Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

This post is about 6 weeks overdue, but I think it’s worth it…12 in 12

As the calendar flipped over to 2012, I was resolved not to resolve; no resolutions for me! I haven’t had a successful New Year’s resolution since I was about 8 years old and resolved to stop biting my nails. But then I came across a brilliant idea from Fitarella: 12 in 12. Basically, take on just one goal (or resolution, if you prefer that term) each month for the year, 12 goals in 2012. Focusing on something each day for a month is likely to make it a habit, yet you’re making your goals much more manageable by taking on just one thing at a time. At the end of each month, you can choose to continue that goal while you move on to your next monthly goal, or not. Your choice. Either way, at the end of the year you’ll have completed 12 resolutions…when was the last time you can say you did that?

I haven’t planned out my entire year’s worth of goals yet, but I did complete January (floss every day) and have begun February (clean/organize for at least 15 minutes a day). I plan to also have months where I journal every day, go completely vegan, workout every day, etc. I love the variety, the possibility, the feasability. I think ahead to my month and choose a goal that I know I can achieve, regardless of my travel schedule, holidays, etc.

How are your goals for the year coming along? Would you be more likely to succeed if you break it down into smaller segments (monthly, weekly, quarterly)?


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The Metropolitan Building

Do you have what it takes to climb 42 flights of stairs as fast as you can? The American Lung Association’s, 2010 Fight for Air Climb · Master the Met, will be happening in downtown St. Louis next Saturday, March 6, 2010. People of all ages will have the opportunity to challenge their legs and lungs as they make their way to the top of the Metropolitan Square Building. All funds raised go directly to the American Lung Association to help fight for cleaner air and prevent lung disease. Check out the event website here to see pictures from last year’s event and take a sneak peek at the training plan developed specifically for this event.

Do you think you could make it to the top? This year’s climb is full, but it’s never too early to get fit and start training for next year!


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Your confidence level should be high right now. Really high.

My spin instructor this morning was giving us a way to gauge our ride, about 2/3 of the way through.’ Hmmm,’ I thought, ‘My confidence level is really high. Okay, bring it!’ Amazing how his words made me realize I actually did feel pretty good and was ready to amp up the intensity.

If you’re going to hang out at this level, that’s a perfectly sane and reasonable choice. Or, if you’re feeling strong, go for it and really take it all the way.

His euphemistic way of daring me to give a little more and not be a baby worked; I increased my resistance, sped up my cadence, and mopped the sweat off my brow.

This is when it starts burning.

Oh, okay. I’m supposed to be feeling that. In that case…

You can hang out here if you’re taking it easy today. But if you’re ready to go for it, take it all the way and just getcha some!

After class I wiped off my bike, layered my coat and sweats on over my bike shorts, and trudged through the dark snowy parking lot to my car, but all day long all I can think is “Getcha some!” Like I have the power to take on the day and get whatever I want from it. And don’t I?

– albledsoe

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Burn, baby, burn!

Here’s my new favorite gym workout. It’s a great way to get an intense burn when you’re pressed for time, and I always feel it the next day!

  • 10 minutes on a StairMaster (not a stepper, the machine with the actual revolving stairs). If you don’t have access to a stairmill of some sort, walk on a treadmill fast at a high incline…I’d say level 10. Go hard, it’s only 10 minutes!
  • Weight circuit including: chest press, upright row, shoulder press, tricep press, alternating bicep curls, hip hinge, and wall squats using a stability ball. Try 20 reps of each exercise, using a weight that is uncomfortable but not too too heavy.
  • 10 more minutes on the stairmill. You should really start sweating right about now.
  • Repeat weight circuit with at least the same number of reps as the first set…add 5 more if you’re feeling frisky.
  • Finish up with 10 minutes on the stairmill (no slacking!).
  • If you still have time, do some sort of ab work; I usually do center and side planks.

– albledsoe

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Run Report: San Francisco

An impromtu business trip to San Francisco last weekend luckily turned into the beginning of vacation week for Adam and me. We trekked all over and around the city, but before we returned home Monday, I had a few sites left to check out. And I still had to get my long run in, so I took off as soon as the sun started coming up for a 6.25-mile run around San Francisco. Sara recently reported on a fun iPhone app for running routes, but I don’t have an iPhone, so I relied on my trusty MapMyRun.com, some RunnersWorld.com suggestions, and tweaked it with some advice from an entry on IGoUgo.com. The result was an excellent (hilly) run that incorporate some of San Francisco’s greatest sites as well as a gorgeous view of the sunrise from Telegraph Hill, outside Coit Tower.

Getting to Telegraph Hill was simple, but not easy. The hill is steep and my legs and feet were already sore from our weekend of walking the city. But I made it to the top and let myself take a break to snap a few pics on my phone. I comforted myself by remembering that Louisville was under a blanket of snow, but I was in California running in cropped tights and a light jacket. It was my first glove-less run in ages!

sunrise from telegraph hill

Sunrise at Telegraph Hill, San Francisco

Coming down from Telegraph Hill, I took a detour on Filbert and fond myself among gorgeous wooden-plank steps leading down a steep cliff that was very Secret Garden-esque. It was weird to be in people’s yards, and felt very out of place in the middle of the city. Everyone talks about Lombard Street, but this pedestrian section of Filbert was more enchanting in my mind.

I reached the bottom and crossed the street to the Levi Strauss campus (Levi Plaza), which looks like a pretty fun place to work. Then I headed back to The Embarcadero, past the Ferry Building and under the Bay Bridge, and around AT&T Park.

On the way back to the hotel, I passed Yerba Buena Gardens (the auditorium there is where Steve Jobs had announced the release of the iPad just a few days earlier). One of my favorite things about San Francisco is the presence of green spaces all throughout the city. They may be tiny, but they’re everywhere, and it makes the city seem homier, livelier, and fresher.

filbert street steps

Filbert Street Steps

All the hilliness was at the beginning of my run, so I felt pretty good as I made my way back to our hotel and consider the run a success…not always the case when you’re traveling in an unfamilar city.

– albledsoe

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I’m really getting excited about the upcoming winter games. Only nine more days! I caught part of 60 Minutes last Sunday that featured, Shaun White, aka “The Flying Tomato.” I can’t believe the stunts that guy can pull off, a-mazing!

I’m in awe of all the athletes who will be competing in Vancouver this year. You can see their passion and intensity come through every time they compete. They eat, sleep and breathe the sport. Can you imagine going through the years of training and preparation for this huge event that the entire world watches?  I’m sure these athletes have mastered the art of mental toughness. Take a look at this clip to grab a glimpse of how they train for the big game.


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Girls on Wheels

The teams rounding the corner of the track.

Have you ever been to a roller derby? I attended my first bout last weekend, and it was awesome. Roller derby is a full contact sport on wheels. It showcases the skills, spunk and attitude of each participant. St. Louis is home to the Arch Rival Roller Girls, (ARRG) and they kicked off their first bout (game) of the season last Saturday.

I am in awe of these women; they are incredible athletes. Not only can they skate at a 5 lap/55 second pace, they have the skills, focus and strength it takes to stay upright amidst blocks, grabs and pushes during each jam. These ladies can skate like pros through a pack of nine other women. They skate fast and hard. I’m pretty sure they have all mastered the art of mental toughness as well as being in great shape.

Oh yeah, they are that fast.

The members of the ARRG are women of varying ages and backgrounds, but they all share a passion for the sport. By day, these women are lawyers, personal trainers, bankers and moms. By night, they are endurance athletes. Three hour practices are held 4 days per week, and each team member is strongly encouraged to do their own workouts in addition to the time spent in team practice. I don’t know about you, but if I spent three hours on skates I might not be able to walk the next day!

Rockity Roller, the lead referee before the bout began.

I found out about ARRG through a coworker who is a new to the organization this season. She made it through tryouts last October, and she is a part of the ‘Newbie’ team that will be eligible for drafting this March. She has spent the last three months practicing drills and completing her skills testing so she will be ready to roll in February for some intense scrimmages with her teammates. In addition to introducing me to this cool sport, Cari gave me the lowdown on how a mom-of-two with a full-time career became a part of the roller derby. You will get to hear more about her story on Monday.

Until then, do a quick search for roller derby in your area. I bet you’ll be surprised how many teams you might find right around the corner. Get out and support these women at their next bout, it’s an action packed sporting event you won’t want to miss!


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