Tag Archives: work out

Tortuous Tabata

18 Mar

So apparently in recent times a Japanese scientist named Tabata came up with a high intensity circuit workout program made to take half the time and burn twice the calories of a regular workout. It’s a fairly new trend that is making the rounds in the fitness circles.

Basically each “tabata” is a four minute workout where you’re on 20 seconds and have 10 seconds of rest for a total of 8 rounds. Then you rest about 3 minutes until the next one. The entire workout is roughly 30 minutes and incorporates weigh training and cardio exercises.

I’ve done tabata workouts before but my new trainer took them to a whole new wicked level today. I really thought I was going to die. I almost barfed halfway through, but I held out and completed the program.

This a very intense program. Do not attempt unless you’re already in great shape and definitely consult a doctor or certified trainer first.

–plank to push-up: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, repeat 8 sets
Rest 3 minutes
–squat to shoulder press: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, repeat 8 sets
Rest 3 minutes
–squat to standing row: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, repeat 8 sets
Rest 3 minutes
–med ball slams: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, repeat 8 sets
Rest 3 minutes
–squat to med ball toss: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, repeat 8 sets
Rest 3 minutes
–treadmill runs at 6mph: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, repeat 8 sets
Rest 3 minutes

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Niner, Niner

10 Mar

I was out of town last week or I would have pointed this sooner. Last Monday I did a 4 mile training run. It was snowing outside so I just ran it on the treadmill. Nothing extraordinary…except that it was. I ran the 4 miles in 50:27. I beat my best ever four mile run by NINE MINUTES!!!!!

What was a boring training run, became the best ever time for me at that distance. I almost started crying. I’ve been working hard with my trainer to whittle away at my time so I could PR at my half marathon this coming May. Never did I think I could achieve such an improvement in only a month of work.

I’ve always been a super slow runner, and I’m okay with that. I do have a bad foot and it’s a miracle I’m running at all, so I’m grateful to just be doing it. But, for the first time, I believed that I really could get faster and keep a pace I could say out loud to other runners instead of whispering it with embarrassment.

That nine minutes meant the world to me. It has given me confidence to keep chipping away at my time and pursue setting a PR. I actually believe I can do it now.

Plugging Away

27 Feb

It has been a busy few weeks. I finally have gotten back on track with regular exercise and eating properly again. After 8 months of being depressed and stressed, I’m now just stressed. Well, that’s one down anyway.

I gained 10 pounds during my boyfriend’s deployment. He’s still gone but hopefully will be home in 6 weeks or less. In the meantime I’m trying to get back on track. I’ve started working out regularly with a trainer and keeping my food journal.

After a tough start, I lost a pound and shaved 5 minutes off of my last 5K time. Each week my trainer increases my weights, reps and times and I’ve been showing strength and speed improvements. I ran my 5K section of my half marathon race in 47:02 and last weekend I finished my training run in 42:01.

I feel my confidence returning. After being in a terrible fog for so long, I feel like the pink ninja again. It’s been hard adjusting to fewer calories each day and squeezing in workouts was a challenge at first but it feels great.

Anyone can get back on the wagon, no matter how hard it seems. Just make up your mind to start and don’t make anymore excuses. Any day can be your start day and only worry about that day. Don’t think about the pounds ahead or trying to conquer endless miles. Just meet your goal that day and worry about the rest tomorrow.

I AM a Runner

4 Feb

I just read a quote in the latest issue of Runner’s World from airline pilot and “Miracle on the Hudson” hero Captain “Sully” Sullenberger. He said “I’m not a good runner, but I’m better than someone who doesn’t run at all.”

I always feel embarrassed in a way when I tell other people that I’m a runner. I think, I’m not a real runner. I’m painfully slow and I mix running with walking. When I do run, my form isn’t lovely and I don’t look like a graceful cheetah, but rather an awkward giraffe.

After reading Sully’s quote, I realized he’s right. Maybe I’m not good, but I am better than someone who does not run at all. I’ve completed three half marathons and one full marathon. Not including the training, that alone is 65.5 miles that my little feet have covered. When you include the training, I’ve done over 500 miles. So, yes, I AM a runner. Good or bad, anyone who puts one foot in front of the other at a pace above walking is a runner.

Until I’ve gotten back in the gym these past three weeks, I hadn’t realized how much I missed running and working out. More importantly, I didn’t realize how much I felt how good it makes me feel. When I’m pounding away the miles on the treadmill or dying a slow death in the plank position, I’m really happy and finally feeling like me again. I feel like a real runner and I feel strong like I can conquer anything.

So right now, I’m going through a really tough time. I miss my boyfriend and am horribly worried about him. Work and home life have also been extremely stressful. But what I can count on is that I am coming back to me, slowly but surely. And I can say, no a matter what, I am a runner.

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Colfax Half Marathon: Just Wing It

22 May

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After a long hiatus from running, I finally returned to the race circuit on Sunday. I decided to run the Colfax Half Marathon again in Denver after having done it for the first time last year. A family friend wanted to do the race, so I told her I’d do it with her since it was her first half. I had good intentions to train hard and set a PR, but alas the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

I didn’t anticipate I was going to fall deeply in love nor did I anticipate I was going to get extremely sick with a severe upper respiratory infection that nearly had me hospitalized. I fell in love with a handsome foreigner who has a dangerous job with the military/CIA and was facing an 8-month deployment this month. So, instead of training, I chose to spend all of my time with him, making the most of what we had together. I was also out of commission nearly a month with my illness. So I didn’t train.

In fact I hadn’t run 10 miles since January. When I was in Las Vegas in March, I did a 7 miler on the Strip at sea level, which was wonderful. Then around the start of April, I did a 6 miler with my handsome foreigner, but other than that, I had mostly just been doing short distance speed work on the treadmill and strength training during the week. The half marathon was in the back of my head, but at the same time, I had other priorities.

My handsome foreigner was deployed on Saturday, the day before the race. It was devastating to have to say goodbye, but we are in a good place in our relationship, and I know when he returns in 8 months, we’ll be stronger than ever. Nevertheless, it was extremely difficult to say goodbye. After he left, I immediately went up to Denver with my friend to pick up my race packet and get checked into the hotel for the night.

The race honestly could not have come at a better time. I needed a release from the stress and tension I was feeling over my man’s departure. I knew that running those 13.1 mile was going to help cleanse me and start to heal. I also figured if I could “wing” a half marathon, then I could definitely get through his 8 month deployment.

I had offered to run the race with my friend if she needed the support, but also told her she was free to run it on her own if she wanted. She chose the latter, and I was relieved. I wanted the alone time to clear my head. Unlike last year when I was a complete nervous wreck, ready to barf and crying from being so scared, this year I was very calm. I was looking forward to the run even.

I ate a good breakfast and marched over to the starting area like a seasoned pro. There were no butterflies in my stomach, no tears and no nerves. Instead of a frightening obstacle, I saw this race as my salvation during a dark time. We marched up from our corral and started the race.

I started it off by listening to “Run” by Matt Nathanson and Jennifer Nettles, which is a beautiful love song that reminds me of my relationship. It brought tears to my eyes, but calmed me down and allowed me to get into the groove of this race.

The miles kept coming, surprisingly very easily. I was shocked. Last year I had trained and trained and I thought every mile was hard. This year, after running a full marathon, this seemed so easy. I kept going, each mile peeling off a layer of sadness and giving me a glimmer of hope that I will get through the next 8 months.

Around mile 8, my foot started to hurt per usual and I was feeling the lactic acid build up. I knew I’d make it through, but I was starting to think maybe I should have trained. I figured though if I could make it to mile 10, I was going to be just fine. Once mile 10 came around, I knew I was in the home stretch. Last year, I saw mile 10 as an obstacle—I didn’t know how I was going to make it through the next 3 miles and was terrified. This year, it was welcomed. I knew once I saw it that a 5K was nothing, and I’d be done in about 40 minutes.

The last 3 miles were hard, no question. The lactic acid had built up, and my legs were becoming very stiff. But I knew I’d get through it. I remember thinking last year that mile 12 seemed to last forever. This year,  it seemed like nothing. I began to wonder if I’d get the same rush crossing the finish line this year as I did for my first.

As I came around the corner and saw the finish line, I felt my stone legs begin to loosen and I picked up the pace. I was sprinting home, finishing strong. A huge grin spread across my face and my eyes began to water. I didn’t have a downpour of tears like last year, but I felt such extreme joy again. I sailed down the last 0.1 mile and through the finish line knowing somehow everything was going to be okay. I crossed under the archway listening to Kelly Clarkson’s hit “Stronger” knowing that I was stronger at that moment.

A year ago, I was barely finishing the race and a terrified, unconfident mess. This year, I completely winged a half marathon, finishing it only 8 minutes slower than last year for 3:05:23. What a difference a year makes! I felt so confident and happy like this was something I did everyday.

Finishing the race was a very cathartic experience. I knew as I crossed the line that everything with my relationship was going to be okay. Not to say that the next 8 months aren’t going to be extremely tough and sad for a while, but I know we’ll be okay, and I know I’m strong enough to get through it.

I’ve decided I need a project to keep me busy. I’m doing what I said I’d never do again. I’ve signed up for the Walt Disney World Full Marathon in January 2013. That is the month my man is due home, and training for that race will keep me occupied until his return. I’m too strong to fold under these difficult times. I’m going to do what the Pink Ninja does best: fight through the tough times. So, in two weeks, I’ll be starting my training for the race. I may be a ninja, but I can’t wing 26.2 miles.  

Half of America Obese by 2030?

18 Oct

ABC News: Half of America Obese By 2030?

I read the above article tonight on ABC News and was shocked to find that if we keep going at our current rate, 50% of America will be obese by the year 2030. That’s not just overweight or carrying around some extra pounds, that is obese. According to the article, this will end up costing Americans $66 billion a year in health costs.

I don’t know why, but this shocks me. I cannot believe that our obesity rate is this bad. I don’t know why I can’t believe it given our society. Everywhere I look food is processed, frozen or bought from a take-out chain. A large majority of people I know or am acquainted with don’t exercise regularly. I guess it isn’t that shocking when I really start to look around me and our country, but still, to comprehend that one out of every 2 people will be obese by 2030 is crazy. My family of 3 are all slender. My dad and I work out regularly and watch what we eat. My mother is just one of those lucky folks with sky high metabolism. Yet, according to the statistic, one of my family could be obese in 20 years.

This country needs drastic, severe help to stop this. We’re already in deep economical trouble and our healthcare system is a mess, if we had another $66 billion in healthcare costs every year, we’ll really be in trouble. We’re one of the wealthiest nations in the world and yet our health seems to be among the poorest, even including some third world countries.

Michelle Obama has initiated programs to improve school lunches and her “Let’s Move” exercise campaign, but we need a massive overhaul to fix this situation. Left and right, more and more fast food restaurants are opening up in my town, despite the economy. Yet, in reality, junk food is actually fairly expensive. It’s just faster than cooking your own food. But if people could realize that they could save money by not eating out so much, then maybe they’d be willing to sacrifice some extra time. A thirty minute walk 3 times a week makes a huge difference for a person’s health, yet millions of people claim they have no time to do it. In a week of 168 hours, you really can’t spare 1.5 hours to improve your health?

America has been a leader in so many things around the world both now and in history. We need to be a leader again, in good health, not in obesity. Change your future and start making small changes today. Lao Tzu said, “the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” Pack a bag of carrot sticks and head out on a 30 minute walk. Repeat three times a week. That’s making a small change that will deliver a big impact.

Ninja Niblets: Quick Links for Your Monday

17 Oct

Kick off a new week with some quick links with recipes, exercise tips and diet options that will help you get on a healthy track.

FitSugar: What 100 Calories Looks Like in Halloween Candy
Craving chocolate like no other, but no prepared to commit to a full-sized Snickers bar that typically packs 280 calories? Try these Halloween “fun size” goodies for only 100 calories.

FitSugar: Healthy Smoothie Recipes
Don’t have time to make a big elaborate meal? Try a quick, healthy smoothie instead. Make your own so you know exactly what’s going in it, unlike the mall places that pack in loads of extra calories and sugar.

Fitness Magazine: 10 Easy Ways to Sneak in a Workout
We’re all busy with work, family and a social life, but missing a workout is not an option when you’re trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. Take a cue from Fitness Magazine and learn how to sneak in a workout, no matter how busy you are.

Shape Magazine: 50 Fall Foods To Slim You Down
Take advantage of the foods in season during fall and use them to get slim. Healthy snacks like apples and pumpkin seeds are readily available during the fall months and are packed with nutrition and low in calories.

Have a great week, everybody!