Monthly Archives: December 2011

5K Speed Training: Week 8

Here’s how my final week of Higdon’s 5K training program panned out.

Monday: 3 mi run + strength training + Ab Ripper X + 12 Days of Fitness Challenge
Today went well and I was able to complete all of the workouts I had planned. I ran 2.85 miles, I did my strength training, I did day 5 of the 12 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge, and I finished my day with Ab Ripper X. I was exhausted when it was all said and done but well worth it!

Strength training:
squats 3×15 
seated band row 3×12 
curl to press 3×12 
calf raise 3×15

Day 5:
100 jumping jacks
2x 1 minute planks
3 sets of lunges (10 each leg)
4 sets of 30 sec jump rope
5 burpees 

Tuesday: 30 min tempo + 12 Days of Fitness Challenge
I was exhausted today and my body was screaming for a rest so that’s what I gave it.

Wednesday: 2 mi run + strength training + Ab Ripper X + 12 Days of Fitness Challenge
Today’s run almost didn’t happen but I got it done. As for everything else… fail. Officially fell off the 12 days of fitness wagon

Thursday: rest 12 Days of Fitness Challenge
I planned on catching up on the 12 days and doing the days I missed plus today’s but yet another fail. Life certainly likes to get in the way! I managed 175 jumping jacks and that was it. :/

Friday: rest + 12 Days of Fitness Challenge
Finally managed to do Day 6 today. Only a couple of days late but I got it done. 

Day 6:
100 jumping jacks
2x 1 minute planks
3 sets of lunges (10 each leg)
4 sets of 30 sec jump rope
5 burpees
6 toe touchers (abs)

Saturday: Run For New Life 5K + 12 Days of Fitness Challenge
Race report here 
Exhausted = no other workouts 

Sunday: rest
Today’s “rest” day was filled with house cleaning and laundry. Fun, fun, fun! 😉

And this completes my 5K training program. Things were adjusted along the way due to an injury and life in general but I’ll say I’ve definitely improved my 5K speed. 😉 My first ever race  8 weeks ago was done in 35:28 and my finishing time yesterday was 28:21; that’s a difference of almost 7 minutes! Awesome!!

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Run For New Life 5K

The Run For New Life 5K is a race dedicated to honouring and celebrating the lives of children lost through miscarriage, stillbirth, & newborn death. I ran today’s race in memory of our twin boys we lost in 2007 and all the precious miracles who were taken too soon from various friends & family members.

This was the 2nd year for this race and it was very small compared to what I’ve participated in so far. There were 29 runners and 19 walkers who took part in this event. I actually really enjoyed how low-key it was. It was nice to have room to breathe at the starting line unlike the Jingle Bell Run last weekend.

A particularly bad night w/ our youngest and the fact that it was pretty cold & windy outside meant that I went to this one without my cheerleaders (and photographer, so no pictures 😦 ). The race was literally a mile from the house so I got there at the last possible minute. I think I reset my alarm three times before I finally convinced myself it was worth it to get out of my warm & cozy bed and run in the cold. I was this close to saying eff it and staying under the covers but I’m so glad I talked myself out of that crappy idea. By the time I rolled out of my bed, I had enough time to get dressed and head out the door.

I got there 15 minutes before race start time and there weren’t many people there. I didn’t know how many people were going to be participating so it surprised me that there were so many parking spots left. haha I pinned my # on, got my iPod going and headed around the parking lot for a quick warm up and followed that with some dynamic stretching. As I finished stretching, we were told to head over to an area in the parking lot where the starting line would be. Talk about good timing! We headed over there and waited probably a good 5 minutes. It was cold! I started to wish at that moment that I had some gloves with me. A wish that continued throughout the run. One of the race organizers came over and said a few words, said a prayer and we were off. The route went through a neighbourhood with several hills and I was surprise none of the hills really bothered me. There was a rather large hill near the end of the race and I flew through that one as well. Guess it pays to live in an area with hills. 😉 I followed a woman the entire time and owe my pace keeping to her. I was running out of juice near the end and she did get away from me but I still pushed and didn’t give up my position. I crossed the finish line in 28:21. Yes, 28:21!!! I have a hard time believing I ran a 9:08 pace when the fastest I’ve run in a race thus far was 10:03 and that makes me doubt the course was long enough. I really hope Santa brings me a Garmin Forerunner for Christmas so that I don’t have to wonder how long a race (or run) was again.  But, I digress… I came in 9th overall and placed 1st in my age group. It was hard for me to accept at first given that the distance may not have been a true 5K but I was reminded that, length of the course aside, I was still the fastest in my age group and I deserved my award. I received a certificate for a free one month membership at a local Gold’s Gym. I’ve never been a member of a gym before so I’m both apprehensive and excited about taking advantage of it. I think I’ll wait a few months for the membership inflation due to New Years Resolutions to die down before I go.

This was my last race for 2011 and I’m ready to start the next chapter in my training. I have a post in the works regarding what’s next for me so keep an eye out for that. 🙂

5K Speed Training: Week 7

Monday: 3 mi run + strength training + Ab Ripper X
Life got in the way today for a run. I did a strength training workout with resistance bands at 11pm while watching Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead. I was too tired to do Ab Ripper. Ugh, I really need to get my shit together and find where my motivation’s hiding. I need to make my workouts and making better food choices a priority again.

squats 3×15 
seated band row 3×12 
curl to press 3×12 
calf raise 3×15 
push ups 20

Tuesday: interval training; 8 x 400m 40 min Tempo
I did week 6’s tempo run today (my speed work is a week behind because of the ankle injury a few weeks ago). Since I didn’t really need to keep track of distance with the tempo run, I decided to save gas and I skipped going to the track and ran around my neighbourhood instead. I did 10 minutes of slow jogging, followed by 20 minutes of fast(er) running, and I finished it off with another 10 minutes of slow jogging. I felt great throughout the run and it was a nice change from Sunday’s run. It was in the low 50’s, sunny and pretty windy but nothing I couldn’t deal with and it actually made the run quite comfortable. I covered 3.36 miles in 37:46.

Wednesday: 3 mi run + strength training + Ab Ripper X
I let life get in the way once again and didn’t accomplish any of the workouts I wanted to do. :/

Thursday: rest or run
After yesterday’s fail, I knew I needed to run today. It turned out to be another great run! I ran 2.79 miles and ended up with a pace PR (10:19). I didn’t feel like I was working really hard and I wasn’t huffing and puffing or anything like that so I was really surprised to see I had run that fast. Awesome! I did start to cramp up near the end and my stomach hurt when I was done so clearly I was pushing myself harder than I thought I was.

I also did a strength training workout with resistance bands.
jumping lunges 75 
deadlift 3×15 
lateral raise 3×12 
overhead tricep extension 2×12 each arm

A friend posted about a 12 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge so I decided to take part in hopes that it will keep me motivated and get workouts done. Day 1 was 100 jumping jacks so I did that and finished it off with Ab Ripper X. All in all, a very productive day. 🙂

Friday: 5 mi run rest
I have a race tomorrow so today probably should have been a rest day. However, I joined fellow blogger Tall Mom on the Run’s challenge to run at least 1 mile every day throughout the month of December. So, I laced up and headed out for a quick 1 mile run. Since I was covering a third of the distance I normally do, I figured I would challenge myself and see how fast I could run the mile. I gave it about 85-90% of what I had because I didn’t want to burnout before I complete the entire mile and I ended up doing it in 9:42! Pretty awesome and surprising that I could actually run that quickly. 😀 

I also did Day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge to complete my “rest” day.
100 jumping jacks
2x 1 minute planks 

Saturday: 7 mi run Jingle Bell Run 5K
Great race!! You can read my race report here.

Continued the 12 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge with Day 3 today.
100 jumping jacks
2x 1 minute planks
3 sets of lunges (10 each leg)

Sunday: rest
Day 4 of 12 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge
100 jumping jacks
2x 1 minute planks…I couldn’t last that long today. I did 1x 45 seconds and 1x 30 seconds. Figure that’s better than nothing!
3 sets of lunges (10 each leg = 60 total)
4 sets 30 sec jump rope

Jingle Bell Run 5K


Before I get to the race report, I’m going to share my festive running attire for today’s race with you all.
From head to toe:

Santa hat; courtesy of the $ store 😉

white & red long sleeved running shirts; courtesy of Old Navy (got them on sale a couple of weeks ago… $6 ea, reg. $14.50 ea)


Pet hat & necklace; courtesy of the $ store. I saw these and knew I could use the “necklaces” as “bracelets”.


Perfect!


Red sparkly skirt courtesy of Team Sparkle


Candy Cane stockings/knee highs that I found on Amazon.com


Finished product: I received tons of compliments and inquiries about my skirt 🙂


We left the house almost a half an hour later than I had planned on leaving. Guess that’s what happens when you have kids but luckily the race was about a half an hour away so I was still going to make it on time. We got there at what seemed like a good time as we were able to find a parking spot right away. The small parking lot we parked in was full by the time we left the car not even 5 minutes later. We made our way to the pavilion where participants were picking up their racing packets. I got in the long line and waited, and waited, and waited. Once I got closer to the table where the packets were, I realized what the hold up was: disorganization!  This was their 20th year doing this run so one would think they’d have their system down by now. There were three women at the table and, instead of having a designated area (one or two of the women) for pre-registered participants and one (or two) for those registering on race day, we all had to wait while people signed up for the race. Not only that, but the women at the table were scrambling and clearly flustered with their crappy set-up. When it was my turn, the woman in the middle crossed my name off the master list, the one on the right gave me my number and looked through boxes to get my shirt. When I thought I was good to go, one of them asked (can’t remember which) if I got my bag yet and I responded with “no” and they both bent down to get one for me. Good grief! Put the bib, shirt (you register your shirt size so this is completely doable) and everything in the bag with the name on the bag or something. Or have an assembly line type of deal going on that isn’t all over the place and makes sense chronologically. As if a SLOW & disorganized pick up wasn’t enough, I was really irked when I discovered I only had three safety pins in my bag for my bib. It wasn’t a huge deal as three pins worked fine but I was already irritated so you know how that goes. After it was all said and done, it was almost race time and there was no time for a real warm up.  Ugh. I did some quick dynamic stretching and, within 5 minutes, it was time to start. Before I continue, I realize we left a lot later than I had planned to, but we still arrived there with a half an hour before race start time and I figured that would have been plenty of time to get things and do a warm up/stretch before the start.

I left my husband and kids and made my way through the crowd of runners getting ready near the start line. They played the Star Spangled Banner, said a few words and we were off. I took off a lot faster than I have in previous races. I guess a part of me was sick of being conservative in fear of burning out too quickly and, after having such an awesome week pull of PRs, I wanted to see what I was made of. I’ll be honest, there were a few times I was ready to stop running but I found people to pace with and pressed on. Eventually, I was passing the people I was using as pace buddies and kept on going. The more I ran, the stronger I got. It was strange but awesome.

Today’s race was a 5K, a 10K and a fun dog run as well. It was fun to see the dogs and various costumes as I made my way back toward the finish after the mid-point u-turn. Thinking about it now, perhaps the anticipation of what I was going to see next also kept me going today. As I neared the finish, I could barely see the timer (I’m blind! lol) but I thought I saw something in the 20’s. Adrenaline went through my body at that point and I found a pocket of energy I didn’t know I had. I started to speed up little by little and then I saw the timer and it was 30:xx. Oh yeah, I had it! I really picked up speed and sprinted as I neared the finish line. My watch read 31:13 when I stopped it right after passing the finish line. Holy cow! I was ecstatic!! I found my husband and made my way toward them and started to gulp my water. My husband informed me that he missed his photo op of my finish because I came in earlier than he (and I) expected. haha! He was helping our son with something, happened to look up and there I was past the finish line so he snapped a few pictures.

Missed finish: You can see my Santa hat above the photographer

Making my way toward my groupies


We hung out for a bit while I hydrated myself and waited for the results to be posted. When I left, the results said I crossed at 31:12 (PR) (10:03 min/mile; also a PR) and was in 147th place overall. The official results show the same time, 145th/346 runners in the 5K and 15th/25 in my age group. The first, second and third place winners in my age group finished in 23:51, 23:55, and 24:34. Dang! I have a lot of work to do if I ever want to medal around these parts!

All in all, it was a great race. The weather was perfect and I didn’t overheat with my festive attire, which was a concern of mine. The only issue I had was my Team Sparkle skirt rode up my waist as I ran. Their sizing is weird and they say to go by hip size because of the way they’re made. I have very large hips/butt compared to my small waist and I followed their guideline and got a large. I now wonder if I could have done away with a medium instead. I’ll have to test out a medium in the future and see how it works in action.

Looking back at all that I’ve accomplished since my first 5K seven weeks ago, I am very proud of myself. Hell, looking back at all I’ve accomplished since I started running (C25K) four months ago (TODAY! holy cow, just realized that!) makes me feel awesome. I’ve managed to take of 4:01 off my first 5K time, shed inches from my body, and, though I can’t quite see it yet, replace fat with muscle. Along with continuing to improve my physical fitness, my next goal is to run a sub-30 5K. I can do eeeeet!!!

12 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge

A friend posted about a 12 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge tonight and I decided to take part. It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling with getting things done and staying motivated lately so I hope that this will help push me in the right direction.

Day 1:    100 jumping jacks
Day 2:    2x 1 min planks
Day 3:    3 sets of lunges (10 steps each leg)
Day 4:    4 sets of 30 sec jump rope
Day 5:    5 burpees
Day 6:    6 toe touchers (abs)
Day 7:    7 perfect pushups
Day 8:    8 calf raises
Day 9:    9 ATG squats (ass to grass)
Day 10:  10 bicep curls (each arm)
Day 11:   tricep dips
Day 12:   12 mountain climbs

**The first day you only do the first day. The Second day, you do the first & second; the third day you do the first, second and third, etc.. Who is in??