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Fitness

Hi again! It’s so nice to be back, but I also really enjoyed my break from the blogging world. To first time visitors, I had taken a break for 3 weeks from blogging. I needed some time to catch my bearings and be reintegrated with my husband who had recently returned from a 2 month deployment. Even though it was “only” 2 months (as oppose to 6 or 8 months) it felt like a long time, and I needed some time to reorganize, and figure out life with my husband again. Let’s just say I felt a little disorganized, and needed some time to pull away and focus on my family.

My Fun 5 k race

I thought the perfect day to return to blogging was on the day of my race. You may or may not remember my post on setting the date for the 5 k race, and then my subsequent onecon training for one (aka my training plan). Ahahaha, well let’s just say I did not quite follow the training plan to the tee, but ended up “free-styling” it, where I did my own version of “work out runs,” and cut the mileage WAY down.

Any who besides cutting corners on that, my husband made me feel less badly about that after he so fondly stated: “It’s just like training for the PFT (military fitness test), everyone says they’ll train for it, but in the end you just have to gut it out.” My favourite, “gut it out” kind of made me laugh, because it’s mostly true, and fitted  my commitment to this race. I was not coming  from a competitive spirit, but from wanting to have some fun and doing it because I can.

And the race was a good fit for me; It was lighthearted, for a good cause (went towards a scholarship fund), and fun. I swallowed my competitive nature, and even started the race near the back. I slowly worked my way up, and felt great the first two miles. And then the last mile hit me, and I felt the lack of running I missed in my “training.”

As it turns out I ended up getting third place overall for women, and finished with a time of 22:52. That time would have been super embarrassing to me a couple of years ago (it’s almost 4 minutes slower than my personal best time)… and a part of me felt kind of embarrassed still,  but considering I havent raced for over 2 years, and just had a baby, I’m happy.

fun race 058

I feel kind of bad (maybe arrogant?) for admitting that because their were people crying for joy over breaking 30 minutes (which I thought was really sweet by the way!). What’s one persons best, is another’s worst, and another’s worst is someone else’s best. Truthfully, I admire those people who knew with all certainty they did their best, wether or not they finished in 30 minutes.

Sigh, I think this race may have sparked some fire in me again to try break  my personal best time of 19:19 minutes. But for this race, I really needed to do it just for fun, and drop the competitiveness… don’t get me wrong, I still “gutted” it out, and raced my hardest, but I didn’t prepare for it with my best effort. But I needed to do that for me so I could find the joy in it, find the fun in it, and praise Jesus doing it.

What about you? Do you think it’s okay to just do something just because you can? You know, forget about the perfect training, the perfect circumstances, and do it for fun irregardless of if it’s your best? I feel like this is so countercultural! (At least it goes against my athletic and competitive personality.)

Love,

Amanda.

I think exercise is definitely one of those most non-urgent, but important things in life. I’d love to take a moment here and share some strategies I’ve used to make time for it. So here’s to day 18 of no more procrastinating (the important, non-urgent things in life). Click HERE for the beginning.

I gained 40lbs during my pregnancy, and have officially lost all of it, and some, after only about 5 months. Here are my top 5 strategies to losing the weight and making time for working out. To be honest, I was one of those all-baby-basketball pregnancies, but I still needed a lot of toning up post-pregnancy, and still had some love handles, and a pooch I wanted to get rid of.

1. Start small. For the first 6 weeks I only worked out for 15 minutes a day, and did light walking every other day. It pretty much allowed me to get into the rhythm of exercising even when I didn’t always feel like it.

2. Find a workout program that fits your lifestyle, and where you are in life. I needed one for the post-pregnancy body, because there is a certain way you should build back your core post-pregnancy. Sure you can lose the weight using any old program, but if it’s not designed to really strengthen your belly from the inside out, you might not be getting what you need, or the flat stomach you want. There is a proper way to approach it. Lindsay Brin’s products worked amazingly well for me! I’ve never had as flat of a stomach as I have now, and haven’t been as thin as am since high school. Here are the products I used:

Lindsay Brin's Boot Camp 2 DVD with Moms Into Fitness

Lindsay Brin's CFS Method with Moms Into Fitness

How to Exercise When You're Expecting: For the 9 Months of Pregnancy and the 5 Months It Takes to Get Your Best Body Back

3. Find something you love, and incorporate it in your program. I love to run, and walk, so I rely on those two things in my cardio workouts. I’m currently undergoing a 5k training plan. It gives me time to exercise, and I love doing it!

4. Make it a priority. To really get into the habit, I really needed to let everything go (more or less), at least initially, until I got into the habit of it. To me this meant easy meals, like rotisserie chicken, and sandwiches for dinner. It also meant closing my eyes to floors that needed vacuuming, and clutter that needed decluttering. Once I got into the habit of working out, I found it much easier to then bring in some housecleaning again, and nice meals. It’s a juggling process; once you can handle two things, three things can be easier to juggle. Plus, if you make sure it’s one of the top things you get done every day, chances are you’ll get it done.

5. Don’t be a perfectionist about it. I never expect to follow my plan perfectly, nor do I give up or beat myself up if I miss a day. I love Lindsay Brin’s program, because she allows for one express workout a week, where it only takes about 10 minutes. I also don’t expect to have an hour all to myself to workout. When I can, great, but I don’t expect it. If I have to spread my workout throughout the day for 10 minutes at a time then so be it. And if Asher becomes a set of weights, then so be it. Although I try not to incorporate Asher into it more than once a week (not including running…he always comes along for that!).

Do you have a workout plan that worked well for you?

Amanda.

Just in case this is your first day stopping in, here’s the beginning of the 31 day challenge—-> of no more procrastinating (on the important, non-urgent things in life).  

Yesterday I set the date for the race, Dec.2, 2012, and today I’m writing  my training plan, borrowed and abbreviated from the book Daniels’ Running Formula. The normal plan is 24 weeks, broken into four different phases (1,2,3,4). Phases 2 and 4 are the safest to skip, so to streamline the training plan, I’ll skip phases 2 and 4, and focus on the foundational phase 1 and the early racing phase 3.

Going the Distance: To simplify this plan and just in case I never make it to an actual track I won’t bother with measuring my distances, I’ll just run by time. I know how long it should approximately take  per distance, so it should be easy piecey.

Check out my new watch I bought to help motivate me:

my $15.96 watch….gotta love amazon!

Here is my 9 week 5k training plan:

Phase 1

weeks 1-3: 5-6 days each week of easy running. Supplemental strength training 3 days a week.

Weeks 4-6: 5-6 days each week of easy running. Make one day a long run day (it should be at least twice as long as race distance, but no longer than three times as much…50min).

Phase 3

Week 7: 3 workouts per week, with an easy run every other day.

  • workout 1: 3 sets of 4 to 5 min hard pace with 3-4 min recovery jogs.
  • workout 2: 3 x (2-mile or 10 to 12 min tempo pace with 2 min rests).
  • workout 3: Sets of ( 2 min hard pace + 1 min jog + 1 min hard + 30 sec jog+ 30 sec hard + 30 sec jog). Do not run more than 10k.

Week 8: Workout 1 is the same as last weeks, and you want to continue with the easy runs in between the workdays.

  • workout 2: 40 min tempo pace
  • workout 3: 10-12 x (400m race pace with 400m jogs.

week 9: Easy runs every other day, with 3 workout runs.

  • workout 1: Sets of ( 2 min hard pace + 1 min jog + 1 min hard + 30 sec jog+ 30 sec hard + 30 sec jog) for a total of 25 minutes.
  • workout 2: 3- 5 x (2 miles or 10 min tempo pace with 2 min rests)
  • workout 3: 4 x ( 200 m race pace with 200 m jogs) + 3 x (1000m hard pace with 2 min jogs) + 2 x (400m race pace with 400m jogs)

A note on paces:

Hard pace and race pace are similar, but hard pace is more like the pace you’d maintain for a mile, whereas your race pace is what you’d kept for your race distance (in my case, 5k pace).

Tempo is slower than race pace, and hard pace, but is still revved up and is meant to improve overall endurance.

Easy pace is the pace you can run while talking with a friend, but is still a little faster than a jog.

Happy Running!

Amanda

Day 1, Setting the date:

Isn’t that the first step to commitment? setting the date? This is my first day, for the 31 day challenge of no more prascintating (on the important, non-urgent things of life). On this day I found a race to register for using this race finder tool at runnersworld.com. In my opinion, 10 weeks is just right for training properly for a 5 km in a streamlined fashion (a year is even better, and its possible to do it in a month!).

The race Im entering is in about 9 weeks, so one week less than what I’d consider ideal, but that’s okay. Its not like Im starting from complete stratch. I’ve been walking/running every other day for a couple months now.

I’ve been running off and on since about kindergarten. I ran track and cross country through all of elementary school, and most of high school and university. It’s in my nature to be rather competitive, but I’d like to approach this race a little differently. I want it to be fun, and lighthearted. I’m not training and racing to win or to make a personal best time (although that would be awesome!). Im doing this to kick start something that is an old love, and has been very important in my life but for whatever reason I’ve put aside.

Plus, it’d be nice to get a race in once more before I get pregnant with kiddo number two. I know I can stil run through pregnancy, but personally I’m not sure how I feel about racing and being pregnant. So I have a short window before I’ll be pregnant again (Lord willing), and I figure what better day to start than today? Tomorrow I’ll work on the training plan I’m going to build, and share with everyone, from one of my favourite go-to training/racing book, Daniels’ Running Formula.

Can I also mention that I want to finish the race with a smile? I did say I’m taking this lighthearted. Why can’t I run just for the pleasure of it? I’m putting aside perfect circumstances, because honestly my training cricumstances will be less then ideal (in one hand I’ll be holding a dog leash, and in another pushing a stroller….and my dog LOVES squirrels). Lord willing, when I finish the race I want to get a friend, or my hubby to take a picture with me smiling. Let’s not repeat this look:

Serious varsity days…wasn’t feeling so good in this shot.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m all about killing yourself to do your best, and being cut throat, but there’s a season for everything; my season is one of lightheartedness and enjoyment of the gifts and talents God has blessed me with. Isn’t running a gift in itself? Not everyone can, or is able to run, so why take it for granted?

Dec.2, 2012, race day, 5km

What about you? Do you have a hobby, or secret talent that you’ve been putting off because you’re waiting for the perfect circumstances?

If so, I challenge you to set a date to kick start an old love!

Amanda.

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