13 10 2010

Well, one marathon down, one to go.  Last Sunday I ran the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.   Please enjoy the after-before-during montage.

It was 85 degrees.  The course was awesome; fast, flat and lots of cheering.  Oh…I QUALIFIED FOR BOSTON!!!!  Yerp.  3:39:51  9 seconds to spare baby!  I couldn’t believe I did it…considering the heat, the fact that I stopped to pee, and the 5 or 6  times I stopped to walk while drinking.  I was the happiest girl in the world!  (even with the bag of ice on my head).  Now, I feel like the pressure is off for NYC; I can just enjoy.  I ❤ you Chicago!


Treadmill Tuesday

14 09 2010

What up homies?  Aside from the obvious weekend days, I have to say I actually like Tuesdays.  The bullsh*t associated with Mondays is over, Monday night football (in the fall at least) puts me to bed in a good mood, I get the GTL out of the way (maybe just the GL), and mah gurl Jillian Michaels and my (gay?) crush Bob are on the tube.  I’m not a huge TV person (honest) but when it gets colder and I spend more time at the gym as opposed to outside, I like to watch Biggest Loser while on my cardio machine of choice.  That might sound a little sick, but I find that show to be extremely motivating and confidence boosting.  I am definitely going to hell.

I find I cannot *run* and watch TV, but “jogging”, walking on an incline, ellipticizing (total snack-face  verbiage there), or biking make it possible to watch or read trashy mags while gettin’ a sweat on.  Gyms that have the mini-flat screens attached to the cardio equipment are sooo money.  You can just plug-in your head phones and its like sitting at home on your couch, minus the sitting and couch part.  The awesome thing about watching your typical 30-60 minute prime time show is that it makes for great interval training. I try to sprint the commercials and recover during the show.  There’s usually 7-8 minutes of commercials and opening/closing credits in a 30 min slot, and 15-16 minutes for an hour show.  It’s broken up into 2-3 commercial breaks per half hour, plus 1 or 2 minutes of credits, and commercials in between shows (or every 30 minutes).  If you go “all out” during those breaks, that’s a pretty legit work out.  My favorite Tuesday cardio is as follows:

Biggest Loser w/ Jillian & Bob: 8pm-tune in/start time.  This workout is designed for the treadmill, but you can technically do it on any cardio machine, just make sure the interval levels are similar in resistance/difficulty.  A “sprint” should be hard enough that you can’t chitchat with the homegirl (or ja boy) next to you.   The settings/speeds will differ with machines/makes/models, obvs.

Hop on the treadmill and jog during intro credits/recap from last week: 1-2 minutes

Walk on 5% incline at 4.0-4.5 speed setting (about 14-13:30 min miles)

First commercial break (about 7 minutes into the show) Sprint 1-2 minutes, 2% incline (which mimics the incline of  the ground outside) at 7.5-8.5 speed setting (8 minute/7 minute miles  *sometimes I go faster, but this depends on your ability*), gradually increasing your speed into an all out sprint until show is back on. 

When show is back, decrease speed to 5.5-6.0 speed (10 minute-9 minute pace) and slowly increase the incline to 5% again.  Once at 5%, lower your speed back to 4.0-4.5 (14-13.5 minute pace) and power walk.  Pump those arm (don’t hold on) to burn more calories and work your core.

Next commercial repeat the “sprint”.  Repeat this sequence til the end of the show.  I guarantee you will not be bored and won’t even realize the workout you’re getting!

After a few times trying this, feel free to get creative.  Repetitive motions (running) cam cause overuse injuries if you’re not careful or diligent about stretching (I an neither), so it’s good to throw new things into the mix.  Instead of the sprinting, try another lateral or plyometric move.  Some ideas:

  • gallop sideways, switch “galloping leg” every 30 seconds
  • walk/jog backwards! very easy to do on a treadmill since you have the side balancers/supports
  • low shuffle to the side (think basketball drills), switch every 30 seconds
  • Skip! ya’ll know what this is
  • high knees/butt kicks, every 30 seconds
  • ummm, if you’re advanced/have good balance, feel free to try the grapevine (some call it Kareoke) but no one wants to see treadmill roadkill, so attempt at your own risk.

*Please note, the drills above should be attempted on 0% incline and a low speed….slightly slower than walking speed (15mph, 3.5-4 setting) and feel free to increase as you get better. 

I realize not everyone wants to look like a goober at the gym either.  I do this workout often and when I throw in some of the “non-traditional” moves, it tends to raise an eyebrow or two, but I feel like I’m getting a kick-ass workout and it doesn’t really bother me.  Plus, I typically have an ear to ear grin (skipping? common.  It’s a blast!) so I really don’t mind the occasional stare.

Once the show is over, I do walking lunges over to the spray bottle (equipment wipe-down caddy/station) and walking lunges back to the machine (given your gym has enough space to do this) for an extra butt-kick.  If you’re really feeling badass, try this move!

Turn around on the treadmill so the front of your body is facing away from the ‘mill display.  Sit on the belt and lean back until you can reach up and grab the handle bars or whatever is there (the bar/support beam normally in front of your waist when you are running on the ‘mill).  Using your arms pull your chest upward.  If you can do a normal grip, do so.  If not, try a reverse grip.  Stabilize your lower body into a modified reverse plank.  Essentially, you are doing a lying pull-up on the treadmill’s support bar.  Positioning your body in a reverse plank makes it easier  because your weight is distributed differently from the standard pull-up position.  You’re legs add support and you’re using less of your own body weight.  It works your core like crazy too; try to keep you hips up, just like in a regular reverse plank. 


Honesty, this is nothing new. It’s a  lying down pull-up on a treadmill. See…  But you do feel like friggin’ G.I. Jane banging out a few reps after your beastly workout!

I have a confession.  I’m pretty sure rule #1 of blogging is having a camera, albeit a good one.  I have a Nikon coolpix.  Ok, so I have the Honda civic of cameras; I can accept that.  What sucked was when I tried to take a pic of the spread I made for ManCandy and his boy-kins last night for MNF; the batteries were dead.  I fished around the junk drawer for another set of AAs and nothing. Epic fail.  My dins was leftover veggie pizza and a mucho grande salad, but that wasn’t particularly wonderful…presentation-wise.  However, the chips, homemade guac, salsa and cheese & cracker spread I made was relatively impressive for last-minute.  I even had a “treat” bowl full of carob covered pretzels.  Yeah, no dice with the Nikon.  So, on the do-list today is buying batteries.  Sorry I stink at life.  At least now you have a workout for your Revolving Apparatus of Death (so appropriately titled by Gina 

Not to disappoint with the visuals, this is my lover, Ginger.  I love to joke that ManCandy is a “Ginger” (if you don’t understand this reference, please go back to the rock you were under  Take a closer look at his pic….that strawberry blonde hair, peaches and cream complexion….freckles.  He does have soul though. I swear.

So, for now, my two gingers live in shaded (heh, get it?) harmony.

Do you like to watch TV while you workout? What’s your favorite show to watch?

Just another manic monday

13 09 2010

 Yo yo yo.  I woke up late this morning and forgot to snap a shot of my fage (greek yogurt du jour) straight from the carton.  I don’t think I was really missing anything special.  I also woke up too late to “prepare” a lunch.  So, into a lululemon bag went a vegetable peeler, 3 carrots, a honeycrisp, hummus and a whole wheat pita.  Yes, my “lunch” eaten at my desk was no work of art either.  I did peel and cut, but I also dipped straight into the hummus container and sucked Justin’s Almond butter straight out of it’s single serving packet.  I know you are totally questioning whether or not this blog is going to suck.  I swear, the first meals of today have been unusualy weak.  I’m glad I did not photograph them. Instead, I’m putting up a few pics from races, etc. so you get to know a little more about me and my non-trainwreck type of days.

This was from a race a little over a month ago, that’s one of those crazy relay race-through-the night sorta mothers that is essentially a marathon, broken into chunks and alot of down time while other people run.  Our Team ran 168 miles, divided by 6…so 28 miles per person, but that was broken into 3 “laps” of 9.33333 miles per person.  I was the “anchor” which, coincidentally, is synonymous with “running at the worst times”; like, you know, the hottest part of the day and when the sun is rising the next day.  The nice thing was that this race was a huge fundraiser and a lot of “fun” in that “urban camping” sort of way.

Pretty sure that was around 3 or 4am.  Glad I was able amuse myself while waiting for one of my teammates to tag me on.  Oh yeah, it was in August, during one of the many heat waves.  I do not normally rock the Wylie Coyote bandana, but this one was filled with ice and actually keep me cooler while running.  It doesn’t look cool at all…even if it is lily pulitzer.  But I promise you, it will keep you from passing out on a long, hot run.

This is my street in Philadelphia.  Depending on who reads this and where you’re from, Philadelphia is not quite like what the Fresh Prince describes.  Certain parts are super nice and really historic.  My street is still all cobblestone.  I love it, my shoes do not.  My neighborhood is gorge and has the whole 9 yards; trees, a playground, and tourist-y horse-drawn carriges.  However, it also smells 300 years old and there is never any parking. Can’t have it all.  

Well, I hope to have some fun dinner pics for ya, but until then, peace out homies.

Hey Handsome

13 09 2010

Who’s that gentleman I look like I’m about to punch?  Oh, that’s my boyfriend, let’s call him ManCandy.  He probably made a smart-ass comment right before this pic was taken.We live together in a sweet little apartment in the Society Hill section of Philadelphia. He is not vegetarian, nor does he particularly enjoy working out. Runner? Not in this lifetime, hon.  Yet it (we?) works.  He’ll probably appear on this blog often.  Any man who can put up with me doing an on-demand workout at 6 am, one room/cardboard wall away, and not want to drop-kick me is a winner in my book.  He even tolerates all the weird food in the fridge.

ManCandy: “Babe, I think your drink is expired.”

Me:”What drink?”

ManCandy: “This orange stuff.  It looks like there’s chunks or mold or something in it.”

Me: “It’s supposed to be like that.  It’s Kombucha.”

ManCandy: “Kom-whadda?  Sounds like a basketball player.”

Me: “It’s a fermented tea drink. It’s supposed to have a lot of health benefits and it tastes awesome.  Here, try it!”

ManCandy:  “Fermented eh? What’s the alcohol by volume?”

Me:  “There isn’t…it’s like bacterial strains…good ones!”

ManCandy:  “I think I’ll pass on your swine-flu mold tea.”

Ah, true love. He might even read the blog! Xo boo, if you’re reading.

Really? Sexy Vegetables?

13 09 2010

What up blog-o-sphere?

I’m sitting on my couch, drinking a bud, eating pizza and watching football.  Have I mentioned that this is going to be a blog mostly about fitness, food and fun?  Yes, I realize most people would not equate beer and NFL Redzone with the healthiest of lifestyles, but I ran 22 miles yesterday, so there.  I really utilize my “rest day” by doing absolutely nothing.  I try not to take life too seriously.  I can a bit type-A from time to time, but I try to balance the type-A tendencies with things that keep life interesting.  I run marathons, I am a vegetarian, I have a job that is completely un-related to anything I like to do, and oh…I like to party.

I had been thinking about doing a healthy lifestyle blog for a while, and pretty much just decided in the last hellacious miles of my run yesterday, that now is as good of a time as ever.   I’m trying to give up cut down on my vices for the next few weeks before I run the Chicago Marathon, and what better way than to channel my energy into a sweet-ass blog?  I also believe documenting what I eat will make me slightly more accountable, and thus, a slightly better athlete.  After crushing a box of peanut butter puffins in 6 days, I figured starting a foodie-ish blog may curb that sort of behavior.

I love fruits and veggies and eat a lot of them. They’re sexy.  Ok, totally kidding; but many of my favorite varieties are quite phallic.  Sometimes I eat vegan-ly, but I love greek yogurt, goat cheese, and egg whites way too much to ever let them go.  Yum.

I like to run too. I run a lot.  Actually, I love running.  I was a 3 season athlete in high school, played 2 sports in college, and then quit those sports and became a fitness instructor.  After I graduated college and started working for the man, I started running more, since I didn’t have to worry about teaching a 5pm kick-boxing class or a scrimmage.  My body has been kind to me; it allows me to act like an idiot and violate the “rules of training” without too many adverse consequences.  I won my first 5k after going out for a bar crawl the night before.  I don’t stretch or ice like I should and wear 5 inch heels almost every day. Yes, I’ve had injuries and other mis-haps which have made me re-evaluate the way I treat myself, but being active, fit and healthy can definitely coincide with going out and living large.  Hopefully, through this blog, I can show a new perspective on training, being vegetarian, and doin it and doin it and doin it well.

Hello world!

13 09 2010

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