  You get delighted by your ability to lift and carry heavy objects such as firewood, tires, or bags of dog food.
32)  You don’t think puking during a workout is an excuse to stop.
33)  Pushing to the point of feeling light-headed or losing focus is a regular occurrence for you.
34)  You’ve woken up in the middle of the night after a workout in pain because you moved in your sleep, or have had to prop yourself up on your elbows to roll over in bed
35)  You do reps in multiples of 100 instead of 5 or 10.
36)  You refer to “can’t” as “the dirty ‘c’ word” and have removed it from your vocabulary.
37)  You have either done or forced someone else to do burpees as a punishment.
38)  You’ve considered being part of a boot camp flash mob.
39)  You can’t understand why everyone doesn’t find boot camp as awesome as you do.
40)  You finish your boot camp workouts with the feeling that you can conquer anything. (ie. boot camp gets you high)
41)  You’ve referred to your fellow boot campers as your other family.
42)  You don’t think a national holiday is an excuse not to have boot camp.
43)  You are incapable or backing down from a challenge.
44)  You’ve been bitten by a box…
45)  Your first thought of ninja or superman is an exercise and not a person.
46)  You’ve noticed people look at you like you are insane when you share your workouts.
47)  You’ve considered stealing a cane, wheelchair, or scooter from an elderly person after a workout because you thought you needed it more than he/she did.
48)  You’ve “borrowed” your child’s jump rope to practice.
49)  You find yourself  yelling “NO EXCUSES” at people.
50)  You couldn’t imagine life without boot camp.

It’s Monday

“A day will never be anymore than what you make of it.
– Josh S. Hinds

Most people hate Mondays, but I love them.  Why? Because Boot Camp is on Monday and I LOVE boot camp!  Looking forward to getting my butt kicked tonight. 🙂  Until then, I think I may spend some way overdue quality time with my awesome mom.

I hope everyone has an amazing day and excellent week!!!!

I Love Mornings!!!!

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do.

Attitude determines how well you do it.”

-Lou Holtz

And I LOVE my morning workouts!

Morning workouts have so many benefits. 1) It’s a great way to start the day right and boost BOTH your mood and energy level.  2) Exercising first thing in the morning helps encourage you to make healthy choices through out the day.  After all, you don’t want to undo all that hard work by eating garbage. 3) You can get away with working out in your pajamas and cut down on laundry (as long as you’re at home 😉 ) 4) It’s a chance to get it done before the day gets busy and you have time to make excuses not to.

Once I get in a good early work out, I always feel ready to take on the day.  This morning I was surprised to still be able to move without much difficultly, so I did my Jackie Extreme Timesaver Workout DVD AGAIN.  I was dragging a little, but got through the whole thing.  Then I did 30 reps of tricep dips, body saws, and push-ups- and then 60 low plank obliques.  I officially pushed myself to the point of almost throwing up at a non-boot camp workout, which makes me feel like all those workouts have really improved my tolerance for putting myself through torture. 😉  As additional evidence of just how rugged I’ve become, I now have rug burn on my elbows to match the bruise on my shin from my incident with the tall box at boot camp last weekend…plus a bunch of scraps from all the prickly brush at the reservoir yesterday! (Luckily I only got a little rash and not head to toe hives like scrapes from brush typically give me!)

"Bit" by the box

Ouch! Rug burn 😦

Given that the Jackie workout DVD is starting to get “easy” for me (meaning I can finish it with weight without feeling like it is going to kill me), I have been considering purchasing the Insanity workout DVDs.  At first I was a little intimidated because I heard it was harder than p90x; however, after surviving multiple months of boot camp, a Tough Mudder, and a marathon- I’m pretty sure I can handle whatever they throw at me (even if it’s not doable on the first try ;)).  The great thing about workout DVDs is you can always hit pause, catch your breath, and keep going.  The only thing I still have reservations about is I saw a few really bad reviews about it being really hard on your joints with lots of high impact moves.  I don’t want to spend over $100 on it and then find it’s too hard on my knees to do it.  On the other hand, I feel like no matter how awesome a fitness product is, there will always be people who will find an excuse to trash it instead of sucking it up and following through.  I think at some point, I will probably break down and make the splurge, but in the meantime I have boot camp, running, and Jackie to keep me in shape. 🙂

Anyhow, the rest of my day will consist of RELAXING… unless I get the itch to workout some more. lol There are worse addictions in the world right?

Another Milestone

“You may want to skip your workout today. You may want to quit. But there will be others who push forward.
And you will be another day behind. “

Today I didn’t feel like going to boot camp.  I was exhausted. I had been running errands all day, and I was dragging at the last session.  In general, I have found my body less than cooperative lately.  I hate performing at less than my best, so I was dreading another potentially miserable workout.  I knew if I could just haul myself there, that would be glad I came.  Seeing everybody is always an instant mood boost.  Plus, I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I’m finished- even if I feel like I did less than par.  I reminded myself of all these things as I headed out the door.  As an added bonus, I was able to convince Adam to come (a first for this month)!

The workout involved splitting up the exercises with a partner.   The number of exercises was based on the gender of the pair (girl/girl, girl/boy, boy/boy).  Since I was with a guy (not Adam, we were all partnered with new people), we had the medium number of exercises.  We decided just to split them down the middle and kept pretty good pace at keeping up with each other.  The exercises consisted of burpees, dive bombers, low plank obliques, a sadistic low plank exercise involving moving men, and push-ups.  For most of the stations, we had to split 300 reps- including the push-ups.  The most push-ups I had done up to this point was 100and I had struggled.  When I hit 101 at this session I was excited.  When I finished the 150 (in sets of ten- and then 5 when I was getting tired) I was ecstatic.

Back when I started boot camp I couldn’t do 10 push-ups in a row, let alone 15 times!  I didn’t even feel that tired, so I finished the rest of the work out and then did 150 more with Adam while he finished up (he was in a guy/guy group and had more reps on each station- his excuse for me smoking him 😉 ) That is officially 300 Push-ups! – 3 times my previous max!  It was definitely a victory worth celebrating, so I fixed up some chocolate peanut butter protein shakes when we got home. 🙂

I am so grateful to have an awesome boot camp crew (and instructor/trainer!) to push me to my limits.  Having people around to help motivate you is such a valuable tool in training.  I never would attempt the workouts we do in boot camp on my own!  Every class starts with “I don’t know if I can do that”, and finishes with “WOW, I can’t believe I did that!”  Exercise is my prozac.  It relieves my stress, quiets  my anxiety, and makes me feel like I can take on the world.   I sometimes feel guilty spending money on the classes or training sessions, but then I remind myself that when I tried therapy my co-pay was for $30- for 15 minutes!  Boot camp and training session are a BARGAIN compared to that!!! Plus, therapy could never compete with how good finishing a tough workout makes me feel. 🙂

Weekend Update

Spend the afternoon.  You can’t take it with you. 

~Annie Dillard

Okay, so I have been slacking on the blogging lately.  Life has been so busy!  All good things, thankfully.  I have not managed any long runs since my last post, mostly due to lack of time issues.  However, I did get in some workouts at the gym.  I have spent an hour on the elliptical with the resistance maxed (and my hydration pack on to add some weight) on two separate occasions- the most recent being today.  When I first started running I couldn’t make it through a full hour without feeling like I would pass out or throw up- even without the resistance maxed.  Now I am plowing through that hour- even with extra weight!  Workouts like that help me realize just how much progress I’ve made. 🙂

I have also been spending a lot more time stretching now that I got my foam roller in the mail.  The first time I used it I had flashbacks of physical therapy as a teenager.  The therapist would press on my IT band insertion point, and I would literally jump off the table.  This was the same pain.  The experience can be summarized in one word “OUCH!”  By the time I finished, it was much less tender, but I felt like I had deep bruises in my thighs for a whole day afterwards.  I am hoping this helps with the long runs!  I am also pleased to announce that I did not have any increased IT band issues after my 13 ish mile run, even without the benefit of the foam roller- something I am taking as an extremely positive sign.

Today I will be going out on the boat with Adam and some friends.  We’ve been trying to cram in as much time as possible out on the water before the weather gets to cold (part of the reason I have not had as much time to run).  It’s nice to get a change of scenery and actually be social (for a change!).  Although I have to admit it gets tiring at times to spend so much time around other people- being an introvert and all.  It is so worth the exhaustion at the end of the day though!  So far we have taken out my little sister- who loved every second of it, and a few of my friends from high school.  It was so great to see everyone have a good time, and especially to spend time with some special people I don’t get to see very often. 🙂

That’s all for now!  Boot Camp starts tomorrow.  I will keep you all posted on how it goes.  In the meantime, I will be thriving.  I hope you all do the same and have a happy and healthy holiday weekend!!!!

Me and my BFF

When trails become streams…

I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.” 

~Author Unknown

I’m BACK!!!! It’s official!  Just shy of 13 miles today and only minimal IT band pain.  Wohoo!  lol  I’m so happy to FINALLY have gotten some mileage in.  Initially, Adam and I headed to Hopbrook (my favorite place to run), but it is completely under water.  We decided to do the Bridle Trail instead, which was slightly less damp.  The trail had turned into a fresh water stream in many places, which was actually pretty fun to run in.  Meanwhile, the small brook that typically runs along the gravel path had turned into class 5 rapids (See picture below).  We actually thought we heard traffic coming when we were crossing, but it turned out to be the water.  It was pretty impressive.

when brooks become rapids...

 

 

The first 6-7 miles were pretty easy, but my legs got pretty tired on the way back.  I was getting tangled in a lot of the debris from the storm, and Adam was light-years ahead of me.  He kept stopping or walking to give me time to catch up, and I felt kind of bad that I was running so slow.  I know there is a faster runner inside and I am determined to release her at some point!  I kept reminding myself that no matter how slow I was running, I was moving forward and still smiling- the 2 most important things.  Overall, the run went pretty well.  I was glad to have Adam there to show me a few new side trails and keep me from over-doing it.  Plus, he makes good company; and the view running behind him is not too bad either. lol  He even took pictures for me to adorn my blog.  He is so supportive!

Initially, when I was reading about many of the other bloggers who had run their first marathon, I noticed that a lot of them had a fair number of people cheering them on.  Many of them had photos holding flowers while posing with their finisher medals.  It made me want flowers when I finish!  Then I realized that I have something even better- a boyfriend who is willing to suffer through the 26.2 mile stretch with me to help motivate me and keep me going.  How lucky am I ?!   I am sure there are other things he would have rather been doing today than running through 13 miles of mud and debris, but he knew I would appreciate it.

In related news, I am looking into joining the boot camp program at my gym.  It looks like a lot of cross fit type training, and I’m hoping it will help me take my conditioning to the next level.  I also got an email today that my foam roller and cliff bloks shipped.  I am pretty excited! 🙂

running through the stream

 

 

 

made it!!!

It gets harder before it gets easier…

“You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face.
–Gatorade

borrowed from Pushinspire

This morning I was little discouraged by my marathon training…or current lack there of.  It’s not like I’m sitting on the couch eating potato chips, but I also haven’t logged any significant mileage in a couple weeks.  I desperately want to be out there running 20 miles; however, my body, unfortunately, has had other ideas. That being said, I understand all to well that injuries and setbacks are a part of running, and I’ve been extremely lucky that this is the first issue I’ve had since my return to running many months ago.

Initially, I thought running in Vibrams had cured all my running issues, and that the only limitation to my future running would be my own determination.  It wasn’t until recently that I found out that is not exactly the case.  In the defense of my VFF, I have been still using regular running shoes for pavement and gravel; so many of my longest runs have not been “barefoot”.  Plus, I increased my mileage way too quickly on my last long run.  Now that I am re-familiarized with the perils of over-training, I will return to running a wiser endurance junkie. 😉

Happily, I have taken this hiatus from lengthy runs as a chance to work on some cross training and general conditioning- which is especially important now that the NorCal Tough Mudder is coming up fast.  I am pretty confident I will be able to finish, even if I don’t complete every obstacle successfully.  I am also confident about being able to complete the Diva Half Marathon.  What I am terrified about is my body limiting my ability to run the full marathon 2 weeks after.  I’m worried that running 13.1 miles on pavement is going to aggravate my IT bands, and that 2 weeks won’t be enough time to recover before the Hartford Marathon.  I am also scared that I won’t be able to get my mileage up any further beforehand due to my IT band issues.  Finally, my greatest dread is that I will continue to be plagued by the chronic knee pain and joint issues that have stifled my running for so long.  Now that I have tasted the freedom of running without the obstacle of chronic joint pain- I never want to go back.

The good news– since I started running in my VFF, I have have been pain free (minus the current IT band issue- which, thankfully, has been okay on the last few runs)!  Not just without joint pain while running- pain-free in general.  Before, my knee caps popped out-of-place when I walked, and I always had knee and hip pain.  I had it my whole life, so I didn’t know any better.  Now, the only pain I have is in my muscles!  It’s been truly liberating.  It’s something to remember when I feel like I’m not making enough progress.  I have come SO far.  I had dreams of running a half marathon one day, but NEVER believed a full marathon would be attainable.  That was something only super-fit, athletic people could  do in my mind- not someone with a host joint issues.  Besides, I had numerous ortho docs tell me all the reasons I couldn’t and shouldn’t run. I always viewed running as something I loved, but also as extremely damaging to my body.  Look at me now!  I have 4 hours of extremely slow running (without walking!) under my belt with plans for my first marathon in less than 2 months!  What a difference a year can make in a life. 🙂

As an added insurance plan, I have a foam roller to stretch my IT bands in the mail… along with a new box of Clif Bloks. 🙂  What a crazy journey this has been- and it isn’t even over yet!  Whatever happens come October I know one thing for sure- I will make it across that finish line even if I have to crawl!

One thing that has kept me motivated and inspired has been following other running bloggers.  Below I’ve listed some of my current favorites.  As always, thanks for reading!  Comments and Feedback are always welcome and appreciated (you can also email at runningthriver@gmail.com).  Feel free to repost any material from my blog, but please give credit back to this site. 🙂

PushInspire

Marathon Sweetheart

The Primal Challenge

Experience Life With Me

I Run Long

Runwithdesire

Happy Trails Everyone!!!

Top 10 Reasons I love trail running

“The trail has taught me much. I know now the varied voices of the coyote—the

wizard of the mesa. I know the solemn call of herons and the mocking cry of the loon.

I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and

cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk,

opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets. It has given me blessed release from care and

worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day. It has been a return to the

primitive and the peaceful. Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my

blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear a coyote

wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me—I am happy.”

—H

AMLINGARLAND, Hitting the Trail, McClure’s,

February 1899

There are many reasons that I love hitting the trails.  Below I have listed a few from the top of my list:

1.  You can’t beat the scenery.  I love the unexpected sight of white tail deer, chipmunks, hawks, and other wildlife during my runs.

2.  The air is clean and refreshing.  There are no exhaust fumes running on trails; you can breath deeply without coughing or polluting your lungs.

3.  The ground is softer than running on the road or a track, and much easier on my joints.

4.  The serenity.  What could be more relaxing than being enveloped in trees and nature? Nothing makes me feel more rejuvenated.

5.  The challenge!  It’s a great workout!  The uneven terrain is great for working your stabilizing muscles, and the steep hills always push me to work harder.

6.  It’s full of surprises.  The landscape is always changing.  I never know who or what I might run into (or run on for that matter!).  I love the scenery changes, unexpected wildlife sightings, and the feeling of never knowing what may lie ahead when running on a new trail.  I appreciate all variation running under shaded trees, to open fields filled with wild flowers, to narrow paths, to steep inclines, to views of ponds and streams.

7.  It’s the only time I can enjoy classical music without falling asleep.  Classical music makes a great soundtrack to the scenery!  Plus, it keeps me relaxed and engaged in my surroundings, and helps me regulate my breathing when I’m working hard.

8. The sounds are relaxing.  I would much rather hear the tranquil sound of a running stream or the birds, frogs, and crickets chirping than the hustle and bustle of traffic.

9.  It’s a chance to enjoy nature.  There’s a connection to the earth that you just can’t get on the roads.

10. It’s fun! It always feels like work to me when I run on pavement; but hitting the trails gives me a chance to relax, stretch my legs, and clear my head- despite the fact that  it’s a better workout.  I miss the trails when I can’t run.  In fact, I get down right edgy.  I need that time with nature; it’s good for the soul. 🙂