Fall Running Recap + December Goals

Fun story: this post was originally titled “October Running Goals”…and then I wrote 2 sentences and it sat in my drafts for a month. And then I pulled it out in early November, changed the title to November Running Goals, added a couple sentences, then…wrote a post about the election instead.

Despite my attempts, blogging has been difficult to commit to lately. But now that it’s Thanksgiving break and I have plenty of other work-related things I should be catching up on, it seems like no better time to procrastinate my real work and write a blog post!

Is it just me, or is summer just a no-go season for running? Every year for the past three years, I’ve trained for half marathons that happen in the spring and then I promptly stop running more than once a week for at least 3-4 months after that. Continue reading

October Running Goals

Hello blog world! Long time no talk.

I think it is the lamest thing ever to lead into a blog post by talking about the weather, but here I go: Can I just complain for a moment that we are nearly halfway through October, and yet this is the weather forecast for the next 10 days?!

Weather

It’s only a slight consolation that we’re getting below 60* at night. This time 2 months ago, it was 100* during the day and 75-80* at night, so I guess I can’t complain. But I want to start picking pumpkins and doing fun fall things!!! And my vision for said activities involves crisp fall air, a flannel shirt, jeans and boots…not sweating in an apple orchard in the 85 degree sun wearing a tank top, shorts, and flip flops 😉 Oh well. We will get there eventually!

Anyway…A little over a month ago, I posted my September Running Goals, keeping in mind that my eventual goal is to run a 10K in November and a half marathon in March. I’ve always said that putting your goals on the internet makes you more wayyy more likely to actually stick with them, and this was definitely the case for me last month!

Though I haven’t put them in writing until now, I also have some October goals in mind that I have been working toward this month. And I’ve gotta stick with them, because registration re-opened and I was able to snag a spot in the Beat the Blerch 10K on November 14th! Continue reading

Fitness Friday: September Running Goals

Happy Friday! For the past couple of months, I’ve been trying to get into a more regular running routine. After my last half marathon the first week of May, it took me a little over a month to start running again, and I’ve been slowly getting back into it since mid-June. After a month or two of consistently running twice a week (with bootcamp, weight lifting, and a little 18 mile hike mixed in), I’m starting to feel more confident about my endurance and pace, and I’ve decided I’m finally in a good place to set myself some running goals!

After my last half, I decided no more long distance runs this year. That’s for several reasons, but mostly because of all the aches and pains I was experiencing. I ran 3 half marathons in 14 months! Doin’ too much, Katie…However, I would love to run the Shamrock’n Half again in March 2016, and instead of starting my training from practically nothing in December or January, I want to start to build my distance and endurance now. It is literally a marathon, not a sprint 😉

So, I have two long term goals… Continue reading

2015 Fitness Goals

Who says New Years resolutions are for January 1st? They totally still count the first week of February, right? 😛

One thing I have always done a pretty good job of on this blog is setting goals and keeping myself accountable for them. In 2014, I started the year off by giving myself a budget, which was a good way for me to change my spending habits while I was working at my internship. The year before, I made goals to run a 5k and run 25 miles in a month at least once during 2013. I actually ended up running two 10k’s and was registered for my first half marathon by the end of the year.

It’s nice to be able to look back and track progress on your goals…and it’s even nicer to be able to say you beat your goals. 😉

For the past month, I have thought good and hard about my fitness goals for the year…and I have decided I don’t want to be over ambitious, or over specific. I’m keeping it to 2 goals that I think are challenging, achievable, and measurable: Continue reading

Fitness Friday: Pile on the Miles Challenge

Happy belated Halloween and Happy Friday!

We decided to retire the Blurred Lines girls, so my costume didn’t make a repeat appearance last night. I did meet up with friends, though, and threw together a little plaid shirt + cutoffs + boots ensemble and passed it off as a cowgirl 😉 A lazy costume at its finest!

Tonight, we celebrate my roommate Hanna’s birthday with a HANNAween party at our place. I’ve got another costume planned for that, so stay tuned 😉

Just a quick post today to tell you about something else I’m excited about this month: the Pile on the Miles Challenge! Hosted by Monica at Eat Run Repeat, I was stoked to learn about this challenge that starts TODAY. Here’s the lowdown:

“Pile On The Miles is an annual event in blogland where we challenge ourselves to walk or run more during the month of November. The goal is to pile on extra miles, not pounds, during this food filled time of year!

What: FREE Online challenge to walk or run more during turkey month.

Who: Everyone is invited to join. Everywhere around the world!

When: November 1 – Nov 30.

Where: Virtual! Sign up on this form and come back to RunEatRepeat.com each week to stay accountable and be entered in a drawing for prizes.

Why: To challenge yourself and encourage others to move more this month. This is about setting a goal and staying accountable with check-ins. It is not a competition for the most miles any longer – it’s about YOUR GOALS.”

Essentially, the point of the challenge is to set yourself a distance or time goal for the month. It can be walking, running, you name it! The goal is to stay moving as the holiday time approaches (umm seriously? Holiday time already?!)

I was lucky enough to be gifted a FitBit Zip for my birthday, and I have been loving tracking how many steps I take each day. Additionally, I can track my distance too!

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For instance, this is how much I walked yesterday (on a rest day that involved 8 hours sitting at my desk, no less). It even categorizes my activity from red (light) to yellow (moderate) to green (very active). So walking around my office is light (red), but walking the 10+ blocks to and from the bars is a little more on the moderate side.

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And on a day when I ran on my lunch break, then played nearly 3 hours of dodgeball (!!!) later in the evening.

The app also breaks it down- so awesome.

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I also get a weekly summary email telling me my most/least active days and my totals for the week. This weekly email gives me my total distance for the week, which I’ve used to set my total distance goal for the challenge: 100 miles!

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Don’t I look excited about 100 miles? Haha. I average 3.5 miles a day (including runs), so I think I’ll be good on this goal!

My next goal is for running. I want to be active in general, hence the 100 mile goal, but I also want to keep up my running. When I looked at my MapMyRun totals yesterday, I was shocked to see that I actually ran just shy of 40 miles in October! This knocks my previous record of 32 or something out of the PARK! So I’ve decided to challenge myself to repeat this total, and have set my running goal at 40 miles this month.

I think that means my friends have more of these snaps in their future:

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The challenge is just starting today, so I encourage you all to join in! You don’t even have to have a blog to join- my best friend Joanna is doing it with me.

Did I mention there are PRIZES?! If you check in at the blog every week, you’re automatically entered to win cool stuff like Quest Protein bars, workout gear, protein supplements, etc. There’s no reason not to!

And with that, I’m off to start my weekend. Have a great one!

Are you in on the Pile on the Miles challenge?

Do you use a pedometer or another kind of fitness tracker?

Fitness Friday – New Years Resolution Check In!

Hey all! First of all, thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my Treat Yourself birthday post. It’s reassuring to hear that so many of you are going through the same quarter life crisis ~struggle~…we’re all in this together, right?

Today I’m here to check in on some of my Fitness Goals for the year. They were pretty much my version of New Years Resolutions this year…I haven’t checked in on my progress since March, but I am actually pretty happy with how much I’ve accomplished exactly 6 months later!

Fitness Goals
  • Run a 5K race
  • Start weight training again (and eat more protein!)
  • Be able to do a 2 minute plank and 2 minute leg lifts
  • Run 25 miles in a month (several times if possible)

Let’s see how I’m doing….

  • Run a 5K race

I’ll see your 5K race…and raise you a 10K!

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Earlier this month, I ran the Run to Remember 10K in 1:02:27. I’ve been consistently keeping up with my long distance runs on the weekends, running 4-5 miles every week since! I also ran a 5K in March in 28:54. Fun fact: I ran 5K for speed on Wednesday and accomplished a new PR- I improved my time to 27:11! That’s faster than 9 minutes per mile! I’m looking forward to running more 5Ks and 10Ks to improve my speed.

  • Start weight training again (and eat more protein!)

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My gym FINALLY reopened on Monday! They moved all the equipment into a much larger and more spacious suite in the building.

I was actually pretty consistently doing upper body and ab/core workouts from Women’s Health and GPP Fitness before I broke my thumb in July. I obviously then had to take a break from lifting…but I have gotten back into it since I got my cast off a month ago! I’m still pretty frustrated at how little I can lift (5 pound dumbbells are too light, but 10 pounds too heavy), but I am trying!

baby musclesMy muscles really aren’t that big…. I feel like there’s some shadows helping me out here haha.

As for protein…this is always an area I could improve in, since I don’t buy chicken and turkey too often. I have started incorporating a lot more cheese into my diet for calcium’s sake, so I’m hoping that’s helping with the protein too!

  • Be able to do a 2 minute plank and 2 minute leg lifts

I don’t do leg lifts anymore, haha…But I have gotten pretty close to a 2 minute plank. I think my longest is about 1:45! I’ll get there!

My new favorite ab exercise is definitely V-ups. I can tell my form is improving every time I do them, and I love that they get your lower abs too! I try to incorporate planks and V-ups into every workout, including runs.

  • Run 25 miles in a month (several times if possible)

FINALLY accomplished!!! I ran 24.75 miles in August.. SO close! But I wanted to accomplish this goal for real!

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Hard to see, but I’ve run 32.19 miles so far this month.

With at least 1 more run on the horizon, I seriously knocked this goal out of the park this month. I’ve ran more in September than any other month since 2011. The crazy thing is, I accomplished it even though I usually only run twice per week! There have been a couple of months where I exceeded 25 miles, but I was also running 3x per week.

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Next month, I’ll also be able to track how many miles I’ve traveled- I got a Fitbit Zip for my birthday! (Thanks Mom and Dad!) Side note…me from 3 years ago would totally look at this picture in disgust that my booty has disappeared. #thanksalotRUNNING

So all in all, I am very happy with my progress this year! Can’t wait to see what the next 3 months hold…Time to start thinking about new goals I’ll make for myself next year!

Do you make New Years Resolutions, or do you have any fitness goals at the moment?

How do you get your protein?

Do you have a pedometer? How many steps per day do you average? My highest so far is 10,010 steps! Hard to get very many when you work an office job…

Fitness Friday – 10K Edition!

Three posts in 1 week, look at me go!

I’ve VERY excited about what I’m sharing today! It’s been in the making for a while and a little over a week ago I finally made the plunge and registered…

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For my first 10K!

At the beginning of this year, I set a few fitness goals for myself. They were pretty simple ones, like registering to run a 5K and running 25 miles in one month. I ran my first 5K in March, and as long as I run 3.5+ miles tomorrow, my second goal will be realized!

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Kinda funny that I’ve only gone for 6 runs this month and I’m set to have my best mileage ever!

As some of you know, my boyfriend and I broke up a little over two months ago.  Soon after, I suppose in what can be considered a coping mechanism, I began making a habit of going on long Saturday morning runs followed by a trip to the Farmer’s Market. For the last 3 years, I’ve pretty much regularly run 2-3 miles, only exceeding 3 miles a handful of times…But when I started running on Saturday mornings, I realized I could extend that distance, since I wasn’t held back by time like I usually am when I go for runs on my lunch break.

On August 1st, my furthest ever run was 3.4 miles. I was already contemplating running the 10k, but wanted to play it by ear…so I started running. But what started off as “let’s see if I can run 3.4 again” turned into one of my best runs ever…..

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Not just in the distance, but check out my split times! I have been doing much better at pacing myself for my first mile and saving my energy for the end. I think that has been key in increasing my distance.

After this run, I went to New York for a week and decided to see how my workouts went there before making a decision about the 10K. I tried to work out when I was there and stayed somewhat active…and when I came back, I kept up with the long Saturday morning runs:

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I decided to go for it and create a loose training plan for the 10K on September 8th. Because I decided to register only 3 weeks before the race, I knew I’d have a challenge ahead of me, increasing from 4 miles to 6.2 miles in such a short amount of time. My training schedule looked something like this:

Week 1: two 3-4 mile runs during the week, 4.75 mi run on Saturday

Week 2: two 3-4 mile runs during the week, 5.25 mi run on Saturday

Week 3: two 3-4 mile runs during the week, 6.2 mi run on Sunday

Seems kind of quick, right? I asked a few friends, who all assured me I can totally do it. So I’m doin it!

Of course, I haven’t really stuck with my plan… instead of two short runs during the week, I’ve just been running twice a week and increasing my mileage by at least .25 every time I run. I went from 4 miles to 4.85 over the course of a week! I’ve also been keeping my pace very slow, I usually average slower than 9:30 min miles.

In addition to my runs, I’ve been keeping up with “cross training” AKA sorority girl elliptical + abs workouts. I also played kickball with my cast. I know I know, bad Katie…I didn’t actually play in the field, I just kicked and ran! I think sprinting around the bases has actually improved my running form 🙂

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The Straw-ber-ritas help too 🙂

By the way, my cast came off on Wednesday and my orthopedist said that my bone healed beautifully!!! I was extremely nervous, given my history of low bone density and how long it took last year’s break to heal. But I am extremely thankful that my calcium regimen served me well this time around! With the help of the above thumb brace, I may have even played dodgeball last night….shhh don’t tell my doctor 😉

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Last summer, I really found myself in a funk when I broke my hand. This time around, without that boyfriend support system, I was really worried that would happen again…but thanks to a consistent work out “regimen” I stayed the same happy and perky Katie that I usually am. Yay exercise!

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! If you have Monday off like me, I’m sure it will be a good one 🙂

What’s the longest race you’ve done? Did you follow a training plan?

Do you find that your happiness + activity level are linked?

Fitness Friday

Sorry for the sporadic posting this week. I was cooking up a storm this 3-day weekend, but one of the dinners was a recipe I’m testing from The Beeroness’s new cookbook, so I can’t share it until the book comes out! (but I will hint that I got to test one of the recipes pictured at that link :-P)

Otherwise, I’ve been up to my ears in work. It’s been nice to feel so productive all day long, but I’ll tell ya my head is spinning. In the past week or two, I’ve sent out requests to schedule 55 meetings with lawmakers at the Capitol – 40 for my two bosses, another 15 for one of my bosses and a client who’s got his own schedule to work with…lordy has it ever been fun coordinating all these schedules.

I’m at the point where I’ve scheduled and rescheduled so many meetings (25 out of the 55 are on the calendar) that I don’t even want to do anything social for the next, oh I dunno, month, for fear that I’d have to coordinate a schedule. Haha.

Also, is it weird that every time I schedule a meeting for February 14th, I feel guilty? I hope I’m not cockblocking my bosses from having V-day lunch or early dinner with their spouses! No fancy dinner planned for T-Man and I, however — Thursday night is dodgeball night, so our plans are set! Fitting too, seeing as it’s where we met 🙂

Us playing in our first season in July 2011 🙂 P.S. Sorry Lisa…but the other version of this picture was taken about .5 seconds earlier, and was just as bad….lol.

So, there’s my excuse for not posting the normal 3 entries this week. However, on to the topic at hand:

I have been attempting to get back into the swing of things fitness wise. I was having stomach issues in November and December. THEN, I had a deathly cold on Christmas Day (which was miserable, no Christmas hugs for Katie!) that took me a week or two to kick. I managed to go for a run on New Years Eve, but days after, I had surgery to get a cancerous mole removed and took it easy for a while.

Long story short, I went for a jog this week and it was my first in 3 weeks. And the one before that…was the first in 2 weeks.

Though I haven’t been running much, I have been going to the gym and doing elliptical + abs, the ultimate girl workout haha. I have been trying to keep my Fitness Goal “Resolutions” in mind when planning my workouts.

Fitness Goals
  • Run a 5K race
  • Start weight training again (and eat more protein!)
  • Be able to do a 2 minute plank and 2 minute leg lifts
  • Run 25 miles in a month (several times if possible)

Specifically, I’ve been focusing a lot on planks and leg lifts (holding this position for as long as I can). Some days I can hold them for 30 seconds, some days, I can hold them for a minute no sweat. I try to add in other ab workouts as well, and the only weight training I’ve done is on the lat pulldown machine – it works out the same muscle I use throwing a dodgeball, so I figure if I strengthen it outside of dodgeball I’ll avoid being sore for 2 days after every Thursday!

Add in the fact that I walk or bike to work (it’s about 7 blocks, or .7 miles each way) at least 3 out of 5 days per week, and you’ve got my “fitness plan”!

I generally try to exercise 3 days per week, though the 3 day weekend set me back a little bit this week. However, I have averaged 50g of protein per day this week, which is a big improvement for me. Here are my last 3 workouts:

  • Friday January 18 — Elliptical 15 minutes, two 1-minute planks, two 30-second side planks

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Fact: I watch Food Network every time I’m on the elliptical. /endfact

  • Tuesday January 22 — Run 2.2 miles (time was 21:30), and two 30-second planks after I finished being dead/sprawled out on the grass in the park

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  • Thursday January 24 — Elliptical 20 minutes, 60 crunches & 50 side crunches per side, one 1-minute plank, one 30-second leg lift, and 2 reps of 15 lat pulldowns (set to 30 lbs because my muscle is all gone!)

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Awkwardly trying to take a picture without the other person in the gym noticing me…

Also, because it’s Friday, I will leave you all with my favorite hilariously fun song to work out to:

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Thank you Gunther. You touch my tra la la.

What kind of music/TV shows do you like to work out to?

How do you keep your muscles toned?

Cooking Bucket List + Fitness Goals for 2013

Generally, I don’t make New Years resolutions. I like to set goals for myself throughout the year, and I’d like to think this blog keeps me pretty accountable for those goals.

This year, I’m in the midst of participating in Elf for Health, which has set daily challenges for the holiday season. I admit I haven’t been participating 100%, but today’s challenge is to Set a New Fitness Goal.

Well Elf for Health, I’m going to one-up you. I have a couple of fitness goals, but something I’ve also wanted to do for a long time is make a Cooking Bucket List. Inspired by Emily’s Food Bucket List, I made a list of things I’ve always wanted to cook from scratch. She and I even have a few in common 🙂

Fitness Goals
  • Run a 5K race
  • Start weight training again (and eat more protein!)
  • Be able to do a 2 minute plank and 2 minute leg lifts
  • Run 25 miles in a month (several times if possible)

The biggest goal is to run the 5K race. I have run 3+ miles a good handful of times, and I have all but signed up for 5K races several times before…but I never actually registered. I have already ran 25 miles in a month before, but not since I broke my hand in June.

Cooking Bucket List
  • Chicken Tikka Masala
  • French Onion Soup
  • Cheese (Ricotta and Mozzarella)
  • Homemade pasta and/or ravioli
  • Crackers
  • Breakfast Quinoa
  • Roasted Chickpeas
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Use cauliflower as an alternative for potatoes (like here, here or here)
  • Bagels (preferably with some kind of cheese broiled on top!)
  • Donuts
  • Arroz con Pollo
  • Traditional Lasagna (I’ve only made a vegetable one, with zucchini/eggplant “noodles”)
  • My Great Grandma Rose’s famous New York Coffee Cake
  • Beer

I’ve already got a head start on that last one! I bought T-Man a beer brewing kit for his birthday and we decided New Years Day was as good a time as any to get started.

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(Drinking beer while we make beer…typical)

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It was a pretty long process (it took us about 3-4 hours including set up/sterilization) but hopefully it turns out! It’s bubbling away in a box in T-Man’s closet as we speak. Hopefully in about a month we’ll have a delicious IPA. I’ll be sure to tell you all about it 🙂

Tomorrow’s Elf for Health challenge is to eat 3 food groups at every meal. I’m having (very minor) surgery early in the morning to get a mole removed from my scalp, so I’m not sure how I’ll get in 3 food groups while that is all going down…but lunch and dinner should be no sweat! On Friday the challenge is to run a mile the fastest you can…I’m aiming for 8 minutes (my all time best is something like 7:50) but we’ll see how it goes!

Hope everyone had a happy new year!