Friday, May 21, 2010

Pacers Fun Run

After feeling disheartened about not being able to run as fast a Daris from the Biggest Loser, I quickly got over it. I'm never going to get better if I just feel down on myself and don't run! So on Wednesday I ran a little over 5 miles around the Tidal Basin. Yesterday I did my Total Body workout class at noon and then ran 4 miles with my sister, friend, and fiance as a part of the Pacers Fun Run in the evening.

Pacers is a running store with a couple locations in the DC area. They organize free fun runs on certain days throughout the week. Check out their website if you are interested:

This was my first Pacers Fun Run, but it won't be my last. It was an out and back course. We started at the Pacers store, ran through Old Town down to a section of the Mount Vernon Trail, and back. There were different pace groups (from 7:15 to 11:00 and beyond if needed), but I just ran at a comfortable pace. Some people did 5miles, but we decided to do 4.25, and others stuck with 3 miles. Overall it was fun. Next time I will try to meet some new people.

My abs were cramping terribly for the last mile and for a couple hours after the run. I think it was caused by (1) working out earlier in the day, complete with ab work, and (2) only eating 3 crackers after work before the run, which started a 7pm. I will try to do better next week.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Biggest Loser Marathon

First, congrats to the 4 Biggest Loser contestants who finished their marathon. Michael and Ashley finished at 6:26 and Koli finished at 6:08. Daris finished in 4:02. Seriously?!?! I think they ran the marathon like 5 months after arriving on the Biggest Loser campus. I am amazed and happy for Daris, but does this make anyone else feel inadequate? I can't even run a half at that pace. I know he has basically been training like it was his job, but 4:02? That's 9:15 mins/per. Maybe I should try to contact him and ask him what his secret is. I'm really curious about his training plan too.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

30 Day Shred

I've been using this DVD on and off for the past year. There are three different 30 minute workouts on the DVD, ranked by difficulty. The first time I tried Level 1, I couldn't finish. My cardio ability was nowhere near where it needed to be to do all those jumping jacks. I had to put my little 3 lb weights down and do the movements without them- and it was still tough. I've heard some people actually do this video for 30 days in a row, but I never tried that. I've just always used it in rotation with my other workouts. Since my first Shred workout, I've increased my weights from 3 to 5 lbs. I'm pretty good at Level 1, and I'm working on Level 2. I'm not really serious about progressing through the levels, but I think if I put the effort into it, I could see even more changes.

What I Like about the DVD: Jillian Michaels is tough. She tells you not to stop. She says when it starts to get tough is when it counts the most. I like the way she pushes people (and me). The workouts are really challenging. It's only 30 minutes, which makes it mentally easier to push through. It is definitely doable in the living room if you push the coffee table out of the way. It doesn't matter if you're on carpet or a hard floor. I like Anita and Natalie (the girls in the video). Anita does modifications; Natalie goes all out.

What I Don't Like About the DVD: In Levels 2 and 3, there are some quick transitions between doing some cardio on the floor (like mountain climbers) and cardio on your feet. I sometimes get dizzy when I stand up too fast. I hate all the exercises done in plank, but that's probably just because I'm not good at them. I wish Jillian did more of the workout with us.

Results: The biggest thing I noticed is increased stamina and definitely strength. My arms, legs, and abs are stronger than before. I can't really contribute any weight loss directly to The Shred (sorry Jillian!). When I first started the video I wasn't working out at all and I could only wear about 3 pairs of pants because they were the only ones in my closet that fit. So obviously beginning some sort of workout program is going to help you lose weight. I didn't follow a strict diet. But with The Shred and some running, I was able to lose 5 lbs and keep it off easily.

Do I Recommend It?: I definitely do. It is one of my go-to workouts, especially when I am pressed for time. I have the sequence for Level 1 memorized, so I can do the workout outside or in my gym at work without the video.

Rating: On a scale of 1-10, (where 1 is the DVD that comes with an as seen on tv electrostimulation ab belt, and 10 is the perfect video I've yet to find) I'd give the DVD a solid 7.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Great Workout!

It is just about two months until W-Day (my wedding day!!), so I really need to get working on toning my arms. I'm still planning to keep up my running 3 days a week (maybe a 3 miler, a 5-7 miler, and an 8-12 miler), but I'm going to focus more on strength. I'm incredibly lucky to have a gym at my work, complete with group classes. Today I decided to go to my first class. It was called Total Body.

I got to the gym early and there was a yoga class still in progress in the group room, so I decided to run a little on the treadmill in the main gym. 1.5 miles at 7mph. hooray! I would have kept going, but it was time for class to start.

Total Body is a 45 min class. It is very similar to Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred (which I will post my review of soon). We did circuit training with cardio/legs (jumping jacks, squat thrusts, jump rope, etc.), ab work (planks, crunches, etc.), and tons of arm work (presses, bicep curls, lateral raises, etc.). I totally loved it. And here's the main thing- I was awesome at it! I can't believe I did so well after having just run a fast 1.5 miles. I'm totally going back on Tuesday!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Frederick Half Marathon Recap

We drove up to Frederick on Saturday afternoon, picked up our race packets, checked into the hotel, and went to downtown Frederick. We had dinner reservations with our group at an Italian place, but we got there early, so we walked around town for a bit. I was pleasantly surprised with Frederick! It is a great little town with lots of shops, restaurants and bars, and history. I highly recommend Brewer's Alley. I got a tasting of 6 of their beers, and it was awesome.

Race day was hot and humid. At the start of the race it was already 71 degrees. I wasn't used to running in such heat or humidity. I wasn't feeling great, so I didn't eat my usual pre-run granola bar. Before the race started I knew I'd have to stop and use the porta-potty, which I wasn't happy about.

Miles 1-5 started out fine. I hit 5 miles at just under 50 mins, and I was okay with that. Somewhere around 6 miles I stopped to pee. I almost started walking after that, but somehow I found a spring in my step and started running again. In the second half the hills started getting to me. Between miles 8 and 9 I began walking, but there was a lady that I had been going back and forth with, and she caught up to me and encouraged me, so I started running again. Thank you, whoever you were. For the rest of the race I took longer walking breaks at the water stations and the end of mile 11/beginning of mile 12 probably had the most walking in it. I ran the last mile.

My time was 2:28:02.

That is over 20 minutes worse than my last half marathon 6 weeks ago. Total bummer. I'm happy that I finished. I'm not happy that I walked. I think I should have eaten my granola bar even though I wasn't feeling well. I should have kept the intensity in my training between the last half and this one. I had to fight harder in this race than in my first race, but I can't not blame that on my poor training for the last 6 weeks. It should have been easier, had I followed the training plan and not skipped runs.

Overall feelings: I'm proud of myself for doing it, and my time is nothing to be upset about. But I can't let this be the last half that I race - I want to do better.