That that don't kill me, can only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now, cause I can't wait much longer. Kanye West, Stronger

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Right to Bare Arms

Cliche title, I know.

Physique 57 did not disappoint last night! I even ran into one of my good girlfriends and marathon buddy, who I haven't seen in weeks. We were both ridiculously excited to get off the wait list and into Magen's class.

We did some great arm exercises that I can really feel this morning, so I thought I would share them with you.

These 4 easy moves will really have you feeling the burn. The great thing is that they require zero equipment.

1.) Regular push-ups (20)

2.)Push up planks with tricep kickbacks. Still in push-up position. Bend and lift your right elbow straight up, so your arm is in a V from your shoulder to halfway down your chest. Next extend arm straight behind you alongside your body. Bend back to V position and lower to the full plank push up position you started in. Repeat on right side. Do 10 on each side.

3.) Still in plank push up position, do push ups lowering your body with your elbows pointing at the wall behind you. Your arms should be very close to your sides. These are killer, aim for 10.

(Bonus move: drop to forearm plank and alternate touching right and left knee to the floor for 30, then do 30 with both knees lowering and lifting together.)

4.) Reverse push ups. Flip over and get in crab walk position. Knees are at 90 degree angle to the floor and arms are straight, so your body is elevated in a straight line from knees to shoulders--stomach facing ceiling. With hand facing your feet do 20 tricep dips, then point hands toward wall behind you and do another 20 tricep dips.

Enjoy a well deserved stretch!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Super Strength and Stretch

Strength work and stretching are not things I really like to do by myself. If I am in a class or being coached, it's fine--cause someone is making me do it, and everyone (except those few people who feel the need to rush out the second the "workout" is over) is doing it.

However, on my own, it's much harder to get motivated. My running buddy always makes fun of me for not wanting to stretch because "it's the easiest part!"

Recently, I have tried to do more of both. While strength can be a bit boring, you do see at least a little difference, pretty fast. We all know that stretching probably helps prevent soreness and injury, but I have really just started committing to it for vanity purposes. The added strength shortens the muscles, and I need to elongate at every change I get!

So I have started mixing up my strength by combining a few workouts out of magazines or blogs or just from exercises I know. I especially like killing two birds with one stone, such as lunges with shoulder raises, etc.

Here is what I did on Saturday

I basically do one set of each of the following routines, and then about 15 minutes of stretching, holding each pose for at least 20 seconds (more on stretching in another post).

So here it is:

From David Kirsch's Bikini Body Workout

Your bikini boot camp workout
2 minutes - Light stretching including Good Mornings and Good Mornings with Knee Bends
1 minute - Jumping Jacks
30 seconds - David's Platypus Walks
1 minute - Shadow Boxing with crossovers, Uppercuts and Knee Bends
1 minute - PliƩ Squats with Calf raises
2 minutes - Reverse Lunges with Front Kick
1 minute - Squat Thrusts with Medicine Ball
1 minute - Scissors Reverse Crunches
2 minutes - David's Donkey Deluxe
1 minute - Bench Steups (if possible) with Tricep Kickbacks
1 minute - Pushups

Full details and description

Then one set from Chandra's workout....stealing!
Jump rope (fake) – 100 reps
Squats – 20
Jumping jacks – 50
Roundhouse kicks – 15 per leg
Jump rope – 100 reps
Donkey kicks – 15 per leg
Jumping jacks – 50
Walking lunges with curl/press – 20 reps
Run in place, high knees – 1 minute
Reverse crunches – 15 reps
Full body crunches – 15 reps

So see her blog for this workout and more fabulous ones!

One set of each from Jenna's lower body routine

2 minutes running on treadmill (to warm up)
4 sets of 15 walking lunges with 10 pound weights in each hand
3 sets of “jumping squats”—squat down, leap up, point toes, land back in a squat. 15 reps
2 sets of Hamstring curls on machine. 15 reps
2 sets of calf raises, 20 reps
2 sets of squats on that machine where you lay down and push the weight with your legs (Don’t know the name?)
2 forearm plank poses. Hold for 45 seconds each time
2 sets of reverse crunches, lifting legs and butt while holding onto post behind head on mat. 18 reps each set
2 sets of crunches holding 10 pound weight (legs at 90 degrees, crunch up while holding weight behind head)

I just found out I got off the waiting list for Physique 57 with my favorite instructor tonight, so she can kick my butt for me! It took two weeks to get off the wait list! Magen is so worth the wait!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Download Dilemna

I have really been slacking on my running lately. I am kind of regretting not signing up for a team in training event. It was so easy to commit to running with a group. I keep saying that I will go the Niketown runs, but I seem to always have something to do after work.

So for the past few weeks (yes, 2-3 weeks), I have been researching and obsessively reading reviews for coached runs to download to my ipod. I have to thank Jenna for giving me the idea. She raves about, so I decided to look more seriously into downloadable exercise programs.

I founds some good sites:

Itrain This site is kind of amazing, they have tons and tons of workouts for all types of exercise--cycling, treadmill, elliptical, strength and sculpt, yoga and pilates, and stretching. It looks really good, but I haven't tried it yet, so I can't say for sure. Has anyone used it? Would love to hear some opinions! Programs run from 20, 40 to 60 minutes and cost around $10 each.

Yogadownload- I downloaded the free 20 minute poweryoga class and it was pretty challenging! I am also considering the coached runs, they are only $3-5!

Nike+ Sports Music-I don't think that the Nike Sports Music has the best selection of coached runs and workouts, considering it's itunes, they could do better. But I really like having the reviews to help me make decisions. And the workouts are by pretty notable athletes, ahem, Serena Williams and Lance Armstrong.

For literally two weeks, I have been debating which to buy, at around $15, you really don't want to get stuck with a crappy workout. That's like 15 songs worth! Plus, I am really picky about my music and so many of them are too rock or techno for my taste.

So were are the finalists:

Serena Williams-Interval Run-I liked this but, I already owned most of the songs.

Lance Armstrong-Run longer coaching mix

The Anytime/Anywhere series-particularly the indoor conditioning and the outdoor conditioning run. All of these workouts looked good, and I think I will try the Anytime/Anywhere Outdoor one, for a fun refreshing change of pace. It is cardio with intervals of push ups, etcs. mixed throughout.

Songs: 01. Let’s Get It Started (Black Eyed Peas)02. Don’t Phunk With My Heart (Black Eyed Peas)03. Timebomb (Beck)04. Say Goodbye To Love (Kenna)05. Somewhere Only We Know (Keane)06. For The Girl (The Fratellis)07. Lay Down The Law (The Switches)08. Where It’s At (Beck) 09. The Middle (Jimmy Eat World)10. Sorry Sorry (Rooney)11. Come To You (Carina Round)12. Chase The Light (Jimmy Eat World)13. Stop Stare (One Republic)

It is basically an interval run. 4 minutes hard, 4 minutes recover, 3 times with a 5 minute warm up and cool down. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more variety. I really LOVE my Master the Treadmill with OKGO mix, which is NEVER boring, so I was hoping for something kind of like that.

However, it was a good workout, the music was good. It's 40 minutes, a great length of time. You can do it on the treadmill or outside, although you will have to be really focused to maintain a hard run for 4 minutes without the treadmill keeping pace for you.

I think it also could have used a few more comments about form. There was like 2 in the entire thing, the first one at minute 23, "get off your heels and onto your toes." However, it was great to have someone check in with you every minute or so. I will definitely be doing this again soon, and probably downloading a few more of these as treats in the coming months.

For a few more reviews of the Nike Sports Music Workouts, check this out.

Yay to all those who ran the NYC Half yesterday!
Oh, for anyone looking to read more about running, there is a book called What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murami, that is all the rage in the running world. I hope to pick it up soon, with my 40% off Borders Reward Coupon! This is not really instructional, but biographical/inspirational. Just an FYI! (Other books I like include, Ultramarathon Man and The Runner's World Complete Book of Running. I hear Running with the Buffaloes is amazing, but haven't read it myself. Finally, the highly coveted, impossible to find, Once a Runner. I would love to read this book, it's supposed to be glorious, but it is almost impossible to get a hold of. If you happen to find it while wandering in some dusty, small town, second hand book shop, snatch it up, and consider yourself a lucky thief! :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why Run 100 Miles?

Inside Nike Running published a fabulous article about my Coach Ramon, who just finished his 100 mile race! But before the article...
As you may remember, I ran my marathon to raise money for Kate Davis, a little girl diagnosed with cancer at age 1 and a half. Ramon ran his race to raise $75K for Kate. He did it, and guess what? It really does make a difference!
Ramon sent this email:

"On July 1st I got the best news of the year !! Besides being Kate and Olivia's birthday, on this day I got an email from Debbie sharing the news that Kate had gotten the "ALL CLEAR" from her doctor, NO MORE CHEMO ! that sentence made my Year !Next week, I'll run to Honor Kate but I will also run to celebrate the News !! wooowwww!!!"

So here is how his 100 miles and 23+ hours went.

PS Ramon is pretty hot, these pics don't do him justice.

PPS. Want to train with the best? Ramon coaches the Run NYC training group that meets at Nike Town on 57th and 5th on Tuesday nights.

Okay, here it is!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dealing with the Aftermath of a Lunch Hour Workout

So a few people have asked how I can workout on my lunch hour. It's not easy to make yourself presentable after you sweat it out! But it is possible.

First off, don't plan to set an Olympic record on your lunch break. You can't expect to pour buckets of sweat and deal with soggy aftermath in 15 minutes. But you can sneak in a decent elliptical or strength session in around 30-40 minutes with plenty of time to head back to the office looking as fresh as a daisy and with the feel good endorphins to make the next four hours seem less daunting!

Let's start with what to do before leaving the locker room.

Secure your hair in a style that limits movement and keeps your hair away from the areas that tend to get sweaty.

High ponytails, loose buns and braids seem to do the trick.

Next clean your slate before you sweat.

The less you make up you hop on the bike with to start the better!

If you know you are going to the gym on your lunch hour, see if you can get away with just wearing mascara and lip gloss and a hint of powder to the office until after lunch. If you can, power to you.

If you wear a lot of make-up, wipe off some of it before your workout. A quick removal with a Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes will keep you from clogging your pores once you start sweating.

And of course, deodorant..obvs. (New York Magazine has an article on How Not to Sweat, so if you need it check it out here.)

Now go workout.

Your post workout body/face refresh game plan.

Bring a wash cloth and soap for a quick shower or even some baby wipes depending on how much of a clean up you need. I don't recommend attempting to wash your hair, it's just too time consuming. Keep it up and out of waters way!

Plus, if you followed the previously mentioned ideas, your hair should be relatively in tact. A wide tooth comb is good for not reversing too much of your morning efforts, but detangling where necessary. If you need a little dry shampoo or baby powder to absorb extra oil, go for it, but only in a pinch!!!!!!!!!

Next: Deodorant..obvs.

Your face should be okay, but a second wipe can help refresh. I also love Sue Devitt Microaquatic Luminous Finishing Mist, although it is a bit heavy to carry around.

I like to apply a bit of Neutrogena Visibly Even Moisturizer with SPF 15. It lives up to its promise of evening your skin tone and giving a touch of glow to boot!

Now for the Less than 5 minute face.

This you MUST personalize! I am fairly obsessed with make-up, despite the face that I don’t wear very much during the day anymore. I have learned what truly plays up my better features and downplays my flaws. I was not born with beautiful doe eyes like my sister, so I MUST have well-groomed eye brows! It makes a huge difference on my small eyes. I learned this young, very young. When I was 12 and had my first make over at the Bobbi Brown counter in Saks Fifth Ave. The woman making me gorgeous sternly instructed me to keep my eyebrows in order! So I get waxed or threaded every couple weeks, bonus this is another ahead of time, time saver! (Having manicured nails also helps one appear pulled together. You can do them yourself, no need to dole out $15 a week!)

Second, I always curl my eyelashes, again it opens my eyes and emphasis my lashes. If stranded on a desert island, I would probably request an eyelash curler! (45 seconds)

Third, Mascara. Best product ever. I love Maybelline Great Lash, Diorshow Mascara, and Lancome Definicils. (1 minute)

During the winter I pat on a little Super Double Face Powder from Clinque, which provides incredible coverage, but is not at all heavy. (1 minute)

During the summer, I brush on a bit of Clinque Bronzer. It's worth bringing your own brush for even application. (30 seconds)

For a great glow a touch of Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush is perfect for a natural flush. Keep extending your workout glow! (20 seconds)

Finally lipgloss. Without lipgloss/stick of some kind, I look like a corpse. I don’t know why but a hint of shine or color wakes up my whole face. Since I am generally a happy girl it draws attention to my dimple studded smile! (5 seconds)

I love tons of different glosses and lipsticks. If I had to recommend one, I guess the C.G. Bigelow Metha Lip Tint. It’s a bit goopy, but good stuff!

Again, find what works for you, and keep it simple. Those steps take about 3-4 minutes.

If you need a bit more than the bare minimum makeup, say you are going out after work or something, it may take a couple extra minutes, but no more than 10 total for make-up. Typically, I try to head to the nearest Sephora, so I can play in my house of worship and not have to carry make-up around with me.

But when that’s not on option, I love love love, the Bare Escentuals fab in five kit. I always get tons of compliments on the days I use it. It is basically a 5 step kit, but I have to add mascara, of course! Unfortunately, I don’t think they sell it anymore, but the Superstar Kit is close!

I also love the Dior Travel Studio Make-up Palette! This was a gift, and I am not sure if it is available in the states, but if you find it, you won’t be disappointed, it has everything from concealer to eyebrow pencils in one little palette!

So that's my basic plan. Minimize damage on the front end, and whip myself back into present able-form with a logically recovery plan and a few helpful products.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

School's Out For Summer

As of yesterday night I am done with school until September. It feels good. I am just glad that it was fairly painless--and I loved my class. While I am sure I have totally lost anyone who may have read my blog during my abandonment, I am glad to be back. Ready to get back into fitness, and see where else this blog may go. I plan to post about 3 times a week.

Just in case I start going off on a catch up tangent, I have a bunch of great blogger/blog shout outs at the end, so feel free to scroll down.

I mentioned that I needed a bit of time to figure out my career and life and such, and I have to say I feel (at 3:24 on Thursday afternoon) pretty good right now. I have a few rustles in the career department. Class went well. I could be in better shape, but I maintained my workouts through summer session. I think I need to work a bit more on the spirituality side of things, and intend to read A New Earth with my newly found free time. PS If you haven't read Smart Women Finish Rich, go get it and devour it, very powerful stuff.

So I am jumping back into my workouts. I have my running schedule in my blackberry--will share soon. Physique 57 sent me a buy one get one coupon and I went last week--a-f-ing-mazing! I hobbled down Spring Street to the subway after, it took me like 10 minutes. I can't wait to use my second class with Magen, if I make it off the waitlist Tuesday!

To my New Yorkers, look out for Summer Streets, this could be a fun fitness find happening all through August.

Of course the week before finals, two unfortunate events occurred. This is not woe is me, I am a totally half-full kind of gal. My computer died. On the bright side, I replaced it with what I truly wanted: an Lenovo Thinkpad X60, which arrived yesterday. I have been wanting a Thinkpad since my last one got power shocked in Spain and I stupidly replaced in with a Dell. So hopefully my upcoming posts will be even better!

I also got food poisoning on Monday night or Tuesday at lunch. Anyways, I spent a few days pretty miserable, but I had to suck it up and get through finals, using the campus computers and all. However, noticing how awful dairy made me feel, I realized that, as Natalia Rose suggested, it is really freaking hard to digest. So I am going start limiting my love affair with dairy a bit. NO this is not a vegan announcement folks. In fact, I was really happy that the guy I am going out tonight with picked Kashkaval over Vento and Planet Thailand 212 because I would never be able to resist the gelato at V or the frozen custard at the Shake Shack, both of which would inevitable send my still-sensitive tummy into turmoil, and then the rest of my running for the bathroom.

In any case, to flush out any lingering poisons, I am going to try to do a little cleanse by focusing on veggie juice and smoothies next week, probably some fruit and salad too, we will see how it goes though, I suck at anything that potentially denies my appetite complete and utter free will. But boy will food poisoning make food seem terrifying...for a few days anyways.

So that's where I am...and now for the lovely folks who I have really started to love over the last few months.

At VeggieGirl's suggestion, I added google reader. It makes it easy to follow blogs, but more effort to comment. So now I read a lot more blogs.

First off, my friend and student worker Jessica. I have been reading her blog since she started it maybe 7 months ago. It cracks me up, and it has gotten the attention of many notable media types (ahem...gawker). Today she has an article on New York Magazine. You rock girl!

Next, Chandra. Talk about a transformation and a lot of work. I just really started reading her blog, and I just love her great attitude. Her posts keep me smiling.

(Kind of) Finally, Meals from the Girl in the Little Black Dress. I love her blog, and with this post, she introduced me to a whole new realm of blogs I had not yet discovered: fashion blogs. I am now obsessed.

My favs include: