Friday, October 22, 2010

ChaLEAN Extreme Round TWO!

Deja vu?


I have decided to do another full round of ChaLEAN Extreme for a few reasons:

1.  I miss it.

2.  I miss the way the program makes me feel.

3.  I'd like to tackle P90X this winter, and I KNOW this will make me stronger in preparation for it.

So, week one has begun and I can already see evidence of how much stronger I am during Round Two. I am having to increase all the weights I used last go around, I can do all the 12 pushups on my toes (well, maybe not all the tricep ones), as opposed to only being able to do 1 or 2 when I started the program back in April.  And Burn Intervals?  Well, that workout kicked my butt last time.  And while it certainly did so yesterday, I was able to complete the whole 45 minutes without stopping.  It took me 90 days to get to that point last time.

It dawned on me today that one of the most prevelant excuses for not exercising is lack of time.

My workout today?

30 minutes.

30 minutes.

30 minutes.

In 30 minutes I did a solid leg and shoulder workout which challenged me, making my legs shake and my shoulder muscles burn.

I realize everyone's schedule is different, but for those of you who said "I don't have the time" back in April, I'm actually wondering if you ever did start SOMETHING.  Anything?  It's now been 6 months.  If time was the issue, what exercise program have you found that fits within your time constraints?

Yes, you caught me.  This is just my cheeky way of asking:

Is the issue really MINUTES?  Or MOTIVATION?

Tomorrow's workout?  26 minutes.

I think I can handle it.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Magic Pill For Weight Loss!

There isn't one.

Do the work.

You won't regret it.

Let's get you started.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Take THAT, Glitches: PB In Da House!

Training went well.

I took this past week off due to feeling sluggish, tired, and just blah.  No problem, though, for I knew I was ready for the half-marathon.  Even through my freak-out fear, I still knew that I had done the work necessary to complete the race, and, most likely, crush last year's time.

And then . . .

Friday night I get a "present".  So yeah, I totally get the weekly fatigue now. As I have some male readers I won't go into detail.  Suffice it to say that the female physical condition which reared it's head the night before my race did not add to an optimal running experience.  (This seems to happen to me whenever I have a race.  Very annoying.)

I went to bed early and crampy.  Only to awaken at midnight to hear the Disney channel on downstairs.  This meant one thing.  George had fallen asleep on the couch and Harper was still partying away.  I stomped downstairs and uttered something about being the only responsible parent.  Harper came upstairs.  George came upstairs.

Harper proceeds to play with Scout in her room.  I shout, "I have to be up at 5:30!  Go to bed!"

Around 1:00 AM, I hear someone climbing the stairs.  It's Zane, who apparently was asleep on the couch.  George had left him there when he came up.  Zane proceeds to climb into our bed.


5:30 AM: My alarm.

Races are stupid.

Well, they are at 5:30.  They cease to be stupid when your friends arrive to drive to the race.  That's when the fun begins, and you remember, once again, why you do this.

It's the thrill of chasing yourself.  Pushing yourself to go further than the last race.  Perhaps it's because you actually enjoy the compare and contrast discussion on the pre-race routine of using the bathroom.  Seriously, we talk that talk.  Runners have serious potty mouths.

For me, this race was all about seeing what the past 6 months of intentional exercise have done for my running.  I have seen glimpses of my progress on the training runs, but I needed to get this half-marathon notch on my belt to see it for real.

This particular race course was BEAUTIFUL.  After debating short sleeve vs. long sleeve (and choosing to go with both), getting there early enough to avoid the pre-race line for the commode (see?), hydrating, and setting my playlist, it was time to set off.

It was hard to Galloway for the first mile, as we were all clumped together, and, yes, I still deal with feeling self-conscious about taking a walk break 3 minutes in, but I stuck to my guns.  When I reached Mile 1, my watch said:  9:18.  WHAT?  Waaaaaaay too fast.  For me.

Only I didn't feel like slowing down.  The course was a steady decline (not really obvious) and on a trail (yeah for crushed gravel), and, frankly, I was feeling great.  So, I did as I've always done.  Walked my 1 minute breaks, and sped up to the point of pushing myself and passing other runners on the 3 minute run intervals.  For awhile I played cat and mouse with the same steady runners, finally losing one who wasn't running really smoothly by Mile 6. Checking my watch, I realized I had just run 6 in 1:01.  Unheard of for me.

I did notice that each mile was getting slower . . . only not slower as in an 11 minute pace - just successively a bit slower at each mile maker.  Mile 7 was 1:12.  Mile 8 was 1:24.  I was slowing down. This concerned me.

However, by Mile 10, I was still ahead of my training pace, only my calf was cramping, and I was beginning to get the "lonely runner blues"- for being a Gallowayer can be solitary venture.  I did see some other walk/runner's, but it was clear we weren't running the same interval's, so I couldn't hook up there.

I also knew by Mile 10 that even if I slowed down, which I did, because I had to, I would crush my 2009 time.  My goal at this point was to get in before 2:24 my fastest time to date from 2005.  My other goal was to have a pace under an 11 minute mile.

And then, we hit the turn to go back into town.  I saw runners above me on the bridge.  How do we get . . .? Holy God, what is THAT hill?  There was this incline, a steep incline leading up to a bridge.  While I knew this meant we were just about done, I couldn't fathom how I was going to be able to take this hill at this point in the race. My legs were fatigued here at Mile 12.  Maybe I could have ferociously tackled this at Mile 8 when my legs were a bit more fresh, but, NOW?

I walked the hill, ran the bridge, walked another small hill to what I thought was the last street before the finish and then gave it what I could.

That's when two things happened:

1) Madonna's "Four Minutes" came on, the timing of which couldn't have been better, for funny enough I think I was about that far from the Mile 13 marker.  It was a total Coldplay moment from my last race.

2) I glanced up to see George, Harper, and Zane a few blocks from the Mile 13 marker.  I was so excited to see them.  I thought they would be at finish line, but truly, I needed them at that exact spot.  They gave me a spring in my step.

As I turned the corner I realized that I could possibly get in the 2:20's, but I just couldn't sprint.  I decided then to enjoy the fact that I had run a PB, as I originally intended, and crossed the finish with a smile on my face at 2:21:38.  10.7 pace.

A few thoughts on this race:
  • Perfect weather, perfect trail, beautiful leaves, rivers, creeks.  It was the quintessential Autumn run.
  • Mile One - I am going way too fast.  Won't be able to sustain this pace.
  • I ran over a squished mouse.
  • This is the country.  There's a skin of some animal.
  • I am totally tail-gating here, but the path isn't always wide enough for passing.
  • I think I have spotted Gallowayers.
  • I need Justin Timberlake.  No, not in that way.  
  • In four half marathon's, I've never felt this good. 
  • I'd like to do a 10 mile race next.  Just to see how hard I can push.
  • Toe feels weird.  Gonna lose a nail.  Sure of it.  Been there before - know the feeling.
  • Where'd she come from?  (Out of nowhere came an older lady who I ended up beating.  I heard her afterwards telling a friend, "I followed that one.  In the pink." I was actually someone's rabbit!)
  • Best smile at a finish I've ever experienced.  "Wow," said the volunteer, "Someone is happy!"
I was.

Upon review I realized the following:
  • 2002 (2:32:24, age 33)
  • 2005 (2:24:32 - the year I adopted the Galloway method, age 36)
  • 2009 (2:28:52, after having not run AT ALL since relaying the Baltimore Marathon in the Fall of 2005, age 40)
  • ChaLEAN Extreme 
  • 2010 (2:21:38, age 41 BABY!)

Find a hard goal and GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Listen, I'm not a fast runner by any means.  The point is, I am choosing to tackle challenges.  Doing so has helped me mentally, emotionally, and physically.

What would you like to try that you have never dreamed you can accomplish?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let's Start At The Very Beginning

Fresh off that fantastic 10 mile run last week, my family flew to Texas for a wedding.

I knew I wouldn't have a chance to exercise while there, and that I would be stuffing my face full of tex mex and wedding fare.  (BTW, the cake was red velvet - not traditional for a wedding, but it was AMAZING).

See, I even plan my binges.

It started at Saturday night's rehearsal dinner where I downed bowl after bowl of freshly fried corn chips, enchiladas, tiny tacos, appetizer after appetizer and, as luck would have it, all you can drink margarita's.

Did I mention that I'm a Team Beachbody Coach?

We returned on Tuesday and I've yet to come out of my stupor.

Overeating affects me so much worse now than it did before I began my fitness journey back in April.  Remember that special day?  Just like a drug, once I've indulged in an over the top manner, the desire for crappy food lingers.  It lies to me, whispering sweet nothing's in my ear as it manipulates me into thinking I NEED it.  Everything that I've worked so hard to remove from my diet begins to look even more delicious.  And yet, I know the truth.

The truth is that I have felt "off" all week long due to my diet.

Only, I've got a half-marathon to run on Saturday.  In a moment of panic I called my husband at work for I've got some serious fear going on about the race - no doubt fueled by the fact that I just don't feel well.

"You are more than prepared, Jo.  You can totally do it.  This should be a rest week for you."

Ok.  Breathing.  Eating clean tomorrow.  Race is Saturday.

On Monday, I'm going back to the beginning.

I'm going to return to that program which first gave me success.

I'm going for Round Two of ChaLEAN Extreme.

I hung with ChaLEAN from April-June.  Starting Monday I will begin Round Two.  From now until the first few weeks of January I will hang with Chalene because I felt GREAT while on that program and I want to revisit that feeling. Especially after this past week.

"Let's start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start.  When you read you begin with A, B, C.  When you lift you begin with Phase 1, 2, 3!"

P90X is still in my sights.  Maybe in late January?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Random Thoughts While Running #4

Remember the movie The Fog?

I do.

This morning I awoke to fog.  Lots of thick fog. No, no, no, not in my head. Ever since I made exercise an intentional part of my life, my inner fog has lifted. 

This fog was the real deal.  I almost grabbed a small clip-on blinking orange light to attach to my shorts for my run, but I figured I'd be fine.

I did choose to take my gloves.  That was a good call.  I can't run with cold fingers.

As I started out for my 10 mile run, I realized that until the fog lifted, I'd have to keep off the actual road and opt for the sidewalks.  If you are a runner, you know that sidewalks suck. 

But, safety first.

So, what else was I thinking about for 1 hour and 52 minutes?
  • My $1 gloves were a fantastic buy.  Where am I going to put them when it warms up?
  • Headlights.  That's all I see.  Headlights.  Nothing else.
  • Fog in the cemetery.  Very creepy-cool.
  • "Oh who would ever want to be king?"
  • The river looks AMAZING with the fog hanging on the top of the water.  Can barely see the barge - that's how thick this stuff is.
  • Gloves off.  Tucked under the hat.
  • Where's Sue today????
  • Justin Timberlake doesn't seem to be running with me today.  He must be cheating on me with Lori Bedell.  Wow.  And I thought we were friends. 
  • Why don't people smile when you pass them?  I know you see me - don't pretend you don't.
  • Are the Miller's home?
  • What's going in that new construction where the workmen just waved to me from the window?
  • Come on!  Don't pretend you don't see me.  At least smile and nod.
  • Those three old guys walk together everyday.  So cute.
  • Jesus is able to reach everyone - only He doesn't communicate with each person in the same way.  Seriously, would He talk with Peter exactly the way He would talk with John?  No. There's a lesson there.
  • Wonder if that is Rob singing the "doo doo's" on "On Saturday".
  • Don't feel as loose as last week - but, I just need to do one more 3 mile loop.
  • STOP!  Niiiiiice . . . moving van.  At STOP SIGNS one stops.  Or, in your case, doesn't.
  • Feel a bit slower than last week. 
  • Not sure what to wear to the race next week, I'm feeling kind of hot since the sun came out.
  • Must get my computer back so I can sync my iPod for next week.  Can NOT run without music.
I finished my run at 1:52:22.  10.51 pace.  Last week was a 10.37 pace.  Not too shabby since I usually run long distances at an 11.00 pace. 

I'll keep the runs shorter next week - a 3 or a 5.  Anxious to tackle this baby on the 16th.

Ok, I'm battling and BEATING my giants.


Monday, October 4, 2010


I'm not trying to hide the truth underneath all my posts focused on motivating you into beginning a consistent exercise program.

I'm not trying to pull a fast one on you by only sharing my personal successes in this particular area of my life.

In all honesty, I struggle too.

It was checkered week for me. Not in a checkered flag sort of way.  More like checkered past.

In other words - not good.

Here's what I planned to accomplish and what actually occurred last week:

Monday: 3 mile run  COMPLETED - ROCKED MY TIME

Tuesday: Burn Circuit 1 NOPE

Wednesday: Turbofire Sculpt or Tone, Body Gospel at FIT CLUB in evening NO TF, BUT DID HAVE FIT CLUB


Friday: Turbofire Sculpt or Tone plus HIIT 9 MILE RUN - MY BEST RUN EVER!!!!!

Saturday: No plan at this point NADA

It was a rough week in terms of MY being motivated to workout.  I had that 9 mile run on my mind and it took over like a virus.  I was nervous about it, stressed about, unsure about it, etc.  I just couldn't wrap my brain around exercising with Chalene while I obsessed about mileage. Thank GOD for Fit Club.  Really.  I had a great cardio workout and core workout with my girls on Wednesday night and needed their enthusiasm last week.

True to form, what's on my mind this week?  10 miles.

What will be on my mind next week?  13.1 miles.

Ok, so even though I've got mileage-brain, I still put together a schedule for the week:

Monday:  Burn I and TF HIIT
Tuesday:  Off
Wednesday:  Body Gospel Cardio and Core
Thursday:  10 MILE run
Friday:  CLX and TF HIIT
Saturday:  TBA

Still looking for an accountability partner??? 

I'm here when you are ready to bring it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Random Thoughts While Running #3

Yes, it's that time again!

The post where I open up and share my not so deep, sometimes witty, completely random thoughts that fly through my mind while on a run with myself.

Coming off my disastrous 8 mile run from last week, I was nervous for my 9 miles scheduled for Thursday morning.  Mentally I was being challenged ("I can't possibly do this."), and physically I was feeling less than energized at the prospect of running for 90 minutes plus.

Thursday morning came, and so did the rain.  As Friday's forecast looked more promising, I decided to reschedule my run, struggling over whether my reason for doing so was truly due to rain, or perhaps, fear.

Friday morning arrived.  Sunny and beautiful.

I drank my morning cup of coffee, and then, thinking that dehydration could have been a contributing factor to my rough go last week, chugged a cup of P90X recovery formula, before walking Zane to school.

After the obligatory fist pump send off my with son, I took a deep breath, and began.
  • I am stinkin' scared.
  • Legs feel good.
  • Just relax, start slow. I started out too fast last week.
  • "And the bass keep runnin' runnin', and runnin' runnin', and runnin' runnin', and runnin' runnin', and runnin' runnin', and runnin' runnin', and runnin' runnin', and runnin' runnin'"
  •  Huh.  Feeling good.
  • Just get through the back road part and you'll be good. Hate running back here . . .
  • It's freaky back here.
  • There goes Justin Timberlake again, telling me I'm his love and junk.  Such a good running partner.  No worries, George isn't threatened.
  • Hey Sue!
  • Hi Eileen!  Oh . . That's not Eileen.  Oops.
  • Wow.  I don't think I could have placed an order for such a perfect running day.  Thanks, God.
  • Why am I feeling so good? I must have miscalculated the mileage.
  • This reminds me of my first 10 mile run when Harper was 18 months old.  Feels that good.  What gives?
  • P90X recovery drink:  the answer?  Or am experiencing a placebo effect?
  • Should I stop at a friend's house to use the bathroom?
  • Seriously, think I may need to go, but if I stop, I may never get going again.
  • "Now I believe there comes a time. When everything just falls in line.  We live an' learn from our mistakes.  The deepest cuts are healed by faith."
  • Hey Sue!
  • Where's my Marleney driving through town when I need to see another friendly face?
  • Wonder how Misty's 10 mile went today?
  • How can I almost be done?
  • "On Saturday . . ."
  • Mileage is for sure wrong.  Crap.  How did I screw that up?
  • Shoot.  I forgot my key and forgot to tell George to leave back door unlocked.  I can always go to Rachel's.
  • Locked, locked, locked, locked . . .
  • Hill's a comin'.
  • Seriously, this is the end of my run?  I feel this strong?  I bet that was only 8 miles.
  • 1:38:09.  No way that was 9.
The backdoor was unlocked, thankfully.  I let myself in, made another glass of P90X Recovery drink, and sat down at the computer to calculate.

9.24 miles at a 10:37 pace.  I was shocked.  I'm not sure what contributed to my loose legs or faster pace per mile, but it was true.  I had just run 9 miles at a pace which was almost 1 minute faster than my usual long run pace.

Which, of course, like a first time novelist, makes me wonder if I can do it again.

I felt fantastic all day and then fell asleep at 9:30 PM.  I have had absolutely no pain or physical stress over the distance . . . but my pillow was definitely waving me in.

Until next week . . .

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What's Old School About Diet and Exercise?

I was listening to a radio program the other day.  The hosts were interviewing a man who had "miraculously" lost 65 lbs "the old fashioned way".  Old fashioned?  What does that mean?

You guessed it:  diet and exercise.

The man "miraculously" lost 65 lbs and was well on his way to losing 100 through the "old fashioned" means of changing his diet and exercising.

Pray tell:


Sorry for screaming, but there is nothing antiquated or miraculous about diet and exercise.  Just check out this Roman mosaic of a young girl exercising with, GASP, weights.

Here's where our thinking has gotten totally screwed up due to a mixture of diet fads promising quick results, magic pills, and, frankly, the idea that losing weight and getting in shape should be convenient and easy.

Ironically enough, while listening to this program, I was headed into the city to lead a group of young adults in a Hip Hop Abs program - one they could barely complete . . .

There is just no other way to say it.

It. Is. Not. Easy.

Fitting in exercise, keeping up with exercise, and the specific exercise itself will never be convenient.  Why?  Because it is easier to blow it off, schedule something else in its place, and tell yourself "I deserve a day off", then it is to actually sacrifice the time and effort of putting your body through the paces.

Even I still fall into the trap.

I know that starting is overwhelming.  I have been where you are.  The first step/squat/bicep curl can totally suck.  It will hurt.  It won't feel comfortable.  You'll doubt you can finish.

But, you need to keep going.

First, decide whether you even want to get in shape.  If you don't, stop reading. For until you want it, until it becomes a priority, then nothing else (including me) will be able to motivate you to get started.

Second, if you DO want to get going, set a goal.  I've asked my Fit Club to attempt one, ONE, pushup on their toes this week.  Want to run a 5K someday?  How about losing that last 10 lbs?  What is it that you even want out of this?

Third, find a workout buddy - not necessarily someone with whom you will exercise (unless that works for you), but someone who will truly hold you accountable. 

Fourth, please get over the idea that this JOURNEY will be a cake walk.  Or that it is old fashioned and there has to be an easier way.  Put forth your best effort.  No phoning it in.

Fifth, let me know what you decide.

Call me old fashioned, but you won't find a quicker way to get the job done.  You will be disappointed in the results.