Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fitness Excitement

It's been an exciting few days for me and my fitness interests.

First, I have been continuing my running. I think I have mentioned this before, but running is not my favorite overall exercise. I much prefer to do a variety of training -- I considering myself a continuous cross trainer. However, I have enjoyed running as an activity to share with Seth, who has been running the 5K distance three to four times a week.

I'm planning to keep up with my running through most of the summer. Come late August or early September, I plan to transition back to doing a round of the Insanity workout followed by Asylum. Word is that Beachbody will be coming out with a new volume 2 for Asylum this holiday season, and I want to be ready.

Having successfully hit the 10K mark with my running, I had been considering training for a half marathon, 13.1 miles. I even put Hal Higdon's half marathon training program on my iPhone. I am not sure that I'll actually do this though for a couple of reasons.

The first is that, as I've mentioned, running is just one activity I enjoy and not my favorite. I don't want to have to devote overly much time to running and not get to enjoy my other cross training which I prefer.

The second is that a half marathon is far. I don't feel like I have the interest to commit myself so fully to such an endeavor. I have done very hard exercise, such as Insanity, and know that I have the drive to exercise hard when interested and passionate. But without being passionate to want to hit a goal, I don't see that it makes sense for me to try to train for such a long distance. I think I would be happier keeping up my 3.5 - 6 mile runs and sticking with that.

Today, something happened to motivate me to keep up with my planned 3.5 - 6 mile run schedule. Seth signed up for his first road race!

Seth and I (along with Seth's friend, Patrick) are going to be taking part in the 34th Annual Bridge of Flowers Road Race in Shelbourne Falls. The race offers both a 3K and 10K course. Seth will be doing the former; me the latter. In Seth's words, "He's going to kick that race's ass!" He's very excited.

I am excited to try my first formal 10K after finally reaching that distance. The race is mostly shaded. It's fairly flat for the 3K. For the 10K, the first 2 miles are flat, followed by a half mile hill. It's all downhill after that. Sounds pretty fine, especially after the 2 mile (give or take) hill at Lake Wyola. I plan to do some light hill training and then be ready to go!

The race benefits charity, and Seth and I both got to choose a charity of choice. I'm running to benefit the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community, a non-profit which supports people in mental health recovery. As they website states, RLC, "creates conditions that support recovery at both the individual and community level through trauma-sensitive peer supports and the development of a regional network. We believe that human relationships are at the center of what heals people who have experienced extreme emotional states, trauma, mental health diagnoses and a variety of other challenges in life."

I definitely feel very close to the mission of this charity. My parents both work in the field of mental health at Connecticut Valley Hospital. I was fortunate to get to volunteer at the hospital and meet many individuals dealing with mental health issues. Like everyone, I know many friends and loved ones who work hard to manage their mental health. I think that programs like this in the community are a wonderful way to support people working through and dealing with mental illness.

If this charity strikes a chord with you, I encourage you to get involved by making a gift on my run website here. I definitely plan to train hard and have a good run at the 10K on August 11th.

I also had the chance to do another exciting fitness activity this week. While browsing the internet one day, I came across a new type of training, TRX Suspension Training. I was instantly interested!
TRX uses straps and the weight of your body to do resistance training. This type of workout was created for Navy Seals (and since I am practically a Navy Seal, I felt it was a good fit for me! Jk.).

While talking about TRX before aerobics class one day, my aerobics instructor, Rosalie, mentioned that the college owns a set. She said that she would be happy to show me a quick demo to see if I like them. Since TRX is very expensive to purchase, around $200, I wanted to check it out more than buy it.

On Wednesnday after work, I met Rosalie at Smith's track (called the ITT for indoor track and tennis) and got a fifteen minute demo for TRX. It was hard and fun seeming -- I wanted more.

I did a quick Google search and found that a local fitness center in Hadley, Energia, offered an outdoor TRX class Saturday morning at 9:45 a.m. for 45 minutes. This was the perfect intro I was looking for. I signed up straight away.

I have to say that Energia was totally awesome, and I loved the class. The people at Energia were nice and welcoming (both the staff and class regulars). I was prepared to pay the reasonable $15 drop in charge for the class, however, the instructor, Justin, said since it was my first time there and my first class I could just check it out for free.

Let me tell you TRX is hard. The workout left me super sweaty and my muscles were shaking in the best way. I had loads of fun. Justin said I should definitely come back. He said he does a slightly more advanced and faster paced class on Thursdays and that he thought that might interest me. I definitely want to go back and check it out again either this Thursday or next. So fun! I also felt like I used my core a great deal to stablize while using the straps to workout. Because you are using the straps while doing your resistance training, you really have to stabalize as you move to you stay in place. TRX is truly an interesting and unique workout.

The upper body work, which allows you to be upright and use your body as resistance was hard, but the most difficult moves, I felt, were those with your lower body. We did hamstring curls while in bridge, and I don't think my legs have every worked so hard. And I always said my legs are stronger than my arms. Maybe not...

In the final piece of news, I turn to the nutrion area of fitness. As I think I've mentioned, I have been drinking Shakeology for the past six months or so. Shakeology is a nutrion drink packed with vitamins. I have really enjoyed having it with 8 oz of skim milk for breakfast. It makes me feel healthy knowing I have gotten all those vitamins and minerals. Plus, I think it's great for my digestion, it helps me manage my appitite, and makes my skin and nails look very healthy.

Unforutnately, it's also over $100 for a thirty day supply. Seth and I have started saving money for new windows for our condo. We received a letter in the mail in May informing us that everyone in Echo Hill Condos will have to get new windows within three years (for structural reasons). Our windows are old, probably original to the house, and I have been wanting them, but wasn't planning on getting them quite yet because of the pellet stove.

With this news, we're accelerating our savings to get the new windows (and slider if we can afford it because it lets in a lot of cold in the winter). With this savings going on, I didn't really want to spend so much on a nutrion drink each month.

I did research and have decided to try GNC's Women's Ultra Mega Active shake. It looks to have a lot of similar nutrients to Shakeology at half the price. I plan to go buy some today since I just finished my last chocolate Shakeology. I'll let you know what I think after having it for a few days. Seth is going to try the GNC Mega Man Maximum Nutrion shake (or maybe the Mega Man Sport one) as a new alternative to the SlimFast he's been having for breakfast. I'll report out on how he likes it too.

Lots of finess excitment. I'll be sure to keep you posted on how things progress with all these fun exercise and wellness activities.

No comments: