Where’s That Six Pack???

20131106-144518.jpg I don’t always do sit ups, but when I do, I immediately check in the mirror to see if my six pack has arrived.

Had to share, made me  laugh. Don’t we all, though? Whenever I have a hard workout, I rush home, rip off my clothes and examine my body to see if it paid off with a six pack or a significantly boosted ass. Then I remember that that isn’t how it works!

Just a couple weeks ago I remember texting my boyfriend after spending what seemed like my entire afternoon working on my “abs,” saying that if I didn’t have a six pack after that workout, I would be absolutely SHOCKED.

Waiting for the results to show is a pain in the butt (literally and figuratively), but it’s all about patience – something that I fully admit to lacking.

Hi, my name is Katie and I have zero patience.

But I am working on it, I swear.

A little over a week ago I wrote about needing to get my act together. I have! My weight is back down to just one pound higher than my lowest weigh-in overall, making me just 5lbs shy of a total loss of 40lbs. My goal is to hit 40 by the new year, but I am not banking on it because I turn into a garbage disposal over the holidays. Wishful thinking!

 

Turn a Setback into a Comeback

I am not at my best. I have had a few “cheat” weekends that I haven’t been able to bounce back from yet and it’s a total buzzkill.

It’s so hard to eat clean and train the way you are used to when you are out of your element! The past two weekends were spent out of town with friends and my boyfriend. Plenty of drinking and unhealthy eating. Suffice it to say, I have gained a few pounds and feel nasty. While I was able to sneak in a hard workout on both weekends while I was away, it wasn’t enough!

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Lucky for me, my boyfriend and one of our friends workout the way I do so they were itching to get to the gym just as much as me. So, when I DID workout, they were killers because I had drill sergeants at my side. But, of course, they weren’t killer enough to cancel out the damage done at all the bars and restaurants.

When I haven’t been out of town, I can’t say that I have done my best to eat well. I mean, I don’t have a terrible diet… I naturally prefer healthier foods (with the exception of nachos. I am always down for some nachos), but I just haven’t tried as hard.

Additionally, work has picked up to the point that I have had more off days than I would like. My job requires a lot of late nights making it really hard to get to the gym AND get enough sleep. I suppose I could take it back to my early morning gym trips pre-work, but then I would be running on 4-6 hours of sleep or less. And as we all know, sleep is just as important as exercise.

On top of that, I pulled a muscle in my hip over the weekend (at least it was from exercise – I think) and am unsure how much running and leg work I will be able to do this week.  I finally registered for the Hot Chocolate 5k and need to be running much more than I have been over the course of the last few months. I still have over a month to prep for it but I need as much time as I can get. The pain I am feeling is indescribable. I can barely sleep on it and walking (stairs especially) is brutal. I have been using a heating pad and plan to ice it tonight.

I know this sounds like excuse after excuse. But hey, at least I recognize it. I know that we all have our setbacks – it’s impossible to train and eat perfectly all the time. While I don’t consider a few bad weekends and a couple of pounds a HUGE setback, I don’t feel great which is reason enough to look at all of this as a setback and use it as motivation to kick my ass back into gear.

Treadmill vs. Nike+

Does anyone know whether the treadmill or Nike+ is more accurate?

20131015-111935.jpgI ran on the treadmill at the gym yesterday and used my Nike+ chip as backup for tracking my time and distance.  Nike told me that I went .21 further than the treadmill did, with my average pace being 8:34 and my best mile being 8:24, while my treadmill mile was 10:26.

I ran until I hit a mile on the treadmill just to be sure that I actually completed the distance I wanted – if I went a little further, great. However, I am unsure which device is more accurate than the other. Because I am training for another 5k (and hopefully something bigger down the road), my times are important to me!

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I’d like to think that Nike+ is more accurate (obviously I would LIKE that), not only because my mile is better but because my time is more in line with other runs I have done. The day before yesterday I ran outside using the chip and it told me that my pace was 8:48 per mile. I have also done other runs using MapMyRun and GPS, and the Nike times are closer to those than the treadmill is.

Now, I am POSITIVE that I was running faster yesterday (treadmill) than I was the day before (outside). This leads me to believe that between my Nike+ and MapMyRun data, the apps are more accurate than the treadmill. But how can I be sure?

Has anyone else experienced this, or have any insight as to which is more trustworthy? I understand that treadmills are calibrated to measure your speed and distance using the belt and that Nike uses the sensor to calculate your stride, but I don’t understand how there could be such a large difference. My brothers who are both runners have always told me that your time on foot will always be better than on a treadmill, but I wasn’t expecting this!

My Precious

20131010-135122.jpgLOVE LOVE LOVE. New sneakers, finally! 

I have been on the hunt for new sneakers for about a month now, and I finally decided to get the pair that I came back to over and over again. I was pretty certain from the start that I wanted Nike Free 5.0. My real dilemma was what color?! There are so many options, I just couldn’t take it! I finally went with the pair that first caught my eye and it’s been a match made in heaven ever since.

Ok, I have only used them twice (I got them less than a week ago and I have been recovering from a nasty cold, OK?!?!), but so far so good!

I have only been able to use them at the gym, though.  The real test will be when I can finally get these babies out on the road for a good run. I’ve done a couple of miles on the treadmill in them but you just can’t tell until you are outside.

I still haven’t registered for my next 5k race in December, but I look forward to training for it in these bad boys!

Back to Running

Ever since the Color Me Rad 5k over the summer, I have seriously fallen off my running game.. something I promised myself I wouldn’t do.

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Well, I have another race to look forward to and it’s time to get back into it! In December, I plan to do Hot Chocolate Run 5k for Safe Passage! The run is in support of an organization against domestic violence. I haven’t signed up just yet, but I definitely plan to.

My brother has done it in the past and convinced me to do it with him this year. And by “with him,” he doesn’t really mean “with him” since he is a beast. The most we will be doing together is drinking the complimentary hot chocolate together at the finish line. Last year, he placed 196 out of almost 3,500 runners… really? (Insert unamused face here). I think it’s safe to say that I will NOT be running with him this year. He will be nothing more than a tiny ant in the distance to me.

Anyways, I started running again this week. I hadn’t run more than a mile since my race (more than 2 months ago) because I jumped right back into heavy strength training as soon it ended. I was nervous that I had lost it.

So, on Tuesday the goal was to do 2 miles after some weights, and I was able to do it much easier than I anticipated! I mean, yea, I struggled a little bit toward the end, but it wasn’t as painful as I envisioned. I also didn’t do it as fast as I would have liked, but what did I expect? Like I said, it had been a while. My boyfriend/trainer said that it was easier than I expected because not only have I been doing .3-.5 mile warm ups before and/or after lifting, but also because a lot of my workouts consist of cardio-type lifts, such as super-setting and drop-setting. So, my body hadn’t fully forgotten.

I have 9 weeks to train. Based on this week, it should (hopefully) be cake – assuming I commit to training regularly!

Workout Log

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I finally invested in a workout log!

I got this gem from BodyBuilding.com, and am so excited to use it! Bye bye scrap paper, hello organization! Every day, I would write out every single workout on a tearsheet – every set, every rep, minutes, etc. They are EVERYWHERE and are never put to good use. What’s the point of logging things when you’re just going to lose track of everything? I used to write everything down on paper and then type it all out onto a shared spreadsheet with my trainer. That got tedious REALLY fast. After months of madness, I can finally have everything in one place without having to rewrite it all.

This is also the perfect fitness diary for someone who does more than just cardio, allowing me to track my progress over time. I will use it to not only keep track of distance/time with my biking and running, but also how much weight I can lift with each type of strength training workout. It even has a section to log your supplements and food intake. Hooray!

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A ‘Quick & Mellow’ Ride

20130916-141903.jpgMy plan was to have a quick and mellow gym visit yesterday. Quick and mellow? No such thing!

I was too sore to lift weights yesterday, and I am pretty sure I pinched a nerve between my elbow and wrist. So, I opted to hop on the bike and get in some cardio. Ever since my 5k training passed, I have been lacking in that department.

I was GOING to ride the bike for a half hour or so, just to get my heart beating and my body sweating. Well, that half hour quickly turned into an hour as I found myself yearning to see how far I could get and how many calories I could burn.

I maintained a steady pace, slipped in a lot of HIIT, heavy hills, etc., and finished my ride at 16.26 miles and 524 calories. Not great, not terrible. The furthest I have gone in an hour is a little under 18.5 I believe. Given the fact that I haven’t done that in a long time… I will settle for 16+!

I was sweating like crazy, my feet were numb and I was walking like a zombie. So much for an easy day at the gym!

30lbs down!

20130913-125722.jpgLook at that slope! I am officially down 30lbs!

I hit this goal earlier this week, but didn’t want to commit to it until I maintained it for a little while.

I wasn’t sure that I would ever see this kind of progress, and I am so happy that I stuck with my goals and listened to the words of encouragement around me. I have had a lot of support, and I owe a big thank you to my boyfriend/trainer that told me I could achieve anything I wanted if I stuck with it and was patient. I was certain that my body was stuck in a rut and often became disappointed when I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. But, he constantly told me otherwise. He has pushed, supported, educated and encouraged me to no end, and I honestly am not sure that I would have been able to get this far without him. That’s a great partner. I am forever grateful and I am truly a lucky gal.

Now to tone up!

Squat Day is the Best Day

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Seriously though. I LOVE squats.

You might think I am a lunatic, but they are easily my favorite heavy lifting workout. I even love them when it’s drop-set day. I might feel like I am going to fall over after I finish all of my sets, but I get over that quickly and fall back in love with them the moment I catch my breath.

The more I squat, the more I love them. Most likely because I am seeing more of a lift and an unfamiliar toning in my butt, and also because it is my strongest lift. I feel much more confident squatting than I do doing ANY other workout.

I am getting really good at them too! I go much lower than I used to be able to. I find myself busting my butt to get it as low to the floor as possible, with a nice big squeeze when I reach the top.

I wish every day was squat day.