Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Super Heroes and little boys

Since I started running last year, my 4-year-old son Aiden has been begging to let him run with me. He's a pretty fit little guy, but 3.1 miles might just be a little far for him. Until my friend Cary invited me to run the Alpha & Omega race on Saturday July 13 at Wake Med Soccer Park. I'm currently not training for a race (weight lifting right now), but I noticed on the registration page a 1/2 mile fun run. Aiden would love it, I thought to myself, and as I continued to read about the race I discovered the theme is Super Heroes. Awesome! Aiden loves super heroes plus they are encouraging participants to dress up.

I told Aiden all about it. He's super excited. Now we need to narrow down our super hero. We are still deciding between Batman, Super Man or Spider Man or whatever costume supplies I find at the store. I'm quite excited too. I get to share my passion for fitness and running with my son. Did I mention that the Alpha & Omega race supports the Hope for Belize mission trip. If you're interested in running as well visit Alpha & Omega to sign up today, and we'll see you there.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Where Do You Find Strength?


I've been pondering the meaning of strength this week. What does it really mean? Is it just being strong like bench pressing or lifting heavy weights or is it the inner power of choosing fruit over fries. These ideas were ever present this week as I began the COR 6-Week challenge by increasing my lifting while cutting out my favorite fattening foods. Strength...

Not only was my fitness life challenged this week, but the other hats I wear received some low blows. I wondered if I had the strength to get through the day. Misbehaving children, bad news at the dentist and vacation plans altered is quite a doozy for a mark-your-calendar kinda girl like me. Life happens and once again where do you find the strength.

It didn't hit me until tonight when I was rocking my youngest son before bed. I began to sing him a song. "You are my strength when I am weak, You are the treasure that I seek, You are my all in all." Strength is the opposite of being weak, and there are times when I am weak. Just like when I push myself at the gym or when I just need a good cry; I am seeking strength. I guess that is why Philippians 4:13 is my favorite Bible verse. '"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." That's right, I can't do it alone. Life is a doozy, and I need to lean on someone bigger. It's God, and that's what strength means to me.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

If Mama doesn't get her workout...

Yes, it started this week. Not the once-a-month thing, the other thing-- the 6-week COR Challenge from BodyBuilding.com. I am so over this fitness plateau, so I am revving up my workouts, eating extremely clean and healthy and adding supplements to the mix. I sent in all my before pictures and then on Sunday I get the long awaited email from my new online trainer- Karina. She is going to wear me out, but if my abs look like hers by the end of the six weeks it will be worth it.

I've been doing good with the eating part. I've cut back on portions and carbs and cut-out all sweets. I've bumped up my workouts from 3-days to 4-days a week which is really pushing it for me, yet my new online trainer trains 6-days a week.  So, I'm adding exercises here and there, bought a jump rope and try to fit in some exercises at home without someone climbing on my back.  It's summer break and the boys keep me busy with playdates. I don't mind playdates, it means I get to talk with another adult.

Today, I tried to squeeze in a quick run and ab workout before a strawberry picking playdate. I was really pushing it on the treadmill only 1/10 away before hitting the mile mark. Did I mention I was making record time? I look over and see Jed the head honcho of the gym trying to get my attention. I take out my earphones, and he tells me I'm needed in the child room. Great, I sarcastically mumble under my breath along with some other choice words. I'm thinking Liam needs a diaper change which I can do quick and just move onto my ab work. I get to the child room; I find Liam crying. He has a bloody lip. It turns out big brother pushed him, and he hit his lip on the plastic shopping cart. I try to console him, but he's done. He keeps pointing to the door. I know this workout can't be salvaged, so we pack it up and head to DJ's Berry Patch. Mama's not happy, but we meet up with our friends. I get to talk with adults who understand the craziness of being a parent.

I still plan to do some ab work- a plank, weighted jack knife crunches, russian twists, reverse crunches, and flutter kicks. I'll also be back at the gym. I might have missed my workout, but I'm not giving up.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Race Day

It was 5 am, my alarm clock had just gone off. I quietly walked to the bathroom where I had laid out my race clothes the night before. I quickly brushed my teeth, pulled back my hair and dabbed some mineral powder on my face. It was still dark outside. My stomach was nervous, but I was excited. I grabbed my breakfast ( a half bottle of Spark and a fiber bar),  my iPod and ID and headed out the door while everyone else was still sound asleep.

I met my friends at the Wal-Mart parking lot. The air was wet, the road was wet and the prediction of more rain was imminent. We loaded into the minivan; we were all slowly still waking up. We were mentally envisioning the race in our heads. For some it was our first and others an annual affair. One thing was for certain, we had all been training for this race, and we were ready. Determination was our motivation.

We arrived at Meredith College surrounded by pink banners and a sea of white tents. Set-up was underway. They had a stage for music, bounce houses for the kids, a food-truck rodeo and lots and lots of free pink stuff. We just stood in a circle nervously chatting. Lauren's husband came to cheer her on and offered to take our picture. We were giddy and ready. We walked to the starting line. Our thoughts back on the race, back to the training and back to reason we were here. It was more than 3.1 miles; it was a thank-you, a memorial, a celebration of the mothers, sisters, aunts and friends who had battled breast cancer. We would honor them in our run, our sweat and our perseverance just as they had already done.

The gun went off and the race started; it was wall to wall people trying to run free. The crowd broke apart and, I started down Hillsborough St.. I was listening to Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" and keeping a good pace. I knew I could keep up my pace at least till the end of the 1st mile. When I reached the 1 mile mark the clock said 11 minutes, I couldn't believe it. My fastest mile yet. My runner's high kicked in, and I was able to keep up my pace through the second mile. Tom Petty kept my spirits up with "Running on a Dream" followed by some Adele and Queen's "We Will Rock You." I was really rocking the hills. I didn't remember so many, but I just kept going. I slowed down a little bit after I hit the 2 mile mark, but I could feel my body wearing down, and I wanted to make sure I could turn the afterburners on and sprint to the finish. I was praying for strength on the last hill, and once I hit the peak I increased my speed and flew to the finish line.

My time was 35:22, a personal best. I did it! I'm not sure how. It was a mix of the training, motivation and the all the endorphins running through my body. It was God answering my prayer near the finish line. It was the support of my husband and friends. It was my two boys who make me want to be a better and healthy person.  It was all of the above, and I thank everyone who helped me succeed this goal. This goal is the springboard to many other future fitness goals because once you accomplish one goal you will have the motivation to continue pursuing others.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 2, Moving forward...

Day 2 was a different kind of challenge. Cardio. This time it was intense. I'm in my last week of training for the Komen Race for the Cure 5k on Saturday and my goal is to run the entire race. I'm new to the whole running/racing thing and a 5k is a challenge for me. So I did it, just about. I ran the first 2 miles, walked a little bit and then ran the rest of the way. I did it on the treadmill too, so it was a little different then running on pavement, but I feel more confident. I hope to get one more 5k in before Saturday. Tomorrow is my rest day.


Ran 3.1 miles
Stretched for 5 minutes
2 sets of 20 ab crunches

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Moving forward

Last week I admitted I hit a plateau, but this week I have a plan. Yes, my weight and progress came to a stand-still, but it happens, and you know what you can overcome a plateau. I set-up a session with Kevin, a trainer at my gym. I told him what I was facing and he had some suggestions. He agreed with the idea of working one body area a day plus he gave me an idea of where to find workouts and motivation--Bodybuilding.com. This site is awesome. I joined the free body space program which allows you to enter your stats (age, weight and measurements) and before and after pictures. You can choose your goals, make a plan, meet other members and get encouraged. I found quite a few moms with fantastic success stories. The site offers so much stuff that haven't even figured it all out yet. Using this site, I created my own personal workout routine. My goal is to go to the gym 4-days a week and work a different body area. I will post each routine following my workout. I am going to follow this routine for the whole month of June. I hope to lose 5 lbs and get down to 135 lbs. Not only will I need to train hard, but I will be eating healthier.

Today I did legs and when I left the gym I could barely walk. It was a good feeling. After my workout, I ate a protein bar and drank an amino acid supplement drink Advocare Spark. I also want to give a special thanks to Karen and Keith for fine tuning my workout today to help me maximize my results.

Legs with Rachel 
(40-45 seconds between sets)
5-minute warm-up on the stationary bike
3 sets of 15 weighted (15 lb dumbbells) plie' squats
3 sets of 15 sumo deadlifts (60 lbs)
3 sets of 15 hamstring curls (75 lbs)
3 sets of 15 hip abductors (130 lbs)
3 sets of 15 seated squats (90 lbs)
1 set of lunges on a bosu ball
2 sets of 20 crunches
finished with stretching

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