Tag Archives: gym

So Fresh and So Clean

1 Jan

A new year, a clean start. In general, I don’t believe in “resolutions” because if something is important to you, you should start trying to make the change immediately. A new year ain’t nothin’ but a number. However, I do like trying to set measurable goals over a set amount of time. Most of my goals are things I’ve already been working on, but now it’s time to up the ante and boost them to goal status.

So what are my goals for this year?

1. Run in at least 12 races in 2011.

I have already signed up for 7 races through the end of June, so I figure what’s 5 more in the last 6 months? Right now I’m signed up for 3 5Ks, 2 10Ks, a 5 miler, and a half marathon. Woop woop. The first race is just over a month from now, and it’s the very first 5K I ever ran. I really want to obliterate my PR.

2. Get to the gym at least 4 times per week.*

An asterisk? Already? Yep, gotta be realistic. Right now, I have a fitness plan that involves me going to the gym 6 times a week and includes two yoga classes (new yoga mat and tank <3 ), two muscle classes, an interval class, and time on my own. Ambitious? Yes. That’s why my goal is to regularly hit 4 out of those 6 days. Ideally I’d be able to go to every class all the time. But muscles get sore, late nights happen, social events pop up, and sickness happens. I’m not going to beat myself up if something comes up and I miss a day and only make it 2-3 times one week. Heck, I didn’t do a lick of fitness today because I have quite the cold.

Chugging Cold Season tea and green juice. Hidden: my totally hot BreatheRight strip on my nose.


3. Stick to my monthly budget like a pro.

I recently revised my monthly budget, putting even more money towards paying off the money-hungry student loan monster. I moved some numbers and came up with a pretty reasonable spending allowance. If I can stick to that schedule in 2011, I’ll be in pretty good shape.

Quick Tip: If you guys don’t already use Mint for money management, I highly highly recommend it. It’s owned by Intuit, the makers of Turbo Tax, and it is completely secure. You can import as many bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments, etc as you’d like and see them all in one place. I set my budget through Mint, and the chart on my home page shows how well I’m doing each month and if I’m reaching the top of my budget too early. It’s also what helped me pick a better credit card and savings account to earn more money. I’ve been using it since 2007, and I wouldn’t use anything else.

4. Plan at least 3 homemade meals per week.

It’s no secret that cooking at home is often cheaper and healthier than eating at a restaurant or getting take-out. Over the last few months, I lapsed pretty hard in setting a weekly menu, which left me eating a few too many microwave dinners on super busy nights. This morning I organized all my cookbooks on some new kitchen shelving, and tomorrow I’m going to spend the morning flagging recipes I want to try. When the time comes to plan a meal, I can just reach for a book, flip to a flagged page, and yay there’s a recipe.

5. Organize myself for the holidays.

I completely forgot to send Christmas cards this year, and I really regret it. I’ve set up a system so that I can send cards for each birthday and major holiday and not flake out on it. Super important that I stick to this. I’m also going to take a lead from my mother and start buying gifts for birthdays and Christmas. In January? Yes. My mom already has at least 50% of this year’s Christmas shopping done. I’m not that ambitious, but I hope to have a few things picked out by springtime.

6. Drink more water.

Dur. I bought a water bottle holder for my purse so now I have no excuses. Water wherever I go. Always.


That seems like a pretty good list to kick things off. My Cold Season tea is done and it’s time to move on to TheraFlu, which may or may not knock me the eff out. I need a good night’s sleep to get ready for my first Tabata class early tomorrow! So excited.

Happy new year!



Treadmill Time

14 Dec

I’ve been able to do a lot of thinking about my training in the past year, and it hasn’t always been up to snuff. Whether it was neglecting strength training (hardly did any to get ready for my half, but I have a solid plan for it now), neglecting cross training (also neglected for my half, and wasn’t fully committed to it in marathon prep… again, a pretty solid plan now), or just plain being scared to run because I wouldn’t always perform as well as I envisioned (okay, that still happens sometimes. working on it). The treadmill doesn’t help that last part too much. How well can you really expect to perform when you live in a giant snowbank of a climate in the winter, and you’re running on something that keeps a pace for you?

Then, I found a few treadmill workouts in Runner’s World (video) that might just help break the boredom cycle, at the very least. If you can’t watch the videos, here’s a summary of each treadmill workout (again, via Runner’s World and Jeff Galloway). All workouts are measured in time, not distance.

Treadmill Hill Climb Workout

If you live in a snowy/icy area in the winter, this is a great alternative to slippery hills.

  • Warm up for 3 minutes, gradually increasing the pace to an easy run
  • Raise incline to 2% and run for 1 minute
  • Raise incline to 4% and run for 1 minute
  • Lower to 0% and recover for 1 minute
  • Raise incline to 4% and run for 2 minutes
  • Lower to 0% and recover for 1 minute
  • Repeat the last two as a set as many times as you wish

Treadmill Distance Workout

This isn’t really a “distance” workout, since it clocks in at 4-7 miles, depending on your pace and number of intervals.

  • Warm up for 3 minutes
  • Easy run for 2 minutes, walk* 1 minute (repeat 3 times)
  • Run for 3 minutes, walk* for 1 minute (repeat 3 times)
  • Run for 4 minutes, walk* for 1 minute
  • Run for 5 minutes, walk* for 1 minute
  • Increase intervals as desired
  • Run for 2 minutes, walk* for 1 minute (repeat twice)
  • Run for 1 minute, walk* for 1 minute (repeat twice)

Pace Booster Workout

  • Warm up for 6 minutes, alternating a jog for 30 seconds, walk* for 30 seconds
  • Repeat this interval as many times as you wish, increasing the run speed each time

Fast 15 Workout

Great for if you only have 15-20 minutes of time and still want to get in a run.

  • Easy run for 3 minutes
  • Run for 2 minutes, walk* for 30 seconds (repeat)
  • Run for 3 minutes, walk* for 30 seconds (repeat)
  • Short walk to cool down

*Why walk? Well, besides the face that it’s a Galloway workout, walking will change things up on the treadmill and keep the workout from becoming stale. If you don’t think walking will give you any good fitness benefits, you can probably take it down to a jog or easy run instead.

Last night I warmed back up to the treadmill by doing the Fast 15 workout. I originally planned to stick right to the program, but I felt so good that I extended a few intervals to 4-5 minutes with a 30 second walk. I was tempted to just jump right in and push the pace through the remaining time, but I felt a small twinge in my right IT band, and knew that I needed to take it easy. I’ll get there on the speed and distance. One day at a time for now. In the end I hit 1.63 miles in 15 minutes, including 60-90 seconds of recovery in there. Stoked.

I was beaming as I ran on that treadmill. It just felt so, so good to be back in my sneakers. It also helped/was amusing that the guy next to me was trying to show off and told his buddy he was going to do “just a mile.” He bumped his pace up to 7.4, increased the incline to what looked like 6 or 7%, and maybe made it 30 seconds before he had to jump off and take a breather. It’s cool, dude. I wouldn’t judge you if you were doing a 5.8 pace at 0%, or maintained 7.4 at a high incline.

Side Note: Be Careful

This has nothing to do with treadmills or anything else in this post. This past weekend, an old friend of mine and his wife were in a head-on collision and are both in the hospital with multiple injuries. Please, be careful this season, both in your cars and out on the sidewalks/shoulders. It’s almost impossible to not run in the dark, so wear lots of light-colored clothes with reflective accessories. Drive slowly. Be careful.

Seamless Transition

10 Dec

I’m locked out of my office right now, so what the heck? Blogtime.

Tonight there’s a class at my gym that I need (okay, not need… but really really want to and will regret it if I don’t) to take, and between the time I leave work and the time it starts, there isn’t really any time for me to stop by my house and change. Solutions:

  1. I could pack my gym clothes and leave them in my car. But then I’d still have to change at the gym, and I’m already short on time. Besides, those would be some super cold clothes (high of 30 in Boston today, whatup).
  2. Okay so I can’t change at the gym… so what if I packed everything and brought a bag with me to work and changed there? Plausible, but I really didn’t want to have to carry an entire change of clothes + sneakers.
  3. Combine work and gym clothes into one awesome outfit. Checkmate.

I got the idea from the lululemon Off The Mat blog challenge, where one woman works a few pairs of lulu pants into her professional and fitness wardrobe. It gave me a great start for today’s outfit.

Work to Gym

Not all the items are exactly what I’m wearing, but it gives you a good idea.

The Wunder Under pants are the base for work and gym. Right now, they act as leggings under my dress and later they’ll be workout pants in the gym. The Nike top is layered under my dress for a little more warmth, and allows me to really quickly transition into gym attire later. I have my athletic socks on in my boots, and my sneakers are in the trunk of my car. The only other thing I actually packed was my new Helly Hansen merino base layer. I got it on clearance at a running club event last night :) I figure it’s better to put that on post-workout rather than get my jacket all stanky.

I know a lot of you take the time to exercise during lunch at work, but does anyone regularly try to wear athletic but professonal-looking items to easily transition into a workout later?

Oh and yes, I finally made it into my office :)

Thirteen Things Thursday

21 Jan

Yep, Thirteen Things instead of Three Things. More on that in #3.

1. I love food. A lot.

You probably know that by now. But it’s not always easy to prepare balanced meals on a tight schedule. Here are my struggles:

  • My commute is an hour both ways. Depending on when I get out of work (and if I have to fit my training in at night) I’m sometimes simply too tired to fix a meal.
  • Also due to said time constraint, most of my lunches have dwindled down to haphazardly-packed leftovers. This makes me sad since I really look forward to lunch.
  • My mom is a picky eater. When I cook, I cook for the family. I don’t want to buy things that only benefit me (unless it’s a snack- we each buy our own snacks), so I try to make meals we can all enjoy. This is somewhat limited based on my mom’s tastes. Every now and then I’ll prepare a meal she’s not fond of, but I hate doing that too often.
  • If I don’t cook for the whole family, our food costs go up a bunch. So I need ways to prepare simple, low-ingredient meals that are healthy.

Such a simple criteria, right? I did really well when I first got my job, but as my ideas ran thin so did my lunchbox. I’m always so impressed with the meals Yasmin puts together, and I’m jealous of her creativity ;) Maybe it’s just a matter of thinking outside the box in terms of meal planning? Whatever it is, I need to get my bum back in gear. One meal on the list of “things I really need to try:” Mini Greek Pizza Muffins. The recipe was in my gym’s January newsletter and I was like NEED.

2. I’m going to start taking group classes at my gym again.

Taking group classes (and getting to know the people in the class!) this past summer made it much harder to skip. I felt more accountable when I knew people. It also forces me to not give in to my sleepy morning stupor.

3. I’ve been tagged!

J at Morning Runner tagged me to list 10 things (see that’s why it’s Thirteen Things Thursday!) that make me happy, then tag 10 others.

10. Small animals: I can’t help it. I love them. I become 5 years old when I see baby animals.

9. Candlelight: it’s my one of my favorite ways to unwind.

8. Apple picking: I’m a New England girl, so this is a must every autumn. Pardon my dorky face. The apple had a tumor.

7. Traveling: there are few things more exciting than getting to experience another place’s culture. I’ve only been within the States, US Territories, and Canada… I hope to travel internationally at some point.

6. Sunny days: no explanation needed ;)

5. Cooking: love it.

4. Farmers markets: when May rolls around, my favorite market comes to life. It’s two blocks from my office. Hello, joy.

3. Crossing my very first finish line.

2. Friends!

Look at Brian’s awesome penguin hat!

1. And of course, family.

I’m tagging:
1. Yasmin – Pretty Little Steps
2. Brian – Big B on the Road
3. Amanda – Run To The Finish
4. Velma – Running With Boys
5. Mel – Tall Mom on the Run
6. Lacey – Common Objects and Everyday Events
7. Marlene – Mission to a(nother) Marathon
8. Tricia – Endurance Isn’t Only Physical
9. Erin – Eri-thon
10. TAGmyStyle

Quick edit: I’d like to add Michelle to the list, but with 10 things that make her angry (like Sarah Palin). I find your rants so wonderful and amusing.

We’ve only got 3 months to save the world

7 Dec

Okay, maybe not “save the world.” But there’s exactly 3 months until my race, and I have that song ‘4 Minutes’ by Madonna and J.Timbs stuck in my head. Love that song.

This weekend I took it pretty easy on the training:
• 20 minutes on the cross trainer
• 25 minutes on a recline bike
• 15 minutes strength training

• 4.5 miles- 44:09
• 9:48 average pace

Total HBBC points for the weekend: 10 (including 2 for fruits and veggies)

I definitely think that taking it easy helped my run yesterday. I ate a craptastic (but soooo delicious) breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast and hash, so my motivation to run was low and desire to become a potato in my bed was high. But I got to the gym, and lo and behold, they had Food Network on as one of the TV stations. Ahh! So I watched Paula Deen as I ran. I very often feel like having to exercise after watching her show… it’s like all the butter she uses passes through your TV and into your bloodstream. So that was a win-win. Oh Paula, I see you making that buttery, buttery English toffee. Excuse me, I’m going to turn up the intensity now.

I’ve started listening to some podcasts on my commute to work, and today I listened to my first episode of RunRunLive, a (shock!) running podcast. I listened to the 11/26 broadcast (it’s out once a week), and there was a great guest piece about product endorsements. For those of you that don’t know, I’m a Marketing Coordinator, so I squealed with delight at the merged discussion of running and corporate branding. Such a nerd, so not caring. The podcast is really great, though. It’s full of excellent information, a bit of music here and there, and insightful commentary. It’d make a great listening item for long run days.

Enjoy your Monday, everyone!