Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hoo boy.

On one very large hand, I failed my challenge pretty spectacularly as of August 16. On another hand, I didn't because I've been getting at least 60 minutes of exercise/activity every day since August 14. I've come home the past week and crashed, utterly exhausted from the new job. I didn't expect opening a new store would take this much effort, but it's been crazy awesome.

On a bright note, I haven't gotten behind on my running. Huzzah!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


About a week ago, my knee was really weird—it was fine when stationary, but move it and I got this sharp pain to the right of my kneecap. Not in the, wow-I-just-got-a-great-workout way but in the ow-ow-you-should-not-test-me way. So, I rested. Next day, it felt fine, so I did a slow, easy jog/walk for exercise. I felt fine during, and I haven't had problems since.



I didn't have problems until I put my left foot in during the first set of lunges today. Hands on hips, left leg goes forward, shift body weight forward, bend knee, and ow. Not this-is-irreparably-torn ow, thankfully. I was more the kind of ow you say when you aren't warmed up enough and haven't been stretching enough for the type and quantity of exercise you want to do.

Well, that's embarrassing. I am one of those people who will look at you aghast and mystified if you tell me you don't warm up before you work out or cool down and stretch after. It goes against everything that I've learned, and I just won't stand it. Only, I've been slacking on those essential parts of my workout, especially the nice, long stretch I used to do after a run.

I finished the workout, yes, but I cut the lunges in half, and I took a good five minutes to stretch all of my muscles when I was finished, not just the ones that I'd used.

We'll see how tomorrow goes. I'm driving down to Springfield, and, though I may not post the workout that day, I will do it as much as my knee will allow. And if it won't allow, I'll switch exercises so I don't strain my knee. If it persists, I'll talk to my doctor.

So, the workout today. Obviously, it's modified.

Here's how it went down:

  • :15 Plank
  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Lunges
  • 10 Squats
  • 10 Plie Squats
  • 10 Side Lunges
  • 20 Glute Kickbacks
  • 15 Bridges
  • 10 Side Leg Circles
  • 20 Glute Kickbacks
  • 15 Squats
  • 10 Plie Squats
  • 20 Jumping Jacks

Then, I stretched for about five minutes, which was very relaxing and felt awesome.

The last set of jumping jacks was difficult, too, and I had to work to keep my knees soft as I landed so that I wouldn't feel any twinges. No running today, though I might start adding a short jog before these workouts, too, just to make sure I'm warmed up properly.

Questions? Comments? Want to let me know that I'm an idiot for even thinking about continuing the workout on a possibly wounded knee? Let me know!

Friday, August 2, 2013

I'd Rather Be Owling

Today's workout was all about the plank. Apparently, my planking prowess has diminished in the last month or so, and I was a little shaky through this workout. I did as suggested (the small, hard-to-read, pink text at the bottom) and did this shortly after my run, and it was definitely a good, short core workout. It took me almost seven minutes, though, because I gave myself a little resting room in between each exercise.

I am also ten times better at arm-extended planks than elbow planks. I have no idea why, since the extension is supposed to make it harder.

The official workout for today:

What I love about the workouts that you find one Pinterest is that they are very short and can be used when you don't have a whole lot of time in your day. You can also put them at the end of your main workout or run without adding too much time but still getting a boost.

I would still rather be owling, though.

*So, I should have done the exercise you can see in this FitSugar video. That's not what I did. Instead, I started from an arm-extended plank position, moved into a right plank, back to the center, then moved into a left plank and repeated. Not sure what that's called. Remember that rule that I should look up anything I don't know? That is not what happened. I've done both exercises before, though, and they're both good plank exercises.

**I am not quite sure why this made it into a core challenge, though your core is engaged during the exercise. Your core should be engaged for any exercise, truly. This is just more of a butt workout that an ab workout.

Back to Day OneDay Three is this way!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Day One

Happy August!

As you may have read in my previous post, I am challenging myself to work out with a new Pinterest workout every day. I have the workouts planned and ready, written in six or seven places to remind myself (I'm not even joking!). Some of the workouts I have tried before, but most are new to me. Then, after I've finished my grunting and growling and sweating, I'll blog about it. Hurrah?

Also, I firmly believe that the universe is giving me a huge "You go, gurl!" high five. Firstly, there's the beautiful weather we've been having. Then, there's the fox I saw on my run. Finally, not only were there high fives, I'm pretty sure there was a butt smack in the form of 25-cent avocados. I prettymuch peed myself over these. We definitely had a moment, those avocados and I. Too bad I could only take four home with me. Have no fear, though, I'll be back you majestic, lovely, delicious—

Oh, you came here for the workout of the day? (Haha, WOD. Now I sound like a CrossFit junkie.)

Ok, workout.

The original, not-modified Lean Arms Workout
For the first day of the challenge, I chose a workout that I have completed before and tend to modify. It's the Lean Arms Workout. Yay, arms.

The actual workout I completed:

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Wrist Circles Clockwise
  • 10 Wrist Circles Counter-clockwise
  • 20 Arm Swings
  • 2 Push-ups + 8 Kneeling Push-ups
  • 10 Triceps Dips
  • 10 Small Arm Circles, Clockwise (no weights)
  • 10 Small Arm Circles, Counter-clockwise (no weights)
  • 10 Big Arm Circles, Clockwise (no weights)
  • 10 Big Arm Circles, Counter-clockwise (no weights)
  • 10 Triceps Dips
  • 20 Incline Push-ups
  • 5 Burpees
  • 5 Triceps Push-ups
  • 20 Arm Swings
  • 2 Push-ups + 8 Kneeling Push-ups
  • 5 Burpees
  • :10 Plank (For the Plank Challenge)
The workout took approximately 10 minutes, even with my modifications, and is really easy to fit into your day.

You may have noticed that I skipped over the "one full bridge". Erm, apparently I haven't done this enough, and I completely missed it as I went down the list. No big drama. I also include a stretch portion to all of my workouts. It's the most important part of making sure you don't hurt yourself. Plus it feels awesome.

In hindsight, I'm going to do the rest of the plank challenge at the start of my workout, especially when the workout focuses on arms. I'm normally pretty good at planks, by my arms were shaky as I held even the 10-second plank.

That's today's workout as it's not a running day. It's only the first of August, so I have plenty of time to reflect on my workouts!

Questions? Comments? Want to let me know you're joining my crazy? Want to let me know I'm crazy? Let me know!

Follow me to Day 2!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Introduction to My Crazy August

I am about to embark on something crazy. I have a fitness challenge for myself in the month of August, so of course I'm going to blog about it.

My challenge: to do one Pinterest workout every day for the whole month PLUS a modified version of this May Plank Challenge PLUS my regular running.

Want to join in my crazy August? I'll link the workouts at the end of this post. If I've already blogged about the workout, you'll be directed to my blog, but if I haven't yet reached that day, I'll share the link to the pin, so you can follow along.

  1. Do the assigned workout every day.
  2. Blog about the assigned workout every day.
  3. If your body starts complaining, listen to it! You can always modify an exercise or take it easy. You can't buy a new body (yet).
  4. If you don't know what it is or how to do it, look if up.
Day 15  | Day 16 | Day 17 | Day 18 | Day 19 | Day 20 | Day 21 | Day 22 | Day 23  | Day 24 | Day 25 | 

Questions? Comments? Want to cheer me on? Want to join me? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I Rarely Run in the Rain

You know how sometimes you just KNOW that you won't get in the workout you planned? Well, that was my day today. I planned on getting my run on this afternoon, but I as soon as I looked out the window, I could tell it was one of those days where it was going to be gross and rainy all day.

Gross, rainy days do not inspire any sort of energetic need to cavort in the wilderness. Not for me.

Instead, I did a short workout in my basement with the promise of running if the weather cleared. Well, it's later, and my energy is firmly sapped, and the weather is still gross. I am not 100% sure that I'm skipping the run just because of the rain, but I am glad that I worked out today. Plus, my run tomorrow will be even better.

Friday, July 26, 2013

AKA The Finicky Runner

I am what you might call a "finicky" runner. Until I get in the zone, I am absolutely useless if one thing breaks me out of my stride—an undone shoelace, a bug in my face, a headphone falling from my ear. It drives me absolutely nuts, but it was worse when I first started running.

In fact, those little annoyances could actually ruin a run for me when I first started. I would get into my warm-up, ready to kick a run's booty...and then everything seemed to want to annoy me. An ear piece would fall from my ear, so I would fix it. In the process, I pulled its mate from the other ear and had to fix that, but I couldn't get it comfortable. Pandora wouldn't play the songs I was in the mood to listen to. Since I hadn't yet learned to double knot my shoes, they would come undone. The new knot brushed at my shins, making me feel like something was crawling on my ankles.

Add to that, before my body got used to sweating (I used to brag that I didn't sweat!), I would get this painful prickling sensation along my skin. I am not 100% certain that sweating was the cause, but it would not happen unless I was getting to the point of working up a sweat. Thankfully, I don't experience it anymore.

I would get so worked up in the first few minutes of my run that some days I just quit. I turned around in the middle of the street or sidewalk or grassy knoll and marched home in a huff because my body felt out of whack from little tiny things that I had no control over.

That changed one day last summer. It was hot and muggy, even though it had just stopped raining, and I wasn't in the mood to run anyway. Even in my warm-up, I was annoyed. But I had already tied up my laces, slipped into my running shorts, and gotten out the door, so I might as well do this thing they call exercise.

I got less than thirty seconds into my run before my foot caught on a sidewalk that I had run countless times before and would run countless times after. I went sprawling, one hand out to catch me, the other pulled tight to my chest to protect my case-less iPhone. My glasses flew from my face. A car passed by, silent, but I could just imagine the driver, face pulled into a laughing grimace.

Humiliated, I pulled myself from the ground and picked up my glasses. I check my phone. Not a scratch. I looked at my hands, the right with a minor scrape down the side, the left fine and dandy. I looked down at my knees. The left had taken the brunt of the impact and blood had started to well up in the scrape left there. The right was scraped but not nearly as badly. Both were covered in gravel.

I was done. I had so had it with the day.

I turned around and glowered on the way back to my apartment.

From where I had fallen to my apartment was a straight shot, and, as I walked, I calmed. My footsteps became lighter—less like a toddler stomping to get her way—and, suddenly, with no thought to it, I turned down a side street and began to run.

I know that I must have looked like some sort of crazy running fanatic, face focused and blood dripping down from the wound on my knee.

I felt awesome. I was awesome.

Yes, my headphones still annoy me. Yes, the feeling of a shoelace brushing against my ankle sends me into a momentary bug-fighting frenzy. Yes, I have to brush the hair out of my face 400 times before I'm sweaty enough that it just sticks where it lands.

But I don't give up on a run anymore. When I run, I'm reminded that I can do anything that I want regardless of my unathletic past or my neurotic present.

When I run, I run for my future, and that's a lot more important than any slight annoyance.

Questions? Comments? Let me know in the comments below!