Not As Planned

This week has definitely not been going as planned, although things had been going well until about Tuesday or Wednesday.. I was working out, planning meals, snacks and all.

Tuesday was my active rest day, I had a day off work and went for a walk with my Honey, followed by the Long & Lean stretching routine from the TIU BeachBabe DVD and before going to bed, I could definitely feel my lower back niggling a bit. Typically, I ignored it, having weighed up my options (err..workout vs no workout πŸ˜‰ ) and got on with the Self magazine Drop10 2013 Toning workout. And – oooh, it felt good! I’m loving the new moves! My back didn’t give me any trouble, except during the last move, which I ended up modifying for the 2nd and 3rd set- basically just doing it on my hand and knees instead of my forearms and toes.

So..all well and good – until yesterday that is! I woke up with an excruciating pain and stiffness in my lower back, making me nearly instantly grumpy, annoyed and frustrated. All I wanted was to work out and, well, move around freely and without having to think about my every move.

This is how I had planned my workouts for this week (based on the Tone It Up schedule and with the Drop1o challenge in mind):

workouts march 25 31 2013

Considering the fact that I’m currently sitting here with my TENS machine attached to my back and ready for my next dose of NurofenPlus, it’s safe to say that I won’t be working out today. I’m hoping for a little walk, if you can even call it that, through town and to the grocery store. Whoop-dee-doo! πŸ˜‰

Instead of focusing on the negative, I’ll try continue to appreciate the fact, that I got lucky with another holiday weekend (gotta work on the Bank Holiday Monday) off work and that I’m blessed with the most amazing and supportive Boyfriend a girl could wish for.

On this note, I’m off to live vicariously through other people’s (#TIUteam) workouts via Instagram, heehee!

Happy Easter!

K❀

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Lets talk about RPE

When it comes to cardio workouts, one of the most common mistakes a person can make, especially when they are new to exercising in general or to that particular exercise, is failing to measure the intensity of the workout. After all, giving it your all right from the start can leave you feeling burned out or injured and when you’re not working hard enough, you might wonder why you aren’t reaching your goals and making any progress.

So let’s have a quick look at a popular way of measuring the intensity of your workout without the need of fancy or not so fancy, well – basically any, equipment or particular skills. Hooray!
How do I do this you ask? All you need to do is, while working out, or just walking from A to B, to estimate how hard this current form of activity feels to you, on a level of 0(sitting/laying down, i.e. complete rest)/1 to 10.
Level 1 being very light activity, such as standing or pottering around the house, as opposed to level 10, which would mean you’re racing your arch rival to the finish line. 😀

The chart below (based on Borg’s modified scale) is a good example of the different levels

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While you either need a heart rate monitor (which is still a very important and valuable tool – I can’t imagine running without my Garmin) to measure your heart rate or otherwise need to stop and take your pulse, at least with thinking about how hard the workout you’re doing feels to you, you can adjust as you are, quite literally, going.
It’s also great because it’s tailored to you and only you.. your level 7 might be a 10 min/mile, but that could be my level 9. = you’d be able to go on for longer and this would be our last run together. 😜

HIIT workouts often don’t give you information on the speed you should complete an interval at, but how hard it should feel to you. Which is why with this way of gauging the intensity you can still work with different speeds, but -again- work at 8mph and rest at 5mph, might be either to easy or hard for you.

While we’re on the subject of HIIT – I have a date with my treadmill and the “WildEngineRevver” from the Self magazine Drop10 Challenge and K&K. Happy weekend!

K❀

Toning It Up

Wow, how is it the middle of March already..?! Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, which marks four months until our summer holiday. Even though it’s not a beach/sun holiday but rather an active, round trip that will take us to a different place every day, lots of time will be spent in the great outdoors and hopefully plenty of physical activity and I wanna improve my fitness and hopefully take my body to another level, not only for this upcoming vacation, but also for life. 😊

Since I love, love, loovvvvve the Tone It Up girls, Karena and Katrina, and the whole lifestyle they embody and motivation they provide for so many women – and possibly a few fellas? – out there, I’ve been taking inspiration from their weekly workout plans since the start of the year when the ladies launched their L❀ve Your Body series. These plans were so popular, they decided to continue posting them each week. Hooray! πŸ˜€
At the moment, I’m using their workout schedule more as a guideline and following it depending on how I feel, cos listening to your body is so very important (as hard as that can be-sometimes you gotta switch of your head that’s telling you that you must workout, etc.) and how much time I have (well, you gotta make time..). Here’s week 2 of the Spring Fling schedule.

Here’s what my workout plan for this past week looks like

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A few notes – the “Sweet 16” and the “Plateau Buster” HIIT workouts are from the Self Magazine’s 2012 Drop 10 challenge, which Karena and Katrina were, and still are the trainers for.

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(Source)
You can sign up for this year’s challenge here, it launches next Wednesday, 20.3.! Who’s excited?!πŸ˜ƒ
Tone It Up have also been partnered up with LivestrongWoman since early last year and have been bringing “Tone It Up Tuesdays” to an even wider audience since then.
The 3-move “Love Your Legs” workout is part of that series.
Tomorrow, Sunday, is supposed to be the day to Run It Out as per “Sunday Runday”, but my back has been at me again since last night, so I might just make it a “Sunday Walkday”.☺

Now I’m just about ready to relax for the evening, before my Love and I will be diving right into the crowds for the festivities tomorrow.

K❀

YES!

Good Morning!!! Will ya look at that.. – it’s Christmas Eve! Thank goodness, now I only have to survive the madness that is work.. easy peasy..

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This crazy little guy is currently fast asleep on my lap/arm.. but above he is on top of the shower, which is one of his favourite places to hang out when I’m getting ready, wearing his Santa Paws collar, if this doesn’t tell you it’s Christmas, I don’t know what will πŸ˜‰

The rest of the today will be a bit of a mess.. the current plan looks a little something like this

  • work
  • “get home “..this is part of the list as I’m not sure how easy or difficult this is gonna be later this evening (will there be a bus?on time? otherwise- a cab.. which is another problem in itself.
  • bake
  • run
  • cook and eat dinner with my Love β™₯
  • bake some more
  • open one of our presents, accompanied by a bit of bubbly :), at midnight
  • sleep
  • DONE! woohooo!

Honestly, I don’t know if the run is gonna happen, it depends on how long it will take me to get home and whether I’ll find Mowgli like

thisΒ  Angry-Christmas-cats04

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when I get home πŸ˜‰

Anyway, gotta dash..

MERRY HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!! β™₯

Sweat:On!

Good Morning!

The weekend over here was off to a good start, with a Tone It Up Booty Call which consisted of a 5 minute run to warm up, followed by Karena & Katrina’s Fine Toning Arm Routine.

fine toning arm routine tiu livestrong women

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Instead of doing the 3 rounds back to back though, I added a 5 minute run after each circuit and cooled down with a 10 minute walk. My cooldown would usually only last five minutes, well – depending on how intense the workout was, but today I felt the need to stretch my legs out a bit more. The final touch was a proper stretch of all muscle groups πŸ™‚ happy days!

After sweating it out, I was sooo ready for breakfast..

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Mmmmhh, porridge made with skimmed milk and cinnamon, topped with ground flax and banana plus more cinnamon! I could eat this every day, and I’m not ashamed to say that I often do. Although, Peanut Butter is sometimes added to the bowl of deliciousness, which makes this even more amazing. β™₯ I hope I’m not the only one that gets this excited about oatmeal.. πŸ™‚

In other news, as planned my honey and I went Christmas shopping yesterday and I’m happy to report we didn’t just purchase 60% of all the presents needed, they are now also wrapped already! Whooohooo!

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There’s just something about wrapping presents that makes me feel all christmassy inside, that and an open fire, hot cocoa, mulled wine, baking…Β  Unfortunately, we don’t have a fireplace in our apartment and I have yet to have mulled wine this year, maybe tomorrow though as I’m off work and there’s a small Christmas market with stalls selling all sorts of goodies, well worth a visit I reckon. Next Tuesday will be my last chance to bake some cookies before the big day as I’ll be working straight through until late on Christmas eve. Something or rather someone else making me feel festive is Mowgli.

I couldn’t resist the other day when I saw a Santa collar, it was cheap and even if he couldn’t stand it all, I wouldn’t have wasted more than a couple of €’s. Well, he loves it! Mowgli’s never liked any other collar, so he might be running around as Santa Paws all year. πŸ˜‰ Now the little munchkin wasn’t in the mood for photographs this morning, so you’re just gonna have to take my word for it, until I can provide you with the goods.

For now, it’s time to get ready for the madness at work, β™₯

This or That?

Well, how about another day that didn’t go as planned – Wednesday, I’m looking at you! As I was a bit all over the place yesterday and had planned, and failed, to take pics of all my eats for my first WIAW – What I Ate Wednesday – post, I thought I’d take a detour and do a little This or That? – survey instead, but health and fitness style! πŸ™‚ So, how about it…to the questions, which have been floating around the blog world for a while.

    • Run/workout in the heat and humidity or snow and freezing temps?

As much as I’d like to say heat/humidity and therefore, usually, running during the summer, this is Ireland and we only really have two seasons – winter and something else, with some humidity thrown in. So, should I run outdoors, I’d prefer the cold!

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    • Have washboard abs or flat abs?

I’ll take a bit of both πŸ˜€ please! Start with flat abs and work up to a ‘something’-pack.

    • Dr Oz or The Doctors?

Dr Oz! There’s just something about him, he makes a lot of sense.

    • Cardio or Strength?

Cardio is my energizer, though I love strength, especially coupled with cardio in a circuit.

cardio1

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    • Cravings: Protein or Carbs?

Ooohh, protein wins every time.

    • Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper?

This is a difficult one, I like them both.. ok, Jillian cos I find her more intimidating. πŸ™‚

    • Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream?

FroYo! Which for some strange reason isn’t that popular here yet. I love some natural frozen yogurt with fresh raspberries and slivers of almonds or nut butter. πŸ˜›

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    • To train: Upper body or Lower body?

Both, I love weights for the upper body and bodyweight exercises for the lower half.

    • Protein powder or foods with protein?

For the sake of trying to eat unprocessed foods, it’s gotta be the latter. I do like to bake and cook with protein powder though!

    • Lunges or squats?

How about a side lunge with squat and side leg lift, on of my favs!

    • Sweet or salty?

Sweet and salty together, yummy! Sandwich the two slices below together and it’s perfect πŸ™‚

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    • Workout attire: cute or comfy?

It’s gotta be a combination of both, cos I can’t choose, heheee.

    • Body Pump or Heavy lifting?

I’ve never attended a Body Pump class, heard lots about it and would love to try it.

    • Yoga or Pilates?

Pilates, I’d love to get into yoga too.

    • Nike or Adidas?

Errrhm, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Lululemon, UnderArmour, and whatever fits, looks and feels great.

    • Running on the treadmill or outdoors?

Our treadmill lives in the spare room and is one of the best investments ever! The pavement is fine, if you live somewhere with good roads/streets and neighbourhoods in general.

    • Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s?

The day either store comes to Ireland will be amazing, it’s probably never gonna happen, but a girl can dream. If I lived in the US, the novelty factor alone of being able to shop in either, I wouldn’t care if it was Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

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    • Summer or Winter Olympics?

London 2012 was amazeballs, but I also have fond memories of watching figure skating, hot cup of cocoa in hand, cuddled up to my mum on the sofa.

    • Exercise classes or exercise videos?

Exercise Videos and DVDs, from these ladies in particular

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    • Steamed veggies or roasted veggies?

Roasted veggies are my love, the flavours are amazing!

Until soon, β™₯

Run With It

The key for getting my running groove on is music – it keeps me company, put a spring back into my step when I get tired and motivated when I feel like giving up.

So I thought I’d share it right here..

Because I’d imported the playlist from my mp3 to Itunes, whichΒ didn’t recognize some of the songs, here is

It’s fairly random and I change it as the mood strikes me, I might skip a song here or there if I get too impatient. I’m always on the lookout for new workout song ideas, so please feel free to share in the comments πŸ˜€