Summer Goals – You got any?!

With my summer officially starting in a week, I figure it’s time to establish some fitness goals for the summer. Last summer I didn’t really have any specific goals, I just lifted a little more than before to prepare for the ToughMudder and I totally slacked off. But the summer before I had my marathon training to hold me accountable. So this year, this blog post telling all of you what I’m going to is what’s going to kick start my summer of fitness.  

I’ve decided to divide up my goals by running, leg strength, arm strength, and food. I am in different levels of fitness in all of these areas and I want to improve them all, but some will take more time than others. 

Running Goals
– Find a fall race (half or full marathon)
   – then establish a new goal time
– Run a sub 27:00 5k
– Run a sub 8:30 mile 

Leg Strength Goals
– Improve back squat 1 rep max by 30lbs
– Find 1 rep max front squat
  – improve by 10-20lbs
– Still thinking on this one
– Wall ball squat and throws
   – not sure how to quantify this one yet, I just want to be able to do more at a heavier weight

Arm Strength Goals 

– Build consistency in hand placement and limit elbow motion
– Be able to do 25 modified push-ups without a break
   – 2 count down, up, 2 count hold
– Be able to do 10 regular pushups
– Be able to do 15 assisted pull-ups
– Be able to do 5 unassisted pull-ups 

Food Goals
– Meal plan at least 30 meals/snacks a week
  (roughly 3 meals and 2 snacks, 6 days a week)
– Eat vegetarian 1 day a week
– Eat clean 4-5 days a week
– ….alcohol, really try to eliminate beer and mixed drinks with sugar/unhealthy additives  

I want to see my body improve over the course of the summer, rather than heading back to school regretting too many margaritas and horrible happy hour food selections (which usually taste better with just agave, lime, triple sec and tequila anyways). The nice thing about being at home will be working at the gym – how can you not be motivated to work out when you work at a gym almost everyday?! – and being close to health food stores like Roots. Plus eating out isn’t fun alone and since most of my friends live farther away it can be a special occasion thing. 

Do you have any fitness, food, or health goals for this summer?! Share them with me and we can be motivational buddies! 

 

Mileage – Crossfit day (rowing, pull ups, push ups, kettle bells, box jumps, back extensions)

QOD – Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.

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Goal Achieved!!!!

On April 4th I posted about finally breaking a sub 21:00 bear trail when I ran with Michael and I mentioned that the next goal was a sub 20:00. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

This has been a rough weekend emotionally and I know running helps keep me positive. So I asked Ben to go for a run and he suggested trying to run for the sub 20:00. Ben pushed the pace, and despite my allergies crushing my breathing, I did it! I don’t think I would have been able to do it twice, but one lap was a start.

Now I have to pack before I hit the hay so I can get in a Crossfit workout before I fly back to Maryland. This is going to be a tough week, so I’m definitely bringing home my running shoes to help me clear my head.

Mileage – 2.25 miles

QOD – Remember the reasons you are running.

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Musicians should be fit.

I should be finishing a handout on Eleanor of Aquitaine and 2 of the most famous troubadours, but I was just reading a series of articles that popped up in my procrastination process. It once again confirmed my fears for all the musicians in my life who don’t take physical activity seriously. This article discusses musical athletes, and why musicians should work out just like the person who sits at a desk all day. 

Musicians, particularly still in their educational pursuits, are a highly stressed group of individuals. We spend hours a day practicing our craft, hoping our natural positions are suited to our body. But many of these poses are not, often we have developed poor habits that place tension on our muscles, bones, and joints. Musicians are more likely to abuse alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or food to deal with the exhaustion and mental stress of music theory, music history, lessons, juries, ensembles, chamber groups, recital attendance, attempting to have a social life, and completely abandoning sleep – all on top of trying to practice the instrument that got us to school in the first place.

For me, the negative impact of my musical education changed when I started running. I stopped going to therapy for my OCD, my bass playing dramatically improved, my ability to handle stressful situations became easier and more natural, and it taught me a dedication to hard work –  I had often previously relied on talent.

Any type of cardio or fitness activity could change the aforementioned problems for other musicians as well. Being physically active has so many benefits:
– promoting sleep
– controlling weight 
– prevention of disease 
– mood improvement or behavioral control
– increase in energy 

This also applies to everyone, I think everyone should take care of their body, that’s just me. Now I’m done my rant and will return to making handouts. 

Mileage – Rest/Yoga & foam roller 

QOD – We do not stop exercising because we grow old – we grow old because we stop exercising. 

The End of the Semester….

The past week and a half has been KILLER on my eating habits and working out. I had to cancel a Crossfit class last week and just missed one entirely this week due to concerts and masterclasses. Then with my paper due on Monday and the ensuing exhaustion, I didn’t work out at all Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Thankfully Ben and I ran last Friday, I got a 5k in on Saturday and got back to my routine at Crossfit yesterday. I actually think it hurt my mood and started making me feel sick because I wasn’t getting the endorphin kick I’m used to having everyday from my work-outs. I feel SO much better today.

The only foods in my fridge are condiments, water, eggs, cilantro, and half a lime…So I’ve been throwing together hodge-podge meals of frozen veggies, what’s left of my meat stock, and some sort of whole grain. I did make a delicious omelette the other day when I had a little turkey left, it was clean except for the brown sugar in the homemade BBQ sauce! Of course I was entirely procrastinating working on my huge paper for Middle Ages seminar (I am SO relieved it’s done). Down time and money my eating has just turned into consuming nothing almost all day, or eating whatever free food is offered to me. I haven’t turned to fast food or anything like that – still trying to stick to salads, wraps, fruit, or hummus cups when I eat on campus so even if it’s not clean my food is at least healthy.

I have 1 week and 5 days to complete my # of run goals I set on NikePlus…. so I need 8 more runs. Good thing the semester is dying down earlier rather than later!

Mileage – 5k, abs, pushups, yoga

QOD – What fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?
(I really needed to pull this one out of the jar)

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Love for a Rough Week and Beethoven 9

Love and cherish one another, this world needs a lot of love. Treat everyone with respect and compassion. 

John 15:12

This has been a rough week for America. Boston on Monday, the explosion in West on Wednesday, and now Boston again today. Sometimes it’s hard to decided how to handle these things because I don’t feel right posting about my workouts or meals, when other people are struggling with the after affects from these tragedies. Today will be my first run since Boston and I hope my thoughts and prayers will be heard, as running and yoga are my favorite times to pray. 

Tuesday I went to CrossFit, but due to recitals, rain, rehearsals, and an epic paper due next Monday, my work outs this week have otherwise been non-existent. I can’t wait to get back to a normal schedule next week and finish out the semester strong. The craziness will hopefully end next weekend and I will be much happier when all of the insanity of this semester will be over. 

In bass world news – I have 6.5 hours of rehearsal today, which I’m already concerned about my mental stamina for. But I am so excited that our Beethoven 9 concert is tomorrow! It’s been a lot of preparation, both personal (since last semester) and in the ensemble, and I think it will be a beautiful experience. I’ve seen a lot of amazing changes in my bass playing this semester and I’m excited to finally hear the progress of my practicing in my orchestral repertoire excerpts, which I’ve struggled with since arriving at Baylor.

Beethoven 9 is also a very fitting piece for performance this weekend. It is beautiful music and a powerful message many people in the Waco community can appreciate hearing during this difficult time of rebuilding and recovering after the tragedy in West.

Mileage – 2.5 – 4.5 haven’t decided 

QOD – There’s something so universal about that sensation, the way running unites our two most primal impulses: fear and pleasure. We run when we’re scared, we run when we’re ecstatic, we run away from our problems and run around for a good time. 

 

Boston

Yesterday morning I was so excited to share with everyone my thoughts on the Boston Marathon. My hopes and dreams of running it some day, the inspiring wheelchair racers, and how I followed the elite women on a live twitter feed throughout class and practicing. But all that was changed. At 3:50pm CT, I checked my twitter feed to see if they had posted elites below the top 4 times, instead I found articles about explosions. As I watched the story unfold with the rest of the world, I was deeply saddened. I texted, messaged, or did whatever I could to contact many of my Boston friends and friends I knew running the race – who are thankfully all safe. 

This act of terror is filled with hatred which so deeply contrasts the camaraderie of runners and races, particularly the Boston Marathon. Runners will continue to run, the Boston Marathon will continue to happen. Keep the injured, victims’ families, Boston, and the running community in your thoughts and prayers. And also Virginia Tech – neVer forgeT 4/16/07. 

Today I am wearing a race shirt in honor of Boston, to show my support for the runners, the city, and the freedom we have to run in this country. I will also play music today and hope to embody this beautiful quote: 

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Austin 10/20!!! Race Recap!

Today I ran the Austin 10/20 in 1:36:31 – which is an awesome personal best for me!!! The race had 20 stages along the way with 20 local bands. I did run with my iPod, but I took out my headphones to hear all the bands – some were awesome and others were…not my style. I thought the concept was really great, but it would have been a much more fun race if it was closer to downtown Austin. I would have loved to “explore the sights and sounds” of Austin as they suggested for afterwards, but it wasn’t worth the 15 minute drive to the heart of Austin. So instead we did that last night after picking up my race packet. I love the city more every time I visit. 

I am convinced there was an optical illusion going on because I never ever felt the downhills of all the hills we were running. We would run up a hill, loop back to go “down it” and suddenly I was running uphill again. WTH?!?! But it’s okay –  I enjoyed it being a hilly race because I think it slowed me down from pushing too early, which I would have possibly done because my legs felt great! Also, hills are one of the best ways to work on speed, I ran through all of them because you’ll never get better by walking them! As usual I didn’t eat before the race and ate my Honey Stingers between miles 5 and 6, I don’t know what I did differently this time, but this is my first race longer than a 10k where I didn’t have to stop to use the bathroom, which definitely helped with running  a personal best. 

Driving to races is pretty sucky, especially when you need 1.5-2 hours to get there, and have to wake up at 5am or earlier. This was my first distance road race where I didn’t have either of my wonderful parents to cheer me on, be with me after the race, or drive me – I did do it alone for the ToughMudder too. It’s a little tough because I was already tired from driving there and then driving back I had to stop twice because I was really exhausted while driving. I think I’m going to skip the far away races or find ones where I can stay close by in the future because it’s pretty mentally taxing.

Speaking of cheering me on however, I’d love to thank race spectators. Some are there cheering on family and friends, but others just come to watch the race. People have great signs, smile at you, cheer for you and even give high fives and that truly means something to me as a runner. It’s great at every big race I’ve run and it seems really neat to get the community involved in the events.

In the end it was an awesome race. Now stretch and nap time. 

Mileage – 10 miles! 

QOD – Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. 

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Taper Week!

So this week has been a bit crazy. It’s also been a taper week for my race tomorrow!!! But I will state that the sit ups we did in Crossfit this week left me hurting for dayssss. I want to do them every week – it was awesome. Monday was the 5 minutes of butterfly sit ups with integrated V-ups that I talked about Monday night, and then on Wednesday we did 4 minutes of butterfly sit ups in our Tabata sequence.

For those of you that don’t know Tabata it is an AMAZING thing. It is in line with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and you can do it with anything. The concept is essentially 20 seconds on then 10 seconds off repeated for however long you want. I’ve used it with running before, because it helps build endurance and strength. Your body doesn’t truly go into rest mode during those 10 seconds so you’re still building endurance. On Wednesday we did it with pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and squats. It’s a much harder workout than you think, everyone should try it and incorporate it every once and while into their workouts!

The rest of this week I’ve been taking it pretty easy. Tuesday I hopped on a bike and pedaled while studying for my exam, Thursday afternoon Ben and I went for a 2.4 mile run, and yesterday the weather was amazing so Ben and I hiked in Cameron Park! It was beauuuutiful weather and the views were great when we got to the top. We “walked” up Jacob’s Ladder (a crazy steep and long staircase cut into a cliff side) and we also climbed our way up an unmarked, but used trail to get to the top. It was a great calf workout. We probably hiked/walked 4 miles or so and it felt so nice to be out in the sun.

This afternoon I’m headed to Austin to pick up my race packet for the Austin 10/20 tomorrow!!! I’m so excited, I can’t wait to hear all the different bands performing during the race. I will say with the gorgeous weather continuing, it’s hard to take it easy today so I’m going to go for a walk around the Bear Trail before I bury myself in homework for a few hours.

Mileage – 2.25 mile walk

QOD – Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm!

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The Color “Run”

On Saturday, Sean and I did the Color Run, aka the Happiest 5k on Earth. It should however be renamed to the Color Party or the Color Walk. Because no one ran. No. One. At least in our starting group. Sean and I were elbowing and zigzagging and doing everything under the sun to keep a decent pace and break a sweat. I think the concept is GREAT. We did have an absolute blast with the color. However next time I would love to see the walkers and runners separated by a start time, or have estimated mile times divide the starts. People also did some crazy things, like roll on the ground in the colors, stand still and spin in circles in the colors, go backwards to get more colors. 

Obviously I did not break a record time, I didn’t even realize there’s not a clock on the whole race. No start time, finish time, tag, not anything. We still managed to finish in 30:28 but after the 27:28 a few weeks ago it really didn’t feel like a killer race time haha. But we had fun and I would definitely do it again, just not counting it as a workout. 

Today we did this killer 5 minute cycle of butterfly sit ups and V-ups and it was PAINFUL. But I need more of those, and we’re doing something like it again on Wednesday. WOOOO. Today has to be an easy-ish week on the legs because the Austin 10/20 is on SUNDAY!!!! So excited, so so soooo excited!! 

Mileage – Crossfit, 400’s, yoga 

QOD – You can fight without winning, but never ever win without a fight.

 

Breaking Records…

Well… breaking my personal records haha. My week of social working out continued tonight when I went running with Michael! I was so glad he texted me about a run tonight because 1) I was going to sit in my sweats on the couch with wine and 2) he always pushes me to run the best I can. So tonight we ran the Bear Trail twice, and each lap was a personal record for me aka NEGATIVE SPLIT! 

We ran a 9:04 pace. It’s been a recent goal of mine to run a sub 21:00 lap on the Bear Trail, just once, but today I did it TWICE (20:43 and 20:32). I’ve never run that close to a 9min pace for over 4 miles, maybe even for over 3 miles, I’m not positive. But it was a really great run and I feel like I pushed a lot this week. I didn’t even have setting my goal in mind tonight. Now it’s time to break 20:00….never stop pushing. 

TOMORROW IS A REST DAY. YES. Then my social week concludes Saturday morning with running the COLOR RUN DALLAS with Sean and his family! I am so excited to finally do a color run! 

Mileage 4.58 miles 

QOD – Running is a mental sport….and we’re all insane! 

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