Back to the Grind: My Training Schedule Post-Chess

Now that Chess is over and done, and I don’t see myself auditioning for another show until January, it’s time to get serious about my training schedule once again. I haven’t done much other than running in MONTHS, so I’m excited to hopefully add in some Body Pump and yoga or cycling/spin for cross-training. I have the Wine and Dine half marathon on November 7, but I’m still also considering running a PR attempt half marathon on November 1. If I’m going to do that, I need to a) stick to my training plan as far as running goes, and b) get serious about cross-training and recovery stuff for injury prevention.

Unfortunately, things are a bit complicated by the fact that Ben is now back at work (I’m not complaining), which means that we are sharing a single car. Unfortunately, the gym is not as close or convenient as it was when we were living with his parents in Underhill. This means that I have to make a conscious decision to go to the gym on certain days and times, and coordinate schedules with Ben so that we both have the car when we need it.

With that in mind, here is my tentative schedule for the coming months:

  • Monday: Body Pump or other cross training (elliptical, spin etc)
  • Tuesday: Short, easy run
  • Wednesday: Medium distance morning run or runch; evening Tap Class
  • Thursday: Alternate run club speed workouts with Sh’Bam (dance-y cardio class–read my review here)
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Run club/long run
  • Sunday: Rest/Yoga

Obviously, things will change depending on the week and what’s going on, but this is the loose version of what I hope to accomplish. Saturdays I will alternate between running a shorter run with run club and tacking on extra mileage to accomplish my long run mileage, and running my long run solo. I love meeting up with run club, but splitting up my long runs too often would make me nervous about running the actual distances under race conditions.

You’ll notice I’m doing two dance type classes this fall–tap, and Sh’Bam. I’m gearing up to audition for the title role in Mary Poppins this spring (!!!), so I’m trying to brush up on all of my skills. I’ll be getting my dance on at least once a week, and I’ll also be doing bi-weekly voice lessons. I was hoping to fit in an acting class too, but my budget just wouldn’t allow for it. Maybe in the spring.

I’ve also got yoga actually on the schedule. I’m excited because I’ve found a new studio near me that is 100% non-profit and donation based. That means you pay what you feel you can afford for each class (suggested donation is $10). Or, you can pay $45 per month for unlimited classes, which is RIDICULOUSLY cheap. I’m gonna try to check them out some time in the next few weeks, and if I like what I see, I’ll definitely be buying the unlimited pass. ALLTHEYOGA!

When is the last time you took a yoga class?

Are you training for a big race right now?

Manic Monday – 05/18/15


Monday 05/11/15:  Body Pump. I can’t lie, I almost bailed on this class. I got out of work early so Ben and I could sign our lease, and it was storming and POURING and I just wanted to go home. But I sucked it up and went, and it was a really good class, so I’m glad I did. I also did a 45 second plank first thing in the morning.

Tuesday 05/12/15:  2 mile runch; 45 second plank. It was my first run in my new shoes, and it was really humid, so I kept it short and slow.

Wednesday 05/13/15:  One hour Pilates mat class. I was hoping to runch as well, but ended up having lunch with my friend Krissy since she was in town from San Francisco for a few days. Pilates was more than enough workout anyway–my glutes and abs were on FIRE after class.

Thursday 05/14/15:  Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge 5k. In case you missed it, you can read my recap here.

Friday 05/15/15:  Rest day. After four straight days of workouts, I was ready for a break. We drove to Rhinebeck, NY after work for Ben’s cousin’s grad party.

Saturday 05/16/15:  Rest day. It was a party, so I ate and drank allthethings. Not the best plan ever, but I had a good time, and was in bed relatively early.

Sunday 05/17/15:  Rest day. We left NY around noon and got home by 5ish, so that wasn’t too bad. We relaxed most of the evening and were in bed by quarter of 10.

This week should be pretty decent. Aside from work being stressful, we don’t have too much going on. Although we are moving in two weeks… I may talk a little more about that later this week, but for now, I’m trying not to worry about it. Here’s the hopeful training schedule for this week:

  • Monday: Short runch; Body Pump
  • Tuesday: Short runch
  • Wednesday: Short runch (skipping Pilates to go out to dinner with a friend)
  • Thursday: Short runch; CXWORX
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: 4 miles
  • Sunday: Rest

Did anyone else have graduation festivities this weekend?

Manic Monday – 05/04/15

Photo Dec 30, 12 48 14 PM

Monday 04/27/15:  Body Pump. I was really pleased to make it to Monday night Body Pump two weeks in a row, and it didn’t feel as challenging as it did last week. I’m hopeful that I’ll continue to see progress as I attend class more regularly.

Tuesday 04/28/15:  3 mile runch. It was quite chilly and windy, but once I got going the temperature was a non-issue. It was just a tough run because I was going into the wind for a good portion of it.

Wednesday 04/29/15:  3 mile runch; 1 hour Pilates mat class after work. I’ll talk a bit more about this later this week, but I’m excited!

Thursday 04/30/15:  Rest Day. I intended to run or walk, but was feeling sore and tired after three straight days of workouts, so I just took care of some personal errands and phone calls during lunch instead.

Friday 05/01/15:  Rest Day. I didn’t want to push too soon before the race on Saturday, especially because I haven’t run anywhere close to 5 miles in quite some time, so I just hung out at home and went to bed early.

Saturday 05/02/15:  GMAA Pump it Up 5 Miler. You’ll have to wait for my full recap on Tuesday, but it was a beautiful day and a great race.

Sunday 05/03/15:  “Rest Day.” I put that in quotation marks because even though I didn’t run or go to the gym, I spent about 4 hours doing yard work, which was definitely a workout. I was exhausted and Ben and I were in bed watching Netflix by 8, and asleep by 10.

Unfortunately, I’m already off to a poor start this week–I forgot my gym bag this morning, which means no running and no Body Pump today. Booo! This is a day when living 45 minutes away from town is a total drag, because I can’t just zip home and grab my stuff. Oh well.  Here’s the tentative plan for the rest of the week.

  • Monday: Rest day
  • Tuesday: 3 mile runch
  • Wednesday: 1 hour Pilates mat class (may not happen due to a work function)
  • Thursday: 3 mile runch; CWORX (if I don’t make Pilates on Wednesday)
  • Friday: 2 mile runch
  • Saturday: Vermont Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k
  • Sunday: Rest day

I’m getting very close to my fundraising goal for the Jiggety Jog–only $145 to go! If you’d like to help me out, click here to make a fast, secure online donation.

When’s the last time you forgot your gym bag?

Are you racing this weekend?

Manic Monday – 04/27/15

Photo Dec 30, 12 48 14 PM

Monday 04/20/15:  3 mile runch. The rain cleared up long enough for me to squeak in 3 miles–rain drops started falling right as I ran up to my building!  I also did Body Pump after work. It was my first class in a while, and it felt AWESOME. My work/gym buddy Freda was there, as well as another of our theatre friends, Kim, and a girl we’ve become friendly with through classes at the gym, so it was a fun atmosphere.

Tuesday 04/21/15:  Rest Day. It was rainy and windy, and I was tired and sore from the double workout on Monday, so I just did some light stretching and rolling after dinner.

Wednesday 04/22/15: REVtheme ride: Bollywood. This was my second spin class at REV, and I loved it just as much as the first time. My friend Chris taught the class, and a bunch of our other theatre friends were there. It was awesome! The Bollywood music was super fun, and I worked HARD the whole hour. This was an amazing way to start my Wednesday. I also did more rolling in the evening because my legs were still really sore from Pump plus spin.

Thursday 04/23/15:  Rest Day. Another chilly, cloudy day (I woke up to snow. On April 23. WTF), so I just didn’t feel like running or walking. 

Friday 04/24/15:  Rest Day. I had intended to runch, but my Friday lunch buddy Emily called me up at the last minute to meet. We haven’t had lunch in weeks, so it was nice to see her. (Also, woke up to more snow–almost 3 inches. Seriously?!?)

Saturday 04/25/15:  Rest Day. We had some friends over on Friday night and I had one drink too many, so Saturday morning I just wasn’t up to a run. But at the Legally Blonde cast party in the evening, I did lots of dancing, so it wasn’t a completely sedentary day.

Sunday 04/26/15:  Rest Day. I really did intend to run, but it was significantly colder than it’s been lately, and I didn’t pack any cold weather running clothes. I know it’s a lame excuse, but whatever. 

We’re still house-sitting until tomorrow, but after that, things should be “normal” again. Honestly I don’t even know what that means anymore after the craziness of the last few months. But I’m hoping this means I’ll be able to get back to the workout schedule I laid out in my Back on Track post. Here’s what I want to do this week:

  • Monday:  Body Pump
  • Tuesday: 3 mile runch
  • Wednesday:  Walk or short runch and Body Pump
  • Thursday: 3 mile runch and CXWORX
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: GMAA Pump it Up 5 Miler
  • Sunday: Rest

Did you get any snow this week?

Back on Track

Now that Legally Blonde is over and I have a few weeks to myself before Chess rehearsals start, it’s time to re-establish a fitness routine. Towards the end of Legally Blonde rehearsals, I made the tough (but ultimately smart) decision to stop running for a while, because the strain on my shins was too much with all of the jumping rope I had to do for the show. Also as you may remember, I was too exhausted to do much but go through the motions outside of rehearsals and performances for the last week or so. I took two full days off of pretty much any physical activity, and now I’m ready to get back to it.

With the re-establishing of the fitness routine also needs to come better eating. Things have been so insane lately that convenience has become the most important thing, and my diet has consequently suffered. Too many processed carbs, too much sugar, and not enough produce or protein. That’s got to change.

I also need to come up with some more structured strength training to get ready for the Spartan Race on September 20. I’m hoping to be able to start taking Body Pump at least once a week (ideally twice per week), and I’m considering biting the bullet and paying for some personal training sessions to really come up with a plan.

I’d be lying if I said my ultimate goal with all of the above wasn’t to FINALLY lose these extra 10 or so pounds that have crept up on me over the last year or so. It will be better for my running, better for the Spartan Race, and better for my self-esteem. I think investing in a personal trainer is a smart move at this point, because obviously, what I’m doing on my own isn’t working. They say that if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. I’m tired of doing the same old workouts and beating my head against a wall, wondering why I’m not getting stronger and leaner. It’s time to call in the big guns. It’s time to get professional help.

Unless and until I finally pull the trigger on personal training, and until Chess rehearsals start, here is what my schedule will probably look like.

  • Monday:  Short run at lunch; Body Pump in the evening
  • Tuesday:  Walk at lunch; stretch and roll
  • Wednesday:  Short run at lunch; Body Pump in the evening
  • Thursday:  Walk at lunch; CXWORX in the evening
  • Friday:  Short run at lunch; Body Flow?
  • Saturday:  Longer run or race
  • Sunday:  Rest

I’d still love to incorporate yoga once a week, but I’ve finally accepted that while we’re living with Ben’s parents out in the boonies, it just doesn’t make sense to drive into town on Sunday morning for a yoga class. I’d end up spending more time in the car than in yoga. There’s a 5:15 Body Flow class at my gym on Fridays, but as you can see by the question mark above, I don’t know how reasonable it is that I’d want to go to a yoga type class on Friday evening. My gut says I’d skip it more often than not, especially as the weather gets warmer and more activities start happening on Friday nights. I guess we’ll see.

I’ve also got a few races coming up–a 5 miler on May 2, a 5k on May 9 (visit my fundraising page here), and a 5k on May 14, so I’ve got plenty to keep me busy training-wise.

What’s your number one tip for getting back on track after time off?

Have you ever worked with a personal trainer?

Manic Monday – 02/02/15

Photo Dec 30, 12 48 14 PM

Aaaand it’s February. Wow. Holy crap. I’m a little overwhelmed by how quickly January went by, but I’m starting to remember that life passes a lot faster when you’re busy. Rehearsals and workouts are keeping me on the go WAY more than I’m used to. I’m still adjusting to the new normal, but on the whole it’s going well. I could definitely use more sleep, but that’s always been a problem of mine, so I’ll just keep on keepin’ on.

Monday 01/26/15:  Body Pump (check out my review here); 3ish hours of various marching and dancing activities at rehearsal

Tuesday 01/27/15:  Rest day. I should have done more stretching and rolling than I did, but I was simply too exhausted.

Wednesday 01/28/15:  Ran 3 easy treadmill miles and stretched it out before a short, low-movement rehearsal

Thursday 01/29/15:  10 minutes of incline walking on the treadmill to warm upCXWORX (check out my review here)

Friday 01/30/15:  I intended to run on my lunch break, but forgot I had made plans to meet a friend, so “all” I did was 3ish hours of jumping rope, marching, and dancing at rehearsal

Saturday 01/31/15:  Rest day. Lots of cleaning and organizing around the house because my father in law comes home from a month in New Zealand next weekend. He’s a bit Type A, and we’ve been pretty lax without him around!

Sunday 02/01/15:  2ish hours of jumping rope, marching, and dancing at rehearsal

Another week with only one run, which, while not ideal, is better than no running. My left knee has been bothering me quite a bit, most likely because I’m just doing way more activity than I’m used to. I’m taking Ibuprofen a couple of times a day to help with inflammation and trying to rest as much as possible. No running for a few days, and maybe no Body Pump this week (boo). The last thing I need right now is to be out of running for another 6 weeks, so I’m trying to be cautious at the outset.

Happy Monday!

Body Pump Will Pump You Up

On Monday, I attended my first-ever Body Pump class.  This seems to be one of Les Mills’ most popular class offerings, and I know a lot of my run-blogging friends are fans.  I decided to give it a try because I really need more overall strength training, but I find the weight room intimidating.  Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m an empowered woman, blah blah, but still.  I don’t like it.  And I also don’t really know what I’m doing.  So to have an instructor telling me exactly what to do and when sounded really appealing.

Since I didn’t have rehearsal until 8 pm, I was able to make a 5:30 class (class is one hour), and my coworker/gym buddy Freda came along for the ride.  We got there early and approached a woman who we assumed was the instructor.  She had just finished up teaching the previous class, but was kind enough to get us sorted out before she left.  She actually said, “OK, we gotta get you set up, these people are like pirhannas, like sharks after chum.  You gotta get your equipment fast or it’s all gone!”  She wasn’t kidding.  This class was jam-packed and there were people swarming all over the place grabbing bars and plates and steps.

She gave us a quick run-down of what the class would be like–warm up, squats/legs, upper body, abs, cool down and stretch, and showed us how the bars and clips worked, and explained that we could use as much or as little weight as we wanted for each section.  After that, we just sort of waited anxiously for the class to start.

Guys, the instructor for this class was pregnant.  And she’s not even the regular instructor. The regular instructor (who happens to be her sister), is even MORE pregnant.  If you ever wanted to feel completely inadequate, take a Body Pump class taught by a visibly pregnant woman who doesn’t even break a sweat.  I can only hope I’m half as active and strong as those two when I start procreating. My personal feelings of inadequacy aside, we lucked out once again with a new release, so we weren’t walking into a class where everyone knew the routine except us.

I will say, because the class was so full, and with so many people who obviously do Body Pump regularly, I feel like there is a very real possibility for failure/error/doing exercises incorrectly as a new person.  I had never done a clean and press before this class, and could have used some more help getting that motion down.  Proper form is really important to get the most out of an exercise and to avoid injury, and I feel like while Melissa did the best she could to describe the movements well, she was more focused on moving through the routine than giving individual feedback.  Keep this in mind if you decide to try Body Pump.  Maybe seek the instructor out before your first class and try to get a bit of coaching first.

Photo Jan 26, 7 29 09 PMAside from that, this class is VERY good, and I can see why it’s so popular.  It really is a full-body strength workout, that in my (non-professional) opinion, was pretty well-balanced.  The warm up was just long enough to get my heart rate up a bit, and then we went straight into a squat track, which kind of made me want to die.  Honestly, I thought I was a relatively strong person going into this class, but now I realize that that was a fantasy.  I’m wimpy and out of shape.  After doing 3 minutes of squats and lunges, I thought my legs were going to fall off.  I kind of wanted them to.  And then we did upper body.  And then abs.

The day or two after, I had quite a bit of DOMS (particularly in my quads and the weird underarm/boob-fat area, which I think is a good thing), but nothing unmanageable, which means that I didn’t push it too hard.  I want to take this class once a week, but I’m having a tough time fitting it into my schedule right now because of rehearsals.  I’m probably going to end up having to go to a 6 am class, which is SO not my usual scene, but I think it will be worth it, particularly since I have the Spartan Race in September and have no idea how to train for it.  Full-body strength training seems like a pretty good start for lack of another plan.

Have you ever tried Body Pump?

If so, are the people at your gym pirhannas? Do you have to get to class early and fight for a spot and equipment?

Cross-training? What’s that?

It’s not a secret that cross-training (biking, yoga, strength training etc) can help your running performance.  At the outset of my half marathon training, I was really good about getting to the gym once or twice a week to “pump iron” or hit the elliptical.  But as the weather got nicer, those gym trips became more sporadic, and then stopped altogether.  I realized recently that the only “cross-training” I’ve been doing for the last two months is riding my bike to and from work.  While that’s great, and certainly better than nothing, I could probably benefit from doing some strength training too.

I have had a membership at the local Planet Fitness for a while, but it’s just far enough away that Ben and I find it a pain in the butt to get over there.  And as I’m sure you know, PF isn’t exactly the cutting edge as far as gyms go–weights, a circuit training area, and cardio–not terribly stimulating.  So basically, I’ve been paying $10 a month to NOT work out.

The good news is, through my job I can get a discounted corporate membership with a local fitness company that has FIVE different locations in the area.  For $40 a month, I have access to all 5 facilities, which include:

  • Lap Pools
  • Aqua Classes
  • Spinning
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Indoor track (!!!)
  • Les Mills
  • Zumba
  • Hot tub

And more!  So, I finally bit the bullet and signed up.  One of the locations is about a 5 minute walk from my office, and one is halfway between Ben’s parents’ place and my office.  I’m really excited about the opportunity to try Zumba and Body Pump, and have access to an indoor track for speed work and rainy day runs.  I’m also hoping the fact that I’m paying significantly more per month will force me to actually go a couple of times a week.  I guess we’ll see about that!

I’m really excited to see what kind of impact additional cross-training will have on my running.  Before we left Massachusetts, I was attending several strength and conditioning classes a week in addition to running, and I was really strong.  I’ve already talked a bit about how I’ve gained some weigh since moving back to Vermont (and no, it’s not muscle, trust me), so I’m hopeful that mixing up my routine will also help me get back to where I started weight-wise.

Do you have a gym membership?

What’s your favorite form of cross-training?