the first month.

One month ago today, I crossed the finish line of the Cape Cod Marathon. I took my first {and not-so-pretty} run 12 days after the race. Since then, I have run a total of six times {for a whopping 17.8 miles}. My knee still doesn't feel 100%, but it is getting there. The reality? I am thankful to be able to run at all...even if I'm not running the volume of miles I'd like.

On the upside, I ran the 8K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving--and actually felt good. I eked out a 38:30 {7:42/mile} with my daddy-o by my side. It reminded me I still have "it", even if I don't feel like I'm in my groove just yet. I may not be the biggest speed demon out there, but I will take sub-8s any day. I am beyond grateful for each and every step I take because I know not everyone has that luxury.


Waking up to snow this morning reminded me that spring is a few very long months away. As a major klutz, winter running is not my friend. {I slip on the pavement on dry, summer days, so imagine me in the wet, cold winter days.} After a two treadmill-induced stress fractures, I will be spending this winter finding work-out alternatives to running. This is where you come in...

I would positively love your input on work-outs I can do on my own in the gym. I don't love group exercise environments, but I'm open to trying something new. I would love to channel my awkward self in a barre class, but the cost seems prohibitive. The same restriction applies to CrossFit. I pay for a monthly gym membership, so I would like to maximize those dollars I'm already spending if possible.

In case you didn't know it, you are the best readers around--thank you for all your work-out wisdom :)
My questions are endless, but here are a few: Where do you find great gym work-outs? How do you keep up with winter running? How do you conquer repetitious work-outs? And one last one...

22 comments:

  1. I love running in the winter!! When I'm extra cold I just think about how I'll warm up once I get going. I also like to just think about taking advantage of the cold now because I hate running in the heat!!

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  2. I actually like running in the winter but am wary since I slipped on black ice and hit my head. You can imagine the outcome of that! So I only run when the streets have been plowed. In the winter, I love to have my sister by my side running with me. Having a buddy definitely keeps me motivated in the cold! When I don't do that I do those Jillian Michaels DVDs, but just repeat the workout at the gym. It helps me feel strong all winter long, and I feel like just 40 minutes of it goes a long way!

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  3. i'm with you with clumsy winter running - wipeouts galore! i would recommend coming up with about 10 circuits (rowing machine, stationary bike, abs/push-ups, walking lunges, jumprope, etc) and putting them on flashcards. to keep things mixed up, you can pick 6 (or whatever number you like) and do three 2 minute sets of each one.

    personally, i am a recent bikram yoga convert and my knees have never been more grateful!

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  4. I started running in the midst of a disgusting English winter, so I guess I'm lucky in that I've accepted that as the norm even though I'm back in DC now. You do have to be really careful, but I like how that forces you to be more aware of your surroundings and more present in what you're doing. I can't run inside - I get SO bored on a treadmill or track - so my only helpful hint is to maximize the time you ARE able to spend outside!

    (ps I did a running thing yesterday if you have time to look! http://betsytransatlantically.blogspot.com/2012/11/running-vlog.html)

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  5. I'm not a fan of group exercise, but I do like spinning classes - it's a good way to keep your cardio fitness up without killing your knees, and if you find a good group with good jams, it's a lot of fun. I'm also a big fan of hitting the pool.

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  6. I have used a personal training place off and on. Instead of doing the expensive personal trainer route, I recently started doing these circuit classes that are super cheap--you go through all the equipment at the personal training facility on a circuit with a small group of people. Maybe there's something near you like that. Also, swimming is a great work out. You can probably find a local pool a few times a month to use for $5. Swimming, like running, is super hard at first and may take years to get good at, but I think you have the drive and the years. I tried a pilates barre class recently and it was actually fun and not too intimidating.

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  7. I loved my trainer -- and was in great shape with someone pushing me to try something new, but I really do love barre! I gave up going to the "regular" gym and have been pushing myself weekly with these new challenges. Agree w/ Kate too ... swimming is great, and will take any stress off your knee!

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  8. My favorite non-running workout is Pure Barre. Shit is legit. I don't think it's as up-tight as other barre classes. I mean they kick your boo-tay, but you stretch every single muscle. You feel long and lean post-workout.

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  9. I LOVE Zumba. You can usually find classes at your local gym or dance studies in your area. It is so much fun, high-energy, and there is never a dull moment! Best of all, you don't really need any natural inclinations to do this -- it's just fun, but a good work-out! Good luck!

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  10. Word to Alex. I love Pure Barre too and cannot wait til it comes to Cleveland... I did it religiously in Philly and miss it so much. I need to get in super shape for my wedding. I like running, but it takes so much more motivation than classes.
    -Becky
    The Pumpkin Spot Blog

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  11. Cycling is a great way to stay in shape and keep your cardio up. For muscle strength, like other girls said, any form of barre burn is a great core, leg and arms/shoulder workout. Good luck!

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  12. I LOVE crossfit but I understand it being too expensive. But guess what? You can absolutely do it at home and especially at the gym. You just have to be the motivator to push yourself. and what is great is you never get bored.

    Check out my pinterest page for at home workouts: http://pinterest.com/chapstickfan/health-fitness/

    I could even email you with the workouts I am doing at my CrossFit gym. And definitely email me if you have questions etc!

    http://lchapstickfanatique.blogspot.com

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  13. Ok AV, first off, 8k in less than 40 min means you run very well. That's running at less than 5min per km, I don't think there's anything to feel sad about! While in the island, I was doing P90X on the days I wasn't running and I have to say, the workouts are really good. There are a ton, but I just did the cardio and the interval one, they are great! And I think you can find them on youtube ;)

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  14. I've never been graceful, but I loved my Zumba class before it was cancelled. The trick is finding an instructor who is a good mix of fitness and dance. I also loved boot camp too, but am now just running on a treadmill!

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  15. I have been the lamest about working out for the past 6 months, but I'm feeling really proud of myself because so far I've worked out every day this week? The thing that motivated me? A new running shirt that I bought at Target. I'm not kidding. So when in doubt... go buy something? ;)

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  16. I can't wait to read through these comments for inspiration! I've been terrible at exercising for the past year but I'm getting back to running starting on Friday (after my sister heads back to VA from her visit here!). I am lucky that Georgia temps are warmer right now than they are up north (it's supposed to be in the 70's this weekend) because that will be good for keeping me active + outside. That being said, I'm a huge winter girl at heart so I'm sad to be missing the snow in New England right now. I suppose I'll just have to look on the bright side + be thankful for this warm weather :) xoxo, eliza

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  17. I'm right there with you - I hate running in the cold. I'm happy you called for comments on this, can't wait to read through them. I always fall out of shape during the winter because Chicago just gets SO. COLD. Gym time, here I come...(hopefully).
    Isn’t That Charming.

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  18. i def do not need running motivation this winter after having a baby! i have a gym membership so i'm excited to get back to running, i did a run last weekend and it felt so good after a few months of not going! i always put the treadmill on a small incline so its better for your knees. also - the elliptical. it is sad though everything is way more boring that running!

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  19. Winter running in Florida is running season. My marathon is January 13!! Great gym workouts can be found at Healthy living blogger's peanut butter fingers, the fitnessista, and carrots n cake. Also check out the fitness girls "tone it up" site. They publish printable gym workouts all the time along with videos on YouTube. They're fantastic. Also look for tabata on Ointerest and a lot will come up. Hmm. I'm sure I know more. If I think of them ill let you know. And of course at home DVDs are great if you do them. Jillian michaels has a bunch and I'm starting turbo fire tonight. I'm on my iPad so sorry for all the typos. I just wanted to leave the comment!

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    1. Oh. And I'm super jealous of your turkey trot time. You better not say you're not speedy. You definitely are!

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  20. I just love hot yoga! While it might not burn as many calories as a cardio workout, I am always sore the next day.

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  21. I download new TV shows to watch on the tredclimber (a mix between a stair climber, elliptical, and tredmill!)

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Many thanks for visiting {long distance loving}! I'd love to hear what you think :) xoxo {av}