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.
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.)
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.
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 :)
Nothing blatantly “health-related” about this post because I haven’t done a whole lot that is health-related in the past few days…and I am perfectly happy with that. My roadtrip back to school for the Eli Young Band kickstarted a whole summer weekend with all the cliche activities that everyone should have on their to-do list. The Simple Summer Checklist:
- Dairy Queen Blizzards
- A picnic is the grass
- Read in the grass and sunshine
- Minor flip-out over aggressive grasshoppers
- Explore the the forest and trails (which results in picking wildflowers. Which leads to subsequent selfies with the best friend.)
- Sunset photos with a picture-perfect water tower
- Coffee shops for breakfast
- Lazy afternoons with sangria
- BBQing for dinner (grilled zucchini and sweet potatoes are a must)
- Back to school shopping with a bestie
- Staying outside as long as possible
Aaaand after a full day, it would be a shame if we ended the night quietly at home. A little group of us headed downtown, replaying Chase Rice’s “We Goin’ Out” no fewer than 8 times as we got ready.
To add to the perfection of the weekend, Friday night is Country Night at my favorite bar :) Country music, line-dancing, yard jar drinks. People in cowboy boots and hats.
Why does a cocktail taste so much better in a mason jar?!
When everyone else seemed to know every step of the Footloose choreography to Big & Rich’s “Fake ID” we agreed that we would Youtube instructions before going out next time so we could join the fun ;)
This summer weekend was stereotypical in every way and my heart was so happy :)
On Tuesday I’ll have to share some of my “Extra-Credit Exercises” for the week after an extra-fun-but-not-so-healthy weekend like this one. Speaking of which, it’s time for SUNDAY LONG RUN.
What’s on your Summer Bucket List?
I’m a big fan of all the activity taking place in August so far. I’ve uncharacteristically avoided the gym in favor of outdoor exercise each morning and evening. After work, I take a walk/run around the neighborhoods and enjoy all the sunshine I can. My mom has joined me a couple times and it’s a welcome dose of nature after sitting in an office for 9 hours. Lemon water for days….
This morning I blasted out a “Body Weight & Plyometric Circuit” that I’ll share with you! It took 35 minutes in the backyard, all done before the sun woke up :)
Plyometrics are exercises that incorporate jumping and explosive movement, using intensity and power for a short duration. The shock landing forces muscle contractions and aids in strengthening ankle, knee and hip joints (not recommended for people prone to joint pain/injury.) It’s in-between a strength workout and a HIIT workout.
Body Weight & Plyometrics Circuit: 4 Rounds of 8 exercises
I set a HIIT timer (using the “Seconds” app) to complete 35 seconds of each exercise followed by 25 seconds rest.
*You will need a jumprope and mat. You can also add light weights for the lunges and squat jumps*
Lately, I prefer to incorporate body weight exercise over weight lifting. At this stage of the game, I am concerned with being toned, not “making gains.” I want to use the muscles I have without building any more if that makes sense.
After 32 minutes of the circuit, my mom and I walked a cooldown lap around the neighborhood as the sun just started to light things up. We both agreed that we LOVE being outside at dawn and at dusk. Something about the glowy lighting. Sunrise runs are UNBEATABLE, nevermind the 4:30 wake up call. I will miss my sunrise runs with my high school teammate and good friend Matt. We’ve been doing summer cross country training together for six years now!
Another August trend I’ve been loving is trading an evening epidsode of House Hunter’s for some new novels I just bought. A friend at work suggested some titles including Beautiful Disaster and I already can’t wait to read it’s sequel, Walking Disaster.
And the rest of August won’t be slowing down. Time for this morning’s balanced breakfast: oats with flaxseed, blueberries, and half a banana. You already know the coffee’s been loooong gone. ;)
Favorite summer workout and/or summer read…GO!