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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Today I was supposed to go back to that 60 minute circuit training class at the Y. I dropped my daughter off at Child Watch and headed to the aerobics room, where I was greeted by the YMCA's fitness director. Our aerobics instructor had called; her son was sick so no CT today. I was disappointed, but completely understood.

I headed to the fitness area and was going to hop on the treadmill, but then I remembered the blog post I made last week about trying new things and challenging myself. Instead, I went over to a machine I have been DYING to try, but was too intimidated. It's that stair machine that looks like an escalator where you actually climb stairs...I got it started and MAN! I felt it in my rear immediately. I was going to shoot for 30 minutes on it, but then the fitness director came over to talk to me--she told me there was a Pilates class happening in another area, and that if I wanted to try that class instead, I could! I made the decision to give it a whirl.

So, 6 minutes on the stair machine and then a 45 minute Pilates class--it was great for toning, and there were lots of moves that were difficult for me, but it wasn't a calorie-torching workout. I thoroughly enjoyed it though! Everyone was so welcoming and I was able to laugh at myself when I struggled. I will go back again, but I'll probably use it more as a "rest day" workout instead of "cardio".

I picked up Olivia and headed home. In Minnesota it was in the 80s today, so we've spent most of the day outside. We went on a nearly mile-long walk and picked every dandelion we could find.

I got my "Spring Into Shape" toning video in over our lunch time, and after supper I'm planning to do my Biggest Loser Boot Camp DVD for 30 minutes of tough cardio.

I was originally planning to run 3 miles today, but my shin is mighty tender. One more day of rest before I try to run again.

All in all it was a good day! 2 new fitness activities, both of which I enjoyed.

I forgot to mention, the Pilates instructor also teaches Yoga, and I think I'm going to give that a whirl on Monday. Mondays are normally a "rest" day on my running training schedule, and Yoga sounds like a nice relaxing way to get the blood moving.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEGSFITNESS 5/12/2011 9:14AM

    Even though it doesn't torch calories immediately, doing pilates like that will help tone you up so you can torch 'em throughout the day!

Are you in the twin cities area? I'm always looking for healthy-minded friends :)

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JERSEYFLOWER 5/11/2011 9:34AM

    Love it! Thank you for sharing. I feel invigorated just reading your post!

I know the stair thing you're talking about - it scares the heck out of me, too. At my gym they put it in the upstairs cardio section that overlooks downstairs, so it really seems like you're going to climb up, over and fall off the ledge. Bad placement!

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ROOT4HOME 5/10/2011 7:29PM

    Very nice, Jess! I really need to expand my workout horizon and follow your lead! Well done! emoticon

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CBEVNOW 5/10/2011 7:25PM

    You have had a very busy day. My daughter does Yoga and loves it.

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Challenge Yourself!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I can't believe how easily I slipped into JUST running. Until last week I had ONLY been running. I had stopped doing my circuit training and cardio DVDs. My only concern was running and getting my mileage in.

A friend of mine printed out an article for me about the importance of cross training. I started to research a little further, and some pieces started falling into place for me: maybe the aches and pains I had been attributing to running long distances are actually because some of my muscles are over developed from running, and others are under developed from lack of use.

Last week I started doing my DVDs again and MAN OH MAN was I sore! I also became aware of the spark people "Official Spring into Shape Challenge" www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
which was perfect for me because it's utilizing Coach Nicole's toning videos, too! Without hesitation I signed up for the group and am happy to report that I've had no problem meeting the requirements.

Tuesday I went out on a limb and attended a fitness class at the YMCA. It was called "Instructor's Choice" and included boot camp/ circuit training cardio. The instructor said she called the class the "Butt Blaster"... IT KICKED MY BUTT but I totally enjoyed it. I liked it so much, that I'm going back today!

Instead of doing the same old thing, I challenge you to try a new kind of fitness! It can be anything, there are so many options!

What's the latest NEW fitness activity that you've tried?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Cross training it the way to go. I do dance, qigong, yoga, swimming, and walking.

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MEGSFITNESS 5/9/2011 2:09PM

    The latest NEW activity that I tried was Kettlebells this year :) They rock my socks. You should see if you can find a class at the Y to try out.

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JENNYANNE31 5/9/2011 11:08AM

    I've fallen into the same routine. Running cycling running cycling. Thanks for the reminder to mix it up! I'll have to check out that Challenge you mentioned. Thanks Jess!

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SUGIRL06 5/5/2011 8:40PM

    I have always loved cross training! I love doing so many things, it actually is an issue for me when I'm "in training" because I want more days of tennis/Zumba/kickboxing/spin/step/e
tc. But when I don't feel like working out, at least I have running to fall back on :)

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JERSEYFLOWER 5/5/2011 10:54AM

    This is *exactly* what the monthly challenge is for May in the team I lead! (30 somethings with 50-99 pounds to lose) Springing Into Action, out of your comfort zone. Happy to report that yesterday I tried two new machines at the gym: the stair stepper and something like an elliptical with upper body push/pull arm things. Love your blog! Inspiring. We all need this kick in the pants every so often to get out of our tried-and-true things.

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FITMARY 5/5/2011 8:12AM

    The boot camp is doing it for me. Woo hoo! I can feel that cross training work!

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Only YOU have the power to change.

Monday, May 02, 2011

I came across a saying recently that really speaks to me: "She BELIEVED she could, so SHE DID."

Lately I've been hit with a barrage of comments both online and in real life related to my running.

"WOW, I wish I could run but my ______(knees, back, legs, etc) hurt when I do."

"I don't have the TIME to run."

"You're going to ruin your knees."

These seem to be the 3 that I get most often. To comment number 1--when I started running I was well over 200 pounds. It hurt to run. I chose to run. You can't expect to go from not running at all to a rock star runner over night. Where I'm at currently is the product of 2 years of hard work. In 2009 when I set out for my first "run" I managed 1 block. That's it. It took almost 6 months before I could run a mile without stopping. Now I'm running half marathons. It didn't happen over night, I had to work at it.

To #2, It's all about prioritizing. I'm just as busy as everyone else. I have 2 small kids, lots of activities, and I work part time. My husband is a runner too, and on top of every day life, we're working around each other's training schedules too. It's not easy, but it's something that's important to me, so my husband and I make it work. I'll let you in on a little secret--our Saturdays are long-run days. We aren't real exciting. My husband is training for a full marathon and is running double digit miles. Saturday morning he heads out for 2-3 hours while I'm home with the kids. He comes home, we have lunch, and then it's my turn to head out.

And lastly, the comment about "ruining" my knees. This makes me laugh because I think it was just as hard, if not harder on my knees, to be carrying all that extra weight.

If you don't like to run, that's okay--find something you enjoy and do it! There's no day like to day to make a change.

If you WANT to run; truly WANT to become a runner, then I say "BELIEVE" that you can be, and you will,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 5/5/2011 8:35PM

    So true! I hear the excuses all the time and it can get annoying! You rock on and keep running!

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KARVY09 5/4/2011 9:43AM

    Preach it sister!

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BBGYRL4 5/3/2011 5:20PM

    I LOVE this blog!! Every thing that you said is so true and I have to say that I never ever thought about how bad it is on your knees to carry around all the extra weight, duh! People say these things so that it can be used as an excuse not to do anything. I can't stand it! I love your attitude though, thanks so much for sharing this with us!

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NUOVAELLE 5/3/2011 9:25AM

    She BELIEVED she could spread the motivation, so SHE DID!
Thank you, thank you!

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CBEVNOW 5/3/2011 12:45AM

    Keep it up. I believe if you really want to do it you can
I do not like to run, i like to walk.When i was younger i started out running with my daughter, i finally told her running is not for me you run and i will walk. and thats what we did. Im the type of person, run if you want or walk or crawl if you so desire. People should be able to do these things as they wish. so keep running, you are doing good. emoticon
Caroline emoticon

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JERSEYFLOWER 5/2/2011 11:19PM

    LOVE IT!!! Thank you for posting. It's nice to see/hear the progress and insight from a more experienced Sparker - and for me, still being over 200, knowing that I could experience progress like yours!

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WENDYJM4 5/2/2011 11:02PM

    Great post. Thank you.
take care

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DRB13_1 5/2/2011 10:29PM

    you're so motivating!
and studies prove runners don't damage their knees, they actually have a better chance of having working joints as they age
love the new background picture, it's beautiful and calming.
Keep doing your thing! emoticon

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Easter won't stop me!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter weekend is a weekend that could totally derail me. I'm not going to let it!

Today I stayed within my calorie range, got an hour in at the gym, and am planning to get a good amount of sleep!

I'm looking forward to putting together the kiddos' Easter Baskets and hiding the plastic eggs. It's so fun to watch their excitement.

Tomorrow we'll be with my in-laws for Easter. On the menu is Ham--a lean meat. I was asked to bring a salad. The key for me will be MODERATION. I'm also hoping that the weather will cooperate for tomorrow--I'm bringing my running shoes so I can get a good walk in after the meal.

Have a happy Easter!

What are your tactics to stay in check over the Holiday?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROOT4HOME 4/24/2011 11:33PM

    Way to not get derailed, Jess! Hope you had a GREAT Easter Sunday with your family!

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CKAYT56 4/24/2011 9:49PM

    Moderation in portions, went to the fitness center this morning before church and did my regular workout, and then walked outside this afternoon for 30 minutes...will be interesting to weigh in tomorrow morning.

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    I prepare our food myself and make it from scratch and as healthy as I can but I do allow myself some treats and use portion control. And I will get in lots of exercise - at least 15000 steps.

Have a great Easter!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/24/2011 6:01:09 PM

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MISSCOFFEY 4/24/2011 9:39AM

    I love the walk idea!! I might bring mine too to my grandma's. Happy Easter!

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FUNSIZE406 4/23/2011 8:34PM

    Great positive attitude. I was helping my mom cook today and was VERY tempted to fall into my old routine of licking the spoon with the cake batter and munching on everything bad-but I did a very good job and stuck to my diet! Hope you have a wonderful Easter!

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From a 5K to a Half Marathon: Earth Day

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Last year during the Earth Day run in St. Cloud I ran my very first 5K.

My oh my, what a difference a year makes. This year I took on the Earth Day Half Marathon

This was my second go at the half marathon distance. I didn't really have a time goal in mind, I only wanted to beat my first HM time of 2 hours 14 minutes.

I woke up to snow on the ground, 20+ mile an hour gusts with a steady 12 mile wind and 34 degrees. Good times. I had to keep telling myself that the cold wouldn't matter; once I started running I knew that I'd be fine because I'd warm up. My husband wasn't running this one, so he got to be the photographer.

When we got to the race I decided to try running with a Pacer. I spotted the 9:55/mile Pacer (shooting for a 2:10 half marathon time) and decided to see how it went.

Before I knew it, we were off! For the first quarter of a mile I had no music...somehow my headphones came unplugged so I had to monkey with that. I can't run without music! I got it squared away and didn't let it rattle me. The race was scenic; winding along the Mississippi river near the St. Cloud State University campus.

Tony took this photo at about mile 6; I was totally in the zone and didn't see or hear him call my name.

The spectators were awesome for this race--my favorite sign: "Ladies! This is easier than Labor and Delivery!" We wound through several neighborhoods, and lots of people were handing out orange slices and banana halves to the racers. I was thankful for that more than once.

The miles ticked by and I was about 30 seconds in front of my pace group giving me a comfortable cushion. I felt awesome and I just knew I was going to hit a PR. Near the 13 mile mark I saw the hubs again:

My official chip time was 2:09:02!
My splits:
Mile 2-9:40
Mile 3-9:46
Mile 4-9:32
Mile 5-9:42
Mile 6-9:50
Mile 7-9:55
Mile 8-9:49
Mile 9-9:40
Mile 10-9:51
Mile 11-9:44
Mile 12-9:45
Mile 13-9:20

Here I am after getting my medal. Instead of disposable bottles of water we got the aluminum one that I'm holding; it has the race emblem on it. I love it!

Showing off my medal--I'm still kind of out of it here! It was cold so I knew I'd want to head inside to the field house before I cooled off too much!

Showing off the "bling" in the field house!

I don't have a lot of time before my next half marathon, so I punched in the numbers on Runner's World's smart coach. I think I'm going to shoot for 2:05:30 for Grandma's Half in June!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CJD2000 4/30/2011 5:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LUZDELSOL1 4/22/2011 10:07AM

    Way to go!! Congrats on the new PR!! You're a great inspiration. I have my half next week and am pretty nervous, but this blog helped lift my spirits. Happy Running!

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CHANCE0719 4/21/2011 9:19AM

    Great job!! Excellent splits. I love how you compared with the 5k pic from a year ago.

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SUGIRL06 4/19/2011 12:48PM

    Way to go!!!!
PS. Love the cool water bottle!

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TOTALFOCUS 4/19/2011 11:49AM

Your'e a GREAT inspiration!
I'm just starting to run and hope to run a Half Marathon one day!

Waaay To Go! emoticon

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FOOFIT1 4/19/2011 11:40AM

    Love the *in the zone* photo! Those are the BEST! Keep up the amazing work!!!


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JETERSGAL729 4/19/2011 3:03AM

    That is awesome!! I have my first Half coming up in 11 days!! AHHH I'm so nervous and so excited at the same time!! I'm just hoping to finish and sort of aiming to come in under 2:45 - which is about my pace since I'm SLOW lol

Great job!!!

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ABSOLUTZER0 4/18/2011 5:55PM

    Woohoo! Congrats on the PR and have fun in Minnesota! I can't wait to hear about it!

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    Congratulations! You did great and look amazing. Beautiful!!

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ROOT4HOME 4/17/2011 11:01PM

    Oh Jess, CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'm so OVER the top happy for you!! Oh, I believe you WILL either reach or surpass your goal for Grandma's!! Great blog and pic's - nice job Tony!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIAMONDMAMA 4/17/2011 9:52PM

    Way to go!!! I can't imagine running a half at this point in time! I so admire those who do. My goal this year is to conquer the 5K, guess we'll have to see where that will lead me. emoticon

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ME40ME 4/17/2011 8:06PM

    Love the story and the pictures! That is better than anything I can do. Wow! And you going to do it again....what motivation you have. I run very slowly and get it done. I want to run faster but its just not happening like that. Im excited for you...cant wait to see you beat the June Time! WooHoo!!

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DRB13_1 4/17/2011 5:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You look great in your bling, and maybe DH will run the next one with you.
So very proud of your accomplishments!!!

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CBEVNOW 4/17/2011 4:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JERSEYFLOWER 4/17/2011 3:33PM

    What a wonderful blog! You are amazing!

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MISSCOFFEY 4/17/2011 2:54PM

    Way to go!!! You are such a runner. Love it! You look awesome before, during and after. What a strong woman you are. And yes .... running is much easier than labor & delivery (at least it was my first time around). Yay Jess!!!

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