Total Body Exercises

Over the years, I have realized how important it is to train your entire body not just your legs. In my younger years I was so naive, just wanting to run, run  and RUN. I thought if I wanted to be the best runner in the State, or Nation, all I had to do was run and never really stop. If I could go back and do this again, I would listen to my coaches and mentors when they suggested I start doing full or total body exercises. Towards the end of my high school career I started doing exercises similar to the ones listed below. When I was in college I did even more straightening moves, including weight lifting.  To this day I still incorporate all sorts of exercises. About 3 to 5 days a week I add in some sort of exercise routine. You can find some of the other exercise routines, Here.

Total Body Exercises

Do each exercise 15-20 times and work up to 3 reps.

  1. Lunges
  2. Side lunges
  3. Push outs, while rotating elbow to knee
  4. Frog pushes: Lie on your back and out your legs together in the butterfly position. You are going to squeeze your inner thighs together and push your legs out towards the sky.
  5. Rocking the boat: Sit in the V position. Your hands can be used for balance. You will rock  your legs back and forth targeting the lower abs.
  6. Side V-Ups (Crunches)
  7. Abdominal Rotates: lie on your back and rotate your legs from side to side. Your knees can be bent. As you get stronger you can straighten your legs.
  8. Plank (30s Front, 30s Side, 30s Front, 30s Side, 30s Front)
  9. Side Leg Raises
  10. Inner Thigh leg raises
  11. Front leg kicks: Lie on your side and kick your top leg out in front of you.
  12. Downward facing dog – One leg is lifted and you are moving from this position to a Plank… Plank like variation
  13. 1 legged Mountain climber hops
  14. Hip Lifts: Lie on back and lift hips up to the sky, can also do these one legged style.
  15. Oblique Push ups
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Morning runs and afternoons with Runners

I like routines, I am pretty sure most runners do. In fact my new routine consists of running 5 days a week, with one cross train day followed by a day of rest. I will mention it again, if you have read previous posts, I talk about Matt Fitzgerald’s book, “RUN” , It has been my inspiration. What I run each day depends on how I feel.

With all this packing getting ready for the big MOVE,  I ran across my access pass into the Big 12 Outdoor track championships from 2007. This pass represents the last time I ran competitively. I did not run in the outdoor championships, but ran a race that spring on an indoor track after only running a few weeks, I somehow ran an 18:03, 5k. A few weeks later I was diagnosed with my 100th (not really 100th but 3rd) stress fracture. 2007 represents the last time I really ran competitively or consistently for that matter.

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This is why Fitzgerald’s book has been a life saver to me. I am trying to run smarter and listen to my body. My run yesterday was rough, I have been feeling a little sore and tired, I usually do on the 4th consecutive day of running. Also I have such a competitive nature that I want ever run to be faster than the previous run. So it was also nice talking to my dad for reassurance. He has been running marathons for 20 years and has done very well in his marathons. He told me it is OK to slow down some and just get in those miles. When training for a marathon, running is important!! I ran yesterday and enjoyed it, even if it was a little slower, I got in 9 miles and was very satisfied. I am also working on stretching more after my runs. My mom informed me I am not as young as I was 10 years ago, so my body will get more stiff as I age. Oh boy…. Who would have thought at 25  I would be so stiff. I better listen to my mom, she does know best.

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Later that afternoon I headed to the gym for a 45 minute bike ride, I like to do easy rides to shake out my legs. It is either that or swimming. I chose to bike yesterday then I got to finish my day with Seth and Maria. We did our plank workout. It was really fun and the Sun was really bright. I do not think we have had a workout session without any clouds in the sky. What a nice change of pace. Except off to the north there was a storm cloud chasing us, but never quite reach us, so we were able to complete 2 circuits. I love getting together with these 2 runners. We always have fun and I forced them to take photos yesterday since I only have a few more day with them!

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Maria and Me after the Plank Session

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Seth and Me or should I say My State Champion!!

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Maria and Seth getting after it on the One Legged Crunches

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Maria is all smiles while doing some Russian Twists

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SIDE PLANKS!!!

Today we will be doing our total body exercises. Stay tuned for tomorrow, I will post the details from this workout.

Salisbury Steak Festival 5k Stampede

What a great weekend. I do not know if there are even words to describe the past few days. It all started Wednesday night. I Headed down to Salisbury Missouri to spend the remainder of the week and weekend with Maria. Since I am moving in less than a week 😦 I had to spend as much time with her and help her train and race one last time!

Salisbury is a quaint town, I  felt as if I was in Mayberry. I loved it. The  community was nice and the festival was really neat, there were kick ball, softball, and little kid basketball tournaments going on all weekend long. However, my favorite part about festivals is that there is usually a 5k fun run sometime during the weekend. fun run with maria

Maria and I ran the course twice on Thursday morning. While running the course I did not notice the hills, however when race day arrived and I was in race mode, the hills were much more noticeable.  Although every up hill has its down hill so the race was fun weaving in and out of the neighborhoods, there was no time to get bored on this run.

One think I learned while living in Missouri is that it is extremely humid. I thought Texas was humid, but on race day I believe the humidity was up around 90%. Sometimes I wonder if I am in a rain forest. 🙂

fun run awards

Anyways, getting back to the race… I ran fairly well since I have not been running any workouts or tempo runs since April. I have just been running miles, trying to build my weekly mileage to prepare for marathon training this fall. So I was thrilled to come across the finish line in first place with a time of 18:38. Maria came in 3rd overall for female and 5th overall. She was 44 seconds off of her Personal best time 21:00. Which means when it is time for cross-country season she will blow her current PR out of the water. We were both very happy with our races. And loved racing in our Wild running outfits!

To my surprise even, little Samson, the pug walked/ran well in this fun run. He has never participated in a 5k before, so this was a first for him. He enjoyed it.  Maria’s Sister, Claire, and her Dad walked Samson. Maria and I out a race number and medal around Samson’s neck and I believe he was proud of himself for finishing his first 5k event! I think my dog is going to turn into a runner. I don’t know many pugs who run, so I guess Samson will be the first pug running dog.

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It was a great weekend. Thank you Weimer’s for letting me in on the Salisbury Fun!!!

High School Distance Challenge

What  a Day!!! It all started with my morning run. Which was not the best run I have had in a while. I did manage to run 9 miles, however each mile I felt like I was stomping around like an elephant. Part of this sport is taking the good with the bad. I noted details about my run in my journal, so I can reflect at a later day. 

I was NOT going to let my bad run ruin my day, I had more to look forward to. In fact, Seth was going to have a chance to run a PR today in the mile.  My husband and I headed down to Kansas City where, Coach Ramsey of the Brocaw Blazers created an event for high school runners to have one last shot of the season to run a personal record. This race took out the competition of winning and focused more on creating an atmosphere for the runners to chase down their desired times. I will say, this works for some runners and doesn’t work for others. Some runners thrive on competition and taking out that factor could potentially prevent the athlete from preforming at his or her highest ability. I would have had a difficult time in a race or event like this, however, Seth did very well and did set a PR. His PR was not as fast as we were hoping for, but the weather was not ideal. The wind along the last 200 meters was very intense. After talking to Coach Ramsey after the event, he suggested that if we calculated a wind factor we could potential knock off 2 seconds per lap. If that were the case. Seth’s 4:27.02 (1600) 4:28.02 (mile) would in fact be a 4:19 (1600) and a 4:20 (mile). Which are the times he was shooting for. So in perfect conditions YES he could have ran faster, but in the conditions we were blessed with he ran an amazing race. One in which he can walk away from this season super proud.  There is never a need for disappointment with a PR. The beginning of the season was rough and slow to start, but the season ended perfectly. In this event yesterday he even beat the Missouri 3A mile state champ.

As of right now, Seth is going to take a several days to go be a teenager and relax. Summer training for him is just around the corner. Maria and I are in the full swing of things with her training. She is getting stronger and stronger everyday. There is a full week of training for the two of us and a surprise at the end of the week. Stay tuned in for the surprise.

Have a great Sunday!

GREAT JOB SETH!!!… Results from the races can be found here. There is even a photo album, so check out the photos. Ane look for the LITE FEET RACING SINGLET!!DSCF1125

A Love/Hate Relationship with Fridays

I have always used Fridays as my off or rest days. I love them because it is the last day of the work week, but totally dislike them because I usually designate them for my biweekly rest day. Which means no running or exercise. 😦 However over the years of making too many mistakes I have learned the importance of just letting my body rest and recover.

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On another note, a positive aspect to rest day Fridays means there is usually a race on Saturday. Fortunately this weekend Seth will be running the High School Distance Challenge in Blue Springs Missouri. He will be chasing after breaking the mighty 4 minute and 20 second mile barrier. His workouts this week were amazing. He ran all of his speed days super fast. Even closing his last 200 meter split on Wednesday in 27 seconds. He has the speed and the strength to run super fast!!! Keep your eyes open and do not blink or you will miss his race! 🙂

So what do I do on my days off… I think, read, and dream about running. 🙂

While surfing the internet for new running news I ran across an interview on momilesplit.com, former, Lite Feet Racer, Andrew Gordon had a fun little interview. Take a look if you have some time.

What Barrier are you trying to break?

20 Questions with ME!

1. What is your Favorite Movie?

How to lose a guy in 10 days. I am not real sure why I love it so much but I do. I am also a huge fan of Bridesmaids.

2. Do you have a favorite workout or pre-race tune to get you pumped up?

Back in my competitive days 2 days before a race I loved to run the workout:  3k(150/50) This was a 3k on the track where I alternated 150 meters hard and 50 meters easy. It made me feel fast. Now days I am just trying to get back into the groove of running and racing it has been so long. I think it is time to find a new pre race workout.

3. What Running Shoe do you wear?

Asics 1000.

4. What is your favorite workout of all time?

I love tempo runs. I find it easy for myself to stick to a certain pace for a prolong period of time.

5. What is your Favorite Pre Race food?

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Call me old fashion, but the day before a race I like pasta with meat sauce. Since having to change my diet to a gluten free diet, I still stick to pasta but I usually pick a brown rice- quinoa pasta blend.

6. What is you all-time favorite food?

Right not is is Brussels sprouts.

And I HAVE A STRONG LOVE FOR ICE CREAM

7. What is your favorite event?

I like the half marathon and the 5k. I know, 2 very different events, but I get great joy out of both of them.

8. What do you do for fun?

I love TV shows, I have along list of my favorites. I also love spending time with my pug, Samson. He is so adorable and funny.  I have the most fun with thing revolved around running, whether it is just running with a friend or talking about it. I love everything related to running! Oh, and when the husband is not busy with medical school, I have fun times hanging out with him.

9. Who or what inspires you to keep running?

billy mills

Billy Mills has always inspired me. Seeing what he went through during his life and all the hardships. On top of all that he never let his passion and goals out of his site. He truly is a believer when it comes to setting goals and accomplishing them.

10. How do you stay motivated?

Luckily, I just love running. The love I have for this sport keeps me going. There are bad days however, and I just have to refocus and think about how lucky and blessed I am to be able to run. There has been times where I could not run and there will be times again where I will not be able to run, so I have learned to cherish the days I get to do what I love most.

11. What is your greatest running related accomplishment?

There are so many wonderful things I have accomplished. I don’t know if I have a favorite or greatest accomplishment.

12. What is your opinion on the importance of recovery days?

I am the worst when it comes to recovery days. I preach it to my athletes I work with. I am getting much better on taking a day off. I do it about once every other week. I think it is more important to listen to your body and if you just don’t feel it that day, then do not run, do something else or take a day off. It is all about listening to your body.

13. Do you listen to music when you run?

I never did when I was in high school or college, but the husband persuaded me into purchasing an Ipod nano last September. So now I run with music on most of my runs. I think I tune it out occasionally especially when i have a lot on my mind.

14. How has your training changed through the years?

I have started paying more attention to how I feel on each of my runs. When I was younger I would get so worked up and frustrated if my easy days were not fast enough.

15. Any advice on running gear?

I do believe having good socks is very important.  You want happy feet! I have always been a fan of Wright Socks. Also, try to avoid cotton, I know running gear can be expensive but I believe good gear makes the runs feel better.

16. What do you think is the most important aspect of training?

Listening to your body and doing the little things. It is OK to lift weights and try something new.

17. Do you run with a watch?

I have always ran with my good old fashion Timex watch. I have used it since high school. Then for Christmas my in laws and husband surprised me with the Garmin Forerunner 110. I absolutely love it and recommend it to anyone.

18. What is your typical day like?s

Currently we are in the transition of moving so my days are consumed with packing and preparing for our move to ARIZONA. However usually I run first thing in the morning, eat, do things around the house and meet with various runners throughout the day for workouts and exercises sessions.  Lunch is squeezed in there and dinner at night and bed.

19. What is next in line for you, where are you headed?

The goal is to get back into my old racing shape.  Hopefully in February if everything pans out just right I will run my first Marathon. However, I am terrified. I have a few half marathons on my schedule and 5ks as well. 

20. Best cross training activity?

When it comes to cross training I have done it all. My favorites are Stair- Master, and Spin class. followed by elliptical and finally swimming.

PS: Fill free to answer any of these questions yourself? Or check out any of the other interviews I have done with Seth, Andrew, and David.

I will ask it again…WHY do you run? For great Abs…???

Many already know that today is national running day. For those of you who do not know… Well , you learn something new everyday. HAPPY NATIONAL RUNNING DAY! GO RUN!! Even if it is to the mailbox and back, just to say you ran on national running day. 🙂

This morning I persuaded the husband to run part of my run with me. He usually only runs about 3 miles about 2 to 3 days per week. He is a former soccer player who I am trying to turn into a runner. I think I am making progress. By the end of the run I accumulated 9 miles. Which was longer than I was expecting since I have been feeling like I have been carrying 2x 100lbs cinder blocks (LEGS) along with me over the past week. Unfortunately runners sometimes have days if not weeks of heavy legs. My little pup Samson even joined me for a little R&R after my run.

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I do have a deeper meaning for why I run, but on a humorous level, I will say I run to have great Abs. Running does in fact help tone up are abdominal muscles, however to have perfect abs, we must do more. One of the current abdominal routines I found on the internet. I like to search around and find a few of my favorite exercises. I try them all out and then develop little programs of about 10 different exercises which can be repeated as many times as I like. Which is usually only twice.  As of now the current routine consists mainly of different plank variations. One reason I love planks so much is because they tone your entire body just like running. Listed below will be the exercises. I will do my best to explain them as best as I can. I would video myself demonstrating them, but I fall down a lot.

ABDOMINAL

1.One legged bridge: Lay on your back and get into the bridge position. You will need to be on one leg. Once you are in this position you will hold it for 60 seconds. This pose should be done on each leg.

2. Reverse plank: This is just like a regular plank but you are flipped. The goal is to hold for 30-60 seconds.

3. Front Plank: Hold for 60 seconds

4. Front Plank dips: You are in the position of a regular plank, however, for 30-60 seconds you are dipping/twisting your hips from side to side.

5. Front Plank – Front to back: Once again you are in the plank position and for 30- 60 seconds you are rocking forward and backwards.

6. Side Plank Rotation: Once you are in the side plank position for 30-60 seconds you will be twisting and rotating your body. You will feel as if you are going to fall on your face, but if you really use your abs you can do this!

7. Side plank Dips: For 30-60 seconds you are in the side plank position and your hips will be dipping up and down.

8. Side leg lifts: 60 Seconds, lay on one side and lift the leg.

9. Twists: Good old fashion abdominal twists, I suggest performing these for 30 to 60 seconds.

10. One- Legged Crunches: Lay on your back with one leg up in the air and crunch up to it. Do this for each leg for 30-60 seconds.

11. Push ups: 25-50 reps.

12. Plank Leg lifts: Get in the plank position and lift one leg at a time up. Should work your back and hamstrings some. Perform this activity for 30 seconds.

13. Donkey Kicks: These are one of my favorites. Do these for 30 seconds.

Once you finish all exercises repeat if you wish. One set takes about 15 to 20 minutes. The husband did these with me yesterday since Maria and I were unable to meet due to rainy weather. He about died on one set. So it may be best to start with one set and work your way up as much as possible.

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To conclude, enjoy your days of running. Whatever inspires your runs, don’t let that spark in you ever fade.  Being able to run is a gift we are fortunate and blessed to have. Sometimes we even develop great looking ABS from just running.

Shredded Chicken Taco Bake

To my surprise I finally made a dinner that lasted more than one day. My creation lasted 3 days. I could not be more excited. When I make dinner that lasts more than one night then, I am not rushed throwing something together right after evening practice.  I was able to come home from working with Maria and just heat up dinner.

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I absolutely love Mexican food. Maybe because I grew up in Texas, but a go to meal is usually inspired with spices such as cumin and chili powder topped with jalapeno. One of my all time favorite foods are fajitas. However, I do love to stuff them full of all the good stuff which makes it impossible to actually consume in a neat fashion. So I decided to put some of my favorite ingredients in a pan and turn it into more of a casserole. This way I get more of the good stuffing which goes into tacos and fajitas!!!

In order to make your own version of a taco bake, you can pick ingredients which you enjoy most. Since I have to eat foods which are gluten-free I started off by lining the baking dish with torn up pieces of corn tortillas. Next I made a mixture on the stove combining black beans, pinto beans, shredded chicken (leftovers from the night before), onion, and a packet of taco seasoning. Usually I create my own taco seasoning, but I found a gluten-free alternative at the store the other day so for convenience I used the packet. After all the stuffing was mixed and heated thoroughly I poured half of it on to the tortillas.

I love to add greens in my foods in any shape or form. So, I made a layer of Kale and mushrooms topped with another layer of the chicken stuffing. Topped with sliced avocado,more tortillas, a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies and cheese.

I baked the dish for about 25 to 30 minutes. Everything was already cooked I just wanted to make sure it was heated well all throughout and the cheese was nice and melted.

Next time I will add peppers to my chicken mixture, I bought them to add, I just forgot when I was making the dish. I love having dinners that last more than one day. This means more time to run!!

 

Ingredients:

1 can tomatoes with green chilies

1 can black beans

1 can pinto beans

1 chicken breast, shredded

1 8oz packet of cheese

8 corn tortillas

1 pkg of taco seasoning

1 onion sliced

1 sliced avocado

1 handful of kale

6 sliced mushrooms

Keep in mind you can add and subtract many ingredients. Make it to your own liking and get lots of use out of it!

ENJOY!!

Saturday Workouts and Sunday Runs

Yesterday was a great day. I met Seth for his workout. The workout I developed had a purpose of proving to him that he can run a sub 4:20 this upcoming weekend. Seth was suppose to run 6×800 broken down into a simpler and FASTER form.( My notes are sketched below.) He ran so well. The first interval looked a little stiff but I think that was because he had already played a few basket ball games that morning.  After the first 800 was complete and he moved on to the next 5, he started looking much more relaxed and more like himself. Overall the workout was a complete success. Seth ran the intervals within the target pace.  We are moving closer and closer to accomplishing goals. It is such a great feeling!

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Sundays have always been my long run days. However thanks to Matt Fitzgerald, I have decided to do things a little bit differently. In case you do not know who Matt is, he was/is a very successful athlete turned writer/coach. I have been reading a few of his books to gain insight on how to not only help my own running improve but also to help the athletes I work with develop into the best runners they can become.  With that being said I have always stayed on a particularly strict running schedule. What can I say I like order and consistency. Most of us runners thrive on traits like these.  I believe it is very important for new developing runners to have more of a set plan and schedule as far as what needs or should be run on a daily basis. However, I am trying to get back into my good ole running and racing shape. To avoid injury I have decided to pay closer attention to by body and take one day at a time. I do still have my set schedule but I do not stress near as bad as I use to if my run was not has fast or long as I anticipated. With that being said, I am really loving this whole, listening to your body thing. Or should I say listening to your mind. Thanks to Matt, I am more aware of how I feel on each of my runs, which will hopefully keep me injury free!running

Today I was so lucky to have a chance to run with a good friend, Laurel, whom I worked with last summer. She even completed her first half marathon this past April!  It was great to be outside running again. Lets hope the rain stays away a little longer. Although the forecast does not look too shinny for Tuesday. Luckily Seth has another track workout tomorrow. One more speed day before his big day!

Thanks for the run Laurel!

 

Summer time has begun!

8736477acacc11e28c6122000aa8013a_7Finally some sunshine.  2013 has not brought the best weather my way. The first part of the year the mid west was covered in snow and now this spring we have been drenched in rain. Luckily today, there was sunshine and a cool breeze. My run was a little shorter than I anticipated, but I wanted to get to the farmers market before it closed for the morning.  I can’t miss picking up fresh tomatoes. Nothing beats fresh tomatoes. I think I even bought enough to make some homemade salsa!!!photo (8)

This afternoon Seth will be doing one more hard workout. Next Saturday he will be running in Blue Springs, MO. The goal here is to break the 4:20 barrier. After seeing his workout from Tuesday, I am 100% confident he will break this barrier. At State he ran just hard enough to win. The goal was to capture the gold. He captured it. Now it is time to put his legs up to the test.

With summertime in our mists Maria, Seth, and I have started some new training, and strength building.  I call our new activities, Galen Exercises. These exercises consist mainly of 15 million variations of lunges. But if Galen Rupp does something similar, then I am sure we will all benefit from them. Who knows maybe one of us if not all three of us will be the next Galen Rupp! We all have goals this upcoming fall, and training starts now! Our new training regimen has made our legs a little heavy and sore, but every runner loves that burn!  We are all excited to have the sun shinning and how legs burning.

Keep an eye out for results to be posted later this week on Seth’s break though race!!