Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Did It!!!!

No time for a full recap post right now (got to get ready for trick-or-treating!), but . . .

22:26 :D

Maybe it was these super awesome socks I found on clearance at Rite Aid Yesterday :  

Lots more on this later, the morning started out absolutely awful  and turned out to be a wonderful start to Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sunday Race Costume/Attire Preview

     I am so anxious/ excited about my race on Sunday that I decided to try on my costume/race attire today. You can't really tell from the following picture, but I am wearing black tights w/ spandex shorts over them. I ran in this today (minus the football jersey and eye make-up) to make sure I was comfortable and able to move properly (I was :D).  So here is a preview of my Halloween race attire. . .

In case you were wondering this is my "tough stance," also I'm not really a Philly fan I just like the colors ;)                                                                                             


I had way too much fun with my photo shoot (continue only if you want to see me making a bunch of ridiculous poses):

Friday, October 29, 2010

End of week #5 Stats and Progress~

  Here it is a day late and not very exciting... my goal for this week was to maintain which I did.   Still around 122.5, some days I fluctuated up a little, but I didn't fluctuate down at all 122.5 was my low.   I'm not taking measurements today, although it's possible I lost a little from working out, I'm going to wait another week to re-measure.
Week 5:  
                       Height   ~ 5'4"
                     Starting  ~ 125.5
                 Last Week   ~ 122.5
                      Current  ~ 122.5   
                         Goal   ~ 116-118

  I did my initial push-up test yesterday and performed 8 good form push-ups.  This puts me in column 2 for the first week, I'll be starting Day 1 on Monday.

up to 5 push ups6 - 10 push ups11 - 20 push ups
SET 12610
SET 23612
SET 3247
SET 4247
SET 5max (at least 3)max (at least 5)max (at least 9)

     For the pull-up challenge I really did not know were to start since I can't even do 1 pull-up and didn't know what exercises I could do in order to change that.  Fortunately Abby over at Fit to be Fit wrote an awesome post on assisted pull-ups,complete with demonstration pictures. Since then I've been using resistance bands to complete assisted pull-ups and I absolutely LOVE IT!  I have probably been doing to much pull-up practice just because I am love the feeling of pulling myself up.  Even with the bands (I am mostly using my least resistance yellow band) I still have to pull my hardest to get myself up and it feels so amazing.  
      I cannot wait to get my first unassisted pull-up!  I think I had it in my head that I would never be able to achieve one, but after trying it with the bands and reading how Abby worked her way from barely hanging to 10 push-ups, I am totally confident :D  My goal for the pull-up challenge is 1 unassisted pull-up! (also thank you to a few commenters who also gave me tips on assisted pull-ups.)

Lastly, my running training has been going great, I've been logging it on my Daily Workouts page. I haven't been this passionate about racing in a long time and I definitely missed it.  I got out all my inspirational running books, including, The Quotable Runner, to sike me up for Sunday.  It is  such an motivational book!  One of my favorite quotes from the book right now is:

      "Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about."

- PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian 

I'm totally amped up for my race on Sunday :) My goal is 22:30 or under, it is a flat course so I am ready to rock it!

      I'm glad I chose to focus on fitness goals this week, I made great progress and I feel accomplished! I'd still like to lose a few lbs/inches, but that will come with training and fueling myself properly :D

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Contest Winner Announced

I don't have much time right now, but I don't want to keep everyone waiting to find out who won. So without further ado. . .

No that's not an upside down 9, I counted the flowers :D

Congratulations commenter #6 ~ Trevor!!  As you might be able to tell from the picture, I picked the winner by mixing my son's number cards 1-14 in a box and then pulled one out.   I really wish that I could give a card to all of you :(  Thank you all so much for entering, you had some great song choices!

I will post end of week 5 stats later although there's not much change as I've been working on maintaining for the past week.   

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

Finally scanned this in. Can you guess which one was me ;) Circa summer '97 

. . .and a more current pic ~ October 2009.

There's a whole lotta history in between these two pics but that's another post(s) for another day(s).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ramblings on Push-ups and Pull-ups

I've attempted this before with varying levels of success and once again I am committing to the 100 Push-up Program.  I plan to do an initial exhaustion test tomorrow night and then start the three day a week program on Monday.  That would make my three push-up days Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

I was performing push-ups pretty regularly during the summer, it's nice when your job gives you the time and strongly encourages you to workout.   Lately I've been focusing on other things, but I can't deny that push-ups are an indispensable movement for your entire core.  So I'm getting back on track with my push-ups :D  I will most likely have a lower starting max number than I have in the past since I'm aiming to get lower at the bottom.  I don't think my past push-ups were awful, I've actually had people comment that I did perfect push-ups, but when I video taped them a little over a month ago I definitely  thought I could lower a bit more.  It's going to be  really difficult though, that last bit is where my arms always give out.  Anyway we will see tomorrow, my max test will probably be pretty low, but it will be worth it when I'm performing full- range push-ups.  I believe I was around 25 during the summer and I've gotten up to the 30's doing the 100 push-ups program in the past.  

 Briefly on pull-ups, I've NEVER been able to perform 1 pull-up.  When I got in good shape 2 years ago I was working on it and I did improve but I just couldn't get past the initial pull from dead hang.  I could give myself a baby jump (alright maybe slightly more) and pull from there, but dead hang to pull-up. . . nothing :/  Like I can't even get my arms to bend at all from dead hang.  So anyone with advice, tips, exercises to help me overcome this, I'm all ears.   I know about greasing the groove and I do all the holding hangs at the top, bottom, middle etc.  What else can I do?  I desperately want just 1 pull-up (I'll take more if I can get it!)   I'm joining Fit to be Fit in her  Pull-Up challenge, she's aiming for 10!

*If you haven't entered my iTunes Giftcard Giveaway, you have just over 24 hrs to comment on that post with your favorite workout song(s) for a chance to win :) It ends 10/27 at 11:59 pm.*

Monday, October 25, 2010

4 Minute Tabata Kettlebell Swing Workout

First off I'm going to explain the basics for this exercise:

The Tabata Protocol:  20 second exercise intervals with 10 second rest done 8 times for a total of  4 minutes.  Some exercises that work well: sprinting, push-ups, jumping lunges, burpees, squats, kettlebell swings, mountain climbers and jump roping.  You should be going all out for each 20 second interval in order to get the maximum benefits.  Although 4 minutes does not sound like much, by the end of this workout you will definitely feel it!  If you're really ambitious you can pick a few exercises and string together an 8, 12, 16 min. workout.

Kettlebell Swings:  I've seen/ heard of Kettlebell swings before but I wasn't entirely sure of the proper motion and technique so I youtube'd it.  Here is the video I used to learn the movement:

I like how she started by demonstrating the movement without the Kettlebell first and showed some common mistakes.

 With that said, put the two together and you have: Tabata Kettlebell Swings :D

Here  is a great (free) online timer you can use for any Tabata workout and if you google search you can find Tabata timer apps for your phone :)

I did this workout for the first time today (w/ my new kettlebell :D) and it whipped my booty.  Watch out for that 7th interval, it's a doozy :P   Realistically I should have practiced the movement  a bit more before jumping into this workout, but I was veryyy eager to try it!  I didn't go as fast as I could because I was concentrating on performing the move properly.  I'll be working on my swing form before attempting this workout again and I'll definitely be adding more tabata stuff into my workout routine. Who can't spare/suffer through another four minutes?

Stay tuned for my video once I become more proficient :)

Pomegranates, Kettlebells, and Races! Oh, My!

Some blog related things from my weekend:

     ~ My grocery store got Pomegranates in!  I LOVE Pomegranates and they are super healthy for you :D  The calorie count varies depending on size/amount of seeds but is usually between 100-200 for the whole thing (which is very filling amount).  It is also packed with dietary fiber (11g) and of course, antioxidants.   The grocery stores near my have been carrying them for the past few years during the winter season and I am very happy for their return!  Trader Joe's Frozen Pomegranate seeds just don't compare :/  Here is a how-to on eating pomegranates, it can be very messy if you do it the wrong way.

     ~ I bought a 15 lb Kettlebell yesterday.  I contemplated getting a 20 lb bell and decided to start small and work my way up.  When I got home and tried it out a bit I was very happy that I stuck with the 15 lb one.  I definitely need to gain strength in my arms, right now they are pretty weak.  That's why I'm very excited about using the Kettlebell, I think it will definitely help me develop more arm strengh :)  Later on today I am going to do a post on a tabata workout using the Kettlebell swing, after I complete it myself :D

    ~ I've decide on the next 2 5Ks I am going to participate in.  The First is on Halloween morning and you are encouraged to run in costume.  I have already come up with a costume that shouldn't restrict my running movement.  It's nothing crazy, I'm focusing more on running fast than having the best costume (there's actually awards for best costume!) I'll post pictures of my race attire afterwards, for now it's a secret :)  They also have a Kids' Monster Mash Dash after the 5K and my son is going to run in it :D  Hopefully racing on Halloween morning will inspire me to keep my hand out of the candy bag later in the day. 

~ The Second race I've decided on is a Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot.  This means no Thanksgiving Eve partying for me!  I went out last year on  T-Giving Eve and only realized this morning that if I want to try for a good time in this race I would have to sacrifice going out this year.  I'm a bit sad about this, but I'm happy that I am making the healthy, smart decision which will assist me in fulfilling my goals.  And as with the Halloween run, I believe racing in the morning will help me make healthier choices on Thanksgiving day.  I have found that hard workouts or races sway me from putting garbage in my mouth, if I put the effort in to bust my ass I want to fuel myself properly as well.

*Lastly don't forget to enter my $10 iTunes Card Giveaway!  I want to hear what songs you all workout to!!  Everyone has had great responses, I workout to many of the songs mentioned in the comments thus far.  Plus I am discovering some awesome new ones, keep'em coming :)*

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My First Giveaway~ $10 iTunes Gift Card!

      Yayyy here it is my super fantastic first giveaway :D  In appreciation of all my wonderful readers I'm purchasing a $10 iTunes card that one lucky commenter will win.  Since I have many international visitors, this contest is open to my readers ALL over the globe!  There are no sponsors involved in this contest, it is straight from my heart to your ears :P

Here's whatcha got to do:
       Leave a comment telling me what your favorite workout song(s) are and include your email address in the comment.  That's it. This contest ends on 10/27 at 11:59 pm EST and the winner will be announced in my weekly stats post Thursday morning 10/28.  The winner will also be contacted by email right away.
    I thought about doing the whole extra entries for following and tweeting and blogging, but I've decided against bribery.  If you like my blog I'd love it if you would follow and if you're already following, Thanks!  If you want to be nice and help me get more traffic feel free to tweet and blog about this giveaway :D

    I can't wait to hear what your favorite workout songs are!  If you've read through my blog you've probably noticed that I LOVE anything by Fall Out Boy.  I'm also currently into Lady Gaga, The Used, Blink-182 and La Roux for my workouts.  Plus a bunch of other awesome artists and songs.  In fact I'm going to post a great song I just bought on iTunes, it reminds me of summer . . .

    and with that start commenting!  Don't be shy everyone is invited to enter :D

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's My One Month Blogiversary :D

    Thank you to everyone who has stopped by, followed, commented and encouraged me through this first month!  I didn't know if I could keep my little bloggy going this long since in the beginning it would take me like two hours to write one post.  I'm a very inexperienced writer and have A LOT of trouble organizing my thoughts into coherent posts :s  I have found though, that over this past month I have developed "blogger brain," where my mind is constantly going with thoughts on what to write.  If only someone could invent something to transform the ideas in my head into a post instantly.  Sometimes I'll be thinking, "ooo I want to say this and that and blahh blahh blahh," then I go to write a post and I go ummmm . . .   Anyway my recent blog thoughts have helped write new posts quicker and come up with some ideas that I am excited to share with my new readers :D

    My first brilliant idea: In honor of my one month, I am giving away a 10$ iTunes gift card that I will have up as a post tomorrow :) In my first month I've earned $10 and I want to give it back to my amazing readers and followers thus far.  I thought hard about what was the most super awesome thing I could give away and this is most definitely it!  Honestly if you asked me if I wanted 10$ or an iTunes card, I'd pick the card.  I would probably spend $10 on groceries (boring), bills (boring), or wine (which I absolutely don't need), but an iTunes card will help power me through my workouts and  it's fun :D  I wish I could give each of my readers an iTunes card, unfortunately I don't have that kind of money :P.  If you wish to enter, come back tomorrow (or in the next few days) and the giveaway post will be up with instructions. This is 100% coming from me, their are no sponsors involved.  I  want to show my appreciation because having people read, follow and comment has helped keep me motivated and accountable.

     Anywayyy back to what this blog is really about. . . getting fit!  My workout today was running stairs.  I am super proud to say that I ran stairs for 30 minutes today!!  My excitement is due to the fact that for the past few months I've only be doing around 20 mins, some days a little more some a little less.  I put my all into it the entire time so by 20 minutes I'm usually dead, especially my legs, but today I powered through my pain :D  You have to keep pushing yourself in order to improve, right?  Here I am exhausted after running today:

Totally collapsed on the couch as soon as I got home, exhausted but with a sense of accomplishment :) (and yes I'm like Adam Lambert with eyeliner, I wear it EVERYWHERE, it's an obsession)

    Another thought I had:  Since my blog is brand new and I've trying to get myself out there, I've been joining some blog hops.  They are mostly geared towards mommy blogs and well I'm a mommy so I figure I can join in.  I'd like to know how the fitness/ weight loss bloggers feel about a Fitness Friday Healthy Hop?  I have no idea if there are other hops like this out there, I'm sure there are, but I haven't seen any.  I would like to get some feedback on whether my fellow health bloggers are interested in participating.  So please if you have any thoughts on this either leave me a comment or email me about it :)  I think it's a fun way to get more readers/ followers that are interested in getting fit!

           Thank You again to everyone who has stopped by and kept me going!!

ETA:  I realize this post is ALL over the place but all these thoughts were taking over my mind, I had to get them out :P

Thursday, October 21, 2010

End of Week #4 Stats~

It's been about a month since I started this blog and began monitering my progress, so far I've been very happy with my results.  This week I dropped another pound totaling  3lbs for the first month.  I think that this is a decent pace to be losing at since I am so close to goal and want to make sure I am mostly losing body fat.  I'm hoping in the next few weeks to get a professional evaluation of my bf% so  I can see were I'm at regarding that.  The only change in my measurements this week was 1/4 in from my waist, i'm glad it has all come from my waist so far, my hips are narrow enough.  For the month I've had 1 1/4 in from my waist, 1/4 from each thigh and my hips have stayed the same.

 Week 4:  
                       Height   ~ 5'4"
                     Starting  ~ 125.5
                 Last Week   ~ 123.5
                      Current  ~ 122.5   
                         Goal   ~ 116-118
                         First Week     Last Week     This Week
              Waist ~      27 in             26 in        25.75 in
                Hips ~      36 in             36 in           36 in 
              Thigh ~  20.75 in          20.5 in         20.5 in 

Progress Pics Daisy Dukes Edition:

I'm seeing some improvement in my tummy (must be the planks!)

Two More after the cut:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bikini Body Move #4- Tricep Dips

One of my big, big problem areas is the back of my arms aka my triceps.  I guess I have never really paid enough attention to them, I blame it on out of sight, out of mind :D But then i'll see a picture of my back or catch a glimpse of my backside in a double mirror and realize I need to put some major work into that area.  Half of the problem is I need to lose fat from my arms, I tend to store extra weight there.  When I was pregnant and gained 50lbs, my arms were huge, in most of my pregnancy pics they make me look even larger than I actually was. 

Aside from losing body fat though, I also need to work on building some muscle in my arms. They are too weak for my liking and have very little tone :/   The bodyweight move I use the most for my arms is  the ever popular push-up which is one of the best exercises ever buttt. . . they don't target my triceps enough.  You can modify the push-up to work your triceps more by narrowing your arm stance and/or you can do tricep dips which I'm going to talk about and demonstrate here.

First here's my video which demonstrates dips with feet on the floor and then dips with feet supported by a chair:

Song~ Club Can't Handle Me by Flo Rida w/ David Guetta (Kinda cheesy, but I Love It!)

You can modify these in numerous ways to make the easier/harder.  In my first example I had my legs straight out with no bend.  If you want to make them easier you can bring your feet closer in with a bend at the knee.  You can make them harder by putting your feet up on a chair as I did in my second example.  If you want even more challenging you can support your feet with a stability ball.
Tip: In researching I learned that you should  keep your back close to the chair throughout the movement.

Try for 3 sets of 10-12 a few times a week, if it starts getting easy move up to a more challenging variation.  If you know of other effective tricep moves I'd love to here about them!

You can see the first three bikini body moves here:
#1~ Jumping Lunges
#2~ The Plank
#3~ Bodyweight Squats

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Race Report :D

 This morning I ran the "Stony Brook Hospital 22nd Annual Run For Children 5k" and as my first race since July 2009, it was a great success!   I'm really glad that I've started this blog and posted a few times about running this race because if I didn't have that accountability I might not have dragged myself out of bed this morning.  I had major anxiety about it yesterday and this morning and had thought about just skipping it; but if i'm going to compete kick-ass in a tri-athalon this summer, I have to start taking action now.

The weather was AMAZING,  around 60 degrees and sunny, and the course was a hilly loop through beautiful tree-lined streets.  My finishing time was. . . 23:19, which is just about 7:30 pace :)  In this post, I had mentioned wanting to get under 23 min., but I am very happy with my time especially since it was on a decently hilly course.  From mile 2 to about 2 3/4 the race was all uphill, and being that it was the end of race and I was dead, it was rough.  I'm proud to say that I kept a pretty steady pace, I went out in a 7:10 first mile and then kept it around 7:40 for the last 2 miles.  Often times I go out way to fast, run a 6 min first mile and then die out and finish with 8 min miles.  I felt very relaxed through the 1st mile, then started to feel it in my gut halfway through the 2nd mile especially on the uphills.  I kinda felt like I was going to get sick throughout the 2nd half of the race but I hung in there, kicked it in hard and it paid off. . .

3rd in my division/ 6th female out of 201/ 28th overall out of 358

That is totally the cutest medal I have ever won :)

And they had pumpkin painting for the kids:

I'm already looking for another road race to do within the next month.  I'd like to at least run under 23 min, but really I want to break 22:30.  Actually if it's a flat course I think I could go sub 22 :D

Clock Time23:19.0
Overall Place28 / 358
Gender Place6 / 201
Division Place3 / 24
Age Grade63.5%
Full Results Here

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Fun

Yaaayyy taking Nolan to his first hockey game.   His elementary school's chorus is singing at the Islander's game tonight (he's not singing though, he's not old enough for chorus yet).  Usually I would tailgate and drink, but since it is a family event and I am running a 5k tomorrow morning, I'll be abstaining tonight.  Hubs and I actually went to an Isle's game last Saturday and I drank wayy wayyy too much, so I'm happy I have the 5k tomorrow to keep me in check :)  I am super nervous about the race though!

Edited to add: 
Islander's Goalie Rick Dipietro gave Nolan a practice puck during pre-game warm-ups :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bikini Body Move #3 - Bodyweight (Air) Squats

Since I am determined to have a "Daisy Duke Booty" by summer I figured I'd better add squats to my routine.  I have in the past avoided them because I kinda lack the flexibility to do "pretty" full-range of motion squats and I've stuck with lunges where I have much better form.  Buttt . . . the only way to get better at something is to work on it, so I am committing myself to perfecting my squat.  Aside from giving me a boootiful behind this should also help increase my flexibility.  I'm not even going for high reps or weighted squats right now, I'm working on getting lower into the squat and keeping my back straighter.  Besides if I'm going to fulfill my goal of personal training I best be able to perform a good form squat! How can I show others how to do it if I can't do it myself :?

So I took A LOT  of video of me squatting :D and I looked up some professional videos, critiqued myself try to improve my form, more video . . .   First I am going to post a seriously awesome video I found plus its got some eye candy :)  Then there is my best squats which aren't so pretty, and that should tell you a lot about the previous ones I taped =X.

If you want really good instruction on how to do a bodyweight squat watch this:

That one guy makes them look soooo easy, gaahhh I'm jealous but also motivated :)

And below is my video:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

End of Week #3 Stats~

I think I could have done a bit better this week, but the past two days I did very well with eating/exercise.  I'm down half a pound, I would have liked a full pound, I am very excited to be below 124 though.  That's kinda my comfort zone, over 124 and I start to feel less confident in my body and my clothes get tight.  Also 1/2 inch of my waist :D and 1/4 in from my upper thighs, all in all not bad.  

Overall i've lost 2 lbs in 3 weeks, not earth shattering but I am only 5-7 lbs away from goal now. Once I get there I am going to concentrate on getting a bit more cut.  Actually I may try to lose more body fat at goal weight first so I might go below 116 at first but then put a little back on as lean muscle.

Week 3:
                       Height   ~ 5'4"
                     Starting  ~ 125.5
                 Last Week   ~ 124
                      Current  ~ 123.5     
                         Goal   ~ 116-118
                         First Week     Last Week     This Week
              Waist ~      27 in           26.5 in          26 in
                Hips ~      36 in             36 in           36 in 
              Thigh ~  20.75 in        20.75 in         20.5 in 

This Sunday is my 5k race, I'm nervous because I want to run a good time but I am trying not to put too much pressure on myself.  I haven't run a race in over a year and the one I am running is very hilly so I'm trying to get into the mindset of enjoying the race and giving my best effort without the emphasize of a goal time.  Honestly I have no idea of what I am capable of running right now so setting a goal time is kinda pointless.  I will see what I can run now and use it as a baseline to improve upon throughout the year.  

Ran for 35 mins. today, but I was super sore/tired from yesterday's hour run and resistance training.

Motivational Song Quote of the Day:  "Keep your head up, the colors are beautiful. When they say give up, turn up your radio"  ~ Head Up by Sugarcult

Song below: