Friday, October 25, 2013

Spicing Up Your Workouts

My workouts this week have been amazing! I have been excited to do every single one that I had planned. As a runner, I think it's extremely easy to become bored with your routine, especially when we're training for an event. Everyday, day in and day out, we run. As much as I love running, it becomes sort of like a chore when I'm seriously into my training.

30 degrees outside? Too bad. Suck it up.

Raining? You ain't made of sugar.

Windy? Bring some chap stick.

Oh, so you're tired? You can sleep when you're dead

(haha. I may have gone a tad bit overboard on that last one.)

The point is, sometimes we need to switch it up a bit. Not only does it mentally recharge you, but it's better for you physically. If you don't challenge yourself, if you're afraid to feel uncomfortable, you're body is never going to change. You're never going to get faster, or lose those last 5 lbs, and you might end up with an overuse injury. (Lord knows I've had enough of those)

So I'd thought I'd give you guys a look at what I've been doing this week. How I've been switching it up, and why I'm having so much fun.

1. Run on a new course. I think this has to be one of my favorite ways to change up my workout. I usually run on the Indian Head Rail Trail, which is great. It always has traffic. It's close to home. It has porta potties and water fountains.....but it's a straight line. Seriously? Do you know how mentally challenging it is to run in a straight line for an hour? Sometimes I'm just not up to it, so Sunday I headed somewhere knew. I went to a new park, Smallwood State Park, and ran on the trails there.

My glutes were definitely a bit sore after doing those steps twice through.

Not only does running trails keep you constantly engaged (if I lose focus for a second I WILL eat dirt. Or slam a shoulder, skin a knee, you get the idea. I've done it enough times) but it was much more challenging then 3.5 miles on the pavement would be. There were hills, turns, declines, grass, gravel, dirt, etc.

2. Take a class. After my trail run on Sunday I headed to a 90 minute yoga class. Yoga is SO beneficial for everybody, especially runners though! We are so hard on our bodies, we need to give it a little relief. Even though I know this, I don't stretch as much as I should, or focus on my breathing (I think most runners are guilty of this). I HAVE to force myself to go to class to get it done most of the time. I always walk out of there feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to conquer some shit.

3. Pick up some weights. Seriously. As strong as I feel running, I feel even stronger by doing weight lifting. I've really been focusing on weights for the past couple of months and I'm really starting to feel/see a difference. Plus, it's always a plus to walk over the free weight rack, with all the men surrounding it, and feel like you're just as bad ass as they are.

4. Do a speed workout. Most people hate doing speedwork. It's hard, it's uncomfortable. It may not last as long as their normal run. However, it's a necessary evil if you want to improve. You're legs are not going to learn to turn over quickly unless you force them too. Thursday's workout for me was 400s. I did a mile warm up, 4x400s (with an active recovery 400 in between each) and a .75 mile cool down. I finished with enough time to really focus on some foam rolling and stretching (things I'm usually lacking on).

5. New music. This one is pretty self explanatory, and I feel like the majority of people already know this, but it's worth stressing. I am a HUGE music fan and blasting some new tunes in my ears always get me pumped. I'm a Pandora user, so you never know what's coming and it's a great surprise.

I've been loving the Rise Against Station recently....
And just because every blogger loves food, I'll share a picture of today's lunch. I went to Truckeroo and had Korean BBQ for the first time.
Delicious Bolgogi taco with Spicy Kimchi Slaw.
I may have also had an Indian veggie empanada and some cappuccino crunch ice cream that I ate to quickly I forgot to take a picture of:-D
How do you spice up your workouts?
Ever had Korean BBQ?
Do you go to food trucks? (It's a huge thing in DC these days)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Girl Obsessed.

Did you know that the crappiest weather really is the best to run in sometimes? Today brought chilllllly temps (especially compared to the 90 degree days we had this weekend) and sprinkles of rain all day. I wasn't looking forward to rushing outside and getting my run in.

But I should have been.

As soon as I started running I knew that I was stupid for trying to avoid it. It was one of the best runs I've had in a few months. While it was only 3 miles (wish I could have done more but baby girl had a 2 hour early dismissal today) it felt AMAZING:-)

Oh hello negative splits, it's nice to see you again.
I told myself that my last mile was going to be sub-8, just for shits. I could have done it, but I'm glad I didn't push myself too much. I need to remember that I'm not training for anything these days. I'm running just because I love to run.
I'll save the sub-8 and 7s for my next 5K;-)
After my run I did 20 minutes of ankle weights and resistance band work for the bootay.
I don't know what has been going on with me recently, but my hunger is out.of.control. Seriously. It's almost burdening. I mean, I allllllways have a healthy appetite, but recently it's been crazy. Time to check myself.
Perhaps it's all in my head though, and I just want to fill up on these goodies while I can.

Best Greek Yogurt Ever.

These pita crisps are AWESOME. Combine that with a pumpkin ale (who doesn't crave salty carbs with their beer) and you've pretty much entered.
What can I say, I'm a girl obsessed. And that's just 3 of the pumpkin treats currently in my kitchen. I'm not going to show you the pumpkin cereal bars, pumpkin ice cream, and pumpkin granola.
People say that they gain weight during the holiday season. Screw that. I'm about to put on 10 lbs of strictly this delicious, orange, fall gourd.......
You know the scene in Willy Wonka where Violet turns into a blueberry. Yeah. It's going to be just like that.