Posts Tagged by spinning

We Are Our Own Worst Enemies

Last night in my Spinning class, I met a woman who was there for her third class.  She was on the bike next to me and I offered to help her with clarifying anything during the class if she got lost.  All of the positions and resistance increases can get confusing in the beginning.  At the end of the class, she thanked me for the offer to help and continued to talk about how since she doesn’t currently have the strength in her legs to do all the moves (or so she thinks), she is getting discouraged in the classes.  Having signed up for 20 classes, she is determined to come back, but also said she is her “own worst enemy” when it comes to exercise and that she needs to talk herself into coming to each class.

There isn’t a truer statement than that.  We all are our own worst enemies when it comes to fitness, nutrition, motivation, etc…   I know that I could come up with a million excuses on why I can’t run today.  “I’m too tired.”  “I have too many errands to run.”  “I have too much work to do.”  The list goes on and on.  But what good does that do to fall prey to my excuses?  If I did that, then I never would’ve run not one but TWO half marathons so far this year.  I wouldn’t be trying to lose a marathon while training to run a marathon!

So why do we give up?  Maybe this sums it up:

Instead of thinking of how slow your are running, think of how FAST you are running compared to when you began.  I began seriously running in October 2011 and my average pace was around 15 min/mile.  This wasn’t an easy pace for me either…I was huffing and puffing.  Now 8 months later, I’ve shaved a little more than 2 minutes off of my average per mile pace.  That’s a pretty big accomplishment!  Would I like to run a 10 minute mile?  Of course!  But I have to remind myself that my body isn’t ready for that yet, but I will get there…probably in another 8 months.

Quitting isn’t an option for me and it shouldn’t be for you!  Just keep this in mind:

I want those abs!

The biggest piece of advice I can put out there on how to stay motivated to train is to SIGN UP FOR RACES!  Once I put that money down on a race, I’m not going to let it go to waste.  The same thing applies for exercise classes, gym memberships or even a new pair of running shoes.  If you’re financially connected to something, you’re more likely to stick with it.  Well, at least I am 🙂

So stop listening to that nagging voice inside your head and stop being your worst enemy!  Only you have the power to reach your goals…get there!

RAD Reads & Weekly Review – April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day and Happy Birthday Animal Kingdom!!

Sadly, it’s a dreary day here in the northeast.  It’s one of those days that you want to curl up with a blanket and a good book.  But instead of a book, why don’t you check out some RAD Reads from around the blogosphere?!

Running Posts
Will Run For Margaritas finished the Boston Marathon in a very impressive time given the less then ideal temperatures.  Big congrats and I’m incredibly humbled by your performance!

Running Long Island NYC finished her first half marathon!  So proud of her and all of the progress she has made.

Running With Sass provides a fantastic recap of the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in Pensacola.  It looked very hot, but it looked like it was worth it to get those awesome medals!

Words to Run By tells the emotional story of the loss of her mother and how running brought them closer before she passed.  Grab the tissues.

Running Jennie takes us on her favorite route.  Wow, Quebec sure is beautiful!

Disney Posts
Drinking Disney takes a look at the various classic martinis you can find around Walt Disney World.  I always love a good martini!

Da Mouse takes us on a great photo tour of the ongoing refurbishment on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  It’s looking great and hopefully the ride will be much smoother after this.

Disney Parks Blog provides tips on how to stay fit and healthy on a Disney Cruise.  3 laps around deck 4 = 1 mile!

Studios Central gives us a preview of the snacks that will be available during Star Wars Weekends.  They come in R2-D2 buckets!

Zannaland celebrates the return of the Little Orange Bird.  I’m so excited he’s back!  I can’t wait to get one of the sippy cups – I had one when I was a kid.

Oh and don’t forget to celebrate Animal Kingdom’s birthday and Earth Day over at This Happy Place Blog where they’re having Animal Kingdom Appreciation Month!

Weekly Review
Once again, I did not do as much as I would’ve liked, but I got in some great runs and I’m feeling good.  I’ve also really been excelling in my Spinning classes and my instructor has told me numerous times now how impressed he is.  I’m clearly getting stronger, which feels fantastic!

Here is my week in training:
Monday: Spinning – 1 hour
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 3.5 mile run
Thursday: Spinning – 1 hour
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6.5 mile run
Sunday: 2.5 mile walk/jog

This week I discovered the powers of the cold bath.  I won’t say that’s it’s the most pleasant experience of my life but whoa does that help my recovery!  My legs are usually very achy after my runs and they stay that way for at least a day.  I soaked my legs for 10 minutes after my 6.5 miles yesterday and now I feel fantastic!  I should’ve done this a long time ago, but I was always so scared of the idea.  If you have sore legs, you MUST give this a try!  Don’t worry, you get used to the cold after a few minutes.  Plus, if you wear a long sleeved hoodie while in there, it’s not so bad.

Brrrrrr! Yes, I'm wearing clothes.

After my run on Saturday, Barry and I headed to West Hartford to get him fitted for new running shoes at Fleet Feet.  He signed up for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler this week after seeing the very cool medal and I couldn’t be more proud that he’s taking this step!  I got a great pair of Saucony’s and I got a new fuel belt, a stretch strap, and some shorts.  I also got a pair of Injinji socks, which really make me giggle 🙂

Toesocks!

We then went to one of our favorite restaurants, Grants, for a fun date night.  Oh how I’ve missed this place.  Here’s part of our fab dinner…

Barry's New England Clam Chowder with Bacon and Cornbread Croutons

My Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Potato and Ramp Puree, Baby Carrots & Cippolini Onions

We then headed over to Pinkberry for dessert.  I’ve never had it before and I’ve been wanting to see what the fuss was all about.  Let’s just say that it has officially changed my life and I am seriously bummed that the closed one is 45 minutes away…I would have that everyday if I could!

Peach & Salted Caramel with Fresh Blueberries, Coconut and Waffle Cookie...only 230 calories & 3 grams of fat!!

Overall it’s been a great week, but I still need to fit toning into my exercise routine.  Blech.  Hope you have a fun week and sorry for all of the feet pictures today 🙂

Spintastic!

Ever since I was cleared by my physical therapist to begin exercise after my psoas injury, I started Spinning.  It is a low impact cardio exercise that I could do to keep my endurance up while on a running hiatus, and I firmly believed it help with my recovery.  So even though I started running again, I’m continuing with Spinning because I love it so much.  It’s been a month now and I’m totally addicted.

I was addicted to Spinning about 4 years ago,  but work got in the way.  It wasn’t until this frustrating incident that I discovered there was a Spinning studio about 5 minutes away from my house.  No gym fee required…woohoo!  I’ve tried out a few different instructors and have found one that I love.  Great music and he combines a killer  core workout with your cardio.  Did you know that Spinning can really strengthen your core?  I didn’t until this class and when my abdomen began aching the next day!  Total bonus 🙂

I had a great class last night and really pushed my legs.  Afterwards both the owner of the studio and the instructor stopped me to tell me how impressed they were.  The owner said I was by far the fastest in the class and he couldn’t believe how hard I was pushing it.  The instructor (who’s been watching me for weeks now) said I am getting stronger and faster in each class, and that he is really proud of my progress.  I left there on cloud 9!  I’ve been feeling down about my slow running speeds and continued pain in my hips…that was just what I needed.

Feeling great, I went home to make a healthful dinner.  As I mentioned in my weekly review, my goal this week is to focus on nutrition and so far so good.  Here’s what I ate yesterday…

Breakfast: Antioxident Smoothie (diluted pomegranate juice, lite silken tofu, frozen blueberries & banana)
Snack: Apple & Peanut Butter
Lunch: Mixed Greens, Shredded Carrots, Garbanzo Beans & Balsamic Vinaigrette
Snack: Mini Whole Wheat Pita, Peanut Butter & Banana
Dinner: Grilled Shrimp, Roasted Asparagus, Tomato Mozzarella Salad & Bread

Super yummy grilled shrimp & asparagus

Tomato Mozz Salad...for 2

Oh and I also had half a Smithwick’s and 1.5 mini cannolis.  But hey I burned 800+ calories in Spinning, so I deserve it!!

What other exercise do you do besides running?  What are you having for dinner tonight?

Back in Action and Team Challenge Training

I’m back baby!  Well sort of.  I’m not where I used to be, but I’m running again which is definitely a start.  I’m glad I listened to my physical therapist and took those 3 weeks off to rest.  I’m running pain free and feel much better.

On Thursday, I went to my first training practice with my Team Challenge group.  This was a track practice held at a high school and it was the perfect place for me to get back in the swing of things.  It’s a flat, cushy surface to minimize any strain on my legs.  I stretched and did 3 laps before training got started.  I had met a few of my teammates at a bowling event a few weeks prior, but it was great to meet some more of the crew.  We started with the following drills for about 25 yards down and back: high knees, butt kicks, high skips, and cross side steps.  This was followed by 8 rounds of high knee speed hurdles that were killer!

Hurdles...boooo

We then began our run.  We did 4 sets of 2 laps with a 3 minute rest in between each.  I was able to maintain about a 12:30 minute-mile for all of the laps, which I was very happy with since this was my first run in 3 weeks.  My endurance has definitely declined, but I’m glad I kept up with the Spinning classes in the off time because it could be much worse.  I also had no pain in my psoas.  I will repeat NO PAIN!  That rest thing really pays off 🙂

I should also mention that this was my first run with my new Brooks Ravenna 3’s and I LOVE them.  Super comfy and I felt so much lighter in them.  I can’t continue to stress enough how important it is to get fitted for proper running shoes on a regular basis.

Brooks Ravenna 3

Running with coaches watching your form and yelling out your time was very new to me.  Running has always been a very solitary activity for me and is a way to relax a bit to let my mind wander.  But I must say that having coaches on hand is really nice.  Coach Janis noticed right away that I was swinging my arms incorrectly.  Apparently I have been crossing my arms in front of me as I run, which is a big no no.  She told me to hold my arms at a 90 degree angle and pretend like I’m holding a carton of eggs.  Keeping my arms apart like this will help my momentum and move my body forward more easily.  And boy did it work!  I have to say that it was hard to keep my arms in that position since I’m not used to it, but I really felt like it was easier to move.  Coaches rule!

After our track practice, we all headed back to the Team Challenge/CCFA office for a sports nutrition seminar from a local specialist in Sports Dietetics.  This was very insightful and I’ll be highlighting it in more detail in a later post…so stay tuned!  I stopped for tacos on my way home from my favorite spot Bartaco since I felt I deserved a reward after my pain free run.  Probably not what the nutritionist had in mind as a post race meal, but hey, I have a weakness for tacos.  YUM!

Pork Belly & Red Snapper Tacos!!!

I felt good the next day, but my quads were sore from not being used for a while.  That’s a good pain though.  I took Friday and Saturday off due to other obligations, but I also don’t want to push myself to hard in the beginning.  I want to make sure I give my body enough rest between runs so I don’t re-aggravate my injury.

Sunday morning I went out for my second run of the week and all was good.  I ran along the Long Island Sound, which is one of my favorite spots and I feel so lucky to live right down the street from it.  I had intended to do 5 miles, but around mile 2 I had to turn around and head home due to a minor GI emergency.  That was a difficult 2 miles home, but I managed to get through it and end up with a good time.  My average pace was 13:24 for the 4.1 miles, which included quite a few walking breaks.  Not too shabby for just getting back into the swing of things!

Gorgeous morning for a run along the Long Island Sound!

Now that I’m back to training, my goals for the week are the following:

  • Tuesday: 2.5 miles
  • Wednesday: Spinning (15 miles)
  • Thursday: 3 miles
  • Sunday: 6 miles

What is your training schedule for the week?

Here’s hoping for another week free of pain and continued improvement of my endurance!

In a State of Rest…

It’s been 7 weeks since my psoas injury and my recovery is taking much longer than I had hoped.  Running the Princess Half Marathon in the middle of my recovery time probably didn’t help, but it had to be done!  No regrets there.  I’ve now completed my 10 sessions of physical therapy and feel about 85% back to normal.  Unfortunately, I’m still under strict orders from my physical therapist to not run for at least another 2 weeks.

Being in this state of rest has been difficult.  It’s gotten even worse since the weather has been so nice.  I just want to get out there and run!  Plus, my Team Challenge training runs have started and I’m feeling disconnected from the team because I can’t join them.  But I know this is important for my overall recovery.  Every time I would run during my therapy, I would aggravate the injury and it would just push me a step back.  All the work and time I had been putting in to PT was just getting erased.  So after the Princess Half and the Sham Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K (more to come on that later), I decided to finally listen to the powers that be and take that rest.  That loooooong 3 week rest.

Well naturally my initial reaction was that I would lose all of my endurance that I have worked so hard to build up over the past few months.  But my therapist thankfully said I could do biking to keep up with my cardio.  Since I don’t belong to a gym, I decided to give Spinning a try again.  If you’re not familiar with Spinning, it is a high energy, indoor cycling class.  The Spinner bikes can be adjusted to multiple resistances to simulate hill climbs, sprinting, etc…  The class works every muscle in your legs and gives you a great cardio workout.  It’s also really fun as it incorporates music and some studios even include visuals to distract you from the task at hand – something I love!  But, I hadn’t taken a Spinning class in over 3 years.  Was I going to be able to keep up?  Was I going to fall off the bike in exhaustion?

I signed up for my first class at Go Green Fitness last week, and I’m so excited to have a place like this close to my house.  It is a dedicated Spinning studio that converts the energy created in the class from cycling into renewable energy.  How cool is that?!  I survived my first class, but not without some huffing and puffing.  I even went back for my second class a few days later.  I had forgotten how fun these classes were and how great I feel afterwards.  And the great thing about it is that I have no pain in my leg during or after the classes!

So here’s my plan while “resting”: Spinning classes 2 to 3 times per week then upper body and core strength training in between.  Fingers crossed this will be enough for me to be able to pick up my training again in 2 weeks and break in those new running shoes!

Have you ever had to take a break from training because of an injury?  Did you lose some of your endurance?