10-Miler Recap

Yesterday was the 10-Miler race I attempted to start training for back in February, but if you’ve been reading along on my fitness journey it’s been an up and down struggle for the last year… or two… so getting into a consistent workout routine has been the primary goal, and struggle. Long story short – it was ambitious, I didn’t do well with training, but I have gotten into a consistent workout routine with boot camp and am starting to incorporate other workouts, like running! So how did the 10-Miler go… well I hadn’t trained last year and impressed myself, and I did it again this year.

I beat my time from last year by 2-minutes, didn’t stop, and finished strong! It was a chilly morning, especially starting right next to the lake, but luckily as we got deeper into the course was able to hide from the wind a bit.  Of course B left me in the dust before we even hit mile one! But he was waiting at the finish line for me, and jumped out and finish  with me! He ended up beating his time from last year and kicked butt, too.

Finishing any race is always an awesome accomplishment but when it’s an significant mileage it always feels that much more awesome. We are looking to sign up for a half marathon before the year is over to keep pushing ourselves and getting back into our old running habits. We were done with our race by 10AM and had the rest of the day to brunch, soak up the sun, and socialize with family and friends!

Fitness Friday no. 9

TGIF!

This week is all about RUNNING! Some people love running and some people hate running! I have a love-hate relationship with running. I never considered myself a runner, until later in my life. In high school basketball sprints were the only kind of running I knew, and I knew it was not for me.  Then later in high school I joined track, and was placed on the mile, a mile seemed SO long to me.  And I was one of the slower runners coming in at just over a 7-minute mile (which is fast!).  After that I would run to release stress and clear my head, because I could only focus on the pounding of the pavement.

Fast-forward to my junior year in college, and my aunts encouraged me to run a 5k with them, and then offered to buy my registration for a half marathon if I trained and did it. So I did! I got my training schedule, and trained religiously – this was a big task for me! I finished my first half just under 2-hours and kept a great pace. I became addicted to the challenge mentally and physically especially for longer races like a half.  Since my first half in 2011, I’ve ran 5 other halfs and a handful of 10-milers, 10k’s, 5k’s – and continue to try and dabble, but my training game has not been as strong as it was in my peak time.

Fitness Friday 09 - Running - the bee life

So enough about me, here are some running tips whether you’re a beginner, a veteran, or someone like me – trying to get back into the race.

Start Slow: Don’t worry about your mile pace, and if you’re the person who says “running isn’t for me” run/walk and try interval training.  Your time will improve as you spend time and start tracking more miles.

Stay Consistent: Most training programs recommend at least 4-days during the week of lower mile runs, try and start here working your way up to a comfortable 3-miles.

Be Brave. Okay, so you’ve been running and improving, but you don’t think you’ll be able to finish that 6-miles? You can, go for it! You actually might be surprised at how easy it is! If you run the same pace and same distance for too long, the benefits of the exercise will lessen over time because you body will be conditioned. Any slight ways that you can push yourself, do it!

Stretch. Make sure to stretch out before and after runs, your muscles will drastically change from before you start to after, it’s important to tend to them!

It’s Mental. No matter the distance or skill you have, it’s mental challenge just as much as the physical, as soon as you want to stop running you need to fight and get those thoughts out of your head to keep running. You’ll be happier once you finish and didn’t stop!

It’s springtime, so get some fresh kicks and get out on that pavement and clock some miles!

 

Fitness Friday no. 7

This week I’m going to share my 5 go-to at home workouts, that hit all of those sweet spots everyone wants to work on!

One thing I have been relying on this year, to get back into shape, has been working out at home.  As I’ve mentioned before one of the reasons I wasn’t successful last year was because I was gifted with a few months of workouts and then couldn’t maintain them based on cost and fell right back off. So, having been gifted with <expensive> workout classes again, I told myself I wasn’t going to use them until I got into my own groove at home!  The more I’ve been working out at home, the more I love it because it fits within my schedule – so when I have 30 minutes to get a workout in, I can do it on my own time, when I want, oh and it’s free!

Squats – I love squats! These work your full body but especially your butt, thighs and hips. The key to squats is your posture and formation, putting all of your weight within your heels and sticking that butt back as far as possible. An alternate position is widening your feet to work those inner thighs a bit harder.

Challenge: 4-sets of 50 squats, at the end of each set hold low and pulse for a count of 15

No Weight Arms – You may (or may not) be surprised at how much fatigue you can feel by doing some basic arm movements, with NO weights. Of course weights will add to the workout, but if you’re on the go or traveling these will be the perfect fix. The first pictured below is “Close Grip Flies” – the key here is to keep your shoulders relaxed and pushing your arms straight through the motion. The second is Triceps Extensions, the goal is to keep your neck straight and arms as close to your ears as possible while moving your arms up straight above your head, holding your hands in a fist can help the posture.

Challenge: 4-sets of 25, for both the close grip flies and triceps extensions

Side Leg Lifts – What I love about this, is that you can modify it to adjust to skill and the level of the intensity you want. This also tones your hips, which is perfect if you’re trying to work down those side “muffins.”  To add to this you can extend your top arm straight, this will intensify the core work.

Challenge: 4-sets, alternating 25 lifts on each side

Leg Extender Abs – I found this workout from doing the online Barre classes and I absolutely love it! I especially love it because there are modifications to do that still give you a killer ab workout without killing your lower back, the key is to push that lower back down so that it doesn’t arch.  The goal here is to work through the movement slowly and meaningfully, by alternating your extended legs, as you get used to this you can elevate your head (without straining your neck) and crunch to each side as you alternate.

Challenge: 4-sets, work this slow for 5-minutes and work into the side crunches – hold the side crunch on each side at least once for a slow count of 10

Planks – For someone who has chronic back pain, I’ve never truly appreciated working the core until I started Barre. Planks again have the ability to modified based on skill and evolve over time to work up strength and build that inner core strength.  Starting on your knees (and even your forearms) is perfectly acceptable as long as you keep your back straight and pull your abs in tight, and lower that butt!

Challenge: Hold for 30-seconds at the end each set

Fitness Friday 07 - the bee lifeIMG_9247A special thanks to Allie and Bekah for being my awesome fitness models (and fitness inspiration) and the crazy talented Timothy Logan for taking these awesome shots!

10-Miler Training

One of my goals is to get back into a consistent workout routine, back to how I used to be when if I missed a workout it was the end of the world! The high of working out is addicting and I’ve told friends who’re trying to workout more, to stay consistent enough because once you get to that point you’ll know – I also warn it’s far to easy to break that habit (much easier than it was to create) … and here we are.

One thing that had always helped me stay on track was training for half marathons, I would run at least one a year sometimes even two when I was feeling a little extra crazy. Granted that was pre-Moz, pre-house, and still early into my job (yes I will always blame work) – yes those are excuses. B and I have signed up for a 10-Miler this April, so let the training ensue!

10 Miler Training - the bee lifeWith races I like to be able to make my own schedule, this way I can switch up days when I know I’ll be able to take a long run or only squeeze in a quick cross-training session. Since I know I have some busy weekends that’ll interfere with training I’ve taken the initiative to star* the days that are a conflict or an opportunity. For example, President’s day I can squeeze in some extra miles that I normally wouldn’t on a Monday and I have a weekend I’ll be traveling so that’ll throw some things off, but only if I let it. Being able to plan ahead for these is smart, I can game plan and accommodate ahead of time because all I need is a few days of procrastination to break everything I’ve been working towards.  I also like to track during the week my distance and time, and then tally up my total distance for the EOW, it’s just another way to track progress or be honest where improvements may need to be made.

Beware of Burnout. I am always cautious about this I am planning or starting to train for any long race. B always got burnout a lot quicker than I, but a training program that is longer than it needs to be (depending on your skill) can be exhausting by week 6 out of 12. So I wanted to keep this manageable but also a decent amount of time, since I could use a little extra discipline.

As you can see training officially starts next weekend, but I am going to try and get some miles in this weekend as a preempt since it takes mental and physical prep to be all in for training!

What’re your training tricks? Are you getting ready to train for a race?

Fitness Friday no. 5

Happy Friday! How is everyone doing with their 2016 fitness goals?

I’ve been making slow progress. I signed up for Barre3 – which offers a plethora of online videos at a low monthly cost, and right now that’s exactly what I need. I’m enjoying the challenge and core building exercises, and I’m excited to keep it up once I start training for my 10-miler.

So this week I want to focus on the “little” things that are just as important to your health and fitness, as the actual physical work.  What’s that? Maintaining your stress and positive energy.

Fitness Friday 05 - the bee life - emilyboylan.com

1. Confront It. If something or someone is bothering you, confront the situation. I think the word confront often has a negative connotation – but the way you approach the situation is key and doesn’t have to be negative or defensive. Clear your chest and speak your peace, the rest is out of your hands…

2. Lose Control. Speaking of out of your hands, you can only control yourself, aka you cannot control others. So if you’ve spoken your peace, knowing you’ve tried, work on letting go of the rest.  You’ll thank yourself later!
*Disclaimer: I know it’s easier said than done.

3. Release The Stress. With exercise! Not food! Personally, I often crave some bad eatings when I am stressed or had a bad day at work – I find I have a small window to get motivated to exercise, but when I do pick exercise over the burger and fries I feel 10x better AND not fat!  Challenging your mind to pick fitness over food in those situations is half the battle.

4. Stretch! I’ve mentioned this before; but since I’ve been stretching more I can’t get over how much I can feel it in my muscles and body and how much it helps.  It helps release all those stresses that get stored in our body from long days of sitting at a desk or standing on our feet. Try 10-minutes a day, I bet you’ll feel a difference.

5. Reflect on the Good. It’s easy to fixate on the bad, how we didn’t work out, how we ate bad, the jerk at work… and it’s easy to overlook the good. Try writing down on a post-it at least one good thing that happened during your day and tuck it away in a jar, by the end of the year you’ll have a jar full of happy memories, that hopefully also helped you in the current moment – focus on the good. You can also bring this up with a roommate, spouse, or best friend at the end of the day and both share your “goods” of the day.

Keep focusing on your 30-days there is still time to work towards your goals and build good habits!

I’m Back.

Well my workout hiatus is finally over.  I received fitness classes for Christmas (AWESOME present, btw) so this past Saturday I decided to start! The classes are interval strength/cardio training circuits.  The interval and circuit length’s change from class to class so every exercise is manageable; because the longest  you’ll ever be doing an exercise is 15-60 seconds before you’re on to the next one!

These workouts have kicked my butt. (1) I haven’t worked out “hard” in at least 4-5 months (2) I haven’t weight trained in over a year … so an hour of strength and cardio let me know how out of shape I’ve become.

I really did not want to go to the class last night, I was exhausted, sore, and it was freezing cold, snuggling up with Moz and B sounded much more appealing than going back out into the cold and getting home after 8 o’clock. But I made myself go, the pain was still going to be around today whether I went to the class or not… also I know the pay-off, I’ve seen the results before, so I pushed myself to go. And, I’m happy I went.

“The only workout you’ll regret, is the one that didn’t happen.”

This is only the start, I’m going to keep going to these classes, and it’s only be a matter of time until the snow melts, the sun shines a bit longer and I can start running outside again. It feels good to be back, it was way to long of a break, but that break is definitely over.

Race Cancelled.

Today I received an email from the Rock n’ Roll Marathon series informing me that they are cancelling the upcoming race that is nearly a month away!  I am so disappointed. Also, I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of a race, especially of this stature being cancelled so late in the game! They said it was cancelled due to “low levels of participation and local support.”

http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/cleveland

I had originally planned for this to be my last half marathon, but now I feel like I still need to run one more. I really enjoyed the Rock n’ Roll Marathon series, when it was in Cleveland last year, plus it was the Inaugural race in Cleveland, so it’s really a shame they they couldn’t keep it going for a second year.  The energy of the race and atmosphere was amazing! So I would like to try and find another RnR series… just now in a different city.  I am going to try and continue on with training (not that I have been doing a very good job) but also work to get more cross training into the mix.

Before I received the news of the race being cancelled, I had drafted this…

I made double digits this past week in training!!  But that is just an excuse I still missed out on 6 miles… I need to keep working up to more miles each week.

Week 6 Training – Recap

Monday – 4 miles

Tuesday – 2 miles or cross

Wednesday – 4 miles + strength
Complete – 36:28

Thursday – Easy Run

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 6 miles
Complete – 54:55

Sunday – Strength

Week Total Miles: 10 miles

Also, I got new running sneakers (thanks mom!), because I get black toe nails/loss my toe nails (sorry – TMI!) every half-marathon and training.  My aunt who is an avid, long-distance runner wears a size larger to help avoid that… which surprisingly for as long as I have run and as many races as I have completed, I haven’t heard that!  How many of you runners out there run with a size bigger to avoid black toe nails? Any other tips or tricks?

Happy Running!

 

Week 6 Training – Halfway Point

The end of this training week will mark the halfway point, exactly 6 more weeks until the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon! The last few weeks have unfortunately been very sparse with the training aspect, so time for a harsh reality check.

Week 3 – I literally did nothing

Week 4 – I got a short 2.65 mile run and my long 5 miles in – for a grand total of 7.65 miles

Week 5 – One 4-mile run

Week 6 – Still in progress

I have 4 days left in week 6 to get some additional miles in. I really hate writing and publishing this for the world to see, but I have been severely lacking motivation…. major runners block.

Tough love 

How do you push through your long days to get those miles in?

Week 2 Training: Lions, Houses and Bands

Now that half marathon training is in full swing, I came out strong in week two, and boy… did it feel GOOD!  I haven’t had a solid workout week like that in a LONG time… sadly I’ve come to realize that these types of weeks will be few and far between due to work, life, and everything else. I just need to stay motivated and remind myself of how good it feels.

Monday – 3 miles
Completed: 27:09

Tuesday – 2 miles or cross
Completed: Walk 1.5 miles

Wednesday – 3 miles + strength
Completed: 28:24

Thursday – 30 minute cross

Friday – 30 min. run
Completed: 29:51 (3 miles)

Saturday – 4 miles
Completed: 37:38

Sunday – Strength
Completed: 1-hour Spin Class

Week Total Miles: 14.5 miles

On top of training we had a jammed packed weekend.  Friday night, Bentley and I went to Twilight at the Zoo which we have had the pleasure of attending for 3 years now!  A little rain tried to ruin our evening, but it quickly stopped and turned out to to be a beautiful night!  Food was sparse, but beers were flowing.  My favorite animal spotting of the evening was a Malayan Sun Bear, he was a cutie! Bands were scattered throughout the zoo each with a different genre!  We wish our friends would’ve been able to join us but we still had a fun date night together!

Saturday, my parents came into town from NY!  In between the downpours and crazy boomers, we were able to go to Lakewood’s Art Fest to visit our favorite vendor, Foundry Woodprints we have a small collection started of illustrated  vintage prints of downtown Cleveland.  We also have a bunch of wooden coasters, because they are just so fun!  In two weekends, Foundry will be at a festival at Edgewater Park!  Saturday evening we went to my cousins marching band competition, yes you read that correctly!  He is a senior in high school and has been traveling all summer with a marching band-camp, grueling through 12-hour practices and sleeping on gym floors,  the whole thing is quit impressive.  Plus we got to see more family, which is always fun.

Sunday, I started my day with a 1-hour spin class at Harness Cycle, it was an awesome and challenging work out. I was glad I got back for another class.  Followed by Brunch at Market with my parents, aunts and B.  Followed by house hunting!! Followed by me being absolutely exhausted by the time we got home that evening. This week has continued with the trend of busy, lots of work duties with little working out. I am finally at the part of my week were fun is ahead of me and hopefully a workout or two squeezed-in before the start of Week 4 training! I just hope I can let the good training weeks, outweigh the bad!

Happy August 7th Everyone!

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