Friday, May 11, 2012

Fitness Is Fun

I am a self-proclaimed runner. I hate exercise classes, lifting weights, and other indoor fitness venues. Sometimes I do CF because I love the short intense workouts it offers, but mostly, I stick to running. It's easy to run with a toddler. If I want to hit the gym, I have to try to time it right so that there is space available in the daycare. If I want to CF while Weasel is awake, I know she is going to want to participate and mostly just be underfoot the entire time. (It's a true test of my patience some days:)

A few weeks ago, my husband's company invited spouses and family members to run the obstacle course, fight with pugil sticks, and participate in SemperFit training (this is a mobile training unit that specializes in functional fitness). I was hesitant at first since I couldn't tell you the last time I did anything like this, but I dressed in my workout attire and headed to base. 

We were immediately instructed on how to complete the O-course (obstacle course) and two Marines demonstrated various techniques to complete each obstacle. Being a former Marine, I wasn't really paying attention, but rather, praying that I could actually tackle each one without injuring myself! I decided to give it a go, and successfully made it through. Boy was it exhausting, but satisfying!

I actually made it to the top! (it's all about technique)

After a few minutes of recovery, I decided to join in the SemperFit class in progress. We did about a thousand squats, crazy jumping maneuvers, and enough pushups to make me want to cry. But I can honestly say, it was one of the best workouts I've ever done.

This is why I don't do group exercise...I look totally ridiculous:)

Finally came the best part of the day. Jason and I donned protective equipment after a brief demonstration, and I got to take a pugil stick or batons while he had NO "weapons" and we fought:

Even the Weasel participated!

We only fought for 2 minutes, but it felt like a lifetime! What a fun way to spend a Friday morning! And while I love running, what a good reminder that fitness can be fun and not every workout has to involve a jogging stroller. I was sore for 3 days following this craziness!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Friends Make Me a Better Runner

We live in Eastern NC. And while technically it's still spring, it's HOT here! So on Tuesday afternoon, I messaged my running buddy, Jill, to ask if she wanted to do a longish (6-7 miles) run the following morning. Last week, we knocked out 8, but didn't start our run until 10:30 and it was way too hot. We wised up and decided to get it done earlier this time around. She told me that another friend posted her intentions of running 10-11 on our Stroller Warrior site, and was asking for partners for some or all of the run. We jumped at the opportunity to add more friends to our training, and met Nicole at the trail by 8 am. While it was still warm, the trail offered some shade in several spots and with rain in the forecast, we had a bit of cloud cover. 

We set off, Jill with Liam, and me with the Weasel in our strollers, and Nicole running solo. The first 5 miles flew by. We chatted non-stop and kept a good pace (1- 8:16, 2- 8:24, 3- 8:32, 4- 8:36, 5- 8:35). The trail provided enough room for us to run three across and it was nice to hear each of our GPSs click off the miles (they have fancy watches, but my iPhone app - RunKeeper - actually announces the pace you're keeping:). At the turn around point, I claimed that we needed to stop so I could open a juice box for the Weasel. In reality, I just needed a break and a chance to sip some water and down a few Honey Stinger Chews:) 

We turned and headed back to the start. While the pace slowed a bit, the conversation continued. Knowing we would be just shy of 11 miles since the turn around only took us to 5.45, I suggested a short turn off out-and-back to add the mileage BEFORE reaching our vehicles. We ended up back at the starting point at 1:38:46 for a total of 11.1 miles! (second half splits: 6- 8:54, 7- 9:28, 8- 9:00, 9- 9:06, 10- 9:36, 11- 9:25) 

Funny thing about this run, Jill and I aren't training for anything. We just heard about the opportunity to run 11 miles and jumped on it. That's just one of the reasons I LOVE this club. Nicole is preparing for another half marathon this coming weekend and another one the following weekend. She's a machine. She runs everyday, mostly in the wee hours of the morning. And she is ALWAYS smiling. 

Me, Nicole & Jill at the finish

How could you NOT have fun with these ladies?!

After the workout, Weasel and I hit up the local grocery store to get dinner items for tonight and tomorrow. Then we headed home and had lunch. I had leftovers - chicken breast stuffed with spinach, feta and onions, on a bed of whole wheat couscous. 

Then, Weasel helped demonstrate her own techniques on my beloved foam roller:

So it's days like this when I absolutely love being a stay-at-home-mom. Hard to complain, right?! And the true sign that it was a successful day - I actually showered within an hour of finishing my run! (Typically I forgo the shower and play with Weasel:) Lastly, a shout out to Weasel and Liam who were perfect angels throughout the entire run!