Strength Training to get Faster

With some Fall Half Marathons scheduled it is time to get focused to get my hip flexors and IT band stronger. Yes, it is my ongoing Achilles heel. The weakness that holds me back. The scale isn’t budging much to get closer to my race weight but my pace is getting a little better and I owe it to some extra classes I am taking at Prep Fitness.

Most of the time when I see the schedule for the 45 minute session I ask myself “He wants me to do what?” Then a few seconds pass after the shock and awe fades and I realize what he is asking is actually possible.  I may not be able to do every set 100% but I do see my balance and strength improving and that is reassuring.

Example of a previous workout

Example of a previous workout

Prep

Speaking of “focus” my IM Relay teammate Larisa recently wrote a post on her training outlook. Check it out here.

What I have on the Fall schedule so far:

 

What are you currently training for and do you have a plan in place?

Right now I am running 3x a week and taking classes at Prep 1-2 times a week. I still need to work on getting my eating right. Stretching is a must daily even if its just for 5 minutes. Since its hot out hydration is easy. H20 is a must!

#WorkInProgress        #KeepPushingForward

 

Find Your Motivation

motivation

Motivation is all around us you just have to look for it. Whether it’s a good weather day or signing up for a new race find your motivation.

What keeps you going?
What drives you?
With the rising summer temps or hectic schedules what gets you out of the door?
A friend waiting at your favorite running spot that even remembered to bring your favorite G2?
Running isn’t about being in better shape, it’s that moment of mental clarity, the escape from your daily stressors, the release of endorphins that make you feel that anything is possible.
You just have to keep pushing forward
Find Your Motivation – @ndeckerrunner

Tips to Staying Healthy on a Vacation Cruise

I have to admit when hubby first suggested a 7 day cruise getaway for the two of us I got a bit of an anxiety attack. The thought of endless high calorie food options that I couldn’t possibly countermeasure with exercise while my waist band expanded and having to wear a bathing suit the majority of the time didn’t sound very relaxing.

How could I possibly pull this off without gaining ten pounds and continue my training?

Fortunately hubby understood that I would need to work out on sea days and went into planning mode. There was a jogging track on the ship and a gym that opened at 6am daily stocked full of treadmills and workout equipment. They even offered classes if I wanted to change it up and do Spin, Bootcamp or Pilates.

The gym was very close to our Spa room on deck 12. SCORE!!!

The gym was very close to our Spa room on deck 12. SCORE!!!

Some tips I learned to help manage eating and drinking on the cruise:

  • Limit alcohol drinks to 2 a day. Especially since my favorite is the “Fun Ship” a fruity, rum cocktail which obviously is more calories than a light beer.
  • Try to eat in the dining room the majority of the time instead of the buffet to have a higher chance of making better food choices and control your portion sizes.
  • Menus in the dining room always notate healthier food choices but were not always the most tasty so if you are going to opt for the higher calorie dessert choice have a couple bites and share!
  • Opt for fresh fruit and grilled vegetables, meat options when available instead of fried or those with a heavy sauces. The grilled salmon and seafood was a hit every time with me.
  • Skip the bread when possible!  (I admit I did not do this ‘every’ time)
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Tips to working out on the ship:

  • Refresh your music playlist and have your device fully charged before your trip.
  • After boarding the ship take a tour of the gym and pick up a schedule to see what classes are offered.
  • Pack your own water bottle to bring  to the gym. There is generally a water fountain located there.
  • Bring sunglasses in case it is sunny at the jogging track or in the gym due to the open windows.

 

The Chocolate Melting Cake is always a favorite. My friend Karen would notice the "Hidden  Mickey" reference so I had to share this one :)

The Chocolate Melting Cake is always a decadent favorite. My friend Karen (who blogs at Just Me and My Running Shoes)  would notice the “Hidden Mickey” reference so I had to share this one :)

 

Plan adventurous excursions! We zip lined, kayaked and snorkeled. Lots of active fun.

Yes, I took a  Selfie underwater during snorkeling in Cozumel

Yes, I took a Selfie underwater during snorkeling in Cozumel

 

I indulged and came back with zero guilt and no added weight on the scale.

Vacation a success!!!   #WorkHardPlayHard

While I was in Grand Cayman I was able to connect to wifi and got a fun surprise from Karen at Run Knit Travel.
WRtweet

 

I am in the July issue of Women’s Running Magazine!  woohoo!!

What a nice prelude to my “Blogger on the Run” feature that will be out in August :)

 

Do you have any additional vacation mode tips to staying healthy?

New blog feature on fellow runners? & Vacation Time!

I really enjoy coming across new blogs and this week I came across Fitful Focus. She has posts called “Fit Feature“. I really enjoyed her recent one featuring Lil Mys Ninja. I have been lucky enough to be featured on several blogs so I was thinking it time to give back and show the love to others. What do you think?

Would you like to see that here?  What kind of questions should I ask? Please comment with  your suggestions and if you would be interested in being featured.

It may be a little while before I could move forward with this idea. I need to move to a self hosted blog first. I will probably change it too: http://www.ndeckerrunner.com or http://www.JourneytoAHealthierME.com I am still getting feedback on this and everything should get redirected easily since I am already on WordPress. I am hoping to come across someone locally to help me pull the trigger with a few remaining questions I have.

For the next week I will be on vacation with hubby so until then…… #WorkHardPlayHard

Be back soon!

 

Funship

Training mode has begun

As I mentioned before I am committed to doing my first Relay experience in Augusta on 9-28-14. So I needed to start a schedule for training. I was not planning on running over 10 miles a week during the summer due to the heat but staying in Half Marathon shape means running 3-4 times a week with a total weekly mileage of 15-25 miles. My weight needs to come down a smidge too so I am happy to say there has been no beer or Coke Zero in my fridge for the past three weeks. This was hard. I am not an alcoholic by any means but after a stressful work day or with certain meals I do like a cold Coors Light, call me crazy. It has been hard not to stop at the store on the way and home to pick up a six pack of either beverage. The struggle is real!! Now if hubby and I go out for dinner for a date night here and there then YES I will spluge so its not out completely just not an every other day kind of thing, so I call it progress. Not having these drinks at home readily accessible also helps me not snack on junk food alongside of them.

Another change is I am now using the free app Calorie Tracker LITE by LIVESTRONG. It is pretty handy. You enter your calories and weight target, then enter your food and exercise and it tells you how many calories you have left for the day. Think of it more as accountability. Plus it even shows your breakdown of Carbs, Protein and Fat for the day. So this is where I was Sunday after dinner.

Full disclosure (YIKES) I feel like I am naked showing my current weight. I would like to get down to 128 (ideal weight would be 125) but every pound closer to target weight I will be happy with.

Full disclosure (YIKES) I feel like I am naked showing my current weight. I would like to get back down to 128 (ideal weight would be 125) but every pound closer to target weight I will be happy with.

It may look like I have a ton of calories left for the day but its just because I ran 7 miles that morning. I wont actually eat another 781 for the day but on rest days this definitely helps to keep me in check!!!  (Especially with snacking)

I am also using my Runner’s Log app again. It’s nice to see that I am logging regular runs again. (3x a week) My weekly average mileage is back to 18 which is good.  (I am still cross training and working on strengthening my hip flexors to keep my IT band healthy since this is where I am weak)  Saturday morning I even threw in some much needed track and stadium work.

That's me on the right

(That’s me on the right)

To help with motivation I updated my playlist with a few songs:

  • Numb by August Alsina
  • Partition by Beyonce
  • Started from the Bottom by Drake
  • Survival by Eminem
  • Fever for the Flava by RockMyRun

Lately I have mentioned how it is difficult to balance running in my life but my run this week reminded me of all of the benefits:

  • Stress relieving
  • More energy
  • Sleep better
  • Make better food choices
  • I get to think out problems or have moments of clarity when I am out running
  • All around happier

What do you have on your summer agenda for races or training?
Do you struggle with weight fluctuations? How do you keep yourself in check?