Tag Archives: Cross-training

2015

Happy belated New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful time ringing in the New Year! My New Years Eve was low-key, but it was spent with family and loved ones, and that made it pretty special. 🙂

I have a quick correction to make from my last post – in it, I said my mom and I had crossed off 3 states… BUT I FORGOT ABOUT THE SHAMROCK HALF IN VA!! So make that 4 states, for a total of 7 states down. Only 43 to go! 😉

But given that my last post was looking back on 2014, I figured now would be a good time to talk about 2015- goals, resolutions, the typical New Year drill. 🙂

Running Goals for 2015

  • Incorporate a weekly hill workout into my running routine. I know hills are good for me. I know that, but I still hate them with a passion. Well, I want to try to change that in 2015. There are plenty of hills in the surrounding neighborhoods, so I’m going to suck it up, and start running them.
Hopefully this doesn't happen to me.

Hopefully this doesn’t happen to me.

  • Get a little speedier. To be specific, I’m hoping to start running half marathons averaging around 8:20-8:40 minutes/mile more regularly. And I wouldn’t mind a PR in a 5k either. This goal is a bit long-term, but I’m excited to start working on it.
  • Keep crossing off states. Florida is next and we leave in 9 days! I’M SO EXCITED!!!!
  • Keep using online workout videos for cross-training. In 2014, I discovered Fitnessblender, and finally started doing some different types of workouts (for example, I discovered I actually enjoy their 10 minute Tank Top Arms workout!) Through my ambassadorship with Sweat Pink, I’m currently getting to test out workouts from Gigabody.com right now! Like Fitnessblender, Gigabody offers users access to tons of different types of workouts of varying difficulty (though you need to join for $8.99/month in order to view the workouts). I’m still checking it out, but a full review is on the way!

Gigabody Review.

And in terms of blogging goals…

  • I’m looking to rebrand Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo in 2015! At the blogging conference I attended at the Heartbreak Hill Half, several successful bloggers stressed the importance of not being afraid of change.

How I met Your Mother meme.

Or in this case, the blog matures with us. 😉 The blog will still be about running with my mom and our plan to run a half in every state (OBVIOUSLY), but I’m looking to shorten the name, and give it a slightly different look. So, I will be starting to work on that very soon, but I will try to keep posting regularly in the mean time.

So that’s a quick look at some of my plans for 2015! I’m very excited for the New Year and all the new things it will bring. 🙂

Do you have any resolutions for the New Year?

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Holiday Gift Guide for Runners

Hello!

Can you believe today is December 1st?? Christmas is a mere 25 days away! Eek! Given that your Christmas shopping is probably in full-swing, I thought I would do a gift guide for runners in today’s post! Here are some things that I think are pretty cool, and that I think might also appeal to the runners or athletes in your life. 🙂

Gift Guide for Runners. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo.

Gift Guide for Runners. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

1. Compression sleeves from ProCompression. I’ve never gotten to try compression sleeves, but I’ve heard really good things about them in terms of easing soreness and promoting circulation! Plus, I think the powder blue color is so pretty. They have a great selection of colors though, if that isn’t your favorite!

2. Long-sleeved shirt or headband from Janji. Janji sent me these items to review and I love them! I wore the headband out running a few days ago, and it kept my ears nice and toasty in the 20 degree weather.

3. Garmin Forerunner 15. A GPS watch is obviously a little pricey, but if you know a dedicated runner who will put it to good use for many years, then it might be worth the investment.

4. Soakology Muscle Gel. My mom sent me this a few weeks back, and I have been loving it! I usually use it while relaxing in the evenings if I’m sore from a FitnessBlender video, and it helps a lot.

5. Marathon Gear. Ok, this might just be because my mom and I ran our first marathon this year, but I am still really proud of that, and I want all the things that say 26.2. Who cares if it’s braggy. 😉

6. Old Navy Active Women’s Sweater Pullover. I read a lot of good things about Old Navy’s active wear line, and I have been looking at it online a bit, and I’m pretty impressed! A lot of it looks really stylish, but also functional, just like this pullover. Plus, it has thumb-holes, and we all know I love thumb-holes. 🙂

7. This 26.2 Necklace. I love the goldbar necklace craze. And I love that you can show pride for your accomplishment in a subtle way with the roman numerals (they also have 5k, 10k, and half marathon versions as well!). This etsy shop also lets you select if you want Sterling silver, gold, or rose-gold, so you can get exactly what you want. 🙂

8. A nice water bottle. As a runner, I know I should be focused on hydration, but I usually forget to drink water during the day! a couple of my housemates have Camelbak water bottles, and they love them! If you know a runner or someone who goes to the gym a lot, this is probably a gift that would get a lot of use.

9. Lululemon Wunder Unders. Yes, these are expensive (and no, they aren’t see-through anymore!). Personally, I have a lot of issues with my workout leggings falling down, and these are supposed to stay up really well. And while they are quite expensive, Lululemon does offer great customer service, where you can bring them into your local store if you have any problems.

10. Yurbuds headphones. These are made specifically to wear when running or working out. My headphones fall out a lot when I run and get sweaty, and these are slip-resistant and have a lot of great reviews.

So there you go! A few ideas for Christmas shopping. 🙂 Now, I just have to make it through the next few weeks of term projects and finals to make it to the holiday!

Have a great day!

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Janji Apparel Review

Happy weekend!

So I thought about going for a run yesterday. Then I looked out the window.

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

Needless to say, the run didn’t happen. Which is a total bummer because I’ve been dying to test out some awesome stuff that Janji sent me to review!

Review of Janji. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoI’ve talked a little about Janji on the blog before (here and here), but in case you missed those posts, Janji is a very cool running apparel company. Their website explains –

“Runners require proper hydration to train, run 5Ks and finish marathons. At the same time, millions of people around the world lack the basic necessities for survival. 

WE CAN CHANGE THAT.

Through each purchase of Janji’s distinctive running apparel, a portion of proceeds funds organizations that are alleviating the worst problems related to water. By funding solutions and raising awareness through our apparel, Janji wants to create a nation of runners that run for another and eliminate the global water crisis.”

It’s a pretty awesome mission, so I was very excited to review a few items for them again. Especially, with Christmas only a few weeks away!

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

I received the Women’s Logo Long-Sleeve Running Shirt and the Women’s Running Headband. While running was out of the question today with the snow, I know the headband is going to be AMAZING for cold, breezy runs this winter.

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

I did test out the top today though, wearing it to do a sweaty 21 minute HIIT workout!

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoI loved it. The shirt is super soft, has thumb-holes (this is weirdly important to us runners!), and I love the color. I feel like the bright yellow will be nice and visible on dark, winter runs! It was super comfortable to work out in too.

And the coolest aspect behind these items, is that you know you are not only getting an awesome piece of running apparel, you’re also contributing to a great cause. The purchase of the headband provides 6 months of clean drinking water to one person in Tanzania, while the shirt gives 1 week of clean water to someone in the US.

I’m planning on doing a more comprehensive “Gift Guide for Runners” post sometime in the next few weeks, but if you do have a runner in your life (or you are a runner and you want to treat yo’self), I highly recommend Janji for holiday gifts! You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Have a great weekend! (and send some positive, snow-melting thoughts my way if you can… I’m already hating this winter.)

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PSA: Winter is Here.

Hello hello!

If you follow my Instagram, you know winter has finally hit upstate New York.

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoOh joy.

THANK GOD, I have sunny Florida to look forward to mid-January! In case you missed it, my mom and I have picked out our next race and state – the Clearwater Distance Classic! From the race website –

“It might be the most challenging half marathon in Florida, with two ascents each over two relatively tall bridges connecting Clearwater to the barrier islands. It might be Florida’s most scenic half marathon, as the entire course is within 1/4 mile of Clearwater Bay and / or the Gulf of Mexico.”

I’m pretty excited. Those bridges sound tough, but after having survived running 26.2 miles in September, I’m pretty sure I can handle 13.1 miles plus a couple of hills. 😉 My mom and I were originally hoping to do one of the Disney races as our Florida race, but we ended up missing the registration opening, and it filled up crazy fast. A Disney race is definitely still on the bucket list, it just won’t be this year.

I would love to really train hard for this and to push myself for a new PR, and I even found a Hal Higdon training plan for if I do decide to go for it. But… I’m not sure it’s going to happen.

Advanced Half Marathon PlanIt’s super early in the winter, and the snow is already hitting pretty hard. Between the weather and the craziness that is college finals, I’m just not sure I’ll be able to get in enough running. But I’m keeping the idea on the back-burner for now.

Given that it has been snowy, and I haven’t wanted to take my life in my hands by running in these perilous conditions, I’ve been continuing to try out new Fitnessblender workouts! This week, I tried

  • 30 Minute Brutal Butt and Thigh WorkoutDrop it Like a Squat! (The title was highly accurate. There were a ton of squats, and my legs are still sore two days later.) This workout was the perfect excuse for me to try this Soakology muscle relief gel my mom sent to me from her recent trip to Maine.

Soakology Muscle Gel for Sore Muscles

It was kind of like a fancy Icy-Hot lotion, and I loved it! I put it on the back of my legs where I was the most sore, and it made my muscles all tingly and cold. Which might sound odd, but I promise it actually felt pretty darn good! If this sounds interesting to you, the same gel can be purchased here.

  • Yesterday, I had a bit of workout video ADD. I first tried this Standing Abs Workout, but after 10 minutes or so, I decided to switch to something else. I’m not very flexible, and I felt like these exercises weren’t working very well for me because I just couldn’t get the range of motion for them to be challenging. So I did this Fast Abs 8-Minute Workout instead, which was much more manageable for me. And then, I topped it off with my favorite Tank Top Arms Workout!

Thank god I discovered Fitnessblender’s YouTube channel! These videos have been a lifesaver for times like these where weather has gotten in the way of my runs, and I feel like it’s so much easier for me to find the motivation to do these workouts since I can do them right in my room without having to drag myself to the gym. True story – I did the arms workout in my pajama pants the other day. 😉 Because I can be lazy and still desire to workout.

Happy Hump Day and have a good rest of the week!

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A Cinnabon Smoothie and Fall Fitness Challenge

Hello there!

I hope you had a great week! The weather is finally starting to cool off for real around here, and it’s officially feeling like fall. I love it. 🙂

I briefly mentioned this in the last post, but I am happy to report that I am back to running now! This morning, I went for another fantastic run.

Run Happy.

I don’t know if it’s because I had to take a couple weeks off after the marathon because of my toenail or if it’s just the cooler weather, but these runs have felt amazing. I don’t normally think I get much of a “runner’s high”; I feel good after a run, but nothing really out of the ordinary. These past two runs have left me feeling REALLY good after though – all excited and endorphin-y. (Yes, I realize that sounded super scientific.)

When I got back from my run this morning, I celebrated by making a new smoothie with the free sample of protein powder I received from Protein Milkshake Bar. I love the variety of protein powder they offer – everything from cupcake batter to rocky road to ice cream sandwich. I ordered the cinnabon flavor, wanting to try something different!

Protein Milkshake Bar Cinnabon Smoothie

So. Freaking. Good. I combined:

  • 2 spoonfuls Protein Milkshake Bar cinnabon flavored protein powder
  • 1/2 cup honey flavored low-fat yogurt
  • 1 frozen banana, cut in slices
  • 1 cup low-fat milk. (I would have used almond milk, but I was out!)

I blended it all together and then sprinkled a little cinnamon on top. It was honestly the best smoothie I’ve made in a LONG time. I would definitely recommend checking out Protein Milkshake Bar if you’re interested in switching up your protein powder flavors, you won’t be disappointed. 🙂

My mom and I are definitely still living in the post-marathon glow as evidenced by this pumpkin she placed on our doorstep –

Marathon pumpkin

So festive. 🙂 We’re currently trying to plan what our next big race will be. It’s definitely going to be a half marathon this time (my toe still needs some healing time!), but we aren’t sure where or when as of yet.

For now though, I’m kind of excited to switch up my exercise routine a little!

Fall Fitness Challenge. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

The challenge for me is going to be to try to exercise for at least ten minutes a day everyday – and I’m going to try to add more variety back into my workouts. So while I might run some days, on other days, I’m going to try to do some different YouTube workouts or I might go to one of the fitness classes offered at the school gym with a friend. I want to challenge myself to really commit to more cross-training, and now is the perfect time. 🙂 And, I’ll be doing a link-up with some blogger friends and fellow Sweat Pink ambassadors, so stay tuned to hear about their different fitness adventures! Check out their blogs to hear how they do with the challenge –

Have a great weekend everyone! Go do something fall-themed. 🙂

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The Power of the Group

Happy Weekend! 🙂

I hope you all had a good week! I was busy running around getting some things for school, and ordering textbooks. It is finally hitting me that this summer is almost over. I leave for school next weekend. YIKES. I should also mention that this is actually going to be my last semester of undergrad (I’m graduating early in 3 and 1/2 years), so that is a little bizarre to think about! But I’ll probably do a post on that a little bit later on…

First, I wanted to share that I have gotten my new, physical therapist-approved running sneakers! =)

My new running sneakers, the Brooks Pure Flows

My previous sneakers were the Brooks Ghost 7, which you can see here, after I ran the Mad Half Marathon this summer –

the Medal from the Mad Half Marathon in Waitsfield, Vermont

I’m sticking with Brooks for now, but moving to the Pure Flows because my physical therapist recommended I try a more flexible shoe. These are definitely more flexible, even leaning towards the whole minimalist, natural style. It’s definitely different, and not what I’m used to but so far, I’m really loving them! I’ll be sure to post some updates later on after I’ve tested them out more to let you know what I think.

But now I want to post on something a little different that I’ve been thinking about lately.

The power of the group

I wanted to talk a little bit about what is probably my favorite aspect of exercise, besides the whole being able to eat an extra serving of ice cream-side of it! (That is a major part of it though, not gonna lie!) 😉

With my current foot tendon issues, I’ve been forced to take a break from running, and while this has been a total bummer, it’s been a great opportunity for me to branch out. A couple of summers ago, I had taken some exercise classes at a local gym, but since that summer, running has really taken over, and the gym workouts were replaced with more miles. I realized early in the summer that I really missed those classes. With my marathon plans though, it just didn’t seem like I would have the time to go for long runs AND make the trips to the gym, so I was happy enough to stick to running.

Well, it’s funny how things work out sometimes… Now that I’m injured, I have joined the gym, and I’m finally able to attend classes again! It’s a glass half-full kind of situation. At least, I’m trying to look at it like that.

Why I love group exercise classes

When I was in my Group Power class a few days ago (basically an hour-long full body cardio workout complete with weights), I realized that the same reason I LOVE running races is why I also love exercise classes.

The social atmosphere of group exercise is not only more enjoyable, it inspires me to push myself to new levels.

As a psychology major/nerd, I have read countless studies that have described the power of the group and how it impacts task performance (when it has a positive effect, it’s called social facilitation). I never really thought about it in terms of my own running before though, but it makes sense. Watching other runners give it their all in a race, helps me tap into that place inside that keeps my legs pumping when I can barely breathe. Sure, I’m a competitive person, and I like to run fast in races, but it’s so much more than that.

There’s something about running or sweating it out in an exercise class with a group of people that creates a bond. You know that the person right beside you is tired too, but they’re still going. So you keep going too. And then before you know it, you’ve run further or faster or you’ve done more reps with more weight than you ever thought you could.

An electric atmosphere at the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon

The start of the Shipyard Old Port Half-Marathon from 2 years ago

The atmosphere at a race is electric – there’s so much adrenaline and excitement that you can’t help but get swept up in it! For so many runners, a race represents the culmination of months of training, sacrifice, and (sorry for the cliche-) BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TEARS. How can you not be excited in such an environment? Exercise classes can be very similar (although on a much smaller scale) in that they bring together many like-minded people who are looking to challenge themselves and become stronger in the process.

Exercise Classes Bring Together Like-Minded People Looking to get stronger

And that’s an experience you simply cannot replicate working out alone.

(Sidenote: I also feel like a total badass lifting a barbell so that helps…)

 

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My Crazy Foot and Some Workout Recaps

Hello again!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far!

This week was a little crazy for me with work, physical therapy, and squeezing in workouts at the gym. Before I dive into some training recaps, here’s a summary of things I learned about my funky, injured foot at physical therapy:

  • I have high arches
  • …But unlike most people with high arches, I still overpronate (which means turning your foot inward excessively before pushing off, and to quote Wikipedia, “Those who overpronate tend to push off almost completely from the big toe and second toe.” Yep, that sounds familiar…
  • This is unusual because most people with high arches tend to underpronate. What can I say, my foot marches to the beat of its own drum. (Foot pun… Sorry I couldn’t help it)
  • On my left foot, the metatarsal of my big toe doesn’t line up with my smaller toes, instead going down at an angle, so that my big toe droops below my other toes, even when my foot is completely relaxed.
  • And apparently I have weak hips.

So in summary, if you were ever wondering about  weird little abnormalities you might have, go to a physical therapist, and they’ll have a lot of fun telling you. 😉 But, I did get a bunch of instructions for some stretches and was told I need new running sneakers (awesome… The pair I was wearing were only two weeks old.)

Despite the fact that I am not running right now, I’m doing my best to maintain my fitness by going to the gym. On Wednesday, I tried my first Group Power  class (aka strength-training).

First Group Power class at the gymIt was an hour-long full body workout with lots of squats, overhead presses, bicep curls and tricep extensions. My muscles were burning when I finished this workout, and I was sore for two days after! But hey, that’s the sign of a good workout, so I’ll definitely be going to more of these!

Today, I tried a cardio class, which was also a lot of fun. It was a lot of hopping, shuffling, jumping, squatting, stepping, etc… 🙂 I was dripping when the class ended, and then I did another 40 minute hill workout on the bike to top it off.

Biking to maintain fitness while injured

Another solid workout. My mom ran long today, this time running 18 miles!! Even though I’m injured right now and am not running with her, I still want to share some reflections on the marathon training, so I asked her to write up a little description of how things are going. 🙂

Thoughts on Marathon Training

The last two weeks have been the first of the “really” long runs, at 17 and 18 miles. I admit that at first, the thought of 17 miles was pretty daunting. But somehow, I got through it feeling pretty good.

Nora and I have been doing a version of the popular Galloway method: running one mile, then walking a minute, and repeating this for however many miles. This got me through 18 miles today in about 3 hours, 14 minutes (about a 10:49/mi. pace). I’m not sure if this will work for all 26 miles, but so far I have felt pretty good for both the 17 and 18 mile runs, and I’m not crawling around the house afterwards! That’s a pretty nice added bonus. 🙂

More surprising to me is that this method seems to allow me to be rested enough that my mental outlook has improved, so that I am able to remain positive during the last few miles, something that has been very difficult for me in the past. After 15 miles, I can get a little whiny. 😉

But I’m missing my running partner and hoping that we can get back to running as a Duo as soon as possible!

 

 

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