Run Jenni, Run











Sometimes I get bored and plan out my entire workout schedule through the end of the year… and that happened this morning. 

Due to wedding dates, I have had to give up on a few races and change around a few plans.  It actually has not been as mentally difficult as I expected it to be and I am mostly glad that I realized I needed to change dates before I had paid for the races.  I still have somthing to do every month, but it’s definitely a change from the original.  My new race list still includes the Watermelon Series over the summer and the Aching Quad for my birthday, but I have cut down the October race from the Living Dead Challenge to just the Frakenfooter half marathon on October 27.  November will be changes from the Lake to Lake 10k to a mud race.  I finally found one that is nearby and not a ridiculous amount of money (in my opinion, anyways).  For December I cut out the second half marathon and am just planning for the one in Orlando the first weekend of the month.  It’s a slightly easier schedule and it allows for a little more free time to play aournd with other workout plans.

I am still planning on adding some random gym time in the summer due to a free membership as a perk of being a School Board employee.  The only priority of this will be the Wednesday Nutrition and Fitness classes.  I do have plans to visit the gym, but this summer will be focused on improving my 5k time and working through a few DVD programs.  As previously mentioned, May is dedicated to 30 Day Shred.  So far, I am definitely feeling it, but actual results remain to be seen.  In June I am upping the stakes with two DVD programs: Six Week Six Pack and Ripped in 30.  I will be working on Level One of Six Week Six Pack for the enire month of June, then moving up to Level Two during July.  Once July hits, I will finish up Ripped in 30 and dedicate more time to my free gym pass and yoga.  August will consist of a lot of Bob Harper as I alternete his Pure Strength workout with his Kettlebell workout to add in some strength that does not involve the gym.  August will also mark the point at which I add in more yoga to my routine, adding Monday and Friday evenings to my yofa class load.  By October I will be in full running mode, planning for the half marathon at the end of the month.  At this point, I am going to evealuate my fitness level.  If I decide I am well enough, both physically and mentally, I am planning to attempt Insanity for the third time.  If I start at the end of October, I will be able to complete the entire program by December 31, 2013… which is a great way to start off the new year. 

As always, this is subject to change according to ability and functionality… but I am hoping this plan sticks. 

 

Later Days,

-Jenni.

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Well, I’m finally doing it this summer.  I’m making plans and saving money for something I’ve needed to do since I was a little girl.  I am finally going to learn how to swim.  During the summer months I am thinking that swimming is going to be the best exercise to improve my cardio and overall fitness.  It also is going to help me work towards my ultimate goal of completing a triathlon.  My next investment along those lines will be a good bike, but that will come in time.

In other news, I am trying not to eat the cookies that I made for the students…but I’m a good cook.

I’m jumping back on the health bandwagon tomorrow…promise.  The past two days have been bad, and I apologize for indulging in all this awesome food.  But I think you would do the same thing, so yeah…

Later Days,

-Jenni



{February 20, 2013}   02.20.2013 – Restart

The holidays always seem to do me in, especially when they involve traveling.  I always plan to keep it somewhat healthy, and I fail every time.  Valentine’s Day was no exception to this rule.  If anything, it was probably one of the worst 180’s I have done over a holiday period that only is supposed to last a day.  I could blame the fact that Valentine’s Day turned into a weekend affair that included a last-minute trip to Heavy and Light on Monday evening, where I indulged in fast food for the first time in at least three months.  I could do that, but I know that the majority of the choices were done because I thought I could get away with it.  It’s like I get it inside my head that calories don’t count over the holidays.

But alas, the calories always count, and my lack of exercise had me feeling sluggish at the gym yesterday.  I did about 5 miles on the stationary bike and called it a day, no strength training at all.  This was a major fail on my part, and it will be remedied this afternoon.  While the movie selection at the gym this week is particularly lacking, I am hoping to get some major strength training done today, and perhaps a few miles on the bike.  Being Wednesday, it is a day to focus on the upper body, but I will probably throw in a few squats and other leg moves.  I have discovered that some of the weight machines are more enjoyable than one might be led to believe. 

As for the restart headline, I am restarting my healthy plans this week, focusing on weightloss more than I did while I was getting accumulated to the gym.  I am at a current weight of 210, and I have a goal weight of 160.  I have lingered around my current weight for at least a couple of years now, and I am ready to get rid of the final fifty.  I know this will take the type of dedication I have to dig down deep for, but I am hoping that my small group of supporters will be enough to push me across the finish line.  In order to do this, I will be uping my gym workouts every few weeks and following the rules of Bob Harper’s The Skinny Rules.  It should be noted that I am slowly working on the “no carbs after 2 rule”.  I’m trying, but it’s all a matter of keeping low carb snacks around the house for when I get home from work and finding protein supplements with low carbs.  I’ll do an update next Wednesday on how this is going. 

Tomorrow will be a gym day instead of running, as I am planning to attend an open house at Southeastern University.  Hopefully that goes well and doesn’t turn everything I want to do upside down…but let’s be honest, it probably will.

Later Days,

-Jenni.



{February 12, 2013}   02.12.2013 – Tuesdays at the Gym

I know… I’m a horrible person for not updating this weekend!

This will be my first Tuesday at the gym rather than running, and I am really looking forward to it.  I have an extensive workout planned, and I am hoping to get it all accomplished.  I do pretty well with sticking to my gym plans.  I did change my long distance ride to Sunday because they are playing Premium Rush at the Cardio Cinema.  I’ll be riding a bike while watching a movie about a guy riding a bike…ironic, eh? 

Wednesday will be the short workout that I was hoping for, with soccer planned for later that afternoon.  I am hoping that this will keep my speed skills sharpened while I am taking a break from track.  It isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing. 

Also, expect a small review of Diary by Chuck Palahniuk later on in the week.  I just finished the book this morning and I am thoroughly looking forward to moving on to Survivor. 

I’ll do an eating update on Friday.  I’m hoping to stay healthy this week in order to prepare for this weekend’s adventures in Orlando.  I am hoping to find some foods that aren’t fried.  Something tells me that might be difficult to do at a Chinese Buffet…at least I know there will be crab legs.

So… updates to look forward to:

Wednesday – Book Review

Thursday – Week at the gym recap

Friday – Healthy eating recap.

 

Later Days,

-Jenni.



{February 8, 2013}   02.08.2013 – A Running Break

I have decided to put running on the back burner for a bit.  I will still be attending my Hill Workouts every week, but I’m cutting out speed work and most of my long runs.  This isn’t to say I’m going to be a lazy bum on days I would usually run, I am just choosing to add in a bit more variety/more gym time to my week.  On Saturdays, I plan to start checking out Crossfit at Lake Mirror, which offers a free class on Saturday mornings.  I’m already signed up for this Saturday, and I plan to attend with an even mix of nerves and excitement.  I am hoping that this will get me into Crossfit on a more normal basis and I can either join a consistent class or just get comfortable with doing the moves on my own. 

In place of Tuesday speed work I will be adding a gym workout that focuses heavily on my legs.  While I didn’t think this was possible (I’m more of an arm girl at the gym), I knocked out two hours at the gym yesterday, focusing on wall sits and squats.  This definitely left me burning by the end of my session.  Adding small bursts of cardio will also help my metabolism, which I am really looking forward to. 

I need to throw together a workout for this afternoon, I had one..but I’m thinking of changing it up a bit.  Fitness class will either be yoga or kickboxing, I’m hoping they go for yoga.  I need a break from the craziness if I’m going to push myself this afternoon at the gym.  We shall see.  🙂

 

Later Days,

-Jenni.



Yesterday, I did less than half of what I had planned at the gym.  However, I still banked 11 miles on a stationary bike and a couple quad workouts. 

Quad #1: Sumo squat into high raise with Kettlebell, Butt Kick, Skull crushers, Side twisting sit-up

Quad #2: Right/Left Lunge with tricep-kickback, Alternating side-to-side lunges, Extended arm raise from a sit-up position, wall sit

It was enough that I was feeling it by the end of the workout, and that was good enough for me.  Plus, the boyfriend got off work early and was wanting to get some food.  I had instant hunger pangs, but I only ended up eating my roll and half of the massive omelet I made for dinner.  Most people would be disappointed in not finishing their plate, I find it strangely comforting that I am finally getting over my “starving kids in China” mentality.  I was told that so much as a kid that I hardly ever leave food on my plate, even at restaurants.  Because of that, I would end up consuming way more than my body wanted or needed at every meal.  

And it’s not like I wasted the food, the boyfriend said he would eat it with his leftover black bean burger.  Everybody wins.

I am trying to convince myself that running is a good idea tonight.  I feel like my desire for running comes and goes, and right now it is in a going phase.  I suppose as long as I am still finding some way to move then it isn’t a problem.  I just thought I would be running for the rest of my life…maybe I just need a break from it for a bit, or at least a cut back.  I have been focusing a lot on strength training at the gym, and it really seems to get me going more than when I know I have a track workout or something else that keeps me away from the gym. 

Maybe it’s time to finally start looking into Crossfit.

Later Days,

 -Jenni.



As promised, a quick review of Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick.  There will not be as much information as I would usually include in a book review because I was hoping to see the movie before writing the review, but such is life.

While it took me awhile to really dive into this book, that is not a problem that I blame on the author.  Because once I found the time to really sit down and enjoy the book (which mostly occurred when I hit the sauna after a hard day at the gym).  After I got into it, I was reading every chance I got.  I even took an hour at Starbucks the other night which nearly got me to the end.  I finished up after a few trips to the sauna between stationary biking on Saturday. 

The book has many twists and turns that, while some would call them predictable, kept me interested; if only to see how the main character, Pat Peoples, would react once he found out the many truths he was searching for.  While Pat does not get the happy ending that he originally planned for in his personal movie (a fact the reader knows from the beginning), he does end up coming out of the story content.  I appreciated that this book dealt with a lot of real problems in a humorous way.  Peoples is haunted by the ghost of Kenny G, which does get explained near the end of the book.  I went into reading knowing what the big twist was (thanks to my mom), and I was still surprised. 

At times, I felt the writing was a bit hard to follow, but as a story written in memoir form it fit well.  The idea is that you are reading a personal memoir of someone who recently left a mental facility.  You are following his actual thought process, and sometimes I found it hard to keep up.  However, this added to my connection to the character, a quality needed for any good novel.

I would definitely recommended this book to someone looking for an easy read (it could probably be finished in a weekend if you had enough time).  It is definitely something to check out if the field of mental health is of any interest.

 

I apologize if this review seems jumbled.  I’m on a small break between classes, but I wanted to get it posted.  I’m headed to the gym this afternoon and I am looking forward to another long day that meets a lot of goals.  No soccer this week, but we are looking forward to getting back on the field next Wednesday.

Later Days,

-Jenni.



The title says it all.  Although it is less than two weeks away, I want to look exponentially better than I do right now when Valentine’s day rolls around.  I have a super cute outfit picked out, and I would like to feel like I look awesome when I put it on.  While I know I’m not going to drop down to my goal weight in a matter of weeks, I think it is possible to break under 200 and maintain that weight.  I have been yo-yoing back and forth since starting my new healthy ways of living and I think I am finally finding ways to motivate myself to stay on track throughout the rest of the year.  Last night I made some killer black bean burgers, which are a great substitute for all of the horrible food choices I have been making lately. 

Yesterday, I banked almost three hours at the gym, and at least two hours were hardcore working out, focused on weights and some higher levels of the stationary bike.  My quad plan worked out well, but near the end I cut one of the final quads in half and just did two moves four times.  This did include a wall sit that I was able to hold for a full minute during one of the sets…pretty impressive.  Surprisingly, I feel the workout more in my arms today.  However, this works out since I have a run planned this afternoon at the lake before I decide if I would like to really go to the Grad School open house at Florida Southern.  I know I could gain a lot from going back to school, I’m just not sure what I would want to do, so it seems pointless to waste my time.  However, it couldn’t hurt if I’m feeling up for it after the run.  If not, I’m sure I can just meet the boyfriend at Starbucks and call it a night. 

I am looking forward to another gym day like Monday when I head to the gym on Wednesday.  With no soccer planned for this week, I am planning another workout that will kick my ass and get me into gear.  If I keep this up, I expect to see some noticeable progress when I head out for Valentine’s Day adventures. 

Later Days,

-Jenni.



This weekend I was, in a word, unmotivated.  Along with my lack of motivation came a slightly sour attitude and the need for a lot of sleep.  After banking a decent nine hours (uninterrupted!) last night, I am feel much more motivated for the upcoming week.  I have three gym workouts already planned, and I have a modified Tuesday workout due to an Open House for Graduate School at Florida Southern College.  I’ve toyed with the thought of not going to the open house because I honestly do not know how I would afford school at this point, but I’m going to check it out anyways.  I’ll probably regret it later if I don’t. 

I’ve put together a new workout routine for the gym consisting of groups of four moves.  Each “quad” is to be repeated four times before moving on to the second.  Each workout has about six quad sets, and I will probably work up to eight by the end of the month.  It’s all a matter of finding new moves to throw into the mix.  The idea is to give a full body workout, which includes small bursts of cardio, for each day I am at the gym.  It is a lot more motivating than focusing on upper or lower body at the gym.  This is probably because I am so drawn to combo moves that use every part of the body.  Therefore, I am never getting just an upper or lower body workout with my routines.  This plan worked out last week, and I am hoping to keep it up through the end of the month (at the very least).  Tuesday I will be running the lake at least one time.  If I am still feeling energetic after the open house (I have no idea how long it will last), I might run the lake a second time before heading home.  Thursday’s hill workout should consist of an easy four hills. 

Starting today I have cut out fried foods from my diet, which should totally be fun.  I am noticing that my mood tends to change when I eat foods that are bad for me, so I am trying to slowly cut out all bad choices until I have a completely natural and healthy diet.  All the enriched flours and dough are going to be the hardest to cut out, so naturally I am saving that for last.  If I get through the month without fried food, I’ll find something else to cut out soon after the end of February. 

Also, I have finished Silver Linings Playbook.  As of right now, I do not have plans to see the movie any time soon (unless it ends up at the drive-in again).  There will be a review of just the book sometime later this week, most likely Wednesday since there won’t be much to write about my lake run (those are always pretty straightforward).  The book I am reading for February is Diary by Chuck Palahniuk.  He is one of my favorite authors, but I have started and stopped this book over five times.  It’s time to get it read and move on to something new.  There will be a few Palahniuk books on the revised reading list, I have a lot of his books and I have never made time to finish them.  Now is the time.

An update on races: I’m putting a lot of them on hold.  While I did say that was a “wish list”, I may not be getting enough funds to make my wishes come true.  Since I would rather do the long distance races, I am cutting a lot of the 5k races first, starting with the Light the Night 5k.  While I would love to do it, Valentine’s Day plans and overspending (as always) is cutting into my race funds.  Hopefully I can get it all straightened out soon and get some of these races on my calendar for real. 

Later Days,

-Jenni.



{February 1, 2013}   02.01.2013 – Already February?

My lunch is leaving a lot to be desired (sour choice of stir-fry veggies…never getting canned again).  I also am hating the fact that on Fridays my lunch is pretty much a second breakfast.  However, the fact that I am currently allowed to wear yoga pants on Friday makes everything better.  There are certain perks to teaching a fitness class at school.  Today was our nine weeks ceremony, so I’ve had a pretty slow morning.  I just have to make it through third block and I will be on to the easy part of the day. 

I am looking forward to an intense afternoon workout at the gym after a pretty basic workout in class this afternoon.  I have to keep myself entertained until Luke gets finished at work, which means I will be in for a pretty hefty workout today, seeing as he gets off at 730.  But after busting my butt I will get to enjoy an awesome dinner (Ruby Tuesdays…sooo looking forward to their salad bar) and a late night drive-in movie.  It’s all about finding ways to reward yourself. 

My current goals for February are as follows (and I will actually update on progress in March):

1. Don’t skip any long runs on the weekends.  While the distances may change from the original plan, I still want to keep distance running in my schedule, especially since I will have to get used to doing distance more often in the coming months.

2. Move to 12.5lb. weights on all free weight exercises.  I am just now getting used to using 10lb. weights, and I think with the amount that I am using them, I will be able to move up a size by the end of this month.

3. Hold each plank variation for 45-seconds.  I’m at about 30-seconds for nearly all variations that I have in my routine. 

4. Bank 90 miles (running and biking) for the month of February.  Totally possible, even if it seems crazy.

As a bonus goal, I would love to be able to say I ran my February 5k without any walking breaks.  I know it’s possible, I just have to assert myself.  My 5k for February in Light Up the Night in Winter Haven.  It’s only $25 to register, and it is up on Active.com. 

 An update on my book reviews – I may change the book for February to something already in my collection at home.  While staring at my bookcase the other day, I realized how many books I have that I have never even opened.  And a lot of them have movies.  I might read books and compare them to the movies.  Not only will it encourage my reading, it will give me a date night with Luke (like I need an excuse for that). 

After my weekend run I am going to write a review for the Dr. Scholl’s active gel insoles I just purchased.  I am hoping they give some support while I save up money for a new pair of shoes.  I will be testing them with all of my running activities, but I won’t know just how effective they are until the track workout next Tuesday.  That is where I experience the majority of my knee pain.



et cetera