Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Walk in My Shoes

There is seriously nothing better than a new pair a shoes. I don’t care if it’s a pair of 4 inch stilettos, the cutest strappy sandals or the flashiest new running kicks- they all light my fire. I think new shoes are mood altering. Like when I look down at my feet, my heart flutters and I start to smile because they make me giddy. Usually, for me, new shoes represent something that is currently happening in my life. This past November I bought the most fab pair of grey boots. They were perfect. And the reason why these incredible boots were on my feet was because of my birthday. They were my present to myself and it might have been the best gift I have ever given!  They represented a milestone. Another year under my belt, lessons learned, wisdom gained and new shoes to prove it. Every time I wear my favorite boots, I stand a little taller, and not just because they have a bit of a heal on them!

I had the feeling last week that I was on the brink of newness. It was aching in my bones and showing up with tear filled eyes. It was Valentine’s Day (other’s might call it national Singleness Awareness day!) I called it hang out with your best friend Holly day. Whatever you call the 14th day of February doesn't really matter. What mattered was I was on the verge of something new; a new outlook on life, with a changed perspective and a lot more joy. Of course with a new chapter on the horizon comes a new pair of kicks! These Nike's are not just amazing because they have bright purple laces but they represent something so much more. It’s a new chapter for me; one that I think might be very challenging but also very rewarding. I have taken off my old self (yet again!) and am bringing on the new. I am no longer slave to my past of fear of being alone, not having the perfect career or acting like I have all s*%! together. I am excited to use these amazing new shoes to kick the heck out of kick boxing, cycle a million miles (not literally, but who knows I’m a huge fan lately) and run fast to where I want to go. And I have a lot of places I want to go!

So here’s my advice. Buy new shoes. You have my blessing. Do it. It means more than just looking sexy in that new pair of pumps or rocking it out at the gym with the brightest pair of Nike’s; it means you’re starting something new. Maybe you’re getting ready to train for a half-marathon or primping for your first date with the hot guy from the coffee shop- whatever it is, embrace it with new shoes on your feet that are going to give you the confidence to face whatever lies ahead.

Anyway, life can be hard sometimes- but it’s a whole heck of a lot easier when you have new shoes on your feet to go through the journey.

I’m currently obsessing over cycling classes. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Knowledge is tasty. Drink some.

How did that taste? A big gulp of pride, with some embarrassment to wash it down. It doesn’t taste awesome but sometimes we got to do it. I had to swallow my pride just a week ago. 
I was having my daily phone chat with Mekenzie and she was telling me about how she did this awesome kettle bell work out. She mentioned how she was in anaerobic state during the majority of the workout. She went on about how hard it was and intense it was. And I interrupted and said, 
“Oh, no Kenz, you mean aerobic!” (This is where I act like a ‘know it all’ when really I don’t know a thing!) 
She was kind and said, “Really? Are you sure?” 
I “corrected” her again, “Nope, sorry Kenz. Your wrong.”
She reluctantly agreed and said, “I thought it was the other way around, but ok, you’re probably right, Er.” 
(And I am looking more and more foolish) 
We finished our conversation with our typical, “Can’t wait to live in the same city soon. Miss you!” 
Fast forward 2 days.... 
I’m in cycling class and my instructor says, “We are doing hill intervals. I want you at a level 10 (not breathing, state) in your anaerobic zone.” 
“Um, say what? You cra cra instructor, you must be confused. I know everything and you’re wrong. You were trying to say aerobic zone.” (I didn’t say this out loud, thank God!)
First thing I did when I got home - I Googled aerobic versus anaerobic. To my utter shock, surprise and horror I was WRONG! What? This cannot be? Can it? Surely I didn’t correct Kenz, when she was right all along. 
Well, I was. Gulp. Here goes...swallowing my pride. I texted Kenz and fessed up to being wrong and correcting her and for being a ‘know it all.’ 
Thankfully she is a very forgiving friend and laughed about it!

Let me save you from this type of embarrassment and share with you some information about aerobic versus anaerobic exercise. Hopefully, after this informative post you won’t have to eat pride for breakfast. Trust me, it doesn’t taste good. 

Areobic exercise simply means the presence of oxygen in the body. “Air”-obic is how I like to remember it. There is enough oxygen (air) in the muscles for them to maintain the desired activity for a long period of time. Usually at this stage you will not be feeling uncomfortable or have any burning of the muscles. 
It is estimated that in aerobic exercise you are usually between 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. 
Running or jogging is a great Aerobic exercise 

Aerobic Activities: light jogging, elliptical, swimming, stationary bike.  

Anaerobic exercise simply means the absence of oxygen in the body. Usually you will reach an anaerobic state when you are doing high intensity work outs or finishing the final sprint of the race. You will know you are in the anaerobic state because your muscles start to burn and you would only be able to maintain that intensity for a short period of time. 
The burning that occurs during anaerobic activity is because of the build up of lactic acid in the muscles. 
It is estimated that in the anaerobic zone you are usually between 80-90% of you maximum heart rate. 

My Saturday morning Group Power Class. LOVE it!
Anaerobic Activities: sprinting, weight-lifting, HIIT workouts, and many sports such as football, soccer, and tennis. 
There it is my fellow readers. Take these FYI’s and lock them away. I want this information to save you from swallowing your pride and embarrassing yourself in front of your best friend. This is one healthy dose of knowledge- So Drink It Up! 

 Now go work out! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Wintery Woes!

There gets to be a point in the winter that I'm so sick of being cold I could just cry. I start to fantasize about running for hours on Colorado trails, sun blazing. I want to trade all my running tights in for tempos and never look back. Staying committed to fitness in the winter months is super tough. I love when "spring hits" and the trails are full of cooped up runners with big fat smiles plastered on their faces.  I love that its light later in the day and you can still run after work and make it home in time to cook dinner and eat on the patio before the sun goes down. 

Lately, I've been having daily stare downs with the treadmill as I walk through the gym. So, for the month of February I've decided to focus on doing some lifting and muscle toning to keep my mind off the chilly air and mental cardio battles in my head. I love running but I just can't do another month staring at the same wall on that treadmill. I thought I would share my plan with you in case anyone else is looking for some winter time workout motivation. 


Monday: Shoulders/ Tri's
  1. Cable Lateral Raises: 3 sets/ 12 reps
  2. Front Laterals: 3 sets/ 15 reps 
  3. Smith Machine Upright Row: 3 sets/ 12 reps 
  1. Dips: 3 sets/ 20 reps
  2. Skullcrushers: 3 sets/ 12 reps 
  3. Two Arm Seated Dumbbell Extensions: 3 sets/ 12 reps 

Tuesday: Back 
  1. Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets/ 12 reps 
  2. Hammer Strength Unilateral High Row: 4 sets/ 10 reps 
  3. Bosu Ball Extensions: 3 sets/ 15 reps  

Wednesday: Chest and Biceps
  1. Standing Barbell Curl: 3 sets/ 12 reps
  2. Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl: 3 sets/ 12 reps
  3. Concentration Curl: 3 sets/ 12 reps 
  1. Incline Bench Barbell Press: 3 sets/ 12 reps 
  2. Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets/ 12 reps
  3. Cable Cross Overs: 3 sets/ 12 slow reps 

Thursday: Legs and Calves
  1. Dumbbell Lunge: 3 sets/ 12reps
  2. Dumbbell Goblet Squat: 3 sets/ 12 reps
  3. Dumbbell Step Up: 3 sets/ 12 reps
  4. Bulgarian Split Squat: 3 sets/ 12 reps 
  1. Calf Raises (Toes pointing out/forward/in) 3 sets/12 reps
  2. Calf Machine: 3 sets/12 reps 
  1. Dead Lifts: 3 sets/ 12 reps
  2. Hamstring Curls: 3 sets/ 12 reps
  3. Wide Stance Good Mornings: 3 sets/ 12 reps 

Friday: Abs 
  1. Hanging Knee Raise: 3 sets/ 20 Reps
  2. Dumbbell Side Bends: 3 Sets/ 20 Reps 
  3. Twisted Bench Crunch: 3 Sets/ 20 
I try to do at least a little bit of cardio to supplement my lifting each day. Sometimes I do the 20/20/20 trick to keep from getting bored. For example, 20 minutes of rowing, 20 minutes on the stair master, and 20 minutes on the elliptical. My body is more dedicated to working hard for 20 minutes on each machine than the full 60 minutes on just one. You could also split this up for a 30 minute cardio sesh and do 15 minutes on two machines. 15 INTENSE sessions on two machines. 

On Friday's, I have been trying to do hot yoga in the mornings. Its something relaxing to look forward to after a week of hard workouts. Doing something slow and quiet feels therapeutic.  

Saturdays are cross training days. I go to an awesome circuit class at Lifetime on Saturday mornings that I just LOVE. If you are a member at a gym, check the activity class schedule and do something that sounds fun for your weekend workout.