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September 17, 2014

In Need of Some Tempo Run Advice

Hello! How’s the day going for you? Mine has been pretty darn good with these gorgeous views.

running path with trails and rivers

I’m sorry that I keep throwing our “perfect weather” at you this week, but really… it’s the best. And, hey, after the winter we had last year I feel like I’m long overdue for those types of bragging rights.

Today’s training run called for a 5 mile tempo run. Do ya’ll do tempo runs? I’m still trying to get the hang of them.

I stuck with the suggestions I read online to do a 10-15 minute warm-up and cool-down run and decided that 1.5 miles each at that pace would do the trick. I aimed for my “race pace” for the middle 2 miles, whatever that is. My fastest 5K time is 22:07, but I’m not sure the 7:07 pace is feasible to go for all the time. I had some kind of fire lit behind me that day. Instead, I have been aiming anywhere in the 7-8 mile/min. pace mark.

It’s been a challenge to really track my pace anyways. I love my Polar FT60, but I wish it came equipped with speed and distance tracking. For the moment, I guess the measurements on my Map My Run app will do. But who really knows how accurate those numbers are either?

tempo run tracking

Right at the 3.5 mile mark, I went from a sprinting pace to a power walk. When tempo running do any of you go directly into slower paced running (even if it’s a jog) right away? I feel like I always need at least a minute’s break of walking included in my transition.

I have to say, however, that my tempo runs have gone by faster that any of them. I guess it’s similar to doing on and off sprints on the treadmill. You constantly have to look at the clock and track what you are doing, so it makes the time fly by. It does for me at least!

I finished the full 5 miles at an average of a 8:56 min./mile pace, according to my tracking app. I’ll take that.

As soon as I walked in the door, I was greeted with puppy eyes and grabbed Roadie for a walk around the neighborhood before lunch. It’s too nice out not to let him enjoy it a little too!

fall day with roadie

We parked ourselves next to a nearby pond of water and enjoyed watching the geese and swans for a bit.

neighborhood pond and animals

Ha! Remember the swans?

I still think the fact that they aren’t real and someone put them there is hilarious. I didn’t realize I sat in a huge pile of mud until we got up, but it was still worth the few minutes of sunshine and serenity. Whoops!

As soon as we got back to the house I made myself a monster salad that turned out fantastic. I loved the combination of flavors!

healthy salad with eggs vegetables and corn

Spinach, spring mix, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, black olives, hard boiled eggs, corn (fresh off the cob), shredded cheddar cheese, ground pepper, and drizzled balsamic vinegar for dressing.

healthy vegetable and egg salad

It’s been one of my favorite fall days so far! Now it’s time for me to sign off and work on a project before study time. Woo hoo!

Questions of the Afternoon

I need some advice…

• Any tips for tempo running?

• Have any of you ever included tempo runs in your race day plan?

I would love to be able to transition from sprinting to a jog without walking. Also, I think it might help the miles go by faster if I put a few tempo miles in my half on race day. Is that a horrible idea? Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

September 16, 2014

Xtend Barre Studio

This morning started on a happy note for me!

Xtend Barre class

A couple of months ago, I noticed a new barre studio pop up relatively close to us and just the sight of one gave me the biggest smile. Long time readers might remember my visit to an Xtend barre class at a Pilates studio back when I first moved up to Michigan.

I thoroughly enjoyed that class, but wasn’t keen on the distance required to get there, especially in the dead of winter. For that reason alone, I never attended regularly and became ridiculously excited when I found out that a free-standing studio opened just ten minutes away from me!

For the first time since teaching classes in 2012, I got myself out of bed and made it to the barre for a 6:30 a.m. class. Getting up that early is always a challenge for me, but once I get there I absolutely love it.

Xtend barre pilates and dance

The Xtend barre workout is very similar to the style I taught back in Orlando. We started with a warm-up in the center that involved a light set of dumbbells (my shoulders died), then completed a series of cardio, arm and core strengthening exercises.

I don’t think my arms were quite ready for the warm-up series. Even though my weights were only 3 pounds each, they seemed heavy after a few minutes time and I eventually set them on the floor and finished without any weight at all. Eh, you live and you learn!

We spent the rest of the class at the barre and went through the standard set-up of thigh, leg, and seat exercises. Everything gave me a challenge with the encouragement of trying to balance without using my hands and had the advanced option of adding a relevé.

There was a continuous music track of different upbeat songs playing at all times which kept us moving quickly from exercise to exercise. I barely stopped for water breaks!

In my opinion, the majority of the class is spent sculpting the limbs: arms and legs. If you do the exercises with correct form, however, the majority of them can also work your core and some can tone the booty.

With ten minutes to go, I was wondering if we were going to get to abs. As soon as the thought crossed my mind, we killed the next five or so minutes using a yoga strap around the barre and finished with a series of bodyweight crunches, pulses, and plank holds.

The class came to a close with dimmed lights and a slow track to cool us down, which is always my favorite way to end a workout.

Xtend barre decoration

I ended up purchasing a 5-class package, but have a feeling I will be returning pretty frequently once my gym membership expires again. I look forward to trying out the different styles of barre fusions and definitely want to make it back for their jazz choreography class.

I loved the ambiance of the studio!

Breakfast

I decided to take the early class so that my best friend, Alex, could take it with me before work. She also loved it and joined me for a quick recovery breakfast at Starbucks afterwards.

starbucks chi tea latte and spinach feta wrap

I mixed it up this time with a non-fat Chai Tea Latte, but got the same old (but tasty!) spinach feta egg white wrap for substance.

Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all of my fellow mid-westerners who entered in the $100 Meijer gift card giveaway!

Congratulations to…

Entry #267 : Chelsey Jones. You won by tweeting about the giveaway!

You have been emailed and will need to respond within the next 48 hours in order to claim your prize.

***

I’m currently blogging from the coffee shop and plan on spending the next couple of hours glued to my chair to study. I tend to focus much better here than at home with the every day distractions from the pets and such.

Pug pumpkin spice latte

Ha! I couldn’t resist sharing this guy a friend sent me last night. Too cute!

I hope that you have a great start to the day. See you later on this afternoon!

Question of the Morning

• Are you more of a coffee or tea person?

I will always be a coffee person through and through, but that mostly applies in the mornings. If I am looking for a pick-me-up or even just a hot beverage to sip on in the afternoons, I usually gravitate towards hot herbal tea or a chai tea latte instead. I love it all!

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I am not a registered dietician, nutritionist, or certified fitness professional. The workouts I post are what work best for me, but might not be the right type of exercises for you.



I do NOT post everything I eat. All content I post on this blog stems from my personal experience and knowledge, and I recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet or fitness routine.



Also, please understand that affiliate links may pop up on the blog from time to time. I acknowledge when they appear and always genuinely appreciate your support! ♥



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