2014 Fitness Goals

Happy New Year!

new years resolutions

I can’t believe 2013 has come to an end and 2014 is underway. Hopefully the coming year has a lot of fun things in store for all of us! I’m sure many of you have spent some time reflecting on 2013 and deciding what you want the coming year to bringg. Has anyone set any New Year’s Resolutions goals for themselves?

During my last Thursday morning class of 2013, I started out by asking each class member (it was a small crowd that day!) to write one fitness goal they wanted to make for 2014. The only rule I gave them was that they could not write “to lose weight” because it had to be something fitness oriented.

Here’s what some of my peeps came up with:

–Strengthen upper body

–Run a 10k instead of a 5k

–Perfect a pushup

–Use 12 pound weights

–Be stronger

–Strengthen calf muscles

–Increase running pace and get faster

–Come to the gym 3-4 times a week during the winter

–Get more toned in my core and arms

–Run a 10k

–Not be so dependent on group exercise classes and feel more comfortable working out independently

Aren’t my class members awesome? I had so much fun reading these.

However, here’s my F&F tip for New Year’s Day. When making goals for this year (whatever they may be), let’s try to think about more than just the outcome. Of course we should always think with the end in mind, but we should also consider the baby steps it will take to get there. It’s that “in between” from point A and point B that’s going to make or break our success.

For example, if your goal is to increase upper body strength, how do you plan to do that? Are you going to add another upper body strength workout to your repertoire? What will it be, when will you do it, and will you do it on your own or with a trainer? Will you choose heavier weights at your next workout and gradually increase from there? If your goal is to run a 10k, what’s your plan? When will you start training? How will you train? Where will you train?

Oaktoberfest 5k

Thinking about the “how” can often be more powerful than the “what.” Doing so simply gets you thinking of all the details of what has to happen in the middle, between where you are now and where you want to be. Even just stating one step you’ll take next week (start researching races, buy a new pair of twelve pound weights, look for different upper body workouts online) can get you well on your way.

–Here are some of my fitness goals for 2014–

Lift heavier more often
I want to increase the amount of weight that I can squat, deadlift, and bench press. I played around with a lot of heavier weight workouts last week, and I am going to start by including at least one heavier weight workout on the weekends with Tim into my workout plan. We’ll see how that goes to keep it manageable at first, and then I’ll try to increase the frequency from there. I’ll need to do some experimenting with how to revolve this around teaching my classes!

Lifting

Introduce chin ups and pull ups into my life
These are two exercises that have always intimidated me, but this is the year I’m going to try. I’m going to start adding the beginner and assisted versions of a chin up to my weekly repertoire, then build my way up. My friend Ashley has inspired me for this one, so I also plan to use her as a resource. She recommended this article to me, so this will be a good starting place. This post from Steph is also really helpful. Finally, I am going to focus more on exercises that will help strengthen all the other muscles needed for these moves. Hello inverted rows!

Run more than just one 5k race
Since my workouts in the second half of 2013 included more treadmill and running routines, I want to run a couple of more 5k races than just the Oak Scare 5k in October. To start, I’m going to research what else is out there and ask around to see if any of my friends have any specific races in mind. I probably won’t plan this until the spring when the weather is nicer.

Get another fitness certification
At Boston Mania, I won a free MMA Trainer Certification, so I am planning to get certified in February. I’m also researching some spinning certs as well. We’ll see!

Boston Mania - MMA

Try classes, studios, and fitness opportunities around Boston more often, and go back more than once!
I want to try spin classes at both The Handle Bar and Flywheel since I’ve never been. I also need to try The November Project. I want to frequent Barry’s Bootcamp regularly, get back to both FitHouse and The Studio Empower, and just see what else is out there. A lot will depend on my schedule and cost, but I just want to break out a little more. If anyone has any Boston fitness opportunities or recommendations, send them my way. I’m also always up for a little gym buddy action too!

Do you have any fitness goals for the coming year? What are the “in between” steps that will help you get there?

Let’s make 2014 the best one yet.

Oaktoberfest 5k Dash & Bash

Let me share a little story about Tim meeting my parents for the first time.  I guess technically the first time he met my parents was at my grandmother’s wake, but that doesn’t really count.  The first time he met my parents for more than two minutes was eating dinner at a Greek festival (obviously).  At the time, Tim had just hit his fifty pound weight loss mark (he lost 30 pounds before we started dating and about 20 pounds after we started dating).  My parents were making conversation and asking him how he lost the weight.  Tim answered with the usual “eating better,” “being more active,” etc.  And when my mom asked what he liked to do for physical activity, Tim replied that he had been running more.  It was then that my dad, in true Chuck fashion, got excited and said, “Oh! I’ve been meaning to sign up for a 5k.  Want to do one together?”  And Tim had pretty much no choice but to say yes.  I mean, you can’t say no to a girl’s dad the first time you meet… can you?

So they did sign up for a race, and Tim started training for it.  At this point in my healthy living journey, I wasn’t into running AT ALL (read my relationship with running post here), so I had no desire to join them.  In retrospect, that was kind of mean of me, huh?  I also wasn’t AS into healthy eats as I am now, so when my dad and Tim ran their race together, I stood on the sideline and ate a hot dog.  Not joking.

Since then, I’ve slowly added running back into my workout repertoire, but until this summer it wasn’t very consistent.  I would just do a few treadmill workouts here and there.  However, this summer for some reason I decided to start running again.  Maybe I was bored with my current routine, maybe I found it a time saver to not go to the gym, maybe I just liked being outside.  Whatever the reason, I’d say that since July or August I’ve done a 2-3 mile run on average once or twice a week.  And then last month Tim and my dad decided they were going to run another race together, the Oak Square YMCA’s annual Oaktoberfest 5k.  This time I decided to up my mileage a bit and join them instead of just getting another sideline wiener.  So I continued running through the fall (still only once or twice a week to be mindful of my injuries), but it must have done SOMETHING for me because I had a great race on Sunday.  I set a personal record of 24:46, and it just felt awesome.  The last time I ran a 5k I ran it in 27:53, which means I shaved a good three minutes off my last time.  So exciting!

Here are some scenes from the race:

The start…

Oaktoberfest 5k

Oaktoberfest 5k

Oaktoberfest 5k

Crossing the finish line…

Oaktoberfest 5k

Oaktoberfest 5k

Oaktoberfest 5k

Oaktoberfest 5k

My cousin Dean joined us for the race as well, which was fun.  He’s super into triathlons and races, so this 5k was an easy jog for him.  He placed second in his age category and came in 7th overall around 19 minutes!

Oaktoberfest 5k

I’m also really proud of both my dad and Tim, because both beat their previous times and ran within the splits they wanted.

Oaktoberfest 5k

Last year after the race, the Y had a big health fair in the gym (remember I helped plan that day which is why I didn’t run this race last year?), but this year they decided to do an outdoor “taste of Brighton” instead.  So there were restaurants like Fiorella’s, CafeNation, the GreenBriar and Dunkin Donuts there.  They also had a live band and some cornhole tournaments set up.  We stayed for a bit to grab a quick bite and see the awards, but we left shortly after that because there wasn’t too much else going on.

Oaktoberfest 5k

Oaktoberfest 5k

Oaktoberfest 5k

Oaktoberfest 5k

It was definitely a fun Sunday morning, and I’m glad we all ran together!  My dad is already looking up what the next race is he wants to do, so there may be more 5k’s in my future soon.  We’ll see!

When’s the last time you ran a race?  How far did you run?  Any fun PR stories to share?  Did any readers run the Oaktoberfest as well?

Have a great day you guys!

Monday Motivation: Courage

I’m not gonna lie, I had been dreading this weekend for a while.  ONLY because I felt like it was jam-packed with things and that I wouldn’t have any time to breathe, but you know what?  I had such a good weekend that I feel bad that I dreaded it in the first place!  We had our friends’ Nicole & Pete’s wedding on Friday night, a huge Greek dance with 30 of my family members on Saturday night, and we ran the Oaktoberfest 5k race at the Y yesterday.  And we ended up having more downtime than I thought we would.  In fact, I even took a NAP on Saturday afternoon for the first time in what felt like years.  So I feel rested despite all the busyness and fun stuff!

Nicole & Pete's Wedding

Greek Dance

Oaktoberfest 5k

Monday Motivation: Courage

Last week I stumbled upon another little quote I want to share with you guys today:

“Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'”

This is so true.  Courage doesn’t always have to mean trying the most popular group exercise class, running a half marathon, or eating perfectly in any given week.  It doesn’t have to mean having the guts to go sky diving or rock climbing.  It just means the ability to do something that maybe scares you a little.  And maybe what scares you is trying.  Whatever that is for you this week, just try.  Have the courage to take the first step.  To be okay with baby steps.  Or maybe it’s taking your last step in the direction you want to go in.  No matter how big or how small, have the courage to not get down on yourself, to not give up, and to keep trucking away no matter what obstacles or challenges you face.

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

Last Week’s Workouts

Last week it felt like I had an extra good week of workouts, which was much-needed after my extra snacky week last week!

Sunday
2 mile run + push tempo strength sets

Monday
30 minutes of elliptical intervals + pull tempo strength sets

Tuesday
1 hour of Kickboxing, followed by teaching my Interval Training class.  We did about 60% of the exercises traveling across the floor style, followed by about 20 minutes of floor work.  I said I wasn’t going to do as much of the working out as I was teaching, but I lied. 

Wednesday
Tried out a new studio and new class!  I love, love, LOVED my experience at FitHouse and can’t wait to recap it for you guys this week.

FitHouse

Thursday
Taught this stations workout in my class… everyone rocked it!  I used Thursday as my rest day and only taught since I was so sore from my workouts earlier in the week.

Stations Class

Stations Class

Friday
Ran a light three miles in the morning, followed by some core work.  I didn’t want to be too sore for the race I ran this weekend!

Saturday
Greek dancing, all night.  I’m not joking, this is not a cop-out for my rest day – Greek dancing is a serious cardio workout – we were all drenched, my calves were tight, and my shoulders felt the burn from holding my arms up for so long!

This Week’s Workouts

  • Sunday:  Ran the Oaktoberfest 5k… recapping that tomorrow!
  • Monday:  Since my legs are dead and my hips are super tight, I’m planning to do an upper body focused workout.  With rowing! Does anyone have any good rowing workouts they’d like to share?
  • Tuesday:  Two A Day!
  • Wednesday:  Either a rest day or I’m going to try to make it to a cycle class
  • Thursday:  My 6am class
  • Friday: Workout TBD… suggestions?
  • Saturday:  Rest day

What are you going to face with courage this week?