My first full marathon

1st mile: I’m pumped. I know I can do it for sure. 26.2 miles? Piece of effin’ cake!

2nd mile: wow, this is nothing. I can go on forever, and ever.

3rd to 6th mile: what a nice day to run. I’m glad I didn’t wear too much coldgear. Lalalala.

7th to 8th mile: oh my, did that person hit the wall? At this rate, she won’t make the full marathon!

9th to 12th mile: oh dear, my feet are little sore. *Wiggles my toes* *performs a couple of run stretches* *prays to the running god that I won’t feel any more pain*

13th: Man, look at those half-marathoners. That was so me last year! Man, am I jealous that they’re done.

14 to 18th mile: I can deal with the pain. It’s really not bad. As long as I have my strawberry-flavored gummies for energy. (At this point, I’ve stopped a couple of times to stretch.)

19th mile: [I meet a nice girl with a sprained ankle on the way] Oh hai girl! You’re running at a great pace! Can I join ya?

20th to 22nd mile: My feet are killing me T_T. (I see Alice Lee, a close friend who came to cheer me on) ALICE! OMG ALICE! *HUGS* Owch! My legs hurt so much! Take a picture of me though! ^__^

23rd mile: Where… is … the… mile… maker?

24th mile: I’m struggling to keep tears back. For some reason, I’m feeling emotional.

25th mile: This sucks. Oh gawd, when is it over?? Stfu Fanny, stfu! F*** THE PAIN!!!!!

26th mile: tears are about to let loose. Must smile, must smile. (My pictures are eventually taken at the finish line. A picture of me crying at the finish line would SUCK). You’re almost there… DASH IT!!!

26.2 miles: I burst through the finish line gates and so do my tears.

Yes, I cried. I actually shed tears of joy when I finished the marathon. Dammit, 26.2 miles is no joke.

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Ladies, looking for an effective workout for your busy schedule?

If you are close to me, you probably already know that I’m a runner and a big fan of Shaun T’s workout program “Insanity.” Some of my friends have caught me lifting weights at LA Fitness. In a span of a week, these workouts take up a lot of my time. Sometimes, as a 9 to 5 office worker & occasionally traveling to client sites, I am unable to run or go to the gym. Therefore, I researched up a quick and effective workout for those kind of days.

First, you must always start out with good cardio (this is my rule). Instead of running and doing insanity, I complete the “Victoria Secret 10-minute fat-blasting” workout. At first, I laughed when I saw the video. I mean, come on! Victoria Secret workout? Well, I tried it and you know what? I wasn’t laughing by the end of the workout. I was dripping in sweat and panting.

Second, you must complete a body strength/muscle development workout. I personally love to work on my abs and legs. To target my abs, I complete the “No Equipment 6 Pack Abs workout.” Sounds intense, but really isn’t. This workout video has helped me maintain a trim flat waist.

Altogether, these 2 steps take about 20-25 minutes of your day. No excuses now! Get workin’!

Seeing definition

ImageIt’s amazing to think about how I have been working out for over 2 and a half years (maybe more). I’m getting stronger everyday. Only downside? I’ve only lost a ton of weight and become lanky. Recently, I have been doing some ab work outs. So far, I see a teensy bit of definition (lines and such). Nothing to brag about :O!

Since the full marathon is coming up for me soon, I don’t have much time to work on my abs. Therefore, after the marathon, I plan to seriously kick some ab ass! (Huh? Abs have asses? o__o)

Broad Street Run Countdown: 31 days left to go

Am I nervous? No.

Do I feel guilty? Yes.

It’s been over 2 months since I’ve signed up for the race and I have not trained. The only upside is that I’ve been following my regular eating and workout regimen. On the downside, I’ve been heavily drinking and bingeing on the weekends. Worst of all, I have not been running as much as I would like. For Pete’s sake, 12 miles was the most I’ve completed in a week for a very long time. When I was training for the half marathon, I was hitting 25-30 miles per week! Even then, my legs felt like heavy jelly by the 9th mile. Here’s what I plan to do in order to avoid jelly-legs and half-assed results – 

  1. Follow the training plan. Hopefully, mother nature will be nice to me and grant me sunny weather on my runs.  Otherwise, I’ll need a backup running course.
    • x mile run: Fartlek style. Fartlek is a free-flowing format in which you run faster for however long (or short) you want to. Many great athletes, including the Finnish Olympic medalist Lasse Virén, have done their speed training this way. To run this way, I will be challenging my body by doing quick sprints every now and then.
    • muscle train – any workout BUT cardio: Body-weight style. I’m not a big fan of weight machines; I rather use my own body as a weight to train. I’m fairly new to the muscle training area of fitness so don’t judge me! T__T Anywho, I really like the no equipment full body workout plan by “The Bike Guy” (http://www.instructables.com/id/No-Equipment-Full-Body-Workout/). Just a series of your old-fashioned push-ups, sit-ups, planks, and leg-ups. I also want to try the navy seal abs workout… (http://www.instructables.com/id/Navy-Seals-Ab-Workout/step2/Crunches/)
    • Cross Train – any workout BUTrunning (options): 
      • I’m a huge fan of the insanity program and have completed the program several times. Nowadays, I choose a video and jump to it. It’s an amazing workout program and everyone needs to try it! Shaun T is just extraordinary…. and sexy, if I must say.
      • Swimming. This is only if I can get into a gym with my friend’s gym guest pass since I don’t have a gym membership. I’m too poor to afford one… and I simply don’t like working out at a gym. I’ve started my fitness lifestyle in a gym and slowly edged out of it. Nowadays, I’m usually running outside or jumping around my house to Shaun T’s voice.
      • Various gym classes such as cardio kickboxing and boot camp. Once again, I’ll need my friend’s fancy guest pass to LA fitness. Fortunately, I have several good friends with that option :D! 
  2. NO HARDCORE DRINKING. This means no weekend black-outs, Fanny! Yes, you! I mean, me… 1 to 2 shots here and there or a glass of wine is acceptable.
  3. NO BINGE EATING. This means I’ll have to start eating healthy on my weekends as well. I’m in the habit of using my weekends as cheat days. Instead, I’ll have to cut back and start having 1 cheat meal per week only.
  4. Develop a good sleeping pattern. I’ll have to learn how to sleep early on weekdays and even weeknights. No more waking up at 2pm EST on the weekends…. =___=

References:

1. http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-263–12081-0,00.html

Rule to the fitness bandwagon: NEVER eat foods that you do not like

I think the most valuable lesson I’ve learned throughout my life in regards to fitness and health is to eat what I enjoy. I have fallen off the fitness bandwagon multiple times and one of the leading reasons is that I ate foods that I simply did not enjoy. This list includes plain oatmeal, plain yogurt, certain types of salads, black coffee, etc. I can go on, & on. For a long time, I never thought that simple alterations can make a complete difference in not-so-enjoyable foods. For example? I used to force myself to eat mixed greens with a drizzle of olive oil simply because it is good for me. Eventually, I stopped and lost all hope in lettuce and olive oil. Until, only recently, my friend introduced me to balsamic vinegar. Just a couple of drops of this stuff in the olive oil spring mix turned my taste buds around! I love it so much that I try not to eat too much of it in fear that I may lose my fondness of the recipe. I also used to hate carrots until I added peanut butter to the little orange sticks prior to munching.

You might ask me “well, Fanny, aren’t you adding more calories to these supposedly healthy foods?” The answer is yes, yes I am. But what is a little bit of balsamic vinegar if it gets me to eat my greens? What is a little bit of peanut butter if it gets me my vitamin A? Alterations to recipes and foods should be beneficial, not counterproductive. Instead of adding sugary dressings, I chose balsamic vinegar. Instead of ranch sauce, I chose peanut butter. These are only little example of beneficial alterations. My equation to healthy eating? Generic plain healthy recipe + beneficial alteration = WIN.

Now, you’ll probably ask “Fanny, doesn’t it take a ton of time to figure out WIN foods for myself?” My answer is yes, yes it will. Taste buds change all the time; therefore, figuring out what you enjoy eating will be a lifelong adventure. We spend so much time searching for schools, jobs, and love… why is it any different with food? (That is my question to you) You should always give your body the best, quality AND taste. If the food is not tasty, it is not worth it. Think of your body as your car, would you fill your car with low quality gas? You’ll just end up messing up your car (obviously, I’m not a car kinda gal…)

I found myself sticking to my fitness lifestyle when I eat what I enjoy. That does NOT mean you should eat cheesesteaks, french fries, pizza, etc.  Healthy foods that are delicious are just as abundant as unhealthy foods. Believe me. It just takes time to find those foods. Remember…. generic plain healthy recipe + beneficial alteration = WIN.

My 1st Half Marathon

In the beginning of August, I signed up for the Philadelphia Half Marathon. I was a click away from selecting the full marathon. Thank goodness I did not. Somehow, a sane part of my mind stopped me from signing up for an option that would potentially destroy my legs.

Last Sunday, I was able to successfully finish the half marathon with several friends. I am proud to inform you that I had the best time (amongst my peers, of course). However, I am also not very proud to announce that the moment I reached the half marathon finish line, I saw, to my left, finishers of the full marathon… finishing at the same time as I did! My face of triumph immediately disappeared when I saw those running machines dash ahead of me. At the moment, I vowed to become a better runner!

I have to admit that I sorely underestimated the half marathon. Before the race, I thought “I’ve ran multiple times before. I’m ready for this. Who cares if the most I’ve ever ran was 10 miles? Look these seniors around me… if they can do it, so can I!

How silly of me.

In the beginning of the race, I felt confident, my legs felt great, and I was pumped! Even the weather was great! Nothing could stop me. Well, after 8 miles, I felt the exact opposite. I felt sluggish, my legs felt like jelly, and I was exhausted. Even the weather felt too hot! Although I felt this way, I never doubted that I could finish it under a good time.

I just wished that I trained harder. Instead of slacking off at the very last month, I should’ve amped my miles up. Next time, 26.2 miles! Here I come!

Also, most importantly, I give my blessing to the deceased runners’ families.

Pictures from the race: http://orders.islandphoto.com/RACE/Proofs.aspx#26531443-00002-0014

Shaun T kicks my ass!

I am now in the 2nd month of the Insanity workout (http://www.insaneworkoutprogram.com/). Shame on those who do not know of Insanity, best workout program EVER! If you’re someone who needs that extra push for motivation and love competition, then you should definitely give Insanity a try.

For the first week, I thought “what the hell did I get into?!” My legs felt like jelly and it was difficult to drag my heavy body out of bed. Gradually, my body became used to the program. Before I reached the 2nd month of the program, I thought I was finally fit enough to challenge Shaun T, the Insanity instructor. Now, I truly believe that Shaun T is the ultimate god of kicking my ass.

Although the program may be challenging, I’ve never felt so energized and strong. Nowadays, I sleep like a baby at night and have the appetite of a small elephant. Sometimes, I have to eat 4 to 6 meals a day to keep my active body full and happy. The biggest bonus overall is the program’s ability to burn off the stress I manage to build up each and every day. At the end of the workout, I’ve literally sweat out all of the things that I stress about such as meeting reminders, reports, and bills. Since the Insanity program is set for 60 days, I am going to make the the last of my 30 days the best!