Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Seven before seven

5:00am came early this morning.  Since my early morning jobs at the YMCA and Panera, I am hesitant to wake before 6.  I figure I have put it in my early mornings for a lifetime!  But the promise of a running partner and finishing my run early got my butt moving this morning!
 Not only do I hate early mornings, but I despise the cold.  And this morning was chilly.  I wore my capri running pants, a thick base layer long sleeve, puff vest, hat and gloves.  The only layer shed was the gloves around mile 3.

But you know what?  It is 7:30am and I am done with 7 miles.  I do not have to wait around, dreading the inevitable, wishing it was over.  Nope.  I'm done.  And I can start my day.  Oh what a happy Wednesday it will be!

On the agenda: work, work and work.  I slacked off a little too much yesterday, I have some hours to make up and a host of emails to answer.  Also on the agenda is lunch with Mr. Kummerow.  With my work out done for the day, I have the time to meet him!  Rounding out my day is babysitting and then a trip up to Troutman this evening to visit my bestie Melisa who raced in the Marine Corp Marathon this weekend!  She is a rockstar!  This is me and Melis after her stunning 4 hour finish at Thunder Road.
I pulled this photo from my facebook album that is titled: My friend Melisa runs marathons.  Soon I will have a facebook album titled I ran a marathon! Crazy!

Well let me use this random post as an excuse to tell you about a new fitness challenge I am participating in.  Sweetly referred to as "Ashley's Army" this will be our second year for our winter challenge.  Each challenge is two months long and each member in the challenge has to complete a certain number of workouts each week.  And each month we are given a new strength training plan that Ashley or one of our other personal trainers in our challenge has created for us.  Here is the challenge:

Each week:
Must complete 120 minutes cardio exercise in at least 3 sessions
(now obviously I complete 2 hours of cardio easy in a long run, but I must also complete at least 2 other cardio work outs each week)
3 strength training sessions, or two strength and one yoga or pilates class.
(I opt for the latter, yoga is good for runners, and this is a good excuse to make it a priority)
We also have bonus workouts such as hill repeats, interval trainings, etc.

Each month we go out to dinner together, called our "Accountability Dinner".  We check up on each others' progress, and if you miss a work out you pay.  That's right, $2 for every missed work out and each month we choose a charity to donate the money. 

This challenge is great for me!  I needed a push to get back in the gym and start lifting, I needed an excuse to start doing yoga again, and I needed a group who I could turn to for running partners on the weekends.  While only one other participant is training for a marathon, they can run short distances of my long runs with me to keep me company (like Angie and Alex did last weekend).

So far this week I have been very good.  I did 140 minutes cardio (14 miles) on Sunday.  On Monday I did the strength training plan that Ashley created.  Tuesday I ran 4 miles and went to a yoga class.  And today I did 7 more miles.  Tomorrow will be 4 miles and strength training with a rest on Friday and 15 miles on Saturday.  Whooo!  I will sleep good on Saturday...only to wake up on Sunday and start all over again!  Gotta love a challenge!

How do you keep yourself motivated through the winter months? Have you ever participated in a friendly challenge with friends?

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