Tag Archives: treadmill workouts

I’m So Hungry and How to Keep the Treadmill Interesting

6 Feb

….well, I feel ok right now, but yesterday I couldn’t eat anything at all. I had ice cream after my surgery, and then I made a mashed potato for lunch, and topped it with some 7 layer dip I had leftover from the Superbowl  It was really good, but I could only manage a few bites. 😦

Furthermore, Zach and I had scheduled our wedding cake consultation for 5:00 PM yesterday, so sitting in front of a plate of delicious cupcakes in various flavors when you’re starving and can’t eat is a blessing and a curse, I’ll tell you.

I ended up choking down a few cheese ravioli when we got home.

This morning, I was bound and determined to get a filling breakfast, but all I could imagine being able to manage was oatmeal. It took me roughly an hour to eat it, but I got it all down. I didn’t eat at my desk, like I usually do, so I picked this up from Starbucks for a morning snack:

juice

I love these juices so much, but I can’t usually justify the cost. Since I’m recovering from surgery, I thought I would treat myself.

You may be wondering why I’m at work at all. A lot of people are surprised I made it, but I’m actually not in very much pain at all, and I’m barely swollen. I figured it’s not too strenuous to sit at a desk, and to be honest, I’m probably feeling well enough to get in a run this evening. I’ll see how much food I’m able to take in — I wouldn’t want to exercise if I’m not getting enough fuel!

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Speaking of running, I wanted to talk a bit about the treadmill today. I’m constantly looking for ways to spice things up when I’m on the treadmill which will trick me into staying on there longer.

About a week ago, I got the idea to make up these cards and take them with me to the gym:

cards

Which, in theory was a great idea! But, in practice, I ended up picking “Sprint” and “Run Fast” alternately about 5 times in a row, and I threw them with frustration onto the ground, and ended up just starting at 5.0 and increasing my speed a little every quarter of a mile. That worked out fine, but I was still on the lookout for something to spice up my treadmill workout. The problem I have with most treadmill “workouts” is that they are like work. If my recent obsession with Crossfit is any indication, when I’m working out at a gym, I prefer it to be more like playing on the playground than working out. (Speaking of Crossfit, I haven’t been since Friday. I signed up for Saturday’s class this morning, I can’t wait to get back into it!)

So, as usual, Janae at The Hungry Runner Girl saved me. A couple days ago, she posted a few ideas for treadmill workouts, and this one looked too fun to pass up:

Screen-Shot-2013-02-04-at-8.36.12-AM

It was so much fun, and much better than my measly attempt at a “pick a card” treadmill game. I skipped over the 10’s, because there just isn’t much room at my gym to jump off the treadmill and do anything, haha. I also skipped over a card because I had gotten three “increase incline” cards in a row and once I picked up the next one, I was like, “Oh no.” — but that’s the great thing about this workout. You have 52 cards in a deck, so if you skip one or two, it’s not like you’ll run out of interesting things to do. The very best part of this, is that you pick a card every 5 minutes, do what is on the card and then whatever time is left over, you just go back to a slow jog, so you’re getting lots of recovery even though each card is pretty tough.

Monday's Deck of Cards Treadmill Run

Monday’s Deck of Cards Treadmill Run

I only had 30 minutes to spend on the treadmill on Monday, because Zach and I had plans, but I managed to get a pretty good workout in. I definitely would have kept picking cards if I had the time!

Question of the Day:
What do you do to keep yourself from getting bored at the gym? 

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Wild Wednesday

31 Oct

Today I have some random things to share with you:

Because the weather is frightful due to Sandy, I’ve been doing treadmill runs every day this week. Because I get bored easily, I did a little round up of treadmill workouts that I could find online yesterday:

Fit Sugar’s Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced intervals + a hills workout. 

 

I ended up doing the Fartlek workout from the 4-for-Fall after work last night and it was a killer. I was definitely pouring sweat and huffing and puffing. I ran a fast 2.5 miles and it took just under 20 minutes. That was perfect for after work. I packed my gym clothes with me to work, walked to the gym, pounded out a workout and was home by 6:00 PM. Perfect.

This morning, I did that Pyramid Interval workout. It felt easy at first, but I was definitely feeling it by the end.

I had a relapse of my bad stretching habits. Remember when I told you that you should always stretch after a workout so you don’t end up with sciatica issues like me!? Well, I didn’t heed my own advice and I’m feeling it this morning. After my run this morning, I hobbled home and spent at least 10 minutes stretching it out. I feel a lot better, so I just need to keep reminding myself that if I don’t stretch, I will be in pain.

I had one of the best lunches ever this week. Leftover chili is the best, no? Also, to me there is nothing better than a slice of buttered bread with chili.

 

Also, if you are planning on roasting some pumpkin seeds soon, I highly suggest Mama Pea’s Salt & Vinegar style roasted seeds. Last year, I tried a variety of spice mixtures on my seeds. This year, I didn’t mess with anything other than the winner, they are SO GOOD.

I can’t wait to try this recipe. Tina, at Carrots n Cake, has made it a couple of times with Swiss Chard, and this morning I was about to ask if she thought it would be good with Kale, when I decided to just click on the recipe link instead — turns out it is originally made with Kale! Doh! I’ll be making it this evening for dinner. Yum:

And, finally, Do you think I can get through my half-marathon? As of now, the half-marathon is just under 12 days away. I’m a little nervous that I can get through the 13.265 (I thought half-marathons were 13.1, but ours is 13.265. I’m so annoyed about it, too) mile run, as the last time I’ve run that distance was….well, two years ago when I ran this race! Since my post-vacation training hasn’t gone as planned, the furthest long run I have done is 9 miles, and though I’m a better and faster runner than I was 2 years ago, I’m also having some pain. I’m just really nervous!

Question of the Day:
Do you get nervous before a big race? 

Monkey See, Monkey Do

25 Oct

In case you couldn’t guess, I love reading health and fitness blogs. I get a lot of my best ideas from fitness blogs, and this morning I managed to copycat several ideas from various blogs.

But first, let me tell you about my new outfit:

Cute, huh? Another things you may have guessed about me is that I’m frugal. As much as everyone in the world loves Lululemon, I would never drop $98 on a pair of pants. The outfit above, including the sports bra, cost less than a sports bra from Lulu. The entire outfit is from Old Navy. Have you ever tried their workout gear? My very favorite running capris are from Old Navy. I’ve had them for 3 years and they just now got a tiny hole in the knee, so I thought it was time for a new pair. I really like these, and my favorite part is that they aren’t black. I have a tendency to gravitate to black workout gear, and it tends to look a little goth.

This morning, I wanted to try this Tabata sprints workout from Clare at Fitting It All In:

Thanks Clare!

Holy cow! I tend to have a slower overall pace on the treadmill, mainly because I get bored of running and take it down to a walk more often than I should, but this morning I ended up covering 2.75 miles in the 24 minutes, and I was dripping with sweat by the end:

Jennifer Garner = awesome

(I’m a lot slower than Clare, obviously. I set the recovery pace at 6.0, and the Tabata sprints at 8.0) Alias made the time fly by. The treadmill said I burned _____ calories, and while I know I shouldn’t take that as fact, I do know that usually it takes 3+ miles to have the treadmill say that, so I know I got a good burn in.

After I got back from the gym, I remembered that I wanted to set a base plank time to participate in Tina, at Carrots ‘n Cake‘s 4-week Plank Challenge. One thing I know about myself is that I hate traditional “Abs” exercises, and typically half-ass them or just skip them altogether. Weak abs could be the root of my low-back/sciatica issues, so I know that I need to work on that. One strategy is to do more Pilates, and the other is to work on my core more often in general. We all know that planks are the best core-strengtheners, so this seems like the perfect challenge for me.

The plan for the 4-week challenge is this:

  • Monday: Time Trail (I know, it’s Thursday. I’m slow.)
  • Wednesday: Plank/Core workout (Tina is posting one each week)
  • Friday: Time Trial (try to beat Monday’s time!)

Basically, I’m starting a week behind Tina, but that’s ok. Today I set a base time for myself, an embarrassing 1:27. Tina’s goal for the 4-week challenge is to double her time, so I’m going to set the same goal. Goal: Hold a 3 minute plank by Monday, November 26th. Doable? Yep!

It took forever for me to get this photo, and I think I got an extra plank workout in because of all the photo taking:

Forgetting the self-timer, wrong angle, yelling at a cat….

After my run and plank, I did about 15 minutes of yoga. Not the longest ever, but I got my stretches in.

I drank this Protein Shot after my workout. As you may know, ingesting 10-20 grams of protein after a workout helps your muscles repair and recover, helping you build muscle faster. Since I don’t eat breakfast until I get to work (about an hour after my workout), I’ve been looking for ways to get a protein boost right after my workout. As far as this protein shot goes, it has 120 calories, and the only ingredients are protein isolates, pure cane sugar and filtered water. It tastes awful, but it did quell my hunger until breakfast.

Speaking of breakfast, I again took a page out of Tina’s book blog. I made her “Sweet Breakfast Scramble”— sorry for the lack of photo, but it wasn’t that interesting. I’ve made something similar to this called “Oatmeal without the Oats” I made mine using 2 whole eggs instead of one whole, 2 whites, because I didn’t have a carton of whites and I hate wasting half the egg, and I also used pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice instead of the squash and cinnamon, because everything I eat between now and December 1 has to taste like Pumpkin Pie. This was good and really filling. I only ate half of it before putting it away and saving half for later in the morning.

Question of the Day:
Where do you get your ideas for workouts/recipes? From blogs, books or do you make them all up yourself? 

Extra Sleep = Extra Exercise

2 Aug

I get up at 5:15 in the morning, Monday through Friday, even on rest days. I’m a firm believer that if you wake up at the exact same time every morning, you’ll never have trouble getting out of bed and to the gym.

Yesterday, I broke my rule. I just did not want to get out of bed! I woke up with my alarm, but I just laid there, reading on my Kindle and drifting in and out of sleep for two hours!

I guess I just needed the extra sleep, but when I don’t get up and work out or at least get some housework done, I feel…blah for the rest of the day. So when I got home from work, I was determined to do something productive. So, I put on my workout clothes and went to the gym. I got on the treadmill and did a really hardcore HIIT run for about 20 minutes:

*Typically, my warm up speed starts at 4.0 and goes up from there until I get to about 6.0

I’m telling you what, I was out of breath and very sweaty when I was done with this. I hope you’ll try it! If you do, let me know in the comments below.

After the gym, I made the most delicious dinner: Morrocan Chicken and a simple salad with cucumbers (homegrown, thanks to my friends Shane and Susie), tomatoes, kale, green leaf lettuce and sunflower seeds. I poured Sriracha all over the chicken and Pomegranate Vinaigrette on the salad. It was so good! The sauce for the chicken was so delicious I wanted to drink it.

Not my photo! Photo credit: Whole Living Magazine

I used this recipe  for the chicken. I made a few changes, however: I didn’t use raisins because I’m not really a fan, I didn’t have any white wine so I used cooking sherry, I served it over rice rather than quinoa (because I’m out of quinoa) and I added garam masala because it’s my favorite spice blend. This was a keeper for sure! You should try it. That photo above isn’t mine. I forgot my phone at home today, so my photos are MIA for now. But mine looked quite like that, except the whole dutch oven thing. I really need a dutch oven. I had to cook mine in my cast-iron skillet with aluminum foil covering it.

Keeping up the momentum, this morning I was ready to go when my alarm went off. I decided to hit the pool this morning, for the first time in almost 2 years! I really have slacked off on my swimming workouts, but I think after this morning’s great swim, I’m going to try to add it in instead of a run once a week. Here is what I did:

*The typical pool is 25 meters in length. Olympic sized pools are 50 meters in length.

I swam 900 meters, which is roughly equal to one half of a mile:

Gotta love Google conversions

There is a poster on the wall in the pool area of my gym that says swimming 1/4 of a mile is equal to running one mile. I wonder what that means? Calorie burn? Time? I’m not really sure. I guess I’ll Google it when I’m done with this post and let you know tomorrow!

After I changed out of my suit, I hit the weight room for a few sets of chest and arm exercises (bench press, incline bench press, push ups, barbell tricep extension and hammer curls). I’d say that the little bit of extra sleep I got yesterday morning went a long way!

Question for the day:
How do you know if you need some extra sleep?