Tuesday, November 27, 2012

GMA Workout

With winter suddenly showing up, I have found it is much harder to make myself get out in the cold to run or go to the gym. I have also been indulging in some Good Morning America while I wake up and skip the gym, but I decided that I needed to get up off the couch even when I don't go to the gym. After seeing Harry Potter inspired workouts on Pinterest, I decided to try my hand at a GMA workout. I have attached it below, and when something comes on that doesn't fall under the category listed, then I just walk in place or whatever keeps me moving.

National Weather: 5 push ups
                -Anchor Change: If Ginger Zee is in for Sam Champion, then up it to 10 push ups

Local Weather: jumping jacks

Mention of Robin Roberts: Do a basketball defensive slide across the room and back to honor her time in the WMBA

Play of the Day: Chair Dips

Celebrity Interview: 1 minute plank

Pop News: Body weight squats
                -Pop Quiz: If you get the wrong answer, then do 5 burpees

Concert/Performance: Dance break!

Commercial Break: walk in place and drink break

Dan Abrams: bicycle crunches or Tae Bo cross leg lifts
              -Dan Abrams VS. Nancy Grace: 10 burpees

Person in Time Square from your state: 10 lunges, 5 on each leg

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Hustle

I know that the holidays can be busy, and that there is also an abundance of delicious food at-the-ready, so it is easy to pack on the pounds. I am going to go on the record saying that it is ok to pick some splurge time. It is crazy to think that us Average Joe types can make it through these very social times without enjoying Grandma's pie or warm buttery rolls. So I am going on the record as a supporter of the holiday splurge. With that being said, I do have some guidelines as well.

When I say the holidays, I mean the holidays proper, and not so much the greater holiday time-span. If you are a Christmas fanatic like me, then you may already have your tree trimmed, stockings hung with care, and even a few presents wrapped. What can I say, I really love Christmas. This does not mean that it is time to splurge. A month or more of splurging that begins at Thanksgiving and then usually lasts through the New Year is generally what people fall victim to, but the splurging should be kept to the actual time you plan to spend with family or friends. It doesn't mean gorge every time you have a gathering either, but have a slice of pie or an extra roll. And most of all, be honest with yourself about how much you are willing to work, or how much ground you are willing to temporarily lose.

Get moving! Holidays are very social times, so start a new tradition of doing a family turkey trot, playing some football, ice skating, or just take a walk after dinner instead of settling in on the couch for a snooze. It is fun to get the whole family involved, and it is a great way to promote an active lifestyle for kids or family members you may want to see in better health, but aren't sure how to help them get going. I did a pilgrim run last year with my family on Thanksgiving, and this year Matt and I did a Turkey Trot on Saturday. If you go to visit family or friends away from your home, then spend some time walking around to see the area's sites or museums. Matt and I stayed with friends in DC this year and spent all day Friday walking around the National Air and Space Museum. I think that probably made up for the turkey trot I made him do the next day.

All in all, I think most of us focus in on family, food, and fun during the holiday season, but don't forget to add the fourth F: Fitness! Even if it's only for 10!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Runner's Rants, Raves, and Rambles

I am getting to the point in the year where I don't want to run outside much anymore because it is dark and cold when I can run, so I have been doing lots of treadmill running and taking advantage of "warmer" late morning and mid-afternoon runs on the weekends. I've had some time to think, try new things, and people watch, so it's time again for Runner's Rants, Raves, and Rambles.

Rants: I hate running on a treadmill in general really because I'm not really going anywhere, and I have a stupid clock ticking away in my face. I've tried covering up the display, but that annoys me even more, so now I just let it taunt me while trying to distract myself with people watching.

For some reason, I am both intrigued and perplexed by the high number of muscle head men I see walking on treadmills these days. A lot of those guys skip cardio, so it's good that they are doing it, but I just think to myself, why aren't they at least jogging? I feel like they should be able to, and I wonder what's the point. Don't get me wrong, I think walking is great, and everyone should do whatever they can. Plus, I know that not everyone likes running, but it just seems strange to me.

I am thoroughly annoyed though by the middle aged women who set it to the highest incline, grab a hold of the machine and "walk" uphill for the entire time. If you are a person who does that, please explain the rationale to me. I just really don't get it, and for some reason, it really annoys me to see people do that. So just let me in on the secret.

Rave: I had never really thought of listening to anything other than music or the background noise of the roads while I run until I saw the AT&T commercial with Ryan Hall listening to audiobooks. That got me thinking. I then read a tip in RW about switching up your workout by listening to a podcast or audiobook instead of music. I decided to try it out, and I have found NPR podcasts of Tell Me More, This American Life, and Fresh Air to be great soundtracks for both treadmill and road running.

Ramble: I tried out a new route today, and I encountered an animal that I have not yet encountered on a run. I ended up, somewhat accidentally, running through a giant flock of Canada Geese. I hear  Canada Geese is the correct term even though I often hear people call them Canadian Geese. Anywho, they started hissing at me, and I had to tiptoe around thousands of piles of poop, so all in all, I think I will try to avoid them in the future, but the small lake that is rather like a pond was a nice backdrop for a late Sunday morning run. I was also able to get some hills, which will hopefully come in handy for the 5k I am doing next weekend that promises to be fairly hilly.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Michelle Takes on The Loop

Boathouse Row
The Schuylkill River Loop is a great area for runners, joggers, walkers, and cyclists in Philadelphia. The full loop covers 8.5 miles of prime Philadelphia scenery as it winds past the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Boathouse Row, Falls Bridge, Strawberry Mansion Bridge, the Fairmount Park sculptures, and of course the Schuylkill River. It's a beautiful route, and it is a great runner's getaway for a virtually uninterrupted run in a big city where traffic would normally be a problem. Today, I took on the 40th Annual Schuylkill River Loop Race.

Philly Fall
I was a bit out of my league, and I definitely got my butt kicked, but it was a good butt kicking. This race is for serious runners. As runners mingled before the start, they talked of their excitement for the upcoming Philadelphia Marathon. The crowd was small, and the runners were fast. The course record is 40:08. This was a group of serious runners. I am not going to lie, there are times that I feel judged by the running community, and this was one of those times. I put myself at the very end of the starting lineup.
Elmo and Cookie Monster

I started out pretty strong, took in all the sights, even the unexpected ones, and I held my head high. I focused in on a man in front of me, and I didn't let up on my pace until I reached him. I told him that he really gave me a run for my money. He was one of those runners I always enjoy meeting. I love runners who are kind and encouraging. It is great to come together as runners to encourage and push each other. We paced each other for quite some time, and then I hit the point of technical difficulties.

Dr. Bob was a great impromptu partner!
The race website noted that water and Gatorade on the course, but it turned out that there was one water station. I should have worn my hydration belt, but I was misled by the website. I was also misled by the weather man who said, "Sunny skies and warm temperatures!" It started raining during the race. The last technical difficulty was the biggest blow to my race today. I have read and heard about running being a natural laxative, which is why I always take some Imodium before a long run or race. It may not be the best for my body, but I definitely prefer it to the discomfort I had today. It slowed me down, but in the end, it turns out that I finished with roughly an 11 minute mile pace, which isn't too bad when it's all said and done.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Miracle Worker

I am so happy right now. It may be a bit of runner's high again, but I have not experienced one in a while due to the terrible shin splints that I have had lately. I have tried to rest, and I have tried to run, but I wasn't very successful with either one, which only led to more pain and sadness. I would try to run, but then get sad because of the pain that made me stop. I would then try to rest, which would make me stir crazy.

I tired so many things to get rid of the pain so that I could run again because I am supposed to run an 8.4 mile race a week from today, and I haven't been able to keep my distance up because I haven't been able to run. I tried tying plastic wrap on the point of pain, epsom salt, arnica cream, ice, yoga, and athletic tape. Nothing worked. After my second week of rest, I tried to run today, but at half a mile, I turned around and hobbled back home literally in tears.

I decided that I had tried everything else, so I would try one more option. I called a local GNC to find out if they carried KT Tape, and to my satisfaction, they did. I went to the store and bought a roll. When I got home, I immediately applied some in the pattern for shin splints. The residual tightness from my attempt at running this morning went away as soon as I applied it. I couldn't wait any longer, I had to try it out. I left home a little bit excited and a little bit nervous. Early on in my run, I realized a huge smile was plastered to my face, and it stayed there the whole way. I wasn't in any pain!!! I hobbled home in tears, and then a few hours later, I was running with a smile on my face! The best part of all was that I ran my fastest 5k ever!! EVER!! No pain and a new PR!

I am so glad I bought KT Tape, and I am going to get more right away because it is seriously amazing!!