5k Success!

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This past Saturday I ran my very first 5k race and had a blast!

My friend (left) and I were on the road for the Color Me Rad 5k outside of Boston by 4:45am, and were running by 8:10. The course was on the Brockton fairgrounds and was AWESOME. During the run, there are “Color Bomb Squads” that throw/squirt you with paint as you run by. You start off in white and end as a multi-colored awesome mess.

We signed up for it about 3 months ago, and the experience alone was SO worth the $40 donation to the Special Olympics of Massachusetts. In addition to a good time, you get an awesome blue t-shirt with the Color Me Rad logo, a pair of fluorescent sunglasses to keep the paint out of your eyes (super smart idea), a “RAD” tattoo, a paint packet and the race bib.

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There were about 10 heats and hundreds of participants in each. Prior to your race time, there was a stage area set up where a DJ would hold contests, play music and throw paint bombs into the crowd to get everyone hyped up.

During the race, there were 5 “Color Bomb Squads” set up at different points, where they would throw handfuls of powdered paint at you or squirt you with dyed water as you ran by. I went out of my way to run directly in front of the hoses to cool off.

Though I had been training for it, I was still nervous that I wouldn’t do well or that maybe I wouldn’t be able to run through the whole thing. I tend to start too fast, ruining my pace. I surprised myself by running the whole thing and feeling like I could have kept going!

I actually ended up running most of the race on my own, jogging the first half so my friend wouldn’t lose sight of me when she needed to walk, and then finishing a little faster about 1.5 miles in once I did actually lose her. I finished at 34 minutes and some change, which I think I could probably have cut down to about 30 if it weren’t for the jogging or the color stations (where the crowds tend to slow down a little). My brothers, who are both avid runners, told me that 34 was a great time for a first time 5k themed run. Nice to hear!

I am so happy with how I did. Feels good to meet a goal!

I am already thinking about which race I am going to sign up for next! I need something else to train for!

Couples Who Run Together, Stay Together

There are no words to describe the soreness I felt this weekend.

Thursday night: Shoulder weight training, ran 2 miles on the treadmill

Friday morning: 2 mile morning run outside

Friday night: New ab workouts and a 1 mile run on the treadmill

Saturday morning: 2.7 mile run outside

Between being the end of the week, doing double workouts, and running more frequently than I am used to.. my body felt annihilated. I am still recovering! My abs feel like they are being torn from my torso every time I laugh, turn over in bed, sit up… breath. My legs felt like there were daggers jabbing them from all angles. My shoulders felt like they were dislocated from the rest of my body. Basically… a train could have hit me and my body would feel better. Dramatic? Perhaps, but it hurts!!

I went to visit the boyfriend/trainer over the weekend and he did everything on Friday night and Saturday morning right alongside me. Anyone who ran track knows there is a huge difference between sprinters and long distance runners. While I ran long distance, he was a serious sprinter. Before our 2.7 mile run on Saturday morning, he hadn’t ever run more than a mile! Yet – being the natural athlete that he is – he ran it better than I did! Much to my dismay… though I can’t say I was surprised.

20130722-134257.jpgMy legs literally felt like they were going to fall off before we even reached the first mile. They were so shot from having done weight training, a spinning class, and all sorts of running during the week. I even got a charlie horse!

While I had to walk for a few seconds a couple of times, he pushed me through it and talked me down each time. It was so helpful to have someone beside me telling me to push through it, to ignore the pain, and to just tell myself that I was almost to the end. It was the best distraction. If I could have him during every run, I would be ready to run my first half marathon in like a month’s time!

They say that couples who run together, stay together!

Quiet Morning Run

I was SUPER productive this morning and went on a run at 6am. Who am I?? It felt WONDERFUL.

I have the Color Me Rad 5k in Boston this month and I HAVE to step my game up. I have been running at the gym much more frequently than I was at the beginning of my workout program. I have also been running in a park nearby my house on the weekends. However, I am definitely not in 5k shape yet and I am determined to get there, or as close to it as I can!

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I set my alarm for 5:45am, unsure of whether or not I would actually get up. Much to my surprise, I sprung out of bed and was hitting the asphalt at 6 o’clock on the dot.

The air was cool after a lot of rain yesterday, and the streets were empty. It could not have been more perfect.

The route that I took is typically pretty busy, with heavy traffic on a regular basis, and people walking and biking on the sidewalks. I passed one other person and maybe four cars in total. The streets were mine. Excellent.

I only went 2.11 miles but that’s more than any other morning! I only walked for about 1-1.5 minutes which is progress, but I need to push myself to fight through the feeling of wanting to break for a moment.

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There is something totally relaxing about running in the morning. It gives you a time to think and enjoy the peace while preparing for the rest of the day. I definitely need to do it more often. I feel so accomplished and my day has hardly started.

I got home and was drenched in sweat. Just the way I like it.

The plan is to hopefully hit the gym at the end of my work day. It’s supposed to be a leg day, with a few exercises that I have only tried once or twice. Maybe I will even run again. We’ll see how I feel by then.

I lifted how much?!

CHALLENGE NUMERO UNO:

Squats: 155lbs (3 reps); Deadlifts: 135lbs (4 reps)

Last Thursday I gave the squat challenge a try! Somehow it turned into a squat AND deadlift challenge. It was painful and awesome.

A trainer at my gym asked me if I would be interested in completing a fitness test to see what my 1 rep squat max is. This was to be found by squatting the barbell, and gradually adding weight while doing fewer reps, until we reached my 1 rep max.

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Because this was the preliminary test, we spent a lot of time focusing on my form. He made me do a TON of squats with no weight on my shoulders while watching myself in the mirror from the side. I have a bit of a bad hip so getting the form just right was a little hard for me, but the practice definitely helped. I need to focus on keeping my heels flat on the ground and leaning my hips further backward. I did so many free squats that my thighs and butt were burning before I even started lifting.

We started with just the barbell so he could check out my form, then added weight with each set. I noticed that he was increasing the weight in larger increments than I do on my own. While I usually add an extra 5lbs to each side of the barbell with each set, he was increasing by 10-15lbs! With each set, I did 1-2 fewer repetitions. The more weight added, the longer the rest in between.

Again, because form was the primary concern the first time around, we only made it as far as my 3-rep max squat weight. This ended up being 155lbs (two 45lb plates and two 10lb plates)! Prior to that I had only squatted 135lbs. The trainer is certain that I can do about 175lbs. We’ll see about that.

During my workout, I had about 5 different guys that I don’t know stop and watch us work. I don’t think they are used to females in the weight room. Between my sets – I think I was at 135lbs – one came over and said “how embarrassing, I can’t even squat the 45lb bar and here you are doing 3 times that. Impressive!” Obviously this excited me.

After squatting, I thought I was off the hook. But no, the fitness instructor got me again! He asked me what I had next on my agenda and I told him I was going to do chest presses and bicep curls – my normal Thursday routine. “WRONG!” he said. Instead, we set off to see what my max deadlift weight is.

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What I used to use.

When I deadlift, I usually use weights similar to the one on the right. The most I had ever lifted was 60lbs at 10-12 reps per set. For the challenge, we “warmed-up” with the 50lb one, before he said that I had graduated from that style and was moving on up in the world to the barbell that you manually add weight to. The barbell is MUCH longer than the one I am used to, making balance difficult. Scary!

Set one, like the squats, was just with the barbell to check on my form. The three sets after that were with 10lb increases. By the time I hit 105lbs (three 10lb plates on either side) at 4 reps I was BEAT. I was kneeling on the ground after I completed the set and was sure that I COULD not and WOULD not do any more.

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Then I saw him make a Dr. Evil face while removing the 10lb plates and replacing them with a 45lb plate on each side. I’m sure you can imagine how much my eyes bugged out of my head, but if you can’t, this baby’s face is pretty on point. I asked if he was out of his mind. 135lbs?? Are you joking? I know that deadlifts are performed with your legs, but I was exhausted and it isn’t the same as carrying the weight on your shoulders! Gripping that much in your hands is hard!

I ended up deadlifting the 135lbs four times. This is WAY more than I had ever thought I would be able to do. It was more than twice the amount of weight that I have ever done!

I completed the workout with a 10 minute jog on the treadmill. Killer!

Squat Challenge – Accepted!

20130501-144200.jpgAfter a grueling leg workout yesterday, one of the fitness coaches at my gym asked me if I would be willing to give his squat challenge a try. I was surprised and excited to hear that he thought I was one of the only females at our facility that was physically capable of handling a decent amount of weight if I put my mind to it. Now, there aren’t exactly many females at my gym that lift weights at all, but I am still going to take it as a compliment and let it boost my ego a bit anyways.

As soon as I heard “challenge,” my ears perked up. Maybe I should have waited for him to explain what the challenge was before I enthusiastically agreed. But hey, it’s only going to help me!

He wants to do a pyramid workout, where the end result is to see what my one-repetition maximum squat weight is. If I understood correctly, we would start with a small amount of weight – maybe just the barbell, or the barbell plus 20lbs (10 on both sides) – and do my regular amount of reps (about 12). Every time we add weight, he would have me do one less rep, thus ending at 1 rep with my max weight. Based on what I have been doing, he believes that my minimum weight is probably 145lbs, which is already 20lbs more than what I have done so far.

Yesterday I squatted 6 sets of 12, beginning with 15lbs on both ends of the barbell and ending with 40lbs, making my highest weight 125lbs. I probably could have done more if my legs were not already exhausted from my single leg presses. He advised me to begin my workouts with the squats so that I can give it my all, so I will have to try that next time. The rest of my workout consisted of weighted step-ups with two 15lb dumbbells, and a quick 10 minute run on the treadmill.

The great thing about this challenge is that it will give me an idea of just how much I can lift, so that I am not taking a wild guess and starting with less weight than I could be. I am looking forward to it and nervous just the same! He tells me that he has been wanting to work with a dedicated woman to see just how far they can be pushed, but that most people that he has approached are afraid of extreme muscle gain. They don’t trust that the female body simply can’t gain the muscle mass that men do. So, here’s to hoping that the end result is a nice bikini-ready bottom!

 

Bad Katie! Cheating On Myself and Making Up For It

I was bad this weekend. I cheated BIG TIME on my diet and deserve a big ol’ spanking. I know that it is OK to treat yourself from time to time but I more than treated myself and felt absolutely disgusting by Sunday afternoon. Just goes to show that in-the-moment “wants” may not be worth it at the end of the day.

My recommended daily calorie intake is 1,200. Boy did I surpass that. I went out of town for the weekend and because I was staying in a hotel, I ate out for every meal. In addition to eating out, there was an array of wine and cocktails. And you know I enjoy my wine.

On Friday night before my misbehavior ensued, I squeezed in a quick workout substitute for my regular routine. The gym at the hotel was smaller than my freshman year dorm room and was extremely limited, but I made do with what was available. I did a quick warm up on the elliptical, deadlifts maxing at 60lbs (with dumbbells rather than my regular bar), and weighted lunges. Better than nothing, I guess.

I have learned just how easy it is to think that you’re eating healthy by choosing the green item on the menu, only to find that oftentimes… you’re doing the exact opposite! We went to PF Chang’s on Saturday for lunch and I ordered the Thai Beef and Noodle Salad. I knew that it would likely be a little high in calories, especially due to the toppings and the dressing (I usually get the dressing on the side and use very little of it but forgot to ask this time), but didn’t realize how bad it actually would be.

I had eaten about half of the bowl before I thought to check and see what the calorie count was on the MyFitnessPal app. It was enough to make me full then and there. One of these salads totals to 870 calories… GROSS. More than 2/3 of my daily “allowance” in one meal. I don’t use this app religiously – it’s mostly so that I can have a general idea of what I am consuming. I told myself I wouldn’t be a calorie counter. But, I am very happy that I checked before scarfing that whole bowl down.

Those of you who have been following my blog know that I am a sucker for the bad stuff. The rest of the weekend included nachos, wings and burgers. I had a regular salad and a grilled chicken caesar wrap at other points but those unfortunately did not cancel out the aforementioned high calorie meals and appetizers.

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When I got home on Sunday afternoon I was NOT in the mood to exercise. I felt so full, exhausted and just plain yucky from the weekend that I just wanted to veg out on the couch and watch Netflix. But I figured… what is an hour of my time? If I can find the time to watch TV for an hour then I sure as hell can kick my ass into gear and do SOMETHING that gets me on my feet and moving.

This weekend was the first Saturday I had skipped in two months and I would have felt so terrible if I went two days in a row without exercising. SO, with my future 5k in mind, I set out for a run. Well, it was more of a run/brisk walk but I think I did alright for my first time out for the season.

Using my MapMyRun app, I mapped out a route that is just a little further than a 5k. I think I will use it to train for ColorMeRad because it has a good flat:hilly ratio. I went 3.47 miles in 44:19 at a 12:45 pace, burning 511 calories. I reached 3.1 miles (5k) in 40:26. Now, I know that the time doesn’t sound too impressive, but I am not exactly in the best running shape… yet. I imagine that my running mile is probably between 10-11 minutes. Not too terrible for someone who is just getting back into the swing of things! After my run I did 4 sets of 12 push-ups, alternating between diamond and regular.

All in all, I will definitely be paying for my slip-ups this week! I plan to kick it to the next level at the gym. Wish me luck!

Color Me Rad 5k – Boston

20130425-101509.jpgThe Color Me Rad 5k is in Boston on July 27th and I am officially registered! I have not run a race in 6 years.

Eeek!

Check out the race page here, it looks like a lot of fun! You wear white and spectators throw paint on you as you run. By the time you hit the finish line you are multi-colored. Yay!

I have 3 months to get back into running shape. I’m excited to have something to train for!!