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OCTOBER: Run, Work, Run, Work…

3 Oct

Well, it is only the 3rd of the month, but October is shaping up to be busy, busy, BUSY!

October 3: International Walk to School Day
Did you know that today is International Walk to School Day? I didn’t either until my super awesome friend, Jil Littlejohn, who happens to be Greenville City Councilwoman, filled me in! Over the last several weeks, I have been coaching Jil to race her first 5k at the end of this month. We are currently in Week 5 of her 8-week training. Normally we run at Cleveland Park, near downtown Greenville, but today we ventured over to Nichol Town Green. The new route brought on lots of twists and turns and steep hills! After the run, we went over to the playground area where all of the children were gathering before heading off to school. Jil put on her City Councilwoman hat and helped present a check for $39,474 to the neighborhood. The money will go to making improvements to the trail so that the children will have a safe path to travel on to get to the school every day! Thanks, State Farm for helping to improve our community!
Walk to School Day
Walk to School Day
October 4 – 7: Chicago Marathon with Nuun Hydration (Chicago, IL)
I’ll be working the Nuun Hydration booth at the expo for the Chicago Marathon! If you will be there too, swing by Booth #584 and say hello! One of my best good friends, Valerie, will be running her very first marathon ever in Chicago and I cannot wait to cheer her on. Plus, I will get to see Jocelyn, one of my Nuun-mates from Hood to Coast, again! All around WIN!
Nuun Chicago Marathon
October 8 – 15: Ironman World Championships with Timex (Kona, HI)
If you missed the big announcement the other day, click here to find out all the details. Since then, I have received a sweet welcome kit from Timex! I received a pretty blue Timex Kona t-shirt, a commemorative Timex Ironman Kona watch, the promotional DVD from last year’s event, and a Visa gift card! I *love* the watch! This particular design/style is sold only at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii and the social ambassadors are the first ones to receive them! AWESOME.
Timex Welcome Kit
October 18 – 21: Runner’s World Half Marathon (Bethlehem, PA)
I am so excited to be able to participate in this inaugural event! Again, I will get to reunite with a few of my Hood to Coast Nuun-mates…Elizabeth, Jess, and Laura! I will be going up a day ahead of time to participate in some blogger activities like a BBQ at the Runner’s World headquarters and a shakeout run with the editors of Runner’s World. This will be super fun! Plus, I will get to hang out with my boy, Bart Yasso again! Good times! If you have not signed up for this race, but want to register, use code BLOGGER23 to save 10%!
Runner's World Half Marathon Discount Code
October 27: Spinx Run Fest (Greenville, SC)
This is the big day for Jil and I! I will be pacing Jil during the Big Punkin 5k for the Spinx Run Fest. I have run the half marathon that is part of this running festival and I loved it! Maybe next year I will do the full marathon. Who knows, maybe next year I will be pacing Jil through the marathon! All of the races that are part of this running festival offer beautiful courses and I would highly recommend them if you are looking to run a race in SC! This is also the same weekend as the Marine Corps Marathon. My friend, Tess, will be running her first marathon there, so I will be cheering her on from afar!

October 31: Halloween!
This will be Baby Key’s first Halloween! Woo hoo! I am a total GEEK for Halloween, so we need to come up with a good costume for him! Should we do coordinating family costumes, or is that totally nerdy? What do YOU think?

WHEW! I’m exhausted just looking at all of this, so I better just take it one day at a time…

ADVENTURES AWAIT!

Foam Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’!

20 Jul

Foam Roll Like a Pro

TurboFire/Shakeology Program: Initial Reactions

24 Apr

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post

Yesterday afternoon I raced home to pick up my TurboFire/Shakeology Challenge Pack! I was like a kid in a candy store and I may or may not have actually done a happy dance when I had the box in my hands!

Want to know what I got? Here is a quick intro…

Note: The weighted gloves were not part of the challenge pack. I ordered these separately. This is an accessory that is also available through Beachbody. I wanted to really get my arms toned, so I will be using them with the TurboFire program.  You can find them in the Beachbody store under “TurboJams Gear.”

As soon as I got everything out of the box and set up on my table, I got down to the business of taking my “before” photos and recording my beginning measurements. While I know that taking before photos and measurements is an essential step, the whole process made me cringe. Shedding my shirt, standing there in from of the camera in my running knickers and a sports bra…Oh Lord, I felt gross. And then I started taking my measurements.

The last time I took my measurements was a couple of years ago when I was being fitted for a bridesmaid dress. At the time, I was working out regularly and I was pretty proud of my numbers. Yesterday? Yeah, notsomuch. Seeing the numbers written down in my notebook made me tear up a little. It was a stark reminder of how much my body has changed and just how much work I have to do to get it back where I want it.

I had a pity party for a minute or two and then reminded myself that the only thing I can do is what I am doing…focusing on healthy eating and an exercise program. Diligence! Persistence! I have to keep reminding myself what the end goal is…fast, fun, happy running! I want to be a joyous, strong runner again!

Initial Reaction of Package Contents
It seems that Beachbody has given me all of the tools to be successful. In addition to the DVDs and resistance bands, there is ample literature explaining the methodology of the program, why HIIT training is so effective, and how to monitor your nutrition throughout the duration of the program. I didn’t have time to read all of this last night, but I plan to do so today. I want to follow the nutrition program as well so that I can truly maximize my results.

Initial Reaction of First Workout: Fire 30 Class + Stretch 10 Class
It took me a whole 2.7 seconds to fall in love with this workout. Once the DVD was in, absolutely no time was wasted jumping into the workout. This is good for me. I need something I can get in, work out, and get on with my day. The Fire 30 Class was about 35 minutes long and I TOTALLY feel like I got a good workout. By the time it was done I was dripping with sweat and I moved muscle groups that I haven’t used in SO long with just running. The Stretch 10 Class was a great way to wind down and the focus on stretching out the arms and rotator cuffs was a nice change. The rotator cuff is a body part that I rarely stretch out and the DVD serves as a good reminder that all parts of the body need attention. Today, I am feeling “good sore.” I am not so sore that I feel like I can’t do anything, but I am sore enough that I really feel like I worked hard. This is a phenomenal feeling! That slight soreness means I am triggering muscles that I hadn’t been in previous workouts and this is EXACTLY what I was hoping to achieve from this program. I am already looking forward to this evening’s workout! Woot!

Initial Reaction of Shakeology: Chocolate
After my workout, I went inside to make my first Shakeology shake. Normally, I will be drinking this for breakfast, but since it had not arrived until yesterday evening, I made it my dinner. Let me say this…I am really impressed with the way this stuff tastes! Although you can mix it with other things like skim milk, almond milk, etc., I just mixed it with tap water since I was kind of in a hurry (mama duties were calling!). The taste was really good and very chocolately. The best part? No weird chalky or powdery after taste. I have tried several other protein/nutritional shakes including EAS AdvantEdge (Rich Chocolate), Big Train Fit Frappe (several flavors), and Spiru-Tein (Chocolate). This product, by far, has a smoother texture and better taste, though I will say it compare most closely by taste to the Big Train products. I look forward to trying some of the shake recipes that were included in the package!

This morning, I made another shake and ate an apple. I have not felt this full after an “on the go” breakfast in a really long time! I am excited to see the long-term effects of the Shakeology program. If you are interested in learning more about just the Shakeology, you can check out their website or YouTube it to see personal results videos.

(Side Note: I will put it out there that I did sign up to be a Beachbody coach…mostly for the discounts. Hello? Who doesn’t like to save money?? However, if you are interested in trying anything from Beachbody, it would be cool if you ordered it through me. No pressure, but if you have any questions or want to order anything, you can always e-mail me.)

So, that brings me to today. I’m going to spend some time today really understanding the nutritional guide and making a grocery list. I want to stock my refrigerator and pantry with all of the right things so I have no excuse not to make healthy eating choices. And like my friend, Kristyn, suggested…I plan on shopping from the edges of the grocery store as much as possible! I also want to plan out meals that work for ME, as some of the recipes suggested on the plan include ingredients that make me gag.

As always, I will be blogging this whole journey. That way, if it works and I have crazy good results, I can remember exactly how I got there! In the meantime, I will be using MyFitnessPal to log my daily meals, water intake, and what not. If you are on there, add me as a friend! You can find me under username “katiemkey”.

In other (equally EXITING!) news…Nuun is announcing the women they have selected to participate in the Nuun Hood to Coast Relay teams! There will be three all-female, all-blogger teams and I really hope I make the cut! I heard about this last year via other bloggers I follow who participated. The experiences they shared were incredible and it looked like so much fun, so I wanted to make sure I got my name in the hat for this year. I submitted my entry a few weeks ago and I have been anxiously awaiting the announcement. The selected members will be announced today at 12PM PST! Fingers crossed! I have never been to that part of the country and I have never run Hood to Coast before and I feel like this would be an experience of a lifetime! And to represent an awesome company like Nuun? Yes, please!

What’s happening in your world today? Are you mixing up your workouts? Are you trying any new products that you like and think I should check out too?

It’s time for a full-body overhaul.

23 Apr

So back when I was pregnant, and I was expressing my fear of losing the weight post-baby, my family and friends did their best to keep me optimistic by telling me, “Oh, you are so active! That weight will just come right on off.”

That, friends, was a lie. Genetics are against me.

I worked my tail off losing the weight before and I knew it would take that same feverish diligence for me to do it again. However, this time around, I don’t have 2-3 hours each night to spend at a gym and I don’t have 1-2 hours to prepare a meal, eat, and clean up. I am also at a new job, where my commute is much longer, drastically cutting into my exercise time at night. Oh, and I have a baby now…which, in itself, changes EVERYTHING. I know I have mentioned at least a dozen times how he *still* doesn’t sleep at night. These sleepless nights are putting me in this vicious cycle of being tired, half-assing my runs/workouts, and going through the motions of the day like a total zombie. I thought that at some point I would just get used to it, but no luck so far.

Needless to say, with all of these chips stacked against me, the weight isn’t falling off.

I am trying so desperately to stick to my #c210k running plan. I have been sticking to it, but the enthusiasm just is not there. It has started to feel like an obligation, and I hate that. I feel like I am in such a losery rut and I need to bust out of it. Like yesterday. For me, running was most fun when I felt like I was really, really pushing myself in every race…finishing with times I was proud of, feeling strong and feeling that “good burn” in my legs. I am just not there anymore and I want to be there so badly.

My legs are not as strong as they used to be. Pregnancy packed on serious weight on my thighs and I now have more junk in the trunk than I ever have in my whole life. When I look in the mirror I think I look alright, but then I see myself in photos and I **CRINGE**.

In addition to regular photos, my recent race photos completely make me shudder. I know no one looks “pretty” while they are running, but I am talking about my form. My whole body is off. No wonder running feels wonky, my form is TERRIBLE. And I know exactly what it is going to take to correct my form…stronger legs and a stronger core.

I can keep running and running and running, but I will never be where I want to be without stepping back and focusing on my foundations. Sadly, I am not one of those naturally lean people where just running will get me back into shape.

Taking this all into account, I decided I needed something that met the following criteria:

  1. FUN. If it isn’t fun, I won’t do it.
  2. A plan with proven results.
  3. Not extensively time consuming.

What did I come up with? TurboFire and Shakeology.

I heard about this program when I was pregnant and I remember telling my husband then, “I need this! I want to do this after I have the baby!!” The infomercials (yes, infomercials) made it look so fun and it looked like a program that I could totally get down with. However, like most of these programs, it was expensive, so I didn’t order it.

Now I have realized that what I am doing isn’t working and I need the help.

Wanting to make sure this program was the right fit for me, I started doing my research. I started with YouTube. I watched about a million videos and I felt like I related to every single woman in every single video. The majority of these women are moms who, after having children, felt like they couldn’t get in the groove again. One lady’s video really resonated with me. After being unable to lose the weight, she stopped wearing cute clothes, stopped putting on make-up, and stopped caring much about her appearance. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what I have turned into. Watching this video made me cry. I immediately thought, “If she can do it, I CAN DO IT. I just have to want it bad enough.”

I WANT IT BAD ENOUGH.

This was one of my favorite videos…made by a fellow Katie…

After talking it over with my husband, I broke down and I ordered the combo pack with the TurboFire exercise program and the Shakeology nutritional supplement. And now I am like a kid in a candy store waiting to get started! At this moment it is on the FedEx delivery truck making its way to my house and I simply cannot wait to get home and get started on it tonight! I have never been this excited about starting a new program EVER.

So, for now, I’m going to cut my running down to one to two times per week (possibly throwing in a third run on the weekend if one of my friends wants to get together) and focus on dropping pounds and losing inches.

FOR ME, BEING A SUCCESSFUL RUNNER MEANS BEATING THE MENTAL BLOCKAGE.

I know that if I can just start getting some of the inches off, I will feel so much more confident in my running clothes and I will want to run more…and harder and faster. I know to some people this may sound completely ludicrous, but this is how my brain operates. I need to do whatever it takes for me to regain my confidence. I am confident that TurboFire, coupled with a healthy diet, will show me some results.

And before I move on, let me just say this…I KNOW I AM NOT FAT. I am not going to sit here and say, “Oh, I’m so fat. Woe is me.” because I know I am not fat. But I AM soft…and squisy…and I hate it. I am not looking to get all beefy and lean like Jillian Michaels (who, by the way, kind of scares me). However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t be a better version of me…and I am ready for it.

In addition to getting down with TurboFire, I have also decided that I need to take better care of my skin. Since Baby Key was born, my skin has been broken out and I look like I have the face of a teenager. Thanks A LOT, hormones. I have tried everything, even worked with a dermatologist, and nothing seems to be working. This, coupled with the weight I cannot seem to lose, has really been doing a number on me. I feel like I am withdrawing socially and I avoid every camera that I see. This is SO unlike me.

To help me get control over the skin issues, I ordered Proactiv. I resisted this for SO long, but again, after reading about it and seeing undeniable results with others’ skin, I decided to order it. It arrived last week and I used it for this first time this morning. We will see how this goes.

With both the TurboFire/Shakeology and Proactiv systems, I will be taking before photos and recording before measurements (in regards to the TurboFire). At the end of the program, or possibly at milestones along the way, I will post photos, videos, and new measurements, keeping you updated on my progress. I know that posting the “before” photos will be mortifying because I know what I look like now, but I am hoping that my “after” photos will be so amazing that I will not even care.

I know it sounds like I have become the 1 (800) Number As Seen On TV Queen, but I promise you that I have not been paid to endorse or promote these programs. These programs were paid for 100% out of my own pocket and the future results and comments on the program (whatever they may be) are completely my own.

Have you ever looked in the mirror and said, “This has got to change NOW”? What did you do? What was your tipping point?

Hop on board the #c210k bandwagon!

29 Mar


Now that warmer temperatures are setting in and my race schedule has opened up a little, I have decided to get back on a training plan. Yesterday, I made the decision to start focusing on speed versus distance. Training for distance in the South Louisiana spring/summer heat just is not fun, and since I have never done a speed training program, I decided that was the plan I wanted to get on. I have done distance training plans for every distance from a 5k (when I first started running) through a marathon. And while I have done several speed drills in my run workouts, I have never put myself on a plan to specifically get faster and maintain that faster speed. Well, times are a-changin’!

After I made this decision, my friend, @RunNeicyRun, said she would get on board with me…except she wanted to go for distance while I worked on speed. No problemo! I modified the plan for each of us, based on our goals. And then I tweeted about it. And lots of people said they wanted to do it too!

And then I got excited! WOO HOO!

In fact, enough people wanted in on this sweet running action that I just decided to post the training logs here instead of e-mailing them out to everyone. So, here we go…

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COUCH TO 10k (13-Week Plan)

If you are interested in mastering the DISTANCE, here are your training logs:
c210k DISTANCE Plan (.xls)
c210k DISTANCE Plan (.pdf)

For DISTANCE runners, on your plan, where is says “RUN”, keep in mind that this does NOT mean “SPRINT.” During your “RUN” intervals, run at a speed that you feel pushes you, but not at a speed that is so fast that you tire out and feel unable to complete the entire workout.

If you are interested in mastering the SPEED, here are your training logs:
c210k SPEED (.xls)
c210k SPEED (.pdf)

For SPEED runners, your speed run and easy run/tempo run paces are to be determined by you, based on your ability. Depending on the 10k goal time that you have in mind, you can use a site like this to help you determine what your target paces are.

ACCOUNTABILITY
If you are on Twitter, after you complete a work out, I encourage you to Tweet about it so that we can all encourage each other. Be sure and add the #c210k hashtag! You can also add a hashtag with the corresponding week and day that you are on. For example, here is what I Tweeted yesterday after completing the Week 1, Day 1 workout:

As I mentioned above, I got started on this program yesterday, but you can get going whenever you like and schedule your runs on whatever days work for you.

For the #RunLA fam…If you would like to participate in this as a group, you are more than welcome to! Day 1 and Day 2 workouts of each week will be done by you, on your schedule. We can all do the Day 3 workout together! I am planning to meet on Saturday mornings at 7:00AM at Milford Wampold Memorial Park on Stanford Avenue. This time/location is tentative and is certainly flexible. If you have any suggestions for a better time/location, please e-mail me. All runners are welcome (whether you are going for distance or speed) and I promise to stay with the last runner. So, whatever your ability, I can assure you that no one will be left behind!

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And just for funsies, since I am totally ready to throw my body into a training cycle (full steam ahead!), I will also be incorporating a lower body AND core training program. I found some awesome plans over at Shrinking Jeans. I love that they are structured in such a way that they don’t feel overwhelming.

In addition to sticking with the above running program, at the end of the next 30 days, I will be able to do the following:
100 lunges*
100 squats
2:00 min burpees
2:00 min wall-sits
100 sit-ups
35 push-ups
2:30 min plank


*You’ll notice that lunges are not shown on the “Kick-Ass April” plan. Since lunges do wonders for my legs, I added these in. Each day, I will do the number of lunges equal to the number of squats listed on the workout.

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GOALS
I fully expect this to be a complete and total shock to my system. I have not done something like this in about a year and a half, but I am ready. I am MORE than ready to knock off the last of this baby weight, and I hope that we can achieve our goals together. My weight when I started the program yesterday was 159.5lb. My lowest weight ever as an adult was 129lb, but I looked too thin and I only maintained that for about a week. My realistic racing weight is around 135lb, so I am setting that as my weight goal. While I certainly do not expect to hit that target in the next 30 days, I am hoping to hit that by the end of this training cycle.

Lastly, to prove to all of you that I am doing this right along side of you, I will be adding a “LOGS” page to the top of this blog. Each day I will post my training log for the previous evening’s workout…even including my weight. GASP!

Well, I think that covers everything! Let’s get started!

So, are YOU with me? Let me know what plan you are doing and what your goals are! If you are on Twitter, leave your handle in the comment so that we can all cheer each other on!

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