October Exercise Challenge – Who’s In?

Monday, October 1st, 5:46am

Starting October off right, although there’s something disconcerting about driving to the gym while the moon shines in full force.

You guys, I really dropped the ball in September in regards to exercise. Maybe it was the new house or getting the kids adjusted to their new schedules or just pure laziness, but I didn’t exercise half as much as I usually do.

Things started going downhill 2 or 3 weeks after I finished my 5k training program. I didn’t miss a day during that program (you know how much I like plans and goals), and after I finished, I continued to run 3 miles, 3 days a week. And then things started to get really boring for me. No more training goals, no more cool apps…just running. Ugh. So not fun.

So, I’ve decided to take the next step and train for a 10k. I’m going to be completely honest with you – I’m not super jazzed about it. Running/walking on a treadmill for 60-70 minutes? I can think of eleventy billion things I’d rather do, but hey, I’m willing to try. I keep hearing how the first 3 miles are the hardest…is this true, people? Am I suddenly going to feel light as air when mile 4,5 and 6 come around? Doubtful.

Wow, this is MOTIVATING, isn’t it? Run with me, people! I’m so perky and optimistic!

I am a little excited, though. I’ve never run further than a 5k, so I can’t wait to see if I can accomplish this. Also, I just read this article and it really resonated with me. It’s like the minute I start running, my brain starts a loop of all the reasons I should stop running that very second. Damn you, brain! No more!

In addition to the 10k training,  I will continue my Pilates training on Mondays and Fridays, and will do a really quick arm/full body toning workout at home once a week. So, here goes.


Mondays and Fridays – 6am Reformer class with Erica

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – 10k training plan (Using Run10k app, starting on week 5)

Wednesday – Quick Arm/Full Body Toning Workout

Sunday – (Much needed) rest

As for the toning workout I mentioned, Erica was so kind and awesome to film a 5-minute toning workout with me. I asked her to focus on arms, but in true Erica fashion, she turned it into a full body toning session as well. It’s awesome, and your arms and quads will be feeling it the next morning. I’ll put that video up tomorrow morning so we can all do it together because it will be Wednesday, you see. YOU MUST JOIN ME IN MY OCTOBER FITNESS QUEST.

What’s your current exercise plan? Are you sticking with the usual or changing things up? Anybody in on this 10k business? I don’t want to do it alooooooone. Oh, also related but unrelated, are there programs similar to Couch to 5k for swimming?

  1. MommyTime

    October 2, 2012 at 6:33 am

    I’m in! My goals: three mile dog walk T/Th/F. Skate T/Th/F or Sat. Light weights, focusing on upper body M/W. Pilates on Sundays. I am allowed to skip either one dog walk due to weather or one skating session due to work. (I have to build in a skip option, since my schedule varies week to week.) The weights is the hardest for me to get motivated to do, since M/W are long days for me, and I’m tired and just want to veg on the couch by the time the kids are in bed. Any tips on how to be motivated to do that will be gratefully received.

    Re the running: If you can do three miles, you can do four (in my experience). I found it MUCH harder to get from four to five, and then relatively easy to get from five to six. It’s really exhilarating to bump up the distance like that, but don’t be surprised if there are plateaus in the process. Be sure you follow a good training program that doesn’t increase your weekly distance too much too fast. For me, good music was the key. You know how there are always a few songs that seem PERFECT on your music mix? Just the right pace and you feel like you’re flying when you run to them? Look online and figure out what their beats/minute are. Probably, they are all the same. Then make a whole playlist at that pace, with maybe two songs (e.g. 6-7 min) slightly slower for warm up. It will help. Have fun!

    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 6:51 am

      Awesome tips, thank you. As for motivation, I do it at 6am. I lay out my workout clothes the night before, roll out of bed, get dressed, and get out the door before I can start making excuses. Plus, I’m the type that HAS to workout in the morning – gets my day going right! (By the way, have you checked out my workout playlist on Spotify? Great running songs! http://open.spotify.com/user/1210459311/playlist/12awMcZFe4OKwDTtw5GEBU)

  2. Christina

    October 2, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I really need to get back in the groove of things. I started the C25K and should have done week 6 last week, but my foot started hurting (on top of a light ache in my lower back due to years of back problems) so I did the elliptical all week (in addition to strength twice a week and Pilates twice a week). Went for a small run on Saturday to see if my foot was better and it felt great. Was really excited to get back into it this week when my chiropractor said to avoid high impact exercising, like running, while I am going in for adjustments :( So, back to the elliptical this week with Pilates and strength training.

    I worked out yesterday morning, but felt lazy this morning…now, after reading this, I feel guilty for not getting up!

    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 6:58 am

      You should see a masseuse who specializes in muscle manipulation! I’ve had low back issues due to genetically super tight fascia in the back of my legs, and my guy has totally eradicated it. Food for thought…

  3. Mina

    October 2, 2012 at 6:36 am

    As someone who has been running for 20 years – and just completed her 2nd half marathon (in 1:46:52!), I can tell you that running outside is key. I live in NE ohio and am bound to the “dreadmill” for a few months when there’s too much snow, but if the sidewalks are dry, I’m outside (as long as it’s over 20 degrees). I run early – 5am and now it’s dark. I have a reflective vest that I wear. Try to get a few of runs in outside, it will really make a difference.


    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 6:54 am

      Glad you brought this up, and I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Basically, there are two periods of my life when I’ve run. The first time was about 5 years ago – I ran outside for a year or two and was plagued with soreness and injuries. This time around I’ve run solely on a treadmill and haven’t had one issue. It’s been great.

      Obviously, running on pavement is much more jarring to the body, but I would SO much rather run outside. Is this something you have dealt with in the past? Any advice?

      • Megan

        October 2, 2012 at 7:37 am

        This doesn’t directly speak to what you’re asking about, but I’m going to be that person who’s all I KNOW WHAT WILL HELP LISTEN TO ME, even though there’s not the slightest evidence this will be helpful!

        This book helped me understand what was happening with pain/soreness associated with running (and migraines and tension headaches) and how to treat myself. http://amzn.to/SXkhVl I went to a massage therapist, too, but self treatment at home helped moved things along.

      • Mina

        October 2, 2012 at 8:04 am

        I don’t want to jinx myself, but there is alot you can do to avoid injury. Stretching afterwards is key – hamstring and IT bands especially. I was having some painful hamstring issues that almost felt like sciatic pain and stretching completely alleviated the problem. I used the never sretch, not it’s become habit. Another thing that causes runners injuries is how they land. Heel striking is really bad. I’m fortunate that I land on the mid foot naturally, so changing “how” you run may help. If you haven’t already, go to a shoe store that specializes in running shoes and have them watch you run so they can see how you land, your stride, etc. Then they can recommend shoes that best meet your needs. Hope this helps, and good luck!

  4. Danielle (elleinadspir)

    October 2, 2012 at 6:42 am

    I started Bridge to 10K a few weeks ago and should have run my 10k this weekend. Sadly a few weeks ago I hurt my foot and had to stop. Frustrated and annoyed!!! I hope to try it again…but not quite yet! Susan found a swimming program that she began using…ask her about it. I think it is exactly what you are wanting.

    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 6:55 am

      Thank you! (And there is nothing worse than an injury slowing you down. Sounds like you should be swimming too!)

  5. Jen

    October 2, 2012 at 6:52 am

    I’m doing a piloxing class once a week and will try to do my HIIT 12-minute bodyrock.tv workouts at least 4 other times a week! We’re gonna rock-tober! Wow that was corny. I definitely slacked off at the end of September due to starting-kindergarten crazies.

    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 6:56 am

      ROCKTOBER!!! ;)

  6. Julie

    October 2, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I finished my c25k program in July, ran two 5Ks and then started working towards 3 10K races. I really enjoyed the Run Like a Mother/Train Like a Mother books (and their FB page https://www.facebook.com/AnotherMotherRunner?ref=ts&fref=ts ) It’s great for inspiring you to keep moving, even if you’re feeling less than motivated. I’m also starting a boxing class next week for some fun cross-training :)

    Oh, for outside runs without the jarring, I’ve read that sidewalks are hardest, paved roads are second, and trails/grass are third. Are there any trails or parks near you that you can hit? Or at least move off from the sidewalk? It might help.

    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 9:31 am

      Tons of trails around here…now I just need to wait for the 90-degree temps to go away! Thanks for the rec on the book!

  7. Megan

    October 2, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I used a C210K app this year to start running again, and it was so surprising – I loved it, much more than the 5K. There’s something meditative about being on a treadmill for that long – you can watch your brain go through all stages of dealing with that amount of time: frustration, denial, bargaining, and, finally, acceptance (most of the time). It was interesting in that way, but also, the time commitment made every session feel like a real accomplishment, and eventually (I am still so shocked), I (yikes!) actually started to look forward to it. WEIRD. It changed my relationship to exercise…

    Until…I finished the race I had been training for, and summer hit, and…la dee dah. What running? October will be my kick-in-the-pants month, too.

    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 9:37 am

      This totally gets me excited, Megan. And you are so spot on about the stages of the brain. :) Now, get back in the saddle!

  8. suz

    October 2, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I definitely feel better after the first 3 miles. My best pace in any race was a 12k. For the first 20-30 minutes of running, my body is sort of “what the HELL are we doing?” but I really hit a groove around 40-45 minutes and start to feel the runner’s high. I’m doing the same 12k again on October 13 and my second half in January, but I don’t even do 5ks. They stress me (and my body) out!

    Good luck ramping it up! I hope you have so much fun!

    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 9:38 am

      Thank you! Here’s to 3+!

  9. sarah

    October 2, 2012 at 7:40 am

    I was sidelined by issues related to hypermobility (loose connective tissue, not related to pregnancy, chronic, lifelong, wah) and until I could get my body re-aligned and strengthened into place, no working out for me. :(
    But now I’m back! I’m building back up to 5k distance, and will do a 5 mi turkey trot on thanksgiving with my husband (pushing my 2 year old). I’ve run long distances for years; I’m not fast, I let myself walk, super-non-competitive, I run so I can eat, basically.
    We don’t have a treadmill, and we both work full time. My husband has to leave for work between 6:15-6:30 am, so I have to be back from my morning run by then. My goal: run every morning before work. It works as an anti-anxiety med for me, so it’s getting to be kinda non-negotiable. Some times I’m up and out in time for 2.5 miles (alternating run/walk intervals) and other times I can only do a warm up followed by a set of tabata intervals (run :20, rest :10 x8). But I HAVE to to SOMETHING.
    Also, on Mondays I teach prenatal water aerobics.
    My PT regimen is basically pilates, but I need to work that into the schedule a little more regularly (2x/week sounds good). I’m so stiff first thing in the morning, though – how do you feel doing pilates so early? I am able to do it so much better later in the day, but then I have a toddler, or it’s my bed time… I want to do it in the morning.
    I also need to lift some weights; I made a little workout using the workout trainer app, and want to do that at least 2x week.

    The fun part will be making my star chart/spreadsheet/tracking system. (I’m a psychologist who works with kids. We ALL need a star chart of some sort!)

    • Christina

      October 2, 2012 at 8:07 am

      I have the same issues with Pilates in the morning, prefer to do it in the evening (after the kids go to bed). I’m just too stiff in the morning and feel like I can’t do the moves as well.

      Any advice out there? I’d prefer to do it in the morning and get it out of the way :)

    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 9:44 am

      We usually start off with about 10-15 minutes of ab and leg work on the reformer – it gets me warmed up for the rest of the class for sure. What do you all usually start with? (By the way, I’m super tight, can’t touch my toes, the tightest fascia you ever did see.)

      Maybe start with some easy standing roll downs or downward dog before you start? Erica loves to start with a downward dog/plank articulation movement that we do first in the video that I’m posting tomorrow. Maybe that would help!

  10. Carolyn

    October 2, 2012 at 7:40 am

    So thrilled to hear that you liked my post about our bodies and brains. Keep with the running, honestly at some point, your body will start to over-ride your brain!

    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Great post. Thanks, Carolyn!

  11. Christy M

    October 2, 2012 at 7:49 am

    About 6 weeks ago, I wrote a contract with myself that if I run/workout at least 30 minutes 5x per week, I’ll donate $5 to Kiva.org. I think that it’s fun to pick a loan and see the loanee give that money back so I can lend it again, and this helps me work towards that. If I don’t work out, I don’t get to fund any loans. I figure it’s a better way of spending my money than a workout class when I already have DVDs/apps/programs I wasn’t using. It’s kept me steadily working out for the longest period since my son was born.

    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 9:46 am

      So cool, Christy. How do you go about picking a loan? The one that resonates with you most?

  12. Jill V. / TerraSavvy

    October 2, 2012 at 8:12 am

    That big fat brick of guilt just landed hard on my head! Curses!


  13. Amy Lewis Wright

    October 2, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I just started week 4 of C25K…it’s slow going for me, but I’m plugging through, doing it on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. About 4 weeks ago, I started swimming laps on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I love it, especially after running the day before. I was surprised at how hard swimming is….when I first started I could barely make it one length without needing a break. I’m slowly building up my endurance and I have found that once you can regulate your breathing, just like in running, it is much easier. The swimming plan I found online is http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=528 and it is for beginners (like never swam a lap in your life beginners) and I like it to get started and will move onto a more challenging program when the time is right.

    Good luck, and way to go on the 10k training!

    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 9:50 am

      Okay, tell me about the swimming, Amy. Did you teach yourself the strokes? Like I have NO idea how to properly swim. I’m usually sitting on a raft with a koozy, if you know what I mean….

      • Amy Lewis Wright

        October 4, 2012 at 8:04 am

        I learned the basic swimming strokes as a child in swim lessons, which equates to “I won’t sink in a pool of water” but last year I did take 4-5 private swim lessons by a swim coach, not just a life guard (I feel a swim coach knows more about form than someone who is just around to make sure you don’t drown, know what I mean?), to work on my form…I have a lot of bad habits to correct, i.e. proper breathing, moving my hips, etc. I recently found an advanced swim class at the YMCA that will help me continue to correct my form, but in the meantime, practice, practice, practice.

        On a side note, any tips on swim hair? The chlorine is killer.

  14. Angella

    October 2, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I’m running my third 10K of the year this coming Sunday. I am not fast, but I’d like to beat my last time of 59:08.

    The second half of the run is always the easiest, I find. A combination of knowing I’m on the home stretch, and my muscles being warmer.

    I HATE running on the treadmill, so my SIL Jennifer and I are going to buy winter gear and keep running together through the winter – we run 8K every Tuesday and Thursday after dropping our kids off at school. Then I run with the dog on Saturdays.

    I have boot camp M/W and do another workout at home on Fridays. Looking forward to what you post. I need a break from Jillian.

    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 9:51 am

      I would kill to run a 10k in 59:08. You are da bomb, Angella.

  15. Kathleen @ Sugar and Spice

    October 2, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Fine. I’m in. Breakinging up with Lazy is going to be tough.

    If I may add my 2 cents, be sure to pamper those joints. Oh, and up the guacamole. I don’t know of a single face cream that can diminish a gaunt look from over-doing-it. :)

    For mió, Pilates twice a week, walk 4 miles briskly twice a week. Then I’ll throw in your toning video to be supportive and good measure.

    Bring it ~Kat

    • whoorl

      October 2, 2012 at 9:52 am

      Yes! I’m finding a way for all of us to hold each other accountable online…just gotta find the right website to do it.

      • whoorl

        October 2, 2012 at 9:52 am

        Also, I do all of this so I can eat/drink whatever I want. And, oh boy, do I. ;)