All or Nothing

How is it possible that we can go from going 500mph, firing on all cylinders, 100% of the time to these periods of nothing?! Its an odd feeling, and currently, thats the state I am in. I am trying to effectively navigate it but honestly, it almost seems like more of a struggle than the 500mph I am used to.  So how am I embracing it….

First, sleep! Yes, I am still working the night shift but that is only 1-2 nights a week right now so I am 100% allowing myself to recover from each shift. This has been an incredible change of pace and honestly is making the night shift a little more bearable.

Elementary School Friends

Number two, friends! All those people I neglected the past 6months, I am making an effort to see and it has been fantastic. I have loved reconnecting and just enjoying the ability to really embrace conversation that during times of chaos doesn’t happen.

Three, my house is finally getting some MUCH NEEDED love! I feel like it has been neglected since I moved in nearly three years ago since I started nursing school almost immediately after purchasing my home. I have been cleaning out and redecorating and it feels so good (even if it is still a work in progress).

Four, I am actually working out again! I have been running (alone and with friends…hey more connection!), lots of long walks with some of my favorite podcasts, and going to core power yoga several times a week.

Five, cooking real meals! This is strange but I have to give all the love to Trader Joes, with this extra time, it is allowing to actually get back in the kitchen without it feeling like such a chore.

And last but not least, six. I am back out there dating!!! Yes, you heard that right. Over

the last few weeks I have gone on some great dates and I am really enjoying putting myself back out there. Just like the free time thing, this is also strange but I am ready to fully embrace it…. and I promise, no more long distance relationships for me!

So to close, the past 6 month have brought a lot of change in my life for both the good and the bad. I have had the highs of graduating nursing school and passing my boards to the lows of losing my grandma and so much in between. But regardless of these highs and lows, it has brought me to this 5 week period of “free time.” Time I am not sure how to use, but I am trying to take advantage of as I know I will probably never have these days again.

Leave a comment below and tell me how you use your free time!

 

Couch to 13.1, 30day Challenge

energy boostAs I mentioned before, I want to get my runner girl identity back so what better to do then a crazy challenge?! I am going to do a “couch-ish to 13.1, 30 day challenge.” I don’t think the race will be pretty and nor will it be super, spectacularly fast but this will at least kick start me back into the mileage that I enjoy! I am going to make this race a goal just to have fun and find my love for running again. See below if you want to follow along!

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I will be following this plan from May 12 – June 10th with the goal of completing the Hotlanta Half. Happy Training Y’all!!

**disclaimer! This training plan is not for everyone and is not the safest way to train for a half marathon. If this is your first or you’re just getting into running a build up this fast is not recommended.**

Once a Runner…{maybe} Always a Runner

Since high school I have always been able to call myself a runner but then that nursing school thing came along and remember how I mentioned I am the most unhealthy I have ever been in yesterday’s post, well now running is a struggle! Before now (read last 6months) I have trained for marathons and ironman triathlons. I even managed to push through a few races at the beginning of nursing school but in reality, they were weak races and I struggled through them. Nursing school takes a lot out of me! It’s an excuse but also the truth! Training runs get cut short and are sometimes cut out all together and sleep and nutrition are at an all time low. I’m not going to lie, I HATE IT!! I like being a runner.

So what to do about it… Pout, whine, cry?! Well, that’s what I want to do but since that’s getting me nowhere, I have had to start at ground zero! Seriously 1 and 2 mile runs make up the majority of my miles these days. They are slow and almost always include a walk somewhere in the middle. This is brutal! Coming from the girl where a 10mile run was a quick jaunt in the park to this is right up there with heart breaking.

It makes me want to stomp my feet and melt into a puddle. Running has always been an identity of mine and now I feel like I am failing that part of who I am.

So for real… what to do about it?! I want my runner girl identity back! My lost stride needs to return!

My initial thought is to sign up for a half marathon this summer while I am out of school and make that my focus. I will still be busy with work but not nearly as busy as I am when I am working and going school. My thought is this will help me create that healthy routine again and if I can create that routine, I will be better able to carry it through my last semester of school. Maybe even set a goal for another half marathon late in the semester so I HAVE to keep it going?

Please comment with advice below if you have experience with STARTING ALL OVER! Help a former and one day future runner girl (again) out!!

30minutes

Hey y’all! Looky here, two posts in one week!! This is a first in quite a while. Keeping with the theme of everything quick (see yesterday’s post), for the busy, on the go lifestyle that many of us lead, check out today’s post for an at home, all you need is a [STABLE] chair workout….

This workout is start to finish, including warm-up and cool-down, 30minutes.

Warm-up: 5min

Complete the following circuit 2x flowing from one exercise immediately into the next. 

:30 high knee march (round 2 can be an in place high knee run)

:30 jumping jack

:30 deep squat

Workout: 25min

Just as you did in the warm – up, each set will be completed 3x without adding rest in between exercises. Take :30-1:00 rest between each set.

Set #1

:30 lunges (lead :30 with each leg)

:30 push-ups

Set #2

:30 step-up (lead with each leg for :30 at a time)

:30 modified tricep dip

Set #3

:30 squat (touch your butt to the chair each time)

:30 flutter kicks 

Set #4

:30 plank

:30 superman

:30 side plank (:30 each side)

Cool – down: 5min stretch

Hold each stretch for about 10 – 15 seconds. Stretch each muscle two times allowing for a slightly deeper stretch on the second time. 

Key muscles to hit: 

Hamstrings, calves, quads, glutes, hips, shoulders, and triceps. 

Happy working out!!

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I hope you are having a great week so far! And hey, just maybe you will hear from me again this week 😉

Just a Pair of Running Shoes

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Good Morning! I hope you all had a great weekend. I know I sure did, I headed down to Greenville, SC Saturday after I got off work to visit Dylan. Being our typical selves, we kept busy and had a fun and active weekend. Which is what brings me to today’s post… staying active while traveling. This weekend, I wanted to get in a good workout without any equipment and in less than an hour as to not take away from the weekend festivities….

To start since I love running in a new city (yes, I have been here before but I am still learning my way around) I did a mile run which brought me to the bottom of a big hill. At this point, I did a few dynamic stretches. I am always working to keep my hips loose as they tend to get extremely tight especially when I am going to be running hard. From here I set that I was going to do 4-5 hill “sprints.” I put sprints in quotes because it was a .35mile hill so I was running hard but I wasn’t exactly top speed by any means. Run hard up then nice easy jog recovery on the way back down. At the top of my 4th rep, I walked back towards Dylan’s apartment for a quarter of a mile then ran the rest of the way back.

Once I was back at his apartment, I found a spot in the grass and did a 15min strength workout using only my bodyweight…

  • 3x1min plank (first 45sec plank finishing last 15sec with push-ups)
  • 3x1min squats
  • 3x:30 side planks (:30 each side)
  • 3x1min walking lunges
  • 3x:30 flutter kicks

So there you have it, a total body workout in less than an hour with only a pair of running shoes! Do you have any favorite workouts while you are traveling? Comment below letting me know your thoughts.

Have a great Monday! 

7 Week Half Marathon Training

Hey Hey Hey! How are y’all doing? Dylan and I have signed up for Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh Half Marathon April 12th so I wanted to fill you in on our training plan leading up to it. The two of us have started with about a 5mile base.

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For Thursday speed work, use the first mile as a warm-up and last mile as a cool down. The middle portion of the run do some sort of pick-ups. For example, 1min hard, 30second easy jog till you have completed the entire middle portion of the workout. The purpose of this day is to get your legs turning over quickly and engage those fast twitch fibers.

So who else is training for a half marathon these days? What race do you have on the calendar? Comment below to let me know!

Happy Running Y’all! 

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Friday Night Workout

Hey friends! How are y’all doing? I hope you all survived the crazy (or should I say wimpy) snow storm. I know my Raleigh friends got hit pretty hard but here in Charlotte, I have to say it certainly didn’t live up to the hype at all!! I am not complaining though, I had a nice couple days off because of all the hype which allowed me to catch up on a little sleep, see a couple of my favorite people ever (mom, dad, and grandma) and I got to finish off yesterday evening with a surprise visit from the boyfriend! I typically don’t see him Monday – Friday so a Thursday night dinner was a great surprise. Anyways, on to today’s post, my running and triathlon followers I think you’re going to like it.

Tonight I did a fun (yet tough) 2.5 mile run to kick things off. I broke this run into 4 parts (keep in mind I was already warmed up going into this):

  • Part 1: .25 rolling hills. I set the treadmill so it would go up and down (started at about 2.5 and built up to 5.0 incline) at an 8:34min mile pace.
  • Part 2: Steady 1mile run. This was done at a 1.0 incline and at an 8min mile pace.
  • Part 3: Tough mile. Starting at 8min mile pace, every 10th of a mile I bumped up the pace .1 -.2mph. I ended this mile at a 6:30min mile. It was extremely tough but felt great to get my legs turning over quickly.
  • Part 4: Slow jog into walk for .25miles. After part 3 I dropped my pace to a 9:30 and ultimately dropped it to a slow walk by the end as my heart rate came down.

After the run I completed a functional training workout. This type of training was recently introduced to me by the triathlon coach at the Harris YMCA. I am learning so much from her and this type of workout is just one of the many things she has taught me so far. Today’s workout was broken into 4 sets and each set was completed twice before moving onto the next set.

Set 1: 2 x 20

  • Step-up with high knee raise (20 reps each leg). I did one leg at a time (so all 20 reps were done with the right leg then all 20 on the left leg)
  • Tricep Dip. Using the step up block I completed modified tricep dips. 
  • Bicep curl into over head press. For this I used a 7.5lb dumbbell in each hand and for an added challenge I did this as I stepped up onto the block like I did in the first exercise. This time alternating my leading with each step. 

Set 2: 2 x 20

  • Stability Ball hamstring curls. Heels on top of the ball with hips raised off the ground roll the ball in and out.
  • Stability Ball lifts. Placing ball between your feet, lift ball straight into the air then bending at your knees bring ball down and back up.

    Image result for pictures of stability ball lifts bent knee
    From this position, bend your knees to lower the ball then straighten back into this position for each repetition.
  • Stability Ball side curls. Placing ball between your feet, roll onto your side lifting as much of your lower leg off the ground as possible then curl ball behind you. I did 10 each side for a total of 20.

    From this position bend at knees to bring ball as close to your butt as you can then extend back out to pictured position for 1 repetition.
  • Stability Ball Toss. Placing ball between your feet to start, lift ball off ground at the same time as your crunch up switching the ball to your hands, extend back down then crunch back up switching back to your feet at the top.

Image result for pictures of stability ball lifts with static kneesSet 3: 2 x

  • Bosu get down get up (10)

    Start from a standing position, then sit on bosu ball, lean back as far as you can lifting feet off the ground (as pictured), crunch back in returning feet to the ground then standing back up for each repetition.
  • Walk out push-ups (build starting at 1 push-up to 5 push-ups then go back down to 1)

    Start from a standing position, walk hands out across the bosu into a push-up position leaving knees on bosu. Complete 1 push-up then walk hands back to bosu and finish repetition by standing all the way back up. For the next one complete two push-ups before walking hands back and standing up. Build up to 5 push-ups then back down to a single push-up.
  • Skydivers (:30) balancing on the bosu on your stomach bring your arms out in front of you and legs up as high as you can behind you contracting your glutes and lower back.

Image result for pictures of bosu supermanSet 4: 2 x 10

  • Kettle bell dead lift. I used a 22lb kettle bell in each hand. 
  • Sing leg kettle bell RDL. Holding kettle bell in the hand of the planted foot, again I used a 22lb kettle bell. 
  • Squats. Holding one kettle bell at your chest, squat as low as you can leading with your hips and keeping your chest up. Again I kept with the 22lb kettle bell. Image result for pictures of kettle bell deadlift

Cool down was 5min of foam rolling. I really focused on my hip flexors, hamstrings, quads, and IT bands.

This workout certainly had me sweaty and muscles burning but overall felt great. Comment below letting me know what you think and if you decide to give it a try.

Happy Friday Y’all!

Hello Freezing Cold!!

Holy Cow! Y’all it got cold today in Charlotte! And yes, I am complaining, I do not like the cold! There is a reason I don’t live way up North. But regardless, I still had to get in a workout so to the overly crowded gym I went. Since it was so packed, I didn’t even attempt to plan a workout using any of the machines but rather grabbed a mat and a a set of dumbbells and picked my itty bitty spot in the corner and got to work.

Today’s workout was 3 rounds of the following. Each set is done for 4minutes continually and each exercise 10reps at a time. Complete as many rounds as possible during those 4minutes.

Set 1:

Bodyweight Squats, Rows, and Walking Planks

Set 2: 

Lunge, Bicep Curls, Leg Lifts

Set 3:

RDL, Tricep Kickback, Supermans

Besides being a little tight on space, tonights workout was a success. Next time you are stuck in a crowded gym or at home with minimal equipment, give it a try.

Happy Wednesday Y’all!! 

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Offseason Training

Happy rainy, cold, windy, nasty Monday y’all! Ha that sounds appealing right?! Well, regardless of the weather, today was my first day back to “organized” workouts since completing Thunder Road Marathon mid November. I have enjoyed the time off but I think my body has finally completely recovered so it is time to get back into the swing of things. As I mentioned previously, I need to work on building strength. I feel like through the last few months as I was adjusting to working life and my new city I only did cardio workouts which usually meant running and even at that they weren’t exactly the most quality of runs. So now its time to get back in the saddle and get my booty in gear! But before I get to the workouts, I set a couple [broad] goals for myself….

1. Build Strength. I want to feel toned and strong come the start of next triathlon season.

2. Increase Speed. Now that I have been doing endurance events for a couple years,  my body has really adjusted to the longer but slower workouts and thus I have also been slower competing… even when I felt I was in as good, if not better shape than the year previously.

3. Add Variety. I have gotten in such a rut with my own workouts. I feel like I can creatively come up with good, quality, non-boring workouts for others but I struggle doing that for myself.

4. Increase Flexibility. This is not something I enjoy working on. I never feel like I get a workout when I when I go to yoga or am stretching and foam rolling on my own because it doesn’t make me sweat. Nevertheless, flexibility is so important for avoiding injury that I am going to make time for it this season.

5. Have Fun. By this I mean I want to continually reevaluate to make sure I am still enjoying what I am doing. By about June / July of last year I was so burnt out on training that I was no longer enjoying it. So this year I want to make sure I am doing all this for the right reasons…because I love it and I find joy in it, not because I signed up for a race. The race is important but at the end of the day there are ways to keep training fun if you are creative.

….Now for the execution.

To achieve goal number 1, I have put together a strength plan for the next 8 weeks. I keep it to a max of 4 “lifts” and 2-3 core exercises of my choice that day. Since I do not enjoy doing strength workouts I kept these workouts short.

For speed, I have had to do a fair amount of research to see whats best. I had always assumed that building a base during the offseason then incorporating speed workouts (intervals, hills, etc.) during the early parts of season was best but apparently I was wrong. This year, my offseason workouts will be kept decently short but full of tough intervals that gets those fast twitch muscles firing.

Group exercise classes will be used for the add variety for the time being. It is always fun to see what other instructors come up with. It is a great place to get new ideas for workouts.

Increase flexibility…I have added 5min to the end of all my cardio workouts. During this 5min I am to stretch and/or foam roll.

Have fun. This will be achieved by taking the time at the beginning of every week to  actually think about what I am doing and how I am feeling about it. If I find that I am bored or not enjoying my workouts, I am going to step back and adjust that weeks workouts then.

So there you have it, there are my goals and how I am going to execute them through the next couple of months.


Day 1 [today] started with a short strength routine:

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3 sets of each of the following:

  • 15 Squats with a 12.5lb. dumbbell in each hand.
  • Chest Press with 30lbs. 15x
  • 15 Lunges with a 8lb. medicine ball.
  • Lat Pull Down with 45lbs. 15x
  • :30 planks
  • 3o Russian Twist with 8lb. medicine ball

Then I headed to take a 45-50min spin class. The instructor was great; she had us climbing hills, sprinting, and laughing all at the same time. Killed three birds with one stone there: speed work, variety, and fun. And once that was over, I headed back to the gym where I spent 5minutes on the foam roller. I tried the rumble roller for the first time today, needless to say, I’m not ready to officially graduate to full time use of it yet. It hurt so good! haha


 

So there you have it, my goals, my plan, and day one’s workouts. I won’t be updating you daily on my entire workout but I will be sure to keep you in the loop with my progress.

Now its your turn, what’s your plan this winter to combat the want to hibernate in big sweaters on the couch till spring? Comment below letting me know!

 

 

 

Couch to 5k Series: 6

So who gobbled till they wobbled yesterday?! Or who is feeling “fluffy” and “puffy” today as the instructor of my cycle class said morning?! If either of those apply to you then you are in the right place as we kick off training for the 5th and final week of our Couch to 5k series!! If you are just getting started be sure to check out the warm-up, week 1, week 2, week 3, and week 4 to get you all caught up. This week you are committed to about two and a half hours total. I promised you when we got started with this series the commitment would be totally doable and look, I followed through…all the way to the end!

Monday — 2min walk, 3min jog x7

Tuesday — 20min walk

Wednesday — 2min walk, 3min jog x8

Thursday — 20min walk

Friday — Rest

Saturday — RACE DAY!! 3.1miles!!!!

Sunday — Rest

So who is ready to tackle their final week of training and their 5k this weekend?! Comment below if you’ve stuck with it or are planning on getting started towards training for your first 5k soon!

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