Tag You’re It! Relay Re-cap and How To Pack For A Relay Race

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  We did!  For the past 8 years a bunch of our friends have been running in the Sawtooth Relay.  The relay is so much fun and has become our tradition.  It’s like our kick off to summer fun!  The relay is held every year and it starts in beautiful Stanley Idaho and ends in Ketchum, Idaho near the Sun Valley Resort.  The relay has 12 legs which 6 people run.  The total mileage is 61.9 miles.  Each person on the team runs 2 legs.  This year I tackled leg 1 and leg 7.  Leg 7 is hard.  The total mileage is 6.02 miles and elevation loss is 1411.  It is down hill!!!!!!  I ran a 7:03 pace and felt awesome.  It was beautiful.  We had a great race despite a few injuries and being tired.

One of the things we have learned in all the years we have run this race was what to pack.  Here is some advice on what to pack if you are planning to run a relay race in the future. Keep in mind our race is in the Sawtooth Mountains so temperatures can be in the 30’s and can warm up to the 80’s by the end of the day. 

  1.  Clothes!  A lot of clothes for every type of weather!  We have run in rain, snow and heat.  So you never can have too many options.  Don’t forget extra clothes so you can change out of your stinky wet clothes after your leg of the race. 
  2. Wipes and Toilet Paper.  This year several of the porta potties ran out and it is nice to have some available.
  3. Sunscreen
  4. Deodorant, you don’t want to stink up your van!   
  5. Ibuprofen, there may be aches and pains.
  6. Water Jugs, we buy the big water jugs to save space and help the environment and then we just fill our own water bottles as we go.
  7. Snacks and drinks!  We love pretzels, PB and J, bananas, coconut water, Lara bars, cookies (my friends make the best cookies) and beer (for after of course)!
  8. Music and Headphones
  9. Cell Phone
  10. Phone or Ipod Chargers
  11. Shoes and extra shoes and socks in case it pours down rain or snows.
  12. Running Belts
  13. Garmin if you use one
  14. Massage Roller (the stick)
  15. Blankets
  16. Headlamps and Reflective Vests, especially if you are running in the dark.
  17. Stopwatch or Timing Device
  18. Flip Flops or Uggs because it is nice to take off your running shoes.
  19. Sweat Pants and Sweatshirts
  20. First Aid Kit

Things we didn’t pack this year but should have! 

  1.  Van Decorating Stuff!  Every year we say we are going to decorate our van and somehow we never do. It’s always fun to see all the decorated vans with sayings etc.
  2. More Protein!  After my last leg of the race I wanted protein so bad.  So we decided next year we will include post run snacks like deli meat, hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks and protein shakes. 
  3. Yoga Mat, we have had one in the past but forgot this year.  It’s nice to throw it down on the side of the road and do a few down dogs and stretches. 

If you ever get the chance to be part of a relay race do it!  It is so much fun.  You get to spend the day with some awesome people doing what you love and in our case doing it in the beautiful Sawtooth Mountains! 

For more information on the Sawtooth Relay http://sawtoothrelay.com/

 

 

Running and Upper Body Workout

Hi everyone, the other day a friend of mine and I did a killer workout that I wanted to share with you guys.  We are both trying to work on our upper body strength right now.  Me for the Spartan race in a few weeks and her for an upcoming trip  to Hawaii.  So yesterday our workout focused on mostly upper body, running and core.  This is a great workout you can do anywhere.  We ran outside, but you could easily run on the treadmill.  Give it a try.  I guarantee you will feel your arms the next day!  

Following my workout I had my current favorite breakfast.  Egg white oatmeal!  I know that sounds really odd but it is very yummy and super filling.  

Start with a large bowl.  The oatmeal will grow!  Stir 1 cup water with ½ cup of gluten free oats.  Microwave for 2 minutes.  Slowly pour in while stirring ½ cup of liquid egg whites.  You will have to stir fast while pouring so the egg whites don’t clump.  Return to the microwave for 3o seconds.  Stir.  Microwave for 30 more seconds and then stir.  I like to mix in ½ cup of fresh blueberries, 1 tablespoon of almond butter, sprinkle of cinnamon and stevia to taste.  Give this a try it is delicious!  Now for the workout details!

Things you will need for the workout:  Weights, Water, Towel and Mat

Notes:  For your weights you want to have a heavier set of weights.  The reps are 8-10 so you want to make sure you are challenging yourself with your weight size.

Running and Upper Body

  • Warm Up
  • 1 Mile Run Easy Pace
  • Upper Body Strength Training (you will perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps)
  • Shoulder Raise
  • Standing Arnold Press*  
  • Reverse Delt Flys
  • Squat to Shoulder Press
  • Upright Rows
  • Run 1 Mile Hard Pace
  • Repeat Upper Body Strength Training
  • Run 1 Mile Hard Pace
  • Repeat Upper Body Strength Training
  • Run Easy Pace 5 Minutes
  • Core  
  • Plank (hold for 1 minute)
  • Jack Knife Abs
  • Plank (hold for 1 minute)
  • Jack Knife Abs
  • Stretch (I like to incorporate yoga stretches into my workout at the end)

Arnold Press Form:  http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/arnold-dumbbell-press

Jack Knife Abs:  http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/jackknife-sit-up

Do I need new workout shoes?

When To Buy New Shoes

Happy Monday!  It has been very warm here in Boise, Idaho.  This morning for my run it was 70 degrees at 5:45 am.  I need new running shoes big time!  Especially with my favorite race the Sawtooth Relay coming up this weekend.  I am a creature of habit and have been buying the same running shoes over and over again for the past 10 years.  I just love them, so I never switch things up.  People often ask me when they should replace their current fitness or running shoes.  So I did a little bit of research and used my own experience to point them in the right direction.  I thought I would share a bit of advice on this topic with my readers as well.  I think having the right shoe for your workout is very important.  Often times I will see people new to my fitness classes with obviously old shoes and then they will complain about foot and knee pain.  I will ask them when they bought their shoes and I am surprised at how old some people’s  shoes are!  Here are a few suggestions and tips from my experience with workout shoes.  

For Fitness Classes (boot camp, cross fit, interval training, aerobics, fitness classes)

I recommend a cross trainer.  Cross trainers are designed specifically for forward, backward, and lateral movement.  I would also recommend that you get the right shoe for your workout type.  If you take a Zumba class a cross trainer may not be the right shoe for you.  I would recommend purchasing a shoe from a store that you can get fitted properly in the right shoe and has a return policy that will allow you to try the shoe in your workout and then return it if needed.  

For Running

I highly recommend going to a specialty running store and getting fitted for your running shoe.  Most of these stores will work with you to find the perfect fitting shoe for your running needs.  And if the shoe doesn’t work for you, the majority of these stores let you try your shoes on your next few runs and if they don’t work you can return them.  After you get fitted and find that perfect shoe, stick with it!  I have been wearing the same shoe for a few years now.  I just keep buying the same shoe just a newer version.  Runner’s World Magazine reccomends replacing your running shoes after 300-500 miles.  For me, I can usually tell when I need to buy new shoes.  For example, right now my running shoes have holes on the heel  area so I know I need to buy some!  I usually go more by feel, how they are wearing and if I am experiencing any knee or foot pain.  

Here are just a few more tips:

  • Don’t pick a shoe just because it looks good.  
  • Make sure it fits properly (get sized)
  • Try on shoes early in the day to avoid swollen feet, my husband bought a pair of shoes the other night and had to return them because they did not fit the next morning!
  • Only wear your shoes when working out or running
  • Go to a speciality shoe store in your area
  • Shoes are expensive, but a great investment.  Trust me it is worth it!  
  • Get some nice socks too (my fave: injinji toe socks)

Thursday 30 Boot Camp Workout

It’s almost Friday!!!!  I am so excited for a long weekend and the last week of school next week.  I really enjoy my summers spending time with my friends and family.  Summers are so much fun around our house.  So I am looking forward to kicking off summer June 2nd! This weekend we are going to Portland to visit my dad and hang out with some of our friends.  I love Portland.  I love to shop in Portland, eat ice cream at Salt and Straw and browse the books at Powell’s.  

Before the long weekend I wanted to get in a quick workout.  This is a 30 minute boot camp workout that can be done anywhere.  Grab some weights and set a timer for 30 minutes.  Try to complete as many rounds as possible.  You will be sweaty so don’t forget a towel and some water.  I hope you all have a great weekend.  Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday 30

Start this workout with a cardio warm up.  You can jog, bike, use the elliptical or row for 2-3 minutes.  If you don’t have access to any machines you can do a combination of jogging in place, jumping jacks, high knees, and butt kickers to get warmed up.

After the warm up, set your time for 30 minutes and complete each exercise for 30 seconds repeat 4-5 times until the 30 minutes is up.  Be sure to include a cool down and stretch following the workout.  

  • Burpee with a push up
  • Overhead Tricep Extensions with weights
  • Squat Jumps
  • Deadlifts
  • Burpees
  • Upright Rows
  • X Jumps*
  • Hamstring Curls on a fit ball*
  • Scissor Abs or Any Ab Exercise 

*Ball Leg Curl:  Start by laying on the floor with your feet resting on top of the ball.  Your ankles will be resting on top of the ball.  This is where you will start your curl.  Lift your hips into a glute bridge, roll the ball in as close as you can contracting your hamstrings.  Return to the starting position.  

* X-Jumps: Reach down between your legs in a wide squat jump position and jump off the floor into an x in the air.  If you need a modification alternating squats or jumping jacks will work as well.

Feel free to change or modify the workout to meet your needs.  

 

What The Hill?

I hope you are all having a great Sunday.  This has been a really fun weekend it started and ended with friends.  We met up with some friends on Saturday night for a date night.  It was a blast.  It started off with a trip to Boise Escape.  It’s one of those escape room places where you have 1 hour to solve the mystery and escape the room.  Unfortunately we did not escape in time. IMG_0796[1] It was pretty hard but very fun.  After that we went out to a sushi dinner which was very yummy.    It was a great date night with friends.  I enjoy starting my SuIMG_0794[1]nday’s with a long run. It’s nice to meet up with friends and chat while getting in a few miles.  Today’s run was a 7  mile hill run.  I am training for the Sawtooth Relay and The Spartan so I have to incorporate hill running into my weekly runs.  If you are like me and you have a love/hate relationship with hills here are a few tips to help you beat those hills, get stronger and faster.

  1.  Use proper form for hill running.  When running up hill use short strides, high knee drive, and a slight forward lean.  When running up hill you should be on the balls of your feet. 
  2. Pump your arms a little harder than you would on a flat run. 
  3. When running downhill lengthen your stride, keep an upright posture and engage your core muscles to help with stability. 
  4. To become a stronger hill runner you must run hills and add in hill repeats.
  5. Remember to strength train. Any strength training will increase the power in your legs which will make hill running easier and hill running will make your legs stronger as well. 

These are just a few tips and suggestions.  Feel free to comment with any other tips you have for me.  I have two hilly races coming up. 

Today in church my pastor Doug said “your attitude determines your altitude.”  This is totally true for hill running and life.  Hills are tough but if you change your attitude toward them they are like any other challenging situation. Tough while you are going through it but rewarding when  you conquer it. 

IMG_0795[1]

After church and my run I got to spend some quality time with my BFF (we were BFF’s before it was even a thing) grabbing a cup of coffee and talking.  I love ending the weekend that way.  I hope you all have a great week.   

 

200 Burpee Workout

Happy Friday.  I hope everyone had an amazing week and is ready for the weekend.  One of my friends posted an image on Facebook that said “there is no tired like end of the year teacher tired,” so true!  When May hits I am exhausted.  So I am really looking forward to the summer and spending time with my family and traveling.  I am also looking forward to train for the Spartan Run in June.  I have to be honest though I am really nervous.  This is so out of my comfort zone.  However,  I know that if you cannot complete the obstacles then you can do burpees instead, so I figure I better start adding more burpees into my workouts.  Who doesn’t love burpees? They are a full body strength training and cardio workout all in one!  Here is a workout we did in my boot-camp class on Thursday.  They loved it!  Well at least they did at the end.  I hope you give it a try.  

200 Burpee Workout

Warm Up (complete each exercise in the warm up for 30 seconds)   

  • Jog
  • Jumping Jacks
  • But Kickers
  • High Knees
  • Squats Side to Side
  • Alternating Front Lunges
  • Standing Toe Touches
  • Arm Circles

200 Burpee Workout

  • 10 Burpees
  • 10 Side Lunges Right
  • 10 Side Lunges Left
  • 10 Side Burpees (legs kick out to the side)
  • 10 Bicep Curls
  • 10 Wide Burpees (feet stay wide when jumping back and up)
  • 10 Squats
  • 10 Burpees (add a push up if possible)
  • 10 Rows
  • 10 Burpees with 2 Plank Jacks

Complete this 4 times in 30 minutes.  Try to move quickly from one exercise to the next.  I suggest a heavier weight for the strength exercises since you are only completing 10 reps.  Feel free to add in some core strengthening following the workout if you have time.  

Always finish your workout with a cool down and stretch.  

200 Burpees

30 Minute Strength and Cardio Interval Workout

Hi guys!  I hope you had a great weekend and are having a great Monday!   We had a crazy week last week, so I am really looking forward to being a bit less busy.  We had a ton of school and sporting events and a concert. It was a lot of fun but I am looking forward to a less hectic week.  I am also counting down the days until the end of the school year.  Yes, teachers do the countdown just like the students!

Today’s workout was a fun one. It was a mix of strength training and cardio intervals.  It was challenging, but then I looked up and the 30 minutes was over. Plus we got to incorporate our planks in to it as well.  This workout could easily be done at home or at the gym.

  • Materials Needed
  • Yoga Mat (optional)
  • Dumbbells
  • Water
  • Towel

You will perform each exercise in the list for 30 seconds completing it as many times as you can in 30 minutes.  Feel free to add in additional core work and be sure to cool down and stretch following the workout.

30 Minute

Day 10 Planks and Tanks Check In

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you all had a great weekend and Mother’s Day.  Tomorrow will be day 10 of the planks and tanks 30 day workout! How is everyone doing on the challenge? If you haven’t joined in on the planks and tanks (tops) challenge you should!  Day 10 through 20 we will start increasing the time for each exercise.  Feel free to increase the time more if you feel you need that extra challenge!  Or if you need to decrease the time or modify your plank and drop to your knees that is fine too!  The plank is one of the best exercises we can do to strengthen our core! Why not add in some arms too.  You wont find just planks in the next 10 days of the workout. Here is a link to the entire workout: http://4livingthewrightway.com/2016/05/01/planks-and-tanks-30-day-workout/ 

The video below will show you the next set of exercises.  Have  a great week!   

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Today was a great day.  It started out with an amazing hill run in the Boise foothills with some awesome friends.  I love starting my day with a run and today was a great one.  The hubby made me a yummy post run cup of coffee and breakfast and my daughters made me some hand made cards.  It was a great day.  I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day.  I think it is so important to surround ourselves, especially us moms with other inspiring women.  Today I felt inspired by so many moms, including mine who inspires me everyday.  Have an amazing week!  Keep up the good work with the plank challenge!!!!  This weeks pictures will be up soon. 

 

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Spring Clean Your Workout Routine

Spring Clean Your Workout Routine Have you ever felt like you were in a workout routine rut?  I know I have.  Just like spring cleaning your house (which I need to do badly) I think it is important to spring clean our workout routines as well.   Being a group fitness instructor for the past 20 years, I know the importance of changing up routines.  To keep my participants engaged and coming back to my class I am always looking for new ideas and ways to change things up. However, we can get stuck in a rut.  We get accustomed to certain things and just stick to our day-to-day routines and never change.  Here are some signs that you may need to spring clean your workout routine.

  1. You hit a plateau or stop getting desired results.
  2. You are bored with your current workouts.
  3. You keep getting injuries or are always sore.
  4. Working out becomes a chore and not as enjoyable as it has been in the past.
  5. Your workout is not longer challenging.

If you feel like you need to change things up, here are a few tips and suggestions to start fresh this spring and change-up your workout routine.

  1. Set a goal like a 5k or a new race.  In the past I have done a triathlon to change things up and it was a fun and new challenge.  I am currently starting to train for a Spartan which is going to be a lot of fun as  well.
  2. Find a personal trainer or a workout partner who can motivate and push you.
  3. Try a new fitness class.  Recently I have been trying out Orangetheory and Hot Yoga.  So much fun and challenging.
  4. Get outside!  If you have been logging tons of miles on the treadmill or indoor cycling, move your workout outdoors.
  5. Re-evaluate your goals.  I feel that setting goals can help you stay focused and motivated.
  6. Create a new playlist! For my classes I change my music each day.  Getting some new music or even adding music to your workout can really be motivating.  Nothing gets me going like a little Salt N Peppa during my run!
  7. When strength training.  Remember to change your sets, reps, and/or weights if you have been using the same size weights and the same reps for more than a month you are due for a change.

One of my favorite poster quotes on my classroom walls is this:

If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten!