Tag Archives: running

Friday Fitness Diary: Some Goals are Made to Be… Flexible

On Tuesday I talked about some of the ab exercises I do, some of which I mention in this post.

Last week I mentioned four goals I wanted to accomplish this week. They were:

  • Go to the gym two times outside of boot camp; include abs, arms, push-ups/sit-ups and cardio
  • Attend one group exercise class outside of boot camp
  • Do push-up and sit-up sets Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday
  • Incorporate a plank exercise and “bicycles” into my abs routine

Saturday I let myself sleep in, but once I got up and synced my iPod with some new songs, I went immediately to the gym. I did ab work (including the plank and the bicycles), strength training for my arms, my push-up and sit-up sets and also spent 15 minutes on the elliptical. I was really tired when I was done, but I got through my entire workout checklist. One thing I realized was that if I want to really do good push-ups, I need to do them at the beginning of the workout. I can often do 10 if my arms aren’t tired, but because I did them after I’d worked out for 45 minutes, I could only pump them out 6 reps at a time. Total time: 65 minutes.

Monday morning I didn’t make it to boot camp – again. I took a nap Sunday afternoon, which was nice at the time, but I had a hard time falling asleep Sunday night. Going to boot camp then work on five hours of sleep was not exactly my idea of a good day. Instead, when I got home, my sister Dayna (14 years old) and I went for a 30 minute run/walk. She is wanting to run track and cross country next year and so she’s starting running from scratch, so I told her I’d go with her if it would help her be motivated. After we got back, I did my ab exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, plank, and bicycles). Total time: 45 minutes.

Tuesday Dayna was motivated again to run, so we went on another 30-ish minute run/walk together. We ran about half the time. When we got back, I did my abs workout again. Total time: 50 minutes.

I actually got up Wednesday morning for boot camp! I got a pretty good night’s sleep, and I was glad I went. It was a running day and I was really feeling it, so it wasn’t hard at all. I felt great when it was over. Total time: 60 minutes.

Thursday I went for another run/walk with Dayna. Her legs were sore so she headed home after we were about 15 minutes out, but I turned around and went away from our neighborhood. I ran up to the middle school near our house. They have a bus circle that I’m guessing is around 1/7 of a mile. I decided to run some intervals. I only did two, but it was a workout. My fastest time was 1:37. I want to break a minute. After that, I ran back home (a little more than a mile). What with the walking with Dayna, the walking up and down our neighborhood before and after the run and a cooldown walk after the intervals, I spent about an hour outside. I didn’t do any ab exercises when I got home, but I was exhausted. Total time: 60 minutes.

Well, how did I do on my goals? First of all, I spent 280 minutes exercising this week. This is much better than last week. I only went to the gym once outside of boot camp, but in all, I exercised four times outside of going to boot camp, which I think more than makes up for not doing my workout at the gym. I didn’t attend a group exercise class, but I did run with Dayna three times. She’s one of the best “groups” I know. I did my push-ups and sit-ups Saturday, Monday and Tuesday – good enough. And I incorporated planks and bicycles into my ab routine. Overall, I’m thankful for God’s grace in helping me meet so many of the goals this week.

Now it’s time for next week’s goals. I’m taking it up a notch:

  • Do three workouts in addition to going to boot camp
  • Exercise for a total of 340 minutes
  • Make it to boot camp all three times
  • At least once, do a four-interval workout up at the middle school
  • Run with Dayna at least once
  • Do an ab workout three times outside of boot camp

As always, feel free to leave a comment with your workout experiences from this week!

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Friday Fitness Diary: My Apologies, Boot Camp

I was tempted not to compile a fitness diary this week, because, honestly, there wasn’t much to compile. But typing out these thoughts each week really helps me focus more on choices I’m making, so I want to write even when I haven’t been as successful as I wanted to be.

Last Friday night I went to the gym to do some arms and abs workouts, and I also attended an hourlong pilates class. I felt very underqualified, but it ended up being a good workout (even though I had to do the “modified” version most of the time). I hope to go again at least once next week. Total time: 100 minutes.

That might sound productive, but then Monday happened. Today marked the end of the third week of boot camp, but I didn’t go Monday or Wednesday. Monday was a no-go because even though I got enough sleep, it was the first day of my new job, and I didn’t want to be tired the first day. Oh, how easy it was to switch the alarm from 5 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.! My job went really well Monday and Tuesday, so I planned to go Wednesday. But then I decided at the last minute to go to RUF downtown Tuesday night. I didn’t get into bed until about 11:30 p.m., and waking up in 5.5 hours was just not going to happen.

After work and dinner Monday, I did go to the gym and do the elliptical and some arm/ab work. I hadn’t tried the elliptical in several years and thought I would really dislike it, but I wanted to do cardio and I’m trying to give my shins a break. Surprisingly, I really liked it! It will definitely be something I do again. I wanted to go even longer than I did, but my dad was ready to go home. Total time: 40 minutes.

Wednesday night I had dinner with friends, and Thursday Christian came over right after work to eat dinner with my family, so I didn’t go to the gym either of those days.

This morning I did make it to boot camp, and it was clear that I hadn’t been there all week. I felt like I was lagging everyone else, although I did notice that I was able to do more push-ups than I normally do. Maybe the arm workouts outside of boot camp are really helping! Total time: 60 minutes.

I spent a total of 200 minutes exercising over the course of 7 days. That’s an average of 30 minutes a day, but since I only went to the gym three times, I feel like I could have done a lot better.

I have several goals for next week (that is, between after lunch today and next Friday morning:

  • Go to the gym two times outside of boot camp; include abs, arms, push-ups/sit-ups and cardio
  • Attend one group exercise class outside of boot camp (depending on class, could count for cardio/abs above); I want to do pilates, but I really miss Zumba!
  • Do my push-up and sit-up sets Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday
  • Incorporate a plank exercise and “bicycles” into my abs routine

I hope that setting these goals will help make next week’sfitness diary a little more substantial!

As far as weight loss, I only weighed myself three times since last Friday, so I want to give it another week of consistent weighing before I show you guys my awesome graph.

Fill me in on how you’re doing on your personal fitness. Was it a hard week? A week like mine? Do you feel you’ve reached a plateau?

I really love reading the comments you guys leave. It makes me feel like I’m not alone in trying to be healthy!

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The Basics: Running

Today’s post is doing double duty as I continue to write about the basics and also take part in Works-for-me-Wednesday. If you’re here from Shannon’s blog, thanks for visiting. If you like what you see, please consider subscribing to my feed!

Monday we talked about how to focus on the basics, and yesterday I wrote about spending time with God. Today we’re moving from the spiritual to the physical, because one of the most influential basics in my life is exercise.

I have a T-shirt from a 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) race. It says “New Brookland Lions Club: May 20, 2000.” I wore that short to work out in the other day and was amazed as I considered the fact that I’ve been running – kind of – for more than 8 years. In 2000, I had just finished up eighth grade and was looking ahead to high school. I had hardly run at all, but my mom was going to run in that race and so I had been doing some running with her.

Since then, I’ve run cross country races in high school and a few road races in college (a 5-mile leg of a marathon relay, a 10K in April). And since I started college I’ve gone to the gym fairly regularly.

I go in phases. Sometimes I’m really pumped up about it, especially if I’m training for something specific. Other times I hardly go at all. I’ve rode the exercise rollercoaster many times, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I feel better when I run. It’s amazing what endorphins can do.

I’m not saying that running and exercise is a cure-all. But running fills a lot of different needs. Allow me to elaborate.

Running lets you be alone.
I don’t have kids that I need a break from, but everybody enjoys some peace and quiet. And I’ll bet you that if you’re with a lot of other people (say, with family over the holidays) and you say you’re going to go for a run, no one will offer to join you.

Running gives you time to pray and think.
My mind and heart are always refreshed when I get back from a run. When you don’t have anything else to focus on, your mind tends to wander to what’s heaviest on your heart. Maybe someone you know is sick. My mind often goes to the little girl I sponsor in Peru. Even if you go on a short run, that’s 20-30 minutes or uninterrupted time for you to pray and work through whatever’s on your mind.

Running helps you stay healthy.
Notice that I didn’t say running helps you lose weight. It will do that if you’re paying attention to other factors as well (like your diet), but even if you’re not losing weight, you’re maintaining health by forcing your body to exert itself.

Running is so easy, anyone can do it.
This is one of the reasons I started running. I’d never been good at games that involved balls, so running was a natural choice. And to be a runner, you don’t have to run 4-minute miles. You just have to get out there and run.

Running is fairly inexpensive.
All you really need is a good pair of shoes.

Running is something you can do anywhere.
Of course, be smart about it, but as long as you’re in a safe environment, you can run no matter where you are. And in my opinion, running outside is way more fun than running inside, anyway.

If you don’t exercise regularly, it’s not hard to start running. You can take a look at the beginner’s guide I posted on my other blog earlier this year if you need help getting started. And feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me with any questions you have.

Seriously. Running works for me.

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Friday Fitness Diary: Fuego, Fuego, My Legs Are On Fire

If you came here from my other blog, you may remember Fitness Friday. It only lasted a couple of months because there came a point when I stopped being involved in much fitness. I’ve slowly started easing back into exercise, so now Fridays will be where I outline what I did for the past week. Feel free to write about your current fitness regimen on your blog and leave a comment!

At our weekly Zumba class, we do a routine to a song that goes “Fuego, fuego, the roof is on fire…” and then some other stuff in Spanish that I don’t understand. It’s one of my favorite songs, although when we did it Monday, I felt like I was going to collapse. I actually felt that way a lot this week, probably because it was the first week where I’ve seriously exercised. But I also feel better than I’ve felt in a long time, so in the end, it’s all worth it.

Friday
I had a somewhat discouraging day on the job front, so I went for a run with my mom to let off steam. She took me on her favorite nature trail, about 3 or 4 miles over pretty rough terrain: sand, rocks, lots of hills. But also very enjoyable. I ran a total of 35 minutes – we stopped twice on two of the bigger hills.

Saturday
The weekend started off with the best of intentions. My mom and I headed to the gym for our Zumba class, only to find out it was cancelled. My mom and I are very similar, in that when we found out, both of us were quite ready to turn around and go home. But my dad had come with us, and he had a workout planned, so we were forced to do something while we waited for him. I did free weights and abs for about 40 minutes, which wasn’t what I had planned, but was still something.

Sunday
God rested on the Sabbath; so should we.

Monday
My mom and I went on the nature trail again Monday to make sure I could find my way on my own. I ran a total of 35 minutes. Monday night my mom and I tried Zumba again. It was a good workout, but after running that morning, my legs were worn out. I had to ice my knee when I got home.

Tuesday
I took our dog, Teddy, for a walk on the trail that my mom and I ran the day before. My mom said he knew the way even if I got confused. This turned out to be partly true. At one point I got confused and started walking one way. Teddy pulled back, letting me know it was wrong, but he couldn’t actually talk and tell me the right way to go. We found our way, though, and ended up walking for about 70 minutes total (It would have been faster, but Teddy likes to stop and smell the roses). After dinner that night, I went to the gym and did weights for about 30 minutes. Thankfully, my knee didn’t bother me at all.

Wednesday
My mom wasn’t up for running, but I felt like I could find my way on the nature trail alone, so I set off. I told myself I wanted to run the whole way, but wasn’t sure I could make it up the two biggest hills. But I had my iPod set to my favorite jams, and the Lord was gracious in giving me strength to finish the whole trail without stopping! I ran a total of 42 minutes and 45 seconds. Now I’ve got a time to beat! And while my legs were sore, my knee didn’t hurt. Praise the Lord!

Thursday
Oh, knee. Why must you act up so? I went to Zumba again, and I tried to do all of the moves at the highest level of intensity. Not only was I very sweaty at the end of the hour, but my knee also started hurting a bit. I also signed up for “boot camp,” which will start Monday morning. At 5:30 a.m. This will be interesting. And, in order to maybe alleviate the knee issues, I got a new pair of shoes at the store, because the ones I have are getting a bit worn out, and the leg problems seem to be getting worse.

So there you have it. My week in fitness. I spent a total of 363 minutes working out, which evens out to about 6 hours. That was my goal, so I’m really happy that the Lord gave me grace to meet it!

I also have started drinking mostly water, which has helped immensely. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Stop by this weekend if you can, but make sure you come back Monday when we’ll be talking about sticking to the basics.

Have a great weekend!

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