These things running through my brain…

…I must, I must get them down on “paper” before they run right back out.

Random thoughts, questions, ruminations running through my brain…

Damn, that was an incredible run this morning. Outside! In the fresh air! Without nearly freezing my face off! And with my one of my favorite running pals (Steph, who trained as part of our Wicked Half marathon group)! Runner’s high, much??

I have wicked ADD. I blame social media. I can’t believe how much my attention span has gone down lately. Noticed it today as I was multitasking at work while checking in on twitter and such. Alll over the place. I’ve become such a spaz. Wow.

Is that definition I see?? Something I noticed today. Nah, I don’t have a six pack – nor was that my intent with the Core Fusion Challenge (though, I wouldn’t complain if I did!). But I noticed something while showering this morning. Sure, I still have some “soft” spots I’d like to burn off with some additional cardio work. But my stomach is noticeably flatter and a teensy tiny bit more defined. By God, Core Fusion is working!

For someone who loves all things fitness as much as me, I’m actually kinda low maintenance in some ways. Let me explain. Sure, I have built-up a pretty kick-ass home gym annnnd I have a gym membership too for things like Ride, Kick, etc. But when it comes to something like running? I think I fall into the very low-maintenance category – I don’t have much “gear” if you will. Tina‘s post today spurred this thought. I have a garmin but it’s the most basic of models. That’s about it. I don’t use an iPod. I don’t use a camelback. I don’t wear sunglasses (hate how they jiggle on my face). Just me, some warm clothes if it’s winter, running shorts if it’s summer, my heart rate monitor and my sneaks. And I’m good to go. Is that weird?

My goal tomorrow? To be the #1 registrant for the annual Cathe Road Trip. Yes, last year I was lucky #2. I was fast-fingered with my registration (trust me, to get into the road trip, you have to be GLUED to your computer right as sign-ups open). But I want to be even faster this year. Random goal, I know. But I am just SO excited for the Road Trip this year…getting to see Heather (and her sis, wee!) again will ROCK. A girls weekend with my sister, surrounded by friends and fellow Cathletes, sweating it up all weekend, I mean, what could be better, really?? 😉

Random enough post for you today?? I had loads of blog post ideas running around in my head today. Since I couldn’t pick just one, I figured I’d group ’em together. Plus – that whole presence thing? Working out for me pretty well. I hope you didn’t miss me *too* much yesterday! Happy Thursday, ya’ll!

Motivation: it can come from the most unsuspecting places

Guess what?

I had zero motivation to workout this morning.


Yup. It was one of those mornings where I could have stayed in bed for WAY longer but it had to be done.

Scott and I reluctantly rolled out of bed and made our way upstairs to our home gym.

I know, cry me a river. My gym is upstairs and I still didn’t want to workout.


Workout motivation source #1 right? Home gym = zero excuses not to get the workout done.

But my real motivation today?

My husband.

Who knew I was NOT in the mood to get that treadmill set done but had a plan in mind, apparently.

Just as I was about to give up about ten minutes sooner than I had planned out, he said that I had “no choice” but to keep running until the show we were watching On Demand was over (Hawaii Five-O, really good show, FYI)


I ‘spose that’s a good way to get me to bust out that last ten minutes in style, right?

Rather than argue it, I got it done. Easy as that.

Unsuspecting and random source for motivation today, but hell, whatever works. That’s the moral of this “story” – motivation can come from a million different sources and will be different for everyone and can be as random as my motivation source was today. Thanks babe, you pushed me through. I’ll give you credit…this time. 😉

For those of you wondering, here’s how my treadmill workout looked:

warm-up: 5 mins @ 3.5 mph

Series of mini-intervals for 35 mins: every 2 mins I changed the speed from 6.3, 6.5, 6.7, 7.0, 7.2 and so on. My fastest 2 mins (which I repeated twice during this cycle) was 8 mph.

cool-down: 5 mins @ 3.5 mph

It wasn’t my BEST treadmill workout but it was good enough, and that’s just fine by me for today. Off to enjoy my day, no looking back 🙂


Intervals, love to hate ’em

Yes, I just admitted that I’m a new-found Interval lovin’ fool. (yes, Heather – you get some credit for this!)

But here’s why I’ve grown to love interval-style workouts.

  • They go by fastduh.
  • They leave me huffing and puffing and damn proud of myself when I’m done.
  • They make other interval-ish workouts *slightly* less challenging (though after today’s SUPER intense Ride class, I’m not sure this is true all the time, haha)
  • They force me to get out of my comfort zone. No more plodding along at 6.5 mph on the treadmill. Funny enough, since starting these speed workouts on the treadmill, that “normal” 6.5 mph is starting to feel a little slow! How funny, right??
  • They are fun. Yep, fun. The dreadmill is fun?! Huh?? (forget about steady state on the dreadmill, those are still ridic, firmly landing in the “not fun” category).

So – I dare you this week to give an interval workout (running on the treadmill, running outside, or doing a spinning workout which I’d qualify as interval style given the variations in intensity, especially if it’s a Ride class…).

If you’re looking for ideas…borrow some from me (that I borrowed – with credit – from these fab ladies, Becky and Melissa!). Check ’em out here and here. Oh – and also check out one I tried yesterday, courtesy of Naomi, with a few modifications here:

0-3 min: Warm-up (I walk at 3.5)
3-10 min: Jog at 5.5 <—I made this 6.0 mph
10-11 min: Sprint at 7.0-8.0
11-13 min: Recover at 3.5-4.0 <—-these recovery rounds I upped to 6.0, I was feeling speedy on Saturday, oddly enough!
13-14 min: Sprint at 7.0-8.0
14-16 min: Recover at 3.5-4.0
16-17 min: Sprint at 7.0-8.0
17-19 min: Recover at 3.5-4.0
19-20 min: Sprint at 7.0-8.0
20-22 min: Recover at 3.0-4.0 (so basically its 5 sprints and 5 recovers)
22-30 min: The workout says to jog at 5.5, but during this time, I’ll run at 7.0 for 1 min, then slow down by .5 each minute until I’m back at 5.0.
5 min cool down: Walk at 3.5
I added a couple of extra intervals/recovery rounds at the end to make this a 45 minute workout. This is an awesome workout to be able to modify how you see fit…yet another reason to love intervals! Make ’em yours!


STS – that’s a wrap!

Today marks the end of my STS rotation.

I cannot believe it was just over three months ago that I decided to start this rotation – how the heck did that fly by so fast?!?

Of course, while I made my way through my last STS workout today, I started to assess how this rotation went vs. previous ones. <—-and ahem, note to self? Don’t try to do a killer STS heavy weight training workout *after* repeating yesterday’s interval workout on the treadmill. It.Nearly.Killed.Me.

So, my assessment?

Aside from feeling rather She-Ra like, other observations…

  • Paying closer attention to how close “to failure” I was on each set paid off. I felt like I worked my hardest everytime I did an STS workout. I can’t say that I necessarily felt that way after every STS workout last time around.
  • While I did not take measurements or before/after pics, I feel and see improvements. Note I didn’t say “changes” but “improvements”…I don’t view STS as a workout I went to to change my body but to improve upon what’s already there…it’s a mindset thing, learning to love who I am, what I am, right where I am, if that makes sense.
  • Stronger legs, stronger arms, means other workouts are stronger. I definitely saw much improvement in my kicking ability during Kick workouts than before. I can keep more forcefully and more effectively now. I credit stronger glutes, thighs and calves for that (oh how I love to hate leg workouts in STS – they get me good every single time).
  • I fell back in love with weight training this time. While I’ve always done weight training as part of my workouts, I never really LOVED it. I was always a cardio queen. But this time? I LOVED STS days, looked forward to them…hell I even had an anti-cardio week which is huge for this self-professed cardio addict! I call that progress. Now I love both, equally.

So that’s that. My self-assessment: STS style. My sister just finished her rotation, too which means we’re now collaborating on our big “what’s next” plan, which I plan to share with ya’ll next week. So you’ll have to be patient for now. 😉


In the meantime? I’m borrowing a fun theme for Friday, courtesy of Erin at The Healthy Apron who asked her readers to identify their “Favorite Feature Friday.” In other words – what feature about your body are you loving most right now? As Erin did, I’m urging you all to find one feature that you love and to celebrate it today. We work hard, might as well celebrate it, right??

For me? My shoulders are my favorite – not just because they are strong (and stronger thanks to STS), but like I told Erin, they are a shoulder that my friends and family can lean on whenever they need it. And I love to know that my loved ones trust me enough to come to me for whatever it is that’s bugging them. So that’s it – my shoulders!

Your turn. 🙂

…and not all workouts go according to plan.

Just like I said not all workouts are created equally?

Well, not all workouts go according to plan, either.

Last night’s planned ‘Speed Wednesday” treadmill run turned into my rest day.

But only because traffic was not cooperating and little ‘ol me didn’t get home until 7pm and with a rumbling tummy, I knew if I tried to workout with the tank on empty, I’d pay sorely for it. It would’ve fallen into the Not every workout is going to blow your mind (though I wish they would!) category.

The good news, though? This morning’s early AM workout rewind did the trick. The interval workout I found over at Carrots ‘n Cake was just what I was looking for – a speedy interval workout, v2!

Here’s how it looked:

45 minutes total

Warm up: 3 minutes easy walk or jog (4 mph) 

1st Set

3 minute tempo run (6.5 )
3 minute sprint interval (sprint 1 minute , jog 1 minute, sprint 1 minute) (7.5, 6, 7.5)
3 minute tempo run (6.7)

Recovery: 3 minute walk or jog (4)

2nd Set

5 minute tempo run (6.7)
5 minute sprint interval (sprint 1 min., jog 1 min, sprint 1 min., jog 1 min., sprint 1 min.)
(7.5, 6, 7.5, 6, 7.5)
5 minute tempo run (7)

Recovery: 3 minute walk or jog (4)

3rd Set

3 minute tempo run (7)
3 minute sprint interval (sprint 1 minute, jog 1 minute, sprint 1 minute) (8, 6, 8)
3 minute tempo run (7)

Cool down:

3 minute walk or jog (4)

God, I love bloggy land!! You all have such awesome ideas – or have found some awesome ideas from other bloggers that I then borrow and learn to love just as much as they did. As you’ll see, I found the section of Tina‘s blog on treadmill workouts and that lead me to Melissa‘s blog – and both are now firmly planted in my google reader as well. Thank you, ladies!

But what can I say about the workout?

Hands down – it fits into this category very nicely:

Other workouts are going to leave you breathless and damn proud of yourself for making it through.

High five! And off to work I go, just had to blog this while it was hot off the presses, so to speak 😉

Uh, remember the anti-cardio funk?

Well, it’s officially GONE.

After tonight’s Ride class – courtesy of my favorite Ride instructor (let’s see if she’s paying attention and reading this post *ahem*). She damn near killed me!

And I LOVED every sweaty second.

I mean, you know it’s gonna be a ridic class when you’re already out of breath on the first track after the warm-up. Um hi, near heart failure by the time we rolled into the Climb track at the end.

Dripping with sweat, beet red face, and a huge smile (where this very blog post sprang to mind, in fact!). Not a bad way to spend a Monday night. <—especially when Monday is a holiday and you spend the entire first part of the day with little Ms. Isabel, the cutest, most snuggly niece of all time.

The point of all of this?

That you CAN get cardio-‘d out if you aren’t careful.<—this also applies to weight workouts, btw.

Remember the whole yogurt-ed out issue? Case in point.

Well I definitely spent my fare share of time in the Ride studio this fall/winter, mostly because it was the only cardio I could really do that didn’t bug my knees after the half marathon. And it didn’t even strike me that this could be the root cause of my anti-cardio bout a couple of weeks ago. That is, until tonight’s ridic Ride workout snapped me right out of it. Who knew I’d only need to get away from Ride for a few weeks for that fire to return?

I should know better though, it’s the same thing that can happen with any workout really. The more you do it – without varying the intensity and style and type of workout – the more accustomed to it your body becomes. And before long, you can easily end up not challenging yourself, and getting into that workout rut we all know and fear.

The easiest answer to that problem? Shock it, baby! Keep your body guessing no matter what…

  • Vary the intensity of your running (hello speed intervals mixed with steady state workouts).
  • Try a new workout entirely – maybe get to that weight training class at your gym that you’ve been dying to try but unsure of whether or not you’ll like it (on my list? Trying TRX in the very near future)
  • Or, give yourself a break from your tried and true workouts – whether it be spinning, running, weight lifting, swimming or something else – it never hurts to ease up on your go-to in favor of something new and shocking 😉

I’ll have more on ways I plan to keep my body guessing in the next few days…as I wrap up my STS rotation, I have some ideas on what I’ll do next to shock it good.

Until then, I urge you all to shock it now and then, you just never know what you might end up loving…or revisiting and falling in love with all over again!

Having an “anti-cardio” moment, help!

Oh wait.

I already resolved the problem.

Though I’d love any neat ideas you have for cardio workouts to try. 😉

But lemme back wayyy the heck up.

I’ve been on an anti-cardio kick this week. No idea why (well I do know…I am already sick of being trapped inside for most cardio workouts, I seriously live in the wrong part of the country). All I’ve gravitated towards since Monday has been weight training. I’m in the second week of STS mesocycle 3 (reminder – all about heavy weights, few reps, lots of rest in between sets) and am really into it this time, much more so than previous STS rotations. I usually get SUPER duper antsy during the longer rests between sets but I think I’m finally lifting heavy enough in this phase that I’m finding I need that long rest. I likey. 😉

But anyway, the cardio thing (sorry, my brain has been ALL over the place this week…just ask my husband who I’ve been driving nuts with it all week!).  Everytime I consider a cardio workout, it’s like all I can do to avoid it. I’ll think of any excuse.

You should’ve heard my convo with Scott last night about what workout to do this morning (ended up sticking with STS paired with some core work from core fusion). It was hysterical and went something like this

Me:  Should I do STS and core? Treadmill and core? Kick and core? Intensity? Or stick to STS since that was what I had ‘scheduled’ to do tomorrow? But I should do cardio…hmm…but I should stick to STS since it’s part of the rotation schedule…buuuut.

Scott: Do STS and core. Ok, fine, do the treadmill then. STS and core? Um. Ok.

<this lasted for the duration of dinner prep, believe it or not>

He fully thinks I’ve lost it, if he didn’t know that already after 6+ years of marriage. 😉

BUT – have no fear, my anti-cardio moment is about to pass. I found a great solution over at Beck on the Run – she is currently training for a half marathon (ohh how I miss thee) and found a great speed workout that works well on the treadmill.

An excerpt (she calls it “speed wednesday”…I may need to borrow this!):

Speed Wednesday (on the treadmill)

  • Warm Up: 1.5 miles @ 6.2 mph – 9:40/mi
  • 4 x 800m (1/2 mile) @ 7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 8.0 (7:53/mi, 7:47/mi, 7:41/mi, 7:30/mi)
  • Recovery: 400m (1/4 mile) @ 6.0 mph between each interval
  • Cool Down: 1.5 miles @ 6.2-6.4 mph

I don’t know why but reading her post on it totally got me jazzed about doing some speed work of my own on the good ‘ol dreadmill tomorrow. Yes. You heard me right – the dreadmill hater looking FORWARD to a dreadmill workout…that involves speed work? Who am I???

But yes. I’m excited about it.

And I promise to report back tomorrow.

(wow, talk about accountability, blogging about your AM workout before you actually do said workout, huh??)

Cathe Friedrich – she knows how to work a booty

Just sayin’.

This is a quickie review but I had to jot it down while it was still relatively fresh on my mind (and booty for that matter, ha!).

I wanted to eek out a couple of extra weight workouts at the end of my STS M2 cycle which just ended this past weekend. Technically, I was supposed to go into “active recovery” after I finished the last of the mesocycle 2 workouts last week but I couldn’t help myself this weekend. I was itching to try the final two new Cathe Friedrich workouts. You saw my review of High Reps the other day, well here’s my quick take on Lower Body Blast.

In a word – AWESOME.

If anyone ever asks me what my favorite Cathe workout of all time is, my answer never changes: Butts & Guts. Hands down (though STS tops the list, too.)

Well – Lower Body Blast is literally an updated version of Butts & Guts, just updated by about six years.  And I LOVED every sweaty minute of the 59 minute blast.

It includes lots of Cathe’s best leg work – including lots and lots and LOTS of paper plate work. Those kill me everytime. She even brought back a fan favorite (kinda) – low pulse lunches. OWWWW. And – in true Cathe style, she keeps your heart rate pumping with cardio bursts sprinkled ever-so-nicely into the workouts. Just when you think you’ve caught a break, it’s cardio blast time. She’s sneaky that way. 😉

This is a great complement to an existing endurance-based weight training program. Most of the leg work in this workout is based on higher rep counts and lower weights so you could easily work it into and STS M1 and M2 rotation, or make one up on your own, including Lower Body Blast, High Reps and STS Total Body for a great full body workout three times per week. I may consider this as a one-month mini-rotation after I finish STS in January, actually.

If you missed my other reviews of Cathe’s newest workouts, you can check them out here:

I’m clearly a Cathlete at heart but even if you’ve never, ever considered one of her workouts, I PROMISE if you try one of these newer workouts as a test-run of Cathe’s style, you will not be disappointed. This is Cathe at her best – hardcore cardio, hardcore weights, hardcore all around.

It’s (new) Cathe workout review time: Intensity

Well kids, Christmas came early for me this year.

I got all four of Cathe Friedrich’s new workouts on pre-order (which I ordered wayyyy back in July after the Cathe Road Trip!) and they arrived in the mail just before Thanksgiving. Happy turkey day to me. 😉

As a reminder, her four new workouts are: Intensity, High Reps, Lower Body Blast and STS Total Body.

While I am totally excited to try them all, the first one I tried was Intensity. Mainly because the other workouts are weight oriented and I haven’t quite figured out how or where I’ll fit them into my current STS rotation (I am probably rotating in STS Total Body as a fourth weight workout during the week I think, though). Plus, I needed a good cardio workout to burn off some of that holiday cheer. 😉

I have to say, when I popped the DVD in, I was slightly apprehensive. Mostly because I haven’t done any sort of step workout since the Cathe Road Trip and I’m one of those love-to-hate-t0-love HiiT workouts. Since this workout would be mainly step and Hiit, I wasn’t sure if I’d love it or not. But I went in with an open mind – this IS a Cathe workout afterall, how could it disappoint, right??

And it didn’t.

Intensity is definitely Cathe’s best cardio workout of her newer cardio-based workouts, in my opinion. The step moves were not overly intricate so even this rusty stepper could keep up. And it mixed in some fun plyo moves to keep the heart rate pumping. It also broke up the step moves nicely (another plus for this fair weather stepper!). And the HiiT work? Well, I’ll get there in a minute.

First – let me tell you how this workout breaks down:

The first quarter of the workout is all step work – again, nothing overly complicated, lots of fun moves and mostly moves that even a rusty stepper would remember.

The second quarter was step mixed with some plyo work in between each step routine to keep the heart rate up which I love, love, love.

The third quarter was high-impact HiiT, or the more traditional HiiT work we all know and hate love. I have to say – I loved this section more than I anticipated i would. It worked me hard – especially in my legs which are already SO sore from STS legs yesterday (note to self: do not attempt Intensity as a means to “stretch” sore STS legs, it doesn’t work LOL).

The final quarter was low impact HiiT which I LOVED and appreciated that Cathe thought to add this to the mix. I appreciated it especially since some of the higher-impact HiiT work can be tough on knees and joints (though I will say, despite my recent knee issues, none of the high-impact stuff bothered them, hooray!) so the fact that Cathe mixed in lower impact HiiT was awesome. I’m sure my fellow Cathletes will agree with me. 🙂

Whew. Now THAT is kickass cardio workout, is it not??

What I loved about this workout most is how FAST the hour flew by. Each section was well-chore0graphed, fun and effective as a calorie-burner and can easily be broken down for shorter workouts, too (Cathe is great at developing solid premixes too – this one has a handful of them I’m dying to try when I’m tight on time). I really just loved that this was Cathe in her element – she has always been my go-to for cardio work when running outside or a group fitness class isn’t an option or I’m just looking for something different. She just kills it in this workout and I LOVED seeing her back and rocking the cardio work. Totally brought me back to the Road Trip this summer, too – this is exactly the kind of stuff we did for the whole weekend with her. Uh, intense much?? 😉

So anyway, this is an awesome, awesome, awesome workout and I highly recommend it! I hope you’ll give it a whirl – even if you’re not a Cathlete…yet. 😉

Muuuust resist…

…the urge to run.

Was planning to hit Ride this morning before going on auntie duty for the day with my sis but alas, sleep took priority.

So – cardio day has been TBD so far.

That is, until I started to think…hmmm. Maybe I can fit in a run tonight, it’s a gorgeous – albeit brisk – fall day. Perfect for a run.

Oh wait.

That’s right – I’m on self-imposed hiatus from running, aren’t I?

Details, schmetails, right?


I was thisclose to giving in to the urge to run tonight but then my conscience got the best of me.

Well – that’s not entirely true either. This blog got to me! I knew that if I admitted I ran today, a couple of you bloggy friends would probably yell at me (you KNOW who you are!) so alas, no run tonight.

Instead? I’m doing something I haven’t done in eons: hitting the elliptical machine. At least it’s not the dreadmill but it’s kinda close. I am thinking it’ll at least give me a good cardio burn, or at least feel close enough to the cardio burn I’d get from running, y’know…without actually running. That’s the hope anyway. Plus – I’m supposed to be cross-training this week so this will be good for active recovery for the bum knee.

At least that’s what I’m telling myself, anyway. 😉


#TheLittleThings for today? The extra special cuddle time with my niece today. I’m telling you, there is nothing quite like the feeling of her snuggling up under my chin, breathing calmly and cooing away as she drifts off to sleep. She gave me big smiles today too (it was probably gas but whatever, I call it auntie lovies!) which is even more cause to give thanks. She is a precious little peanut, love her so much!