Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Battle of Rowers vs Stairmaster

Rowing is where it’s at! I totally forgot about rowing machines. I can never go on them for too long because they make my back muscles go crazy because they are actually being used for a change! But last night I did a solid 15 minutes on a rower and it was pretty good. My back feels like someone round house kicked me yesterday but that is exactly what I was wanting, to feel like I am making real progress on strengthening my back. I love the fact that it is a cardio workout as well. That was my main draw to it yesterday. I wanted to get 30 minutes of cardio in and after 17 minutes on the StairMaster I ventured over to the rower to work a bit more on my back. I think I figured out that I just need to go nice and slow with a consistent rhythm on the rower and I can go for quite a while. Usually I try to go pretty hard and want to give up after a few minutes. But Last night I felt like I could keep on going last night for quite a while.
A little known fact about me, I LOVE the StairMaster Which, I know many people do but I really love it. It is the number one thing that I use at the gym. The main reason is because they are too expensive to buy one for myself. But they are such great cardio! They instantly get my heart racing within a minute or two. Another huge bonus is they work wonders on your back side with very little effort. It’s like doing 20 minutes of mini lunges. For me it’s one of the most wonderful machines you can find in a gym.
Don’t get me wrong, I love stationary bikes and rowers but I feel like I get the most from my gym experience if I get to use the StairMaster. Got to have the nice booty to show off in my workout leggings! 
What are your favorite pieces of gym equipment? What do you hate doing at the gym? For me, it's the treadmills and elliptical. Simply because I love to be outside for those types of activities and being on them makes me feel like I am mouse on a spinning wheel and makes em feel like I am going bonkers. So I try not to spend my time on them when I am at the gym unless I am desperate. 
Even though I have only been doing the gym visits for a few days now, I am already feeling a million times better than I was before. I am still exhausted for no reason but I am feeling like my blood is flowering a bit better and my muscles are waking up to say hello once again. I am really glad that I came up with this grab-and-go idea for my gym clothes. This morning I added to the idea by placing a bag with several pairs of tennis shoes in it in my car as well. I tend to wear my shoes back into my apartment after I am done at the gym and I don't want to forget to grab them before leaving in the morning and then blame my not going to the gym on not having shoes. So I may seem to have a lot of bags in my car (an Escape so I have plenty of room, especially sense I keep it ultra clean) but it really isn't that bad and is incredibly organized. 
Now to recap my No Excuses method for my car: 1 gym bag with all my every day gym essentials that will always be left in the car, 1 bag of pre-packed grab-and-go gym outfits and 1 bag of tennis shoes as back ups. I think this is now about as fine tuned as it will get. I am sure I fill find a couple more quirks along the way, but this system I think will continue to be even better over time. 
Do you have any ideas for No Excuse ways to get yourself to the gym? I'd love to hear them. 
Thank you for reading. 
Keep on Running!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Strength Needed

With my new plan to go to the gym now three to four times a week after work I have decided to do something I really struggle with. Weight lifting. It’s not that I don’t know how it’s just that I don’t like to do it! I find cardio much more enjoyable and therefore it is much easier for me to do. I need to work on my overall strength and besides that muscle burns fat!  
Last year I was taking out the trash and I bent over to pick up the bag and I pinched a nerve in my back and I couldn’t hardly walk for three days and it took almost two weeks to fully recover. I still think that my recovery probably would have gone a lot faster if I had had a stronger back.
Last night when I was at the gym I really wanted to work on my back strength but I realized that I really don’t know many exercises for that and I only found two machines to work on it. So today I thought I would look up some new moves to improve back strength and share them with you. We all know that abs mean nothing unless we work on our backs as well. However, that doesn’t mean we are going to remember to actually work on our backs! And the fact that I only found two dedicated machines in a HUGE gym proves that it is something that we tend to forget to work on.
One thing I still struggle with at the gym is going over to the lifting areas and actually lifting. It is always swarming with men trying to show off and it is quite intimidating to me. Not because of the guys lifting but because I always get stared at for being the only female in the area. Which is unsettling and annoying. I am working on ignoring all of the stares though. It’s just as important as cardio and I can’t be intimidated by the fact there are no other women in the area. 
I am working out the details still of my "no excuses gym attire weekly planning". Last night I realized I didn't have anywhere to put my work clothes once I changed so I figure out to put another bag in my gym bag for those but I feel like I will run into a couple more hiccups along the way but so far I am loving this new idea/plan to get me to workout more often. 
To give a better understanding of my layout in my car: 1 gym bag for shoes, arm band, extra bag for work cloths, etc. things I use every day at the gym and can stay in the bag, 1 bag with the pre-packed grab-and-go outfits.
 Keep on running!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Good Morning!

Are you ready for some football!? Seahawks are going to beat those Packers for sure! I can't wait for the game. I hope your weekend is going well and that your team is playing today as well. Just remember to have a health lunch/snacks for the game. Last week I had carrots and celery as my snack with cod and brussel sprouts at my dinner. Today I am working so I won't be indulging in anything that isn't accepted by Advocare.
As far as my Advocare experience is going, I am ready for it to be finished. It isn't the food part of the diet at all, it's the supplements. I am tired of taking so many pills and feeling like poo. At this point I am only planning on finishing it because it is so expensive! I love the clean eating but the supplements make me feel like blah and it's always a fun experience having to run to the restroom in a rush. Never thought I'd say I miss the simplicity of Nutrisystem. There is my not positive update. I wish I was loving it as much as I wanted to. Better luck on my next adventure.
Onto much happier news, I packed up my car this morning with this weeks worth of gym clothes. I am excited to start my new workout plan. I feel like it is really going to work for me. I am a "do things with as little work possible" kind of girl. So this could really work!
Some very exciting news for me and it's all because of you! Yesterday I had the most readers in one day then I have ever had before! Thank you all so much for all of your support and shares. I greatly appreciate it and I hope that you all continue to read my posts.
Last night I started shopping for my Mountains 2 Beach marathon outfit. As I have mentioned before I want to run it in just my sports bra and shorts. I have never run anything like that before but it  is my goal to be fit enough to feel comfortable enough to do so. I am looking for something fun and bright to run in. So it may take me a bit to find the right outfit. I thought it would be a great motivational piece for me to have it sitting out in front of me to keep me working hard to feel comfortable in it and in my own skin. I am thinking I am going to go shoe shopping as well to find some bright shoes to go with the outfit as well! It may sound silly but if you're not having fun, then what is the point, right? I'll be posting some ideas along the way to get your opinions.
Have you ever had an outfit that you wanted to get into for a special event? I'd love to hear about your story.
Thank you for reading!
Keep on Running!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

No Excuses Made Easy

I'm sure that you have heard of planning your weekly meals ahead of time, that way you have absolutely no excuse not to eat healthy during the week. But today I was thinking of new ways to create a no excuse atmosphere in my life. After discussing and our weekly workout routines with Anthony we decided that I will now go on to the gym after I get off work instead of driving straight home, then on my days off we will do our weekly runs together. 
Traffic is kind of miserable during the drive home after work and it turns a 15 minute drive into a 35 minute drive. With the gym only being about seven blocks away from work, about 5 minutes, I thought those extra 20 minutes of drive time could be spent at the gym instead of stuck in traffic. By the time the traffic will be much less severe and it won't have lost anytime but instead gained a workout.
I wanted to take it a step further and make it even easier for me so that way I would not have an excuse not to go to the gym after work. And I came up with an idea that I am shocked that I've never heard of before and it is excuse free and easy. I decided to lay out two weeks worth of work out clothes and bag them up separately in a grab-and-go form. This way I can keep them in my car and just grab an outfit after I get off work when I head to the gym. That way I cannot say I don't have to clothes or the time and everything is already set to go.

I already plan out my weekly meals, especially now that I'm on AdvoCare so this idea made perfect sense to me. I hope that you can use this idea and your daily lives as well. It's so easy and encouraging. I would love to hear from you about your no excuse ideas in your lives. How do you make it easier?
Keep on Running!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Struggle with motivation

How often do you struggle with motivation? I struggle with it daily and when it comes to working 12 hours a day I'm always completely exhausted after I get off work and have 0 motivation. Strangely enough I found it easier to work out on the late shift because I could wake up and work out before going to work. If were to do that now and if you getting up at 230 in the morning. This is just one of my daily struggles thought I'd share with you so that you know that you are not alone. I've only been on day shift for a little over a month and I'm still adjusting I hope to find my groove soon.
Would be in the New Year and all the sales of gym memberships and workout equipment you would think I would be able to my motivation more easily. It really is kind of the other way around because the New Year's resolutions to be a fad that most people don't really stick to in the end,  and kind of just take up my space at the gym. By February usually the gym is back to normal. That doesn't mean I have anything against these people I would love to see the gym packed everyday.  But I also like being surrounded with like minded people we're truly dedicated to their health and fitness the exercise. So actually seeing the gym being flooded at the beginning of January and then falling empty again in February is kind of depressing to me and also hurt my motivation.
How do you feel about New Year's resolutions? What are you struggling with in your daily motivation? How do you overcome it? I love to hear from you.
Keep on running.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Advocare day 6 in review

Okay, Day 6 did not go very well. And I don't mean with what I was eating or what I did that day but in reference to how many times I had to run to the bathroom. It was a pretty unpleasant day altogether I spent probably half of it in the restroom. And I wasn't just going to the bathroom but running to the bathroom. Now this is the first day I've had  this happen on this program and I'm hoping that it doesn't continue because if it does that means I may have to stop. But today I go back on the fiber drink, because we took a couple days off according to their daily planner, and I'm interested to see if that will straighten my tummy back out or just make me even gassier like I was when I first started. Sorry for the unpleasantness but I promise to report all the gritty details on my Advocare experience.
I am hoping for the best! Thank you for reading this nasty post, have a great day. 
Keep on running.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Overcoming the obstacles of life.

Running after the holidays is never easily. Finding your grove once again can almost seem impossible. I have been out for a couple of runs in this new year and it has been a little rough to start. But Anthony and I have made a pact to workout and run more frequently and step up our game dramatically to get ready for the Mountains to Beach full marathon in May. It really isn't that far away! 
We are wanting to create an amazing memorable experience with our trip to California for the run but we aren't quite sure what we would like to do yet. Ideally we would fly down, rent a car and take two weeks to drive back up to WA but that seems a bit of a stretch, in a good way though because Anthony just received the great news that he will be switching to a new company in a couple of weeks. Congratulations to him on moving up in his career! So we may just make it a luxurious weekend on the beach with a marathon thrown in. Can't get much more relaxing than that! 
I am so grateful that I found a partner that can join me in my running and appreciates trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Which these days seems to get harder and harder. From fast food and video games its hard to have to gumption to cook for yourself and get out and play instead of taking the easy way out. Something I found that makes life so much easier is to surround yourself with people that have like minded ideals and whom you can just call up and go for a hike or have over for a healthy meal. A support group so to speak of friends and family that you can rely on for the little things. 
An example of an unhealthy relationship; one of my friends has always struggled with her weight and this past year started dating someone new and has gained a substantial amount of new weight during their time together. She used to be very active, running, biking, etc. Now its hard for her to go biking and now she has gained so much weight she can't run. This is because she is no longer on her diet, she eats what he eats, does what he does. Instead of supporting her and going with her on runs or to workout she all on her own if she wants to get healthy. He doesn't want to do those things with her. It's incredibly sad for me to watch but right now she isn't ready to listen to a friend trying to say "Your BF is killing you." So instead I try to give her advice on how to eat better and how to find the energy and courage to get out and workout on her own. (I would go with her but she and I live several states apart.) 
This is a struggle that many of us deal with in our daily lives. I have been there myself. I gain about 50 lbs my first two years of college because of the relationships that I was in. I at what they ate and never ever worked out. I was forced into a reality check four years ago when I went hiking with my sorority group and I was constantly out of breath and miserable instead of enjoying myself with my friends. Thankfully at that time I was single and was able to focus on myself for a change. I lost my first 20 lbs without even trying, aka drinking as much water as I possibly could every single day. Once I flat lined with that I started working out for the first time in my life and recording all of the food that I ate every day. It wasn't long before I found myself back at my high school weight and a much happier and healthier me. It wasn't easy by any means, I had people making fun of me for working out, asking me to skip workouts to hang out, to ask to go out to eat at unhealthy places, etc. It was hard, I didn't have a supportive group of people around me. I fought hard to get to my healthy weight again and once I got there everyone asked how I did it. Yes, the same people that teased me all the time. They didn't like my answer of hard work and dedication. Everyone seems to want a magic pill, well, there isn't one! 
If you are seeing similarities in these stories to your own I would suggest joining a running group near you on FB or a health and wellness group. They are surprisingly supportive and free! There are also countless gyms out there but if you want a more personal touch I would suggest taking classes at your local community center, they are much more personal and you can find many other supportive groups through the center. There are also many supportive diet organizations as well. Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig both have weekly meetings that you can go and share your stories with and receive the proper support you need. You may have to think outside the box but you can do it! I believe in you! 
I hope your new year is going well! Stay strong! Keep on Running!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Advocare Day 5+

Yesterday on day 5, I can tell you now that it finally felt like a "cleanse" phase. But barely. The reason why is because there were two trips to the loo twice yesterday for the number two. But it was totally normal trips, just twice in one day instead of just once. But that is really it. No crazy illness, weird feelings or reactions.
I am still having a mild headache, it is getting much better now. Which is a relief. I am also having gas still but this has also calmed down a bit but I am not going to kid you, it is still very prevalent and annoying as all get out. 
I little tell about me that I don't believe that I have mentioned in the past, is that I do have IBS, Irritable Bowl Syndrome "is a disorder that leads to abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other symptoms. IBS is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. In IBS, the structure of the bowel is not abnormal." This is something that I am constantly dealing with in my every day life and of course there are many types of food that I deliberately avoid because of the adverse reaction that I have to them. Such as fried foods, fast food, or just too much alcohol can leave me in a very bad state for a day or two. The reason why I am staring this with you is because the stomach issues that I have been experiencing on Advocare could be because of my IBS. But on the up side, Advocare isn't causing any diarrhea or severe cramping of any kind, which can be caused by many foods and supplements. Thus far, I would say it is a product that can be safely used by someone like me. However, we are all individual people and react to things very differently. 
Today I am on day 6 and so far nothing strange has happened but I also haven't had to use the restroom yet either. Again not really feeling like a "cleanse" phase. I am trying to eat well and last night I made a very healthy dinner, side salad, steamed vegetables, quinoa and broiled pork chops. Yummy to the tummy! I am really enjoying being able to cook more. I have been on Nutrisystem for so long that it feels like I have forgotten what home cooked food it like! 
I will continue to up date you with my Advocare adventure and if there are any new and crazy developments along the way. 
Keep on Running!

The writer in me, it is in you?

Are you a writer? The topic of this morning's conversation at breakfast. I believe that I have the ability to be a decent one, I went out for the journalism team in high school but my teacher felt like I didn't make the cut. I still believe to this day it was due to the differences in our writing styles. Why do I believe that? I received an A in every writing class that I have ever had. In college my professor loved my work and even used my work for future assignments. However, I felt hurt and undermined by my high school teacher. I didn't think I could ever be a writer after the way he treated me. Strangely, 11 years after being rejected I am, as far as I know, the only person out of that group of students that did make the cut actually writing anything at all these days. It is strange how that worked out. That is life for you. 
This whole conversation was brought up by the idea of trying to actually earn money off of my writing. I doubt that will happen any time soon but I feel there is always potential for that. I would love to do something for running magazines. For instance, be an official race reviewer or event coverage for their magazines. For now, I am content writing in my little blog and sharing my findings and experiments in the health and fitness activities of my daily life and any other adventures that I might have. I thank you all very much for your support and I hope to keep finding entertaining and useful topics for you. As you all know I am currently finishing up my first week on Advocare and I am seeing some results. I hope that the down and dirty descriptions of how Advocare is really affecting my body is helpful to you all. It's not a fluff piece for Advocare by any means! But I want to report to you the truth of the matter. 
Thank you again, I hope that you keep on reading! Keep on Running!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Advocare and ClassPass!

I am doing well on Advocare so far! I am only on day 5 but I am sticking to it. On the positive side the headaches and gas have calmed down. Which is good, I am going to attribute the stomach problems to the Fiber drink. I use Benifiber but I think it is way less ... fiber-y. The much brighter side of things is that I have lost 3lbs on Advocare thus far! Which is definitely inspirational! I am pretty excited about that!
Now to the good juicy stuff! I was contacted by ClassPass and they are giving you the chance to skip the wait list for the Seattle area and sign up today! Use this link to skip the wait:
I can't wait to hear about your experience with this amazing program.
Keep on Running!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The icky side of Advocare

So far I have had a few side effects from Advocare. If you don't like icky subjects, stop reading now.
First, really bad gas! Like super bloated and gas to the extreme... No fun for anyone.
Second, I have had a mild headache sense yesterday morning. 
Third, and so far the last, this morning after taking my Spark before eating breakfast I felt pretty queasy and had to find something to calm my stomach. But thankfully that passed after eating something. 
Over all the side effects are bateae thus far and I am hoping they subside once my body starts to adjust.
The fiber drink wasn't as bad this morning because I was prepared for it and I drank it as fast as I possibly could. Still a weird consistency though. But it through without gagging this morning, which is a step in the right direction. 
More updates to follow. Keep on running!

Day 2 of Advocare

Yesterday I completed the first day of Advocare and it was tough. Not because of the diet restrictions but because of the fiber drink. As soon as I poured into the water to mix it together my first thought was "this looks like a ground up walnut they stuck in here"and after reading the label it turns out I wasn't far off, there was oak fiber and black walnut in it. At first the drink isn't bad but if you let it sit for more than a few minutes it's starts to coagulate and reminded me a lot of malt I meal from back in the day. The consistency is what was tough for me to taste itself wasn't bad at all.
The two Spark drinks that I have with my 24 day challenge are orange and fruit punch. The orange kind of reminds me of a weak tang and the fruit punch does taste like Kool-Aid so it isn't bad. 
Last night I also took my first set of cleanse pills before going to bed but so far haven't noticed anything different with that either. Now to continue on with day too hopefully I can drink the fiber drink quickly enough that it doesn't coagulate and I can do a little bit better about my clean eating today and try to avoid as many processed foods as I can. What I figured is that Advocare is promoting a Paleo diet. Avoiding processed foods and encouraging to eat vegetables and lean meats. Which is fine by me and totally makes sense. 
On with day two! Keep on Running! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

The start of Advocare!

Today is my first day of Advocare and I can already tell this is going to be an interesting experience. This morning I started off with their signature drink Spark. I am not a fan of fizzy or carbonated drinks and this is a fizzy drink. I will take this twice a day to start, 30 minutes before breakfast and again 30 minutes before lunch. Then in the first 10 days I will also be taking a fiber drink or a probiotic with my breakfast and an herbal cleanse supplement before bed. That's it during the first phase, not too bad really. I already take fiber, probiotics and multivitamins every day. So I'll just be taking a different form of the supplements I am already taking. 
Basically the program is just making sure that I will be getting all of the nutrients in my diet that I should be getting. The "diet" part of it is simply promoting clean eating. Or kind of a paleo diet in the sense that they ask that you don't eat processed foods. So fresh vegetables and fruit and clean fresh meat is the idea.you also shouldn't have alcohol, sugar, white flour, fried foods, candy, etc. But most of those I don't even eat at all anyway, so it really isn't that bad either. For me at least, not this "diet" isn't much of a change for me at all. However, I can see it being difficult if you like junk food.
They also encourage daily exercise, which is good. They even have a place to log it on the daily guide. This is great! Showing that there is no magic pill to get weight off, just aids to help you with your hard work and dedication.
I will be posting updates on my progress every few days, this should be interesting! 
Happy New Year and Keep on Running! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Resolution Run and 5k with a Polar Dive

Happy New Year! I can't hardly believe it but New Years has come and gone! For New Year's Eve Anthony and I went downtown Seattle and celebrated the New Year at the Space Needle! How exciting is that?!?! We were able to watch the amazing firework display from directly under the Space Needle. It was completely amazing!
This year I realized I am not so much into resolutions but more into goals. The goals that I have for 2015 are ones that I have been working on for months already and didn't just decide to do the week of New Year's. Yes, my goals are in the traditional "fitness" fields but they are things that I have been planning for months now. I started off my new year with a 5k Resolution Run and Polar Bear dive at Magnuson Park in Seattle, WA hosted by Promotion Events. The same company that has hosted the last several races that I have run. 

It was below freezing the morning of the race but it was a beautiful clear day. The event was hosted in a great open space, much different than previous events. There was lots of room for venders and event check in to spread out and allow racers to breathe. It was completely different than any of the other races that I have run with Promotion Events, in a very good way. 

The race course was a bit difficult. I wish I had known before hand that is was part trail, it would be muddy, icy, etc. I didn't have the proper shoes on for this race. I got to run in slush puddles and have drenched icy feet. But it was ok in the end, I wore shoes that I knew would be ok to get soaked with diving into the lake at the end of the race. 
The race was very full and the start took quite a while to taper and thin out. It was impossible to try and spread up at all and if you were stuck behind someone that was it. But it was ok too because this race in my mind was definition of a fun run. It to me, was just an excellent way to start off the new year and do something that I had never done before!
So at the end of the race, right at mile 3, you can split off and decide to take the big plunge or to on your merry way dry. I decided to do the dive of course! It has been on my bucket list for a few years now and I was finally able to do it for the first time on New Year's Day! I took the plunge in Lake Washington this year and it really wasn't bad at all. The water was about 15 degrees warmer than the air was! I felt completely fine after the dive, the only "rough" part was running into the finish because of all the water build up from the runners slowly turning into ice on the road into the finish. I had to slowly walk into the finish to keep from slipping. But I didn't mind, despite all of the people traffic, ice and mud on the course I still came in right on my normal 5k time 31 minutes or so. I can't complain, and that's with my dive time in there!
It was such a great experience! I loved it all and in the end the things that I would normally complain about (ice, mud, full disclosure, etc) I couldn't care less. It was a great day!
www.promotionevents.com for more events hosted by them year round!
www.spaceneedle.com for dinner reservations and tourist information.
http://www.promotionevents.com/ResoRun/default.htm for the Resolution Run 5k and Polar Dive information!
http://www.seattle.gov/parks/magnuson/ for more information about Magnuson Park, Seattle, WA.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope that you had a wonderful New Year!
Keep on Running!