Tag Archives: HIIT

Friday Five: Five Fitness Snapshots

11 Jul

This week’s Friday Five linkup (an awesome weekly event hosted by Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC, Mar @ Mar On The Run, and Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What!) is themed: 5 Fitness Snapshots.  I initially thought this topic would be easy for me, but as I’m looking through photos from the last few week I realized that I don’t have a lot of them!  I work out by myself most of the time, I don’t have a gym membership or go to classes, I don’t even have a DVD player!  I guess I’m an off-the-grid kind of fitness person which unfortunately doesn’t present many photo ops.  Clearly I need to remedy that as soon as possible!



1.  Walking!  Walking is my favorite form of cross training and I can bring my little Bea Arthur with me.  We walk together every morning to open up the store and sometimes we take an afternoon walk as well.  I seriously just love being a pedestrian – I get to talk to people in my neighborhood, it helps improve my running endurance, it’s FREE, I get to see things that I would miss if speeding by at 30 m.p.h., and I get to enjoy the fresh air.


2.  Running is obviously my bread and butter, and this chick is my resident running buddy.  Our household has been down to 1 vehicle for about a month, which means tons of running in my own neighborhood with miss Liberty Belle.  It makes me sad to think that we had Liberty for years and I would never walk her or anything because I was so lazy.  She loves pounding the pavement as much as I do and we both reap the benefits – emotionally and physically.   In our house we are the 2 curvy blondes, but by the end of the summer we are going to be 2 sexy ladies!


3.  A few weeks ago, Christina came home with the most perfect red vintage bike she got me for $40 on Craig’s List.  This is the first bike I’ve owned since I was a kid and I’m so happy to have one now!  A few of my close friends are really into biking, so it’s nice to finally be able to join in on the fun.  There are tons of great trails around my neighborhood, including one that will take me all the way from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C.!  I don’t know how long “Lola” will last because she’s definitely been used a lot, but I am really enjoying the experience of biking for fitness.  (Even if we don’t make it to Washington together!)


4.  Tabata/HIIT – Since I don’t have a gym membership, I try to make the most with what I have at home.  This usually means throwing my mat down in the middle of the living room and getting in a high intensity interval circuit of one kind or another.  I alternate using my own body weight, this stained chair that we usually stand on when we are painting, a medicine ball, a stability ball, and some free weights.  I have a basic workout that I was given by my trainer, but I also find a lot of my workouts on Pinterest, Daily Hiit, and Daily Burn.  Honestly I try to switch it up as much as I can because the same old circuit gets mighty boring pretty quickly.  I’m thinking about investing in some kettle bells because they look like fun.


The pets 100% believe this mat is for their enjoyment only and insist on walking all over/lay on it as soon as I put it out. Who doesn’t love a mouth of full of dog hair while you plank?!

5.  Stretching is such an important part of fitness and I don’t take it seriously enough.  You’re supposed to stretch for anywhere between 5-15 minutes after a run.  It can improve flexibility, shorten recovery time, improve circulation, relieve muscle tension/relax you, give you energy, and probably all kinds of other stuff (obviously I’m not a fitness instructor)!  Last year sometime, I stumbled onto this wonderful picture with all kinds of stretches from Heather over at Housewife Glamour.  I snapped a pic on my iPhone and I refer to it almost daily when I’m stretching.  I’ve also been a reader of Heather’s blog ever since!



I hope you enjoyed this Friday Five linkup, I had fun writing it and I can’t wait to participate in more of them!!

Training Overview #sftsRUNS

16 Jun

Welcome to the 2nd installment of my 10K Training Overview!  This is a weekly series in which I will document my weekly running progress, nutrition, photos, and mileage as I train for Pittsburgh’s 2014 Great Race on September 28th.  If you are on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook – you can also follow along using the hashtag #sftsRUNS.   These overviews are intended not only for me as a way to document my fitness journey, but also as a means to inspire other newbie runners who are ready to move beyond the 5K distance.


Weekly Overview:

Unfortunately, my personal life continued along its downward spiral last week.  Running is extremely cathartic and I am so thankful that I’m able to do it.  I had scheduled some T-25 days with my friend, but because of the long hours I was pulling at work I just couldn’t juggle it.  I did try and get out of the house a bit, so I went to the Pirates game on Thursday with some friends.  I had planned a few other things, but I was basically just trying to keep my head above water all week.

Training Plan:

Planned Mileage:  9.5 miles

Actual Mileage:  8.18 miles <– Still under my goal, but improved since last week!

Longest Distance:  3.39

Training Miles to Date:  13.83

Weight Change:

My weight loss goal is 150 lbs.  By August, my goal is to be down to 175 lbs.  I weigh in immediately after I wake up on Monday mornings.  Last Monday, I weighed in at 190.2 and this morning I weighed in at 190.9.  I’m not discouraged by that at all because I drank quite a few beers at the Pirates game and spent half the week eating whatever I felt like.

Physical Condition:

Excellent!  I’m not expecting anything to really start changing until a few more weeks into training.  I’m still happy with my running shoes and am pretty consistent with stretching after a hard workout.  As far as I can tell, I’m staying hydrated – still just working on my summer swag.  Runner’s World recently posted some tips for running in humidity.  What I got out of it:  I overheat quickly as it is, but the humidity exacerbates the situation by not letting my sweat evaporate.  Therefore, it is important for me to be mindful of when the humidity is lowest, stay hydrated, and take walking breaks when the humidity is high.

Mental Condition:

I try to keep my posts light-hearted for the most part, but this week felt like the 9th circle of hell.  Running helps, of course.  But, I noticed a problem that I think translates into my life.  I don’t believe in myself enough.  As soon as I let doubt creep into my mind, I succumb to it.  I don’t know when I lost faith in myself to be a capable, independent, strong person but I am all of those things.  The only one holding me back from taking control of my life/health/happiness is me.  Even if I block out or try to forget what I put into my body – my body keeps a very accurate record.  Really, this isn’t something you can half ass.  I’ve been half assing it for years which is why I’ve managed to maintain the same weight but never lose.


Well….this is where things kind of fell apart this week.  Oops!  Not saying it wasn’t worth it, but I can do better.



Non-Mileage Training (but still running related):

I had a few days where I walked the dogs as cross training, but I really didn’t do any of my HIIT work.  No excuses, I just need to do it!


Impact On Real Life:

I think the problem with last week is that I didn’t let it have an impact on my real life.  I let depression and anxiety get the better of me and I sabotaged myself.    Writing all of this out makes it much more clear, so thankfully I can see where I need to make improvements.

Action Plan:

I hit the grocery store on Sunday and spent a lot of time meal planning/prepping food for the week.  I also made it a point to go through the daily/weekly pages of my planner and write things down.  I added in fitness info, more meals, and added my blog posts for the week.  Even if I have to switch the days around, at least everything is there and I have to look at it.  I forgot to snap a pic when I was finished, but this is about halfway through:


I honestly don’t know how people function without writing things down.  So, my action plan this week is to follow the plan I have written down for myself.  I mean how hard is that?  (Don’t answer that question.)  Do the damn workouts, eat the damn food and don’t binge out.  My mantra of the month:  I can do hard things.  I can.  I don’t even care if it sounds like a “That’s what she said…” punchline.  It helps me and it also makes me giggle sometimes!

5 Thing Friday (Fitness Themed)

20 Mar

1.  Turning Up The Heat!

Clearly not talking about the weather. (Looking at you, fake spring!) This week was the week where I turned the corner on training.  With just 44 more days to go until the Pittsburgh Marathon (of which I am running leg 4 of the marathon relay), I started working with a virtual trainer.  Allyn, over at Triumfit Training, is also a personal trainer in real time, but all the way over in Washington D.C.   I’ve known Allyn since college, so when I read on her website that she offers virtual training options, I jumped at the chance to work with a certified professional.  I told her about my fitness goals aka being a better runner, and she developed a HIIT (High-Intensity-Interval-Training) circuit for me to do on non-running days.  She also gave me some exercises to do daily and some foam rolling work.

2.  Foam Rolling

Me and my foam roller! BFFs!!

Me and my foam roller! BFFs!!

So far the foam roller is basically my new BFF.  It deserves its own separate topic.  How did I not know about this?  I could foam roll all day.  And thanks to several sets of HIIT squats, I basically have been!  It’s incredible how sore I am, then after some foam rolling, water, and rest – I’m feeling good as new!  We actually bought 2 different ones, a regular foam roller and a deep tissue one that is supposed to be better but isn’t really.  After finding out how deeply enjoyable foam rolling is, I started You Tube trolling for more ways to use it.  It’s like healthy people porn.  I will stop there.

3.  Embarrassing Race Photos

Wow.  Like so much so that I’m not even going to share them here.  Or tag myself on Facebook.  Or remember that I ever saw them.  Or even remotely tell y’all where to find them.  Let’s just say – I looked about as great as I felt that day and my mom and I got a good laugh at them.  Moving on with haste…

4.  Reason #928350 Why I Love Running

photo 2(5)

If you follow me on Instagram (DO IT! @MichelleSFTS), you may occasionally see photos I post of things I see when running.  I realized the other day that those moments are just another reason why I continue to believe running is good for my soul.  This new pedestrian hobby of mine has given me such a different perspective of the beautiful city I love.  There’s something about the way the light dances on the river or the way the clouds look over a tree line that I just never noticed from my car at 60 m.p.h. while trying to figure out what lane I should be in during a 15 second time window.  Running has invited me to slow down, open my eyes, observe, and appreciate so much that I took for granted before.

5.  The Problem is Always Food.  Always.

Once a fat kid, always a fat kid?  Mentally, yes.  Since buckling down this week, I realized that my sugar addiction is out of control.  Yes, I’m eating clean meals.  But, I just want sweets and chocolate and diet soda all day long.  The more I tell myself not to eat them, the stronger my urge to binge.  That coupled with a boost in my appetite from upping my exercise are all ready proving to be counter-productive.  It has to stop.  Sheesh, you make one batch of scones and before you know it you are hiding in a corner pouring a bag of dark chocolate chips you found in the back of the pantry directly into your mouth.  It’s a slippery slope is all I’m saying people.


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