Category Archives: workout

Taking a Much Needed Rest Day

In the last three days, I’ve worked my legs pretty hard. Here were my workouts:

Tuesday: speed (on the treadmill) Warmup. 2×400, 2×800. Repeat. Cooldown.
            Note: I used my 10k time to estimate new speed workout paces. They are TOUGH!
Wednesday: P90x legs and back
            For some reason, this workout always crushes my legs, even if I do lighter weights. At least I know I’m strengthening those muscles for my runs and rides!
Thursday: spin
See? My legs have really been working hard! Yesterday morning, my legs were already feeling sore from the two previous days. By the time spin was over, I knew I’d really be feeling it this morning! So today, I’m going to be listening to my body and taking a rest day.

This weekend I will be doing a 70 mile bike ride to get in one last push before the Tour de Cure. I can’t believe it is already coming up next weekend! Resting today is also important so I’m ready to put in those long miles on the bike tomorrow.

{One of my favorite photos of Ryan from last year’s Tour training}

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend! I can’t wait to read all the recaps next week!

If anyone is interested in donating to the American diabetes Association, and supporting my ride in the Tour de Cure, please visit my donation page here.

It’s Heatin’ Up!

Last weekend the weather was amazing. It made for perfect temperatures for an evening run with Ana (remember, she’s training for her first marathon!) on Saturday, and a long bike ride mid-day with Ryan on Sunday. Seriously, how can you beat sunny and 75 degree days?!

The forcasted weather for this coming weekend though is going to be HOT. Check it out:

When the temperatures rise, it is important to be careful as you engage in outdoor activities. Here are some of my tips for running in warmer weather:

Exercise early in the morning or after sunset. These times of day it can sometimes be hard to see runners though, so be sure to use caution — wear lights, light colored and reflective clothing. In humid areas, it can stay hot for a little while after sunset, so find the coolest parts of the day where you live.

Adjusting your training schedule for cooler days if possible. Sometimes this isn’t really possible to do, but if you have a little wiggle room, move around your training plan to do your longer or harder runs on a day that has cooler temperatures.

Run in the shade or on a trail where you aren’t in direct sunlight. Reducing the direct impact of the sun can help you stay cooler. 

Wear sunscreen! This, of course, goes not just for the hot times of the year, but we always need another reminder. Help keep your skin safe from harmful rays!

Watch out for increased chafing! I find it especially important to wear anti-chafe cream when the weather heats up and I’m sweating more. My worst chafing experience was at a race in the middle of the summer!

Drink lots of water and also replace your electrolytes (Nuun or Gatorade, for example). Be sure you are hydrated before you go out, and also rehydrate when you return. Try wearing a hydration belt or carry handheld bottle.  If you will be out for a long time and you don’t want to carry water with you, you could plan ahead and leave water along your route, plan for water fountains, or pass by your house/car for a sip every few miles. Here’s an in-depth article from Runner’s World all about hydration.

Slow your pace while your body adapts to a big change in temperature. Running in hotter weather can be more taxing on your body while it adjusts to temperature change. Slowing down your pace until you are more used to it can help keep you from pushing too hard.

Wear light, loose-fitting clothing that is wicking, and wear a hat. Try to avoid cotton, both for your clothing and hats. Material that is wicking can keep you cooler. I also prefer to wear a visor over a hat to keep from trapping in the heat. Dumping water on your head and neck, and wetting your hat can also cool your body down.

Finally, be aware of the signs of heat stroke:  dizzy, nauseated, have the chills, or cease to sweat. If you notice you are having these signs, STOP RUNNING, find shade, and drink water or a fluid replacement drink. If temperatures are really extreme, be okay with taking your workout indoors. Run on the treadmill or get in some cross-training or strength training for a day.

Do you have any other tips to beat the heat?

Working Out with Tony

Tony Horton that is.

Tony and I started a 90(ish) day journey about two weeks ago into the world of at-home strength training. I have been meaning to tell you guys about this, but somehow the post just hasn’t gotten written until now! I’ve done the P90x program before, but this time around I want to write a few blog posts about it.

image source:

My starting point:
Although I was still regularly working out at the gym, I felt like I was mostly maintaining strength rather than improving. The P90x program focuses on muscle confusion, and therefore an increase in both muscle and cardiovascular fitness. I thought completing this routine again could change things up for me and improve my muscular strength all around.

I won’t be following Tony’s plan to a T because I want to make sure I have enough time to fit in cardio (running!) workouts (for half marathon training!). So, instead of completing the plyos, kenpo or core synergistics workouts, on some of these “cardio” days I will go for a run or a swim. I also plan to go to yoga at my gym most weeks instead of completing that DVD. In addition, on running race weeks, I may take off from doing the legs day right before the race.

Finally, I also won’t be following the nutrition plan. Instead, I will focus on healthy daily eating and limiting unhealthy foods in my own way. While I realize this will probably not allow me to have the best results possible, I want to make sure I am leading a sustainable lifestyle rather than going on a “diet”.

In my previous rounds of the program I never made before and after measurements, but this time I am because I’m interested in how much I will improve. (Side note: I don’t like to worry too much about weight or size, and I don’t think we should compare ourselves to each other, but I am hoping to show some measurable results.)

Overall my goal of completing this round of P90x is to tone up and encourage a total body workout. I have also been struggling a bit at the gym, so I think this will be a good change for me right now.

image source:

Measurements & Before Photos
Day 1:

Looking at my before photos, I think I could maybe improve right away by working on my posture! 
Waist (at narrowest part): 29 inches
Hips (at widest part): 37.5 inches
Thighs: 21 inches
Biceps: 12 inches

I will post some thoughts after each month of the program to let you know how it is going and some of my reactions to it.

Keep Pushin’ Play!

Anyone else have strength related goals they are working on? 


Besides my daily workout, most week days I actually get in a small bonus workout…on my commute to work.
We are a one car family, and my husband needs the car most days to get to work. Luckily there is a bus I can take to campus, but it is a few miles from my house.  To get there, I ride my bike.

My husband likes to say that I do a mini triathlon every day. Haha. First I bike 2.5 miles, then I take the bus for 20 minutes, and finally I walk about 0.75 miles. And on the way home I do them all again! I’d say I get a bonus 25 minutes of biking and 20 minutes of walking most days.
I never count this as part of my workouts–just a little perk. I like that my commute forces me to move my body a little during the week since most of my time is spent sitting in front of a computer. Some of you are thinking this is pretty crazy and it probably wouldn’t work for everyone, but it has been working out pretty well for me for a couple years. I bike in all kinds of weather. Lately it has been pretty cold in the morning (~30 degrees) so I bundle up! In the rain, I put on a full set of gear – raincoat, rain pants, and a cover for my bag so all my stuff stays dry. I don’t think this is a commute that I would do forever, but at the moment I usually like it. Plus, on the bus I can read or take a nap.
Once in a while I will bike the whole trip, about 22 miles. But I have to be more prepared to do that.  The cool thing is that if I want to, I can just bike one direction and ride the bus back home since they have bike racks on them!
Funny side item: anyone a scientist? Have you seen the twitter feed #overlyhonestmethods? So hilarious!!
Anyone else bike or walk to work?

1st Day Back to Running

Today was officially my first run since the marathon. And it was GLORIOUS.

Over the weekend I dared to do a leg workout at the gym, and was surprised that I pretty much felt normal. Since then I have been itching to get in a running workout! But since a lot of my weekend was full of holiday parties and being lazy after said parties, I didn’t get a chance to until today. It seriously felt great to get my legs moving again. I did a progression run on the treadmill at the gym. I don’t usually like the treadmill too much (I get too hot!), but I kept the run pretty short and just tried to keep increasing my speed to keep it interesting.

Also, since it is already the middle of December, and I haven’t had a chance yet, I wanted to review my November goals & talk about December goals… or at least for the rest of the month.

November Goals
Run a strong, evenly paced 20 miler — met my goal pace for this race, but decided I needed to improve a little on pacing. Did much better at this (minus the wind!) at the turkey trot
Eat healthy through Thanksgiving in prep for marathon — also did ok with this. only ate too much pie on Thanksgiving Day.
Make a good salad at least once a week for lunch– was good about this except for maybe the last week. I think the holiday parties started and kept me away from the lunchtime greens.
Keep up with the yoga — did yoga at least once a week! actually, last week was the first week I haven’t done any yoga in a while. definitely getting back into it this week.
Enjoy your fun upcoming events with friends — had lots of fun with the Giro D’Vino, and Lake Tahoe for Thanksgiving

December Goals
Run my first marathon!
    Sub-goals for this race were: Don’t hit the wall, Finish!, Reach goal..finish under 4:25.
Don’t eat too many Christmas cookies –just pick one or two of your favorites.
Run when you feel like it, but at least keep getting to the gym (workout at least 3-4x/week)
Make the most of time with friends and family for Christmas


Sorry I have been a little MIA the past couple days. I’m in Dallas, TX for a conference, and have been keeping super busy.

I arrived late on Tuesday night, and have been going to all sorts of talks and exploring the exposition all day Wednesday and Thursday. It is fun, but also exhausting.

Although I have been busy with the conference, I have made sure to fit in some workouts this week. The hotel gym here is pretty small, but it has enough to get in a decent workout. I had some trouble motivating myself to run on the treadmill for too many miles, but squeezed in 2 workouts while I’ve been here.

Here’s the breakdown…

Monday: At home yoga workout before finishing up my packing, and running to the mall for some last minute errands

Tuesday: travel day

Wednesday: hotel gym workout. 1 mi treadmill warmup, then chest and back exercises.

Thursday: 3 miles on treadmill, and some quick bicep, tricep, shoulders exercises

My plan for tomorrow is to take it easy and rest — still plenty of walking around at the conference — and I will be flying back to CA. I’ll be ready to get my long run in on Saturday morning.

How do you get your workouts in when you are traveling?