Streakin’ and Sweatin’

I did it!  I completed my first month long running streak challenge and I’m still going!

When I signed up to participate in last month’s “Run Every Day” challenge, I had two goals in mind: make it past 12 days (March’s running streak) or make it the whole month.  Without a race this month, there was not a need to taper, so I was already positive that I could complete the challenge and end up running all 31 days.

In addition to running every day, I also made a point to do some kind of physical activity every day.  So on days when I ran only a mile, it was usually coupled it with a Body Pump or CX Worx class or core work at home.  I’m already on day 33 and counting…

I really think that all my core work has helped my running!  When I was doing the daily core work back at the beginning of the year, I ran back to back PRs on half marathons.  I’m hoping that if I can stick with it now, by Fall, I’ll be in good condition to go for another half marathon PR.  All this has taught me to run on tired muscles, but to keep pushing and moving.  My core doesn’t seem to deteriorate on long runs and my form and posture are so much better, stronger.  I’ve also noticed that it takes a lot less time to recover from racing and speed work.  I believe that these challenges are motivating me to become a better overall athlete so I’m sticking with them.

I’ve added four more challenges now that June has started.  Since I was already streaking on Memorial Day, I joined the Runner’s World Summer Challenge.  Run at least a mile every day from Memorial Day to July 4th.  At this point, what’s 30 more days of running?!  I have two races for June, but I’m not planning on racing any of them for a PR, so there’s not a need to entirely taper.  Running an easy mile a day leading up to each race will be just fine. And I’m starting summer break next Friday, so I’ll have even more time to grab in a run. To up my core work regimen, I joined two challenges on Facebook sponsored by 30 Day Challenge Series: June’s 100 Push-Ups and Ab challenges.  Today was my first day doing both of them.  It’s definitely tough!  I was better prepared for the ab workout and plank than I was for the 100 push-ups, but I completed both.  The great thing about each challenge is you can break up the push-ups into smaller sets.  I alternated a set of 20 push-ups with a set of 20 ab exercises.  It made it easier to do.  I even was able to complete one set of push-ups on my toes.  Hoping to try and add more “on my toe” push-ups with each 5 days of the challenge.

And just to put an exclamation point on doing challenges, the June “SWEAT EVERY DAY” Challenge by I ❤ to run was perfect!  Since I’m already running every day and now doing core work too, I might as well account for all that sweating and streaking.

Happy Streaking!

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We went all Jillian Michaels on ourselves!

I started the day thinking I was going to run 3 easy miles after work outside to ending the day hitting the gym with one of my favorite people to do a circuit workout and it was awesome!!  It’s been colder and rainy here for several days and Bekah and I were not feeling it..we didn’t want to run outside, we didn’t want to run our same 3 mile loop, so she suggested hitting the gym.  Being that we are beefcakes in training, I felt like we needed to kick it up a bit and add in some core work, so I figured out a killer workout.

My friend, Christie, shared a daily core workout plan with me a few days ago so I chose two days for us to do today and 3 miles of running.  I had already tried out the Monday workout, so I felt comfortable with the exercises and together, we’d figure out the Tuesday one.

Here’s our workout:

  • Run 1 mile to warm-up on treadmill
  • Monday’s workout
  • Run 1 mile at tempo pace
  • Tuesday’s workout
  • Run one cool down mile

We had the best time!  This workout totally revitalized us and we are now thinking this type of workout might make our weekly rotation now.  We totally kicked our own butts today at the gym.  Jillian Michaels would be so proud of us!

It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.

                                                        ~ Jillian Michaels

Beefcake Status

One of my long term goals for 2013 is to up the weight and core work aka be more Beefcake.  The running joke now in our house is that I’m working on become more Beefcake.  Even my daughter chimes in and says I’m looking pretty beefcake nowadays.  The word has made it to my friends now too and several of us are working on being more beefcake.

I started going to Les Mills Body Pump in Feb. 2012, I would go with my friend, Christie, when I could to the Club, using many 30 day and one day passes until the gym I belong to finally got the class this past summer.  Christie and I regularly hit the class together at our gym. I thoroughly enjoy the class, almost as much as I like running…gasp!  The combo of music with the weight lifting routines makes the class very entertaining, especially if my friend, Cindy is teaching.  I also appreciate that once you exhaust a body part (chest, triceps, biceps, etc.) you don’t go back to those later on in the class.  Each class has 700-900 total reps, at relatively low weights.  I feel fabulous after each class, stronger and more fit.

This year, I am consistently hitting a BP class once a week and adding in the no-joke-thank-god-this-class-is-only-30-minutes-long Les Mills CXWorx class.  The average class burns 230 calories and it tightens and tones all those core muscles.  Imagine staying in plank-like positions for 15 minutes and the other 15 standing on one leg at a time doing lunge repeats.  Yup, it’s that tough.  When I first tried the class in November, I felt like a Mac truck had run through the class at a high speed, ran me over and took me out.  I was exhausted, sweaty, and I couldn’t lift my arms up over my head.  By two days later, I was convinced I broke a rib because my sides hurt so badly.  Luckily, I didn’t let my first encounter with the class turn me away.  I knew it was going to be one of those classes that would have the greatest reward.

I’ve now gone to two more classes (they just started full time in January) and I can tell I’m not struggling as much to do some of the moves that knocked me out in November.  I can now hold the plank moves and the leg track isn’t as challenging.  I attribute some of this to kicking up most of my weights in Body Pump and starting back running regularly.  I’m excited to see how these classes unfold for me as I gain more muscle and strength.  I’m totally up for the challenge and excited to see the results!

2013, the year of the Beefcake!