Let’s Get Physical Friday: Electric Run

Runner Blog

Hi! Happy Friday! It’s been a while since you’ve seen one of these huh? Don’t worry, I haven’t fallen off the wagon. I’m actually quite proud of myself. Going on July and I’m still going strong on my workout regime. I’ve made some changes to my workout plan over the past few months. Have had to change eating habits, workout routines, and I’ve even made my own little arm workout that I am a little proud of.

I’m still running. I’ve been in kind of a slump this month. I’m stuck at 2 miles and worn out after every run. But I’m still running a couple of times a week and hope to keep adding to my mileage.

This time last year, I was training for my first 5K that I was going to run in (I normally just walk with my mom). I was training for the Color Run. It was fun and the first of my novelty runs.

This year, I’m running because I love it, not because I have an end goal. But when my cousin found the Electric Run, I had to say yes. Check out this video from YouTube:

Super fun right?

Well we signed up. Made a family event out of it. My cousin (sister) Lisa and I planned to run. Our cousin Alex ran with us and brought his cousin Mitchell.

preraceAlex, Mitch, Lisa, Me

Oh and we stayed with a family member in Columbus too. Super fun family time.

We bought tons of glow  in the dark goodies at the Dollar Store. Let me just say, they don’t glow as well as the ones they hand out at the run. We had necklaces, hats, bracelets, glasses…. the necklaces and bracelets were all that made it with us to the run… Have you tried to put together a glow stick hat? It’s nearly impossible.

glowing

As the sun started to go down, the vibe started to pick up. They were pumping loud techno versions of today’s popular songs. People were lined up ahead of us and behind us. And you know me, I was dancing from the second we lined up. Which meant I burnt tons of calories because we waited in line for 40 minutes.

startinglineThe starting line

behind us

Behind us in line

We thought the race was starting at 9:20. Well let me just be honest and say it probably wasn’t a good idea to have a night race on the longest day of the year… just a thought. We didn’t have anywhere to be though. The race started around 9:40. We were in the 3rd wave, so we started around 9:50.

preglowRight before starting!

We thought the race was going to be indoors and outdoors. We were wrong. We were at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. We ran through the parking lot. I was a little confuzzled. It was dark, there were people everywhere. I had no idea where I was.

Mitchell and I partnered up for the run and Alex and Lisa partnered up. It’s hard to run in groups in big races like that. It’s almost impossible to stay together while passing walkers. Not to mention it’s almost pitch black out except for the areas where there are lights… and the glow of sticks.

There weren’t as many “glow” areas as I expected. Seemed like they were every half mile or so. In between though it was dark and you really had to pay attention to your footing and the people in front of you. Some people went down. Others just stopped right in front of you.

When the race was over, there was a little setup where someone took our pictures:

cupsThe glowing cups were awesome (it’s the little things)

Oh and fair food and a rave. The rave was fun… very loud… the vibrations from the music were crazy. There was also beer. Not a smell I look forward to after a hot, sweaty run.

I will say that with these novelty runs, time isn’t of the essence. This race wasn’t even timed. I timed myself with my Nike+ app, but we stopped several times to take pictures, so we didn’t have a very good time at all. But we learned that in the Color Run and know that these novelty races are more about the fun than the race.

I would definitely do this race again. I think I like it better than the Color Run because I didn’t get dirty :) And running at night was a nice change up. Waiting at the starting line was by far my favorite part.

Have you done this run? What did you think??

Let’s Get Physical Friday: All Eyes and Hearts on Boston

Runner Blog

Happy Friday! Hope you all had a wonderful week. It’s been a while since we’ve had a Let’s Get Physical Friday here. Don’t worry, I’m still on my path to get fit. My gym membership ran out a couple of weeks ago, so no more classes and inside workouts. It’s finally nice enough to get outside and get stuff done. I am now running 2-3 weeknights and 1-2 times on the weekend and do some arm and ab workouts at home, along with my squats. The two months in the gym helped me mold a routine that I am now loving.

For the past two weeks though, running has had a new meaning for me. I no longer run for myself. I am running for Boston.

i run for boston
And I’m not the only one! Isn’t that shirt awesome? Click the picture to check them out at Ruffles With Love on Etsy.

I have been sorting out what I wanted to do with this post for two weeks now, partly for the running angle, but also the news angle. I will always be a news girl, so stories like this are always in m heart.

I still consider myself a newbie runner. I’ve never even come close to running a marathon. I ran cross country in high school because I needed something to keep me in shape for basketball. I’m still stoked to get under 30 minutes in a 5K…. which I crushed twice this week ;) But, I am a runner. I love to run. I love competing against my records. I love people watching in the park while I run. I love seeing the same people out running every time I go. I love finding new paths to run. I love to turn on my Pandora radio and just go. Those are all things that I have come to expect with running. Throw on a pair of shoes and I’ll find what I’m looking for and maybe more. What I didn’t expect was heartbreak in the running community.

Along with identifying myself as a runner, I’m also a journalist. So this story hit me from two different angles. We were in our afternoon meeting last week, when a guy rushed in and said he heard there was a bombing at the Boston Marathon. At first we didn’t think it was true. None of us had received alerts, and you know we all sign up for everything possible! Several people immediately pulled out their phones and within seconds, it seemed, we had live coverage from Boston. NBC took over from local coverage and we all watched, stunned at what was being reported. I produce our 6pm newscast, which is strictly local news. National news comes on after us, so we rarely report out of the tri-state. Not the case Monday. We had several stories on Boston, as well as a live press conference with the President. After six years in the business, you never know what to expect. The shock that hit us Monday didn’t leave the newsroom all week, and even this week, we are still talking about it and digging for more information on how and why this happened. The next day, new information is released, we hear stories of heroism. Then we see possible suspect pictures. Then Friday, I woke up to several alerts on my phone about a shootout and I couldn’t turn myself away from the TV all day. Luckily I’m in a business where TVs are everywhere. Friday night, as the capture of Dzhokhar was going down, I was shopping, with my Sirius radio tuned into a news station and my ear buds in my ears. With events like this, no matter how far away you are, in the news business, you are impacted. Someone at home will know someone there. Someone nearby will be impacted, bringing the story close to home.

I met some of those people last week. There’s a running club in Huntington, called the Huntington Road Runners. Even though I consider myself a runner, albeit a newbie, I had never heard of this group before. Last Tuesday, while covering local angles of the Boston Marathon Bombings, we ran across an event this group was holding. A local 2.62 mile run around Marshall University. I found out several people involved in the group, and in the run, have run in the Marathon before and two of their own were in it this year. They came home safely. For some reason, I had my running clothes with me that night, and I decided to take part. I know that I’m not up to running club standard, but I wanted to do it for others, and I wanted to be part of the running community on this night. I think more than anything, I was nervous about running with a group. I run by myself. I am very competitive, so I am constantly working to beat my personal records and time and shave off seconds from nearly every run, and continue to add mileage. But running with others?? One thing I learned: There’s a bond in the community that can’t be broken.

Before the run, we all gathered for a quick speech, group prayer and a lighting of a blue and gold candle, Boston Marathon colors. It was very moving, even though we were hundreds of miles away from the scene. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to finish the whole run. A crazy summer-like storm was rolling through and lighting up the sky, and I ducked out after one mile since I still had quite the commute. But that was all I needed. As we all started running, there were several people in the area who started clapping. It was an amazing experience to be part of, and not one that any of us did it for ourselves.

I’ve heard of several runs like this that have happened across the country in the past two weeks and would love to hear from you if you took part in one!

I’ll leave you on some amazing words spoken by the young man who put together the 2.62 mile run: We will still run, but we will not run away.

To check out my pictures from the group run, follow my on Instagram @kariannalysis.

Let’s Get Physical Friday: Motivation

Runner Blog

 

Happy Friday! I don’t know about you, but it’s been a rough week for me! Saturday and Sunday, I had pretty good workouts at home. Monday I went to a class and Tuesday I ran 3 miles on the treadmill. But then it all went downhill. Wednesday, I couldn’t get full. I was starving. Maybe it was because I had 900 calories left over on Tuesday, or maybe I just love food too much. Thursday, I took the night off to get my hair done (I’m a blonde now). And tonight I will be on the road all evening, so no workout again. Hopefully I can get back on track tomorrow. Maybe a little something will be better than nothing.

But when you have bad weeks like these, we all need some motivation. I have found a lot of motivation the past couple of months on instagram. I am constantly saving pictures and making them my background. This is my current phone background:

beast

I absolutely love this shirt and will have it soon!

Today I wanted to share some other motivations I have found lately. Save them on your computer, or phone, print them out, just keep at it! Happy Friday!

eatrunrepsEXERCISEIMG_5539IMG_5540IMG_5541ECARDBAD RUNIMG_5577WAKE UPTIMESMART GIRLS
BUTTS

Let’s Get Physical Friday: Gym vs. No Gym

Happy late Friday friends. Like every evening this week, I’m getting a late start at dinner and my evening routine. I had two late evenings at the gym, followed by a motel stay and random snow, dinner with a good friend, and watching the nation’s top high school basketball recruit in the country. My earliest night home was this evening, at 8 p.m. Needless to say, the blog has taken the brunt of my late evenings.

Tonight I am here to talk about one of the things in my previous paragraph: THE GYM.

Growing up and playing sports, I spent quite a bit of time in the weight room. I learned the ins and outs of the weight machines, and was a master at holding a chin up. But other than some weights to bulk up my 90 pound frame, that was all.

The summer before my senior year I won a pageant and part of my winnings was 3 months at our local physical therapy center AKA gym. There were a couple of treadmills and some weight machines, but once my free time ran out, I was done.

In college, our gym membership was part of our tuition. I was spoiled by Ohio University’s rec center AKA Ping. They had several basketball courts where I played intramural ball, class cage rooms for racket sports, a free weight room, a machine room, a climbing rock, and an indoor track on the third flood that overlooked it all. My love for the gym came and went. But now that I am an adult, I wish I would have taken better advantage of it.

As an adult, I’ve done some pilates DVDs (gifts from my dad for my college graduation) and some random online workouts when I felt like the winter was getting the best of me. The only regular exercise I had was walking with mom, or a friend during the warm months. So for about 3.5 years, I had sporadic exercise at best.

Last summer, my cousin and I decided to sign up for the Color Me Rad run in Columbus. Problem was, neither of us had run a 5K in years. I was afraid to run after tearing my ACL in high school, concerned that I would tweak it once again and I did NOT want to go through that pain EVER AGAIN. But we both used the Couch 2 5K program, got in shape and did our race. Luckily, it was nice out, so all of our training took place outside. It was months of work for a 30 minute race (30 minute’ish). I didn’t want to lose all my progress, so I continued to run outdoors until it was too cold and I didn’t have daylight when I got home. I don’t get home until after 7:30 every evening, so for several months, I only see sunlight on my drive in and through the window at work. I am too big of a chicken to run at dark.

So I asked my parents and brother and husband for money for my birthday so I could get a membership at the gym at our hospital. Unfortunately, it was right around the holidays and I only went four times in that month. Not worth the $40.

I did nothing the entire month of December, then turned over a new leaf in January when I got my FitBit. I did some Jillian Michaels yoga in my bedroom and found some Wii Just Dance videos on YouTube and saved them to my favorites. But I wanted to continue to expand. I did a little research into some classes that were offered in the town I worked. There were some yoga classes and some Zumba classes… but not many I could take with my work schedule. It all goes back to me getting off work late.

Then I had the bright idea that I should check out Marshall University’s rec center. A friend ended up giving me and a coworker two free weeks to test it out and we are loving it so far. We started on the treadmill, did a little biking and elliptical work, did the arms and legs machines and this past week did a Zumba class. The gym is very similar to OU’s with lots of options. They even have a pool. After two weeks, I am in love.

But, I’m a cheap skate. I don’t like to spend money. I just want to run and I will be happy. I can do several workouts at home and have found a lot on YouTube. So, we will continue to go to the gym for the next few chilly months, then I’ll get back to running outdoors when the chill breaks.

Pros of the Gym:
*Workout options
*Encouragement from the hundreds of others working out at the same time
*Being able to watch others and learn new workouts
*Having a workout partner (I think this is easier to do at the gym because you can both do the machines at your own pace and strength and not worry about running in public and leaving the other behind)
*Working out with a TV (I so love the TVs on the treadmills, bikes and ellipticals)

Cons of the Gym:
*Price
*Finding the time  – I feel like since I pay for it, I need to get my money’s worth
*Working out late = Eating late
*Worrying that you look like a fool (this doesn’t bother me too much, but I think it takes time to work up the courage to try new things)

My pros and cons kind of weigh each other out I think. I always feel great after leaving the gym, but hate not getting home and eating until 9. I also hate having to pay for things, that because of my schedule, I can’t do for free – like running.

What are your opinions? Gym or no gym?

Let’s Get Physical Friday: FitBit

Happy Friday and first day of February! Where did January go? I don’t know about you, but I keep track of my workouts in my calendar and love seeing all the yellow lines for the workouts I’ve done this month! Yes, just like with everything else in my life, I am OCD about my workouts. I have color codes for different things that go in my calendar, like work, and doctor’s appointments, and my blog. Yellow is workout.

Speaking of OCD, I love stats and numbers. So when I was with my cousin over Christmas break and she had this cool little thing called a FitBit, I was intrigued. It’s a pedometer on steroids. My mom is a physical education teacher and had a FitBit within a couple of days after seeing my cousin’s, so I also had to jump on board.

What is the FitBit?

These little guys are the FitBits. The one on the left is called the One and the one on the right is called the Zip. I got the one on the left. It comes with a little case that you can attach to your pants or your sports bra when you are working out.

There is also a bracelet FitBit coming out later this spring. It’s called the Flex.

I didn’t want to wait for the bracelet because it doesn’t appear to have a screen to tell you your stats. I decided to go with the One because that is what my mom got and she loved it.

What does the FitBit do?

Brace yourself. This little guy does everything but the dishes.
*Clock
*Tracks steps
*Tracks numbers of staircases you have walked
*Tracks miles walked
*Tracks calories burned
*Shows you have active you have been with a flower (As seen on above picture. If you are active, it’s big like you see on the picture. If you are not active, it is small.)
*Tracks sleep
*Has silent alarm

Lots of features, right?

The goal it sets for you is 10,000 steps a day, 10 staircases, 5 miles, and calories depends on what kind of weight loss plan you set up.

I love all of the stats and find myself checking it throughout the day and when I realize my numbers are low, I’ll go make a couple of laps around the office and do a couple sets of stairs to boost my numbers. I sit from about 9:15 until 6:30 , and have made myself get up and get steps in during the day. I find it very hard to get my goal steps in unless I work out. One day I’ll be able to get them.

When it comes to calories, I love seeing how many calories I burn just doing my daily routine. Normally when you count calories, you may just add in your amount of workout time. But with this, you can also account for your grocery shopping trip and just everyday walking around that you do.

My favorite feature of the FitBit is the sleep tracker. When you buy the device, it comes with a little cuff that you wear at night. You start your sleep counter on your device when you go to bed and it tracks your movement (how many times you move your arm) during the night so you can see how well you are sleeping. It’s kind of creepy, right? The best night I have had was a night where it says I only woke up 6 times in the night. The worst, when I was sick, was about 30 times.

The silent alarm feature is also great. Since you are already wearing it on your wrist, you can set the alarm and it will start vibrating to wake you up. My husband and I generally get up at the same time, but I used it once to test out and it worked well. Great for people who work different schedules than their spouse or roommate.

How do you check your stats?

You can check most of your stats right on your device, but you can also check them on your phone or online. The app and online site are free, which is a nice gesture on FitBit’s behalf.

Now before I get to the app and website, there are a couple of ways to sync your FitBit. If you have an iPhone 4S or higher, you don’t have to do anything. It automatically syncs to your phone. If you have an iPhone 4 or lower, the device comes with a small flash drive you plug into your computer and you can sync it that way. I only have a 4, so I sync mine in the morning when I get up, a couple of times a day at work if I have time, when I get home, or get done working out, and right before I go to bed. I really like the auto sync for the more advanced iPhones and will definitely consider shelling out the extra dough for one when it’s time to renew so I don’t have to manually sync all the time. One nice thing about the sync is that if you are out of town and can’t sync or aren’t near a computer, the device stores info for 7 days for you, so you can do it all when you get home, if you can stand not knowing your stats for that long.

Now to the app. Here is a screen shot of my home screen.

On the app, you can see all of the stats that your FitBit tracks. It also helps you keep track of you weight and your weight loss goal. It will tell you how many hours you slept the night before, along with what time you went to bed, what time you got up and how many times you woke up. You can also use this to keep track of calories during the day (which I’ll touch on more in a little bit). And you can keep track of water you consumer during the day. And that’s all on the first page.

It also shows you a graph of your steps, calories and floors walked in the past couple of weeks, a graph of your weight loss, and one of my favorite parts, what my friends are doing.

Since my mom and cousin also FitBit it, we can all see how the others are doing and have made a competition of it, although mom smokes us every week. She got 25,000 steps in one day this week. How is that even possible?

On the more tab, you can add in your food and water intake, as well as set your silent alarm.

The website is very similar, but has even more stats for those who love to crunch numbers.

What else does it do?

I know you are probably thinking there can’t be much more, but remember last week when I told you about the MyFitnessPal and LoseIt apps? Well you can sync your accounts with your FitBit.

You can technically do everything in your FitBit app, but I really like the MyFitnessPal app and since I can sync them, keep them both. I add my food and exercise into my MFP app and it automatically updates into FitBit. Also, when you sync your FitBit, it automatically gives you an adjustment into MFP for the calories you have burned just doing your daily routine.

There are several other apps you can sync up with. Check out this  page to see them all.

How much does it cost?

I am sure this is a burning question you have had. And the prices vary. For the Zip, you can get it for $60. The One is $100 and the Flex will be $100 when it is released. The Aria scale is $130.

Where can I get it?

You can get the FitBit on the website, but if you want to check it out in person you can buy a FitBit at Best Buy. And I’ve recently heard that there are FitBit accessories at AT&T.

What if I don’t want the FitBit?

Don’t like the FitBit? Don’t worry. There are other options. Like the Nike Fuel Band. A friend recently got this and appears to really like it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the bracelet. I think it’s very masculine and would clash with my jewelry. I know, I’m vain. There is also the Jawbone UP. Again, I like to see my stats right on my device, but I’ve heard great things about this as well. And there tons of cheaper devices that you can get from your local hospital (probably for free), but keep in mind, the bells and whistles don’t all come with them.

I have heard about great results with people using the FitBit. A coworker lost more than a dozen pounds using hers. My mom has lost nearly 10 pounds in a month. It holds you accountable because it’s right in your face. Get your steps in, don’t go over your calorie count and beat your friends and family.

I am loving my FitBit and may even be a bit obsessed (big shocker there).

Does anyone have a FitBit? How has it worked for you? Do you have a different device that I don’t know about?