Bikini Series Check-in: Week 8

Eight weeks ago I started the Tone It Up Bikini Series – eight weeks of workouts leading up to the first day of summer.

No, I don’t have an awesome before and after to show off, I’m actually tempted to call the whole thing a fail because I didn’t complete every single workout. We’re doing a personality assessment/exploration at work and I see now that I’m disappointed because I’m a high-S (for steadiness) personality and I love to finish things and get very tied to my projects (all yep).

BUT, traveling coast to coast kinda got in the way and it was really freaking cool, so it’s okay. Also, I’m going to be nicer to myself and not call it a total fail because I did get pretty sweaty on occasion, there were mornings I got up nice and early to make sure I got the workouts in and I learned some new things:

New strength moves – Tone It Up deals mostly with light or body-resistance strength training, but they are decent workouts. I don’t need to be so sore and unable to move for three days after for it to be a good workout.

I can push myself through interval training and it’s probably pretty good for me.

The biggest takeaway was: any workout is better than no workout. There were some days when the schedule called for a 20 minute booty call and then spending the evening visualizing your goals, I was like, “for serious?” But, it helped me see that consistency is key and the truth is the woman who follows the TIU plan religiously is probably going to be better off than me when I’m running for an hour two days a week plus taking a vigorous cardio class on the weekend. And I also found out I have it in me to suck it up when I don’t feel like working out after work because, hey, it’s only 40 minutes.

So, Karena and Katrina have a first week of summer schedule up now and are going to keep up the weekly workouts. While that’s not my whole plan, I’m a Tone It Up convert and I think I’ll love having the resource for those days when I don’t want to be my own trainer.

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Splash Mob 5K

Sign up for a race in July, she said. It will be fun, she said.

And it sure as heck was.

Splash2

Pre-race…still smiling, still dry!
(Rachel, the toucan to my left, was the one with the brilliant idea – to run and to run with floaties!)

When my alarm went off at 6am for the 7am Splash Mob 5K, I was not a fan. I had stayed up until 3:30 the night before – just drinking water, so at least I was hydrated – and that’s my own stupid mistake. When I was running in humid 90 degree weather, I was not a fan. When I finished (35:45, note to self: you can stay up until 3:30 OR run a 5K in the morning – there is no BOTH option) and was still actively sweating for the next 20 minutes, I was not a fan.

Splash1

The post-race sweat that never ends.

The only way to survive a summer race in Arizona is lots of water. Honestly, there could have been a little bit more…more splashing (at splash stations along the course, kids with supersoakers and water balloons attempted to cool off the runners) and more water stations [insert organizer’s excuse about the water delivery truck here] AND they ran out of bottles for the end by the time the last in our group finished.

Ready to jump into that Waikiki Beach wave pool!

Ready to jump right into that Waikiki Beach wave pool!

But, after the race, the water park that played host to the event, Big Surf, opened its wave pool. Those floaties actually came in handy as we waded in – our running clothes already drenched with sweat, so who really cared? – and set up shop.

My friend looked at me and said, “Megan, you look like you’re actually on vacation.” “Um, I AM for the next half hour.”

And then…”Hey, guys? We’re the only people left in here without kids.” My 30-minute, young-at-heart vacation in the wave pool totally made up for all the not-a-fan things about the race and it made my overall impression of the race a favorable one! I keep my race calendar busy throughout the year and 5Ks in particular can get a little monotonous, so I love races that offer something unique!

Other pros: I really liked the course. It can be tricky to create a course when the location was picked based on a landmark, but it was half-loop and half-out-and-back and included a golf course and a (man-made) lake. Also, I knew it was going to be a tough race, so having it on my calendar was great motivation to stay on track through these torture months.

I actually got in a bonus outside run last weekend when the humidity finally gave us some good rain on Sunday and it cooled to 80ish in the middle of the afternoon! You have to be ready to roll on rare days like that!

Berry Winter

Not so much in Phoenix, but it still gives me hope! Do you prefer running outside in hot or cold weather?

I’m kind of a wuss on both ends…my ideal range is probably 60-75! Do you live somewhere where that’s the year round temperature? Need a new best friend?!

My Summer Workouts

So, I didn’t quit the gym. Well, I did, then I actually started going so I unquit. Funny how it was going to take them two months to process my cancellation, but I could walk in a few days before the deadline and undo it with no lapse in my membership! It’s super close to work and I’ve fit in a few lunchtime workouts or just hit it on the way home. Plus I’m just too in love with their yoga studio. So, all is right in the world again (perhaps not quite in my bank account, but that’s okay)!

I’ve been running a decent amount lately, mostly treadmill. At the gym. At lunch. Watching the original Beverly Hills 90210. That might have influenced my decision to unquit.

But, I’ve also done some nighttime runs. Usually I lose my motivation by the end of the day, but I’m not getting up early enough to do morning and waiting until the sun goes down is a must. It’s still warm, but I kind of like them, even though they don’t seem to like me back.

Javelina-Hunting

On one night run my house key flew off my shoe (I loop it on my shoelace). A lovely couple stopped their car and helped me find it thankfully (because Rigo hasn’t learned to unlock the door yet). Then a quarter-mile from home, I saw a momma javelina and some of her babies. I FTFO! She saw me but didn’t really care, but in my mind she was coming after me!

Last Friday I went out for four or five miles at about 8pm and ended up looping out too far and finishing seven miles before I got home! My body wasn’t quite ready for that and it was hot!

If there’s anything I’ve learned from living in Phoenix for give or take 20 summers, it’s “get the hell out as often as possible,” so when a friend asked if I wanted to go to Tahoe for a wedding/her pre-birthday weekend even though the plans started months ago when it was still lovely in Phoenix, it was a no-brainer. It was chilly, but fantastic. I even got a brief teaser of a winter run because I could NOT pass up the opportunity for five cool and hilly miles there! I’ve booked two more water trips for the next two months and have two more in the works, thank God!

I marked on my calendar to make some decisions about my fall race calendar today. Why? I don’t really know, but now race brain has taken over. My mind is mostly imploding over the fact that the Fiesta Bowl half was pushed back two weeks and is now the same day as the IronGirl 10-miler. I like the half course and it would be my second half in the fall/winter and one of my 30 before 30 goals is a sub-2:00 half and the more opportunities I get, the better, right? But the hills at the Fountain HILLS (duh) IronGirl last year kicked my ass and I kind of want to go back this year and kick its ass.

Would you pick an enjoyable race or a challenging one? I think based on that I know what I should pick, but I’m leaning toward Fiesta.

Happy Summer!

Summer temps hit early here in Phoenix, and now especially after spending the last few weekends lounging by water with friends – in Palm Springs for a bachelorette party, at El Santo and Talking Stick Resort and at Lake Pleasant – it officially feels like summer.

The Fun | Vacations, happy hours and more pool days are in the works. Plans for my 29th birthday in August and a 30 before 30 list are also getting underway! Oh and my awesome new boyfriend = summer lovin’ FTW!

The Entertainment | Summer reads are stacking up in my bookcase. SYTYCD is back, Big Brother starts in another month and I’ve already seen some big summer movies and whispered, “I wanna see that” at just about every preview for more.

The Gear | My sundresses and shorts are in regular rotation. I recently got some summery white jeans (and they’re skinny!) and a cute new tumbler for my 24/7 ice water needs.

It’s absolutely going to be a happy summer!

Oh yeah…and the Workouts? | I’m doing pretty well with my “what you can, when you can” plan. Swimming, running (early morning!), yoga, cross-training…a sweatastic summer indeed!

 

The Obligatory Heat Bitchfest

True story – the temps in Phoenix have been above 90 degrees every hour since Monday at 7am. It’s Friday. The extreme heat warning has been extended until Sunday.

I really try to bite my tongue all summer because I know how annoying it is come January when bloggers and Twitterers and Facebookers in the Midwest or Northeast complain that, OMG, it’s COLD.

And I get it, I know. I live in the middle of the MF desert because someone decided it would be a great place to randomly build a city and my parents randomly decided to move here from one of those godforsaken Midwest states many, many years ago and I was smart enough to get out, but then for some reason decided to move back and I shouldn’t really complain that OMG, it’s HOT.

BUT, it is just that part of the summer when it’s totally unrelenting and I’ve been complaining a teensy bit.

It’s been going on so long and the end is almost, but not really in sight. And by sight I mean a really tiny dot on the horizon. (My sister’s outside wedding last year on October 15th was the last 100 degree day of the year, so mid-October is about where I hold the end in my mind.)

Hey, wouldn’t you know? Complaining didn’t actually make me feel better. Another reason to STFU. Instead I shall road trip. Plane trip? Get the heck out trip?

Happy Independence Day!

Independence #1: I love patriotic holidays. The red, the white, the blue. When I was little, we spent some time every summer in the itty bitty town my mom grew up in – Canal Fulton, Ohio, anyone? – and that was just the ultimate for me…family, small town, fireworks, summertime food, humidity, fireflies…it was so cliché, my little 10-year-old self just wanted to burst.

Independence #2: No office work today! My office closed at 1pm yesterday and until 7ish tomorrow morning, I’m off the clock! I’ve been kind of bummed the holiday fell right in the middle of the week, which sidelined any kind of real plans, like the awesome staycation I had last year, but I’m not one to complain about a day off!

Independence #3: I’ve been sidelined from working out for a while, but today I’m able to get back to some activity…I’ll take it! I’ve been going nuts! I celebrated with a morning hike because our mid-week holiday was blessed with decent weather for Arizona in July, a cool 90-some degrees and overcast.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!