Friday, August 23, 2013

Racing Bibs

With racing season quickly approaching, race bibs will soon start piling around the house. I don’t know about you, but right now, all of mine are filed away in my nightstand drawer. However, instead of filing or throwing them away never to be seen again, I thought I would share with you some fun and unique ways to preserve these memoirs. Women’s Running Magazine posted an article earlier this week featuring some great ways to show off your race bibs.

1. Race Day Books

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2. Bib Frame

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3. Bib Coasters

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4. Bib Purse

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All photos from Women’s Running Magazine online
To view the full article, click
HERE

Even though I have not done anything with my own race bibs yet, I’m leaning towards the Race Day Book! I just think it’s such a great idea!

Also, just want to let you all know that I will be taking a blogging hiatus next week, but my posting schedule will return to normal on Labor Day. Talk to you then!

To all of you running during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend next week, I hope you do great and have a blast! I can’t wait to see pictures and read everyone’s recaps!

QOTD: Which race bib idea is your favorite? Have you already done something creative with your bibs?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Atomic CrossFit

This past Saturday morning, I attended my first ever crossfit session. My friend from work invited me on Friday afternoon, saying that it was an open class taking donations to raise money for the families of Houston firefighters who recently died battling a restaurant fire. I thought it would not only be great to try something new to stay healthy and fit, but also be able to give back to the community. With that said, of course I agreed to join.

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I arrived at Atomic CrossFit not really knowing what to expect. After being introduced to so many nice (and extremely fit) people, I saw the WOD (workout of the day) and remembered how much my own upper body strength was lacking. It was going to be a rough morning!

This was the plan of attack for each person AFTER the warm-up, which consisted of dynamic stretching, jumping jacks, and push-ups.

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While most of the attendees did the full workout, my body was really struggling. I did the 1 mile run, 68 push-ups, albeit only 20 of them were in the true push-up form. The remaining 48 were done in the ‘easier’ formation with my knees touching the ground. Next, I did 35 kettle bell (18 pounds) swings, 51 sit-ups, 25 burpees, and the final 1 mile run. The burpees were without a doubt the toughest part of this challenge.

Although my entire body was screaming at me, when it was all said and done, I am SO glad I went; I needed this new high intensity strength workout to give me a wake-up call that I absolutely cannot neglect my upper body fitness the way that I have been lately.

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Also, the owners and attendees of Atomic CrossFit here in Houston were incredibly nice, yet very tough and motivating. They really do want to help make you the best you can be! If you live in Houston, and ever get the urge to try CrossFit, definitely check them out: see the below photo for their basic information, or click HERE for their website.

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QOTD: Have you ever attended a CrossFit session, or would you ever want to give it a try?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekly Recap 8/12 – 8/18

This week has been very fun! I decided (at the invitation of a friend) to try something new on Saturday; I did my first ever session of cross fit! I am going to do a recap and review of it on Wednesday so no major details today, but I will say this – it was a new kind of pain. The 3 words to best describe it are as follows: Difficult, motivating, and worth it!

Also, I would like to extend a huge congratulations to all the athletes who participated in the 2013 Track & Field World Championships in Moscow this month! It is always fun and exciting to watch the elites do what they do best!

My workouts this week:

Monday: Jillian Michael’s Six-Week Six Pack (35 minutes)

Tuesday: 4 x (1200 meters fast pace + 400 meters walk)

1200 meters pace = 8:45 min/mile
400 meters pace = comfortable walk

Wednesday: Jillian Michael’s Killer Buns & Thighs (40 minutes)

Thursday: 5 Mile Maintenance Run (Pace: 10:30 min/mile)

Friday: Rest Day/Stretch

Saturday: One hour of cross fit – inclusive of 2 miles of running

Sunday: 4.1 Mile Long Run (Pace: 10:30 min/mile)

Monday Motivation!

QOTD: Did you try anything new this week?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Disney’s POP Century Resort

As I am sure many of you know, Disney FINALLY released Fall room-only discounts for their resorts at Walt Disney World, Florida. Robert and I took full advantage of this and booked our room at the very popular value resort POP Century. One of our goals for future Disney trips is to try and stay somewhere different each time. So far, we have stayed at Coronado Springs and Port Orleans Riverside, so of course, POP will be new to us and we are very excited!

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We decided to go with a value resort for this vacation because we have already been to Disney once this year, and splurged on the Royal rooms at Port Orleans, so we thought it would help keep costs down.

It was a hard decision between the Art of Animation and POP Century resorts, but since POP is an ‘official’ host resort, that is what gave it the edge over Art of Animation. I have looked at the map of the Disney grounds, and yes, we could have walked from AoA to POP, but are we REALLY going to want to do that at 4 AM after the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash?! Exactly.

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We also started looking at advanced dining reservations, and of course ‘Be Our Guest’ is completely booked for the entire time we are staying. At first I was a little bummed, but then I remembered that we are going to be there for the Food & Wine Festival and my spirits jumped immediately! We definitely plan on spending a lot of time at EPCOT going around to the different kiosks and sampling delicious international cuisines. I cannot wait – I have never been to Disney during the Food & Wine Festival!

Countdown to TOT 10-Miler Weekend: 7 weeks from Saturday!

QOTD: What resort are you staying at for your next Disney vacation?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Australia Adventures – Surfing & Kayaking

After I graduated college in 2010, I went over to Brisbane, Australia to live and work for 6 months. During this time, I was able to travel up and down the beautiful eastern coast of the country. Although Australia is where I gained much of the weight that I finally lost last year (I just enjoyed the food a little too much – haha), I was still very active and learned new and fun ways to exercise – two of these being surfing and kayaking!

Some friends and I went to Byron Bay for a long weekend, which was a relatively short drive from the city of Brisbane. It is located just outside of Queensland in northern New South Wales. It is a STUNNING area, and if you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful country, I highly recommend spending a few days at Byron Bay.

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We signed up with a local surf shop that teaches a small group of people at a time to surf for a couple of hours. When we made our way to the beach, they assigned us each a long board, which is apparently easier to balance on than a regular surf board. We then had a quick lesson on safety, followed by a land lesson on the technique it takes to get up on the board.

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Finally it was time to test out our newfound skills in the water! We were somewhat close to shore and each took turns riding the waves all the way to where the sand stopped us. Honestly, everyone did a pretty good job, and even I was able to stand up after just a couple of tries! It was an absolute blast, and a great core workout too!

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After our surfing lesson, we headed out with another local group who does kayaking tours. Kayaking is yet another great way to both have fun and get a workout! Working the oars against the ocean currents and keeping balanced not only exercises your arms, but your core as well. I have ocean kayaked a few times before in Hawaii, and I just love it; it is something I always do at least once when I take a beach vacation.

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While kayaking, our group noticed some dolphins close by which I was so excited about, as they are one of my favorite animals! What came next was nothing short of incredible; it was a mother dolphin bringing her baby up to show it how to come up and breathe the air. It was amazing and I felt so blessed to be able to witness this miracle!

So, all in all, not only are these two ocean sports fun, but they are great workouts, and you also have the potential to witness nature’s wonders! If you ever find yourself on a beach vacation and in need of some exercise, skip the hotel gym and give surfing and kayaking a try!

QOTD: Have you ever tried these sports? Do you enjoy them?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekly Recap 8/5 – 8/11

Happy Monday! The weekends always go by so fast, don’t they?! This past week has been a total success in my re-dedication to strength training, and 2/3 of my running days were very strong!

I actually did my first outdoor run in quite awhile this past Saturday. The clouds came in slightly and it lightly sprinkled for a short time, so I thought the weather would be bearable for my six miles – long story short, it was ROUGH. On a good note, however, I ran without my Garmin and iPod, so I was not paying any attention to my pace, which would have undoubtedly shown to be horrendous! I ran at a pace that just felt as comfortable as could be during the time while I was running, and that was definitely enough for me that day.

My workouts this week:

Monday: Jillian Michael’s Six-Week Six Pack (35 minutes)

Tuesday: 4 x (1200 meters fast pace + 400 meters walk)

1200 meters pace = 8:45 min/mile
400 meters pace = comfortable walk

Wednesday: Jillian Michael’s Killer Buns & Thighs (40 minutes)

Thursday: 5 Mile Maintenance Run (Pace: 10:30 min/mile)

Friday: Rest Day/Stretch

Saturday: 6 Mile Long Run

Sunday: Walk at the Park

Monday Motivation!

QOTD: How did your workouts go this past week?

Friday, August 9, 2013

High Intensity Interval Training

High Intensity Interval Training (aka HIIT) is a type of exercise which I have learned is extremely effective. HIIT helps really burn fat (i.e. raises your heart rate quickly) and is great for weight-loss as well as improving running pace (if you have a time goal in mind for your next race).

Along with my Jillian Michael’s DVD’s, which incorporates plenty of HIIT exercises, I always do at least one day of running speed work, alternating between intervals and tempo runs.

I found this guide to HIIT on Pinterest yesterday in case anybody is interested in learning more about it! Happy Training!

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QOTD: Do you do any high intensity interval training in your weekly fitness routine?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Work for it Wednesday

It’s no secret based on some of my past posts that I’ve been severely slacking on my strength training. It has probably been at least a month since I’ve really buckled down and focused on my core, arms, and glutes. Also, since I am confessing, even though I have been stretching, it is short and sweet. It has not been a true daily focus, but something that I do for a few minutes post-workout to help my body cool down. I wish I could say I have a good reason, but mostly it has just been feeling too tired to do anything and allowing myself slack off.

I want to get stronger and avoid injuries, so I have to make sure I stretch more every day and strength train more often. I am happy to report that on Monday I did 35 minutes of abs work with my buddy Jillian Michael’s, and she kicked my butt! It has been so long since I have done that workout DVD, so it was like starting from scratch and my abs were quite sore the next day!

The difficulty gave me a wakeup call, though, because in life I will often be busy or tired. But, unless my body physically needs a break, there should be no excuses to living a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is essential to enjoying a happy, healthy life, and the fact of the matter is, I HAVE to motivate myself to get it done.

To help those days where I may feel un-motivated, I will remember this: a workout is only 4% of my day. That is barely any time at all and I KNOW that the effects of that 4% are incredibly good for my health.

So this week, I am re-committing myself to my goal of stretching and strength training!

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QOTD: Have you ever needed to re-commit to a specific goal?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Weekly Recap 7/29 – 8/4

It looks like Monday has made it’s way to us already; it’s crazy how time flies by, isn’t it? This past week has been both great and difficult for training. I know I sound like a broken record saying this, but the heat and humidity is just unbearable; even running on the treadmill with the ceiling fan going it gets very hot! Come on Fall!

That being said, I still got the miles done, but I do need to re-dedicate myself to strength training and remember that by doing it I will become a better runner!

My workouts this week:

Monday: Rest Day/Stretch

Tuesday: 3.1 Mile Tempo Run (Pace: 9:00 min/mile)

Wednesday: Rest Day/Stretch

Thursday: 5 Mile Maintenance Run (Pace: 10-10:30 min/mile) – This run was the reason training was amazing this week! I was going to do 4 but I felt fantastic so decided to go an extra mile!

Friday: Rest Day/Stretch

Saturday: 5 Mile Long Run on the Treadmill (Pace: 10:30-11 min/mile) – This run was the reason training felt not-so-amazing this week. It’s crazy how one day 5 miles can seem so easy, and yet two days later, it felt as if all the sweat had left by body by mile 3! I wanted to do 6 miles, but literally had to force myself to keep going just to get to 5. Oh well; I will take the good, the bad, and the ugly that comes with the running lifestyle! There is always tomorrow!

Sunday: Walk at the Park

Monday Motivation! I need to remember this on my more difficult runs :)Go ahead – push harder, run faster and trust the passion inside your soul.

QOTD: What do you do to help push yourself to get the miles done?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tower of Terror 10-Miler Course Map

This past weekend, runDisney revealed the course map for the 2013 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler race. Today I would like to share my humble opinions on the course I’ll be running through for the first time in October! The following is an excerpt from the runDisney website, describing the course with slight detail.

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“The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler is a nighttime road race that will end at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The course will start at Disney's Hollywood Studios, proceed to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and then return to Disney's Hollywood Studios. There the course will take you along a scenic route past Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show, along the New York Street back lot, past Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at the top of Hollywood Boulevard, and then on to an amazing finish at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.”

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From what I can tell, there are definitely some pros and cons to this course. As a first time participant in this race, I can’t completely picture the whole course, but I think I am knowledgeable enough about Disney World that I can tell where we’ll be running for most of the time.

What I’m looking forward to:

1. Getting to run through the Disney grounds late at night.

2. Running through the ESPN Wide World of Sports – I have never seen it before!

3. Spooky characters and music along the course.

4. Running through [at least part of] Hollywood Studios!

5. Running through what appears to be part of the Backlot Tour – COOL. I’d love to see the ‘behind the scenes’ part of the park!

What I’m less than thrilled about:

1. The fact that the majority of the course looks like it is roads. I REALLY hope Disney plans some fantastic entertainment along those boring stretches of highway (especially for the price)!

2. Only running through one park. As much as I’m looking forward to see the ESPN sports complex, I also wish we could go through two parks.

3. According to the map, we aren’t running down the ‘main street’ of Hollywood Studios to the Tower of Terror ride. I was expecting the last leg of the race to be running towards one of my favorite rides! I suppose it doesn’t make sense with the after-party being around there; I’m sure there will be tons of people near that ride and it would be too congested to end the race in that area, but I was still hoping!

Well, that is my two cents about this year’s course. I am quite sure all my ‘cons’ will be highly outweighed by the ‘pros’ so I’m not really that worried. I am very excited, and hope they officially reveal this year’s medal soon along with more details about what we can expect to see along the course!

QOTD: What do you most look forward to in a runDisney race course?