Fitness Friday – New Years Resolution Check In!

Hey all! First of all, thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my Treat Yourself birthday post. It’s reassuring to hear that so many of you are going through the same quarter life crisis ~struggle~…we’re all in this together, right?

Today I’m here to check in on some of my Fitness Goals for the year. They were pretty much my version of New Years Resolutions this year…I haven’t checked in on my progress since March, but I am actually pretty happy with how much I’ve accomplished exactly 6 months later!

Fitness Goals
  • Run a 5K race
  • Start weight training again (and eat more protein!)
  • Be able to do a 2 minute plank and 2 minute leg lifts
  • Run 25 miles in a month (several times if possible)

Let’s see how I’m doing….

  • Run a 5K race

I’ll see your 5K race…and raise you a 10K!

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Earlier this month, I ran the Run to Remember 10K in 1:02:27. I’ve been consistently keeping up with my long distance runs on the weekends, running 4-5 miles every week since! I also ran a 5K in March in 28:54. Fun fact: I ran 5K for speed on Wednesday and accomplished a new PR- I improved my time to 27:11! That’s faster than 9 minutes per mile! I’m looking forward to running more 5Ks and 10Ks to improve my speed.

  • Start weight training again (and eat more protein!)

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My gym FINALLY reopened on Monday! They moved all the equipment into a much larger and more spacious suite in the building.

I was actually pretty consistently doing upper body and ab/core workouts from Women’s Health and GPP Fitness before I broke my thumb in July. I obviously then had to take a break from lifting…but I have gotten back into it since I got my cast off a month ago! I’m still pretty frustrated at how little I can lift (5 pound dumbbells are too light, but 10 pounds too heavy), but I am trying!

baby musclesMy muscles really aren’t that big…. I feel like there’s some shadows helping me out here haha.

As for protein…this is always an area I could improve in, since I don’t buy chicken and turkey too often. I have started incorporating a lot more cheese into my diet for calcium’s sake, so I’m hoping that’s helping with the protein too!

  • Be able to do a 2 minute plank and 2 minute leg lifts

I don’t do leg lifts anymore, haha…But I have gotten pretty close to a 2 minute plank. I think my longest is about 1:45! I’ll get there!

My new favorite ab exercise is definitely V-ups. I can tell my form is improving every time I do them, and I love that they get your lower abs too! I try to incorporate planks and V-ups into every workout, including runs.

  • Run 25 miles in a month (several times if possible)

FINALLY accomplished!!! I ran 24.75 miles in August.. SO close! But I wanted to accomplish this goal for real!

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Hard to see, but I’ve run 32.19 miles so far this month.

With at least 1 more run on the horizon, I seriously knocked this goal out of the park this month. I’ve ran more in September than any other month since 2011. The crazy thing is, I accomplished it even though I usually only run twice per week! There have been a couple of months where I exceeded 25 miles, but I was also running 3x per week.

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Next month, I’ll also be able to track how many miles I’ve traveled- I got a Fitbit Zip for my birthday! (Thanks Mom and Dad!) Side note…me from 3 years ago would totally look at this picture in disgust that my booty has disappeared. #thanksalotRUNNING

So all in all, I am very happy with my progress this year! Can’t wait to see what the next 3 months hold…Time to start thinking about new goals I’ll make for myself next year!

Do you make New Years Resolutions, or do you have any fitness goals at the moment?

How do you get your protein?

Do you have a pedometer? How many steps per day do you average? My highest so far is 10,010 steps! Hard to get very many when you work an office job…

Fitness Friday

Text with both hands. Use scissors. Cut food in a straight line. Play dodgeball.

Run 4 miles. Hold a long ass plank. Learn to play (and win!) beer pong left handed.

Despite my injury, I’ve been trying to focus on things that I can do, instead of things that I can’t.

Last summer, I had a really hard time trying to get around with my broken hand, and my frustration at not being able to do the simplest tasks really took a toll on me. I stopped working out almost altogether, was generally unhappy and feeling hopeless, and mysteriously dropped 5 pounds.

It helped that I had a support system (boyfriend) last summer. This time, I didn’t have someone to insist on taking me to the ER right away. I didn’t have someone to make sure my arm was elevated while I slept. I have to drag my bike up my stairs all by my damn self. And while that realization really crushed me when I broke another bone last week, I had another thought that brought me back to reality: I’m the only person who can control my happiness.

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thank god for BFFLs

So I’ve turned my focus to something that I can control, something that lets me set goals and achieve them: fitness! And more specifically, running. We had a break in the 90-100 degree days and dropped into the high 80’s this week, finally allowing for some bearable lunchtime running weather.

On Saturday morning, I went on my usual run and did a pretty speedy (for me) 5K: finished in 28:44, which is a 9:15 min/mile pace.

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It was pretty hot early in the week, so I opted for the sorority girl workout I mentioned on Wednesday: elliptical and abs allllll the way.

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[kickball was definitely more about fun than fitness this week :-P]

I usually skip workouts on Wednesdays and Thursdays because I have kickball on Wednesdays (which is a good workout! I’m guaranteed at least 3 at bats and, thus, 3 sprints to first base) and dodgeball on Thursdays (ok, not really an intense workout), but since I wasn’t going to be able to play dodgeball last night and the high was only in the mid 80’s, I decided to go for a run at lunch.

When I run, I usually hate it the entire time. I am constantly calculating how far I’ve gone and, more importantly, how far I have left, and telling myself things like “OK, I’m 1/5 of the way done…just 4 more times!” I also usually have a distance in mind before I run.

On Thursday, I knew I wanted to go at least 3 miles, but I wasn’t sure how much further I was going to push myself. The furthest I had ever ran was 3.4 miles, and I felt like I was gonna die when I did that. So I decided to play it by ear.

To my surprise, I felt great during my entire run. I feel like I finally experienced that runner’s high that everyone talks about. I started thinking, “oh my god, maybe I can make it to 4 miles…just maybe!” I also started off very slowly and gradually increased my speed, just like you’re supposed to.

This is probably the main reason why I could keep going for .6 miles further than my previous furthest run…

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Yep! I made it to 4 miles!

I couldn’t believe it, and I felt so empowered for pushing through and achieving something I previously thought impossible. Maybe a 10K is in my future!

I was so happy that I was inspired to sign up today for the Color Run happening in Sacramento tomorrow. 5k is no sweat to me anymore 😉

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Super excited to participate in this. I don’t even care if I run the whole thing, it’s going to be a blast!

Have a great weekend!

Weekend in Photos

Oh Monday, you tricky tricky devil.

I’m actually in a pretty good mood this Monday morning, considering it’s Monday and all. I got a surprisingly good amount of sleep this weekend (though nowhere close to the 9-10 hours per night I desire. I really love my sleep, people!) and for every barbecued piece of meat I ate this weekend, I also got in some good exercise, despite high temperatures of 97 and 96 degrees on Saturday and Sunday. Not too shabby!

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Kicked things off on Friday with Concerts in the Park! Every Friday night during June-July, Cesar Chavez Plaza turns into a free mini music festival of sorts, complete with local bands, beer and food trucks. In the above picture is Lindsay Pavao, who was on The Voice a couple seasons back. She’s from Sacramento and apparently works for Radio 94.7 now! Fun fact. Another fun fact: I did not get sunburned this weekend! Major victory. Thanks to my team of sunscreens that come with me everywhere.

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The headliner on Friday was !!! (Chk Chk Chk). We saw them last fall at Launch Festival and they’re really fun to see live. Here’s an example of their music, super up beat and fun! There was a huuuuuge crowd there, since !!! is probably one of the most high profile bands they got to play this year.

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I woke up around 10:30 on Saturday morning and decided to go for a run…it was already 80 degrees outside. It was in the mid-80’s by the time I got out there. I was only going to run about 2.75 miles, but then I saw that they were setting up for the Womens Fitness Festival 5K at the Capitol. I immediately felt guilty for not signing up [the race ran right by my house on Sunday morning!], and for some reason decided I would be running my own 5K…….in the 88 degree heat. Thankfully, I survived.

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A few hours later, we went to our first BBQ of the weekend at Mikhail’s house. It was Mikhail’s birthday weekend (hi Mikhail!!) and T-Man found himself manning the grill, as per usual. Delicious!

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The rest of the evening was spent at the Xoso 5th Anniversary Pub Crawl. The dress code was to wear a Xoso shirt…I clearly have plenty to choose from. I ended up hacking one up into a crop top so I wouldn’t die of heat exhaustion.

Fun times as always! Not pictured are all the selfies I took of me wearing my friend’s stolen Raiders hat after I got home. It seemed like a good idea at the time…

There is this gem though:

Clearly we could use some practice on taking effective photo booth pictures.

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Sunday was barbecue day at Kickball! I opted for a hot dog this time. Also, upon lugging a 17 pound bag of charcoal while biking home from the store I think I finally realized, “Maybe I should get a basket for my bike”.

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After 6 grueling innings of kickball (we were shorthanded so everyone got plenty of at-bats), I called my parents and practically begged one of them to come pick me up so I could hop in their pool. Of course, no visit to my parents’ house is complete without some of my mom’s pasta and homemade sauce! I also spent some time admiring her yearbook (my mom is the yearbook advisor at my high school). When I got home, I prepped breakfast (overnight oats) and lunch (a veggie-loaded salad) for today.

What did you do this weekend?

Hot dog or hamburger? (or for vegetarians, tofu sausage or veggie burger? :-P)

Easter Weekend in Photos + My First 5K!

Quick post! Crazy day at work! Awesome weekend.

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Friday night was costume planning night.

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And Saturday was the Veggie Run 5K! Would you believe Nicki and I were the only ones (besides those official Veggie Chase veggies) who dressed up? Let’s just say we (and especially Nicki) were super popular. We even made it on Good Day Sacramento (click to see video! We come in at about 1:16):

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Right after finishing! We came in at 28:54, which is a 9:15/mile pace – well below my 30 min goal! I actually ran much faster than I normally do…Nicki usually runs faster, but she had a little bit of wind resistance 😉

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We finished 70th and 71st out of 251 women…And I was 7th in my age division (19-24)! Not too shabby for a first race!

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That night, T-Man and I walked (through pollen) to LowBrau, a new restaurant/beer hall here in Sacramento for a fundraiser to raise money to find out who killed Josiah Humphreys. He was beaten to death on St Patrick’s Day just blocks from where I live.  We bought a raffle ticket, tried their duck fat fries and a couple of new-to-us beers. I can’t wait to go back…really cool spot! At midnight, we sat outside and watched a thunderstorm roll through. T-Man loves him some thunder and lightning!

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I can’t WAIT to show you all the recipe I made for Easter brunch. So proud of myself. You’ve been warned: lots of lemon recipes comin’ at ya this week!

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After brunch with my parents here, we hurriedly drove to Napa (hence me tying T-Man’s tie for him) for dinner with his dad’s side of the family. It was gloomy and rainy…but the food was great! Afterward, we stopped by his mom’s and she gifted him a quilt she’d been working on for months! So lovely!

It was an awesome weekend, and I was sad to see it go. Here’s my amazing to do list just for today…

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Two more items have been added since I made the list. FML.

Do you have any Easter traditions?

What did you eat for Easter brunch/lunch/dinner?

2013 Fitness Goals – My Progress

Back in January, I made a few fitness goals for myself and finally posted my Cooking Bucket List. I also posted specific nutrition goals so I could measure my progress more accurately.

I am on a serious muffin kick lately, but because I haven’t had a chance to fix up the pictures of the recipes I’ve been tinkering with, I decided to take a moment to evaluate those goals I posted.

First off, you can track my Cooking Bucket List progress on the new tab up there on my blog’s menu bar! This makes it a little easier for me to add items to the list and cross them off as I make them…I’m already making good progress!

Now…onto the fitness side of things.

the squirrels have been AGGRESSIVE in the park this week!

the squirrels have been AGGRESSIVE in the park this week!

Fitness Goals
  • Run a 5K race
  • Start weight training again (and eat more protein!)
  • Be able to do a 2 minute plank and 2 minute leg lifts
  • Run 25 miles in a month (several times if possible)

How have I been doing?

limegreen

my dodgeball team is lime green this season. jealous? {sidenote: this was a day i ran inside on a treadmill to avoid allergies. let’s just say the “after” picture wasn’t pretty}

  • Run a 5K race

Some of you may have seen on Instagram that I signed up for one THIS Saturday! I have run 3 miles twice this month, am feeling good health-wise, and most importantly, found a friend who wants to run it with me 🙂

I’m planning on doing one last run today, probably with a goal time (30 minutes) rather than distance. Then dodgeball tomorrow, and perhaps an easy elliptical/ab workout on Friday? I’m afraid it’s going to be a difficult race and I don’t want to injure myself, but I can’t help but think that’s just my inner worry wart kicking in. I’ve been running 2.2-3.0 miles for 2 years now, with a couple of off months here and there. As long as I don’t push myself too hard (my friend runs faster than I do) I’ll be fine! I’ve been running really slowly lately for some reason, so I’m hoping for a time of 30 minutes or less. I’m sure I’ll be able to manage it!

steak. the ultimate protein.

steak at T-Man’s mom’s house this weekend. the ultimate protein.

  • Start weight training again (and eat more protein!)

I’ve been doing so-so. I have been weight training more when I go to the gym (mostly upper body), but that usually only happens once per week.

I have been keeping my protein up! I have averaged 50g or more 3 out of the last 4 weeks, and there hasn’t been a day that I’ve gone under the 43g recommended for non-exercise days! You’re supposed to hit up to 70g on days that you’re active, but I usually only get to around 60g on my workout days. This is just on days that I track what I eat (which tend to be Monday-Friday).

T-Man thinks I could gain a pound or two; I’m happy where I am. However, I’d like to think it’s an improvement that now I say things to him like “I need to eat more protein tonight!” instead of “I can’t have dessert, I already ate too much today”.

Of course in an ideal world, I wouldn’t be saying either thing. I wouldn’t be tracking my food at all; I’d eat without being so conscious of everything, and not be deficient in anything. But I’m trying to maintain my weight. So far I’ve had success – PLUS, I’m not having nearly as many digestive issues as I had at the end of last year.

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Killing 2 birds with one stone: dessert AND protein! Almond butter/choco chips, and Chobani bite

  • Be able to do a 2 minute plank and 2 minute leg lifts

PFFT. I’m currently at 2-1 minute planks, but I’ve got a ways to go before I inch up to 2 minutes!

  • Run 25 miles in a month (several times if possible)

Last month, I ran 11.5 miles…nowhere near 25! But after essentially taking December and January off, it was my highest in months.

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Until this month! If you include the 5K on Friday, I’m on track to run about 20 miles this month, plus whatever I end up running later today. Not too shabby! Especially since there were only two weeks that I got more than one run in (this week and the week of the 11th). Blasted sickness.

Thanks if you read all of this! I sometimes wonder if anyone else finds this stuff interesting, but it’s super helpful for me to keep track of everything!

Any tips for my first 5K?

What’s on your Cooking Bucket List?

Have you ever noticed that your diet is lacking in a certain category?

Workouts Lately: An Unattainable Goal?

What an election night. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to watch election returns like a nerd like I usually do, because I ended up helping T-Man finish up and get his GOTV canvassers all squared away for the end of the campaign. We did get to go to the campaign’s election party, which was fun, and this morning we woke up to the news that preliminary results show T-Man’s candidate is up by 144 votes. YIKES! They still have a lot of absentee ballots to count, so this could be a squeaker, folks!

Anyhow, here’s my long awaited jogging update that I think I’ve referred to a few times. Tune in and leave feedback – I need your help!

So, when I broke my hand in June, I kind of fell off the workout wagon.

Let me preface this all by saying I don’t enjoy running. I am that person who says “OK, time to go for a jog!” then spends 30 minutes cleaning my room, or scrubbing dishes…anything to procrastinate running. When I moved home after graduating in 2010, I decided I wanted to get in better shape – and was bored out of my mind, being unemployed and all – so I started running to an elementary school every morning. It was .9 miles each way, and once I got there I would stop, take a break, drink some water, and come back. Within a month or two, I could run all the way around the school and back (just over two miles) without stopping. Since then, I’ve been jogging at least 2 miles 2-3 times per week. I still hate it every time, but I always feel fantastic afterward, and am convinced it has played a huge role in my overall health and weight loss since 2010.

ANYWAY, back to this year. In April, I was at the peak of my running game. I was jogging three times per week and playing dodgeball on Wednesdays (a moderately good workout, but it was usually canceled out by at least 2 drinks at the bar afterward, haha). I also magically pushed through the 3 mile threshold that I never thought I would, and was running at least 2.5 miles most of the time.

In May, I wasn’t as great about running three times per week, but I moved into my apartment downtown that month, and thus started walking to and from work several days a week, so my fitness wasn’t compromised. I still stayed around the 2.5 mile range.

Then, my injury and summer weather happened. Because of the heat, I only ran 5 times in June (about once a week), plus, dodgeball twice per week. On the evening of June 28th, I broke my hand playing dodgeball. During the 10 weeks I had my cast, and then my splint, (so, during the entire months of July and August, plus a couple of weeks) I only jogged twice.

I wasn’t quite feeling confident enough to get back on the horse in September. It was still hot, and I was still wearing my splint most of the time, so I stuck to the elliptical. I ran three times in September, about two miles each time.

In the middle of October, I started getting back on track for real.

(Keep in mind that on weeks I jogged less than twice, I was probably working out on the elliptical, and doing abs & weight machines instead)

Through most of October, I was running at a 10 minute/mile pace, which is a fair amount slower than in April/May. But last Monday, I finally pushed myself to run 2.5 miles again, and trimmed a minute off my time, to boot! (My GPS tracking app is a bit off, and when I edited the route online to reflect what I had actually ran, it came out as 2.47 instead)

Since then (for the past week and a half), I’ve been steadily running 2.5 miles.

Now here’s my question for all you runners out there…

How likely is it that I will be able to run a 5K on Thanksgiving?

Unfortunately, our upcoming vacation kind of puts a wrench in things (plus, I forgot my running shoes on Monday so I can’t stick to my usual MWF schedule this week)…I think its a bit of a stretch to aim for 3.1 miles by November 22nd. Why must Thanksgiving be so early this year?! Gah.

I’m not feeling very confident that I’ll be up to 3 miles by Thanksgiving week, but I definitely want to run a 5K soon. Maybe the Fleet Feet Free Holiday Classic on December 16th? That sounds more attainable…

As for Run to Feed the Hungry on Thanksgiving, maybe T-Man and I can just run-walk our way through it together! (he’s not much of a runner)

Have you ran races before? How long did you train for it/them?

also,

What tracking app do you use on your runs? I use MapMyRun, but the GPS tracker isn’t always accurate…