I Joined a Gym!

It’s been years since I joined a gym that I have to pay for so it’s a big deal for me that I took this step, plus it’s also exciting that I’m finally able to justify the cost of a gym!

I was thinking about my goals for 2015 and how strength training/cross training is a big one for me. I know there are lots of things I could do at home and the gym at my work/school has equipment I could use so it’s not like I lack options for strength training.

Let’s be honest though, I’ve said it before strength training bores me! The thought of going to the gym and doing an hour of strength training sounds mind numbing and boring. I have tried listening to music or podcasts while doing it, but inevitably my headphone cord gets wrapped up in the equipment and there’s probably a very real risk of me choking myself (I’m pretty sure I’m the only person with that problem…).

I have tried switching up my routine so I’m not doing the same thing, but to me doing a different version of the same thing every time is just a different brand of boring.

I have tried doing home workouts and which produce great results for some people! However, when I try I end up not putting in 100% and ultimately choose food, tv, reading, sleep, over squeezing in a quick workout. I need to get out of the house in order to feel motivated!

I even got a personal trainer for a stint a couple years ago. The trainer did motivate me to start running regularly and keep it up after I stopped seeing him. However, I was not motivated to continue to strength train. Once the personal training ended so did the strength training.

Despite all this I know, especially for accident prone me, strength training is an important aspect to any fitness routine. So when trying to think of ways to keep me motivated in that department I remembered when I was a paying member of a gym years ago, my gym offered group fitness classes including body pump, which I loved!

Even when I got lazy with my gym schedule, which at the time happened very easily, I still made sure that I made it to body pump every week. I loved how fun the classes were and how I felt after the class, plus I got strong as a result of the class.

Well I found a gym that offers body pump, as well as a number of other classes, at a price that I can totally afford! I was excited and jumped at the chance. As a plus there is a gym near my boyfriend’s new house so I can go when I’m at his house as well.

I’m hoping to go to my first body pump class in three years tomorrow morning! Hopefully I love it as much as I did before, and this motivates another positive change in 2015!

Happy 2015

I had a week and a half off work during the holidays, which I ended up taking full advantage of to sleep, rest and just relax. It was definitely needed, I didn’t realize how overdue I was for a vacation. Still it was far too short and the last thing I wanted to do this morning was go to work!

I had a great break and a lot of fun over the holidays. Now that it’s the new year I was being cliché and reflecting on the past year and thinking about what 2015 would bring. I’m not usually one for making new year’s resolutions, so I won’t. Let’s call them my 2015 goals:

  1. Become a morning runner – I’m already well on my way to achieving this goal. The move to Rockville, gives me an extra hour in the morning, meaning waking up earlier before work isn’t such a burden.
  2. Run a half marathon this spring – I have yet to decide which marathon to choose, but I want to run a half by the spring, in addition to the Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon. I think this is totally possible, it’s just going to require some dedication on my part.
  3. Continue my healthy eating – I have done so well with making my own meals and indulging only on special occasions. That isn’t to say that I didn’t throw caution to the wind and eat whatever the hell I wanted over my time off during the holidays (because cookies! So many cookies were consumed in a week and a half!). It does, however, mean that I have more confidence I can get back on track and continue with my healthy habits that I started last year.
  4. Make strength training funI said earlier that I want to introduce strength training into my fitness routine, and I did, but to be honest I didn’t do a great job of keeping up with it. I find strength training so boring, so I’ll always find an excuse to do something else. Therefore, instead of making a goal of doing more strength training, I’m going to try to make it fun, so that I’ll be motivated to do it more often.
  5. Read – I know this isn’t fitness related, but it’s something I think I need to do more of. I used to read voraciously, but I stopped a while ago. For Christmas my boyfriend got me the Kindle Voyage, which in my opinion is the perfect excuse to read more books this year! My ambitious goal is 20 books in 2015, but honestly, I’d be happy with 15.

Well, that’s it for my resolutions. Comment below and tell me what your resolutions for 2015 are!

I’m Running Further and Further!

Shopping, shopping and more shopping! I feel like all I’ve been talking about recently is how my boyfriend and I are shopping for furniture for his new place, because it feels like that’s ALL we’re doing! As you can probably guess, it was another long weekend of furniture shopping, but that’s not what I’m talking about today.

If you read my blog on Friday (and if you didn’t read it here) you noticed that I was very excited about my 7.5 mile run last Tuesday. That was a major accomplishment for me as it’s the furthest I’ve ever run. For me it was really a validation that all the hard work I’m putting in is paying off.

About a month ago I realized that while my stamina when running had increased my legs were giving out long before I was actually tired. That can be very frustrating, especially when it means you have to stop long before you’re actually ready to. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the reason for this was probably that my legs simply aren’t strong enough.

I focus so much time on cardio, because it’s what I love, and I tend to neglect strength training, because I hate it and find it so boring. What I love about running is that I can escape in my head and just think without interruption. I don’t listen to music while running because I don’t want that distraction. I don’t find strength training relaxing so I avoid it, but neglecting it comes with a price, and for me that meant weaker legs.

Anyways I started incorporating some body weight strength training and on Tuesday I was really excited to see how much of a difference just a week of this would do. Well it’s making a difference! My goal was to run until I couldn’t anymore. I ended up running 7.5 miles, the furthest I’ve ever gone! I stopped at 2.5 and 5 miles for water and to check my phone to see if my boyfriend had officially gotten his house yet, and then for the last 1.5 miles I started walking up all the hills and then running the rest.

I was, and am so proud of myself, but man was I exhausted. I immediately went home, showered, put on some compression sleeves and ate my dinner in front of the TV watching Gilmore Girls. I fell asleep at 10 pm and didn’t wake up until my alarm went off for work the next day.

Awkward Luke hugs are my favorite :-)
Just what I needed!

Getting to experience exactly what my body is capable of is a great feeling and gives me so much motivation to keep pushing myself. Measuring success based on strength and overall health has managed to keep me more positive and on track than any number on a scale ever did. Plus any setbacks I experience aren’t such a big deal anymore, and that’s a great feeling!

Shaking Things Up!

I am boring.

Well, that’s a lie, (at least I hope it is, I hope I’m not a boring person) but my fitness routine is boring.

Before running I had spent a few years trying to find something I would enjoy and would stick with. The first thing I loved was Body Pump, but when paying for a gym membership didn’t fit into my budget I eventually shifted to running.

Initially, I was motivated to run because I didn’t want to die while running the 5k I had signed up for. That has since morphed into running because I enjoy it.

Which is great! I’m so glad that something I used to dread is now something I love. But that’s all I do. I run, I didn’t even stretch initially, mostly due to laziness.

I’ve remedied the no stretching thing (a fear of injury fixed that one real quick) but I still think the rest of my fitness routine needs to be seriously evaluated. My endurance is increasing, but my legs aren’t able to keep up they get tired long before I feel tired.

I also feel less flexible, and to be honest, as much as I love running it can be boring day after day even on my best weeks. So I’m going to shake things up!

  1. Interval training once a week. I started this two weeks ago and I really feel it’s made a huge difference. I’m going to continue this.
  2. Move during the day. I have an office job, and I sit for far too long during the day. My coworker challenged me to walk up and down the six flights of stairs in my building once every hour, or eight times a day. I’m going to try to do that for the next month and then reevaluate whether to continue.
  3. Yoga I enjoyed the yoga classes I took and now my boyfriend is interested in taking a yoga class with me. I’d like to get some of the flexibility back that I lost from running.
  4. Strength training. I hate strength training, so so much. I just get so bored! So I’m going to experiment with things here until I find what I like. I found some body weight exercises which I think may be the best place to start for me. I also need to work on my upper body. My legs have gotten toned and my arms are flabby, it’s a problem.

 

Obviously, I’ll be documenting my process here and I wouldn’t be surprised if this list changes over time. Any suggestions you have feel free to share. Let me know how you keep exercise fun and interesting.