Back to the Blog

Well, I have been thinking a lot about this blog lately and after some deliberation I have come to the conclusion that I want to start posting regularly again.  I’m not making this choice on a whim that will dissolve in the coming weeks but truly have thought about it and want to commit to it.  

I find myself in a great position to start blogging again as I’m just coming back from an injury and have goals that I’m setting for myself. It would be wonderful to be able to blog about my goals’ progress as I get myself back into a fit-minded lifestyle and back into the best shape of my life again.  I have a marathon coming up that I will be running with Team in Training this January and feel that throughout my journey I will have stories to share and progress to talk about.

As well, I know that when I blog about my journey, I am able to appreciate it more and stay consistent.  Even if no one ends up reading my posts, at least I’ll know that I was able to do something for myself and take time out of my day to help myself reach my goals.

 

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Persistence Brings Progress

As the title suggests, today I experienced some improvement on my arm day exercises.  I was able to up my bench press!  This is particularly exciting news for me as it wasn’t too long ago (think beginning of this year) that I was unable to bench the bar (45 lbs).  Check out my routine below:

  • Warm Up: Erg 1000m 4:13 
  • Barbell Bench Press – 55 x 12, 60 x 12, 65 x 10
  • Cable Pressdown (Rope) – 20 x 8, 20 x 10, 20 x 8
  • Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise – 3 sets 10 x 10
  • Cable Curl – 30 x 12, 35 x 12, 35 x 8
  • Pull-Up – 3 sets of 8 with 100lb assist
  • Tricep Dips – 3 sets of 12 with 100lb assist
  • Cool Down: 5 minute ARC Trainer and Stretching

I’m thinking that next time I do pull-ups and tricep dips I will drop the assist a little bit.  I’ve currently now done them with 100lb assists three times.  This does intimidate me a little bit as I’m only able to pull out 8 pull-ups at a time but I think that it’s more of a mental block than a physical one.  

I can definitely feel my arms now afterwards, especially my triceps.  I recovered with a Vega Vanilla protein shake with rice milk (the store was sold out of both almond milk and coconut milk, grrr) and had turkey on rice cakes with avocado for lunch shortly after.  I am happy to announce that I’ve already drank two litres of water today and am well on my way to make it to my daily goal of 3 litres! 

My legs are feeling fully recovered from yesterday’s hill repeats and I feel more than well enough to perform my slated 4k tempo run tonight.  Tomorrow I plan on doing leg/back day for my lunchtime workout.

Just before I end off this post, I want to bring to your attention that I do track my food using my fitness pal (www.myfitnesspal.com) and you’re more than welcome to add me; my username is: livefitlivefree.  Also, I tweet a whole bunch.  Check out what I’m saying @lvefitandfree

That’s all for now anyways, live fit

Leg Day Lovin’

Today was leg day and it just might be becoming my favourite day!  I was able to get new personal bests in my stiff leg deadlift, leg extension, and leg curl.  My routine included:

  • Smith Machine Squat – 95 x 12, 105 x 12, 115 x 12, 125 x 12
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift – 75 x 12, 85 x 12, 95 x 8
  • Leg Extension (machine) – 90 x 10 (twice), 70 x 12
  • Leg Curl (machine) – 80 x 10 (twice), 90 x 10
  • Barbell Standing Calf Raise – 45 x 20 (3 times)

This time I made sure to include a brief warmup and cool down to hopefully minimize DOMS later on.  I started with a 1000m erg that took 4:15 and ended with 5 minutes on the ARC trainer and a 5 minute stretch.  

Oh, and another one of my coworkers got a gym membership today to join in on the lunchtime workouts.  I guess the endorphins are contagious 🙂 Once again I recovered with a vanilla vega protein shake.  

My plan is to run hills tomorrow on my lunch break and then depending on how I’m feeling maybe hit up the gym after work for a little arm and ab session.  We shall see.  I will post more later! 

Women’s Race Recap

On Sunday I participated in my first ever women’s only race.  It was a half marathon that looped through park paths with minimal road running.  It was a beautiful route with old wooden bridges, streams, meadows, forests views, and one killer hill at kilometre 18.  

I signed up for this race to take a break from my “competitive” race series I am participating in this year.   I have found that since signing up for my race series, every race has had a higher stress level associated with and a constant obsession with pace and time.  In my half in February I was more concerned with how many in my age group were in front of me than how I was running.  This race was to take a break, relax, and get back to the point of running: enjoying the run! 

This mind shift took some time to adjust to but by the time I went to bed on Saturday night I was not concerned with what my finishing time would be but more with taking in the whole race excitement and new route.  I switched up my typical race playlist that is usually dominated by fast paced, pop, electronic, and top 40 songs and instead opted for a country dominated list that ranged from twangy ballads to honky-tonk inspired tunes.

The morning of the race I was still a bit nervous for two reasons: I was still sore from leg day on Friday and the temperatures were slated to be 8 degrees.  I opted for my saucony spandex running shorts and a long sleeve technical t shirt.  I wore my compression socks to not only keep my legs feeling good but also to keep them warm in the chilly air.  I also opted to use my spibelt (http://www.spibelt.com/products/spibelt), something that I haven’t taken out since my marathon in January because I was afraid it would slow me down in subsequent races.  But since this was a fun, get back to the root of running run I loaded up my belt with shotblocks, some money (you never know), and my phone; I’m not a runner that runs with a fuel belt or water bottles, for me the water stations in races are enough.  

I was blessed to have my boyfriend come cheer me on.  He ended up finding some other supporting boyfriends, brothers, and husbands to chat with at the start and finish line.  We woke up at 4:30 in order to travel to the race, park, pickup my race packet, and be set to go by the start time.  I was placed in corral 1 so the gun was going off at 8am sharp.

Surprisingly, I was not too tired.  Since I have been off caffeine now since the detox, this was my first race that didn’t include a prerace morning coffee.  I did have my green tea but that’s it.  This was a factor I thought would alter my performance detrimentally but I was wrong.

Overall, I ended up running a personal best! I ran in 1:53 which beat my last record by over a minute, even with a 1.5km hill in the last 5km!  My pace averaged out to be 5:25/km which I was very pleased with.  I learned a lot from this race and I couldn’t be happier.  

Lessons learned:

  • Hill repeats really do help come race day!
  • I do not need caffeine to get me energized
  • It’s better to have fun and run a good race without stressing so much about results
  • My Spibelt is amazing and I should use it more
  • Running with women is so much fun (so much lululemon running clothes to look at on the course!) and I would do this race again
  • Having my boyfriend at the finish lines makes for a good, smiling finish line photo

The temperatures ended up being perfect for a race. It probably ended up sitting at 12 degrees for the race but with no clouds, the sunlight was direct. I felt I was dressed perfectly and felt comfortable the entire run. My 5k split was 26:30 and my 10k ended up around 53 minutes; I did not have a negative split (and I’m blaming that on the hill).

I can’t wait to run in a race again now that I have this renewed ease of racing and I’m excited to see how my race photos turned out!