Tag Archives: upper body strength

Today is the Day…

18 Jun

Day one of the next sixteen weeks of my life…

16 weeks that will probably have you sick of hearing the words “Chicago” and “Marathon”

16 weeks of torturing running with Kevin because he told me he’d run my training plan with me (if only the race wasn’t sold out…*evil laugh*)

16 weeks of kicking ass and taking names because I plan on owning this race come October.

Week 1 is an easy week:

Monday: Upper body/core workout

Tuesday: 4 miles @ 9:55 pace

Wednesday: Upper body/core workout (a.m.) 4 miles of hills (p.m.)

Thursday: 4 miles @ 9:55 pace (a.m.), yoga (p.m.)

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 4 miles @ 9:55 pace

Sunday: 9 miles @ 10 pace

Aside from a quick treadmill mile with my very first personal training client on Saturday morning, and some yardwork, I took the entire weekend off in preparation. My legs are really happy right now, I’m completely healed from my injury, and I’m ready to run.

We have 4 weeks until the Jamestown Half Marathon – the first race of the summer! That week will also be the beginning of the high mileage weeks involved in the plan I’m following – it tops out at 48 miles a week toward the end of the plan. I’m a tad nervous about that, since it typically takes me two weeks to run that many miles, but I trust in this plan and my body, I’m ready for it!

Is anyone else training for a fall marathon? What type of plan are you following?


Project 10: Week 1

13 Jun

So during my first week as the official Fitness Advisor (that’s what they’re calling me! I like it!) for the Project 10 ladies we’ve had lots of discussions.

This is a call to my readers, I want your help – help me answer these ladies questions, I’ve done my best, but would love some insight from the rest of you.

1) How do you deal with the eating habits of others in your household – husbands, children, etc.?

I am not always incredibly good at this one. Example, my mother brought home mini-Mounds bars tonight. So I had 2.

A few of the ladies struggle with their husbands eating habits and others clean their kids plates.

How do you stay on track?

2) How do you avoid overindulging?

My favorite tip here is drink a glass of water before and after your meal.

Once upon a time I followed Weight Watchers, and my points allowance was so low because I only had about 10 pounds to lose, so I “shrunk” my stomach.

I don’t know the exact science behind this, so don’t take my tips on this as professional (plus I’m not a nutrition expert), but the less you eat, the less your stomach gets used to, the less you end up eating. Easier said than done, I know, but within a couple of weeks you get used to it.

Eat 4-6 small meals a day as well – I typically have 5 meals a day, all small, that leave me satisfied but not stuffed.

3) How do you fit workouts in with ________ (fill in the blank: kids, husbands, long hours, long commutes, etc.).

Make a schedule and stick to it! Even if you have to make a weekly schedule because things change.

I know things may still change, but if you have a workout scheduled for the day, give it everything you’ve got to make sure you don’t miss that workout.

I use Daily Mile to track my workouts and I really enjoy seeing all the little bars filled in on days I know I should have worked out – it makes me feel successful.

4) What are your favorite at home, minimal to no equipment, workouts?

I have at least three posts that I could recall on this:

Work that Upper Body

Work those Legs (Wow, creativity with the titles huh?)

Blast that Belly (Okay I really need new names for my workouts…)

Friends and readers – here’s your chance to help me help these ladies! Fill up my comments with answers to any and/or all of these questions and I’ll pass all of your fabulous advice on to the Project 10 gals!


Blast that Belly!

16 May

Happy Wednesday night my friends! I am super amped up because


I am taking my exam a week from Friday – so now I must study, study, study hard!

In other news – my morning workout plans were derailed when the television was already being used. So, I quickly changed things up. I did three rounds of my Stability Ball Circuit (15 reps each – except for the push ups, I did 10, 7, and 10  – I’m getting better at those!) and I combined that with 3 rounds (15 reps each again, except for planks, that would be ridiculous) this totally ass belly kicking workout!

Belly Blaster Circuit

Sit ups – traditional sit ups. Lock your feet underneath something and sit all the way up! This works your hip flexors as well as your abs (a hugely important exercise if you are a runner!)

Russian Twists – Check out this video from fellow FitFluential Ambassador Mike Schiemer! I used a 5# dumb bell to perform mine.

Planks – need no explanation. Plank however you like to plank!

Suicide Planks – these bad boys are bad ass. Feel the burn! I cannot do 15 of these in a row; nor can I do 3 sets of 15 in a circuit. I think I maybe did 15 total. I need to work on that.

Roll Up Toe Touches – These are huge for me because I never used to be able to roll up from a completely lying down position without helping myself, using my legs as leverage, etc. Now I can complete all of my reps and sets in this circuit!

Reverse crunches – can’t work the abs without blasting the lower abs now can we?!

Your abs will be on fire! Mine were. Combine this with my stability ball workout like I did and you get a full body workout with a huge focus on core strength!

Tomorrow I’m going to run some intervals – I’m thinking the outdoor version of my Treadmill Fartleks that I came up with over the winter. 5 Miles, 3 of which will be intervals.

One last thing…

FitFluential is currently seeking Ambassadors and Enthusiasts! Check out the site for all the details.

Men especially – we need you! The FitFluential Ambassador Woman to Man ratio is like 25:1 (I’m exaggerating…kinda…).

So what are you waiting for?! Join us!

Have a great rest of your Wednesday my friends, I’m off to relax with the rest of my wine and a book!


Five for Friday: Run-dition

27 Apr

Happy Friday! I’m blogging at 10 at night…why you ask? Because I love you guys, and because my nails and toenails are drying. I’m going out with a girlfriend tomorrow night and I have a bridal shower to attend on Sunday, so I just had to look beauteous! Winking smile

This Five for Friday is brought to you by (of all things, haha) RUNNING!

1) Running on tired legs is rough. As this beautiful friend of mine brought up in her post today, running on tired legs takes a run from YAY to MEH in a heartbeat. I experienced that feeling this morning as I dragged myself through 4 miles of legs that didn’t want to move.

2) I am a minute faster. Because I’m overly obsessed with numbers (I was going to be an accountant at one point in my life) I compared todays run with the same day last year. I found that last year I ran 5 miles at a 10:36 pace. Today I ran 4 miles at a 9:45 pace. Woot woot! Both of them “recovery” type runs while training for the Cox Rhode Races Half Marathon.

3) Upper body & core strength make for a good run. Even though my legs didn’t want to go this morning, the rest of my body felt very strong. With two weekly upper body/ab sessions and one weekly yoga session, I can feel the difference in every single run. It’s been key in rebuilding my endurance. Plus I always feel so refreshed, centered, and balanced after yoga.

4) A 4:30 a.m. alarm on Friday morning is dreadful. But once I got my butt up and out the door to run those 4 miles, it was amazing. I clicked my Garmin on at 5:07 this morning. Nothing but me, the wind in the trees, and the birds chirping. The occasional car – but I’d say I saw no more than 6 total cars. And there’s something to be said about having your workout done before 6 a.m. (And I do run alone – with mace and a cell phone – you can never be too safe).

5)  8 Days til Cox Rhode Races. I once again meet the Cox Rhode Races half marathon course. This race is my PR race – I haven’t been able to PR the half marathon distance in a year. I actually have myself convinced that half marathons hate me. From the awful rain at Rock N Roll Providence last year, to my hip giving out at the Amica Half in Newport, to severe stomach problems at the Half at the Hamptons – me and 13.1 aren’t friends. Next Sunday, while I run next to Jess, Scott, Christine, and possibly Amy, I am going to stare down that 13.1 and own it. Even if I don’t PR – It WILL be an amazing race. I just know it.

I hope everyone had an awesome Friday! I’m off to bed. I plan on spending all of tomorrow (until my girls night out of course) studying my head off! And enjoying every second of this weeks rest day!

Goodnight! XOXO


Rainy Days and Mondays

23 Apr

Aren’t going to get this girl down! I woke up this morning bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to hit the gym.

Okay that’s a lie. I snoozed my alarm until 5:30 and realized I better get up or I won’t get my entire session in, dragged my butt downstairs for some coffee, then got dressed and ready to hit the gym.

Bright Eyed Bushy Tailed


Once I was at the gym I was really ready and hit the weights with authority! I did Day 1 of my Upper Body Strength Workouts for the sixth week! I’m going up in a couple of weights again next week, but some exercises still have me at the same weights I started at. My shoulders are weak – but I think they’re coming around. I also threw in 60 crunches – some of my runner friends and I are doing a 100 pushup/100 crunch a day challenge, for 4 weeks. We’ll see if I can make it. Right now I’m at 50 pushups and 60 crunches for the day.

I no sooner stepped into the shower when I realized “Oh, shit, I forgot my bra and underwear.” No joke. While I bathed I thought of all possible scenarious – drive home to get my undergarments, go without them, go home and just stay home (that would’ve been the case if I went home – rainy, dreary, cold Monday is a recipe for the couch, tea, and soup, right?).

I could’ve been pissed off for being so forgetful, but instead, I laughed and was grateful my outfit would work with the missing underthings. You see, since the weather was crummy, I was wearing pants (rather than my typical skirt), and I had also brought a built-in bra tank top to wear under another top that was going under a caridgan.

Crisis averted. My coworkers were none the wiser. What would you have done?

*Side note: Around noon I received a package, which I promptly threw under my desk to take home and open later. What was in this package? Bras and underwear. Is anyone else laughing as hysterically as I am right now?*

The day almost panned out to be a typical work day – but then I got an e-mail from WordPress requesting me to approve a Pingback on a post. This post in particular.

And who was posting about this post? RUNNER’S WORLD! The post is called “Boston Race Reports from the Blogosphere.”

CAN YOU EVEN STAND IT? I’m stoked – I feel like a cool kid being mentioned by Runner’s World Magazine. I’m still in shock, excited, running around like a hyped up monkey.

Me, mentioned by Runner’s World. ME! Little ol’ Running and Cupcakes me. A year ago, when I started this blog, I never imagined cool things like this would happen. Smile

This post is wicked all over the place, hyper, crazy. I think I’m on a duck sauce sugar buzz from the Chinese food I had for dinner (talk about a mega craving, glad I satisfied that…).

And my final hyperactive spastic thing for tonight:

Giveaway Week Banner

That’s right – Giveaway WEEK. Starting next Sunday, on my one-year blogiversary, I will be hosting epic giveaways, thanks to some super generous brands. Brands that will remain a secret until their designated giveaway day!

There may even be a super duper bonus giveaway straight from yours truly.

You do NOT want to miss this!

It’s going to be a fun week over here in Running and Cupcake land – just as I start to rebuild my mileage, I’m going to have to start tapering (wah!).  I get to hang out with Coachy, Jess, Jo, and their boys, plus RI Jess, and one of my best high school friends and her husband. I’m going to be off the wall next week.

Be prepared. (Am I the only one that sings that, a la Lion King style?)

Okay that’s enough nuttiness for one night. I hope everyone had a fantabulous Monday!


Upper Body Strength Workouts

2 Apr

I’ve had a few requests to share my upper body strength training routine, so for those who asked (and those who didn’t) here you go! *Disclaimer: This routine was created for me by my brother, he is not a personal train or professional of any sort.  Approach this routine at your own level of ability – the weights listed are what I currently use.*

I do each of these workouts once a week, with free weights. Perform 5 reps of each exercise and 5 total circuits within each set, without stopping. Rest for two minutes between each set.

For example (I needed this explained to me, if you know what I mean, skip this part):

Set One:

Flat Bench x 5

Arnold Press x 5

Hammer Curls x 5

Repeat all 3 exercises 4 more times in a row without stopping, so it’s like a mini weight lifting cardiovascular circuit.

Then rest for 2 minutes, and move on to Set 2.

All three sets, plus ab work, takes me about an hour.

Upper Body Day 1

Upper Body Day 2
Today will mark the 4th week of doing these exercises and I am seeing increased definition in my biceps, shoulders, and triceps, as well as an increase in core strength from doing the following exercises twice a week (plus yoga once a week). I do the first 2 exercises as a set, then the next exercises, then the planks as a set, then the next exercise, resting for 1 minute in between each set:

I’d love to hear from you if you try these exercises!

The leg work on day 2 was added in after my doc told me I needed to strengthen my legs, so I’ve only done those exercises once so far. I’ll let you know when I start feeling stronger in the legs!

Do you weight train? What’s your routine like?


Monday Love: Random Edition

26 Mar

Happy Monday everyone! I’m feeling sort of random – and slightly scatterbrained – so tonight’s Monday Love is coming to you in a slightly scatterbrained and random fashion.

1) Yesterday, I RAN! For the first time in 6 days. I did what I told you guys I was going to do and took 6 entire days off of running and here’s what I came up with:2 Mile Leg Test

I’ll take it! The leg feels good, and I’m feeling confident that I am on the road to recovery and able to get back into full training mode again very, very soon.

2) Lemon. Everything lemon. Lemon ginger tea. Lemon water. Lemon in my iced tea. Lemon Larabar. Lemon risotto with citrus grilled shrimp. I’m obsessed and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.

Raspberry Iced TeaLemon Lara Bar

3) “Oh, you fancy” Random Happy Hour with my mom and brother on a Saturday night. Complete with moldy cheese that I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t have eaten (duh, dairy) and I think it made my tongue numb (I’m allergic to mold – sometimes I am really not that bright). But it was so good.

Oh You Fancy

4) Learning how to properly foam roll. HURTS. SO. GOOD. I have LOTS of adhesions, probably way too many. I am going to continue this trend of rolling out these bad, bad things in my muscles and get myself stronger!

(Picture Source)

Calf Foam Rolling

This one hurt the most – Perhaps I need to lay off the heels?

5) Strength training. I’m going to have to take some pics of my muscles for you guys! I’m on Week 3 of a two-time per week upper body power circuit (Day 1 works shoulders, biceps, and chest; Day 2 works triceps and back) – and I can already see a difference in muscle tone. I’m also doing core work 3 times per week, and will start adding in leg work this week, thanks to Jess’s recommendation. I feel so much stronger already, I can’t wait to see how this new full body strength helps improve my running!

I hope everyone had a great Monday!

What do you love this Monday?


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