Weekly Workout Recap 2/13-2/19

So I can quickly summarize this recap in one word: Jazzercise. If you want a little more detail, keep reading.

Monday-Rest

This was the night I barely slept, so I chose an extra hour and a half of sleep over the 5:30 am class.

Tuesday-Jazzercise

I attended a great Fusion class (alternating cardio and strength). 35 Day Challenge: 13/30

Wednesday-Jazzercise

I felt like a little butt-kicking so I put together a pretty tough top of the curve. Now that I’m not running, I decided my legs could use a good workout, so I threw in some tough leg routines too. 35 Day Challenge: 14/30

Thursday-Jazzercise

After not sleeping again (this insomnia thing is not fun) and then bombing a test, I needed something to cheer me up. Jazzercise with one of my favorite instructors fit the bill. 35 Day Challenge: 15/30

Friday-Jazzercise

I taught my same set as Wednesday and I think my legs died a little, especially after class the night before. 35 Day Challenge: 16/30

Saturday-Jazzercise & Strength45

I wasn’t as cranky when I put this strength set together, so I don’t think it was quite as hard as last week. My biceps were feeling it the next day though! 35 Day Challenge: 17 & 18/30

Sunday-Jazzercise & Strength 45

Surprise! I got to teach these two again when no one else was able to cover these. I did an old strength set to avoid working the same muscles in the exact same way two days in a row (especially because there are several people doing the two strength classes for the challenge) but I’m still super sore. 35 Day Challenge: 19 & 20/30

Two-thirds of the way done with the challenge! I’m planning to teach or attend class all this week. Then next week I’m going to transition to more strength training while finishing the challenge.

 

Stepping Back to Breathe

So last week I bragged about how well I was doing this semester working towards my goals. I try to be as honest as possible here but fell into the lure of painting a perfect picture on social media. In reality I’m a stressed-out mess right now.

The other night, I couldn’t sleep. I laid in bed all night trying to calm my racing mind. I couldn’t do it and got more and more worked up as the hours passed; I think I ended up with about two hours of sleep. It was a wakeup call (no pun intended).

I can’t do it all. And I need to accept that’s okay.

I do have big goals I want to achieve but I can’t let tomorrow’s dreams take away today’s peace. I know I’m in for a tough couple of years with school but life is too important to not enjoy it now.

So I’m refocusing and reprioritizing.

This post was originally supposed to be about training for a half marathon while doing the 35 Day Challenge at Jazzercise. I’ve decided to drop back from the half to the 5k. It’s a half I want to do someday but this year isn’t right for it. Cutting out running and just doing Jazzercise classes for the challenge will help immensely.

The only other area I can really cut back on right now is this blog. I love blogging and plan to continue, but I’ll probably go back to posting only three times a week, maybe less depending on how much I have going on that week.

My plate will still be full with school, Jazzercise, PT, nannying, and Girls on the Run starting soon (I think searching for new coaches is what trigged the anxiety attack the other night). However, I’m hoping that giving myself permission to not do everything and know that what I am doing is enough will allow me to breathe.

Fitness Bucket List

Two weeks ago week I shared races that are on my running bucket list. You guys know I do more than run, so I thought I’d share my general fitness bucket list this week!

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With Young @ a Jazzercise convention-one bucket list item done!

1. Attend Jazzercise classes at the Carlsbad and Oceanside Centers-These are the center of all things Jazzercise! Corporate is based out of here and the president, vice president, and taping team members (all of whom are like celebrities in the Jazzercise world) actually teach classes here. I’d love to take a class from Shanna and Young (the picture above is from a huge convention; I want to take a actual classes in California).

2. Attend a yoga class with Erin Motz-You guys know I love Bad Yogi. The style of the classes are my favorite kind of yoga and I really enjoy Erin’s teaching style. I received an email a few weeks ago that she would be holding a live class in the U.S. (she lives in France). It’s in New Jersey, so obviously not an option, but it made me think how much I would enjoy taking a live class from her.

3. Hike Gray’s & Torrey’s-For those of you outside Colorado, Gray’s and Torrey’s are 14ers. They have a saddleback connecting them, so it’s possible to hike over it from one peak to another, thus conquering two 14er’s in one day. I’ve actually hiked Gray’s twice but have never made it over to Torrey’s. Both times, my hiking group set out with the intention of doing both if we could. The first time, my hiking partner didn’t even make to the summit of Gray’s, so Torrey’s was obviously out of the question. The second time, we were struggling a bit and decided not to push for it. I know I’m capable of doing both and I will someday.

4. Run a marathon-Obviously, since I have marathons on my Race Bucket List. But I thought I’d call it out here too because I think it’s a pretty big deal.

That’s all I have! I didn’t realize how short my fitness bucket list is. These should all, hopefully, be fairly easily accomplished.

Any suggestions I should add? What’s on your fitness bucket list? 

 

Snacks

Let’s talk about snacking. I know there are different opinions about snacking; I personally believe that you should eat when you’re hungry and that snacking is a good way to keep yourself from getting “hangry” (anyone else super guilty of that?). For me, snacks need to be quick and simple, much like post is going to be because I need to get to class!

Some of my favorite snacks:

  1. Apples/Fruit-Can’t get much simpler than an apple. Wash it and throw it in a bag to go. Or if I’m at home, I like to add some peanut butter to it. Occasionally I’ll mix it up with a different piece of fruit, like an orange or berries.
  2. String cheese and whole wheat crackers-A perfect combo of protein and fat to keep me satisfied and some carbs for energy.
  3. Hummus with veggies-This is one of my favorite ways to sneak some extra veggies in for the day. Favorites include sliced bell pepper, cucumber, and baby carrots.
  4. Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana-When I’m home and need something a little more substantial, this is my go-to.
  5. Snack bars-These are the easiest option to pack for a long day on campus. All snack bars aren’t created equally though so be sure to check the nutrition label and ingredients. KIND bars and Lara bars are my favorites thanks to the simple ingredient lists and low price tags.

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And I’m off! Tell me some of your favorite snacks below!

 

Super Bowl 5k

Even though I didn’t care much about either team playing in the Super Bowl, go to a party, or have any special food or drink, I did have one special Super Bowl event: the Super Bowl 5k, race #3 out of 5 in the RunDenver series.

After some terrible weather in the days leading up to the run, I was thrilled when race day turned out to be a gorgeous day, perfect for running.

The race was in Washington Park again and we timed it perfectly for parking, packet pickup, and pictures.

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The race gave us gloves for our swag and they’re super soft. We watched the kid’s fun run and then lined up to start.

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I don’t want to complain but I do have two things I need to say. First, please RunDenver, add some kind of signs to show people where to line up at the start. It’s a mess and unsafe to have people at the front walking from the beginning. Second, Denver City Lacrosse (or something like that) joined the 5k which meant there were teenagers everywhere. Unfortunately, I felt like the race wasn’t big enough to comfortably accommodate them and some of them didn’t have the best manners. I was furious when one of them almost knocked me over while his friends laughed. Are manners not taught anymore? I really think they should have had their own race and not been put into this one.

Anyway, other than that, I had a good run. Going into it, I decided I actually wanted to race and push myself, something I haven’t done in awhile. It was tough but I did my best to stay mentally strong. A few of the things I told myself:

“It’s supposed to be hard.”-This is something I found myself telling my class a lot that week and it was a good reminder for myself.

“This is not the hardest thing I’ve done.”-Thinking about everything I’ve been through the past couple months reminded me that I am strong, strong enough to keep pushing.

“Think of Gram.”-Thinking of my grandma going through her treatment and remembering that I was running for Stand Up for Cancer through Charity Miles gave me the extra motivation to dig deep.

I finished in 28:44, a time I’m absolutely thrilled with right now! I’ve been doing a lot of easy runs lately and it felt good to challenge myself. I am a little discouraged that it felt so hard and is still 2 minutes off my PR but I know I can get back there.

My parents and I collected our goodies (bagels, yogurt, KIND bars) at the end and treated ourselves to Caribou Coffee and Big City Burrito (yum!) before heading home.

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Also, happy Valentine’s Day! Hope everyone gets to enjoy some love and chocolate today!

What do you tell yourself during a tough run? 

Weekly Workout Recap (2/6-2/12)

Another very long week. I did well with the 35 Day Challenge at Jazzercise but wasn’t able to fit much else in. Let’s recap, shall we?

Monday-Jazzercise

Being on campus all day meant the only class I could guarantee I’d make it to was the 5:30am. When my alarm went off at 4:45, I questioned my sanity for participating in this challenge. It was a great class though with our newest instructor and like always, I was glad I went. 35 Day Challenge: 7/30

Tuesday-Rest

Rest days are important (see why here), so I’m trying to make sure I get one in a week.

Wednesday-Jazzercise

Not loving the set I taught. It was kind of a last minute throw-together one. Homework is taking over my life! 35 Day Challenge: 8/30

Thursday-Jazzercise

Thursday was Jazzercise as a student, not an instructor. I used to go to this instructor before I was an instructor 5 years ago! I still love her class; she has the best sense of humor and I spent the whole time laughing. I didn’t love that we had the same leg routine in-ouch! 35 Day Challenge: 9/30

Friday-Jazzercise & 1 mile run

I liked my set a little more but still no love. 35 Day Challenge: 10/30

When it’s 70 degrees in Colorado in February, you run. I didn’t have a lot of time but I did manage to sneak 1 mile in between PT sessions.

Saturday-Jazzercise & Strength45

Confession: I woke up early to put my strength set together and was super cranky. So I deliberately made it tough. I shouldn’t be allowed to put sets together before I finish my first cup of coffee. But tough sets make us stronger! 35 Day Challenge: 11 & 12/30.

Sunday-Valentine’s Day 5k

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A fun 5k to close out the week.

And just like that, I’m almost halfway through the 35 Day Challenge! To be perfectly honest, my legs are sore and I’m tired. But if it was easy, it wouldn’t be called a challenge. The cute tank top at the end is worth it.

2017 Miles: 44.9

Charity Miles: 44.28

Walk for a Dog Miles: 9.15 (14 walks)

School, Goals, and Life

I’m so glad it’s Friday. These past couple weeks have felt like the longest weeks ever. Anyway, I thought I’d check in and share how the year and the semester have been going so far.

To be perfectly honest, this is a really tough semester. Theoretically I knew that going into it but I didn’t realize just how time-consuming all of my classes would be until I started. As a reminder, here are the classes I’m taking this semester. The material is difficult and the assignments and lectures all take a considerable amount of time.

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This is how I spend most of my time these days. I told Ryan I feel like I make the study my little nest because I’ll spend hours at a time in there and by the time I’m finished, there’s coffee cups and food remnants all over.

When I’m not holed up in the study, I’m on campus taking class, working on a group project, or studying at a nearby coffee shop, at Jazzercise for class or a PT session, nannying, or at a meeting with a person or for a club.

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My caffeine consumption may be at an all-time high but I’m currently crushing my goals (here and here). I’ve done informational interviews with two RDs and have an appointment with another at the end of the month. I’m joining a committee for a club and have a lead on a way to gain more nutrition volunteer experience. I now have three PT clients, one of whom has already signed up for more sessions. I’ve blogged five days a week for a month now and have had a couple great days with views thanks to some Facebook shares. I’ve done a Spanish lesson on Duolingo and spent a few minutes with my devotional every day. I’ve even managed to cutback on Starbucks (my coffeemaker and I are now best friends).

It’s a stressful semester for sure and I’m trying to balance a lot. My planner is basically my lifeline right now.

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I practice what I preach and scheduled all my workouts in advance this week. That and meal planning have really helped me stay on track with fitness and nutrition. I’m also trying to get at least 8 hours of sleep at night; since I’ve been waking up earlier to get an earlier start on my day, that means cutting out some Netflix before bed. Another priority has been finishing schoolwork before Ryan gets home so we’re able to spend time together.

The next couple of years are going to require a lot of dedication and focus but everyday brings me one step closer to my goal.

Dressing for Winter Running

Running in the winter can be a challenge for many reasons: longer hours of darkness, freezing temperatures, snowstorms, icy trails, etc. It can be tempting to say forget it and hibernate for the winter. After all, Netflix, a blanket, and hot chocolate always sounds good on a cold day.

Except 99% of the time, you’ll feel better after a run and hot chocolate is more enjoyable after a run. I can’t help with the darkness or ice but I can give some tips on how to dress for winter running.

If you’re dressed right, winter running can actually be enjoyable, especially when you have the trail to yourself. I believe the key to dressing right is to invest in a few quality pieces that you can layer. I know it can be expensive at first but I still regularly wear my running tops I bought 5 years ago.

I follow and recommend the advice to dress 20 degrees warmer than the temperature. You warm up once you start running and I’d rather be cold at the beginning than hot at the end. Also, take the sun into account. If it’s shining you’ll warm up more and faster than if it’s overcast; adjust your layers accordingly.

40-50 degrees: Lighter top, capris or tights

30-40 degrees: Warm base layer top, running tights, headband, gloves

20-30 degrees: Warm outer layer top OR warm base layer top with lighter top layered, running tights, tall socks (to keep your ankles warm), headband or hat, gloves

10-20 degrees: Warm base layer, warm outer layer, running tights, looser pants layered on top, extra pair of socks, hat, gloves, buff/bammie

Under 10 degrees: Warm base layer, warm outer layer, lighter top, running tights, second pair of pants, tall socks, hat, gloves, buff/bammie

With less than 10 pieces, you’re set to run in any cold weather.

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Here are some of my different examples:

Scenario 1: 33 degreesIMG_3315

 

I’m wearing a ColdGear top, running tights, gloves, and headband. It was cold at the start but perfect once I started running.

Scenario 2: Right around 20 degrees

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I’m wearing a ColdGear top (similar to the one above), lighter weight pullover, running tights, tall compression socks (under the tights), hat, gloves, and bammie. I probably could have gone without the bammie but wasn’t sure how much the sun would warm up.

Scenario 3: 12 degrees

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I’m wearing a ColdGear top (same as above) underneath a ProWarm turtleneck (I count this as my warm outer layer because it’s super thick), running tights, a second pair of pants, hat, gloves, and extra socks. I don’t wear a bammie with this top because the turtleneck effectively doubles as one.

Again, for winter gear, I can’t emphasize quality over quantity enough. Even if it seems expensive at first, quality running gear lasts a long time. I bought the orange turtleneck, running tights, and pink headband for my first Turkey Trot in 2012. The purple ColdGear top and white pullover came the next year. The hats and bammies are all from races. Invest in a few pieces specialized for cold running and you’ll be set! That hot chocolate will taste amazing when you’re done 😉

What’s the coldest weather you’ll run in? 

Dad’s Treadmill Workout

I’ve got a treat for you guys today-a guest post from my dad!

My dad was a track star in high school and can still run a pretty impressive 5k. One of my longtime, fitness goals is to beat him a race!

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With his “Champion” glass after winning his age group

He’s here to share a treadmill workout that will hopefully make your treadmill workout a little more bearable!

Well, change of plans. He’s being difficult about writing, so I’m quoting him instead.

“If you fixate on the distance on the treadmill, it feels like it takes forever to get anywhere. So I try to distract myself from watching the distance numbers. Here are two workouts that go off music instead.

#1 For a specific distance

Pick a distance goal. I’ll use four miles.

PIck a pace. I’ll use 8:30 per mile, about 7.1 on the treadmill, for an approximate total of 34 minutes. I know at that pace a mile is approximately three songs (probably a little bit less but I round up). I put my running playlist on shuffle and run for nine songs before looking at my distance. If some longer songs have played, I’ll be pretty close to my distance goal. Using something different than the time or distance to measure how my run makes the workout go faster.

#2 Pace/Speed-I actually like this one better.

Pick a good starting pace, something that is a little challenging but one that you can maintain for a distance.

Start out at this pace for two songs.

When the third song starts, kick up the speed. I like to go by two, ie 7.1 to 7.3.

Do two songs at this pace.

When the fifth song starts, bump the pace again by your chosen amount.

Do two more songs at this pace.

After the sixth song is done, check your distance. Now I choose how much farther I want to  go; I usually plan to finish right at 3.1 miles.  Now keep kicking the speed up every .1 or even .05 of a mile.  It really has you out of your comfort zone speed wise at the end..

I based both of mine off an 8:30 pace. On the second workout I try to get the last .1 or .05 down at a 7:00 pace.”

So there you have it from my dad. If you’re a little bit slower like me, keep reading to see how I adjusted this workout for my fitness level.

The other week I knew I wanted to run 4 miles and am comfortable around a 10 minute pace, meaning I’d be running for 40 minutes. I made a playlist with 12 songs for a total right around 40 minutes; all the songs were favorites to run to in case they ended up towards the end of the run. I hit shuffle and started at 5.5mph. At the end of each song I bumped up the speed, so that I finished at 6.7mph. It made it interesting to guess what song was coming next and hope that it wasn’t a long one when I got towards the end. The longest one actually was at 6.6, which made it a challenge. Because I wasn’t running the same speed or watching the distance the entire time, it made 4 miles seem to go a lot faster.

Next time you’re stuck on the treadmill, cover the distance, put your playlist on shuffle, and run to the next song. Then run a little faster and run till the next. It’s a fun way to make the treadmill a little less miserable.

 

Social Media & Healthy Eating

I love nutrition. So much so that I’m spending thousands of dollars and years of my life working to get a nutrition degree, just so I can talk to and help others with their nutrition.

Because of this, I follow a lot of nutrition/food accounts on social media. They can be a great source of information and inspiration. However, they can also be very intimidating.

Here’s pictures of the twenty acai bowls I eat every day of the week.

Here’s my meal made with ghee, nutritional yeast, collagen, spirulina, and unicorn tears.

Here are my homegrown, organic vegetables with organic, cage-free eggs, and organic, grass-fed beef that’s been raised in Cow Utopia.

Obviously I’m exaggerating but do you get the point I’m trying to make? Nutrition has become a field of oneupmanship. How many superfoods can you put in one meal? How many food trends can you follow and perpetuate? How clean can you eat?

It’s enough to make a person crazy. After scrolling Instagram and being bombarded with posts each trying to be “healthier” and “fancier” than the last, it’s enough to make me want to give up and go to McDonalds. I can’t afford organic fruits and vegetables all the time; I definitely can’t afford acai bowls. I don’t even know what spirulina is.

If it makes me, a nutrition nerd, feel this way, what does it do to the average person just trying to eat a little better?

There are so many simple, inexpensive options for nutritious food. If organic vegetables or cage-free eggs are too expensive for your budget, it’s okay to eat the conventionally grown options. Even if your day doesn’t include any trendy, superfoods, your diet can still be healthy, I promise.

And that right there is what I hope to show with my blog: eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

Do you ever compare your eating to social media or trends and feel like your healthy choices aren’t enough?