Thursday, July 12, 2012

CrossFit v. TRX v. Insanity

I mentioned Cross Fit and TRX in my post yesterday, and I received a couple of questions about each.  And, as you might remember, I am a huge fan of the Insanity program.  The Hubs found this blog post that explains a little about each program and some of the pros/cons of each.  It definitely explains each program better than I can!

Just call me coach

As I mentioned yesterday, this is not my year to train hard and shoot for PRs.  For the first half of the year, I was in and out of doctor's offices trying to figure out what was going on with my hip.  I spent January and February trying to find alternate workouts - elliptical, aqua jogging, spin.  Finally, after my MRI, I spent the next 10 weeks doing nothing but upper body strength training.  Lots and lots of P90X.  Just me and Tony.

Tony and I have been spending a lot of time together this year!

As I have gradually added running back to my routine, I decided that since I am not spending the training season focusing on my pace, doing speedwork and shooting for a PR, that maybe I should give back instead.  For years, I've wanted to volunteer to be a Houston Fit or Woodlands Fit coach.  However, the Hubs had odd work hours for a long time, then I started grad school and well, it just wasn't in the cards.  But this year, that's not the case...

So, I e-mailed Rachel, who coordinates Woodlands Fit, to ask if she was in need of any assistant coaches.  She responded with a "yes" and suggested we meet up to discuss this in person.  A few weeks ago, I met her and told her a little about my running background.  When I walked in, I was only inquiring about an Assistant Coach role.  When I walked out, I had the role of Head Coach for the 1/2 marathon Red group!  So exciting! 

If you're not familiar with the USA Fit groups, the runners are broken down into various pace groups designated by colors.  There's blue (really fast), green/yellow (9 min/mile), red (10-12 min/mile), purple (12+ min/mile and walkers), etc.  The red group tends to be the largest and usually includes quite a few newbies.  Last weekend, we had our first group run - it was a 1 mile time trial to determine who would be in which pace group.  I had an opportunity to meet the runners who would be in my group.  It was awesome and I can't wait to get to know everyone better!

In other news, I am also looking into getting a certification...although, I haven't decided which one.  As in certification, I mean a personal training cert - more than likely either the ACSM or NASM, but I am still researching this because there are so many!  There was an weekend-long ACSM course here in Houston a few weeks ago, but I missed it.  :-(  I am not sure what I am going to do with this certification just yet, but I have a few ideas swimming around in my head.  I am also considering either a RRCA or USTAF certification, but there aren't any of these courses nearby for the remainder of the year.  Boo!  More to come on this...

Have you been a member of a group running program?  Do you have a certification?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weighing In Update and Making Plans

I had my 1st nutrition check in yesterday and I am happy to report some good results………..

Drumroll please……

You already knew I was down 7 lbs, but I also lost 9.67 inches! These inches were lost in my shoulders, waist, hips and thighs – I am so excited! I was a little bummed that I didn’t make a ton of progress in lowering my body fat percentage, but it did decrease so that’s progress. The doc is going to make some minor adjustments to my menus to increase the protein and decrease the carbs just a bit. He was super pleased with the results as well, and said I was about a week ahead of schedule. Whoot!

This is me, I've tried!!!
I am looking into doing some additional strength training to help reduce the body fat, so I checked the internet for the Crossfit places (“boxes”) near me. Can you believe there are 5 less than 10 miles from my house? Crazy! I *think* I found one that I will really like and they have CF Endurance, which seems to allow for training for running distance races. I am concerned a bit about trying Crossfit though…from what I’ve heard, it sounds as if there might be some exercises that could potentially be bad for my still achy hip. For those who have been to CF, please feel free to chime in here.

Another alternative is TRX. There is a class offered at the doc’s office and I have to admit, after doing a bit of research on this, I am intrigued! So here’s what I am thinking – there is a special deal on the TRX classes (“bootcamp”) where you get a pretty good price for 12 classes. I’d go 2x per week, so that would be 6 weeks. I am thinking of doing this first and then making a switch to CF after that.  My main goal here is to strengthen my core and non-running muscles to hopefully prevent future hip issues.

As for races, I have been going back and forth on this for awhile now. I can run again without causing too much trouble to my hip. But, I am running very slow and taking walk breaks. I’ll admit, I am being super paranoid and overly cautious. I would rather be overly cautious than experience the pain I did in Dec/Jan, and be out another few months! So, I did enter the lotto for the Houston ½ Marathon with a group of my running peeps. And guess what? WE GOT IN!

But, I wanted to Disney – specifically the Goofy Challenge – this year (Jan 2012). After our family vacation to Disney, the trip to NYC, the Kiddo’s birthday and Christmas, we just did not feel it was in the budget so soon. This turned out to be a good thing, since I had the hip injury! So, I have a couple of friends running Disney in 2013 and I thought that it would be awesome to go and do Goofy with them. Plus, it’s the 25th anniversary of the Disney Marathon, so there’s going to be lots of hoopla surrounding that and a super cool medal.

The problem here?

1) Disney is the same weekend as Houston! Doh! I could defer Houston, but then I have to pay for it 2x.

2) I don’t think I should subject my hip to a full marathon, much less a full marathon on one day and a ½ marathon on the next day!

3) I could go and just do the ½…but to be honest, I’ve always wanted to do Goofy and that seems like a long way to travel for a ½.

4) The hubby just signed up for IMTX…this means that he could not do the races with me and to be honest, with the costs related to an IM distance race, it is not in our budget for us to both travel there.

So, maybe Disney will be on the agenda for 2014. I hope so!

I have also tried to decide how quickly I should “race” again. Let’s face it, after my injury I have no dreams of a PR this year. I am still in that “I’m just happy to be running at all” mode. I am not pushing my pace at all, I am not doing speedwork and I am not doing hill training. I refuse. Because of this, I am reluctant to sign up for any races at all.

So this is what I am doing – signing up for races that sound like fun, have nice bling, races I’ve never done, etc. There is a series of races here that consists of two 10K distance races and a ½ marathon. When you complete all 3 of these races, you receive a special medal (so 4 medals in all). The Hubs and I both thought this would be a fun challenge. The races all include bridges, so it makes them a little tougher for those of us used to training on flat land – because of this, I imagine that I will be doing some walking! And, the friend who got me started in this running craziness is making her comeback to running with these races, so we can keep each other company!  Ugh, I know I made this pact with myself to not be complacent when it comes to running, but shit happens.  Right?  Really, at this point I AM JUST HAPPY TO BE RUNNING AT ALL! Seriously, a few months ago, I was wondering if running would be in my future at all.  Yes, I still long for those shiny new PRs...but let's face it, this is not my year for that!

I am also considering doing the Ten for Texas and using it as more of a training run. It’s located just a few minutes from my house, I have lots of friends who are doing it and they have an awesome post race party…seems like a no-brainer to me.

Finally, I am trying to decide if I want to get in one triathlon before the season is over (sprint distance of course). I am really on the fence here. The one race on the radar is TriGirl – it’s a smaller, very low key, all-women race. A mere 300 yd swim, 11 mile bike and 3 mile run. The only problem with triathlons is that I get off my bike and I want to run crazy fast (And I mean “fast” by my standards). My runs after the bike are always faster. Can I actually walk/run this? Maybe. And, I have to admit, I have not been to the pool much. I have major issues getting my butt to the pool. Can I swim this? Perhaps.

So those are my plans so far for the remainder of the year!

What are your plans for the rest of the year?  What are your thoughts on CrossFit and TRX?

Monday, July 09, 2012

Weighing in - Week 4

Sorry for the hiatus!  I realized yesterday that I never posted anything about last week's here it is!

This week, I had a yummy combo of egg whites, brown rice (a 1/2 cup!) and pico.  I also ate 1/2 of a medium-sized eating fruit is such a treat!

Breakfast of Champions...minus the orange
Okay, I forgot to take a picture of this one...sorry!  This week's menu called for cucumbers (1 cup), raw carrots and almonds.  I am not kidding when I say that I hate raw carrots...seriously, they make me gag.  So, I looked at my exchange list and had sugar snap peas instead.

Lunch this week was one of my personal favorites - fish tacos!  The big difference with these is that I couldn't add the yummy creamy jalapeno dressing that I would normally use.  But, with pico, black beans, cilantro and lime, I really didn't need the dressing!

One of my favorites - fish tacos!

I typically don't each much dairy on this eating plan, but this week was different - I had two servings of Greek yogurt.  With this one, I added in strawberries, sunflower seeds and stevia...a weird combination, I know!  But, I promise it was actually very tasty!

Looks weird, but tastes good!

This week's dinner was fish (again). Surprisingly, I am not growing tired of fish (yet).  I placed it over a 1/4 cup of brown rice and added a little lite soy sauce, plus some grilled asparagus.  Even the Hubby liked this one.

Thanks to the hubby for being the grill master!

As usual, my evening snack consisted of another Greek yogurt concoction...this time with protein powder and stevia.  Nothing to write home about taste-wise, but it's definitely filling...

My yogurt concoction...before stirring it all up!
 So far, I have lost almost 7 lbs.  I will meet with the doc again tomorrow to measure my progress and get more menus.  I have to say that I have really started to enjoy eating this way.  While it is a bit of a pain to prep all the food in advance, if I prep a few days at a time, then it does make the next few days so much easier.  So much of eating well depends on planning! 

The most difficult thing for me has been eating out.  Go figures, I almost never eat out, but would have all kinds of social engagements coming up as soon as I start this plan - working lunches at restaurants, baby showers, birthday parties, etc.  I have tried really hard to make smart choices at these events, but 1) you don't know how food is prepared when you aren't preparing it yourself (i.e. did they use butter, oil, etc) and 2) you need will power of steel to not indulge in something completely off the plan.  I do find that I am craving the unhealthy stuff less and less.  I have passed up cupcakes, homemade pizza, hamburgers, birthday cake, movie theater popcorn (one of my favorites!), ice cream, etc.  Yes, I can have splurges, but I also have a goal I am trying to meet! Remember that Cider I had last week?  Splurge.  What I have found is that after eating so healthy for the week, those little splurges don't always agree with me.  My stomach will feel like crap for the next day or so, which makes it sooooo not worth it! 

Monday, July 02, 2012

The Week in Pictures

The week brought us the usual stuff - work, workouts, kid's stuff, etc.  I did get to take the kids to swim class this week, which was a treat!  The Hubby usually takes the kids to swim, because I can almost never make it home from work in time.  But, he got stuck at work so I was forced to leave work a bit early (oh darn!) in order to get the kids to swim.  I love seeing the progress they're both making.  The Kiddo could probably swim circles around me already, and the Munchkin is really getting the hang of his gliding and kicking!

The Kiddo doing her favorite, the back stroke.  The Munchkin practicing his kicking.
I did manage to get in 3 runs this week - 3 miles, 2.5 miles and 4 miles.  On Thursday, I pushed the pace a bit more than I have been - for the record, this is not saying much. Lately, my running pace has been around 11 - 11:20/mile and me "pushing it" was around 10:30/mile.  I will say that the ache in my hip was more noticable after the faster run.  Who knows, maybe it's just my imagination...regardless, I slowed things down on Saturday and had no issues.  I also managed upper body workouts 2x with P90X and one swim.

The sunrise on Saturday...the picture does not do it justice! The sky was red and blue, but my dumb cellphone only shows it as orange.
On Saturday, the kids enjoyed an outing to the zoo with their Grandparents.  The Hubs and I had our own outing - we met some friends at BRC for brunch and then headed over to the Karbach Brewery for a tour and some samples.  Okay, so there was not much on the BRC menu that was diet-friendly, but I did the best I could.  Well, except that I tried some cider...I am not a beer drinker (at all), but I do love cider! Visiting Karbach was a lot of fun.  I did try a small sample of the Weisse Versa Wheat, which was good..but I'll stick to my cider.  Or wine.  Or Margaritas.  If you haven't had a chance to try Karbach, check it out!

The goodies at Karbach, my friend Beth and I hanging out (and no she is not drinking - only holding her hubby's glass) and my cider (yum!)

On Sunday, since the kids were at their Grandparents, the Hubs and I were able to head out for a ride - together.  This almost never happens!  I am sure that I was keeping the Hubs from going his normal, faster pace, but he was a good sport and we had a great time.  We rode for 2 hours, which ended up being right at 32 miles.  Good times! 

You know you're in a nice neighborhood when the port-a-potties are this nice...I couldn't resist the silly pic!  Thankful that the Hubs was there to help with my leaky tire!
As usual, the weekend ended much too quickly.  Oh well, at least with the holiday it's a short work week!

How was your weekend? Any races?  Long runs?  Long bike rides?