Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! I had a great time with family, friends and lots of good food. And not to mention, I worked out 3 out of the 4 vacation days, so I didn't feel so guilty for the extra helpings I had!

I've told a couple of you that I was going to post about the Insanity workout program, and now is as good a time as any, right? I got married just a few short months ago. After the engagement and the wedding date was set and the dress was picked out, the thing on any bride-to-be's mind is looking the best she can in that dress! From the time we set a date until the day of the wedding was about 9 months.

For the first couple months, my main workout regimen was running. It's what I was comfortable with and what I loved to do. The gym I belonged to had workout classes, but not many to choose from, and the times didn't work well with my schedule. So I would run and then lift some weights on my own. I didn't really lose much weight since I had already been running before that. My body was used to me running on a regular basis and I knew that I needed to confuse my body in order to really make some progress.

I had heard people talk about this Insanity workout, but I hadn't really looked into it. And then I was in Trinidad on a work trip and was getting ready one morning when this infomercial came on. It was for the Insanity program and it really intrigued me. Obviously, those infomercials are meant to suck you in and make you want to purchase right then. Well, it worked, because when I got back to the States, I ordered it! It was great timing because I had a month to try it before I was going to Hawaii for a girls trip. I didn't follow the program exactly, but I did lose a few pounds and I really enjoyed doing it!

We went to Hawaii and had a great time, but I didn't really get back into Insanity right when I returned. I would do it a couple days a week along with my running. And honestly, I wasn't eating great either. When it got to be a little over 2 months from the wedding, I knew I needed to kick it in high gear. In the first 6.5 months before the wedding, I had lost about 10 pounds. There were weeks I would lose a few pounds, other weeks I would maintain, and other weeks I would gain a couple. But it came down to about 10 pounds in that 6.5 months.

The Insanity program is a 60 day program and there are 10 DVD's that come with it. The 1st 5 DVD's are rotated during the first month and the 2nd 5 are rotated during the 2nd month. The program is set so that you work out 6 days a week. Now, I was really skeptical because I absolutely LOATHE home workout videos! I can't stand them because I get too bored. If I have to put in the same DVD over and over again, I won't do it. It gets too predictable for me. But I love how Insanity is set up. The 1st 5 DVD's are rotated throughout the 1st month, but you don't do Video 1 on each Monday and Video 2 on each Tuesday. It's kind of random and it never got boring. And by the time I was learning what came next on the videos, it was time for month 2 and a whole new set of DVD's.

Since the program is 6 days a week, I decided I would go way outside my comfort zone and not run at all. I would totally focus on Insanity, follow the workout plan and take advantage of that 1 day of rest each week (and I needed it for sure)! I won't lie, a couple times throughout the 2 months, I went on some short runs, just to get the feel of my feet hitting the pavement again - I missed it too much! The other thing I told myself is that I would eat healthier, which for me meant portion control and making good decisions.

After following the Insanity program for the whole 2 months and eating healthy along with it, I had lost 14.5 pounds (on top of the 10 I had already lost in the first 6.5 months). I also lost 10 inches all over my body and I felt great and had so much energy! And looking at the pictures from my wedding, I know that I won't look back and say, "I wish I would have worked out before the wedding to lose 10 more pounds." I know that I was insane and worked out like crazy and it paid off!

They don't call it Insanity for nothing. It is NOT easy. Some of the exercises are so hard that I'm glad no one was peeping in my window watching me do it or they would have gotten a good laugh! I had to modify some exercises because of my knees, and some of the time I couldn't keep up with the people on the videos. But, even the people on the video couldn't last the whole time, so that made me feel better! The first month's workouts were around 40 minutes long. The 2nd month's workouts were around an hour long, so you worked up to that. One thing that I loved to do was pop the workout DVD into my computer, turn the sound down (after I had done them enough times I didn't need to hear the talking), and I would watch my DVR'd shows on TV. It made the workouts go by faster when I was watching TV at the same time.

So, did I stop Insanity because I'm training for a half marathon? No. To be completely honest, if you want to get the major results, follow it closely and do it 6 days a week and you'll get those results. But, it's not the only way you can do the program. With my training, I am running 4 days a week, so I am using Insanity on my cross training days. It's great to get a whole body workout on those off-running days!

I am not getting anything from the Insanity "people" for this blog post, I'm not endorsing the product in any way, this is just my own opinion of the workouts and how much I loved them! If you would ask me if you should do Insanity, I would say YES! It doesn't matter how in shape or out of shape you are. You can go at your own pace and push yourself to where you feel comfortable. It'll give you the best all over body cardio workout you've ever had! Or at least it does me! Sorry this post is a little long and drawn out, but felt I needed to give the back story and my pre-wedding journey with Insanity! If you have any other questions about it, let me know!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How did I become a runner?

So, I am a runner. I've been able to call myself a runner for the last 3 years, but before that, I would have never said that about myself! I've been an athlete my whole life, but running was never my sport of choice. Basketball, Golf, Cheerleading, Gymnastics, Dance, Track, Volleyball...I did all of those at some point, simultaneously at times, all the way through high school. I was busy to say the least, and I loved every minute of it! Well, almost every minute.

The part I didn't totally enjoy was the long distance training during track season. I'm not a sprinter, I've never been a sprinter, I just wasn't born to be fast, so I was put with the long distance people. Not that I was good at long distance by any means, I was just better at that than short distance. And looking back, training for the half mile or the mile isn't the long distance training I'm used to now, but at the time, it seemed really long! And good thing I'm out to finish the race and not win the race these days, because those girls sprinted that whole half mile in high school! And by the time I got finished with it, I was about to pass out!

I enjoyed field events in track and I enjoyed the experience of being on the track team, but I wasn't a fan of running. Bottom line, I just wasn't good at it! Put a basketball in my hands and I'm where I wanted to be, but lacing up the running shoes wasn't my cup of tea. But I didn't complain and I did what the coach told me to, and I earned as many points for the team as I could. So, high school ended and I was done with organized, competitive sports. I still did the occasional basketball or volleyball intramurals in college, but after all those years of busy activities, it was nice to slow down a little. I've always loved to work out, but it usually consisted of doing a short jog on the treadmill, riding the bike, doing the stairmaster, lifting weights, etc.

Back in 2006, I did agree to join a couple of my friends and train to walk a half marathon in Dallas. That was one long walk! And we weren't messing around - we were walking about 13 minutes per mile! I was extremely sore afterwards, but felt great that we had completed it. That was my first official half marathon. It never popped up once in my mind that I would ever run that same mileage!

Fast forward a couple years to 2008. When I was living in the Dallas area, a friend at work said that I should do a 5K with her. I thought she'd lost her mind. Running 3.1 miles was just for crazy people, right? Well, call me crazy because I did my first 5K in McKinney, TX around Easter in 2008 and I still have the Easter bunny t-shirt to prove it! Crossing the finish line in that race and knowing I had accomplished that, made me want to do it again!

When that same friend told me that she was going to do a marathon, I said, "Good for you! That is awesome, and you'll do great!" She said, "Well, you should do it with me!" I told her that I would never be able to run a half or full marathon, but thanks for asking! Well, I couldn't quit thinking about it and wondered if maybe, just maybe, I might be able to do it? After all, I had walked the distance once. So I thought about it and I convinced myself and one of my friends back in KS to also do it. We signed up for the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco (both of my friends were doing the full, but I was sticking to the half). I completed that half marathon, and it was an awesome experience!

I'm not a good runner, I'm not a fast runner, I didn't run every step of the half marathon, but I did finish my first running half marathon, and a year later, I even finished my first full marathon - 26.2 miles in Chicago! I can't even describe the emotions I felt crossing the finish line.

I was thinking about what got me to the point of becoming a runner and enjoying it, and I decided to list all the things I love about running, so here they are:

I love how running makes me feel.
I love the stress that goes away after a run.
I love the feeling of accomplishment when I finish.
I love the camaraderie of the running community.
I love running in a race with all the other crazy people!
I love the medals, prizes & t-shirts you get after a race.
I love the solitary runs where it's just me and my thoughts.
I love knowing I just finished one more mile.
I love sore muscles knowing I worked so hard for them.
I love the challenge of running because I'm not a natural at it.
I love that I choose to run.

And I hope that running is something I can continue to do for many years to come because honestly, I don't know what I'd do without it!

And I got another 3 points tonight for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge since I ran 3 miles! I'm planning on another 3 in the morning, I just hope it isn't too cold!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Harry Potter!!!

So, I took some time out for myself this afternoon to go see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. I went and saw the 3rd movie in the theater with one of my friends many years ago. I went to that movie without reading any of the books. I thought the movie was really good, so that is when I decided to start reading the books. So once I got caught up on the books and the first 2 movies, I've been slightly addicted ever since! My husband does like the Harry Potter movies but he was working and I just couldn't wait for him to see it with me. I told him that when the 3-D version comes out, we'll go see that together, because I'll have to see it more than once in the theater!

I thought the movie was great and although it wasn't my favorite movie in the series, I give it 2 very big thumbs up! It is the darkest movie yet, and rightfully so since it is nearing the end of the series and the battle between Harry and Voldemort is taking place. While sitting at home, I prefer to watch the earlier movies as they are happier and more innocent. But, this movie's special effects were outstanding and I'm sure it will be even better in 3-D! I can't wait until July 2011 when Part 2 comes out. But I will also be very sad as that will be the last movie in the series. So, basically, go see the movie if you are a Harry Potter fan!

The Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge started yesterday. I got 3 points yesterday (1 for each mile I ran) and then I also got 3 points today (1 for each 15 minutes of cardio I did). I just started a training program for a half marathon, so I'll post about that some other time. Today was a non-running day, so I decided to cross train by doing an Insanity workout. If you've never heard of Insanity, check it out! I'll definitely post about Insanity some other time also. But right now, I have to fold some laundry. Not my favorite thing to do, but it has to get done whether I like it or not!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Some help to stay motivated over the Holidays!

I saw this on one of my friend's blogs a couple weeks ago. Amanda at RunToTheFinish has a contest going from Nov 20th-Jan 7th. It is an excellent way to stay motivated and possibly win some really great prizes. So head on over there and check it out!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Did I really create my own blog?

I have my own blog…..I never thought those 5 words would ever come out of my mouth. But, they did, and I do. So, here goes nothing. I had never thought of starting my own blog. I love to read other people’s blogs and hear what exciting things are going on in their lives. But my life isn’t exciting, right? Why would anyone want to read a blog that I wrote? Maybe no one will, and that’s fine with me. It will be like a diary for me – something I can look back on later. An actual diary or journal takes too much time to write everything down! And honestly, after addressing all the wedding invitations and writing all the thank you notes, my hand will thank me for deciding to type my words instead of writing them!

So what can you expect to read about on my blog? You won’t read about my human children because I don’t have any. But I do have a wonderful husband and we have 2 adorable and perfect doggy kids that I can tell you about. And I very rarely do crafty things or cook, so you won’t be getting any fun DIY ideas or wonderfully edible recipes from me. But I could pass on ideas I learn from others (giving them due credit, of course)! I love to work out, be healthy, and I am a runner, so I could tell you about my obsession and addiction to exercise and how I stay motivated. So I guess there are things I can write about on my blog and I am sure the topics and what I choose to write about will evolve over time. Whether anyone reads what I write or not is still left to be seen.

Like I said before, starting my own blog isn’t something I thought about much, it’s something that just kind of popped in my head a week or so ago. I tried to put the thought out of my mind, but I kept thinking about it, so I thought I would try it. So, blog post one is done and we’ll see what comes next!