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Winter Mode

1 Dec

Oh, my aching muscles. Yesterday I began my 12 week weightlifting program. I am following the book Weight Training Workouts that Work, Vol. 2 by James Orvis. This is the same program I did last February-April. Since I had such success with the program the first time I have decided to do it again. What I love most about this program is the variety from day to day and week to week. No single workout is ever the same and I think this is key to the program’s success. The constant change keeps the body guessing and therefore it is constantly challenged.

The format of the program is set up as follows:

2 weeks of Giant Sets
2 weeks of 1 muscle a day
2 weeks of the Big 3
2 weeks of 12-minute workouts
2 weeks of Volume Training
2 weeks of Circuit Training

Yesterday’s workout began with a quick 5.5 mile bike ride followed by Giant Sets. These consisted of walking lunges, leg press & calf raise and lat pulldown, bench press & dumbbell press. Now all of the muscles that I used to complete those exercises are gently reminding me that it’s been way too long since my last strength session. (I found a free download of the first week of the program.)

Today I plan to head out for a run, something very easy and short. Winter mode for me will be heavy on the strength training and light on the running. It’s nice to switch gears at last.

SeRUNdipity was kind enough to email me a copy of the group photo that was taken at the Expo a couple weekends ago. It was so cool to put meet up with these folks in person! I am really looking forward to another one of these meetups at a future race.

trip_sister, SeRUNdipity, eyedoctodd, myself, gone_fishing, LongIslandChick

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Who Knew The Grocery Store Would Reap Such Great Results

17 Jul

Good morning (or afternoon) to everyone out there in blog-land! Hey, thanks for the blog suggestions yesterday. I’ve added those to my list as well as a few more. I found plenty of great new stuff to read.

Let me get today’s exercise report out of the way before I get to some other things. 20 miles on the bike at the gym in 55:34 for an average of 21.6 mph. I just can’t seem to get that bike to go any faster. I’d love to push it to 22 mph one of these days. Later I’ll try to get some exercises done in the pool, either laps or underwater running, or both.

I have finally found some headphones for my iPod that I can actually use. It’s been an eternal search for me as earbuds never stay in my ears and the old school headphones that I use to use recently broke. Remember this style?

So I was back to the earbuds. Those always end up falling out of my ears.

I’ve tried these:
Those don’t work for me either.

The local Apple store sells earbud style headphones with the foamy things on the end for upwards of $80 and I’ve been having a really hard time shelling out that kind of dough on headphones when I got my iPod for less money than that. So, I’m at the grocery store yesterday and in the school supply section tucked in amongst the pens and pencils there are some Skullcandy headphones for $9.95. The exact foamy style earbuds that I’ve been lusting for. I snagged them and couldn’t wait to get home to try them out. I love them. Perfecto!


I also grabbed some more Detour Runner bars that I discovered last week (at the grocery store.) These bars are quite tasty, I tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor. Yumm. I also grabbed their original Detour bar (chocolate crunchy peanut butter) as well as their lower sugar bars (caramel peanut and chocolate chip caramel flavors). The original and lower sugar bars contain 30g of protein per bar. They really pack it in there!


I picked up a copy of the August issue of Runners World yesterday. I’ve missed reading it, having opted to let my subscription run out several months ago. The information started to seem stale to me and I needed something new so I subscribed to Bicycling magazine for the year. Egh. It’s okay but I’ve realized I missed reading stuff about running, even if it is stale (and it still is.) So, I was paging through the magazine and happened upon the Road Tested column (page 40). Here they mention some new (and not so new) things that they’ve tried out and reviewed. First on the list was Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Pack. Hey! I just tried that the other day – I thought to myself. I found it a month ago in the Organic section at Wegman’s and thought that it was a great idea to get a few of those packs for emergencies. I picked up the Cinnamon Peanut Butter pack and used that, along with a banana, to make the most delicious sandwich. I definitely need to pick up some more of that.

Lastly, I want to thank Tom and Amy over at Runners Lounge for the Open Mike interview they asked me to do. It was very therapeutic for me to sit down and think about my answers to all of your questions. You guys have created a wonderful running community over at the Runners Lounge. Thank you for all of your hard work and effort.

Have a great weekend!

Finally, It's Friday!

10 Jul

Not much to report today other than a 60 minute bike ride at the gym this morning for a total of 21.6 miles. Added a few mile sprints in the middle of the ride and then pushed it really, really hard (level 10, up to 130 rpm) for the last 3 miles. I was dripping wet afterwards but it felt fantastic!

Goodbye Giant Sets

29 May

Sooo not into working out today but I went to the gym and got it done anyway. I did cut my bike ride short, 5.4 miles in 15:00 versus the normal 10 mile ride. Same pace, just a shorter ride.

Today was my last day of Giant Sets as per my strength training program. 3 different sets of them, each performed twice and all for the upper body.

1) Incline Flys/Incline DB Bench/SkullKrushers (8 reps per exercise)
2) Front Raise/BB Press/Side Raise (12 reps per exercise)
3) Overhead Ext/Pushdowns/Kickbacks (15 reps per exercise)

See that? Progressively increasing the number of reps in each Giant Set. The Overhead Extensions were a bitch after rep #12. But I got it done and am grateful to myself for that.

The next two weeks are going to be tough. Lifting 5 days a week on consecutive days meaning Monday through Friday. The workouts are called One Muscle a Day, so one body part per workout, with the introduction of partials on the last set of each exercise. Tough but fun! (I know, I’m sick. But … the progress I saw from my last go-around with this program was pretty awesome therefore I am so curious to see what happens this time.)

On my plate for this weekend … running. And more running. Yay!

“Live hard and run strong.” – sneakersister
(yea, that’s my motto)

Memorial Monday

25 May

I had a good workout this morning despite the crowded gym and holiday crowd. First I hopped on the bike for a 10 mile bike ride. A rockin’ ride followed by a good stretch.

Next up, Giant Sets for my weightlifting session. I really love doing the Giant Sets. 3 exercises completed as one set with no rest between exercises. Today’s session consisted of 3 different types of Giant Sets, each performed twice for a total of 6 sets.

1) Dumbbell Pullovers/Dumbbell Rows/Rear Raise
2) Lat Pulldown*/Pullovers/Lat Pulldown**
3) Incline Curls/Dumbbell Curls/Barbell Curls

*wide grip, ** underhand grip

Here’s hoping I wake up with sore arms tomorrow. Why? Because then I know I did the workout correctly with the right weights. It’s called progress. This time around I’m working on bulking up a bit.

“Live hard and run strong.” – sneakersister
(yea, that’s my motto)

Thanks Dirt Dawg

22 May

I pulled myself away from the comfort of home, coffee and internet browsing a bit late this morning. I wasn’t really feeling “it” this morning but then Dirt Dawg sent me a tweet reminding me how much better I would feel once I got the gym and started my workout. He was right.

My workout was a light one. Originally I had planned on a 10 mile bike ride this morning but I decided to make it a 15 minute warmup (5.4 miles) for my weightlifting session instead. More giant sets this morning. First giant set: crunches/pushdowns/kickbacks – 3 sets of this. Second giant set: barbell squats/leg extensions/leg curls – 3 sets of this as well.

I’m looking forward to running this weekend and finally meeting up with my running partner. I think it’s been about 4 weeks since we last ran together. Seems like forever.

Have a good holiday weekend!

“Live hard and run strong.” – sneakersister
(yea, that’s my motto)

Brick Revisited

20 May

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a brick workout. Just looking back on my logs it looks like the last time I did one was 4 weeks ago (not counting the quarter mile brick on 4/30) when I rode 20 miles and then ran 1 mile. Today I planned on 10 miles on the bike, which I did, in the usual time, 27:47 or a 21.6 mph pace. It was actually a spur of the moment decision to jump on the treadmill for a mile while I was stretching out my legs prior to wiping down the bike.

So, I hop on the treadmill and crank out a mile in 7:32. Yep. That’s right. Last month I ran an 8:22 mile after that 20 mile ride. I am definitely noticing progress these days. This makes me even more hopeful and excited about my summer training.

And after all that, I headed to the weights area for another strength session. I did 2 sets of each of the following giant sets:

1) Reverse Crunch/Ab Bench Crunch/Reverse Crunch
2) Hammer Curls/2 DB Pullovers/Cable Curls
3) DB Squats/Leg Curls/Deadlifts

I am now pleasantly tired and ready to play with the girls for the rest of the day.

“Live hard and run strong.” – sneakersister
(yea, that’s my motto)