Tuesday, April 16, 2013

First Post!


I’ve been working out pretty regularly now for the past 3 months.  This is a pretty big accomplishment for me. I normally would work out sporadically, but nothing ever became a routine. I would get really excited about it at the beginning, but by the end of the second week, would already start coming up with excuses. Now I think it’s actually sticking. Since I’m a crazy list maker and probably the most organized slob you’ll ever meet, I have about 15 google docs with list of potential workouts and tables and charts detailing the workouts I’ve already completed. Lightbulb moment of the day = starting this blog! It probably doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it’s best to keep things all in one place. And since google just decided to abolish my beloved google reader, I’m not really trusting it with my workout docs…

First, I’m going to say that coming up with a name for a blog is HARD. I thought I was being creative until I realized that every name I came up with was being used in many different variations on every potential blogging site there was.

Disclaimer – this blog is mainly meant to record what I’m doing at the gym. I’m also going to include all of the awesome food I’m making, since I love to bake and am becoming a decent cook. Again, its main purpose is to keep track of what I’m doing (slash eating). But if this is at all helpful for anyone starting out a workout routine, that’s fantastic!

To start from the beginning – I am one of the least athletic people you will ever meet. I tried almost every sport in existence during middle school and high school and failed pretty miserably at all of them. This includes track, softball, tennis, swimming, cross country, volleyball, field hockey, ice skating, and probably a few more. I have horrible balance and really slow reflexes. I’m also not at all competitive, at least not with others. This makes it difficult to work out and still have it be “fun.” Last spring I started running a bit with my boyfriend (Joey), and got to the point where I could run 3-4 miles. Then things got busy in lab, and he started running with a friend who is a much faster runner. And became a really good runner himself. Meaning, no more running partner for me…

About 2 weeks into 2013, I decided that something had to change. I had gained a few pounds, and was just miserably out of shape. With Joey’s help, I started going to the gym 2-3 days/week. He helped me plan out my workouts, and I realized that I actually really enjoyed it. Before I knew it, I was training to run a 10k, while doing some serious strength training 3x a week. Now that I successfully completed the 10k (yay me!), I’m going to cut back a bit on the running. Imagine my surprise though, that I actually enjoyed the training. Although I still have a bad habit of telling everyone that “I’m not really a runner.”

My current strength training routine is as follows:
Mondays: kettle bells using workouts from www.kettlebellcafe.com
Wednesdays: different exercises including DBs, KBs, body weight exercises
Fridays: Spartacus workout – 10 1-min stations of different exercises

For my 10k training, I used Jeff Galloway’s training plan: http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/5k.html#10k  
I did my runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. This put me at the gym about 5-6 times/week.

Each day I do strength training, I start out at the assisted pullup machine. One of the first things I decided, when starting all of this in January, was that I wanted to be able to do a real pullup. I’ve been using the assisted pullup machine to gradually decrease the amount of help I get. The cool thing is that I actually see progress. I started out by needing ~130-140 lbs offset (I think the machine is off by about 35 lbs), and now I’m at 90lbs. Once I can do 3 sets of 10, I move down 10 lbs. Joey thinks that I’ll be able to do a real pullup by the summer. I’m going to start adding some exercises to my normal routine that are specifically designed to help with this goal.

I had a hard time finding a 10k race, and actually ended up running the race 4 weeks before the training was finished. I would like to continue training somewhat, and maybe sign up for another race in the fall. But I was pretty darn happy with how I did. Not only did I run further than I had EVER run before, but I did it at a pace that was pretty consistent with every long run I’ve done. The course was 6.3 miles (just a tiny bit longer than advertised) and I finished in 1:02:14, which makes my pace 9:53min/mile. I used the runkeeper app during the race, and it actually said that the course was 6.45 miles, probably only because we had to weave around so many people! It’s amazing how much extra that adds. Using that, my pace was actually 9:40min/mile, which was faster than anything I had ever done, even if my official time doesn’t reflect it.

Lastly, I’ve really gotten into yoga. I tried it out because one of my good friends was doing it really regularly, and I wanted to try something new. I LOVE the girl who teaches the class I go to, and am really enjoying the class. Joey got me some yoga gear for my birthday, and I’ve been trying to go once a week or so. It helps that the instructor is a runner herself, so it’s a more athletic form of yoga. Plus she doesn’t make us “ohm.”

So that’s it! I’m just going to blabber on about the hard workouts I did, and then the crazy amounts of junk food I baked and then consumed in response.