Monday, November 3, 2014

Two weeks in...

I am now two complete weeks into T25 and I feel GREAT!  The first week was a humbling reminder that even though I recently ran a half-marathon, Shaun T DOES NOT mess around haha

I struggled hard the first week but I kept pushing every day, and I have even done the "doubles" each week.

Week one was completed with no breaks, Monday - Friday with a double Friday consisting of lower focus and cardio... OUCH

Week 2 was Monday - Thursday as the schedule calls for, but then Friday was a long, late shift at work and the double session was pushed to Saturday morning!  Lower focus followed by ab intervals.  Best part was that Randy was doing P90X in the next room and when he finished his workout I persuaded him to come finish ab intervals with me :)

I am really happy that I have been sticking with the recommended calendar this time.  I think the impending New Year has me focused to stay on track with the timeline!  

Week 3 begins tonight!! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

T25 to end 2014!

Now that running season has ended for me (although it has been seasonably warm here in MA, so I am sad that I haven't gotten outside more) I have re-submerged myself into T25!

I took brand new "before" photos and measurements.  This time, I am going to try as much as possible to stick to the calendar provided for the workouts, because 10 weeks from last Monday is only a few days before New Years' Day!  I want to send 2014 out with a bang, and be my best self possible BEFORE that clock hits 12 :)

Also, I read a crazy statistic recently that the average American gains ~7lbs from Thanksgiving to Christmas!  WHAT?!  Not me!

The only thing that will hold me back from this goal is the completion of my Masters thesis which is in it's final stages, with a hopeful turn in date and presentation just before Christmas.  That being said, one reason I think that I will be able to stick to my calendar is that the 25 minutes per day is a stress release that I very much look forward to after sitting on my bum all day staring at a computer screen!

Do you have any year end goals?  I would love to hear them! :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Newport Half marathon

This was the most amazing race ever.  I seriously don't think I can over sell my experience.

My training for this race was different than any other race before.  Over the course of the past 10 months I have focused on overall fitness and getting my body to a place where I felt my best.  I did this through T25.

I have always been one to shrug off "running tips" and the need to cross-train.  I was sure that if I just kept running and running and logging my miles that I would get better.  I never really did.  My will got stronger, but that's about it.  In previous races, I was convinced that I was small, and slow and winded because of my asthma and that there was nothing I could do about it.

I could not have been more wrong.

After 1 full round of T25, then doing those workouts Zumba and running I found an entirely new level of speed and comfort in my abilities.  In less than 1 year I have brought my average pace down by almost 2 minutes/mile.  I KNOW that is because I took the time to train my entire body.  My core is as strong as it has ever been, and my legs feel unstoppable.

I logged far less miles in preparation for this race than any other, but I felt SO much more prepared due to my overall strength.

Goofing off in the car
Let's DO this!
Randy is ready too!
When race day came, it was a cool, bright, ocean side morning in Newport, RI and everyone was VERY ready to get going due to the chilly temps.

Bright enough for ya?
Don't mess with the belt!
Beautiful scene at the start line!
He loves it when I take his picture! haha
Ready to get this show on the road! Literally!!
Through the first 5 miles I felt great.  I wasn't looking for mile-markers like I usually am, and I wasn't worried about running out of breath.  I was enjoying the course and the atmosphere and the little voice coming out of my GPS every mile assuring me of my rock-star pace!

Then it happened.  I had a runner stop right in my path at a water station and to avoid running her over like a tiny freight train I had to dig in with all my might and run around her.  About 100 yards later, there it was.  The pull in my muscle... the know in my calf.  It was like someone had put my muscle in a vice and each step was a tiny twist in the cog.

I was SO determined not to let that stop me.  I slowed my pace for a mile or so.  I was able to ensure that it wasn't getting any worse, and that there was no tendon damage (because there was no burning sensation).  So I decided to go with it.  I continued and finished the course without stopping, and I am very glad that I did because the moment I stopped, there was NO WAY I was getting going again.

Terrible photographer skills, but views at mile 7!
The rest of the race was amazing.  The views kept me occupied the whole way, and the runners are always a great source of entertainment.  I even had one woman singing along with me to "This girl is on fire"!!
An official race photo and I don't look like a complete goober!!! :)

The pain in my leg really started to set in around mile 11, but at that point there was absolutely no way that I was stopping.  I tried to keep my mind clear, enjoying the scenery of the multi-million dollar mansions and encouraging crowds!

The finish line was after a nice cruise downhill and I knew it was coming so I gathered all that I had left and absolutely steam-rolled ahead.  Just about 1/4 mile from the finish was my family and my boyfriend, and it was SO great to see them :)

I am forever grateful that there are there every race, no matter the weather (unless it's raining, I don't do rain haha) to cheer me on!  Although I am quite busy for that 2 hour span, I know that it is a lot of patient waiting around on their part, and I appreciate it so much.

To say that I finished in record time is an understatement.  I absolutely blew my previous PR, and my expectations right out of the water.  On the drive in, I had a goal of anything under 2:15. 2:12 would have been ideal, and 2:10 was my "holy crap can you believe that just happened?"

Well when I crossed that finish line and looked down to see 2:07:45 I just about burst into tears.  1) because I had stopped running and my left leg was in a complete knot and thoroughly pissed, but 2) because I couldn't even comprehend that that time was possible for me.

3 1/2 years ago I "ran" my first half marathon in 2:43 at a run/walk pace.  I had never run farther than 3 miles consecutively in my life.  Even through training for the first race, I knew it was a long shot.  Snap forward to this day and I had just undershot my "holy crap" time by over 2 minutes!

Guess you know what that means!  New goal: sub 2:00 half-marathon!

Again, I cannot say enough how thankful I am to those who come out to my races, but also all of the kind words from friends and family not only on race day but throughout my training.  I am strong-willed on my own, but the encouragement helps me to ensure that maybe I'm not crazy after all! ;)

Showered, relaxing and ready for a Patriots win!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Next half marathon!! (SQUEEEEEL)

AHHH I cannot believe that I have done this to myself, but I am consistent if nothing else ;) haha I have always done better under pressure, and it looks like this race will be NO different!  Just over SIX WEEKS separates me from my next half marathon!  Better get to work!

The race is the United Health Care Marathon/Half Marathon in Newport, RI.  It is a BEAUTIFUL course that hugs the shoreline and goes right by several of the amazing mansions.  If you have never been to Newport, make time to go! (Specifically during the second weekend in October, I can use all the support I can get ;)  )

As always, I took to Pinterest and found some great material to get to training!

This one is my favorite:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Be Consistent

I am sure that you have heard this before, but I will go ahead and say it again:  Consistency is the key to results!  Whether it be at work, in school or in your fitness!

You MUST be willing to put in the work. The results WILL come! Not overnight, maybe not even in a week... but you WILL see them!

If you are anything like me, you may tend to come up with reasons "why not"

Will YOU have the courage to put aside your excuses and insecurities to achieve your goals?
BE STRONGER than your excuses.  There will always be someone with less time, more to do, and bigger obstacles.  And they will get it done. So can you!! I can have the tendency to be my own worst enemy, especially when it comes to working out!  I am loaded with every excuse in the book. But once I have just laced up and started my workout, I am SO much happier.

Monday, August 4, 2014

My day with Shaun T

I am still in awe over a week later that this experience was real. I met Shaun T.
Nope. Scratch that. I didn't just meet him. I experienced him. The energy, the enthusiasm and the encouragement that he provided to a group that was there for one common goal... to learn from the man! It was incredible.

I began my fitness journey long before I was ever introduced to Shaun T.  A yo-yo dieter and sporadic (at best) exerciser, I was the queen of excuses.

"I'm in grad school, it's perfectly acceptable to eat pizza at 3am"
"I'm starving during my shift at the restaurant and the only thing I can eat it french fries"
"Im exhausted, there is no way I can work out"

In less than 2 years I quickly reached the highest weight I had ever been.  Unfortunately, so did my boyfriend. We had both adopted this casual sit-around lifestyle that was not doing either of us any favors. I was MISERABLE but I had convinced myself that there was basically nothing I could do because, well... I don't even remember my excuse except for the fact that it was bull shit. 

Then last summer, my boyfriend decided that enough was enough and began working out with P90X. He had great success, and quickly! He encouraged me to try, but I just couldn't get into it.

One day in the fall after a typical Sunday morning spent on my couch, aimlessly flipping through the endless infomercials on tv, I saw an add for T25. Something made me stop.
I had just began a new job in Boston, with a LOOONG commute and tiring days. But hey, 25 minutes?!

Who didn't have 25 minutes?

That Christmas,  T25 arrived under my tree and I've never looked back.

Fast forward through some VERY ugly workouts: burpees, squats, high knee jogs, half-tuck jumps, and don't even get me started on ab intervals, but I made it!!  I completed T25, all 60 workouts.

Then one day there is a posting on Facebook from Shaun T (obviously I am a loyal follower of ANYTHING he does) and he is coming to MY STATE.  Here, Massachusetts.  I was psyched!  I mentioned it to my boyfriend and we talked about it, but then a few weeks went by.  I saw another post, and I asked again.  We decided that it was a bit expensive and that it was probably best not to.  Obviously I was crushed, but hey, I've got bills!

Then one Saturday afternoon, there they were: my tickets to go meet Shaun T!  Randy had bought them as a surprise for me, and I was THRILLED!!

For three straight weeks I told pretty much anyone who would listen that I was going to meet Shaun T!

The day came and I was like a little kid at Christmas!  I was awake well before my alarm, pretty much skipping around the apartment getting ready to leave.  It was a BEAUTIFUL day, almost too nice because there was not a cloud in the sky and despite my best efforts to stay protected, I am still dealing with some pretty intense tan lines!

Everything about the day was awesome.  The workout was the most intense hour of my life.  I very nearly died (OK maybe not, but at the time I was certain of it.)  The Q&A session was great, and the photo-op was SO cool :)  Although he didn't have time for individual photos with each participant, he did take the time to give each and every person a big hug, which I was giddy about for days! haha

I was so happy and thankful to have that experience.  It makes what I do as a Beachbody coach, but more so as a participant of the program so much more meaningful.  I am so happy to be able to spread this enthusiasm with others!

Car ride - SO excited!

Registration, before they let us on the field!

Typical - Randy doing his best ShaunT impression

So happy to be there!

Sun's out guns out

I was so excited to be on the field at Gillette Stadium!

Relaxing before everything starts up!

Met some AWESOME Shred Nation ladies :)

Our view of the stage


Hurt so good!  This photo doesn't even do it justice the shade of red that my face was at this point!


High knees!

Post workout talk

It's Shaun T!

Met a new friend :)

So so so so happy


Bye bye!!