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Extra-Credit Exercise

Just checking in on this summer Tempo Tuesday! This morning I swear the moon was running along side me. So big and bright, it actually felt like I was running in the middle of the night.  My especially-dark run this mornng included 3 x 1 mile at tempo pace with 1 minute recovery between. We don’t mess around on Tuesday mornings!

On Sunday, I got back into my regular weekly routine with long runs, recovery runs, HIIT workouts, and speed workouts. But last Wednesday – Saturday? Completely different story. Major vacation mode with ice cream, cocktails, Sprout’s chocolate-covered pretzels and absolutely zero gym-time. NOT THAT I REGRET IT. I enjoyed it to the fullest, actually :)

However, I believe balance is most important in a healthy lifestyle. So this week is about working to offset the “extras” with what I call the “Extra Credit” exercises.

Extra Credit Exercises // post-vacation fitness strategies blog post!
Getting back into your regular routine is enough to maintain but if you are trying to “undo” a few splurges then you gotta go ABOVE AND BEYOND!

So in addition to my usual running routine, I incorporate a few extra exercises all week. Starting with some more dynamic warm-ups while I get ready for the gym.

  • Warm-up —> 50 jumping jacks, 5 burpees, 10 rounds of kickboxing punches on each side. Repeat 3x.
  • After Cardio/Before cool down —> 25 walking lunges each leg, 10 split squats (JUMP), 20 Plie Squats
  • Added core routine before stretching —> Hip Bridge (1 minute), 20 leg lifts, 10 push-ups, 100 crunches, planks with leg lifts, back extensions.
  • And each night after dinner, I swap an episode of House Hunters for a 2 mile walk around the neighborhood at dusk. (My faaaavorite time to be outside.)

Extra Credit Exercises // Blog Post on

It’s the little things that all add up, if you’re not used to doing them!

Another tip: start early to reap the metabolic-effect benefits all day long. Strength-based exercises create a slight increase in our metabolism for a brief period after we are done exercising. Think of the most intense exercises you love to hate and promise yourself to commit at least 5 minutes to them before you even jump in the shower in the morning. For me, that would be Squat Jumps, Mountain Climbers, Plank with Leg Raises, and Russians with a medicine ball.

As if the 4:36am alarm clock didn’t tip me off, it is crystal clear at the office that vacation time is O-V-E-R.

Health-conscious Intern (

My friend at work insisted I read the last 100 pages of Beautiful Disaster last night so that we could talk about all the juicy details at work today. It’s like office gossip that is totally A-OK because it’s about characters, not co-workers. ;) Isn’t it so funny how a good book can make you feel so strongly about a fictional situation? I won’t spoil this novel in case you’re reading too, but I would just like to tell Miss Abby Abernathy that when a boy gets your name tattooed after two months….run, girl, run!

Time for some *extra* coffee :)

The 4-Part Birthday Workout!

As if he knew it was my birthday, my coach made Tuesday’s practice “on-your-own.” That translates to: SLEEP IN PAST 7am! The trails and roads are covered with a layer of ice and snow from the weekend’s storms, so my workout would be taking place in the comfort of the dry and heated gym. Because of said storm, I had already run for 60 minutes on the treadmill Saturday, and 85 minutes Sunday. So another long treadmill run didn’t interest me in the least bit.

I may have deviated from my training program for a day to mix things up a little bit and keep it interesting – girls just wanna have fun!

Birthday Work Out (

Our track team’s strength program has really been focusing on lower body lately, lots of overhead-weighted squats, hamstring curls and RDL’s, and hip mobility. Not to leave the upper body neglected, I decided to start out with upper body weights. I made up my workout as I went along, but it came out looking like this:

P.S. Don’t let the pink backgrounds fool you; this workout will leave you sweating and in need of some protein replenishment!

Birthday Workout Part One (

Note on the modified pull-ups: I used the machine that takes off some of your body weight so I was really lifting about 65% of my body weight. Since there are 3 sets, I did one set with parallel grip, one with chin-up grip, and one with pull-up grip.

Birthday Workout Part 2 (

Bursts of cardio to break a sweat! Followed by actual cardio machines, without the monotony of another treadmill day:

Birthday Workout Part 3 (

A workout is not complete without some CORE! These are pretty much my favorite core exercises, minus a couple. Like I said, I made it up as I went along but it looked something like:

Birthday Workout Part 4 (

This workout turned out WAY longer than I anticipated and I was at the gym for about 2 hours but I didn’t mind! It made a (little) dent in my birthday calories :) I definitely didn’t count calories this weekend with my parents, or on my actual birthday with some extra treats. Today it’s back on track with balanced meals and minimal desserts but it was nice to enjoy some “extras” off campus for a few days.

Apart from the exercise… I really enjoyed my birthday. I’m happy to have so many great people in my life and we had so much fun ending the birthday night getting frozen yogurt in 20 degrees. Die hard ice cream fan!

Birthday YogurtMy birthday was conveniently on “Fat Tuesday.” Which epitomized my diet for the day. Red Velvet yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, all of which are invisible under this mound of granola & hot fudge. Going out with a bang!

Birthday Night collage (

Birthday Night ( dessert ( added the tiaraBirthday in chalkBirthday and group

Starting the day in the gym and ending it with the best group of teammates and friends. Can’t ask for much more than that!

Hardcore Cardio – Intervals!

Up until this point, my workout posts have been pretty mild. But guess what?! I have been cleared by my surgeon, athletic trainers, and the NCAA to return to normal training so get ready for some more intense workouts and fitness variety :D

Any fitness trainer, coach, athlete will tell you that INTERVALS are by far one of the best ways to increase your speed/strength. An hour on the treadmill, steady-state, will no doubt burn calories. BUT if you want to see improvement and work up to faster speeds, you’ve got to add in some intervals one or two times a week.

Intervals combine shorter, faster bursts of energy with a moderate rest period in between. It kind of seems like “cheating” because you get to rest so much, but that’s because the sprints should be faster than comfortable pace! Also, to make sure this workout is effective, try your best to maintain the same pace during the sprints from the first one to the last one. There is no point if you slow down as you get tired, because your body’s break through happens as you push past fatigue!

Here is a moderate interval workout on a track, using the straights and curves as your guides:

I loved this workout in high school. I remember we did this on the first day of junior year, when the temperatures had to have been in the high 90s. I had my pink water bottle on the track with me, and pounded out the laps. Workouts like these will get you in shape quicker than just adding mileage!

Pin in here! :)