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!!

Ironman Training Thoughts

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Hey Y’all! I hope you are doing great! I am exhausted and running on E as per usual. Between working two jobs (Jenny Craig and personal training), attempting to have a social life, taking classes to keep all my certifications up to date, and ironman training, I am stretching myself to the limit. I love all that I am doing but dang, can it just slow down a bit?! As I like to tell my friends and family, hang on till December 1 and I will become a normal human again! December 1 is only 80 days away which means the Ironman is only 78 DAYS away!!! CRAZY!!!!! So for today, here are my training thoughts….

  1. Displaying IMG_0542.jpgHOLY CRAP THIS TAKES ALOT OF TIME! Yes, I knew it would, but gosh darn it seems like I am always training…. get home from work at 8pm and you think you’re done for the day….NOPE! Time to get on the bike in the apartment and spin for a couple hours then make dinner, shower, and go to bed. There are definitely some long days involved with getting ready for this race. Displaying IMG_0454.jpg
  2. Lake Norman needs more water. Although I am proud of myself for building up to some super long, continuous, open water swims, I am really tired of
    getting out of the water with a slightly orange tint (thank you red clay).
  3. This girl can eat! 4+ hour workouts really rev up the metabolism. I feel like there are days when (read as: most everyday) I just can’t eat enough to keep up.
  4. Displaying IMG_0777.jpgI think my new favorite of the three sports is biking. I have always been partial to running (which is why I say I think) but right now I am really loving my long rides. In fact, I really look forward to my 60+ mile rides. Something about going a really long distance under your own power and maintaining 16+ mph the entire time is really cool.
  5. However, biking is a struggle. Combine the fact that I am exerting myself for hours on end and I’ve already got a reved up metabolism, I hit like 3 hours in and I AM STARVING!! This is something I am working on but is taking some major work. I currently take a GU every 45min and am sipping gatorade endurance and water but it is just not cutting it. I think next long ride I am going to try an almond butter sandwich at the 2.5 – 3hr mark and see how that works out.
  6. I am having some issues with my neck and shoulder that stem from my soccer day which unfortunately throws a kink in training every now and again. I constantly have knots that run down my neck and under my left shoulder blade. This causes a lot of pain in my left shoulder and arm all the way down behind my elbow and when its really acting up all the way into my hand. Although this stinks, if this is the only “injury” I am having to deal with I feel like I am doing really good!
  7. I feel like I am going to be one of those people who says “I am never going to do another one of these again” and turns around and immediately signs up for the next one. The training is long and grueling but I couldn’t be more anxious and excited to get to race day. It is crazy that such a big life goal of mine in getting so close.
  8. I am most nervous about the logistics of getting to and the actual race itself at this point. My flight is booked but now the questions of, how will I get my bike there? What if it gets lost in transit? What if I need help making bike adjustments to my once I get there? What if everyone speaks spanish and I can’t communicate? How will I bring all my food down there? I can’t drink the water there so how am I supposed to drink on the race course? How will my hydration and nutrition needs change if I get down there and it is a sunny 90+ Displaying IMG_0568.jpgdegree day? The list goes on and on!
  9. I am so thankful for my family and friends that are being so patient and supportive of me as I take on this big adventure. Really, even though I am doing the training on my own, knowing I have a support crew cheering me on often from a distance means a TON and often what keeps me going.
  10. Training is tough. It is wearing me out. BUT I am so happy and excited to be taking on this big challenge! I cannot wait till race day when I get to put these many months of training to the test! I am confident I will be able to complete it but that doesn’t make it any less intimidating right now!

There you have it, my current thoughts on ironman training… I will be sure to check in as the race gets closer! If you’ve ever done an Ironman yourself, I would love any input you may have! Have a great day!

Tuesday Things

Hey Friends! How are y’all doing?! Things are a bit crazy here so to continue with the chaos I call life, I bring you my most unfocused blog post yet. Here are some things going on in my life and on my mind these days….

1. Hallelujah!! 31Day Detox is done in just a few hours. Most days have been totally fine but goodness I have had several days (<–read like last 10 days) I have wanted sugar and salt!!! I will write a full update on my 31Day Detox experience later this week.

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last weekends date night dinner…. low country shrimp boil and baked apple slices with cinnamon

2. Sorry 5AM, we have divorced and 4AM has taken my heart. I have quite a few more clients at the Y as of recently and dang it has made for some early mornings. I used to think getting up in the 5 o’clock hour was rough but now I have separated from that thought and have become good friends with Miss 4AM! Holy crow I don’t know that I will ever get used to this one!

3. The triathlon team at the Y is up and running for our next 8 week session and this go around I am an official coach and loving it!! The other two coaches are teaching me so much and it really is such a joy to go to each of the practices whether I am leading it or just participating.

4. Speaking of triathlon….Ironman training is in full swing! It definitely keeps me especially busy with my typical 2 workouts a day. Veteran Ironman competitors, any suggestions on finding the balance and fitting it all in? I feel like some days there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished or I am just exhausted. I am hoping as I figure out more of a schedule this will get easier.

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look closely and you will see my new training partner Izzy! she is totally fascinated my by trainer. 

5. Starburst Jelly Beans…get in my tummy!!!! …ahhhh just a few more hours!!! Is anyone else quite as obsessed as I am about these deliciously, fantastic candies?!

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can you sense my excitement?! 

6. Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh half marathon is almost here!!! Dylan and I did our last really long run (14miles) this past weekend and will be in full taper mode come Sunday! I am so excited for this race for a couple reasons…

  • Dylan and I are doing it together….we have already agreed that this race we will do start to finish together unless something catastrophic happens. Those who know me well will understand just how excited I am about this!
  • We are staying with my good friend Kathryn and her hubby in their NEW HOUSE!!! I cannot wait to see her and the new place!!
  • I am going back to Raleigh!!! Need I say more?!

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a couple weekends ago, our 4:30AM 12 mile training run! head lamps and reflectors were a must!

7. I am always hungry. I think this is because I am starting to ramp up the miles in my training and the detox had me eating a lot of fruits and veggies which unfortunately don’t keep you quite as full.

8. Guess who has her first three days off in a row since Christmas….?!!?!? THIS GIRL!!!! This weekend I am taking off Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday!!! I am so ready for the break. I know I will still be training and running around crazy since I do date “the hyper one” as my mom calls him but I am so excited to step away from work for a full 3 days. I think this break will do me well. Plus I will be getting away from Charlotte and will be headed up the mountains with my family and Dylan for Easter weekend where it looks like lots of starburst jelly beans will be had, hikes will be taken, and baseball will be watched.

9. I am loving this warmer weather!! And added bonus Alexie just informed me that so many fun things happen in Charlotte come spring and summer….think concerts at the white water center and baseball games in uptown!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

10. We have had a great couple weekends in the mountains. Three weeks ago just for a day trip and two weekends ago for an entire 24hours! I love getting to spend a little extra time with my family and the hyper one.

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baseball games and mountain hikes with my favorite people

11. I miss blogging. I know I have had my ups and downs with my posting frequency but I really enjoy it so I hope I am able to find more time to get posts up more regularly in the coming weeks and months. Speaking of which….what would you like to see more of on the blog?? Also, fellow bloggers, what is your strategy in a busy week to get a couple posts up?

I guess I will call it quits here….I would love to hear whats been going on with you and what you’d like to see more of on the blog. Be sure if you are a veteran ironman competitor to let me know how you find the balance of life and training. If you are a blogger, what is your strategy for posting frequently when you’re busy. And if you are just as obsessed with Starburst Jelly Beans as I am or if you have a different favorite Easter related candy!

Happy Tuesday Y’all!

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.

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    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!

8 Point Win

Hello Hello!! I hope you are staying warm and off the roads on this cold, yucky, ICY night!! Today’s post is a quick update of what has been going on with me these last couple weeks….

1. SNOW DAY or should I say ICE DAY!!! Today I didn’t go into either of my jobs since the roads were such a mess. This was a super strange concept for me considering it was a Tuesday and not going into either job only happens like 3-4 times a month!!! That being said my first reaction this morning was “….uhhh what do I do today?!” Not to worry though, I did manage to clean the entire apartment top to bottom, run on the treadmill, run the stairs, sign up for another race, cook a pretty awesome dinner, and still sit on the couch for several hours. Pretty productive day for never leaving my building!

My own personal ice skating rink!
My own personal ice skating rink!

2. Speaking of apartment, it is coming together great! My roommate had furnished most of the apartment before I got here but it feels more and more like home to me everyday.

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3. I am still on the Grilled Cheese kick that I talked about yesterday but today I traded out the chicken for a little canned tuna. It was awesome! I wonder what master piece I can pull off tomorrow?!

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4. My race calendar is starting to come together for the year. At this point I am going to be running Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh Half Marathon in April, Beach to Battleship Half Ironman in October, and Ironman Cozumel in November. I am looking to add in 2-3 more races between May and September. Maybe a sprint and an international distance triathlon…not sure yet but I do know I need to find a few more to keep myself motivated all the way to the end of November.

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A little indoor training for today!

5. My car finally has a name!!! I present to you Edna!!! Like the little lady that makes the super hero suits in the movie The Incredibles.

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6. Work is super busy and by super busy I just mean I am working all the time. As a mentioned a few months back, I am working at both Jenny Craig and the Y. I love that I am getting to help people achieve their goals but dang it is hard to find a balance sometimes. I am fighting to keep my Sunday’s free as often as possible but that seems to be getting harder and harder to do each week.

7. Cookie butter and cookie butter ice cream might be my new favorite foods. If you haven’t tried them, stay far far away!! They are almost too good to be true!!

8. Did you catch the “us” and the “we” in the grilled cheese post yesterday?! Since “love” is in the title of the blog I guess it is only fair I share the latest update in that category too…..His name is Dylan and we have been on a few dates now. Two of which were to one of my favorite places in Charlotte, Freedom Park. We went there the last two weekends to either throw the frisbee or shoot hoops. Aside from the park we have gone for ice cream, bowling, cooked each other dinner, and checked out Lake Norman State Park for a little hiking. I’ve had a great time on each of these dates and I am really enjoying getting to know him more and more!!

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Post hike smiles at Lake Norman State Park 🙂

So there you have it, a life update in 8 short points. And incase you couldn’t figure out why I titled this post 8 Point Win, it is because I am extremely happy with the way things are going these days as I adjust to Charlotte living…. basically it feels like I am winning 😉

Have a Great Day 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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Let’s Get the Party Started!

Happy Monday Y’all! I’m sure many of you are headed back to work or school after a nice hiatus through the holidays. I unfortunately did work through the holidays but still managed to squeeze in all the holiday fun I wanted (see yesterday’s post) which has put quite the damper on my typical healthy eating and regular exercise routine. Originally I had planned to kickstart my workouts at the beginning of December after taking a short break to recover from the marathon, as I mentioned in my Offseason Training post. That worked great till about the week of Christmas…. So here I am, ready to kick off the new year with a new training program but this time with a new goal.

This new goal is something I have wanted to accomplish for a long time. And I especially wanted to accomplish before turning 25. So this is the year. I am training for my first ever FULL IRONMAN!!! Thats right, that 140.6mile race consisting of a 2.4mile swim, 112mile bike, and 26.2mile run. I signed up over Christmas (Merry Christmas to me) to compete in Ironman Cozumel November 29th, 2015. And you might ask why before 25, well the answer is simple. 25 is when I move into the big girls league. Racing at 24, my age group is still small and tends to be a little less competitive but come 25 and beyond, the numbers and the competition greatly increase.

So now comes the hard part…training. How in the world do you train for a race this long? How long do you train for this? Should I complete all the distances before going into that day? Should I do a half iron as a warm up for this race? The questions go on and on. So for now, although as I talk to more people this may change, I am going to start my training now. I have found a 36week program online from Trifuel (anyone used it before??) that has gotten good reviews from others who have used it before with the only caveat to add a little extra distance to the long runs. I know 36weeks puts me starting the week of March 23rd so in the time leading up to then, I am going to work on building a base. I plan to pick a half marathon to do in the month of March as kind of my season opener so I will train for that plus adding in some miles on the bike and in the pool as cross-training. However, up till March, my main focus will the half marathon and strength training.

And since training for an Ironman is soooo many grueling hours, I figured why not reward myself?! I have created a jar that I will be putting a dollar in for every workout that I do leading up to the race. That way, when the race is all said and done at the end of November and I am an IRONMAN, I will be able to treat myself to something nice. Not sure what it will be yet but once I figure it out I will let you know.

So there you have it, my 2015 goal. What are your goals for 2015? Please share in the comments below.

LET’S GET THIS training PARTY STARTED!!! 
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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: 3

Hey Couch to 5K-ers!! How are ya’ll feeling? You are almost done with your first week of training. Did you have any confusion? Did you stick with it all week? I hope your first week has been great and you’re ready to accomplish your first continuous mile tomorrow. Incase you are just tuning in, feel free to jump on board to completing your first ever 5k. Check out the warm-up week and week one to get caught up.

Week 2 will bump things up a notch but still you are only committing yourself to about 2hours the entire week. I know you can do it!

So who is committed to week 2 of training?!