Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday

If you haven't noticed from some of my Twitter posts then let me just tell you I am sick! Yes, 8 days later, I am still sick. I have been hacking up my lungs. And if I don't get any better in the next two days then it might be time for me to go to the good ol' doc. I can safely say I have never gone to the doctor for a cold but then again I don't think I have ever had a cold this long.

I have been playing it safe and not doing much workout wise, which really sucks! But my heart rate feels a little fast every time I exert too much energy and they do say if the cold is below the neck it's better not to work out.

Since I have been at a loss for words over the last few days I leave you with some funnies I found with a simple Google search:

I have been crazing lots of soda...seems to soothe the throat! 
Do you workout when your sick? Where do you draw the line and say it's time to stay in bed?

Hope your hump day is better than mine!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Finally Friday!

Friday couldn't get here quick enough. It's been hard writing anything this week. The creative juices are clogged and shoved back into my brain by all the mucus that's flowing. Hope you got a nice mental picture.I have been sick the majority of this week. I thought I was pretty much over the cold yesterday and then it came back in full force last night, which made me realize that it was only the meds making me feel better. Either way, I haven't done much this week but I would like to share what I have done and some of my weekend plans.

1. Workouts have been almost non-existent this week. The week started out promising I did my #abchallenge workout and the HSN Self workout. Then I ran/walked 3.5 miles on Wednesday. And I forced myself to do the #abchallenge last night.

2. I have received some samples over the last week and I plan on having some reviews up about them soon. So lookout! :)

3. Tomorrow morning my friend's husband will be taking engagement photos of Andy and I. We weren't planning on doing this but he offered us a shoot in hopes that it will help him launch his new site. I am a little nervous. Hopefully, I won't look like shit tomorrow, that's been my theme for the week.

4. I am excited about going for a ride and recovery run on Sunday with some fabulous ladies. We plan to get our fit on and super chatty. Should be fun!

5. I continue to debate on whether I should start a Facebook page for the blog. I go back and forth. I would love to hear your thoughts on why you do or don't have a page for your blog. It just feels like one more thing to keep up with to me but I wonder if is more beneficial to the whopping 5 people who follow me.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Week at Beach Recap in Pictures

My wonderful week on the beach came to an end on Saturday evening. We had an amazing time. Honestly, because I had to commute back daily for work I didn't get to enjoy it as much. The good thing is my family did and that's all that matters. I was there mostly in the evenings.

Here is my artsy way of recaping the week:

Giant sand butterfly.

Me running in the sand. 

I am swimming laps somewhere in that water. 
Mini-me, left, and her future cousin dancing in the balcony. 

Andy taking a nap with his glasses. LOL
Andy, right, and his dad having WAY too much fun at the store.

I am obsessed with the sky, can you tell?!

Hope everyone has a great week! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Why I do/don't blog?

I might be a little late to actually getting around to reading this article. I saw loads of people posting about it earlier this week but I didn't get around to reading it until yesterday. Either way, the article got me thinking about why I blog. I don't think I have ever really shared my reasoning on here and since I started blogging in 2010 I have:

a -fallen off the band wagon a few times.
b - my reasons have changed.

When I first started the blog, I started it because I was training for the Chicago Marathon and had noticed lots of others blogs that I enjoyed reading like Caution: Redhead Running and Discom-BOB-ulated Running. It motivated me and the blog was supposed to hold me accountable. In fact, Red probably doesn't remember this but she was the one that encouraged me. I started it and thought, "Crap I don't have anything to write about." I also felt sort of narcissistic because I am not the center of attention kind of person. Needless to say, I sort of slacked my way through it and then after the race I fell off the bandwagon and really only posted only once in awhile.

Within the last few months, I have put way more effort and thought into the blog. And I think it's because I have found many benefits that I didn't necessarily realize at first. And not to say that I do things to get something in return but blogging has given me an emotional "oomph," if you will. In fact, when I started blogging I was going through a low point in my career. To some extent I still am, but blogging has given me back some of the flair I was starting to lose.

This is why the Forbes article, "Is Social Media Destroying your Self-Esteem?" resonated with me. Not necessarily because it is destroying my self-esteem but because social media has helped me in many ways.

In terms of Cuban Running Crisis, my little journal or space on the internet this is what you can expect of me:

I do blog because I want to and because I can.
I don't blog because I need self-assurance.

I do blog when time allows and when I have something to say.
I don't blog to get more readers or to cater to anyone.

I do love reading about REAL life people working on being active and healthy.
I don't like reading magazines or articles about celebrities who have gazillions of dollars that can be invested in training and airbrushing and yada yada yada.

I do blog because I enjoy networking. I am a MOM and sometimes that makes it difficult to get out and meet like minded people and blogging has helped. (It took me meeting some great friends and blogging for some time to realize this.)
I don't blog because I am trying to be someone I am not. I am NOT a trainer, Olympian or Greek goddess, of any sort. I am a mom who is trying to stay active and healthy and set a good example for my daughter; so, hopefully, she can grow up with a better mentality then the one I grew up with.

I do love reading blogs because it motivates me. If other mommy blogger out there can be a mom and still workout and stay fit, why can't I.
I don't think blogging has distracted me as this comment from the article by Megan Murphy states: I think these kinds of sites and trends are really about distracting women. Like we should be focusing on losing weight constantly – it gives us something to work towards, right? So instead of challenging those ideas and challenging the industries that make women feel constantly inadequate, we just keep right on working – exercising, dieting, shopping, whatever."

In the end, I am sure, many of you, just like me ended up rolling your eyes at the article. I am sure some women out there are in a bad state of mind and look at blogs, facebook, twitter and/or pinterest and get even more depressed because they want a life that is not theirs. And these people need professional help someone to tell them that they need to look around in their own life and smell the roses because EVERY single person has good and bad in their life. No ONE has a picture perfect life!

On a more humorous note, I would also encourage these people to check out some running blogs. I mean seriously, the *ish we put ourselves through is nothing worthy of envy. Running can be a pretty gross sport and we must really love it to endure some of the grossness.

Did you read the Forbes article? What were your thoughts?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Running in Pink

If you have been reading anything that I have been writing lately you know that I haven't been doing much running. At.all. Thanks to my shin/ankle and arm injuries my workouts have been all over the place. For the past couple of weeks I have been trying to get back on track. I have been averaging about 6-7 workouts including ab challenge, HSN Self workouts, running (short, short runs), swimming and very little cycling.
I am ready to get back on track. I have some plan in the works. But my overall goal for the next 6 months will be to feel strong. For the longest time, I have done nothing but focus on running. And although that will always be my lovely cardio go to. I feel it's time for me to focus on some of the other things necessary that make us good runners. Things I have been neglecting for way too long and I feel to some extent have been the reason why I haven't been a successful runner and instead always end up injured in some way. With that said, I don't plan to stop running, in fact, I plan to start from ground zero. 

Lately, I have been running lots of little one-milers here and there. Nothing consistent, according to my DailyMile I have been averaging some 3 to 5 miles a week. Not much at all. But I am OK with that since I don't have any major running plans. 

But the plan is to at least get back to running - consistently - with no walk breaks, and build up a base in case, I  do decide to do something later on, which will inevitable happen.  

So how do I plan to start from ground zero you ask? 

Well, I am going back to what worked for me four years ago when I got serious about running. I will be doing the Couch to 5K or C25K, as most call it now. Cool Running published this plan some time ago and it really has been the go to plan for newbies. I used it and it got me through my first 5K in 2008. What I like the most about it is the slow progression used to get you from run walk to just run 30 minutes straight.

When I first used the plan, I used to have to write it down on my hand and check my watch like a hawk to make sure I was on target from the run/walk breaks. Then a few savvy people came out with podcasts that provided their own music selections and info for the run/walk breaks. This is one of my favorites:Suz's Couch to 5K podcast. I love this one because she featured hip hop, some old school music, pop and yes, some Britney. This is the music I like running too. There are some other selections of podcasts for the C25K but they feature techno and that kind of music drives me insane.

And now, technology has really stepped in and offered some neat programs that provide you with the start/stops while allowing you to use your own music. 
Since I use my Android phone for every run, I have all sorts of running apps I have downloaded, i.e. MyTracks and Track2Miles. It should come of no surprise that the first place I searched for a C25K app was on the Android market. 

I found the Zen Labs Exercise for Pink apps. When I found these apps it not only included a C25K but it also had a 10K, HM and Marathon. The C25K app follows the Cool Running plan and the others have some variation and are longer. The C25K and 10K apps have a free and pro version ($1.99) and the HM and Marathon plans are $9.99 to download. 

Either way, since I am only interested in running 3-miles nonstop right now, I went straight for the C25K. I should also mention that I downloaded the 10K plan and almost decided to use that one except I sort of didn't like the plan. It takes you from couch to 10K in 14 weeks, which is fine, except it includes longer running spurts with a walk break in between. For example, in week 9 once you have completed 30 minutes without walking  (exact C25K) it starts out with 10 minutes running and 1 minute walking and you repeat this 4 times. And although this might work for some, I have tried this method before and it hasn't really helped me to get away from the walk breaks.
This is lil ol' me using the C25K app (Exercise for Pink) while running in pink shorts on the beach. How very appropriate of me. *Please disregard giant sweat spot on my lower back. Thanks!
Now down to the nitty gritty, after downloading the app last week, I finally got around to using it for my first run on Monday. So far, I love the app. It has a pretty and clean interface. It's easy to use. I didn't find anything complicated about it. In fact, everything is spelled out for you. You click the app to start and just follow the directions. It keeps track of what you need to do. Basically zero brain cells required. OK maybe a few because you do need to know how to start the app and stop it at the end. But you know what I mean. :)

Once you are done with that day's workout, the app checks it off so you know where to start from the next day. The program allows you to use your own music library on your phone. If you have a playlist on your phone it allows you to select your playlist too. Basically once you get started a soothing female voice prompts you once you need to start and stop running/walking. Once you are finished with your workout you can also share it with Twitter or Facebook. I must say I was also impressed that I was able to use the app while running MyTracks (my GPS tracker for my runs) in the background and using the music.

Other than the fact that the program is keeping me accountable, I admit that I chose this program out of several others purely because Zen Labs is partnered with  the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Other than ads there is probably no real difference between the programs. But it's nice to know that your $1.99 is going towards a good cause.  Zen Labs is donating five percent of all purchases, according to Exercise for Pink.

Here is a decent walk through of the app: 

I plan on running 4 days a week so I will repeat one of the days using this app.Once I finish the plan, I will follow up on my complete thoughts. So far, it gets a thumbs up.
Have any of you tried a C25K app? If so, which one did you use and what did you like about it?

**P.S. I chose to use this app all by my lonesome. No one paid me or asked me to use it. And I also decided on my own to provide my opinions to anyone who cares to read about it on this blog. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Paradise for the Week

So for the next week I will be living at the beach - paradise. I have been excited about it for months now. Every year Andy's family rents a condo for the week.
Although I have been looking forward to it I have also been a little bummed because I couldn't take the time off from work. :(
This is the first time I don't get the vacation I want approved, so I can't be too upset.
Either way, I plan on making the best of my limited time out here in paradise!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Ab Challenge is...

The beginning of July kicked-off the first "blogosphere" challenge I partake in. Amanda from Run to the Finish and Susan from Strong Like Susan are hosting the July Ab Challenge. Considering I have been feeling that I am a weakling lately, I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to gain some muscles.

Well, let me just say, four days into this challenge and it's already kicking my butt. The workouts usually feature 3 moves: two ab/core moves and then one move that will send your heart racing. Each exercise has four sets of 'x' amount of reps (usually high reps). I have been doing the workouts in circuit mode, which seems to be what ever one else is doing.  Sadly, I have been only making it through about 2 sets before toppling over and shouting "No more!"

14B3DFCF-orig, Uploaded with Snapbucket (Original)
My ab challenge log. Not looking pretty yet! 

This workout is hardcore, literally!! But I am not giving up. I am hoping by the end of the month to get more sets in and hopefully even complete a full on workout.

Uploaded with Snapbucket
Here is my attempt at doing an X-up. It was actually one of the only moves I could complete without much difficulty.  
I believe you can still sign up if you want to join in on the abuse challenge: sign up. If you are doing the challenge let me know your thoughts? I am interested to see how all you strong folks are doing.

Happy Thursday! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Chevy Fit 4 Life

A few weeks ago, through the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers, I received a most excellent opportunity to attend Chevy Fit4Life. Of course, I was all over it and have been slowly counting the days to July 1. Most of us attending have been super excited and couldn't wait until the day arrived.
Our agenda was packed with funness!
 I set out early to arrive sharp at 1 p.m. Although I left 40 minutes early, I was 10 minutes late. Major fail. Typical Cuban always matter what! In all fairness, I wasn't anticipating the Saturday Farmer's Market that takes place in Hyde Park Village. Traffic and parking was a little crazy.
When I arrived the ladies were out warming up. They ran around the Lifestyle Family Fitness building. I figured I was already pretty warmed up from hustling from the parking lot. So it all worked out. The boot camp instructor had a crazy workout in store for us. Initially, he set up four 1-minute stations. Then we had several different 30 second stations. The workout covered the entire body. And was challenging to say the least. I AM sore! Recently I have made some huge strides with my strength but I realized I still have a ways to go!
After the 45-minute workout, we cleaned up and loaded up in some extremely nice Chevy cars. We were off to FitLife Foods
Our ride for the day was a Chevy Sonic Turbo. The car had all the bells an whistles of a new car plus more. Rachel and Caroline were my driving partners.
It was my first time visiting FitLife Foods. I love that this experience allotted us the opportunity to learn in depth what this company is all about. The company is all about clean eating and providing delicious healthy meals. I am all about it and plan on making another visit in the near future!
My lunch was the Tampa Bay BBQ Beef, which included some yummy shredded beef and amazing mac 'n cheese. I had a brownie and a Verve for the first time.
Lunch was followed by Painting with a Twist. I must admit I am not very artsy. Are you shocked? I am considering my mom and brother both were blessed with the drawing/painting gene. Skipped over me. Needless to say, I figured my artwork would be hideous and be something that would end up in the back of my closet.
These ladies teaching the class made it happen. And I am a smart girl, I made sure to sit next to the artist Kat. My painting didn't turn out bad at all! In fact, I am in the process of deciding where to hang it up.

My pretty painting!

Two hours of painting flew by and before we knew it we were on our way back to the Lifestyle Family Fitness. From there some people left and others headed to yoga. I was going to head to yoga but decided against it considering I forgot my yoga mat. Another FAIL. But one that turned out in my favor. Chevy decided to let some of us take home cars...Eek! My car is 10 years old and has over 150,000 miles. Needless to say driving a brand new car, Chevy Volt to be exact, was quite the treat! Thanks GM Southeast!!
Fancy Chevy Volt 

Happy Monday! Hope everyone has a great week!