Friday, October 30, 2009

Is stretching THAT important?

I am probably one of the world's most inflexible people.

Stretching is an aspect of fitness that I've often intentionally ignored neglected. And this is because I loathe stretching...or at least, I CURRENTLY loathe stretching. I am working toward a greater love and appreciation for it, all thanks to my loving and (embarrassingly) more flexible husband.

I am a MOVER. Stopping to stretch, holding a (sometimes uncomfortable) position for any amount of time serves to mildly frustrate me. For me, it not only takes physical discipline to stretch, but it takes more mental discipline to STRETCH than to, say, run 26.2 miles.

I believe, after heavily incorporating weight training into my fitness regime for four years, I have actually REDUCED my flexibility. I know this would not have been the case had I MAINTAINED my flexibility from the beginning. I have never experienced injury in training. (That was my justification for NOT stretching. "I've never injured myself due to lack of inflexibility.") My husband only attributes this to the fact that I am "strong". Stretching takes discipline and is a commitment, if one plans to maintain or increase her flexibility. (I speak from experience.)

In preparation for the upcoming Tulsa marathon, I have been spurred inspired (my husband is good at this) to incorporate stretching into my training, with both running and weight training. Here are three articles I found useful:
So here's to stretching, learning to love it, and seeking to go from this:

to this:
If Van Damme can do it, why can't I?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Mid-day training run: 30 minutes, unknown distance


buy-in: court-length bear crawl, 3 lengths


5 rounds for time

25 squats

160m run

15 pushups

as rx’d 9:14

cash-out: handstand progressions, pull-up


Monday, October 26, 2009

Deadlift/Push-Ups; Front Squat/K2E

20 dead-hang chin-ups
15 butterfly pull-ups
100 m overhead walking lunge, 35# plate

WOD #1
10 RFT:
85# Deadlift, 15 reps
push-ups, 15 reps

5-minute rest...

WOD #2
75# front squat, 15 reps
Knees to elbows, 15 reps

Cool-down: STRETCHING...and meditating on how INFLEXIBLE I am...
More on that...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stronger Core=Faster Running

My friend, Laura, posted this tidbit on her fitness site ( Interesting and useful...

From Shape magazine, July 2009:

"Researchers at Barry University found that runners who did a core workout every other day for six weeks shaved 30 more seconds off their 5k time than athletes who stuck to a running-only routine. 'Strong core muscles prevent you from over-rotating your trunk and swinging your arms out too far--two things that slow you down,' says Kimi Sato, the study's lead author and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Northern Colorado. 'They also improve your posture, which helps you run more efficiently."

1-Hour Run

1 hour run...uncharted course...distance unknown.

Three things I learned tonight:
1) running in the rain isn't so bad,
2) running on an uncharted, untimed course is actually enjoyable,
3) running with a friend is MUCH better than running alone. Hands-down.

And for a little comic-relief:
Buns of steel may cause intimidation and HORROR to some. Forgo gluteal-isolation workouts if you are a considerate person.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Filthy Fifty

For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions (I substituted DB deadlifts @ 70#)
50 Wall ball shots, 10 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

I completed the work, at full capacity, without getting a time. The boys managed to swipe my stop-watch and bring it back...STOPPED at 16:18.

I found this workout easier than the last time I did it (probably nearly two years ago). I loathe wall ball shots, and despite only using 10 pounds, they griped me and really slowed me down.

Overall, challenging, and pleasingly taxing...

Tulsa Marathon...To Run or Not to Run.

The Tulsa Marathon is 32 days away. Remove the commanded weekly day of rest, and that leaves 28 days left to train. Remove AT LEAST one day in the midst of the week to recover, and that leaves, um, about 24 days.

This being considered, there have been a few who have thought, at this juncture, it would be fun to run a half-marathon on-the-fly... I will do nothing to discourage those who seek advice from me. Marathon-running, whether doing the half at 13 miles or the full at 26 miles, it is a very rewarding accomplishment. The half marathon is an ideal way to determine whether you enjoy going the long distance and prepares you for the physical and mental challenge of a marathon, if that be in your future. What are some things to consider before committing to the big run?

Why are you running? My goal in my first (and only) half-marathon was to finish. This race was going to be the determining factor in whether I would one day attempt the full. Yes, I paced myself and wanted a good time, but finishing strong was my goal. This race served to "hook" me, and I am now preparing for full marathon #2. While finishing was my goal for my first MARATHON, my goal this year is BEATING MY TIME from my April '09 marathon. It should prove interesting: different race, different course, different season...

Many sources will highly encourage one to begin training at least 12 weeks before the race-day. For those of you not having registered or fully committed yet, training for the Tulsa Half-Marathon 12 weeks prior is now impossible. So, before you begin half marathon training, it may be ideal to be able to run for
at least 30 minutes without stopping. Distance is not important right now. You just need to get your body used to running. Combinations of run/walks are great to use during pre-training. They ease your body into the exercise and minimizes the chance of experiencing a running injury. Speaking of injury: Use your non-running days to rest and recover. Ice down any soreness, particularly in knees or shins (most common). Taking necessary precautions to avoid and maintain soreness will minimize your chances of injury and make running more enjoyable.

From what I have read, it is encouraged to try a nine to ten mile run about three weeks before the race (which puts you at this Sunday). Not having kept record of my half-marathon training, I am not completely sure of my longest run. I do believe that it was close to ten miles. I would encourage you to attempt at least a six and a half mile run (half of your race distance) before registering.
( )(the current cost, through 11/15 is $60 for the half) Distance running involves endurance, and pacing yourself is critical. Maintain pace to save everything you have left for the finish. As tapering, in training, is encouraged in the final weeks before the half marathon, your long run should occur relatively soon (maybe by next weekend). This will help your body recover from half marathon training and be strong and injury-free on the big day.

Building mental stamina is an effective goal and an essential one, in my novice opinion. It’s one thing to be motivated to begin training. It’s another to stay motivated. But staying motivated and developing the proper mindset will be a necessary tool to both enduring and finishing the race. Crossing the finish line happy and in one piece is the (easily attainable and desired) goal.

For building mental stamina, I have found that running longer distances (anything above five miles) has helped. But most effective were the Crossfit WODs I chose to do before-hand. I chose the longer metabolic WODs--anything that would take me at least 15-20 minutes, working at FULL-CAPACITY (i.e. Filthy Fifty). I also found it effective to warm up with the wind-sucking "Fran" and immediately after, setting off for a 5K+ run. Building mental stamina is very individual. But the important thing to find is the point where you think you can't go anymore...and then realizing you CAN (safely) push past it. This enables one to know their feeling of comfortable, yet challenging exertion. Knowing one's body is essential in any run, but more specifically long runs. Knowing when to stop before you collapse is the key to safe and enjoyable running. No "milestone" or accomplishment is worth sacrificing safety. Keep your body in mind. Use wisdom and listen to it during training and races.

These are just a few bits of advice that come to mind when some have asked me about running the half marathon at this point in the game. I will work to write more (pre-race nutritional tips, race-day nutrition for race and recovery, etc.) about the impending marathon as the big day approaches.

Be wise: there are marathons scattered throughout the year, most notably the OKC Memorial Marathon in April of 2010. If you are not ready for this one, wait it out and train for 2010!

Thanks, Tarah, for the article linked below; it almost scared ME out of running. :o)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Overhead Squat/Pull-up,Half-Moon, Box Jump Burpees

Moving back into my WOD groove...first Crossfit WOD in three weeks:

warmed up with:
10 dead-hang chin-ups
10 push-ups
30 squats

Strength: Overhead Squat 3-3-3-2-2
I went light on these; form was my focus, and it was weak.

10 pull-ups (used butterfly kip)
10 half-moons, 25#
10 box-jump burpees
(a slow) 16:15

to finish:
100 m overhead walking lunge, 25# plate

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Finding my running legs...

Warmed up with:
30 dead-hang pull-ups
30 push-ups
50 sit-ups
30 squats

then, ran 5K.

I look forward to running the Tulsa Marathon in cooler temperatures. Running is much more enjoyable when the weight of humidity and hot air isn't pressing upon my chest...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009