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!


Guest Post: Why I run

Kicking off this week’s guest posts while I’m on vacation – picture me floating around the lake as you read this, and yes, be jealous. 🙂

In all seriousness, I asked Jo to write me a guest blog because, well, she’s my workout companion most of the time (aside from Scott, of course!) and we share SO many goals and dreams, fitness-wise and otherwise, I wanted her to post her version of “Why I run.” Of course, after reading her post, I’m all teary, as usual (call it our sisterly bond!).

So…without further ado – Jolene’s version of “Why I Run.”

When Jess asked me to write a guest post on ‘why I run’ – my first answer to that question was – “Jess.”

She’s why I run.


She got me into running kicking and screaming about a year and a half ago and the very first run I did with her, I absolutely hated. In fact, I abhorred it. And I abhorred her for *forcing* me to run. I could barely run one minute straight at one time – and this was ridiculously frustrating since I’m just as much of a fitness freak as Jess is, yet I was huffing and puffing and getting excruciating side cramps, yet she was running like a champ on the treadmill next to me. WTF?

Fast forward to today and now, I want to prove to her – and me – that I am a runner. That I can do it, and that dammit, I will run the hell out of that half marathon in September (if last weekend’s 9+miler is any indication – we got this!).

Why else do I run?

…because it’s always, always, always a challenge for me. And I dig a challenge. Running is more difficult than any other workout – even training for Kick, no joke – for me, because I have to focus on being good at it and it doesn’t come naturally. But that’s why I love it.

…because yeah, it torches some serious calories. That’s why I love it.

…because of the camaraderie. I have some fantastic friends that run (Meg, Steph, the ‘running group girls’ to name a few) and that can relate. That’s why I love it.

…because it’s always an accomplishment. Whether it is 3 miles, 5, 9 or more, it always feels rewarding, I always get a good workout and I’m always dripping in sweat. Now that’s a good sign of a workout that just can’t be beat. That’s why I love it.

And that’s why I run.

The “Wicked Half”

It’s official.

I *just* signed up for my first-ever half marathon.

ACK! (my new favorite word as my sister so aptly pointed out to me today!)

Part of me is SUPER excited to get ‘er done.

Part of me is skeered that this will be a challenge I will have a hard time completing.

But more of me knows that its the exact right challenge for me because it stretches me out of my comfort zone, distance-wise and gives me a HUGE goal to look forward to for the foreseeable future (aside from Kick,that is!). Annnd it’s a check box off my new years’ resolutions and my bucket list, woo!

And I know, you’re probably wondering if I threw “focus” out the window but alas, I have not (I don’t think, anyway). This half isn’t until September 25 so by then, the chaos of Kick will have subsided and hopefully I’ll be in a good rhythm with the program and teaching my own class (yes, that’s me being “Positive Polly” that I’ll have my own class!) that I’ll have the time to focus on training for the half.

I actually love that it’s called the “Wicked Half Marathon” – it just sounds bad-ass and very New England to me which is perfect in my book. 🙂


As an aside, I urge you all to head on over to The Balance Broad to read her take on size and whether or not it matters. I love her perspective and obviously totally agree with it. 🙂

And PS. No news on the Kick front – though I’m pretty sure you’re probably all very sick of me blabbing about it, ha.

Why I run

One of my favorites, (part of the famed “girls night” crew), Meg, sent me a link to a slideshow at that totally inspired today’s post.  She actually sent it to me earlier this week but I wanted to save it up for an inspirational Friday morning post as we head into the weekend and all. 🙂

The link was to a running tally of testimonials called “Why I run.” What struck me, aside from the sheer honesty and passion behind each post, was the common theme amongst them all – check out a few examples to see if you can find it:

I run because running has taught me to love my body for the amazing things it can do. I run to set a healthy example for my two boys. I run to build physical and mental toughness, which serve me well in other aspects of life.

I run because it is my sanctuary, where I feel so alive and calm at the same time. A place where I know my legs will keep on going, if only I don’t let my mind get in the way.

I run because it is my therapy, my time to work out all the problems in my life. I run because my legs are strong enough and my mind is in need of exercise. I run to remind myself of the beauty that surrounds me and how very lucky I am.

I run because it gives me amnesia. I forget my problems, I forget my limitations, I forget those who mistreated me, I forget those who are gone.

Running has turned out to be “my thing.” I run to be inspired and to inspire others…It is hard on the mind and it is hard on the body…Running makes me confident and free spirited…nothing else can keep my anxiety at a low.

Each day I run, it is a small victory. It’s not life changing or mind-altering, but it’s a victory.

Pretty awesome stuff, right? To me – what screams out to me in these snippets (and others on the slideshow) is not the physical challenge of running so much as the mental challenge of running. Hits the nail on the head for me – running started out as something I did because I knew it was a great cardio workout but it was NOT innate, it was always hard on my body and my mind.

So you may ask, Why do I run?

I run because it forces me out of my comfort zone.

I run because its an outlet for my mind to wander.

I run because it makes me feel alive – those moments when I don’t think I can push  myself any farther and somehow my body just reacts.

I run because I can do it outside, with Scott by my side – some of our best conversations (even if some are one-sided while I’m huffing and puffing!) are had when we’re running together.

I run because I heart runner’s high.

I run because its hard. It’s painful. It’s rewarding. It’s a rush.

I could literally go on and on about why I run, but you kinda get the idea, right?

So now it’s your turn, why do YOU run? If you don’t run, why do YOU workout? Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂