Tag Archives: challenge

Heat + Hills = Success!!!!

Today I ran 8.63 miles in 1 hour and 35 minutes.  This is the longest distance I have ever run! 🙂

I typically run about three times a week anywhere between 2 to 5 miles each time.  The longest distance I had run before today was 7 miles about 2 years ago.  So, in late March, I set a goal to reignite my relationship with running, and to up my long distance mileage. 

I have found it extremely difficult to make any increases.  I could never just make myself go further.  I always found a brick wall around mile 5 that said, “OK.  You’ve run 5 miles.  Time to go home now.”  (Anyone else seen, Run, Fat Boy, Run?!?!)

I knew that any increase would take strategic planning.

My good friend, and colleague, Meg has been a running machine lately.  While training for the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K this spring, she diligently followed a training program from Runner’s World.  She increased her long runs to 10 miles and set a new PR for the race!!! 

I asked her if she would take me on one of her long runs during Spring Break, and she agreed. 🙂

I met her around 10 AM this morning, and she showed me the route she had planned for us using USATF.  The route would take us through Downtown Richmond to the Southside and back around to her house.  The perfect loop 🙂

OUR RUN
 

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I would love to say that the run was super easy and that I could have gone further, but that would be a blatant lie.  The first 3-4 miles were a piece of cake.  This was the mileage I was familiar with, and my body responded well.  However, miles 5 through 8.5 were hilly.  There was no shade, and the sun was HOT

A longer than normal distance + hills + heat = a definite challenge for me. 

However, I persevered :)  I only walked once up a ginormous hill at about mile 7.  I wonder if this is how Forest Hill got its name.  Hmm… 

Even though there were moments my legs felt like lead, my knees ached, and my hips felt incredibly stiff, I still had a great time!  The view was simply breathtaking, and the company couldn’t have been better!  :) 

 

After the run, I felt like I had truly accomplished a major feat!  Three months ago, I was walking around in an unsightly black surgical boot, and could barely walk.  Today I ran almost 9 miles and I survived!!!!  🙂

Once we returned to her house, Meg made us delicious Green Monsters to drink while we stretched our tighter than tight leg muscles.

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Don’t you just love this mug???

Although this run was a challenge, I have to stop and remind myself that there was a point when a three mile run was a challenge.  There was a time when I thought that 6 miles were simply impossible, and that I would never be able to run a 10K. 

It’s important to set small attainable goals, so you get to taste the sweetness of success every once in a while.  At the same time, it is important to set goals.  I could have kept running my 2-5 miles, but I knew I wanted to be able to do more.  I also think it’s important to enlist the help of friends and family to help you reach those goals. 

I’m going to keep trying this 8.63 mile loop with Meg (if she’ll have me!) until it becomes a piece of cake.  Who knows, maybe I’ll run a marathon before I’m 30!!!!  :) 

Are you a long distance runner?  How did you increase your mileage?  Any tips for success???

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Oats, Monsters, and MusKle Burnin’

Happy Thursday, everyone!  Can  you believe how quickly this week has flown by???

Today I started the day with these creamy babies!

apple oatmeal

Cinnamon Apple Oats

  • 1 apple sliced and cubed
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 Tbsp organic PB
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • handful of raisins

Stir ingredients together.  Heat in microwave for 3 minutes.  Stir and Enjoy!

I’ve been loving breakfast cakes so much lately that I’ve forgotten how delicious and filling real oats can be.  I think I’ll have some more tomorrow 🙂

I also made a Green Monster

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I drank the serving shown here with breakfast, and saved the rest for an afternoon snack.  These shakes give me so much energy in the morning.  I wanted to see if they could give me the same boost in the afternoon when I hit a major energy lull. 

And guess what?  It worked!  I didn’t come home from work ravenous and ready to eat through the entire kitchen.

One downside was that I had to store it in the mini-fridge in the classroom.  It semi-melted, and the banana seemed to get sweeter throughout the day.  Next time I  may reduce the amount of banana I use.  I also received some very odd looks from my students and colleagues.  “What is that?!?!!?”  they wanted to know!  I think the color just takes some getting used to. 

After some tutoring fun at the library, I raced home to get started with my P90X adventure!

After watching the “How to Bring It” introduction video, I discovered there was a P90X Lean Phase I could follow.  This plan uses the same videos, but the sequence of videos include more cardio and muscle toning, rather than muscle building.  Perfect!

Today I did the Core Synergistics Video.  It was a killer workout!  It wasn’t so hard that I couldn’t do it, and I definitely felt a burn.  According to my heart rate monitor, I burned over 1,000 calories!  I’m not sure how accurate that is, but hey, even if it was 700-800 calories, I’m happy!

I’m super stoked to follow this plan.  I’ve never really followed a workout “plan.”  I usually do cardio and strength training 3-7 days a week, but there is no true rhyme or reason to what I do other than to stay in shape.  I’m hoping that this plan will help me reach a new level of fit!

I’m starting to sound like a P90X commercial, huh?  Well, I’m not.  And I’m not going to bore you with incessant chatter every day about the workouts. 

However, I do think it’s important to try new things to keep you excited about working out, and to keep your workouts interesting.  I also think it is important to try new exercises that take you out of your comfort zone.  Tons of push-ups and pull ups for an hour at a time definitely take me out of my comfort zone, but it’s exciting to see if I can do it!  I’m also excited to see the results of this hard work!

I have a challenge for you!

Try something this week that takes you out of your comfort zone.  That may be going for a long walk through the neighborhood, or running a distance you’ve never reached before.  Maybe it is taking a yoga class at the gym, or lifting free weights on the “men’s” side of the gym.  Whatever it is, try it out, and see how it makes you feel.

You may find that it was exactly what you needed to get you pumped about working out again!  I know you will be surprised by what your body is capable of doing!

What will you try?

"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm." – Sir Winston Churchill

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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