Saturday, December 27, 2008

Post-Christmas Post

One of the things I love about Christmas is that my older brother still is the first to wake up/wake me up, and my parents still fill our stockings! Never gets old.

After church on Christmas Eve night, the fiance & I set out for an easy 3 mile run through the neighborhood among the lights. So beautiful! It also happened to be in the 60s, so the weather was great. That was my first nighttime run, and I loved it. So peaceful.

I woke up Christmas morning with sinus pain. I have been poppin these bad boys the past few days & feel pretty good at this point.
Even though I felt pretty beat on Christmas night with the sinus stuff, I knew we had a scheduled 2 mile run to do. I was planning on just skipping it, but we ended up running it on the treadmill at my future in law's house (they have a home gym!). I kept off the incline, though.
Friday was my first rest day this week. Today was a milestone! We took advantage of the amazing weather and went to First Landing State Park, where we ran 6 miles (a half mile longer than the most I've ever run) on the trails/through the mud! All I can say is wow...painful! I have problems with my esophagus, and while the first 3 miles felt pretty good, during the last 3 I felt like someone was stepping on my esophagus. I grunted and moaned my way through the last 2 miles. It really sucks because this happens often and is very debilitating, even though my legs, respiratory, and circulatory system feel fine. I could not have finished this run without the fiance by my side, encouraging me & praying with me. It sounds dramatic, but I pray this doesn't happen during the actual race, because it could really prevent me from finishing, and that would devastate me. On the other hand, the scenery was beautiful & I definitely want to run trails again. We finished in 1 hr, 5 mins, I burned 843 cals, and had an average HR of 151 (pretty high for me to sustain for that long).
Tomorrow will be a well deserved rest break. Keep it real.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve

Sorry for the delay! I assumed I'd be having the most relaxing break, but I've been so busy I haven't even had time to crack open Twilight in a week! Don't be alarmed, though, I have been keeping up with my training (I know you were worried).

In case anyone's interested, here is the training program we've been following to a T, straight from the Shamrock website. I'm really pleased with it. It progresses slowly and always seems challenging, but never unattainable.

Guess what? We already have our Valentine's Day date planned. We are going to be running the Virginia is For Lovers 14k! Romantic, huh? We aren't officially signed up yet, but have been meaning to do so. I'm doubly excited because it fits right in with our training program, which calls for an 8 miler that day anyway (I think the 14k is 8.62 miles if I'm not mistaken).

I had an amazing birthday, by the way, and *thanks* to all of you who made it possible. I took the day off from exercise on my actual birthday. The day after, Friday, I did a simple 2.25 TM run at 1% followed by 10 minutes on the elliptical, because the run didn't leave me sweaty enough. I chose to not wear my HRM that day because sometimes it's just uncomfortable! I always fidget with it when it's on. Friday night I had my birthday party at Shorebreak's!
Here is me in the center with all my pretty laydays:
The fiance, me, the bff, the bff's husband:
I love Joanna even though she's wearing my birthday crown:
The fiance and I did a side-by-side TM run for 5 miles on Saturday. I stayed at an incline of 1% (it's amazing how just 1% grade can make it feel so much harder!). I finished in 48:50 (slightly under 10-minute miles) and burned 548 cals with an average HR of 146. Not too bad at all--if only I wasn't suffering from esophageal problems the whole time :/
Sunday, of course, was a rest day:)
I woke up early on Monday to hit the gym before work. Sitting in my freezing cold car waiting for it to warm up in 26 degree weather, in the dark, was not very encouraging! I love late morning workouts, but I really don't care for early morning ones. They seem too forced! Sometimes you have to work with what you got, though. I did the 2 required miles at 1% (no HRM data here--forgot that, along with my ipod--talk about boring).
Today I met up with Chelsea at Gold's for our weekly strength sesh. Feeling the burn already! I was at the gym for 45 minutes, so I probably was only working for 30 minutes. We moved right along, though, and finished with our side plank competition: trying to beat each other out for holding the plank position the longest!
I am exhausted from holiday baking! Seriously, my back hurts from slaving away in the kitchen for so long tonight. Luckily, I just now (at almost midnight) found unexpected coverage for my shift at work tomorrow--so I get Christmas Eve off!
Tomorrow I solemnly swear to do what I can to run outside for once. It's supposed to be a lot warmer, but we'll see....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

hurt so good!

I love being off from school! It's so nice to come home from work and be able to do whatever I want! I was also pleased to finish with 4 A's and 1 B (ugh...physics). One more semester to go. I do like school and am kind of passive about graduating, but all I really want is to be married! Not having to worry about schoolwork for our first year of marriage is very appealing as well. I wonder what it will be like when I start Physical Therapy school after that year? I think I'll be refreshed and ready to get back into classes, but I hope the long days and long nights of studying won't be such a drag.

I have no wedding news to announce...I really hope we don't put off getting the save the dates out any longer. You're supposed to send them out 6 months before and we're already under 6 months. What is our deal?

We finally saw the movie Fireproof yesterday, which I've been wanting to see for a long time. It was excellent! I would recommend it for anyone in a serious relationship. While the couple's relationship in the movie did not really apply to us, it was uplifting and really makes you appreciate each other and the importance of the Lord as the center of everything you do. It's true...the only way to know what true love is or how to truly love someone is to know God's unconditional love.

Onto running news...yesterday I ran 2.25 *fast* miles on the TM at a 1% incline. I mean, I smoked it! While on the way to the gym, I decided that I wanted it to hurt. I mean, I wanted to sweat so hard and run so fast that I'd never forget it. Mission accomplished. I kept my speed up between 7.5 and 8.0 mph for the majority of the time (something I rarely do). My limbs were flying so fast that they felt detached from my body. It was great! I managed to finally get in some strength training as well. It had been an embarassing 2 weeks since I'd strength trained, and my body let me know it. I am feeling it today....

I had a bff workout date today, starting with a 3 mile TM run. While I kept an easy pace, the run was just plain hard. I seriously think it's the fact that Gold's is so incredibly hot. We did some insanely fun and challenging ab work after. I go through phases with ab work...and right now I'm just into it.

Goodnight! Tomorrow I turn 22!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A few of my favorite things: Twilight and planks

Hi! Exams are finally done and I am loving the free time and have been spending most of it losing myself in the Twilight series! I am currently finishing up book 2, New Moon. I haven't had this much book fun since I finished Harry Potter!

It has also been great having a social life back. I am going to be working a bit more over the break, but other than that the only things on the agenda are to relax, train, and take care of some wedding details like sending out the save the dates and picking out invitations. We are also planning on registering for wedding presents after Christmas. Fun! We realized last night that yesterday was the 6 month mark till the big day!

Onto workouts for the week:

The day after my enjoyable 3 mile run outside in the beautiful weather, I was still feeling ill, but I wanted to give 2 miles a shot. I decided to walk on the TM at a slight incline for 1 mile to warm up, and then felt ready for a slow 2 mile run. I made it through a miserable 1 mile before I had to stop! All in all, it was just a bad idea and I probably shouldn't have even tried. But I was glad I at least got some activity in.

I had no nausea on Thursday, just some headaches, so I tried out the 45 Minute Treadmill Workout. Phew! I did the running option and honestly didn't think I was going to finish at a couple points. I rarely incorporate hills into my running! I burned 531 cals and kept an average HR of 152. Not too bad! I will definitely be trying this workout again. My goal was not mileage for this workout, but I ended up running 3.75 miles *uphill*!

I definitely took Friday off to rest from that insane workout, although I wasn't particularly sore. Running really doesn't make me sore anymore. I guess that's a good thing because it means that I'm being consistant, but not increasing my mileage too quickly (which can lead to injury).

The fiance and I headed to the gym for our weekly long run (another 4 miles--next week will be 5). I kept the TM at a 1% incline (to mimic being outside with terrain, wind resistance, etc.). I really don't want to spoil myself on the TM, because I run on it so much. I just love being able to zone out and not have to worry about cars, stoplights, weather, or whatever else. Pointing a fan at my face and a TV in front of my eyes might be a reason, too:) We both shaved 30 seconds off of last week's 4 miler without even trying! We both finished in 38:30 (even though we started at different times and did different speed intervals. The same thing happened last week when we both finished in 39 minutes. Talk about being *N Sync!).

I plan on taking another day off today. I may do some ab work, though. Here is some inspiration: the plank--the all around best exercise for your core. So simple and can be done anywhere. Assume the position and hold for as long at you can! Repeat!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ups and Downs


This past week has been really tough, mentally and physically. On top of exams, my body has been acting weird. I think I mentioned earlier, but I've been plagued with nausea and headaches all day, every day. The combination makes me only desire to lay in bed and completely wipes me of energy. As a result, I feel sluggish and lazy! The only thing I can attribute this all to is the birth control pills I've recently started. I wanted to toughen it out and let my body adjust, but I finally caved and called my doctor today, and I'm being switched to a different pill. Please Lord, let this be the answer! I want my energy back:/

By some divine intervention, I've managed to keep up with the training program! The 4-miler the fiance and I had planned for Saturday got postponed till Sunday (due to reasons noted above). It was a great run on the TM, and we ran it in 39 minutes. Monday I was basically confined to bed (with the exception of suffering through a physics exam, ew). I felt pretty good when I woke up today, though, and decided to take advantage of the 65-degree weather and took a 3 mile run outside in the sunshine! It took me 33 minutes and I burned 463 cals with a peak HR of 171 and an average HR of 158. That's pretty high for such a slow pace, but it actually felt great and was very relaxing.

I spent the remainder of the day with the's his birthday today! For 9 days a year he gets to be older than me, and he never lets me forget it! Poor thing had an exam on his birthday, though. I told him this was his last birthday where I wouldn't be waking up next to him! Can you tell we're counting down the days 'till June 13th? :)

I am off to get some sleep and pray tomorrow will offer some repreive from this discomfort! I'm sick of relying on triple-daily doses of Tylenol! That can't be good....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I love when I have wedding updates

Wedding Updates:
The dress is in! I got a call from Williamsburg Bridal announcing that my dress has finally arrived. Sad part is I have no idea when I'll have a chance to get up there to try it on (the shop is about an hour away) until exams are over. But I am beyond excited!
The save the dates finally arrived! The plan is to get them sent out over Christmas break. Yay for a whole month off of school! Gotta love college life.
Running Updates:
Since Tuesday was a rest day, I decided to just follow the training program and do the required 2 miles on Wednesday. Normally I would have done more, but wow, those 2 miles were torture to crank out. I don't know what the deal was, but I jogged very slowly (21 minutes to run 2 miles=average a little over 10-minute miles), yet my heart rate was higher than normal. As I was cooling down, it hit me: I felt so nauseus. I stretched for a little, but all I wanted to was to be in my bed! Once I got home, I layed in bed for probably 2 and a half hours, praying for relief. I had the stomach flu back in March (which happened to fall on the day of Chelsea and Justin's wedding) and have serious fears about getting it again. But by that night I felt fine!
Thursday, the fiance and I met up for a run through the neighborhood. We had a really good time and did 3 miles in 30 minutes.
Friday I did some basic crosstraining at the gym: about 25 minutes of HIIT cardio. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, which basically means alternating between 30 seconds to a minute of all-out exercise, followed by about 90 seconds to 2 minutes of recovery. I chose to do it on a strange machine that's like a mix of a treadmill, an elliptical, and a stairmaster! Depending on the range of motion you use, you feel like you're running through sand! I tried to find a picture online, but I have no idea what it's called or how to describe it. Anyway, the HIIT was a success and I burned almost 400 calories, keeping my heart rate up around an average of 157 (peaked in the mid 170s! Finally!). I also did some serious ab work (which I have been putting off for real). Definitely feeling that today.
Get this: it's Saturday, and I have a final exam at 3:45. What was that I was saying about loving college? The fiance and I are planning at 4 mile treadmill run (so cold outside) for later today.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

engagement photos

Our photographers have posted 5 of our engagement photos...I copied and pasted these from their blog! I had to really shrink them down because they were too big to fit on the page, but go to their site to get the full effect. Our photographers are so talented and we can't wait to see the rest of the photos! The fiance does NOT like the closeup one of him, but he's just so cute!

In other news, I last posted Saturday. I took Sunday off, and Monday I had an amazingly fun workout. Since Chelsea moved to Norfolk, she joined Gold's, so I met her there. I know I swore up and down I was going to end my membership, but exercise dates with my BFF are incentive enough for me to keep it awhile longer! I did a 2 mile run on the TM while chatting with her. The combo of talking and running made my HR go through the roof! We also did a great strength workout and hit every major muscle group. Chelsea had to leave early to go get paint for her house (!), but I still had time to kill, so I stretched for a while and ended up running another *fast* 2 miles. In total, I exercised for 1 hr, 15 mins and burned around 887 calories! Whoa. It sure felt like it though; I was exhausted by the end of the 2nd run!
I'd like to point out something, though. While I was actually at the gym for 2 hours, I was only actively exercising for a little over 1 hour. It's easy to go to the gym and believe you're getting a long workout, but once you factor in time preparing to exercise, warm-ups and cool-downs (which should definitely be included in your workout, just not as part of your total time), moving from one part of the gym to the other, resting, water breaks, chit-chatting, bathroom breaks, etc., you probably worked out a lot less than intended! Once, I went to an outdoor bootcamp, and I used my HRM to track the time we were actually exercising. The class was an hour long, but we really only exercised for under a half-hour! Just something to be aware of.
I am giving my sore body a break today!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

no more pie for me!

How did you guys do over Thanksgiving? I love my family, my future family, and my friends. I can't put into words how thankful I am to God for sending me my future husband. I have had a really, really great Thanksgiving break. Plus, we bought a kitchen table and chairs at a consignment shop today! Total impulse buy, but we both loved it and the price was right! It was our first big future home purchase. The table and chairs have a brushed metal/aluminum finish and are kind of retro/modern. They are also small and the table top can flip up and out of the way. Perfect for our inevitable apartment living!

I last posted about my workouts from earlier this week...I woke up Thanksgiving morning and went with my dad to the gym, where I ran 2 fast miles on the TM, did some uphill powerwalking, and did some elliptical. It totaled 50 minutes and I burned around 550 cals (I accidentally erased my stats from my HRM). Friday I definitely took my first day off all week! I did end up playing football with a big group of people, but I probably did a whole lot more of looking confused/getting distracted by things than actual sport! Today I finally tried the Body Flow class at Gold's I've been meaning to go to for a few months's described as being a mix of yoga, pilates, and Tai Chi. In case you haven't noticed, I try to stay as far away from yoga-based exercise as possible (although I don't mind pilates too much) but I felt like giving it a body takes a lot of intense exercise so I thought I should incorporate something different. It was nice, actually. I'd do it again. It didn't really excite me or leave a lasting impression, and I definitely wouldn't trade it for other forms of exercise, but I think adding it in as an addition would be beneficial to my pathetically inflexible joints! I also went on an intended 3-mile run with the fiance, but we were really dragging our feet on this cold, cloudy day. I tried to pick up the pace in order to warm up, but I was freezing the whole time! Needless to stay we only stayed out 20 minutes (about 2 miles or so). I burned 253 cals, with an avg HR of 146 and a peak HR at 173 (thanks to a sprint at the end).

Even though I've only taken off 1 day this week, I feel groggy...from the huge meals/eating pretty much whatever I want! Thanksgiving is OVER! Time to get back to normal portion sizes and no more bedtime snacks!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

TM dates and tummy troubles

Happy Thanksgiving Eve blogworld! I am sitting here sipping a cup of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride herbal tea with a drizzling of honey mixed in...yum! I definitely recommend.

I think one of the things I'm most thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday is the imprint of the Lord in my life. I used to be such a "material girl" and just have lost most of that desire this past year. I don't feel that my identity is in things so much as in people and experiences, and most importantly, being a daughter of God. It sounds simple enough, but it's so easy to try and find self worth/fill voids with THINGS. I sincerely hope the Lord keeps me convicted in this.

You better believe I've been exercising my toosh off this week! Monday, the fiance and I met at my local gym for a side-by-side run on the TM. He has been working hard training for this race too! I did 4 miles in 37 minutes and burned 446 cals. Normally I'd have taken off Tuesday, but I had plans of a girl's night at Shorebreak's with pizza and cocoanut mojitos (yum!). So, I did 25 *hard* minutes of strength training and another 25 *hard* minutes on the elliptical, burning a total of 624 cals. Shorebreak's has the best pizza! We split a greek one. I have to say I really think I'm allergic to alcohol. I don't drink often as it is, and when I do, I just have one, rarely two. I only had one mojito last night, and my stomach was mad at me all day today! This actually always happens. Is it possible to be allergic to alcohol?

The fiance and I have really been watching our wallets lately, so we've been having to be more creative with date ideas. Lately we have really been into meeting eachother for brown bag lunches when we're at school, or just working out together. Today I accompanied him to the Virginia Beach Rock Gym (our good friend Chris's family owns it!). I wasn't planning on climbing myself (I'm so sore from my strength workout yesterday), but I couldn't NOT climb. It is a fun challenge. After, we did another TM run at the gym. I did 3.5 mi in 33 minutes, burning 385 cals. I intended to do at least 4, but my stomach wouldn't let me!

Onto wedding news: we ordered our "save the dates!" We created them ourselves and used VistaPrint to order them through. VistaPrint is awesome! We got 250 of them for under $40, including shipping. We definitely don't need 250, but the only lesser option was 100, and that was too few. We think they are very cute! Once they're sent out I will post a picture of them on here.

Enjoy family, food, and fellowship tomorrow!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

exercise for the week & wedding details

Yikes, could I have been a worse blogger this week?!

Life has been crazy (in a good way!) and super busy...I haven't had much time for myself, actually, and didn't devote a whole lot of time to exercising, either. This semester is starting to wind down, and exams will start soon which will equal me needing to commit to training for this half-marathon more, otherwise with studying, wedding planning, holidays, family, and friends, I can easily come up with excuses to not exercise.

Workouts for this week included:

1. A wonderful strength training sesh lasting 30 minutes (330 cals, avg HR of 137). Some of you may know that this past spring I took a hiatus from strength training for a couple of weeks for very silly reasons. Big mistake! Strength training is so important for sculpting feminine muscle, raising my hypothyroid-induced slow as molasses metabolism, and just making me feel great. I feel just as good after a good strength workout as I do after a long run. I only strength train on average once per week at this point, sometimes 2, but would like to make it a habit to do it twice per week...that will be my goal for this coming Thanksgiving week!

2. A spinning class at Gold's. Hmm...what to say about this. Well, I used to take spinning classes here and there back in highschool when I was a member at the Y, so I've had some experience with it. I've been wanting to get back into it, but after this, I realized it's just not for me. The instructor was great, actually, probably the best group fitness instructor I've encountered. I also kept my heartrate up and burned a good amount of cals (563 in 50 minutes). But OUCH! was I sore the next day...and not in a good way! The seat was killer. I know you can get things like padded seats or whatever for spin, but also I was just pretty uninterested the whole time. I felt restricted being in a seat. At least when I run, even on a TM, I can feel my whole body moving. Thanks, but no thanks.

3. A 5-miler on the TM (it's been so cold this week!) in 47 minutes! That means I maintained an under 10-minute-mile pace the whole time. My HR was at an average of 150 bpm, and I burned 603 cals.

4. On Saturday, the fiance and I helped my BFF Chelsea and her husband Justin move into their first house! We helped move them out of their condo which happened to be on the 3rd floor, so lots of steps + lots of boxes = my workout for the day! And by the way, their home is just beautiful and perfect for them (not to mention a mere one-minute commute to work for her...lucky!).

5. This evening I felt so run-deprived. I had planned a Friday evening run, but as I was getting ready to walk out the door, clad in workout attire, we got invited to go to dinner at Luna Maya with some friends of ours from church who we don't get to hang out with too often. Luna Maya is a deliciously authentic mexican restaurant that I am in love with! Anyway, I knew I had to get some running in tonight, but it seems whenever I try to workout on Sundays, the Lord tries to tell me "no, rest!" because I get to the gym and then just feel crummy all over! Still, I was too stubborn to not do anything, so I managed to get out 2.5 miles sloooowly, plus another 25 minutes on the elliptical. Overall, it was 50 minutes, 590 cals, with an average HR of 143.

Now let's get to the good details! If you are one of my bridesmaids and are just finding this out for the first time from this blog, please do not feel offended...I have been so busy that I haven't had time to announce it to everyone, but not only did I find the dresses, I purchased them yesterday...for a mere $30! I found them at H&M on accident, really. They are absolutely adorable--bright, royal blue, raw silk dupioni-like fabric, mid-thigh length with a big fun bow on the left rib cage. Woohoo! Pictures to follow.

Even more exciting was our engagement photo session this afternoon with our fantastic photographers! We had been looking forward to this for so long. We met up downtown and worked our way down Granby Street, then went over to the Pagoda's Japanese tea gardens. was definitely chilly, in the 40s, and I didn't want us to wear jackets in the photos so we braved the cold! We had an amazing time and got into a lot of interesting poses for the full 2 hours we were shooting (read: dark alleyways, fire escapes, and nearly falling off of docks!). Hopefully I can post some of the pics on here when they are made available in the next few weeks.

How do you plan on "battling the bulge" this holiday season?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

DC/exercise re-cap

Hello blog world! How was everyone's weekends? It's been a while since I last posted, but I have been keeping track of my workouts in this little training log I got for free when I got new running shoes last month. It's pretty handy; I tried maybe once before to log my workouts, but I lost interest pretty quickly...I'm going to keep doing it now though, in order to track my mileage as I train for the Shamrock. I want to make sure I stay on top of my training, but it's even more important to not OVER train and end up with an injury. I'm planning on increasing my total mileage by just about 1 mile a week.

But let's get to the real important stuff: Tim Gunn was FABULOUS! Of course. I tried to scan the photo I had taken with him (!) but my scanner isn't working. He was so sincerely nice though, just like on TV. I even got to hear him say "Make It Work!" two or three times. Perfect. I am sad to report, however, that we did not make it to Aria Bridesmaids. I found out they book appointments at least a month in advance, so I couldn't get an appointment. I'll probably just order a sample dress from them and see how that looks. After the fashion show, my mom & I met up with my dad and we trotted all around Arlington. We walked past a lululemon, which happens to be a great athletic apparel store. I was overwhelmed with the amazingly cute, high quality selection, and I had fun picking out some birthday presents for myself there! (I'll be 22 on Dec. 18th). There are rumors that Virginia Beach will be getting our own lululemon soon.

Since I last posted about my downtown run Tuesday, other workouts for the week included a Turbokick class at Gold' case you don't know, Turbokick is a trendy cardiokickbox/dance class, and it claims to burn up to 2,000 calories. I've done the class a few times, and while I always get a great workout, I never felt I burned anywhere close to that much. I brought my trusty HR monitor along with me this time, and really pushed it out, working as hard as I could within the structure of the class. Total cals: 531. Enough said.

Thursday I took off, and Friday I did a simple 2 mile run on the treadmill along with a steep 2 mile uphill walk. I forgot how much I like uphill walking. I think I should take up hiking...the few times I've done real hikes I've loved it. Maybe a late autumn hike in the Appalachian mountains complete with apple picking? Yes please....

Today after church, the fiance and I headed out for yet another downtown run! We cut it a bit shorter than usual, but still did 5 miles. I totaled 12.5 miles this week, up a bit from 10.6 miles last week. I'll shoot for 13-13.5 next week.

Do you log your workouts? If so, how does it benefit you?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Fave Route + Tim Gunn's Guide to Bridesmaids

I hope everyone's weeks are off to a good start. With just a few weeks till Thanksgiving, it's time to get motivated to eat healthy and pick up the exercise in preparation for a coma-inducing dinner and more importantly dessert! Haha. Give thanks that the Lord has made us each wonderfully and given us bodies with bones, muscles, lungs, and a heart that were made to move. Honor His handiwork by treating it with respect and giving it the exercise it needs.

Yesterday I wanted to still take it pretty easy from my Saturday run, so I did some pretty basic strength training for just a half hour (avg HR of 126, 255 cals). It's getting pretty chilly outside and really feels like fall now, so running outside is getting to be a bit more effort and take some more thought. I took a nice long 5.5 mile run through Norfolk today, starting at Colley and 20th and taking the long way down to Waterside and back. It's one of my favorite routes and one that I haven't done since moving out of my Ghent apartment this past spring! Too bad there is so much construction now to navigate around. I was thrilled to have been able to go for such a long distance OUTSIDE without stopping (except at some red lights). Running on a treadmill is no feat compared to outside. It was also neat to see how far I've come along compared to when I used to run that route a few seasons ago. I used to jog so slowly I thought I could powerwalk at the same speed! Plus, I used to take walk breaks frequently, and I'd be exhausted by the end. This time I felt like I could have gone another mile easily if I had the time.

Here are my stats:

Distance: 5.5 mi

Avg HR: 156 (peaked somewhere in the high 160s)

Total Cals: 686

Time: 50 minutes

I had an exceptionally large lunch to compensate for the ridiculous amount of calories burned! Taste Unlimited=yum!

I am highly excited for this weekend. I will be headed up to DC with my mom & I are going to meet this guy:

In case it isn't obvious, that is the famous Tim Gunn from Project Runway! My mom is quite the fan and I have to say I'm not too apathetic about meeting him either. My dear friend Joanna was going to join us, but I didn't realize reservations had to be made, and they are already full:(

Since we're going to be in DC anyway, we are making a pit stop at Aria Bridesmaids, a wonderful little boutique I plan to use for my bridesmaids! I already have the dress and color picked out, but I am going to love being able to see it in real life before I make a final decision. I wish all of my lovely maids could accompany me on this trip!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sea Breeze and a PR

The week ended succesfully! It was actually hard for me to take Thursday off...I really wanted to do something active. Running to classes all day in the rain while lugging a heavy backpack was probably enough, though. Friday was so beautiful--warm and sunny! The Fiance and I took advantage of the weather and headed out to the oceanfront boardwalk for a nice jog. We did a pleasant 2.5 miles in 33 minutes (avg HR=141, 373 cals). It was nice to be able to talk and enjoy the amazing creation that is the ocean alongside us. Plus, how can you not feel motivated with King Neptune reigning above you?

I was surprised at how many people were out at the oceanfront in November--tons of runners and dogwalkers had the same idea as us. It was strange to see the "Holiday Lights at the Beach" already partway set up. There's no way we are entering the holiday season--it seems way too soon...but I am of course thrilled. There is nothing like this time of year, with family, fellowship, and yummy holiday sweets! Oh, and we got some work done on our Save the Dates, too. I think we'll probably be sending them out later next month, or maybe early January...not sure what the normal time frame is?

I made it to the gym Saturday (it was raining) and decided I was going to make a PR (personal record) for myself: run a 5k at a speed of 7.0 mph the ENTIRE time. I have always been a 10-minute-miler, so 8:34 minute miles are usually closer to sprints for me. But I felt like I had gotten to the point where running at that pace had become more of a "base pace" for me, and I actually did it! I did all 3.1 miles in under 27 minutes (26:40 to be exact). This was big news for me. I have never been into speed (although most runners wouldn't consider that to be too speedy!) but it felt great to know that I could do it. Around mile 2, I started to get really mentally fatigued, though, and I really had to push myself to not slow down. It was hard. Avg HR=156, peaked at 171, and got rid of 421 cals.

Everyone, enjoy your weeks and don't be afraid to get sweaty:)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Group Fitness & Nordstrom Love Affair

I am a member of Gold's Gym, but I'm waiting to terminate my membership (next month). About a year ago I signed up because I was living in Norfolk, down the street from a brand new Gold's, & was put into a year-long contract. Well, since I ended up moving back home (Va Beach), I have been going to my "home gym"--Fitness 24-7. I love it so much more that Gold's, but since I have no choice but to keep paying until I can cancel next month, I have been trying to take advantage of their group fitness classes, which are pretty decent (24-7 is too small a gym to have real group fitness). Yesterday, I was excited about a class titled "Performance Athletic Conditioning." It ended up being a pretty lame class structure-wise, but I sure did sweat, especially at the end when we played one-on-one bball. How fun! That was the best part of the class. Today I was planning on doing something low-key (Gold's has a class called Body Flow, which I've never tried but is supposed to be a cross between yoga and pilates), but I had an itch for something worth my time, something more like strength I ended up in Body Pump (Gold' many "Body" classes can you come up with? For the record, they also have a Body Step and a Body Attack as far as I know!). I do love Body Pump, though! I'll definitely need to take the day off tomorrow...I'll plan on a Friday run.

Anyway, here are my stats:

Athletic Conditioning: avg HR=144, total cals=623
Body Pump: avg HR=117, total cals=442

Oh, and more importantly, Norstrom is having their women's half-yearly sale! Woohoo! I looove me some Nordstrom, but I have more of a "look but don't touch" relationship with them because of their sky-high prices. At least when Joanna was working there, I could take advantage of her employee discount! The half-yearly sale is a nice reprieve, and I managed to find some nice Nike sweatpants for $26.90. Does anyone else get more excited about workout clothes than regular clothes? I just would rather spend my money on good gear than a regular shirt or pants. Don't get me wrong, I love all types of shopping, but some I love more than others:)

I promise to post some wedding planning details very soon--but right now I've got to study for a Nutrition test tomorrow on vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. Summer, you feel me, right?

Monday, November 3, 2008

heart rates & heart burn

Hello! Well, I am pleased to admit that I stuck to my guns and completed a precise 5-mile run this evening. Oh, and for the first time ever for going that distance, I did not stop to walk once! I actually kept my pace up between 6.5 and 7.0 mph for the majority of the run, slowing down to between 5.5 and 6.0 for the cool-down. Accompanying me on this cleansing ride was my trusty ipod shuffle and my new best fitness pal--a heart rate monitor! I've been toying with the idea of investing in one for about a year or so, so I felt justified in finally making the purchase. And am I glad I did! It allows me to keep track of stats such as average and peak heart rates and calories burned. I am now thinking of purchasing a distance and speed attachment for it...hmm.... Oh, and another great purchase I made was a new pair of headphones. I hate the original ear buds that come with ipods, because they are too big to fit securly in my ears (especially when the sweat starts!). I have wasted too much money picking up random replacement headphones only to be disappointed time and time again. I actually ended up in the Apple store and got a pair of Nike Vapor adjustable sport headphones (serious, huh?). I would definitely recommend them for ears both big and small! And at $30, the price wasn't too bad either. I'm sure they can be found online for cheaper, though.

Here's a pic of my not-so-feminine Timex HRM:

And my lovely ipod shuffle (a handy lil bday pres from Billy last year):

And my super fly Vapors:

Anyway, with all that high-tech gear, who has an excuse not to run?
Here are the stats for today's:
Time: 46.27
Total cals: 637
Peak HR: 171
Avg HR: 157
*It's true, running really is more mental than physical. I desperately wanted to stop after 15 minutes due to a losing battle with acid reflux! Somehow I pushed through...yikes.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Weekend Woes

Ugh. I really fell off the exercise horse this past week! Well, last weekend, in an attempt to rake in some extra green, I took on a weekend babysitting job. As a result I was forced to skimp out on exercise that Friday & Saturday (although I did challenge one of the little boys to a jumping jack competition...pulled out 100, breathlessly). I felt very slugglish & sedentary all weekend from lounging around, so Sunday, Billy and I played some fun and hardcore tennis, complete with bouts of suicides. Suicides are basically sprints done in a gym or on a court of some sort with lines. You sprint to the first line you see, then back, then up to the second line, and back, etc, until you've reached the last line and want to kill yourself, obviously. With all the running training I've been doing, I have to admit he still smoked me (girls don't have as many fast twitch muscle fibers!).

I made it back to the gym Monday for some running & plyometrics...the plyos were the most intense I think I've ever done and I was sore for at least 2 days afterward! I gave my muscle fibers more than enough time to heal, because I didn't make it to the gym again till Friday. I'm a big believer in making time for the gym and I hate using the excuse "I don't have time," but truly, I did not have time to get there this week. I could have, but having not seen any of my good friends in way too long, I chose to catch up with them instead and had a ton of schoolwork to finish as well. While I like to do the two on different days, I crammed in high-intensity running & a full strength workout Friday to make up for lost time. Also, I knew I'd be babysitting AGAIN this weekend (different fam, but another overnighter). Luckily, they had an exercise bike, so I managed to get in half an hour of moderate/vigorous intensity on there Saturday, plus today the kids & I played a ridiculously fun & sweaty game of soccer. My body's craving a good, long run, which I'm going to make sure happens tomorrow no matter what!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No backing down now!

Being an exercise science major, I am constantly hearing buzz about the next approaching marathon...since I've mastered the art of jutting into just about any conversation, I usually respond with a (usually truthful) "awe, I wish I could! I'm going to be out of town that weekend, dang it!" and move on about my day, extinguishing the subtle guilt felt with thoughts of "psh, I can never be that competitive of a person to want to run that much. I'm not trying to prove anything. I do it for fun and enjoyment! Who needs a marathon anyway?" But secretly I'm in awe of those who happily tell recounts of joyfully breaking through the finish line, and well, curiosity just got the best of me. I've got to see what all the fuss is about! I do this with lots of things--knock them till I try them (um, Harry Potter? Yes please!). So last month, on a motivated whim, I decided to sign up not only myself, but my fiance, Billy, to run the Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon on March 22, 2009. I figure it's best to channel my "gotta look great for the wedding" energy into something somewhat meaningful and more interesting than plodding on the elliptical while staring at the clock. Thus, for the past 5 weeks, I have really kicked up my running routine, completing my longest distance to date (a mere 5.7 miles--a far cry from the intangible 13.1 I'll soon face). Mid-November is when the real training will start to go down...I'll be greedily collecting oxygen till then!