Running Gun Blues

I'm just an individual who doesn't feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I'm working for me. - David Bowie

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Starting Over

Starting over wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Got on the elliptical and busted out 2.25 miles in 30 minutes. Did a variation on my usual intervals: 5 min. warmup; 2 min run, 3 min cardio walk (4 times); 5 min cool down.

I honestly probably could have pushed a little harder on the first runs but didn’t want to overextend myself. All in all, a pretty good workout.

I may look awful, but I’m feeling pretty proud of myself at the moment.

Filed under workout running

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Cardio + Strength Training

Today was a big day. Since I was traveling over the weekend and not able to workout like I would’ve liked, I decided to double up and do some cardio and strength training today. After stretching out this morning I did some mat strength training at home.

  • Pushups (2 x 15 Reps)
  • Lying Tricep Lifts (2 x 15 Reps)
  • Lying Leg Curls (4 x 15 Reps/2 sets per side)
  • Back Extension (2 x 15 Reps)
  • Lying Double Leg Lifts (2 x 15 Reps)
  • Lying Single Leg Lifts (4 x 15 Reps/ 2 sets per leg)
  • Bicycle Crunches (2 x 15 Reps)

The pushups and tricep lifts were definitely hard, but I think I could have added a little weight to the tricep lifts. I had to be very careful with the back extensions because I’ve hurt my back during those before, but so far I’m feeling OK. The crunches were way harder than they should’ve been. Ugh, so out of shape.

After stretching a bit, I hopped in the car and drove to the gym to get in my cardio. I still hate the gym, but something in my head has clicked and it just works for me. I can get on the elliptical and just zone out to my podcast that takes me through my workout.

  • Brisk 5 min. warmup walk
  • Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
  • Five-minute cool down walk.

My walk pace hovered around 4.5 and my jogging pace hovered around 5.2. I went a total distance of 2.1 and, according to the machine, burned a total of 398 calories. My body is definitely feeling it right now, but it feels good.

Filed under exercise elliptical couch to 5k

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Friday Was Arm Day

I’m a bit behind in posting this, but I did some strength training on Friday, so here are the arm exercises I did:

  • Bicep Curls (12 Reps @ 3 lbs.; 10 Reps @ 5 lbs.; 8 Reps @ 10lbs.; 24 Reps @ 3 lbs.)
  • Tricep Extensions (12 Reps @ 3 lbs.; 10 Reps @ 5 lbs.; 8 Reps @ 10 lbs.; 24 Reps @ 3 lbs.)
  • Close Arm Wall Pushups (2 x 15 Reps)
  • Two-Part Pushups (2 x 15 Reps)
  • Reverse Plank (2 x 30 sec.)
  • Plank (2 x 30 sec.)

I’m honestly ashamed at how hard it was for me to get through these. Especially the planks and the pushups. I definitely need to work on my upper body more.

I was in Cleveland over the weekend, so other than slogging through snow, I didn’t get much of a workout. I’ll be back in the gym tomorrow and doubling up with cardio and strength training.

Filed under exercise bicep curls tricep extensions pushups plank gym

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aneasyworld asked: I just started the couch to 5k programme again after not running for a year during my pregnancy and the first few months with my baby. Follow me for support if you like. I'm loving getting my trainers on again and I agree how it's never as hard as you think it's going to be and you're always left looking forwards to the next run. Good luck x

Thanks for the encouragement. I’m excited to be starting this new chapter and actually enjoying it instead of just going through the motions.

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2012 = Starting Over

This year is bringing a lot of changes. I quit my job and decided to take control of my life. I spent the last 2 days resting and organizing things and decided to try going to the gym one more time before I cancelled my gym membership.

Now, let me give a little backstory. I always HATED going to the gym. Being a 5’8” redhead that weighs over 250 pounds and sports a G cup, I always feel very conspicuous in a gym. Like I obviously don’t belong there. I’m not attractive when I work out. My hair gets super frizzy, my face gets super red and there’s a lot of jiggling. Because let’s face it, when you’re a G cup, a sports bra would have to be made out of iron to keep these babies from shaking like an earthquake.

Today I went in and pulled up Week 1 of my Couch to 5K podcast, expecting to huff and puff and slog my way through it like a usually do, but for whatever reason, today was different. I climbed onto the elliptical and things just clicked. I was enjoying the movements. I was enjoying feeling my muscles move and stretch. It took a few minutes to find my rhythm, but I eventually settled into a good pace. My brisk walk hovered around 3.7-4 and my 60 second “running” intervals averaged 4.7-5. It honestly wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I expected to cough and struggle my way through, but this pace just worked. My heartrate was where it needed to be, I could still breathe OK and I only had to pause for a gulp of water once. I made it a total distance of 2.0 miles in 30 minutes, but honestly, I’m less concerned with distance and just making sure I’m breathing well and using a good form. I can definitely tell I worked out. Especially in my core. Concentrating on my form turned this into a completely different workout.

So, short story long, I will not be cancelling my membership and I’m actually excited to go back. I really want to go back tomorrow, but know that I shouldn’t push it. I think I’ll look up Yoga classes for the rest of the week and start going to those while I have the time.

Filed under workout exercise elliptical couch to 5k

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Day 7 - Yay! Workout Buddy!

I found out that a friend had a LA Fitness membership and was willing to meet up and workout together, so I met her after work today for some strength training! C is getting married in a few months, so she’s wanting to get even sexier for her big day, and I’m more than willing to work out with someone with real motivation, hoping that it’ll rub off on me.

We got there right at the busiest time, so we were a little limited in machines since we didn’t want to wait around a long time, but we got a lot accomplished. Here are all of the machines that I did. I did progressive sets at increasing weight. These are in no particular order:

  • Seated Chest Press Machine - 12 Reps @ 45 lbs, 10 Reps @ 50 lbs, 8 Reps @ 55 lbs, 24 Reps @ 45 lbs
  • Seated Lat Pulldown Maching - 12 Reps @ 30 lbs, 10 Reps @ 35 lbs, 8 Reps @ 40 lbs, 24 Reps @ 30 lbs
  • Seated Overhead Press Machine - 12 Reps @ 20 lbs, 10 Reps @ 25 lbs, 8 Reps @ 30 lbs, 24 Reps @ 20 lbs
  • Seated Hip Abduction Machine - 12 Reps @ 40 lbs, 10 Reps @ 50 lbs, 8 Reps @ 60 lbs, 24 Reps @ 40 lbs
  • Seated Hip Adduction Machine - 12 Reps @ 40 lbs, 10 Reps @ 50 lbs, 8 Reps @ 60 lbs, 24 Reps @ 40 lbs
  • Seated Back Extension Machine - 12 Reps @ 30 lbs, 10 Reps @ 40 lbs, 8 Reps @ 50 lbs, 24 Reps @ 30 lbs
  • Seated Tricep Extension Machine - 12 Reps @ 10 lbs, 10 Reps @ 15 lbs, 8 Reps @ 20 lbs, 24 Reps @ 10 lbs
  • Crunches - 2 Sets of 20 Reps
  • STRETCH!!!

By the end of it I was definitely feeling it, but it was so nice having C there to talk too. We were having to take turns on most of the machines, so I had plenty of rest/recharge time between machines. We finished with the crunches on the mat and by the end we were both pretty tired, but feeling good about ourselves. I had a really hard time at the Target later when I was trying to lift the new carpet and such that I bought tonight. I bet I’ll really feel it tomorrow! I’m taking tomorrow off because I have a lot of things going on tomorrow (haircut, concert, etc) so I will return on Wednesday when I start Week 2 of the Couch to 5K program! Woohoo!

Filed under exercise gym Arm Day LA Fitness

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Day 6 - Finished Week 1 of Couch to 5K!

I’m proud of my milestone today! I’ve gone through week 1 of the Couch to 5K podcast from Robert Ullrey! Yay!I was up really late last night, so it took me a while to get moving, but after a quick breakfast of cereal and a banana, I finally got motivated enough to make it to the gym and hop on one of the elliptical machines.

  • Brisk five-minute warm-up walk.
  • Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
  • Five-minute cool down walk.

I kicked it up a notch today since it was the last workout of the week and the last 2 had gone rather well. My brisk walk pace averaged 4.5-5 and my running pace averaged 5.5-6! It was definitely harder and I had to concentrate a lot more on my form and breathing to keep my pace steady, but I think I did OK. I wasn’t as stiff as I thought I would be, so it was a lot easier to get started. By the time the last run came around I was definitely ready for it to be over, but I pushed and did a 60 minute sprint that averaged around 6.7-7. My five minute cool down was welcome and also fairly uneventful. After I stretched out I was definitely ready to go home and shower. (I hate showering at the gym.)

Most people get that endorphin rush after working out, but I get cranky. I’m hot, sweaty, feel disgusting, feel about as far from sexy as I could possibly be and am generally frustrated at being the fat girl at the gym. I always come out of a workout feeling awful about myself and the fact that I am so out of shape. I know it’s all mental, and I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but I do. I usually don’t start feeling the positive glow from the workout until at least after I shower and have been able to reset my mind a little. It’s my own f-ed up brain, and I know I should move past it, but it’s easier said then done. I’m hoping that if I can actually stick with this long enough I’ll beyond the post-workout pathos and get to a point where I can just be happy that I’m making myself do it. That’s why I usually wait until at least an hour or two before I write these blogs so that I don’t just fill the page up with expletives.

Filed under Couch To 5K Elliptical

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Day 5 - Dumbbell Strength Training

Got my butt off the couch and did a quick dumbbell workout from SparkPeople.com I even got Molly to join me since I have multiple sets of dumbbells. I started with the 5 lb weights and here are the exercises we covered today.

  • Dumbbell Squat with Calf Raise and Overhead Press (2 Sets of 12 Reps)
  • Alternating Dumbbell Bicep Curls (2 Sets of 12 Reps/Each Arm)
  • Seated Dumbbell Tricep Extensions (2 Sets of 12 Reps)
  • Dumbbell Chest Press (2 Sets of 12 Reps)
  • Dumbbell Crunches (2 Sets of 12 Reps)

Overall, these went very well. My muscles were getting a little tired by the end of each exercise, but the only one I was really struggling on at the end were the Tricep Extensions (not surprisingly.) After stretching, I can still feel a little soreness in my chest and triceps, but nothing a good shower won’t cure. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow and see if I can maybe add a few more reps to each set or something. It’s always fun to work out to the American Idiot musical soundtrack and it does go ever so much faster when you have someone counting and giggling along with you, because we both looked quite silly. Depending on how I feel tomorrow, I may try to do some core strengthening before/after my cardio. I think that’s really where I need the strengthening the most so that my form can be better all around on everything else I do. I miss the core that I had when I was dancing and horse-back riding constantly. I didn’t realize just how badass I was back then….sigh….

Filed under Exercise Dumbbells Spark People American Idiot

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Days 3 & 4 - A Slight Setback & Pushing Through

I had every intention of going to the gym after work on Thursday, but I woke up with a stiff and achy knee. I packed my gym stuff hoping it would feel better over the course of the day, but those hopes were dashed as I kept bashing it into things including my chair, desk drawers, and refrigerator doors. By the end of the day at work I realized that I probably shouldn’t push it, so I decided not to go to the gym. I went home, rested a bit and then Molly and i headed up to the East Point Corner Tavern for dinner (we had won a gift certificate at trivia on Tuesday!) I was good and got a grilled chicken salad with balsamic vinaigrette. After some food and friends we made it home in time to watch the new episode of Bones!

Cut to today and my knee was much happier. It is still sensitive to the touch from the fall last Saturday, but there’s no swelling and no discoloration that I can tell, so I’ll just have to keep from banging it up more. I made it through my day at work and even managed to leave a little earlier than usual, making it that much easier to get an Elliptical machine at the gym. I stretched and hopped on ready to do my second Couch to 5K run.

  • Brisk five-minute warm-up walk.
  • Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
  • Five-minute cool down walk.

I noticed that I was a bit stiffer than usual when I was stretching and doing my warm-up walk, and it pretty much continued through the entire workout. I was a little dissappointed because I wasn’t able to quite match the pace I had set in my first one, but I chalk it up to my body reacting to all of this new stuff that I’m putting it through and I’m hoping that it will eventually adjust. I was able to average around 3.5 on my walks, and my jogs stayed pretty much around 4.7. I was able to pick it up on the last interval, averaging around 6 for the entire 60 seconds. (It may not seem that long, but that last interval seems twice as long as all of the others, trust me!) According to the elliptical I didn’t cover quite as much distance as I did on Tuesday, but with the stiffness I felt, I’m not surprised.

The food thing seems to be where I’m struggling the most. While I eat more veggies than most people I know, it’s amazing where those calories and fats sneak in. A cookie here. A free piece of cake there. My office is the worst, constantly handing us free food that isn’t really very healthy. I managed to stock my cubicle with reasonably healthy snacks (light string cheese, trail mix, granola bars, etc) but it’s taking a lot of will power to say no all of the tasty treats that abound. I’m also trying to make smarter choices when I go out to eat. I went to Ruby Tuesday’s with my coworkers today and took a gamble and tried something on the menu that I’ve never had before. Herb-crusted Tilapia. It was actually pretty good. I know that certain types of fish are a good source of protein so I thought I’d try it and see if I liked it. I actually quite enjoyed it. With steamed broccoli and the mashed potatoes, it was about 856 calories. It was a little higher in fat that I would have liked, but I think if I sub the mashed potatoes with another vegetable next time, I think I can cut that down. I found a handy website that has a searchable database of foods and even dishes and a lot of restaurants: www.calorieking.com

I kind of hate myself for obsessing over all of these numbers and calories and blah, blah, blah, but apparently I’m one of those people that will have to think about this crap in order to see any results. I’m just tired of being the fat girl. Granted, I’m a smokin hot fat girl, but I’m still the fat girl. Maybe it’s just me projecting, but I’m tired of being that awesome girl that no one will date because they’re not comfortable being the one dating the fat girl. I’m not trying to get healthy to get a date. I’m doing this for myself. I want to actually have the confidence that I manage to fake my way through. I want to walk into a room knowing that I’m one of the hottest people there, and not just the hottest fat girl. I miss being able to swing dance all night and ride horses all day. In some ways maybe I’m rebelling at turning 30 and I’m trying to reclaim my youth by getting healthier so that I can do the stuff that I used to do as a teenager. Whatever, for at least the next 9 weeks, I’ll be writing about this journey and see where it gets me.

Filed under Couch Potato to 5K Elliptical Calorie King