Soldier of Steel™ Transformational Workout Plan

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Soldier of Steel™. All opinions are my own.

Have you guys seen the new Superman movie MAN OF STEEL™??? I haven’t gone yet, but I’m actually really looking forward to seeing it. I don’t always love super hero movies, but you know, I made Steve go see Fame in theaters, so sometimes I have to take one for the team and go see a boy movie, and the super hero ones I’ve actually been really enjoying lately!

Not only does the movie look entertaining, but ummm…those men look GOOD. There have been so many times where I’ve looked at celebrities and said things like “Oh I could look that great too if I had a fancy celebrity trainer”, so of course I was so excited when I saw that celebrity trainer Mark Twight was offering a one month training plan! Not only did he train those muscly men of steel, but he has also trained National Guard Citizen-Soldiers!!

I’ve actually been really worried about sticking with my strength training while I’m away for the summer with no gym. I was thrilled to see that 80% of the workouts require absolutely no equipment, and the ones that do are easy to modify. This plan could not have come at a more perfect time! I started off this morning by heading to the park with Mac and Amber to try out day 1.

soldierofsteel (1)You guys. It was no joke. My legs were total jello by the end, but it was a lot of fun! It was a quick and challenging full body workout that got my heart rate going, and I definitely plan to continue through this first month plan! Mac asked me how I felt the second we finished, and it was kinda like this…


I’m tiiiiiired.

But then I decided to climb a tree because I was feeling like a total champ.


Want to check out the workouts for yourself? Visit the Soldier of Steel™ website! There is an entire month long plan developed by Mark Twight with really great explanations and photo tutorials of all of the movements here. There are even fitness training webisodes! Also, make sure to check out this teaser video to get a sense of what it’s all about.


ITBS Recovery Week 6

Hi friends. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, feel free to check out my first recovery post. Here’s a little reminder.


How I’m feeling physically:

Honestly, I’m feeling about the same. I have good days, and bad days. I don’t feel better than last week, but I don’t feel worse. Walking still feels…odd. When I walk for a long time (a long time being one side of the house to the other), it feels like fluid builds up in my needs. It’s weird, and I don’t know if that’s an accurate statement, but that’s what it feels like. I tested out the rowing machine this week. The first day it felt fine; the second it hurt afterwards. I don’t really understand my body. It’s a mystery.

How I’m feeling mentally:

Just like physically, I have good days, and bad days. One aspect that is incredibly frustrating is not being able to do my job. I’m a choreographer. I have to be able to dance, and right now, I can only mark things when I teach my kids. I can’t give 100%, and show them what I want from them. It’s a mental battle for me. Then sometimes after a great yoga class (I never thought I’d say that…), I feel so grateful to be able to move at all. I’m grateful for the opportunity to explore new things, and for my own determination and commitment to staying fit.

This whole period is really testing that commitment. It would be so easy to not do anything at all since there is so much that I can’t do, but I do feel really proud of myself for sticking with it, and finding workouts that still feel good. Here’s how this week went down.


Tuesday: Yoga. We did normal yoga-y things. I didn’t hate it. I’d call that a win.

Wednesday: Massage. Ugghhh…they are so painful, and no fun at all, but hopefully it’s helping. Pretty much the entire section from my butt to underneath my knee on the left side causes lots of crying and cursing. It’s a fun 90 minutes, let me tell you.

Thursday: Gym. I tested out the rowing machine with 2,000 meters, then did a bunch of strength training that left me sweaty, and with all my muscles feeling like jello. I used to really love strength training, and I’m trying to get myself back into it.

Friday: Yoga. We did yoga-y things, and I REALLY LIKED IT!!!! Who am I??? My favorite work out buddy came with me, and it was almost like old times with our Friday am workouts. They’re my favorite part of the week, and while I, of course, wish it was a long run, or even a long bike ride, nothing beats a good workout with a great friend!

Saturday: Dr D. & gym. Dr D. adjusted me, and did all of his painful ART tricks. It was sososo painful. I cried a little, and started to feel frustrated about the past 6 weeks of putting myself through painful treatments for minimal results, but it did help. I went to the gym after, and did an other 2,000 m of rowing and strength training. This time the rowing didn’t feel so great, and my knee started acting up later, so I think I’m gonna steer clear of all cardio equipment again for a while. Just means I need to get more creative!

Sunday: Rest. I was going to try out a hot yoga class, but after a few hours of filming for Drink & Dish, I just was not in the mood, so I gave myself the day off, did some editing, and worked on some other blog stuff.

This week: I plan to get a little creative with my workouts. Heather suggested checking out a barre class. She mentioned the teachers she’s taken from are really great at working with injuries. I was also thinking about trying out a strength training class at the gym or a studio just to shake things up. I’m also going to really focus on what I’m eating. The truth is, I’m no where near a comfortable place with my body, and if I’m going to be mentally okay with this break with running, I need to get back to my normal weight. I want to go to New Orleans next week feeling good and not anxious about food, so this week is time to buckle down!

PF Chang’s Marathon Training Week 5

I have so much to tell you. First of all, I’ve just discovered that my running mileage for 2012 is currently sitting at 925 miles. I’d secretly kind of had the goal of getting to 1,000, but I didn’t really put much thought into it, because honestly, I just didn’t think I would. I don’t do very well with a ton of mileage, so I just tried to follow my plan, and keep this little goal in the back of my mind….Until it got so close that I can taste it! Now I have to do it, right??? I mean, I don’t plan on being stupid and killing myself this close to the marathon if something hurts, but it definitely gives me a little added motivational push when I’ve been struggling a bit mentally.

Also, I *think* I’m getting closer to figuring out my fueling/stomach issues. It’s kind of a constant battle for me. Almost any food before a run can cause a lot of unpleasantness with no gallbladder, but I’m not a person who can do a long run on gu alone. I’ve always eaten Ezekiel bread with nut butter and sometimes a banana before a run since, like, forever. I never thought that was the culprit because back in the day it worked great, but I started to think about the fiber of the bread and the fat of the nut butter. My body can’t process fats as well now, and let’s just say I don’t think my body needs any added fiber in my life ever. So for my long run this week, I bought a white flour bagel and put pumpkin butter on top. My stomach felt the best it has felt in a loooooong time. I was so happy!!! I had to make one stop in the first mile, and then had no issues for 18 whole miles!! This is a big deal in my world, friends.

However, I still get hungry–like stomach growling hungry–and feel somewhat depleted around 15 miles even with fueling often. I’m not sure how to fix that other than maybe playing with my meal the night before and trying to bulk it up? I always make sure to eat a decent amount of carbs at dinner, but maybe I need more? If anyone has any brilliant advice on the subject, I’d love to hear it! Anyway, here’s how last week went down:

Monday: 5 mile run. I was having a realllll hard time getting motivated for this run, but I got out there, and of course as soon as I did, it felt great! I set my garmin to a screen where I couldn’t see my pace, and just cruised at what felt comfortable, which ended up averaging in at 9:40. That is not my usual “easy” pace. I was pretty stoked about it.

Tuesday: Off.

Wednesday: “Track” and strength training. At PT I ended up doing all sorts of crap–one legged dead lifts on the bosu ball, abs, triceps, this thing where I threw a ball at the wall…I was sore for like 3 days, and I felt like a total wimp, but at least I strength trained a little! That afternoon I met up with Stacey to do our scheduled track work out. We met up in the early afternoon, and it was about 72* which is perfect for a picnic, but it felt warm (at least to me) to run in. It wasn’t an easy run, but we still rocked it. We did a short warm up then 1 mile @ 9:03, 1200 @ 8:28, 800 @ 7:55, then 3×400 @ 7:16, 6:56, 6:43, then a short cool down. I kind of wanted to die, but in a good way?

Thursday: Off.

Friday: 18 mile run. You know, I kind of thought the long runs would be easier this time around. Turns out….they’re not. BUT I’m faster this time around. A lot faster. My last 18 mile run took me 3 hours and 8 minutes, and I shaved 7 minutes and 26 seconds per mile off of that this time around! This run was amazing, and hard, and fun all at the same time! Nicole and I both started out feeling a little rough. Her ankle was bugging her, and I woke up with a stabbing pain in my hip (I’ve had it before, and it’s not from running, and it always goes away so I wasn’t worried, just annoyed). We had to stop and stretch a few times in the first few miles, and we kinda decided to let it be what it was going to be, not stress, and enjoy the scenery.

Look at this house!!! We thought their decorations were so cool that we stopped to take pictures. Is it Halloween?? Is it Christmas??? Who knows, but it's awesome!

Look at this house!!! We thought their decorations were so cool that we stopped to take pictures. Is it Halloween?? Is it Christmas??? Who knows, but it’s awesome!


"Nicole, why is their Christmas so scary???"

“Nicole, why is their Christmas so scary???”

"Don't worry Ari, I'll protect you! Super Nicole to the rescue!"

“Don’t worry Ari, I’ll protect you! Super Nicole to the rescue!”

We took a totally new route which took us through Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix and it was gorgeous, and a great way to change things up! Also, fall running is my nice.

IMG_20121214_165027 By the end, we had both totally surprised ourselves, and I ran my fastest long run of marathon training ever with an average pace of 10:02. Granted, we definitely took our share of breaks, so I don’t know how accurately that represents where I am pace wise, but it sure felt great to see such an awesome time! And then there was well earned chocolate milk/coffee with chocolate milk per usual.


I was dreaming of you too, Dutch Bros…

Saturday: Off.

Sunday: 3 mile run. That 925 lit a fire, plus I figured 3 work outs this week wasn’t really great, so I ran to my mom’s house for dinner. 3 nice and easy miles averaging a 9:37 pace, and then there was food, so that was good.

Tell me something awesome. I don’t care what it is, or what subject it’s about. I would just like to hear awesome things. :)

PF Chang’s Marathon Training Week 2

And just like that, I’m back into peak marathon training. Somehow I only have 2 long distance runs left before it’s time to taper. This second section of training that I expected to take forrrrrrever seems to be flying by, and I can see definite improvements from the last time around! It’s nice because I’m no longer scared of these distances, so I can push myself more, and I’m seeing a pretty big difference in speed especially in my long runs. Sweet. Here’s how last week’s training went down:

Monday: Rest. This was the unintentionally real life becoming more important than exercise type of rest day. I planned to do something, but I had no idea what, and then life got busy and I didn’t stress myself out to try to fit it in. Most people have a hard time fitting their work outs into their lives; I sometimes have a hard time fitting my life around my workouts, and honestly, that just seems silly, so I took a real life day and got stuff done.

Tuesday: 6 mile run. My best friend Bethany is working really hard on her running and I am sosoSO proud of her! She wanted to tackle her first ever 6 mile run, so I ran with her and she ROCKED it! It’s so great to be able to run with her and watch her make so much progress!

Wednesday: 3.5 mile run. Easy run before physical therapy with Ashley. 10 min pace, then a whole like 5 minutes of abs that made me want to die.

Thursday: Mesa Turkey Trot 10k. Check out the recap!

Friday: 8.5 mile bike. Easy ride to coffee with Steve.

Saturday: 17.17 mile run. This run started out tough. Nicole and I were both feeling slow and lethargic, and I watched our first few miles clock in ridiculously slow. I knew I wanted to beat my time for my last 17 miler, and I felt like finishing in less than 2:55 would be a nice bonus. I was a little worried about our first slow miles, but I know myself, and I know that’s just how my body works on long runs, and I really believe it’s for the best. I always start ridiculously slow and negative split the crap out of it, but I still always worry that I won’t have enough left in the tank to make up for it at the end. However, looking back at the splits from just 2 months ago, I can see a huge difference even in my slowest miles, and as always, we sped up. A lot. The plan called for the first minute of the final 10 miles to be at goal pace. This was a nice way to break up all of those miles at the end. We had something to focus on for a minute out of every mile that wasn’t “GOOD LORD HOW MUCH LONGER????” At first we were slightly speeding up to make these first minutes happen, but soon we were running faster than goal pace, and then we were confused–Do we speed up? Slow down? Run the same? Sing Call Me Maybe? 

We kind just kept doing our thing, and I finished 17.17 miles in 2:54:25 for an average pace of 10:09. That is pretty darn good for these slow legs! The end started feeling hard, and I was tired, but I felt so much better than after the first time. I was peppy and energized rather than lethargic and in pain. I also did a much better job of taking care of myself afterwards. Nicole and I got in her pool for an ice bath with our Dutch Bro’s, then stretched for quite a while. It made a world of difference!

Sunday: Rest. Necessary and fabulous.

Totals for the week:

Running: 32.95
Cycling: 8.5


Tell me about your training!


NYC Marathon Training Week 18

Week 1 of taper, check. You know, I read about how everyone hates taper, but this week was kinda nice. I enjoyed a slightly shorter Monday run, still pushed myself at the track, and loved being done with my long run at 7:15 Saturday morning! It was also really great to end a long run and not be totally exhausted. 10 miles felt short, and nice. I could get used to this taper thing! ;) Here’s how it went down:

Monday: 6 mile run. The schedule said “3 miles easy, 3 miles at marathon pace”. WHAT IS MARATHON PACE?!?!?! HOW DO I CHOOSE???? LIFE IS SO HARD!!!! Soooo, I ran 3 miles slow, and 3 miles less slow, ending up with a 10:11 average pace. I was not feeling this run. I had canceled on Nicole so that I could sleep in later, then I had to keep making deals with myself like “Maybe I’ll just run 3 miles….” to get myself out and going, but finally I turned on some relaxing music (because I’m a freak and sometimes I want mellow music while I’m running), and just gave my mind some time to do it’s thing. The run ended up being really good, and a nice reminder that even when I realllllly don’t want to, it’s almost always better to just get out there.

Tuesday: 11 mile bike. Easy ride to coffee with Steve.

Wednesday: Track. Ao about this marathon goal pace. I guess I’ve figured it out? Coach Loken sent me my projected finish time, and it scared the crap out of me. My head immediate filled with “I can’ts” and doubt. I’ve since talked it through with anyone who will listen including my super smart coach (you know the person I actually should talk to about it), and figured out what a realistic goal is mentally for me, and I’m keeping her projected finish time as a dream goal, but trying to run my marathon goal pace miles at that pace. I’m not going to talk about what any of these goals are because when I write my recap about how I ran my first marathon, I want to write it with joy and pride no matter what my finish time is, and if I tell you what I want it to be, and that doesn’t happen, I will feel like a disappointment. Anyway, back to the track. We warmed up, had a mile at marathon goal pace, then 4 x 400s, then an other mile at goal pace, then a cool down. I hit my goal pace miles and they felt easy! It was AWESOME! I also pushed really hard on my 400s running them @ 7:05, 6:57, 6:58, 6:42. The whole workout felt awesome! I completed 5.17 miles in 50 minutes. After track, a couple of people from my team came up to me and told me how much faster I’d gotten!! This is the second time this has happened recently, and it made me feel so awesome!!

Thursday: 3 mile run. Nice and easy recovery run with my speedy friend Ashley. She was practically walking. ;)

Friday: 17.3 mile bike. The usual Friday am bike ride/breakfast/coffee with Nicole.

Saturday: 10 mile run. I came, I ran, I got chased by wild dogs, I ran the second half fast to keep up with my friends, I was done by 7:15 and averaged a 9:57 pace. Ask me about the wild dogs sometime. It’s a really funny story that includes some pretty big embarrassment, but I don’t mind embarrassing myself.

Sunday: Rest. Necessary.

Fundraising update: As you know, I’ve been running with Team Chances to raise money for Chances for Children. I committed to raising $5000, and I’M GETTING SO CLOSE!!! I’ve now raised $4,110 and have just $890 to go thanks to so much support from everyone in my life! Please consider helping me to reach my goal by making a donation or placing an order! Remember that all donations/orders are tax deductible and in the state of Arizona, you can receive a full tax credit ($200 individual, or $400 family) for donations. Thanks to all of you for all the support!! I truly believe I can meet this goal by November 4th!