Wednesday, February 24, 2016

On getting some muscle....

Lately I have been incorporating more strength training to my running plans.  After looking at several of my race photos and discussing them with a run coach, I realized that at the end of my races my form begins to really suffer.  After getting fatigued my posture begins to slump, and I also get a little sluggish.  The slumping, of course, will decrease my lung capacity making those last several miles a lot more difficult.  Also, with my form deteriorating, it makes me more likely to suffer from a run related injury.  So, I've been doing at least 3 days of upper body strength training, and I wanted to share a few of my favorite upper body exercises. 

Renegade Row

How to do it: Grab two light dumbbells ( I use 8 lb) and place them on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Place one hand on each dumbbell and assume a push-up position with your feet wider than hip-width. Complete a full push-up. Keep your right hand on the ground as you pull the left dumbbell up in a rowing motion, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top. Avoid letting your torso rotate excessively. Slowly lower and repeat with your right side. That’s one rep. This exercise will engage the core and also work the upper back.

Single Arm Shoulder Press in Lunge Position

How to do it: Stand in a lunge position with your right foot forward. Grab a dumbbell in your right hand and hold it a shoulder height. As you exhale, press the dumbbell overhead while keeping your midsection tight to avoid overarching at the lower back. The reason I do these in a lunge position is to strengthen the hips, particularly the gluteus medius. 

Suitcase Dead lifts

How to do it: Stand with your arms hanging at your sides and a dumbbell in one hand. Push your hips back, bend the knees, and reach the dumbbell down as close to the floor as you can without rounding your lower back. Now stand up again. Don’t allow your torso to tilt to either side while performing this movement. Complete 10 repetitions, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat the exercise while holding the dumbbell in the opposite hand.

I call these suitcase dead lifts because the way I hold the weights mimic carrying a suitcase.  These are good exercises to work your obliques as well as the lower back.

Another thing I've added is 300 reps of ab exercises.  Those 300 consist of crunches, bicycle crunches, toe touches, reverse crunches, side blank hip lifts, Russian twists, Oblique v-ups, and leg lifts.  I usually do these at bedtime, right in my bedroom floor!  Don't forget to plank! Always throw a plank in there!

I have definitely noticed a difference in my abs.  Maybe a few little cuts here and there showing up, as well as my arms, but the test will be to see if it improves my running form. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Running is My Favorite!

2016 is in full swing!  I kicked off the year with the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World ( recap coming soon)!  After Dopey I had to take a couple of weeks off from running.  I've been dealing with Plantar Fasciitis in my left heel.  I was in a little pain before the Dallas Marathon, but after that race my heel was on fire!  I had a steroid shot a week before Dopey and it was ok until the last leg of the challenge, which was the marathon.  I finished, but not without being in severe pain!  During that 2 week off period, I attempted 4 miles on the treadmill which ended with me hurting so bad I thought I had a stress fracture or something!  So I rested!

After resting and buying some insoles for my low arches I have been feeling great!  My first attempt to run again was an 11 miler with some friends and I had absolutely no pain at all!  Finally!

My next race is the Cowtown half marathon in Fort Worth and all these lovely ladies above are running it!  For some, it is their first half marathon!

I don't have a specific time goal for this race.  Actually I don't really have specific time goals for a lot of my races!  But I do love to go and have a great time!  Maybe I'll see a PR at the end of the year or first of next! Hoping to get a nice PR at the Chevron Houston Marathon in 2017!  

In my non running life...we celebrated my oldest daughters birthday this month!  In Texas, that means doing a little boot scooting!  She was excited!  All her friends and family came out to celebrate with her!  There was some bull riding, lots of picture taking, boot scooting, and some crazy stuff happening on the dance floor!  We had a great time!  Did I act my age? Well of course not ;) 

These days I choose to live life in the moment!  Enjoying each day the best I can!  Doing the things that I love with the people I love!  And I just like to run....running is my favorite!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Slim Fast Advanced Nutrition...a great recovery after 7 miles of hills

After 7 miles of hills on Saturday I could not wait to try these slim fast advanced nutrition shakes!! They taste amazing and also provide 20 grams of protein! Say what? Yep, no runger after that hard run!! I am hooked! Thank you slim fast for the complimentary shakes to test

I was also provided the sour cream and onion baked crisps and the Cinnamon bun swirl!  They are even more delicious when you know it’s only 100 calories. I love that I can enjoy these guilt free! 

If you are looking for an easy meal replacement or protein bar try the  dark chocolate and sea salt. It seriously tasted like a dessert. I was absolutely impressed with all the products sent to me!  I will definitely be adding these to diet!  Once again, thank you slimfast and influenster!


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