Cardio/Leg Fatigue Workout

I just completed this workout aimed at getting my heart rate pumping, my legs exhausted, and my body dripping sweat. I definitely accomplished what I set out to do. Give it a try! It took me about 1.5 hours, but I was in no hurry. Do just one set of the whole workout for less time, or 2 for the 1.5 hours. Vary the speeds and weights on your workout to fit your fitness ability. Mine are listed as examples.

  • 5 min warm-up
  • 10 minute treadmill interval:
    • 1 min walk @ 4.0
    • 30 sec jog @ 6.0
    • 20 sec sprint @ 8.5
    • repeat until 9 minutes
    • 1 min walk @ 3.5-4.0
  • 3 Sets of:
    • 15 dead lifts with 35 lbs
    • 15 squats with 20 lbs
    • 1 min plank
  • 10 minute treadmill interval:
    • 1 min walk @ 4.0
    • 30 sec jog @ 6.0
    • 20 sec sprint @ 8.5
    • repeat until 9 minutes
    • 1 min walk @ 3.5-4.0
  • 3 Sets of:
    • 15 front squats with 20 lbs 2x, without weight 1x
    • 15 side squats with 20 lbs
    • 1 min leg/hip lift and lower (focus on using your abs and your hips, not momentum)

Repeat entire sequence for a total of 4 intervals and 4 sets of weights.


Tabata Combo Workout

I had no desire to go to the gym after waiting in line to vote… Plus I was sore from yesterday’s TRX workout (excuses, excuses).

I wanted to do something basically just to not feel so guilty for all the Halloween candy I ate today…
Try this 20 minute Tabata-style workout for a quick @ home heart-rate booster:

(Do each combo for a 4 minute Tabata: 20 sec exercise A, 10 sec rest, 20 sec exercise B, 10 sec rest – repeat, doing each exercise a total of 4 times)

  • A.  Jumping Jacks
  • B.  Floor Jacks
  • A. Burpee
  • B. Mountain Climber
  • A. High Knees
  • B.  Butt-kickers
  • A. Front Jabs (cross body punches)
  • B. Front Kicks
  • Speed Skaters (do this all 8 sets)

Treadmill Sprints

The treadmill used to be my worst enemy. Why anyone would want to spend more than 5 minutes on the thing blew my mind.

But now, I’m coming to see it as very useful in this 100+ degree summer weather we’ve been having. Running with humidity and 100 degrees? Ehh, no thanks.

I think I’ve talked about sprinting on the TM before, but I don’t know.

I used to do this [lame] TM routine where I’d increase the speed 0.5 mph per minute but would have the incline all the way up and be holding on… I I

Sure I’d sweat and it would read that I burned a lot of calories and ultimately it was semi-helpful, but I spent at least an hour doing that and probably wasn’t getting the best results.

In the past year I’ve been doing 20-30 minutes of sprints. I started out 1 min walking @ 4 mph, 30 seconds sprinting @ around 8 mph. Or… something similar.

Then, about a month ago I switched it up to where I walked 30 seconds @ 4 mph and ran 15 secs @ 8.5-9.0 mph.

Today, I switched it up and walked 30 seconds @ 4 mph and 20 sec @ 10 mph for 25 minutes.

Start slower and walk longer, but make sure to increase these intervals quickly, before your body gets used to what you are doing.

My goal is to switch up my interval time and/or speed every 2 weeks.

Below I’ve posted some links to what others do for TM intervals:

Monday Move[s] – AMRAP

Are you familiar with AMRAP style workouts?

AMRAP stands for As Many Reps As Possible, within a certain time limit.

I have been trying to do an AMRAP style workout in the morning because they are short and sweet but pack a good punch!

I did this one the other day using a medicine ball, but if you don’t have a med ball you can use a kettle ball, dumbell, or just your body weight.

10 Min – AMRAP

  • 10 sumo squat with overhead swing
  • 30 mountain climbers on medicine ball (if no ball, put your hands nearly on top of each other rather than shoulder width apart like a regular mt. climb)
  • 30 russian twists
  • 10 figure 8’s (in-and-out through the legs with the ball, like you do in basketball drills)

*Record the number of reps of the circuit you did in the 10 minutes and then do it again in a day or two, always trying to increase the number of reps you complete!

Challenge yourself!

morning workouts

Recently I have been trying to complete at least a 10 minute workout first thing in the morning. Today I was supposed to get up at 5:30a to do a full workout because I have training all day and then class all night.

Well, I didn’t do it.

I slept.

And snoozed.

Slept some more.

Then I did this workout:

I plan to do at least this each morning. Then I might also add this, either in the morn or at night:

I got both of these workouts from ItsFitnessBaby.

I’ve also been doing some ZWOW 10 minute workouts in the morning which have been really good!

gain some weight

I’m not talking about fat people, but you may gain weight by building your muscles. But you’ll look dang good!

Post-marathon, this month I am focusing much more on strength training/weight lifting than I normally do. I try to do at least 2 sessions per week regularly (usually one upper body focus, one lower body) but I am upping it to at least 3 sessions for at least 20 minutes.

I saw a personal trainer for about 6 months and it was helpful, but honestly I didn’t see much change. I did, however, learn a lot of good strength training exercises. For those of you who are new to strength training, I’ve compiled a few resources below!

Hop to it!

The Fairly Hot Couple – Information on weight lifting for women

Runner’s World – Build a Better Body

Lose Stubborn Fat! – Weight Training and Cross Training for Runners: Myth vs. Fact

Livestrong – Weight Training Workouts for Distance Runners

Running Planet – Strength Training for Runners

marathon training: lessons learned

2nd marathon (Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon) – done and done!

I finished my 2nd marathon this past saturday and it, like my first, was a success (in my book)! This time I was nervous, but not like I was for my first. I was most nervous about it not being as great as my first experience – my first (and only until now) went much smoother than I had expected.

Again, I wasn’t running for a time but simply to finish. And finish I did.

I finished in 4:21 and my previous marathon time was 4:53. That’s a good 1/2 hour difference. I wasn’t trying for time @ either of these but obviously I have gotten faster throughout the past 1.5 years of training for time for half-marathons.

While I am no expert on running (by any means), you can see some of my chronicled training in these posts:

Now, something else you can do is look at these pictures from my run:

two goofs who like to run (it was their first time!)


the team minus 1




The first picture is the result of learning lesson #1. Here’s the list of some things I learned this go-round:

1. Remember your defensive running rule, in a new light. People may push or elbow you in the first mile to get ahead and then you will have to use discarded clothing to sop up blood until you reach a first aid tent miles away.

2. It’s okay not to run the week before. I read a lot of things about how much to run the week before, and I basically just didn’t run and I ended up doing fine.

3. You don’t need coffee to fuel you (it’s delish and normally I drink it, but not this time!).

4. Gels are good. I don’t train with them and I don’t really like them but I used them during the race (not recommended to try something new during race time) and I think they gave me added energy.

5. Nike Free+ shoes are great but around mile 21 your feet will wish you had a bit more padding in your kicks.

6. There’s nothing better than having friends around pre and post race, whether or not you stick with them the whole run.

7. High-fiving every kid on the side reaching for one makes you find little bits of joy in the pain.

8. You’re doing it, no matter how slow you go, so be proud.

9. Thank the police who are blocking cars from hitting you; practice gratitude, again even in the pain.

10. Eat lots of pizza the night after you run. It never tastes better.



April Challenge

April is just around the corner! Yikes! Are you kidding me?!

In March I gave you the Mad Abs Challenge and I have been searching for something to do in April. The following are some options I figured I’d throw your way and let you choose!

The Thank Your Body 30 Day Challenge from Robin @

Arms n’ Abs from the Domestic Diva

A general eating better challenge from It’s Fitness, Baby.

In general, I know I have a few challenges for myself:

  1. No candy. Period. None. Candy seems to run my life. By candy I mean M&Ms. If there was an MMAA (M&M addicts annonymous) I’d be the leader. Maybe I should start that group. Unfortunately, how we reward behavior at my job is by giving the kids “dots” – M&Ms. They are always around… Plus I purchase them for my own usage. So, while my goal is to eat NO candy, I basically mean eat no M&Ms.
  2. When the temptation arises to mindlessly eat, study scripture instead. Sometimes when I am bored I just search for food to satisfy me. It never really does but I figure I could use this boredom to do something MUCH more productive. I’ve written some scripture on index cards that I plan to keep around the house as well as in my car and purse.
  3. Love myself better/more. Each day in April I will write down 1 thing I am so proud of/thankful for about myself. I think it’s good to practice encouraging others, and I try to do just that, but I also think it is so important to encourage and uplift myself.

Now my challenge to YOU: Join me! Join me in one of the challenges I listed for myself OR one of the others listed above! Let me know if you plan to do one of these!

Marathon training: another race, another metaphor

The other day I briefly mentioned using other races (5k, 10k, 1/2s, etc.) to train for the big day (26.2!).

Today, I did just that! It was quite a gloomy, foggy morning… and it was hard getting up. This race is Ohio’s oldest marathon/half marathon but it is small and it is local. It’s nothing spectacular or grandiose. The packet pickup yesterday had no booths other than the booth to pickup your bib and shirt. The cookies at the end were homemade (and I may or may not have taken 6 or so…) and most of the runners are local.

So what makes this race unspectacular also makes it exciting and great! It’s just harder to wake up for that kind of race than say, the Chicago.

But I did. I drove through the fog and then waited in line for a bathroom which I never ended up using.

At the sound of the gun and the start of the race, I got a little emotional. I remembered my love for running. I know that sounds weird – that I remembered – but that’s how it felt. It was almost as if I had forgotten the joy that can be found in pounding the pavement with hundreds of others all striving towards the same goal.

Just like in life, there are times when people pass you and you may get discouraged. Why is she able to run faster (why is she getting to take that vacation, have that experience, do that thing, etc.)? Why does he look so relaxed running up this hill (why does he get that promotion, move up in the company so quickly, etc.). My biggest battle in keeping the joy in a race is, hands down, not letting the people pass me discourage me. I am reminding myself the entire race to do my personal best – not the best of that girl passing me.

This race was a perfect reminder of my love/dislike relationship with running. I always am thankful for a good run, but I think with how often (almost always) I run by myself, I forget the community that surrounds races like these.

Again – another metaphor for the race of life. Community is so, so very important. Just like when running alone, I get discouraged much quicker in life when I’m alone. It’s easier to give up. It’s easier to stop trying. But when you’re running life together with others, they pull you up. They keep you moving. It really is beautiful.

my girl, Jess and I after our 1st marathon - this girl knows all about life and running as metaphors!

Life is one whole metaphor. My best friend Jess and I discuss the “life is a metaphor” theory all the time. They are everywhere. Jesus in the new testament used parables to teach his disciples and others lessons about life. Metaphors are like parables. defines the two as such:

Metaphor: 1.a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance; or 2. something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; emblem; symbol.

Parable: 1. a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach sometruth, religious principle, or moral lesson; or 2. a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.

Running is a metaphor for life. Don’t let yourself miss out on the lessons that are waiting to be learned as you run! They are invaluable and give running a deeper meaning than lookin’ dang good!

Anyway. Use smaller races to train for the big day and remember why you run.

Why do you run?

And, just as a side note – I beat my PR by about 6 minutes today!

previous PR - November 2011

New PR - March 2012