Getting Ready For DC

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Things have been busy the past few weeks.  I’m so ready for summer and nice weather!  A few weeks ago, I was supposed to run 10 miles on the weekend to prepare for the Nike Women’s Half in DC – April 27.  It rained all weekend, so I ran after work on a Monday with Amy.  Looking back at the stats now, it doesn’t look that bad – but it was a bad run for me.  I had high hopes of really pushing my pace and I got so tired.  The wind didn’t help and it is tough doing a long run in the afternoon.  After that 10 miler, I was having a hard time feeling motivated for the race.  Since I PR-ed last year, I really want to again on the same course.

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I started feeling better the next week and had a few good short runs.  The one above made me really happy.  Negative splits after school and it was windy.

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This past weekend, I decided to change my training schedule.  I ran my 12 miler a week early, so I can back down this weekend with 8.  I want to go to the race with fresh legs and I’m going to have a hard time fitting in any long run this weekend with Easter.  I’m still teaching BODYPUMP over the next two weeks, so I need to take it easy.  My gym isn’t launching BODYPUMP 89 until May 28, but I have it memorized and ready to go.  I listened to the music two full times while I ran my 12 miler and did the choreography in my head.  That will make any long run go a little faster!  I really like 89 and the music has grown on me so much.

Besides all of that…

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Baby Bella got her first hair cut!!  She did great job and weighed in at 4 lbs at the vet this past weekend.  She is almost 5 months old (20 weeks today).

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She can finally jump up and down off the couch and chairs.  I about had a heart attack when I looked over and saw her laying on the top of the couch like a cat!! We are so scared of her falling/jumping off the sides or back of the couch so we always keep our eyes on her!!  You can see her playpen in the “piano” room.  She has taken over our house! :)

IMG_2588She LOVES the warmer weather and we spent so much time outside this past weekend.  It was 80 degrees on Sunday!  She loves laying in the grass with a good stick :)

 

Another Snow Day

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So it is very snowy in PA today and we are stuck inside!  Another snow day for teachers and kids and it doesn’t look good for tomorrow.  I started feeling kinda sick last Thursday and by Saturday I knew I had a cold.  I woke up Sunday and felt horrible!! I’m lucky we had off Monday for MLK and today with snow.  I’ve been taking it very easy with exercise and tonight was the first time I really did something.

This morning I tried to sleep in, but couldn’t.  I made some protein pancakes for breakfast and laid on the couch a lot!

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Around 4:00 I started feeling restless and needed to work out.  I was feeling better so I decided to try to run.  I am starting a half marathon training plan February 3, so I am trying to run shorter 2-3 mile runs more often until I start training.

I need to make sure I have BODYPUMP 88 down for this week because we launch on Saturday.  I have it pretty much down, but I wanted to watch the DVD again.  Our gym has gotten a little behind on launches, but I don’t mind.  I ran on the tracks I didn’t want to do and did tracks 3-chest, 5-triceps, 7-lunges and 8-shoulders.  I feel like I have to keep up with chest and tricep tracks or else I loose it and get really sore if I only teach one time a week.  I think the shoulders are crazy hard in this release!

I got 3 miles done on the treadmill over the course of watching and doing parts of the BP dvd.  I finished by doing the Tone It Up Love Your Abs video below two times.  I was tired!

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I’m not sure what I want to make for dinner yet because nothing has really sounded good to me since I’m sick.  I made an orange vanilla smoothie before I took a shower and it was great!  1 large orange, 1 scoop vanilla protein, vanilla almond milk and ice!

Are You Scared of Group Fitness Classes?

I read a lot of blogs.  Right now I have my Feedly down to 40 subscriptions, but I always find myself adding new blogs to read.  Sometimes I forget that a reader might come across my blog through a Google search.  Some people (more like most people!) might not read other healthy living, food, fitness, running blogs like I do.

Since running specifically has not been my main focus in the past few months, I thought I should write about my current obsession… group fitness classes!  My friend Sondra @ Reclaimed Gardening has been curious about group fitness classes, so she inspired this post!

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I’ll admit, I’m partial to Les Mills classes.  If I could have a dream job, it might be catching a plane to New Zealand and working for this company.  I haven’t tried all of their classes, but it is my goal to get to them all.  My current gym teaches almost all of their classes and they are amazing.  They spend tons of money on scientific research and have the best music.  Classes are choreographed, so they will always be consistent among various gyms.  Below is a little preview video of all the Les Mills classes offered in 80 countries!

Click here to visit the Les Mills website to find a gym near you that teaches these classes!

When I go to classes, I bring a yoga mat (most gyms will have a mat for you, but I get sweaty and want my own!).  I also bring a water bottle and sometimes a sweat towel (for spin class!).  That’s really all you need!

Here are the Les Mills classes I’ve taken…

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BODYPUMP is my #1 obsession.  I got certified to teach in May, and I have been on cloud 9 ever since!  This class uses weights (mostly a barbell) to condition all of your major muscle groups in one hour.  If you are a beginner, you should go light on your weights so you can focus on your form and get more familiar with the class.  You always have the option of putting down your weights and stretching it out!  Instructors are always there to help you with your weight selections for each track.  A 1 hour BODYPUMP class always goes in the same order: 1. Warm up, 2. Squats, 3. Chest, 4. Back, 5. Triceps, 6. Biceps, 7. Lunges, 8. Shoulders, 9. Core, 10. Cool-down/stretch.  Come to a class and get prepared to be addicted!!

 

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CXWORX is my 2nd favorite class!  This is a newer class (around for 2-3 years) and it is always a good challenge! CXWORX forcuses on core training in a 30 minute class.  You use a resistance band and a single weight plate for some of the tracks.  I do have my eye set on this class for a second certification to eventually teach.  I am thinking I might go to a training next spring.  There are always modifications for this class, but it can be intense.  There are 6 tracks and the 2nd is always the most intense! Think lots of hovers/planks to work your core muscles hard!

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BODYCOMBAT is an hour martial arts cardio class.  I just started taking this class this summer and it is really great.  I didn’t think I would be into martial arts-style workouts, but I am really getting into it!  The more I go, the harder I push myself and the more calories I burn!

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BODYATTACK is an hour sports-inspired cardio workout.  This class is tough, but there area always modifications.  The instructor will show multiple ways of doing a move, such as a step to step side, adding a bounce or even harder adding jumping.  The more familiar you get, the harder you can push yourself.  I think this class is amazing and my friend Steph got me to try it out.  It is still a newer class at my gym, so it isn’t on the regular schedule.  I’m hoping to fit this in more often because I really enjoy it, and like it a little more than combat.

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RPM is a 45 minute indoor cycling workout, or also known as a “spin class”.  I had tried a regular spin class many times before and I wasn’t a fan.  I’m not sure what it was, but it just wasn’t for me.  At my new gym, they offer only Les Mills RPM and talk about a difference!! I LOVE IT!!!   It has great music, it is choreographed and it is tough!  I love my new gym because they have a separate spin room with the bikes already set up.  They also dim the lights for class.  At first I had no idea why they would do this, but it lets you feel less self-conscious.   When I am pushing myself, sweating like crazy and making ugly faces I know the dimmed lights let me hide a bit :)  I think spin is an excellent beginner class.  You are on a bike and you can pick the back row.  The only person that will see you is the instructor.  You put in the effort, you get a workout.  If you are newer to fitness, you can take it easy and get used to the class.

I still need to try BODYSTEP (a step aerobics class) and the brand new GRIT classes.

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A few of our gym’s instructors just got certified to teach GRIT, so I will be able to try it out soon.  It looks intense, but I’m excited for it.  I mentioned in a previous post that they got the new Les Mills SMARTbars for this class and they look so pretty.  Can a barbell look pretty? I guess to me they can!

If you are still worried about going to a class at the gym, google it!  You can find tons of information on the internet about classes.  Tons of people blog about their experiences taking and teaching these classes.  You can also find tons of videos on YouTube that can give you a better idea of how a class will be.  I’ve also pinned lots of videos on my Pinterest that you can look at too!  There are other classes besides Les Mills (gasp!) at gyms you can always try out too!

Do you take group classes at the gym? What do you like??

 

Winner, Gym Gear, Launch and Beach Weekend

From my Spartan Free Race Giveaway, the winner is…

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Woo hoo!! Visit Kari’s blog and hopefully she will post about training for this race!!!  There is one in Philly in September, so you can sign up for that one Kari!!  Congrats!!

I’m guessing I didn’t have that many people enter to win this race entry because it is intimidating? Crawling through mud scares you I guess!  I was a little bummed that I didn’t have that many people enter, considering those race fees are pretty expensive (around $100).  That’s okay, I’ll have to have Kari write a guest post when she does the race!  If you’ve changed your mind and are interested in the Spartan Races, click here for a 15% discount when you sign up!

So for my other random topics in this post, let’s talk about my gym bag…

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I saw this bag at Target on sale a few months ago and bought it for the gym.  At first, I didn’t like that there were no pockets but it has been really great.  I do take my own 5lb weights because they have the open sides that make it so much easier to hold when I teach triceps and shoulders.  Our gym has the older model plate with just the center hole, but they just got 10 new SMARTbars!!  If you are not a Les Mills person and have no idea what I’m talking about, you can look at their website here.  Basically, it is their new bar with awesome weights that slide on and off and have better hand placement for holding the plates.  Our gym is going to start teaching Les Mills’ new GRIT class, so they will be using these bars.

My workouts have been very great this week, there just hasn’t been a lot of running.  It was really nice out yesterday (under 80 in the morning!) so I ran 4 miles with Colby.  I have been to the gym a lot this week teaching pump and taking spin class.  I love spin class now!! RPM is a Les Mills class and it is so much fun!  I also swam laps at the pool this week too!  Here is my workout log.

Our gym had to wait to launch the new Les Mills releases because of GRIT training, so our launch party is tomorrow morning!  I am so excited to teach tracks 1-3 for BODYPUMP and take the new CXWORX and COMBAT classes!

We will be launching BODYPUMP 86 and here is a video that shows a sneak peak of each track.

Has anyone used Strava yet?  Colby told me about it the other day and I signed up.  I haven’t really used it yet, but I was wondering if a lot of people use it?  Here is the website for more information.

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Last weekend, we went to Ocean City, MD for a quick trip to the beach.  It was a little windy at the beach, so after a few hours we decided to lay out at the hotel pool.

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