Monday, December 8, 2014

What Happens When I Listen to Taylor Swift While Working Out

This is what happens when I listen to Taylor Swift while strength training. To the tune of "Blank Spaces":

Nice to meet you, never been
Never set foot inside a gym
Machines, treadmills, ellipticals
I don’t know where to begin
Oh my God, these heavy weights
Boy, I feel so out of place
How will I ever keep pace?

New outfit, KT tape
I belong in a fitness magazine
Gonna try to change my shape
My magazine said it will be easy
So hey, show me how
I’m dying to see how you work out
Grab a water bottle and a resistance band
I’m going to work out every day—even weekends.

I’ve been working out forever
My muscles are inflamed
I’ll let you know when it’s over
If the body’s worth the pain
Got an appointment with my trainer
He’ll tell you I’m out of shape
My cardio won’t cut it
So I’ll up the weights

‘Cause I’m tired and I’m sweaty
Pushed myself way too far
My body feels like jello
May not make it to my car
Got an appointment with my trainer
He’ll tell you I’m out of shape
But I’ve got one more rep left
And I’ll up the weights

Heart rate high, pushing through
Trying to keep it inside the zone
One rep done, three more to go
Then I can think about going home
I joined the gym, it’s what I want
I prepaid for 6 months
Desperate to see the results to come

Screaming, crying, can’t do more
I can’t even lift my phone
Gonna pass out on the floor
Can somebody drag me home
Oh my God, help me please
I think I’m drunk off my protein
But I’ll come back each time I leave
‘Cause we all know I’m a chubby girl dressed like a yogi.

I’ve been working out forever
My muscles are inflamed
I’ll let you know when it’s over
If the body’s worth the pain
Got an appointment with my trainer
He’ll tell you I’m out of shape
My cardio won’t cut it
So I’ll up the weights

‘Cause I’m tired and I’m sweaty
Pushed myself way too far
My body feels like jello
May not make it to my car
Got an appointment with my trainer
He’ll tell you I’m out of shape
But I’ve got one more rep left
And I’ll up the weights

Just want to be in shape, but it’s torture
My trainer says, well, I warned you
Just want to get in shape, but it’s torture
My trainer says, well I warned you

I’ve been working out forever
My muscles are inflamed
I’ll let you know when it’s over
If the body’s worth the pain
Got an appointment with my trainer
He’ll tell you I’m out of shape
My cardio won’t cut it
So I’ll up the weights

‘Cause I’m tired and I’m sweaty
Pushed myself way too far
My body feels like jello
May not make it to my car
Got an appointment with my trainer
He’ll tell you I’m out of shape
But I’ve got one more rep left

And I’ll up the weights

Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday Happenings and The Result of Having Time to Write

One of my goals for myself for the last bit of 2014 was to give myself time to write.

I've just let myself write what comes to mind--and mostly it's been about parenting and motherhood, since that's what most of my world is focused on. I've also been doing some free writing with prompts and I've loved dipping my toes back into fiction again. So much so that I've decided to do something about it. I'm excited to be launching a new blog, Mama Writes Words, with it's very first post up today. It's a cross section of my heart where writing, parenting and family life meet, and if it is your kind of thing, I'd love for you to check it out here!

Aside from prepping to launch the blog, my holiday weekend was full of good food, family and very relaxing. I managed to stay on top of my workouts, only missing one cardio workout. I will admit that I probably ate more carbs and cinnamon buns than I should have, but Thanksgiving is the one day a year my husband cooks, and he makes AMAZING mac & I indulge. I mean, who could say no to this?

But Thanksgiving is no time to beat yourself up about food, and I'm back at it this week. Here's my workout schedule for the week:

Monday: Arms circuit
Tuesday: HIIT & core, C25K week 2, day 1
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: Legs circuit
Friday: HIIT & core, C25k week 2, day 2
Saturday: Chest, back & shoulders and yoga class
Sunday: C25K week 2, day 3

I also feel very legit since I got some of these. Hey, if I've learned one thing as a runner is that half the fun is dressing the part, right?

A penny for your thoughts: how did your waistline and your workouts handle the Thanksgiving weekend?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TotR: Runner's Gift List

It's Tuesday, and that means it is Tuesday on the Run with April, Erika, and Patty!

Today the theme is Runner's Gift List, so I'm going to share five things that are on my wish list.

This Athleta vest. Something about the color just calls out to me. I'm really hoping it comes on sale as spring gets closer!

In fact, I'm kind of obsessed with this whole Athleta line. It makes me want to take up barre classes and yoga immediately.

A new yoga mat, so I can become all zen and bendy and get to wear Athleta clothes.

These adorable, beachy performance leggings.

Lux Arms Warmers from Oiselle.

A running/fitness retreat. I've been daydreaming about this since the November issue of Runner's World featured Kara Goucher and talked about her gals-only running retreat. How fun does that sound? I've even looked into some that are close by to my house...but it totally doesn't fit my lifestyle right now! But that's why it's called a wish list, right?

A penny for your thoughts: what fitness gifts do you hope are under the tree this year? 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Report: A Successful Week One

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but this weekend has been wet, wet, wet.

But luckily (drum roll here) I got all of my workouts done this week and I didn't have to venture out in the rain--not even to slog my way to the gym across the street. I am very proud of myself.

I started off the week by weighing myself and recording my body fat percentage, and taking "before" photos. Let me tell you, if I hadn't been motivated to get my workouts in before, the photos would have done it. When did I become eggplant shaped? It was definitely a wake up call. I considered burying them where no one would ever, ever find them, but instead I left them on my phone as a reminder to myself.

I also made a promise to myself that I wouldn't step on the scale for 6 weeks--halfway through my Run Builder plan. I tend to get a little obsessive about the scale.

This week consisted of two days of cardio, arms, legs and chest & back. By the end of it, I HURT. But it was the good kind of pain, so I tried to keep the complaining to a minimum.

I stayed pretty straight when it came to food...I only had one major slip up, and that was mid-week cookie dough. I only ate out once this week, so I'm calling it a win overall.

This is my schedule for this week:

Monday: 45 minutes of cardio, half of which will be day 1 of the Couch to 5k plan
Tuesday: Arms
Wednesday: Legs
Thursday: Rest (and eat!)
Friday: 45 minutes of cardio, half of which will be day 2 of C25K
Saturday: Chest, back, and day 3 of C25K
Sunday: Rest

If I get tripped up, it will be by the back end of the week. After Thanksgiving, my week gets busy. We're not traveling for Thanksgiving, but the holidays start in full force this week--shopping, parties, and general merriment that usually causes me to put on 15 pounds. My fitness plan of attack this week is to get my workouts in early--that way they are done and not looming over my head so I can enjoy the holiday week.

A penny for your thoughts: how are you handling workouts during the holiday week? Do you have a plan of attack or are you taking a week off? Have you ever done before and after pictures?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo...Which Plan do I Choose?

I've spent the last couple of days looking over 5k training plans. I was looking for 2 things in a plan: a timeline I could match a race up to, and a plan that complimented my strength training plan.

There are tons of 5k plans out there. It seems like every fitness organization, magazine and celebrity has one to offer. And most of them are similar...although I was surprised at how many "beginner" plans described themselves as plans for people who can already run for 30 minutes. Since this is my biggest issue, I looked for a plan that would bring me back to square on and settled on the Couch to 5k program.

It's very flexible and it's a 9 week plan, which matches up perfectly with the Hot Chocolate Run in Atlanta in late January. I wanted to run this race anyway--I had a blast last year and I'll be able to compare my pace.

I'm actually really excited about getting started next week. I can't remember the last time I was excited about running, so it's a great feeling! Of course, maybe that's because my first running workout is...20 minutes long, alternating 90 seconds of running with 2 minutes of walking.

I feel sort of silly going out with that as a plan, but I think that's a mindset I need to work on. Just because I'm capable of completing a half marathon doesn't mean I don't need to go back and work on the basics.

A penny for your thoughts: what's your favorite part about starting a new training plan?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Focus on the 5K

Happy Tuesday on the Run! I'm linking up with Run the Great Wide Somewhere, My No-Guilt Life and MCM Mama Runs. Today the topic is inclement weather running--but since I haven't been running this season, I don't have too many tales to tell on that front. Instead, I wanted to talk about my lack of running.

I've been thinking a lot about why I have gotten so overwhelmed by running this race season. Usually as the weather gets colder, I get more motivated to get outside and put in the miles. This year, all I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and stay in my warm bed.

I think I've finally come up with the reason: I'm no good at running. And who wants to keep doing something they are lousy at?

I know, I know...a mile is a mile whether you run it in 15 minutes or 8 minutes. Trust me, I know all the motivational sayings and I've repeated them to myself over and over as I continued to cross the finish line close to last during every race I ran.

Actually, let me rephrase that: every race I survived.

Because I've never actually RUN a race. I start out with a comfortable-for-me run/walk/run pace...which eventually becomes a walk. I'm consistently under trained, unprepared and under enthused. But despite all those things, I love race days. I love the energy and the friendships I've made and laying out the flat Allyson the night before and posting it to instagram. I love the fun clothes from Athleta and finding the right shoe and the energy gels and all the STUFF that comes with the running culture. Once again, my mind comes back around to the "illusion of healthy". Time to face reality, folks: I've been running for almost three years and I still don't know how to do it.

So I'm starting over.

When I first started the sport, I began it solely to run a Princess Half Marathon. I chose a Jeff Galloway program because that's what the runDisney website suggested. I sort of trained. I finished the race on a wing and a prayer. Then I had done a half marathon, so I felt silly going back and doing shorter races, when in reality, that's what I should have started with. My first PHM was my second race ever. Talk about jumping in with both feet, right?

I'm rethinking my entire approach to running. You know how you always say, "I wish I'd known then what I know now?" Well, I can go into my second running life with all that knowledge from the mistakes I made the first time around. All the information I've garnered from other bloggers, runners, and a gazillion Pinterest pins. I can pick a training plan that is actually right for me (although I suspect that the Galloway method is the one I'll end up with). I can learn how to run a mile, and then another, and then another, until I'm actually successful at a 5k...and not just surviving the miles because I have to get through them to move on to the next step in my half marathon training plan.

A penny for your thoughts: have you ever had to admit to yourself that you've gone about something the wrong way and you need to start over? What do you wish you knew back then that you know now?

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Weekend Report: Simple Autumn Goals

I can't believe how quickly fall is passing me by. The autumn--the whole year, actually--has not played out at all how I had planned. Apparently, I need to start planning in pencil!

As I wrote in my last post at the beginning of October, I was feeling really burned out. I thought I was ready to take on the world again--or at least my little corner of it--but apparently I was incorrect. I needed more time to reassess my goals (both personal and fitness) and to continue balancing real life with the life I was planning. I think I've finally managed to make some goals that are realistic and will carry me through the end of the year. And I'm focusing on simplicity.

First, fitness. I've deciding I'm going to stop watching my weight...

...and start watching my body fat percentage. Which means that running and cardio will be the icing on my proverbial fitness cake, and strength training will make up the bulk of it (no pun intended). I'm not going to stop eating and drinking my favorite foods (especially as the holidays are right around the corner) but I'm going to do it in moderation. No crazy diets, no obsessively tracking my food in My Fitness Pal. I've been trying those things for years and they're not working. When I restrict my calories, I am not a nice person. And no one likes people who aren't nice. I'm just going to eat a normal diet, with food that occurs naturally on the planet with the occasional food that occurs naturally at Krispy Kreme.

Instead of food, I'm going to focus on exercise. Honest to goodness, make a plan and stick to it exercise that involves weights and kettle bells and resistance bands and cardio to keep me happy.  Because as much as I've run in the past 2.5 years and as many miles as I've logged, I'm not getting anywhere. I feel like I'm living an illusion of healthy, saying to myself, "Oh, I can run a half marathon. I'm healthy." I'm not. I feel sluggish and yucky in my clothes, and I've been catching every sniffle and cold that passes through our neighborhood. And there's no excuse for it--I can change it.  It's been hard to label myself as a "healthy living blogger" when I don't feel healthy.

So my singular goal for the last 6.5 weeks of 2014 is to make a plan and stick to it. I figure if I can manage to do that during the holidays, when life settles down in January it will be smooth sailing.

My personal goals for the rest of 2014 are equally as simple. I think one of the reasons I was feeling so burned out was because I wasn't taking any time for myself. My husband works insane hours and since beginning to home school, my life has gone on the back burner. Not only have I not been blogging here, I haven't been writing anything--and that makes me even more cranky than when I try to stick to 1200 calories a day! I've been a writer since I figured out how to hold a pen--it's how I process the world around me. So my goal for the remainder of the year is to spend one hour a day writing. It might not seem like a lot to some people, but between being a mom, wife, teacher to my kid, and exercising--an hour is hard to come by. I wish I felt like exercise was "me" time--but I usually run with a stroller and strength train at home, which means while I'm squatting/stretching/lifting, I'm also a jungle gym/toddler bridge/trying to keep my kid from dropping a weight on his foot.

So that's it. Two simple goals. It sounds easy when I say it to myself but I know it will be challenging. But after being away for so long, I'm ready for the challenge!

A penny for your thoughts: do you ever over burden yourself with goals? What are you trying to accomplish by the end of 2014?