Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back, Biceps and a great run...

Today was a really great workout. I did a similar routine as yesterday, except working my back and biceps and I changed up the interval pattern a bit. It proved to be a wonderful way to increase my overall burn. I alternated heavy lifting with lighter weights then when my body was fatigued I did my intervals, then back to lifting the next set. It was intense but I feel really good and not too tired. I am enjoying coming up with these workouts!  It makes me want to learn more about training and the physiology of the body.  

Workout 1 -  Morning run - 5 min warm up walk followed by a 45 min non-stop run with a 5 min cool down walk. 

Total time - 55.27
Calories burned - 582
HR - Avg - 80% Zone 4, Max 95% Zone 5 
Fitness note - This morning I went for a run outside as it was sunny and 62F with a lovely breeze, who could resist running in weather so wonderful! It was a great run, strong and steady with a few burst of speed throughout the run. 

Workout 2 - Back and Biceps with 7 running intervals.

Warm up run - 10 mins - 2 mins slow run at 4.5mph, then progressing .5mph every 2 mins - 

2 min at 5.0mph
2 min at 5.5 mph 
2 min at 6.0 mph
2 min at 6.5 mph 

Biceps -  Hammer curls -  

2 sets of 20 reps with 25lb. dumbbells 
2 sets of 40 reps with 11lb. dumbbells 

Run 30 sec at 5.5 mph then 1 min at 7.0 mph then 30 sec at 5.5 mph - back to lifting next set - 

Alternating bicep curls - 

2 sets of 20 reps with 25lb. dumbbells
2 sets of 40 reps with 11lb. dumbbells 

Run 30 sec at 5.5 mph then 1 min at 7.0 mph then 30 sec at 5.5 mph - back to lifting next set

Barbell curls - 

2 sets of 10 reps with 43 lb. barbell 

Run 30 sec at 5.5 mph then 1 min at 7.0 mph then 30 sec at 5.5 mph - back to lifting next set

Bicep 21's - 

4 sets of 21 reps - with 11lb dumbbells. 

Run 30 sec at 5.5 mph then 1 min at 7.0 mph then 30 sec at 5.5 mph - back to lifting next set

Back - One arm dumbbell rows - 

Each arm - 3 sets of 15 reps with 25lb. dumbbells 

Run 30 sec at 5.5 mph then 1 min at 7.0 mph then 30 sec at 5.5 mph - back to lifting next set

Barbell pullovers - 

2 sets of 10 reps with 43 lb barbell 

Run 30 sec at 5.5 mph then 1 min at 7.0 mph then 30 sec at 5.5 mph - back to lifting next set

Underhand barbell rows - 

2 sets of 20 reps with 43lb. barbell 

Run 30 sec at 5.5 mph then 1 min at 7.0 mph then 30 sec at 5.5 mph - then walk at 4.0mph for a 1 min cool down. 

Total time - 58 mins 
Calories burned - 635
HR - Avg - 82% Zone 4, Max - 93% Zone 5 
Fitness note - I really like this workout. The mix of running intervals with lifting gives me a much needed challenge. 

Totals for the day - 
Time - 113.27
Calories burned - 1,217
Caloric deficit - 1,000****I should have eaten more today! 
Daily note - Wonderful day. I feel like I accomplished so much -  I just have to keep on going strong. I  am another day closer to my dream! 

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The race I am running.

This morning I was thinking about the name of my site - Jen'sJourney and what exactly is this journey I am on? I have come to realize that there will be days when we are accomplishing more than we ever imagined, and then there are times where we have to fight a little harder to stay in the game. One thing however remains constant, and that is one's attitude. How we view each day, whether good or bad will have a lasting effect. We can choose to look at a challenge and see it as impossible or we can see it as a opportunity, a chance to really dig deep and see what we are made of.   

I am trying every day to make it to that finish line, but where does that line end? Is it when I reach a certain weight or a body fat measurement?  I think the race I am running is not one against a scale or a level of fitness but rather it is the race of life. The one we are all running. We can choose whether we give it our all or sit back and let others race past us. I sat by quietly through out my twenties letting life and all its beauty pass me by until finally I said enough is enough.  

I think each morning we have to ask ourselves how are we running the race of life. This race is one that we cannot repeat, so we have to make every moment count.  We can not stand still, or move backwards, but keep step at a time!  

So I think this journey, or race that I am running is one of self discovery. Finding out who I am and how far I will reach in order to live up to my full potential.

Another day closer!

This morning I woke up and felt so tired and just not up to it once again. I was talking with a friend who lives here and she gave me the motivation to make today count!! Then I started thinking about my Dad. Today is his birthday and I wanted to do my best for him today....and I did!! Happy Birthday Dad, thank you for all your love and support it really helps me stay focused and gives me the strength to keep going. 

So today I did not use any of my DVD's but rather I came up with my own workout based on moves I have seen from the internet, Making The Cut, and my Cathe workouts. I really liked the flow of the program and will definitely be doing this again.  

My runs where good, not fast, just strong and steady. It is amazing how fatigued you get after lifting, so alternating the cardio with strength training really gave me a challenge. I was not working at 100% today. My body felt a bit like lead and so I really had to push it, but I made it through and that is what counts!! I want to try different variations of this as I really like the format and it was fun to come up with it myself.....well thanks to Jillian, Youtube and Cathe for the ideas!!!

Shoulders, Chest and Triceps with running intervals. 

15 min treadmill warmup - 

5 min slow run at 4.5 mph then 5 min at 5.5 mph and 5 min at 6.5 mph 

Shoulders - 
  • Standing flys -  30 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells 
  • Side raises with static lunge  - 8 reps with 11lb. dumbbells followed by 15 reps with 6.6 lb dumbbells. 
  • Front raises with static lunge - 15 reps with 11lb dumbbells followed by 15 reps with 6.6 lb dumbbells. 
  • Arnold Press with sumo/plyo squat - 30 reps with 11lb dumbbells. 
  • Reverse wood choppers with sumo/plyo squat - 40 reps - 20 reps with 11lb. dumbbells followed by 20 reps with 6.6lb dumbbells. 
  • One arm dumbbell cleans with sumo/plyo squat - 30 reps - 15 reps each arm with one 17.6 lb. dumbbell. 
Chest - 
  • Inchworm/walking pushups - 20 reps 
  • Dive bombers pushups - 20 reps 
  • Wide fly pushups - 20 reps
  • Close grip pushups - 20 reps 
  • Diamond pushups - 20 reps
After Shoulder and Chest work run on the treadmill for 5 mins at 5.5 mph

Triceps - 
  • Kickbacks with static lunge - 45 reps each arm - 90 reps total with 11lb dumbbells. 
  • Bench dips with leg raise - 40 reps 
  • Lying down tricep extension - 45 reps with one 25lb. dumbbell 

After Tricep work run on the treadmill for 20 mins - 5 min slow run at 4.5 mph, then 5 mins at 5.5 mph and 5 mins at 6.5 mph followed by a 5 min walking cool down at 4.0 mph

Core work - 
  • Planks - Hold for 30 sec. - 2 reps 
  • Walking planks - 15 reps 
Total time - 96.22
Calories burned - 1,010
HR - Avg - 79% Zone 3, Max - 95% Zone 5
Pushups - 100 
Caloric deficit for the day - 750
Fitness note - Great workout!! Looking forward to trying it again with Legs, Back and Biceps and even adding some sprint drills!  I am proud I pushed it today! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Each of us are in control of our destiny!

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough" Og Mandino

Not the best of days...

Well I would love nothing more than to say that I had another killer workout, but today was a hard one. I could not get my energy up. I did workout and I am proud of that. 

36 min run with one min cool down.  

Total time 37.13 mins 
Calories burned - 320 
HR - Avg - 71% Zone 3, Max - 85% Zone 4 
Caloric deficit - 500
Fitness note - Felt sluggish today, not my best workout, but I am proud that I got out there and did my best. Hopefully tomorrow the energy and pep will be back!!!! 

Monday, July 28, 2008

The start of another week!

"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill."  Mohammed Ali 

Workout 1 - 30 day shred dvd - levels 1, 2 and 3! Replaced some cardio segments and core circuits with 30 mins of treadmill running and one walking interval with 6.6 lb. dumbbells with shoulder raises, bicep curls and boxing drills with walking.  Also I did extra push ups during the cool down segments and core segments.  My weights for all 3 levels of the shred where 11 lb. and 6.6 lb. dumbbells.  

Total time - 82.32 mins 
Calories burned -  710 
HR - Avg. - 71%, Zone 3, Max - 85% Zone 4 
Pushups - 110  
Standard - 30 reps 
Diamond - 20 reps 
Dive bombers - 20 reps - PR - personal record!
Inch worm/walking push ups - 20 reps 
Traveling push ups - 20 reps 

Fitness note - Today was my first time to try doing all 3 levels in one day. I really liked the challenge! I also liked replacing some of the cardio segments with treadmill intervals and extra push ups. This is definitely something I will be doing again. For my running  half way through I put on my turbo jam weighted gloves and really enjoyed the extra intensity it gave me during my run. Overall, my intensity was lower today as my leg is still hurting a bit, but I still worked hard and got a great burn out of it! 

Workout 2 - Butts and Guts dvd - warmup followed by floor glut work with ankle weights and core work. 

Total time - 39.42 
Calories burned - 140 
HR - Avg. 51% Zone 1, Max 66% Zone 2 
Crunches - 110 crunches, situps, v-ups and oblique work with 11 lb dumbbell. 70 reps with no weight.  Total for the day - 180
Fitness note -  I just love this dvd. Always a favorite of mine. The floor and core work does not burn as many calories as the standing work but what a wonderful challenge it is, especially with the ankle weights. 

Totals for the day - 
Total time - 121.74
Calories burned - 850 
Caloric deficit - 650. 
Daily note - I feel really good....and hungry..LOL! 

Weekly results - 7/21 - 7/27

Total calories burned - 4,564 - 5 days 
Caloric deficit - 3,191 - 7 days 
Pushups - 195 
Pounds lost - 0 
Inches lost - 0 

I feel really good looking back at what I did last week. I did not see a drop in the scale or in my inches lost, but somehow I feel as if I still achieved so much. I can see that my endurance and speed is improving, and my strength has never been better. 

I am looking forward to another great week ahead and I hope that I continue to see this journey as something that goes far beyond a number on a scale, but rather a journey towards total health and well being. Did I reach high this week? DId I do my absolute best? Without a doubt!! 

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Push ups and dips....

So the other day I was asked by a friend what a dive bomber push up was. Then I was talking with another friend and she was asking me about dips on the balance ball. So I thought it would be a good idea to post videos of some of these exercises that I am doing.  Try adding these into your routines, they are very effective. 

1. Push ups on the balance ball - Keep your feet together and your core tight and straight. Place your hands on the sides of the ball and move down into a pushup position. Always be aware of your form and make sure you keep your back straight. 

2.  Dive bomber push ups - These work the whole body and are quite a challenge. Go into a downward dog position and slowly move down keeping your torso off of the floor. The go back in reverse ending in your starting downward dog position. 

3. Dips on the balance ball - These work the triceps and your core. Place your hands behind you on the balance ball as if you were doing a standard dip. The only difference is that you are having to use your core to keep your body straight and in good form as you are using the ball instead of the standard chair or bench. 

Friday, July 25, 2008

What is HIIT?

When I first started learning more about fitness and different fat loss programs, I kept coming across articles and forums discussing HIIT.  I did not know what it was and so I began to read more about it and slowly it became an important tool in my weight loss success. 

Below is a video from the man behind Turbulence Training. He breaks down the theory behind HIIT training. This type of training should not be done everyday, but rather 3 or 4 times a week in combination with your LSD (long slow distance) runs and weight training. 

Finding your running pace

Here is a link to a very useful article I read in Runner's world on finding your training pace. 

Awesome day with Drill Max!

So today I did one of my favorite workout dvds, Cathe's Drill Max.  This is an intense dvd, but I absolutely love it. It is a combination of plyometric drills with weights and total body resistance training, not to mention it burns a ton of calories! 

Today was my best Drill Max workout to date. I was so impressed at how my endurance for the drills has increased. On the 6th drill my squat thrust with a tuck were so high! This is a first. I remember the first time I tried to do one of these, I about died. Now not only can I do them without extreme fatigue but my overall conditioning has vastly improved. 

My push ups were good today as well. I am feeling stronger and my core feels more stable with the T-push ups and inverted dive-bombers. I was also happy to have reached a personal record for my balance ball dips, 16 total today, yea!  I remember when I first did these I called my Mom and said, Mom these are so hard, some day I will call you and tell you that I can do 10. Well Mom, today I did 16!! It just goes to show you the difference that adding the balance ball gives you. My chair dips on a bench have been as high as 60, but on the ball you really have to work on keeping your elbows in and your core solid. If you are looking to add intensity to your routine, I highly advise adding dips on the balance ball as well as balance ball pushups.  Drill Max is by far the best cardio and weight training dvd that  I have seen. Cathe makes it fun, yet really gives you a challenge. 

If you are interested in the Drill Max dvd - below is a clip of the different drills you will see in the dvd -  Cathe Drill Max 

Time - 74.15 mins 
Calories burned - 702 
HR - Avg - 74% Zone 3, Max - 89% Zone 4 
Pushups - 16 incline, 12 inverted dive-bombers, 12 core, 10 with hands on balance ball, 10 t- plank ups with 6.6 lb. dumbbells and 5 regular with no weight - total for the day - 65 
Caloric deficit - will report back at the end of the day. 
Fitness note - Great workout today. Used 11lb. and 6.6 lb. dumbbells. So proud of how I did today.  Looking forward to seeing me progress as the months pass.  I am another day closer to reaching my goals! 

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wanted to rest, but I couldn't do it.

So today my legs where feeling the remains of yesterday's sprints. I really wanted to rest but in the end decided on a compromise, to make it a light day!  The end result is I feel good  and not too tired and ready for tomorrow, plus I burned some calories! 

Light workout - 7 min walk followed by a 30 min non stop run and then a strong 23 min walk. 

Total time - 60.14 mins 
Calories burned - 540 
HR - Avg. 72% Zone 3, 91% Zone 5 
Caloric deficit - 500. 
Fitness note - It actually felt good to walk today. The run went well, short but effective. I like this plan as a lighter workout, need to try this again next week. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tough day, but I made it through.

Oh if ever there was a day where I did not want to do my run, it was today. I woke up this morning and my legs where sore, not too bad, but I was feeling it.  I knew that today's plan was to do sprints and that is the last thing I wanted to do. But as always if you want to reach a goal you have to work through your good and bad days, and so I did!! 

Workout 1 - Sprint drills - 10 sprints alternating 1 min and 2 min sprints with slow running intervals in between except for 3 short walking intervals between sets. 

Total time - 47 mins 
Calories burned - 500 
HR - Avg. 80% Zone 4, Max - 96% Zone 5 
Fitness note - Hard day.  Ran strong up until sprint number 8, then I really started to feel out of it, but I pushed through! 

Workout 2 - P90X Shoulders and Arms - used mostly lighter weights with high reps alternating heavier sets with low reps. 
  • Alternating shoulder presses - 17 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells. 
  • In and out bicep curls - 50 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells. 
  • Two arm tricep kickbacks - 24 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells. 
  • Deep swimmers press - 30 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells. 
  • Full supination concentration curls -  30 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells then alternating to heavy with 16 reps with 25 lb. dumbbells. 
  • Chair dips - 40 reps 
  • Upright rows - 30 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells. 
  • Static arm curls -  23 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells then alternating to heavy with 20 reps with 25 lb. dumbbells. 
  • Flip grip twist tricep kickbacks - 20 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells. 
  • Seated two angle shoulder flys - 32 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells. 
  • Crouching Cohen curls - 45 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells 
  • Lying down tricep extensions - 50 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells. 
  • In and out straight arm shoulder flys - 32 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells. 
  • Congdon curls - 21 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells then alternating heavy with 10 reps with 25 lb. dumbbells. 
  • Side tri- rises - 50 reps. 
Total time -  46.20 mins 
Calories burned - 330 
HR - Avg. 64% Zone 2, Max - 81% Zone 4 
Fitness note - Good day of lifting. I like the combination of lifting heavy weights with low reps and then light weights and higher reps. Glad I was able to do the bonus round today! Last P90X workout of the week and I felt strong. Looking forward to Fridays full body weight workout for a nice variation. 

Totals for the day - 
Time - 93.20 mins 
Calories burned - 830 
Caloric deficit - 500
Fitness note - Glad I pushed through today because now I feel like I accomplished so much! I am another day closer to meeting my goal. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

First look at STS!

Here is the first clip of the intro for the new STS program that I have been waiting for! I am so excited!! 

One day at a time!

Workout 1 - 10 min warm up walk, followed by a 70 min run and a 3 min cool down walk. 

Total time - 83 mins
Calories burned - 968
HR - Avg. 84% Zone 4, Max - 96% Zone 5 
Fitness note -  Today was my longest non-stop run I have had to date!! It was another hot day outside but it felt good to be out there enjoying every minute of this beautiful day. I ran to my usual motivating music as well as a 40 min Itrain program. This really helped me pace myself today. What a wonderful run this was!  

Workout 2 - P90X Core Synergistics  
  • Stacked foot/staggered pushups - 15 reps 
  • Banana rolls - side to stomach to side hold 5 sec each - 2 reps
  • Leaning crescent lunges with 7 lb. dumbbells - 24 reps 
  • Squat runs - 60 secs with 11 lb. dumbells. 
  • Sphinx pushups/ close grip to plank - 15 reps 
  • Bow to boat - 5 reps. 
  • Low lateral skaters - 25 reps 
  • Lunge and reach  - 40 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells. 
  • Prison cell pushups/ core pushups with knee raise to standing position - 13 reps 
  • Side hip raise - 25 reps. 
  • Sumo Squat with w press - 30 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells. 
  • Plank run - 60 sec. 
  • Walking planks front and back  - 4 reps
  • Superman to Banana - 60 sec
  • Deep lunge to kickback, curl and press - 20 reps with 7 lb. dumbbells. 
  • Towel hoppers/ side to side plyo jump - 60 sec. 
  • Plank and reach pushups -  8 reps. 
  • Dreya rolls - did not complete,  I was so tired! 
Total time -  53 mins 
Calories burned - 383
HR - Avg. 65%, Zone 2, Max - 91%  Zone 5 
Fitness note - What a great core workout this was! I was so tired towards the end that on the last move I literally was stuck on the floor unable to jump up.....those of you who have done this know what I mean!! LOL! It was so funny because my body was like jello and I could not get off of the floor. I started laughing and knew it was time to cool down. Needless to say I did not do the bonus round, I will have to make that a goal for next time! 

Totals for the day - 
Time - 136 mins 
Calories burned - 1,351
Caloric deficit - 800. 
Fitness note - Overall it was an amazing day! I feel exhausted but accomplished! 

Monday, July 21, 2008

What a great way to start off the week!!!

“Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.” Billy Graham 

Workout 1 -  Run - 10 min warm up walk, then a good, hard 60 min run followed by a 3 min cool down walk. 

Total time - 73 mins 
Calories Burned - 838
HR - Avg. 83% Zone 4, Max - 95% Zone 5. 
Fitness Note - It was hot outside today during my run, 82F, but I still managed to do a great run. I wanted to start walking around 40 min into it but instead I dropped my pace down a bit and kept running. I am finding it easier to recognize my "happy pace".  I really focused on lengthening my stride and I was focused on my breathing.  Turned out to be one of the best runs I have had!!! No sprint work today, just a good strong steady pace. I did up my pace a bit a few times during the run but it was not a sprint, just good, long strides.  I am proud I pushed it today! Now I have to refuel and get ready for my strength training workout later today! Oh boy!!  I just have to make it through today, I know I can! 

Workout 2 - P90X Chest and Back. Replaced band work with extra lawnmowers/dumbbell rows. 
  • Standard pushups -  30 reps. 
  • Underhand dumbbell rows - 30 reps with 50 lbs. 
  • Close grip pushups - 30 reps 
  • Alternating one arm dumbbell rows with deep static lunge or lawnmowers with extra lunge   - 84 reps with 25 lb dumbbell. 
  • Wide fly pushups - 30 reps 
  • Decline pushups - 10 reps 
  • Heavy pants with deep static lunge  - 20 reps with 22 lbs. and 10 reps with 50 lbs. 
  • Diamond pushups - 15 reps 
  • Divebomber pushups - 15 reps
  • Back flys - 30 reps with 22 lbs. 
Total time - 36 mins 
Calories burned - 303
Pushup total - 130 
HR - Avg. - 70% Zone 3, Max - 83% Zone 4 
Fitness note - Hard workout. I started to crashed half way into the 2nd round.  I really had to push it to finish, my body felt like lead during the push ups in round 2, but I finished both rounds. It is the hardest when you feel like just stopping. I have found though that if you really reach inside yourself, you can see what you are made of and chances are you will find that you can do much more than you ever thought you could! 

Totals for today - 
Time - 109 mins 
Calories Burned - 1,141 
Caloric deficit - 891. 
Fitness note - This mornings run really set the pace for me. I felt both exhausted and energized! When I started my chest and back workout today, I was strong, then I had to really struggle to make it through.  I am so proud of how I pushed myself today and I am looking forward to another awesome workout tomorrow! Did I do my best today, without a doubt. It was not my best weight workout, but as they say in you best and forget the rest!!! 

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Week of July 21st - July 27th

Goals for the week - 

1. Burn 3,500 calories
2. Maintain a daily deficit of 500- 800 calories
3. Push ups - 150 

The Plan - 
  • Monday - Run 45 mins and P90X Chest and Back.
  • Tuesday -  Run 45 mins and P90X Core Syn. 
  • Wednesday - Speed drills and P90X Shoulders and Arms 
  • Thursday -  Run 45 mins and Cathe Butts and Guts dvd.
  • Friday -  Cathe Drill max dvd - full body weights. 
  • Saturday - Long run - 90 mins.
  • Sunday - Day off!! 

Another wonderful day!

Knowing is not enough; you must apply. Willing is not enough, you must do!

Workout 1 - Morning run followed by 100 slow, deep walking lunges with front leg kick.

Total time - 50.29
Calories burned - 566
HR - Avg. - 83% Zone 4 , Max - 98% Zone 5
Fitness note - Wonderful run this morning. Legs where a bit sore from yesterday but I pushed through. 4 min walk for warm up followed by 30 min run and 2 min cool down. Then 16 mins of leg work with slow, deep walking lunges and front leg kicks.

Workout 2 - Long walk with a good strong pace.

Total time - 2:06 mins
Calories burned - 830
HR - Avg - 61% Zone 2, Max - 80% Zone 4
Fitness note - Great walk with my husband. We took a different route to the river today. It made for a great walk with the hills. The perfect workout to burn calories and get exercise, while giving your legs a rest from running.

Daily totals -
Total time - 2:56 mins
Total calories burned - 1,396...can we just call this 1,400...haha!!
Caloric deficit - 900.

Weekly Reflection - It was a good week. I was only able to start working out on Wednesday but I am impressed at how fast I came back after being sick.  I pushed myself but I was always aware of my body and if I needed to pull it back some, I did just that.  Looking forward to a full week ahead of me. 

Totals for the week - 4 days only - 

Total time -  363 mins 
Total calories burned - 3,549 
Weekly caloric deficit - 3,352 for 5 days. 

Friday, July 18, 2008

My "Rocky" river run!

Tomorrows battle is won during today's practice. - Samurai maxim

Today was a beautiful day! It was around 77F, sunny with a strong breeze. So naturally I had to take my run outdoors!  I have always wanted to run along the riverside but never managed to make the route until today.  During the run I got lost on my way to the river and found myself running in and out of smaller streets, most of which were not in the best condition.  Finally, I turned the corner and noticed the bridge, but it was not the bridge I was looking for. I thought to myself, where in the world am I?  Bound and determined, I kept going and finally found my way to "Lovers bridge" as it is known.  This bridge is where couples come on their wedding day for pictures and such.  The bridge is lined with padlocks. The custom is to place the lock onto the bridge and then throw the key into the river, and then forever you will be "locked" together!  I noticed 2 couples today in their wedding attire walking across the bridge. I felt bad as I was running past everyone all sweaty, and I am sure not smelling very nice!! :) 

Once I made it to the bridge, I had to keep going to this lovely church that I have always wanted to see. Now, when you take this route in a car, it seems so nice. The roads curve and there are a few hills.  I thought it would be easy to run,  but I was not thinking that the hills are completely different when you are running them and not sitting in a car!  So off I went, and after a while I got my second wind.  I ran right up to the church and when I made it I raised my hands in victory--you know, like the scene when Rocky makes it to the top of the stairs!  An old Russian lady looked at me as if I was a nut, but I did not mind, I was proud of what I had accomplished. 

Now in my happiness it occurred to me, ok I made it here, now I have to run back! So off I went following the same route along the river and working those hills once again!  Throughout my run I kept playing my two favorite themes from Rocky, the main theme, and Going the Distance. I could not help but think of the scenes from the original film of him training on the streets, as well as the training scene in Rocky 5 when he was fighting the Russian.  As I was running back through the park, a third wind hit me and I starting sprinting as I went past the statue of Lenin.  I just kept thinking how many times will I be able to sprint past Lenin's statue in the middle of Siberia? It was a beautiful moment for me because when we first moved here we took a video of me standing in front of the governmental buildings by the statue and when I watched the video I was amazed at how big I was. I was shocked and ashamed at how I let myself go. But now, today, 69 pounds later I am racing past that very spot, amazed at how far I have come.  

Today was my longest, hardest run  since I gained my weight, and I am so proud that I got out there and did my best! I want to start running this a couple times a week. The hill work along with the sprints that I did during the run proved to be a massive calorie burn for me and a great challenge! 

Total time - 1:37 mins. 
Calories burned - 1,232 
HR - Avg - 88% zone 4, Max - 106% - Exceeded zone 5 - during hill work and sprints. 
Caloric deficit - 832. 
Fitness Note - 10 min warm up walk followed by a 73 min run with  a couple of walking intervals between sprints and hill work totaling about 8 mins, then after my run a 6 min cool down walk.  

In the spirit of my run today. Here is my favorite clip of the original Rocky film. I play this for motivation all the time. What can I say, I am determined!! Every time I run to the soundtrack, I think of this video! 


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another day closer!

Well today was a good one. It was my first day weight training since I was out sick and so I used light weights with maximum reps. I am getting stronger and starting to feel like myself again!!

30 day shred dvd with extra cardio/leg work and treadmill running intervals.

Total Time - 40.13 mins.
Calories Burned - 351
HR - Avg. 71% Zone 3, Max 92%, Zone 5.
Pushups - walking pushups 17
Caloric Deficit - 600
Fitness Note - Warm up walk with skater lunges, choppers, squats and plyo moves followed by 30 day shred - level 2. I replaced the ab work with extra running intervals. Used 7 lb. and 11 lb. dumbbells, with high reps made for a great burn!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Getting back into the routine...

Today was my first day back and it was a good one. I still feel tired and not exactly up to speed but It felt good to be out in the sunshine. We only have 40 days until we leave for our vacation, so I have to get back into my routine as soon as possible to make up for the time I lost while I was sick.

Wednesday July16th - Slow run and walk outside - warm up walk 4 mins, then slow run for 22 mins, then 24 min walk followed by 50 walking lunges with front kick.
  • Total time - 50 mins
  • Calories Burned - 570
  • HR - Avg - 82% Zone 4 , Max - 98% Zone 5.
  • Caloric Deficit - 500
  • Fitness Note - Good day. First day running since I was sick. It felt good but I had to walk after only 22 mins of running. It felt as if my endurance was lacking but then again it is my first time back and I need to take it slow. Great lunges at the end of my run/walk. Overall , I am proud I got out there and did my best and considering where I was this time last week, I thank God for my health today and the fact that I am feeling so well.

Please join in the fight against breast cancer.

My dear friend Margaret from Sparkeople is walking in the Susan G. Koman 3 day walk for a cure and she is taking donations for this very important race.

You can visit her personal site to donate by clicking the link below.

To learn more about the race go to - The Susan G. Koman 3 day walk for a cure.

Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I am back and doing better!

Workout Schedule - July 15th - July 20th -

I am still recovering from being sick so this week is an easy one focused on just getting back into my program through light core work and walking. I am going to listen to my body and do what I can, but here is the plan. I may do more, I may have to do less, but all I can promise is that I will do my best!

Tuesday July 15th - Slow walk outside - 25 - 30 mins.

Caloric Deficit - 500
Fitness Note - I did not wear my HRM today. I just needed to get out and move after being sick for so long. I did well. Walked back from the doctors office and then to the grocery store and carried my food back home. It felt good to be out and about again. Thank God I am getting better!

Here is the plan for the week - 
  • Wednesday July16th - Walk for 30 mins along with 15 mins of Yoga X dvd or Baron Baptiste dvd. 
  • Thursday July 17th - Walk for 30 mins along with 15 mins of Yoga X dvd or Baron Baptiste dvd. 
  • Friday July18th - Walk for 45 mins along with 30 mins of Yoga X dvd or Baron Baptiste dvd. 
  • Saturday July 19th - Walk/light run outside for 60 mins. 
  • Sunday July 20th - Walk/light run outside for 60 mins. 

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Yes, have the flu.

Into each life a little rain must fall.....

I have the flu and it has hit me hard. What I thought was tiredness, turned into a fever. Fun times! It is ok though, these things happen. I am taking today and tomorrow off. I will just have to restructure my weekly plan a bit.

Only positive thoughts. I will be better in no time and back running and lifting harder than ever!

I am going to have to get the person who gave this to me. :) Next time we fly I should start wearing one of those masks...Mom you know the ones I am talking about!

Work hard, Reach high everyone!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Reflections week one p90X/running program!

How do I feel at this moment about last week? I feel tired, sore and triumphant! It was a short week as we where arriving home from our vacation but I am proud at how I jumped right in there and made the most of the week. I feel stronger this time around with P90X. Last time was in January and I will never forget the moment when my husband watched me as I could not do 3 "boy" pushups! What was I going to do? This whole program is heavily based on push ups. I did what I could for the first few weeks - I "pushed" through - literally!

Now it seems like such a distant memory and now pushups, yes, the boy kind, are all I do. It makes me cry to think about how far I have come. My only regret is that I was not documenting everything as in detailed as I am now with my weight lifitng. Those of you from spark know that I am a logging nut! But I never really sat down and wrote out what weight and reps I was doing in January. Yes, I know Tony Horton from P90X pounds it into your head to write it out, but I did not. I was logging my calories, runs, pushups...etc.. but I needed to do more.

Accountability is a powerful tool. It has been a key factor in my success so far. I am very excited at the possibilities that lie before me and I am looking forward to using this site as a vehicle in which I will be able to record this amazing journey that I am on.

I have so far to go. I am not even close to being who I know I can become. It is not about a size or a certain weight. It is about achieving something I never thought was possible. Where will I be in a year? I can say that I have no idea but I will be stronger, leaner, faster and wiser. I will be able to look back at this time and know that each entry, each workout, was a stepping stone that got me to the place I dreamed of.

I could not do this without the love and support of my family and friends. Micah, you are my heart. I can not go a day without your encouragement. I love it when you come home and you make the time to sit with me, before doing anything else and we review everything that I have done. To see you so proud of how far I have come makes me want to do more! I am changing my life one day at a time. I want to be my very best for you, I want to be healthy for you. Thank you my love for the fitness charts you make me, for helping with my measurements each week, for all the cheering and motivation as I run on the treadmill - everything I do is because of your love and support.

It is hard being away from home and my daily fitness chats with my Mom and Dad constantly give me motivation and help get me through another day. Thank you both for all that you do for me. Dad, thank you for sitting with me and working out my running plan. Mom, thank you for always being my "Skype"cheerleader and best friend. I can not wait to buy those size 4/5's with you! To my spark family as I call you, thank you so much! You guys are so important to me, you will never know how blessed I am to have each of you in my life!

Week one to go!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Motivational videos...

If these videos do not inspire each of us to make the most of our life and to reach higher - I do not know what will. Simply incredible...

Ironman motivation

To cross the finish line

Friday July 4th - P90X Legs and Back with 3 mile run.

Workout 1 - Steady 2.5 mile run with recovery walk and .5 mile sprints - high sprint 8.5 mph.
Total distance - 3 miles
Total Time - 30.34 min - post run time - 36 mins with cool down.
Calories Burned - 428
HR - Avg - 84% Zone 4, Max - 102% Exceeded Zone 5 by 2%.
Fitness Note - Good run today. I did not do as well as I hoped for but I am very pleased with my last .5 mile time - 4.21 mins. First 2.5 miles where slow, sore from yesterday, but finished strong. Feeling stronger with my pace. Every day getting stronger!

Workout 2 - P90X Legs and Back -
Total Time - 49.36 min
Calories Burned - 502
HR - Avg 78% Zone 3, Max - 89% Zone 4
Fitness Note - Great leg workout!! Hard stuff but worth it - killer burn!

  • Balance Lunges - 30 reps with 11 lb. dumbbell.
  • Calf raise squat - 30 reps with 11 lb. dumbbell.
  • One arm dumbbell rows - 100 reps - 25 reps each arm with 25 pound dumbbells.
  • Dumbbell bent over rows - 50 reps with 50 lbs.
  • Dead lifts - 20 reps with 50 lbs.
  • Super skater squats - 50 reps
  • Wall squats - 90 secs non stop - alternating low and mid squat.
  • Step back lunge - 24 reps with 11lb. dumbbells.
  • Alternating side lunges - 30 reps
  • Alternating one leg wall squats - 60 sec.
  • Deep deadlift squats - 40 reps
  • Three way lunge kicks - 24 reps
  • Sneaky lunge - Walking Deep lunges on toes only with hand raise - 30 reps
  • Chair pose - 2 reps hold each 30 sec.
  • Toe roll ISO lunge - 40 reps
  • Groucho/ crab walk - deep plyo squat - 45 sec non stop
  • 3 way calf raises - 45 slow reps with 17 pound dumbbell, 30 fast reps with 17 pound dumbbell.
  • 80/20 Cyber speed squats - 40 reps standard and 20 reps with jump squat.
Daily Results -
Total Time - 85 mins
Calories Burned - 930
Caloric Deficit - 600
Fitness Note - I am happy with today's workout. Another day of the program accomplished! I was quite sluggish today especially in the first part of the run this morning. My 2.5 mile time was not good -avg. 5.8 mph - but at least I pushed through the day and finished with a strong .5 mile - avg 7.2mph time and a great leg and back workout. Tomorrow is another day! Did I do my best? Yes. Could I have gone faster? Yes. Will I do better next time? Absolutely!!!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Thursday July 3rd - First day of 8 week plan!

"The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret" Sarah Bombell, Synchronized Swimmer

P90X Chest, Shoulders, Tris with Ab X along with treadmill run. Circuit intervals - chest, shoulders, tris - then treadmill run for 10 mins then back to next circuit and repeat 3 times - 30 min run high speed 8.0 mph.
  • Slow motion 3/1 pushups - 30 reps
  • In and out shoulder flys - 16 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells
  • Chair dips - one leg raised - 30 reps
  • Plange push ups - 10 reps
  • Pike press push ups - 10 reps
  • Side tri rises - 10 reps Right side 12 reps Left side
  • Alternating fly pushups - 12 reps
  • Shoulder scarecrow rises - 15 reps with 7 pound dumbbells.
  • Overhead tricep extensions - 15 reps with 17 lb dumbbell.
  • Two twitch speed push ups - 20 reps
  • Y Shoulder presses - 15 reps with 11lb dumbbells.
  • Lying tricep extensions - 20 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells
  • Side to side push ups - 10 reps
  • Shoulder pour flys - 15 reps with 7 pound dumbbells.
  • Side leaning tricep extensions - 16 reps with 17 pound dumbbell.
  • Diamond pushups - 21 reps
  • Weighted Shoulder circles - 25 reps with 7 lb. dumbbells.
  • Overhead tricep throws - 16 reps with 17 lb dumbbells.
  • Slow mo throws - 8 reps with 11 lb. dumbbells.
  • Alternating front to back overhead tricep extensions - 16 reps with 17 lb dumbbell.
  • Fly row presses - 8 reps with 11 pound dumbbells.
  • Dumbbell cross body blows - 30 reps with 11 lb dumbbells.
  • One arm plank/balance push ups - 10 reps
  • Ab Ripper X - 250 reps.
Daily Results -
Total Time - 114 mins
Calories Burned - 1,321
Push ups - 123
Crunches - 250
HR - Avg - 73% Zone 3, Max - 99% Zone 5
Caloric Deficit - will report back at the end of the day
Fitness Note - Hard day. First day back from vacation and I am feeling the jet lag. I pushed through and I am so proud that I did not stop or settle for anything less that my best! The first day of my 8 week plan is in the books!!

A new month, new goals and a new me!

“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.” Zig Ziglar

It has been awhile since I have posted my goals and affirmations. As there are only 6 months left this year, I have to work harder than ever to make the most of each month.

My Affirmations -

I am stronger and leaner than 30 days ago.
I am living up to my full potential each day.
I am wearing size 6's for the first time in over 10 years.
I am running faster and stronger every day.
I am currently 23.54% body fat
I am happy and healthy and ready to reach higher.

I will reach my goal of 17 -18% body fat by the end of 2008.
I will increase my speed and overall endurance.
I will loose another 10 - 15 pounds by the end of 2008.
I will continue to make the most of each day that I am blessed with.
I will run the NYC marathon.
I will wear a size 4/5 by the end of 2008.

Goals 2008 -

Ultimate Long Term Goal -

1. To run multiple marathons including the NYC marathon.
2. To become a triathlete again.
3. To never stop living life with passion and a desire for wellness.

6 Month Goals-

1. To get to 17% - 18% Body Fat.
2. To loose another 10 - 15 pounds.
3. To wear a size 4/5 jeans by the end of 2008.
4. To improve my 5k time to 25 mins by the end of 2008.

2 Month Goals -

1. To get under 20% Body Fat before August 27, 2008.
2 .To loose another 8 pounds before August 27, 2008.
3. To finish the P90X - 8 week program I have made for myself.
4. To improve my runs in both distance and speed.
5. To complete my long run of 13.1 miles

I now know what I want to accomplish, I know what I need to do to get there - now it is time to get out there and MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!!

Seven Steps to Achieving Your Dream

"Vision is the spectacular that inspires us to carry out the mundane." -- Chris Widener

Can achievement be broken down into steps? Well, it isn't always that clean and easy, but I do know that those who achieve great things usually go through much of the same process, with many of the items listed below as part of that process. So if you have been struggling with achievement, look through the following and internalize the thoughts presented. Then begin to apply them. You will be on the road to achieving your dream!

1. Dream it - Everything begins in the heart and mind. Every great achievement began in the mind of one person. They dared to dream, to believe that it was possible. Take some time to allow yourself to ask "What if?" Think big. Don't let negative thinking discourage you. You want to be a "dreamer." Dream of the possibilities for yourself, your family, and for others. If you had a dream that you let grow cold, re-ignite the dream! Fan the flames. Life is too short to let it go. (Also, check out my article "Dare to Dream Again," Which has been read by close to a million people in the last 4 months alone. You can see it at the website.)

2. Believe it - Yes, your dream needs to be big. It needs to be something that is seemingly beyond your capabilities. But it also must be believable. You must be able to say that if certain things take place, if others help, if you work hard enough, though it is a big dream, it can still be done. Good example: A person with no college education can dream that he will build a 50 million-dollar a year company. That is big, but believable. Bad example: That a 90 year-old woman with arthritis will someday run a marathon in under 3 hours. It is big alright, but also impossible. She should instead focus on building a 50 million-dollar a year business! And she better get a move on!

3. See it - The great achievers have a habit. They "see" things. They picture themselves walking around their CEO office in their new 25 million-dollar corporate headquarters, even while they are sitting on a folding chair in their garage "headquarters." Great free-throw shooters in the NBA picture the ball going through the basket. PGA golfers picture the ball going straight down the fairway. World-class speakers picture themselves speaking with energy and emotion. All of this grooms the mind to control the body to carry out the dream.

4. Tell it - One reason many dreams never go anywhere is because the dreamer keeps it all to himself. It is a quiet dream that only lives inside of his mind. The one who wants to achieve their dream must tell that dream to many people. One reason: As we continually say it, we begin to believe it more and more. If we are talking about it then it must be possible. Another reason: It holds us accountable. When we have told others, it spurs us on to actually do it so we don't look foolish.

5. Plan it - Every dream must take the form of a plan. The old saying that you "get what you plan for" is so true. Your dream won't just happen. You need to sit down, on a regular basis, and plan out your strategy for achieving the dream. Think through all of the details. Break the whole plan down into small, workable parts. Then set a time frame for accomplishing each task on your "dream plan."

6. Work it - Boy, wouldn't life be grand if we could quit before this one! Unfortunately the successful are usually the hardest workers. While the rest of the world is sitting on their couch watching re-runs of Gilligan's Island, achievers are working on their goal - achieving their dream. I have an equation that I work with: Your short-term tasks, multiplied by time, equal your long-term accomplishments. If you work on it each day, eventually you will achieve your dream. War and Peace was written, in longhand, page by page.

7. Enjoy it - When you have reached your goal and you are living your dream, be sure to enjoy it. In fact, enjoy the trip too. Give yourself some rewards along the way. Give yourself a huge reward when you get there. Help others enjoy it. Be gracious and generous. Use your dream to better others. Then go back to number 1. And dream a little bigger this time!

Chris Widener

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

July 3rd - July 13th Workout Plan!!

"What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it, that's another matter." Peter F. Drucker

  • THURSDAY JULY 3rd - P90X Chest, Shoulders, Tris with Ab X along with running intervals - 30 mins.
  • FRIDAY JULY 4th - P90X Legs and Back along with 3 mile tempo run.
  • SATURDAY JULY 5th - P90X Yoga
  • SUNDAY JULY 6th - Day off!!!!
  • MONDAY JULY 7th - P90X Chest, Shoulders and Tris with Ab X followed by 3 mile run.
  • TUESDAY JULY 8th - 4 mile speed drills with Leg work - Cathe Butts and Guts dvd.
  • WEDNESDAY JULY 9th - P90X Back and Biceps with Ab X followed by a 3 mile run.
  • THURSDAY JULY 10th - P90X Yoga.
  • FRIDAY JULY 11th - Cathe Drill Max dvd.
  • SATURDAY JULY 12th - Long run - 5/6 miles
  • SUNDAY JULY 13th - Day off!!!