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Friday, August 31, 2012

Half Marathon Training - Week 1

I can't believe that week 1 of half-marathon training is actually over.  I realize how corny that sounds but time has really flown by this week.  Prior to training beginning we were given a training schedule which I loosely followed.  The schedule was supposed to be:
Monday:  1 mile
Tuesday:  Cross training or speed work
Wednesday:  1 mile
Thursday:  Strength
Friday:  Easy 30 minutes
Saturday:  Rest
Sunday:  Group run

Here's what I actually did:
Monday:  Bike 14 miles
Tuesday:  Long run (used Learn 2 Run Week 6 Day 3 training run)
Wednesday:  Bike 14 miles
Thursday:  Speed work (2:30 warm-up walk, 2:30 jog, 1:00 run/1:00 walk (repeat x 5), 5:00 cool-down walk)
Friday:  Easy 30 minutes (3.03 miles @ 12:00 pace)
Saturday:  Rest (I think)
Sunday:  Group run

The hardest workout was actually the speed workout.  I need to get the speed pace under control because the first two running intervals I did were at 8:XX pace which is super fast but I ended up quitting early on the other intervals because I ran out of steam (and confidence).  I made up the time in the end but I still felt like I failed but at least now I know how to set some expectations/goals for next week's speed workout.

I'm still working on reaching my fundraising goal but I've got a LONG way to go.  I'd be thrilled if you could help me out because every single dollar counts.  To donate you can send me a check/cash or donate using this secure website:

Until next week.... Happy Running!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

And another thing ...

Remember two weeks ago when I said we'd gotten back from Alaska and that I gained 14 freaking pounds?  No, I haven't lost it all yet and it's just serving as another reminder of how long it takes to lose it once you gain it.  I did lose weight this week (1.4 pounds) and I'm happy about that and I suppose I am also happy to have the reminder of how quickly things can go bad when you stop following the plan.  Considering how I ate last week I am happy with a 1.4 pound loss.  The reason I say that is that I struggled with (at least in my mind) endless eating.  I ended up eating 20 of the 68 activity points that I earned which is more than I usually do (prior to vacation I was eating 10-14) but apparently not enough to really affect my weight loss.

The other big news I have to share is that I am now smack dab in the middle of week one of half marathon training!  We had our first group run this past Saturday and I met more of the team and got in 1.5 miles.  It was my first time running in a group (other than for a race but that wasn't so much group running since it's ever man for themselves!) and it was fun.  The coaches and mentors (shout out to Coaches Bill & Barbara and mentor Christine) were fabulous to run with.  Coach Bill kept reminding me to keep my head up (given my tendency to fall over, well, nothing I tend to look down which changes my posture.  Coach Barbara gave me a tip to rid my arms/shoulders of built up negative energy and coincidentally run faster.  I also learned some great stretches to do before running which is always awesome since I don't do nearly enough of that.

The distance for Saturday's run was only 1.5 miles.  I wasn't sure how to approach this since I'd been running longer distances and since we were having a clinic after the group run I wouldn't have the time to run longer after the group run.  So, I decided that I'd just try to run really fast for that distance and apparently I did because I ran the distance in 17:39 with an average pace of 10:46/mile.  WOAH!  Who am I?

So what is your big news?  Have you relearned anything (similar to realizing how long it takes to lose weight)?

Don't forget to donate to my Team Challenge fundraising campaign.  It's super simple and tax deductible and it is for a fabulous cause!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back on Track

I think it's safe to say that I'm back on track.  I worked really hard last week to stay within my daily points target (though it didn't always happen) and to get in a lot of activity.  With the cooler temperatures it is definitely easier to get out there and exercise.  I am happy to report that I got back out to hit the training schedule (week 5 day 3) which required 38 minutes of straight running.  The pace wasn't what I'd hoped (I wanted a 12:00 mile but it was 12:46 mile) but since I hadn't run in over a month I was happy enough to be done with it.  The rest of the training runs I have as part of the 5K - 10K training program have me steadily increasing running time but with also including some of the training items from the Team Challenge training schedule I'm sure that my goal pace will be back where I want it in no time.

I was also delighted to meet other members of Team Challenge last week.  Everyone seems so nice and excited to have us as team members and I'm sure that will make running fun.  My first team run will be on Saturday and I'm dragging taking Jen with because everything is more fun with a friend.  Named Jen.  Seriously the poetry is awesome today!  :)

Oh, you can check out the box to the left to see how weigh-in went.  Spoiler alert:  IT WENT AMAZINGLY WELL!!!

Do you workout with a friend?  How do you keep things fun when it comes to working out?

Don't forget that you can donate online to my Team Challenge fundraising campaign.  It's super simple and tax deductible!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fishing + Food + Hiking + Beer + Biking + Cookies = woah

Hiking the Harding Ice Trail - Seward, AK
Oh my gosh!  I can't believe my vacation is already over.  Before I start babbling about things let me thank my guest posters: Abby, Mercedes and Stephanie.  I hope that you enjoyed their posts as much as I did when I read them not to mention that they are each amazing women who have been an inspiration as well as friends.  Now... let's talk about vacation and eating and working out....

Fat Bikes Mountain Biking - Cooper Landing, AK
Our vacation was two weeks long driving lots of miles (nearly 1800) through Alaska and it was the most amazing vacation.  While we weren't always active we were always busy!  Some days we spent 8-10 hours fishing, we biked a few days and hiked a few days but some days were just spent in transit.  Seriously, the drive from Homer to Healy takes FOREVER.  Add this to the fact that early on in the trip I decided it was vacation and I was going to eat what I wanted while on vacation but when we got home that I'd get back into my routine.  I still tried to make healthier choices, grilled or broiled fish vs. batter fried, but I definitely treated myself.  Knowing everything I ate and drank I wasn't surprised yesterday when the scale said I gained and it's just a little more motivation to get back on track before training for my half marathon starts.

What do you do when you go on vacation?  How do you stay active or on plan?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

GUEST POST: Stephanie - If she can do it...

Hi Friends!  I count myself lucky to have become friends with Stephanie even though we were both competing in the Transformation Nation:  Million Dollar You contest earlier this year.  I think this post will show you why!  :)

The Wheels on the Bike Go Round and Round...

So, I build up the courage to finally attend a 1 hour spin class at the gym.  This class has been feared and talked of by many.  With quivering legs and heart already pounding, I climb aboard that dreaded machine.  On that stationary bike - my fate in the hands of an active duty Marine - surely a former drill instructor with the stories of his classes preceeding his entery into the inevitable torture chamber.  With the bark of his commands elevating loudly over the music I once enjoyed, I begin to peddle my legs as quickly as I can.  Peddling faster and faster, 4 turns of the knob, I suddently hear the noise of loosening bolts.  Within what must have been seconds, however, visioned in the slowest motion possible, the bike just flies forward and SMACK!  I've run in to the wall!  In one brief moment the bike is errect, me still on board - suddenly I topple to one side with a large thud I'm on the floor.  

This is the nightmare I did in fact have before attempting my first spin class at the gym.  Unfortunately, my dream was not too far off from reality!  No, the bike did not go flying in to the wall, but I surely wish it had!  My legs would then have some sort of feeling in them.  In the past 4 years I have completed 4 half marathons, 1 full marathon and train very hard currently for the next one of each.  I have completed a 30 day Sean T Instanity series.  I have labored two children.  NO TRAINING has compared to the muscle fatigue I incurred during my first spin class.  My behind certainly has a mind of its own - because I can hear it cussing me!  Will I be doing another one???  HECK YEAH!  I highly recommend anyone looking for that one amazingly empowered work out - go to a spin class!  If "I" can do it...

Friday, August 3, 2012

GUEST POST: Mercedes - Transitioning to HIIT

Hi everyone! I am Mercedes Moebuis and I met Jen as a fellow contestant on the Transformation Nation challenge. I am so excited to be guest blogging here! I have been fighting my weight basically since hitting puberty in high school. I had lost weight many times in the past but usually due to fad diets and diet pills and no exercise. In fact, exercise was a FOUR letter word to me for a very long time. It wasn’t until I had my first child and had gained 65 lbs with that pregnancy that I started working out. I enjoyed it to some degree but would go through spurts as to my commitment to it.

In 2011, a few months after I had my last child, I was done. I was 70 pounds overweight, had post partum depression and some health issues and instead of turning to food for comfort like I did so often in the past, I turned to exercise and eating healthy. I knew I needed to make a serious change and I knew I had to do it the RIGHT way- through proper nutrition and regular exercise, not the way I had before. I also knew I had to kick my workouts into high gear and find something I would enjoy doing. I had been doing some strength training and cardio a few times a week but nothing that really pushed me to my limits. I did like exercising but I was starting to find more excuses for not going to work out then to actually do it.

I would break my workouts down into an upper body strength routine and then another day a lower body strength routine and then I mainly walked or jogged on the treadmill, but I was bored with doing the same thing all the time. That is when I started reading magazines and articles that were basically tailored to the workout enthusiast. I started reading about how you needed to create muscle confusion by changing workouts up frequently to avoid plateaus and that my normal routine really needed an overhaul. I also read about something called High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT training that was growing in popularity in the fitness realm for torching calories and burning body fat. So I took what I had learned and revamped my strength training and cardio routines. I broke my strength training down into specific muscle groupings and I changed up my cardio workouts and increased my workouts to five days per week.

I am not gonna lie, the first time I tried HIIT I thought I was going to keel over! LOL! But I also was ADDICTED immediately! I started with 2 min walk and 45 second running intervals. I now am at a 2 to 1 ratio. So I walk for 2 min at a comfortable speed for me then I bust out an INTENSE run, as fast as I can go for one minute then back to walking. I repeat these intervals 4-5 times! At first my intense interval was about 7.5 mph but I now do my intensity intervals around 9-9.5 mph! It is such an amazing rush afterwards to have worked out at that high an intensity. Adrenaline is pumping. Endorphins are high. YES!!!!! Burn Fat Burn! The great thing about HIIT training is that you burn more calories in LESS time than steady state running workouts AND your metabolism stays at a higher calorie burn for up to 24 hours post workout!
HIIT training should only be done at most 2 times per week. I personally start my workouts with a warm up , then I do my weight training then my cardio. My typical cardio routines are HIIT training twice a week and then I alternate my days with elliptical, bike, step mill and classes like Body Pump and Body Combat. I like to keep my workouts fresh and ever changing so I don’t get bored!

I lost 64 pounds during my weight loss transformation and it has completely changed my life! I am now a Certified Health Coach, and about to get my Fitness Nutrition Specialist and Personal Training Certifications. Please check out more of my weight loss and fitness tips on my blog at and follow me on Facebook at
Thank you so much to Jen for having me here! Its been so much fun!