Marathon Weekend!

Hello!
This weekend was crazy! I had a bunch of friends visiting from out of town which was really fun ๐Ÿ™‚ Then today, Burlington exploded with runners for the Key Bank Vermont City Marathon! It’s one of my favorite days of the year because everyone comes out to cheer whether they know someone running or not.
There are lots of options as far as being involved in the race. If you don’t want to run a full marathon, there are two relay options; a two-person team where each person gets to run a half-marathon and a 3-5 person team. So regardless of how far you like to run, there’s a place for everyone in the marathon! I usually end up on a relay team but this year I was just watching.
My dad ran the whole marathon (at 63 years old!!) so my whole family was there to cheer him on. Unfortunately, the weather was less than ideal for a race…a high of around 50 degrees and raining for almost the entire time…but that didn’t seem to slow people down!

So between visiting with friends and watching an exciting race, it was a pretty busy weekend!

Now, I have a new workout to share today that gave me that whole-body sore feeling when I woke up this morning so I’d say it’s a keeper.

I called it the AMRAP Workout because your goal is to do as many reps as possible of the two sets of moves that I put together.

AMRAP Upper Lower

I started the workout with a 5k on the treadmill as a warm up.

So, to begin the AMRAP Workout, set a timer to 10 minutes. Starting with the lower body set, complete the indicated number of reps of each move without taking a break between moves. Once you have done all of the lower body moves, start gain from the top of the list and keep on going in this pattern until you reach ten minutes. Once the ten minutes are done, reset the timer and do the same thing with the upper body moves!

It’s fun to compete with yourself and try to complete as many rounds as you can ๐Ÿ™‚

Because it’s kind of a race against time, it takes your mind off of the workout and makes it actually go by really fast!

I ended up feeling like I neglected my abs after the workout so I did some planks and v-ups after.

As always, let me know if you try the workout and how it goes!!

Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day weekend!!

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Filed under AMRAP, Burlington, Lower-Body Workout, Marathon, Upper-Body Workout, Weather

Back from “Vacation” and a Hike Review!

Hello!
I have just returned from a week-long trip to Canada! Since I knew I wouldn’t be going to the gym all week, I decided to take a break from blogging while I was away. I figured peopleย probably didn’t want to read about my short 2+mile runs around the neighborhood where I was staying, followed by sitting in a hot tub and doing little-to-no strength training besides a few sit-ups…

Before I get back into regular “fitness-talk”, here are a few pictures from my time away!

KittyOne of my cousins’ playful kitties

Kitty2Another cute lil’ kitty! This one is my boyfriend’s parents’ cat.

photo 2And his parents’ dog; playing fetch ๐Ÿ™‚SalasAnd a verrry tasty salad made with romaine lettuce, red cabbage, chopped up dried dates, sliced almonds, and grilled chicken. It was pretty good!

Alright, today I have a hike review for you. My boyfriend went on our first hike of the year yesterday and it was such a nice hike that I thought it was worthy of a review.

Mount Abraham
Location: Lincoln, VT
Parking: Take route 116 north from Bristol or south from Hinesburg and turn onto Lincoln Road, which turns into W River Road. About 2 miles after turning off 116 onto Lincoln Road, there is a fork. Stay left and turn onto Forge Hill Road. Stay on Forge Hill Road until the next fork where you will take the right fork this time by turning onto Quaker Street. Immediately after turning onto Quaker Street, you will see Elder Hill Road on your left. Follow this road all the way to the end until you reach the parking area and the trail head. There are signs for Battell Trail once you turn onto Elder Hill Road so it is pretty easy to find the parking area.
Distance: 2.75 miles from parking lot to summit (5.5 miles round-trip)
Difficulty: 6.5 out of 10
Description: The trail starts out with gradual incline for about the first 0.5 miles with plenty of switchbacks to keep it from getting too steep. There are two small bridges at the 1.0 mile mark, which makes for a nice “One mile to go!” marker on the way back down. I’m sure this will be cleared up soon enough but yesterday, right around 1.8 miles or so, there was a large tree across the trail. We chose to go around it on the way up but found it much easier to just climb through it on the way back down. At around 2 miles, you will come across the Battell shelter where you are able to stay the night if you choose to. It’s just a lean-to so I would recommend bringing a tent to set up so that you don’t get attacked by mosquitoes. Veer left at the shelter to continue up 0.8 miles to the summit! This is where the trail gets steeper and at about 2.4 miles, the trail turns to rocks and gets technical. If you have poles, I would recommend bringing them on this hike because they are very helpful on the way back down the rocks. Especially on a day like yesterday where there had been rain in the morning, the rocks can get slippery and poles make things much more stable.
Time: This took my boyfriend and I just under 3 hours (minus the time we spent eating food at the top)
View: Unfortunately, there was no view when we got to the top due to the thundery/rainy week we’ve had so far…but usually it’s very nice! You can see other mountains in the Green Mountain range and it is quite impressive.

So, if you’re going to be in the Burlington area, I recommend taking a little drive south to Lincoln for a great hike!

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Timed Workout!

Hello on this fine day.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!!

Here are some photos from the last few days:

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The daffodils are in bloom at my house and make things look so fresh and new!

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I spent a lot of time down by the lake on Saturday and Sunday, taking in the views and the sun.

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On Sunday, I took a nice bike ride from my friend’s apartment all the way down to the water and spent a good two hours laying in the sand, skipping rocks, and eating tasty food ๐Ÿ™‚

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And a mandatory picture of the pup! She’s loving the warm weather because it means she gets to swim every day! That’s one happy dog.

Today I am sharing a Timed Total Body workout that I did yesterday at the gym. It was a really nice change to my usual workouts where I do a set number of reps for each exercise. It’s normal to be a little sore when you make a change in the way you’re exercising…like if I’ve been mainly running for exercise and then I switch to biking for a few days, I’ll feel a little sore because of the change of muscle usage. Because this total body workout didn’t include any new moves, I didn’t expect to be unusually sore after completing it but I guess making it a timed workout rather than a “reps” workout was exactly the change I needed to make in order to feel the burn the next day!

I woke up with sore upper-back muscles, shoulders, triceps, and quads!! I was pretty excited ๐Ÿ™‚

SO here’s the workout!

Total Body 2 May 6th
The workout is split up into four sections and each section focuses on an area of your body. Arms are first, then Legs/Buns, Back & Shoulders next, and finally Abs. Each exercise is done for 30 seconds and your goal is to do as many reps as you can (with good form, of course!) in that 30 seconds.

The whole thing took about 30 minutes plus my warm-up which was a quick 2 miles on the treadmill. Overall, it’s a tough workout that takes up about 45 minutes total. Not bad!

I think the best way to go about it is to set a timer for 40 seconds and set it to repeat at the end so that it just keeps on counting down 40 seconds over and over again. Press start and wait 10 seconds. Once your timer reads 30 seconds remaining, begin the workout!

I’ll explain one section in detail and then just follow this same pattern for the three other sections.

SO, for the Arms section – Do bicep curls until the timer goes off. Rest 10 seconds, then start the triceps extensions until the timer beeps again. Rest 10 seconds, then begin doing push ups. After 30 seconds of push ups, rest for 10 seconds and go right back into the bicep curls. The 1-2 minute break happens after you have done 3 rounds of the 30 seconds of each exercise.

This was a really fun way to do a strength workout because the time flies by but you’re still working very hard for a solid 30 minutes!

I’m going to be planning more of these timed workouts in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great day!!

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Filed under Burlington, Dogs, Hydration, Spring, Total Body Workout, Water, Weather

Abs Circuit

Hello!
I am very excited to report that I wore shorts today! It’s finally warm enough to leave the house wearing shorts and sandals without worrying that your legs and toes will freeze ๐Ÿ˜€

Today is my active rest day so I won’t be going to the gym but will probably head out for a nice easy trail ride later this afternoon. Can’t stay inside on a day like today!!

Yesterday’s exercise had two parts…

Part 1.) ย  An Abs workout at the gym!

Abs + Cardio Circuit 2

As with most of my latest workouts, this one combines abdominal moves with cardio bursts to keep your heart pumping throughout the workout! I did a 30 minute warm up on the bike before tackling this workout. The toughest part for me was definitely the Plank/Half-Burpee section. OH man, my shoulders and abs were burning by the third round!!

Part 2.) Running!
By the time the afternoon came around, the weather had gotten so nice that I decided to go for a run. I ran a loop around Burlington that ended up being around 2.6 miles. Iย  ran nice and easy just taking in the scenery and enjoying being outside ๐Ÿ™‚ As if I haven’t emphasized this enough, running in Burlington is SO nice!! Everyone was out yesterday and it was nice to be among many other runners ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you all get the chance for a great workout today!!

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Filed under Abs Workout, Biking, Running, Weather

To Work Out or Rest When You’re Sick + A Total Body Quick and Simple Workout

It’s Monday! I hope everyone had a good weekend ๐Ÿ™‚
I spent a lot of time outside and went for my first trail bike ride of the year! The weather was perfect and it was so much fun.

Mondays are my “Total Body” day and I had intended on doing another Strength + Cardio workout at the gym. I woke up this morning with a sore throat…and that brings me to the “To Work Out or Rest When You’re Sick” part of the post.

Here are a few things that I usually consider when making this decision:
1.) Do I feel sick in the head-cold kind of way or in the stomach bug kind of way? If it’s a stomach bug feeling, I definitely will not go to the gym. Not only would it feel terrible but I wouldn’t want to risk giving it to other people!

2.) If I have a head cold, how bad is it…do I also have a cough? If so, I probably shouldn’t work out because cardiovascular exercise tends to make that worse…at least for me it does.

3.) Will I feel better or worse afterwards if I work out today?
If the answer is no, it’s a clear sign that you should take a rest day ๐Ÿ˜‰

 
Today, my only symptom before heading to the gym was a slightly sore throat so I figured I’d give a workout a try and if it felt really bad, I would stop. During my warm-up, I started to feel really tired so I did 20 minutes instead of 30+. I also decided to do a modified total body workout without any cardio bursts just to tone things down a little.

Here’s what my workout looked like in the end:

Total Body Quick and Simple
As well as removing the cardio bursts between strength moves, I only did two sets of each exercise instead of three. By the end of the workout, I was happy that I had done at least some strength work and my body was happy that I didn’t go crazy with the weights ๐Ÿ˜‰

What do you do about working out when you’re not feeling 100%?

Have a great Monday everyone!!

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Filed under Biking, Quick Workout, Total Body Workout, Weather

Upper Body + Cardio Workout

Happy FRIDAY!!!
It has finally arrived ๐Ÿ™‚

First, let’s talk about yesterday’s lower body workout which was much tougher than I expected!! The single-leg step-ups were really hard!! My hamstrings were tired last night and are a little sore this morning. Good thing today is an upper body day!!

Here’s what I plan to do at the gym this afternoon:
Upper Body Cardio

This is another cardio-weights combination workout. It is split up into four sections which target major upper-body muscles. There are two weight moves and one cardio move per section and I increased the reps from 10 to 15 for most of the moves. This workout should get your upper body burning and make your arms, shoulders, and back sore tomorrow!!

Alright, I am off to take my sweet pup to the vet! Wish me luck!

puppy

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Filed under Dogs, Upper-Body Workout

Getting Fired Up

It is most definitely Spring in Vermont. If you have never been to this part of the US during the spring months of April and May, I’ll describe it to you in one word: Variable.

For example, yesterday morning, I put on warm leggings, a t-shirt, a sweat shirt, and my rain jacket. I was also wearing Toms (no socks). The temperature was around 40 and I was pretty chilly walking outside! By 2pm, the temperature had gotten up to the low 70’s and I was comfortably walking around outside in both the sun and in the shade wearing a tank top and wishing I had shorts on…feeling quite warm even when the wind was blowing! I feel like I need to pack a separate outfit for the afternoon because the weather is that different by 2 or 3pm!

Anyways, enough about the weather. Let’s talk about getting fired up for a workout.
When I wake up in the morning, before getting out of bed, I typically think about what I am going to do that day; what I have planned, errands that I need to get done, what I’m going to do for a workout, etc.
Some days, when I get to the “thinking about my workout” part, I don’t want to think about it. That’s what happened this morning. I’ll find myself thinking something like “ohh I’ll just take another rest day” or “my body feels too tired to exercise today.”
I’m not saying you should ignore those kinds of thoughts, especially if you did something big the previous day like a crazy leg workout or a long hike…but yesterday was my active rest day and I went for a leisurely walk so my body definitely isn’t too tired for a workout today!
SO here’s what I do in this situation:

1.) Get up and STRETCH – keep in mind, these thoughts all went through my head while I was still in bed…so of course I feel a little sleepy, I’m still laying down!! If you get up and move a little, stretching your muscles, you’re bound to feel more awake and ready for the day.

2.) Drink some WATER- and then maybe some coffee ๐Ÿ˜‰ I feel like drinking water first thing in the morning wakes up my body from the inside out. Think about it this way – you’ve been ย laying for 7 or 8 hours with nothing really going on in your body, except for a little digestion of your dinner maybe. If the first thing going into your body when you wake up is a glass of water, think about how clean and nice that feels as it passes through your body, hydrating as it moves along! Maybe that sounds weird but I encourage you to try drinking a glass or two of water right when you wake up ๐Ÿ™‚ And if you’re still really tired, have some coffee or tea!

hydration

Coffee and Water!

3.) Put your Gym Clothes ON – When it comes time to go to the gym, just put your gym clothes on and then see how you feel about going. This seems like a weird thing to do but just put them on without thinking about why you shouldn’t go and I can guarantee you, you’re more likely to get to the gym once you’re dressed for it!

4.) Listen to some TUNES – Here are some to get ya goin’
Digital Love (Daft Punk)
Work Out (J Cole) – I mean, the song is called Work Out…how could itย not make you wanna go to the gym?!
Black or Whiteย (Michael Jackson)
Back that Azz Up (Juvenile) – this one’s a classic…guilty pleasure that is.
Gonna Make You Sweat (C + C Music Factory) – This one really IS a classic
I’ve Got The Power (SNAP) – and by this point you can now tell that I love 90’s tunes

Just listening to one of these songs is enough to get me pumped up and ready to go!

OR if you have a smart-phone and use Pandora here are a few good workout playlists… in my opinion ๐Ÿ˜‰
Drake + Lil’ Wayne + Kanye West (mostly rap = good for weight training)
“We Found Love” by Rihanna (lots of lady-pop tunes)
C+C Music Factory + Notorious BIG (This is a playlist full of 80’s and 90’s tunes like Jock Jams, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, etc. A great running playlist)

Last night, I downloaded Kanye’s albumย My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and am excited to listen to that today at the gym. Yay for music!

OK so now that we’re all pumped up and ready to work out, here’s a lower body workout for you to do today!
Lower Body New Moves

Lower Body “New Moves” Workout – This workout includes some moves that I have never tried before! It’s good to switch things up by trying out different ways to work the same muscles.

EXPLANATION OF EXERCISES:

Braced Squatย – Hold a dumbell or weight plate straight out in front of you while you squat. This moves engages your core and your shoulders as you keep your trunk upright while holding the weight.

Overhead Dumbell Squat – Holding a pair of dumbells with straight arms up in the air, hands positioned directly over your shoulders, feet slightly wider than shoulder width, squat down and back up. This move also works the core and you will need to tighten it in order to stay balanced since your arms are above you.

Bridge Hip Raise with Knee Taps – While in bridge position, keeping your buns and abs tight, tap your knees together and bring them back to starting position. One tap = one repetition.

OK well let me know if you try this workout!! And have a great day. It’s almost the weekend, yay!!

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Filed under Hydration, Lower-Body Workout, Motivation, Uncategorized, Workout Music