Friday, August 31, 2012

Tired but pressing on....

I have long blogged in some time. I have been more active on FB than here and it is my goal to get back to posting more. I need it. I need increased accountability and motivation about now. Things have been hard as of late with my training and overall program. As far as my home life, I could not be more blessed. My little girl is doing very well and meeting new friends, my husband is rocking his P90X workouts and doing very well with his cycling. Then there is my own is STUCK.

After coming back from the cruise, we started another challenge and I was doing well until my shoulder injury. I was unable to lift for a few weeks and it started to drive me crazy! I realized just how much I loved lifting and my circuit routines. A couple of weeks ago I started to notice I felt tired, weak and I did not have the spark that I used to. As the days progressed so did the overall feeling of fatigue. To make a long story short, we are looking into why I am feeling this way. We think it is my Thyroid, Adrenals or something along those lines. I feel confident that all will workout....

Moving on to my marathon training. I have my first 16 miler tomorrow!! I am excited about the challenge and I am hoping that I will be able to finish strong and my knee will do well. It is my goal to keep my pace steady and slow finishing around 3 hours....which would be just shy of an 11 mm. IF I can do this and STILL have my knee feeling good, I will be over the moon!!!!

Wish me luck....

Monday, August 20, 2012

Still going strong.

I have not posted a blog in forever. So much is going on right now, and that is a good thing! My marathon training is going well. I completed my first 14 miler on Saturday and I was more than happy with my pace and overall performance. My AP was a 10:20 which I was happy with because my knee held on strong and I am in no pain today. I NEED to get through this training healthy and I need to do all I can to keep my knee uninjured as I am already looking at a few marathons for 2013!!

Here is a photo of me running my 14 miler on Saturday, it was so beautiful. I will post along blog regarding my run with more photos later today.

My schedule for this next week is pretty light compared to normal. My training plan has me taking it easy on my runs this week. Then coming back next week hard with speed work and a 16 miler on Saturday. I cannot wait. I am still not strength training as my shoulder is finally starting to feel somewhat normal after the injury which occurred a few weeks ago.

My focus this week is on getting in my runs, logging my calories, making sure I stretch and do my PT exercises along with my foam rolling for my ITB.

On the home front my little girl has a special week planned. We are taking her to a few new playgroups and we are so excited about her meeting new little friends and learning new things each week! I ordered a new curriculum for she and I to use when at home for this year. It is for ages 2 - 3 and contains lesson plans and fun play activities. It excites me to be apart of her learning experience as of now. I know that in due time I may have to send her to the International school here, or wherever we are living but for now, I am savoring each and every second with my girl. She is growing up so fast!!
We have so much fun together during the day, it pains me to think about the day I have to send her away....even if it is for a few hours.

I hope all of you have a blessed day and you reach all of your goals!!!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Challenge Results - Day 3

I did well yesterday. I failed to blog so below are my results. I am adding in another goal for the month. It is to complete 100 negative pull ups. I was discussing my pull up challenge on my FB page and it was mentioned that negative pull ups can help me get stronger and are good for training and therefore I am adding them in my program. I did 3 yesterday and found them to be quiet a challenge. Here is an example for those wondering what exactly these are.

Today will be an easy 4 miles on the tread and a quick ST circuit. There are only 5 exercises and you complete the circuit 5 times! Great fun and fast....

Circuit ST goal for today.......yet to be completed :) Will post results later today. Wish me luck.

1. Assisted Pull ups - 5 reps
2. Negative Pull ups - 2 reps
3. Kettle bell swings - 50 reps with a 25 lb KB
4. Push ups - 20 reps ( diamond, spiderman and close grip on the bosu ball)
5. Cross body mountain climbers - 50 reps

Challenge totals so far.......

Miles - 12.29/100
Pull ups Assisted - 48/500
Negative pull ups - 3/100
Push ups - 275/2,000

8/8 Fitness results - 5.26 mile trail walk with the stroller and hills - 1:22. 15:35 AP
Pull ups - 3 negative

Nutrition results -

M1 - Kefir with apple and milled flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and walnuts
M2 - Rice cake with natural PB
M3 - Spinach and salmon salad
M4 - Protein shake with grilled turkey breast with ratatouille
M5 - More of the kefir mix from this morning

Weekly schedule -

Monday - Easy walk - DONE!
Tuesday - 5 mile run and ST - DONE!
Wednesday - Walk with hills - DONE!
Thursday - 4 mile run and ST
Friday - REST
Saturday - 12 mile run
Sunday - ST only

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Challenge Results - Day 2

Challenge totals so far -

Miles - 7.03/100
Push ups - 275/2,000
Pull ups assisted - 48/200

Marathon Training Schedule...

I stated this the other day in my challenge blog but it is worth repeating, this marathon is going to be SLOW. The goal is to make it across the finish line without injury to my knee and to be able to sign up for another race and COMPLETE the race without backing out as I have so many times because of my knee issues.  I am so tired of training for races and not being smart with my runs and as a result, I do not even get to race. So, if the plan has me running/walking, then that is what I am going to do. I am going to start off aiming for a 13 mm AP with my long runs and see how my knee does. If all is well, I can increase my pace somewhat but not much. The next marathon can be about speed, but this one is about FINALLY making it across the finish line for my first 26.2. I have completed 6 HM's and 6 triathlons in addition to countless road races ( 5k's, 10k's etc...) I want more than anything to make this goal and to finish strong, meaning not injured. I want to be able to run a good recovery run a few days post marathon and for my knee to be happy. So, if you see me posting crazy fast times, far off of what I am supposed to be doing, feel free to yell at me....I will understand :)

This weeks schedule.....

Monday - Easy walk - DONE
Tuesday - 5 mile walk/run and ST - DONE
Wednesday - Easy walk or bike
Thursday - 4 mile walk/run with drills and ST
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 12 miles run/walk @13mm
Sunday - ST and easy walk

Now for today's challenge results -

Nutrition  -

M1 - Kefir, milled flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and apple
M2 - Whey protein shake with 1/2 banana and skim milk. GF rice cake with natural PB
M3- Spring mix with ground chicken, peppers, cucumber and 1 grapefruit
M4 - Grilled chicken breast with spinach, egg and avocado, 1/2 a protein shake
M5 - More of the Kefir mix from this morning

Fitness -

5.03 mile run/walk on the tread - 58:08 mins, 11:33 AP

Short ST set -

Alternating bicep curls - 3 sets of 12 reps with 30 lb Db's - I reached my goal :) BUT the last few reps of set 3 my form was not as good as I would like. I was swaying back, so I need to improve on this but I am so very excited to see what I was finally able to get those 3 sets in using 30 lb Db's. It was a goal of mine and I reached it....on day 2!! Yea!

Two arm bicep curls - 3 sets of 15 reps with 20 lb Db's
Bent over rows with a 59 lb BB- Set 1 - 10 reps, Set 2 - 5 reps......totally spent. I could not do more.
Shoulder press with sumo squat - 3 sets of 15 reps with 20 lb Db's
Pull up Close grip - 3 sets of 5 assisted
Pull up Wide grip - 3 sets of 5 assisted
Diamond Pushup - 50 reps
Close grip push up - 50 reps
Spiderman - 50 reps
Solider plank push - 50 reps

Monday, August 06, 2012

Challenge results - Day 1

It was not the bombastic start to my challenge that I wanted but I am still proud I worked hard. Today was rainy and cold and it zapped ALL of my energy out...which is pretty hard to do :) I went for a great 31 min walk, mostly hill work pushing my baby girl in the BOB and then I did my pull ups and push ups for the day but to be honest, all day I felt as if I was hit by a truck. I called my husband and he feels the same way so maybe we are fighting off a bug or something or maybe it is just delayed exhaustion from the trip. Coming home to clouds and rain after being in the warm Mediterranean does not help either.

I started off today motivated and ready to work hard. Now, I feel tired but still motivated. I am watching the Olympics as I write this and I feel incredibly bad for saying I feel tired. After what? They are doing all of these amazing things and I am tired from a walk and some pull ups? Goodness. Some days you just feel off a bit and this is one of them... BUT, I can tell you this, even though I feel worn down, I got out there and I did something. I did what I could. I feel so very blessed to have my health and even if it is just the bare minimum, I wanted to strive for my best today.

Now for the pull ups. I tried today and it was miserable. I did 1.5 from a hanging position, totally unassisted then I did 2 sets of 5 followed by another set of 8 this evening. I tried another one unassisted but I only made it half way. This is going to be a VERY hard challenge for me. But that is the point, to truly REACH and to strive for something that scares you, pushes you harder and where you feel uncomfortable but you know you are pressing on and it will be worth it.

Challenge totals - August 6th - August 31st

Day 1 - Miles - 2
Assisted pull ups - 18 reps/200
Unassisted pull ups - 1.5 then another I get to count that as 2?? :) No....
Push ups - 75 reps/500
Diamond - 25
Spiderman - 25
Close grip bosu ball - 25

Nutrition - I did well today.....

M1 - Egg and spinach scramble with ground turkey
M2 - 1 apple
M3 - Natural PB on a GF rice cake
M4 - more of the spinach/egg mix from this morning along with 1 grapefruit
M5 - Whey protein shake with berries and banana
M6 - Salmon burgers over spring mix with avocado and EVOO/Balsamic mix
M7 - Kefir, apple, flax and almonds

Now I am off to bed hoping that I will wake up with TONS of energy ready to take the day by storm.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Back from vacation and ready for another challenge!!

I will post all the fun details regarding our vacation in the next blog but first I wanted to discuss the upcoming challenge which starts tomorrow. We are currently going through almost 3,000 photos from over 10 locations. This includes our stay along the French coast before the cruise, all of the countries from the cruise itself, then our post cruise stay throughout Provence. There are so many photos to go through, it will take some time, but are a few memories of our trip. We have the most amazing time together. More photos to come soon....

Here we are in Italy, visiting the island of Capri. We hired a boat to take us around the island and it ended up being a highlight of the cruise, it was such a beautiful island. I cannot wait to return someday.

Together in Corsica on the first day of our cruise. 

This was taken in Cassis, France while on a boat tour of the lovely limestone cliffs around the area. We loved the little town, one of our favorites along the French coast.

The waterfront along Marseille where I ran. It was a great base to stay prior to the cruise

Along the coast of France. The beach was beautiful but cold!  

On our balcony doing pushups with a little extra weight added on! She loves to climb on top of me while I do my push ups....I love it!

One of the little beaches off of Cassis.

Heading out to dinner one night of the cruise.

Now onto the challenge before us!!

We are excited about this next challenge as my husband and I both reached a new level of fitness during the last challenge and it continues to bring us closer together the more we train together and both strive for new goals. I love training together, he really inspires me. My husbands main goal in addition to his ST program is his cycling. His goal for this month is to complete 250 miles which includes a few rides during the week to and from work along with his longer rides on the weekends. He will also be adding in more hill training so that he can meet his goal for this year which is completing a very long climb we recently found near by. It is a very aggressive goal for him and I am excited to do all I can to help him reach it. What a day that will be!!

This challenge will start Monday and go throughout the month of August. We have each set personal goals and as always I will post my daily results on the blog along with my Spark and FB page. This month for me involves striving for a gain in my overall strength. I am focusing on pull ups, pushups and to increase my bicep curls.

Here are the details regarding the new challenge. It is simple, straight forward and I look forward waking up each morning ready to reach these goals!!

August 6th - August 31st Goals....

1. Strength training - Bicep curls.

Complete 3 sets of 12 reps for my alternating bicep curls WITH good form using 30 lb Db's. As of now I can do one set of 10 or 12, then a second set of 8 or so but the third set I burn out and I start to sway back and my form is totally off. I want to work hard to really get in each rep in fully and strong. For me, at this time, the 30 lb Db's give me a great challenge.

2. Pull ups.

Complete 5 consecutive unassisted pull ups by the end of the challenge. Currently I can do 1 to 2 pull ups from a hanging start but I cannot do any more without assistance. For me the hardest part is getting going from the start without using momentum. This is a HUGE challenge for me. To help me increase my pull ups I will be focusing on various back exercises including assisted pull ups, TRX exercises and bent over rows.  It is my goal to complete 200 assisted (and some unassisted) pull ups during the course of the challenge. That 50 reps per week.

3. Push ups.

Have you ever seen a challenge of mine that did not contain a push up goal? I LOVE them! Here is the problem. The standard military pushup that was once so very hard for me has become something I thrive on doing and therefore I have developed a great deal of muscular endurance and I can do quite a few. This is a good thing but it is not moving me forward with my fitness goals. So for this month I still have a goal to do 2,000 reps for the month BUT they will not include a standard military push up. Instead I will be focusing on variations that are more of a challenge for me. They are as follows......

500 reps of each type for the month -
Spiderman Push ups - Alternating knees to elbows
Solider Plank - One arm and one leg raised after each rep
Bosu Ball Close grip
Diamond push ups

4. Running.

I am currently in the middle of my marathon training and while everything was going well prior to the cruise, I did get a bit off track while I was gone. I got in several runs and a few fantastic HIIT sessions on the treadmill but my long runs where non existent. So I have to get back on track. Most of you know my history with running. I love it more than anything but my right knee has been giving me trouble for years. I am taking the advice of my PT and doctors and I am going to take it SLOW and train smart to hopefully help me finish strong and not injured. My goal for this next race is to finish before the cut off.....I am dead serious and to finish without injuring my knee further so that I can continue to race and do what I love. My training is a run/walk program and I will be aiming for a 13 mm during my long runs and a 12 mm marathon pace. As I said, it will be a slow race but the goal is not time but completing my first marathon after having to bow out of several races due to injury. The race is October 29th, in Dublin and I am truly excited BUT I need to really and truly train properly and not pull a typical "Jen training method" where I go out and run fast because I feel motivated. I MUST stick to the paces set for me and the mileage planned for me. If I want to run for a lifetime, this is what I must do.

5. Nutrition - Bye bye oats, breads and the things I love.

For this challenge we are saying goodbye to oats and breads....basically we are going Gluten free. We will still eat quinoa, brown rice, wild rice and GF rice cakes but the rest will be removed for now. I am also focusing on my macros this month. I am aiming for a higher protein, low carb percentage but the main focus is on increasing my healthy fats through eating more nuts, avocados a fuel source. I am currently reading a few books on athletic nutrition and I am learning a great deal.

It is also a goal of mine to continue my water consumption each day....about 4 to 5 liters along with my VM green and earth powders.

You may have noticed that for this month I do not have one single goal dealing with weight loss, inches loss, BF% etc. This month is about improving strength and reaching new goals. I am happy where I am right now and feel blessed to have reached the weight loss goals I have so far. It is now time to move on and focus on new things!

I am ready. I can do this.