Run Jenni, Run











Two days into 30 Day Shred and my legs are feeling it, for sure.  I was impressed that I had the ability to run as much as I did last night.  The boyfriend is actually finding ways to encourage me without making me feel so bad about being slow as snails.  I finished a 5k course in around 40 minutes, which is widely attributed to the fact that I cannot run fast and I need to invest in new running shoes.  These are over a year old and definitely out of commission.

Tonight will consist of some simple soccer drills and a flow yoga class that I am more than looking forward to this week.  I didn’t make it to the class last week, so I’m definitely feeling a little less than zen.  Surprisingly, I have been in a better mood this week.  I’m sure that can be contributed to the exercise that I have shoved back into my daily routine, but it’s always nice to feel better about where my life is headed. 

My second test for teaching certification is this Friday, and I am anxious and excited.  I am trying to stay confident about doing well on the test, but I really haven’t study as much as I could have in the past couple of weeks.  Hopefully all will go well.  I have been getting a good amount of “hands-on” teaching experience, so hopefully that will be reflected in my test scores.

The rest of this week consists of a lot of 30 Day Shred and a lot of running (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday).  Friday I might go for more walking than running, but it’s all in how I feel when the time comes. 

Later Days,

-Jenni.

 

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{March 21, 2013}   03.21.2013 – Better

I am happy to say that I am completely back on my feet today.  I am over the worst of the flu and back to school, which is a good change of pace from the boring that comes with being resigned to bedrest all day.  I was just thankful I was still able to get some yoga in while I wasn’t feeling 100 percent.  I was hoping to make it to the gym this afternoon, but I’m thinking that I might just call it a day after work and catch up on sleep.  While I have been getting back to normal, my parents are both still pretty sick and my dad is having a tendency to wake me up at 430 in the morning with his hour-long coughing spells.  This has me running on about 4 hours today, which is partially my fault…but ya know.

It’s obviously been a very laid back week when it comes to exercise, but I have actually remained decently healthy, especially compared to how I usually eat when I am sick.  I have upped my carb-intake, but that is something I was working on before I even got sick.  Starting refreshed next week after I’m well will definitely be in my game plan.  I have decided to cut down on sweets rather than cut them out completely.  While it is awesome, and I am impressed by anyone who can quit a food group “cold turkey”, I am not that type of eater, and I need to weed it out one small problem at a time.  My goals is to get where I have moderated my sweet intake enough that I don’t feel bad about myself when I do indulge.

Starting in April, I am considering starting Insanity again.  I think it would be a good way to round out the school year.  I would modify it a bit, probably cutting down on too much plyo, but still doing a less explosive version of the move to save my joints ant unwanted/unneeded pain, but I think I can get most of it done.  I would also still want to get at least one or two days in the gym for some alternative cardio (most likely biking, but elliptical if it fit my mood).  My main reasoning for that is I don’t want to nix my gym membership, but I don’t want to be paying $20 a month for something I never use.  If I can get at least 5-6 gym trips a month, I will feel like my money is not being wasted.  If it cost more per month I would probably put the membership on hold, but $20 isn’t too much to complain about, and I enjoy Wednesday afternoon bike ride and sauna trips.  This entire plan will be mapped out more once I get my Insanity DVDs back from my friend and after Spring Break is over.

In personal news, I am looking forward to taking the GKE next month, hopefully.  I have been studying math, which I hate.  I just need to write a few practice essays to refresh my skills and register for the test (which I will do at the beginning of April).  Hopefully, this will go as well as I am willing it to in my mind.

That’s all for now, I will try to send an update tomorrow to give an overview of Spring Break plans.

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 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.



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.



{January 28, 2013}   01.28.2013 – Early Planner

My progress tracker for my class is down, so I am spending my planning period mapping out my strength workouts for the week.  I’ve been noticing that I don’t have a major focus when I head to the gym on strength days.  I stick to a few moves that seems to work out the majority of my body and then I hit the bike if they are showing a decent movie that day.  In order to get more rounded workouts, I am going to start to try to focus on upper-body and lower-body exercises on alternating days at the gym, while also attempting to throw in a few ab moves every day.  As a basic outline, Mondays will be my only fully devoted lower-body day, seeing as Thursdays’ Hill workouts are a strength workout within themselves.  Wednesdays and Fridays will focus on upper-body, with little bursts of cardio thrown in after each strength move on Wednesdays. 

I am hoping this works out and allows me more success in the gym.  While I have been feeling better lately, I am not seeing much change on the scale.  Even thought I know that the changes in my body are more important, it is difficult to forget that unholy number on the scale.  Hopefully it will start changing soon. 

I’ll update with February goals later this week, along with a January recap.

Later Days,

-Jenni.



{January 24, 2013}   01.24.2013 – Rambling Update

Today I don’t have a method of writing, I just need to give a simple update while I have some free time.  My sixth graders are on a field trip (jealousss!) today, so I don’t have a plethora of students to keep track of.  I have definitely enjoyed the time to catch up on worksheets that need to be made and taking a breath after a pretty hectic week.  I have another online training this afternoon, but that fits in to giving me something to pass the time before running club this afternoon.  I will definitely run four hills, but I might throw in a fifth hill.  It’ll depend on how I’m feeling once I get out there, though.  We played some soccer yesterday after my arm workout, and that did a small number on my knees. 

I find it funny that I am beginning to feel more comfortable in the main gym rather than the female gym.  I think I have mentioned this before, but it deserves repeating.  I never thought that I would consider myself good enough to be working out with the guys that are doing pull-ups and lifting bars as heavy as I weigh.  I don’t have a copy of my arm workout on me, so I may have to post it later.  Just know it involved a few tricep moves because that is the trouble zone of my arms. 

In meal plan news, I have continued to follow my meal plan this week and I couldn’t be happier.  For the most part, my meals are enjoyable and fulfilling.  According to the boyfriend I need to add more flavor, so that will be a goal in the upcoming weeks.  I have been so afraid to add certain flavors because I don’t want it to be unhealthy or to have too much sodium or butter, so I just go with the basics and avoid salt at all costs.  I do have a goal dinner planned out for next week though, and it won’t involve going out (yay for saving money!).  I have been failing to take photos, though.  I tend to keep my camera in my school bag, which was working for taking photos of lunch, but I would forget about breakfast and dinner. 

I’ll let you know how running goes, I’m expecting success.

Later Days,

-Jenni.



I may not have reached all of my goals at the gym yesterday, but I showed up.  That is more than I would have achieved had Luke not forced me to go to Gold’s yesterday.  I had a bit of structure, but it was mostly a quick warm-up on the bike and fooling around with free weights.  I finished a great deal less than I had on my index card plan, but I was pleased.  I got introduced to some of the stretching machines at the gym, and I think I will be using those a lot more often now that I know how to use them without looking stupid. 

If you want to look at how cool I am, you can check out my feature as a January Joiner on Healthy Tipping Point (read: one of my FAVORITE blogs, ever).  This can be checked out at http://www.healthytippingpoint.com.

Today I will attempt to drag myself to Running Club this afternoon.  But mostly, I just want to sleep.  I feel like I have so much sleep to catch up on.  Good thing I have a four-day weekend to enjoy.  And by enjoy, I mean plan a healthier eating plan because I need to stop tearing apart Luke’s kitchen every time I visit his house (which is a lot, btw).

Later Days,

-Jenni.



et cetera