Tag Archives: training partner

Thanks, Angela and friends

At 6 a.m. this morning, the most obnoxious sounding alarm went off. Yes,  I chose the most obnoxious one I could find on my Blackberry to be sure I woke up immediately. I popped out of bed, got ready, and had a light pre-run breakfast.

At 6:30 a.m., Angela pulled into my driveway.  She invited me to run with her and her running group on Sunday morning.  We were meeting them about a half hour from where we live, for a 7 a.m. run. (I know…we are crazy. But, we’re runners, what else would you expect?)

Everyone was so welcoming and excited that I was joining them for the Sunday morning run. I wasn’t sure how far I would be able to make it, since I’m not completely used to running in the cold weather yet. But, it didn’t matter…I was going to get out there and go!

The group was great fun and comprised of people of all different skill levels. We quickly broke into two groups (seems to be the usual thing) and were on our way. Every time I run early in the morning, I am reminded of why I try to get morning runs in as often as I can. What a great way to start the day, and feel great all day long afterwards.

After a solid morning run, we all met back at the coffee shop which was our meeting place that morning and enjoyed coffee, company, and a few good laughs.

It felt great to get out on the road with a group again. It reminded me of weekend runs and breakfasts with my Cali running group. And, it goes to show…sometimes, all you need is a group of runners to make your day. We’re all a little nuts in the head – I mean come on, who else would wake up at the crack of dawn on a weekend morning to layer on clothing in the dead of winter to run more miles than anyone’s body is actually made to handle? But, all of that, all of those things that contribute to our nuttiness also contribute to our fun-loving, outgoing personalities. Even the quietest of us runners have it in us…just spend a morning with us and you’ll see!

What a great way to kick off the last day of the weekend.

Thanks, Angela and friends! Run with the new running group…success.


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learning how to be a well-rounded athlete: part 1

Cross-training days have been going well, for the most part. My biggest problem: making them as effective as they can possibly be. That probably makes you ask, “well, then why are you bothering with the cross-training workouts if they’re not effective?” or “why are you slacking?”

My problem isn’t that I’m not trying to be effective or even that I am slacking. My problem is that I know for some of my cross training (weight lifting, muscle conditioning, and things of that nature) I simply do not know how to do it properly so I am not getting the most of out those workouts.

The solution to this problem seems obvious: learn how to do it the right way, and start being the most effective you possibly can. Duh!

Well, that seems simple enough, but let me ask you: when was the last time you were in the gym and it was easy to learn how to use the machines or how to lift weights properly? Unless you are a female and there is a man who is good looking and looks like he could support every single one of your purse and shoe buying habits (and looks like he would be nice enough to interrupt his workout to help you), you are most likely not going to ask some other random person to help you. Ok, and let’s be honest…even if you are female and that guy is there, you are still probably not going to ask him for help either. My point is: it is not the easiest thing in the world to learn how to properly do exercises.

I want to learn how to do things the right way, and have them be effective as well. So, lucky for me…I have a few personal training sessions coming up and my personal trainer knows that this where I really want to work the hardest and learn the most. I have one person dedicated to me, during the time I spend with him, to teaching me how to do these things. Now, I know that most people are not going to run out and get a personal trainer (in fact, I will be completely honest and let you know that I would not be working with one if the first couple sessions were not free). I’m not saying you should either, or that you even need to. However, this has made me think about all of the times I have talked with people who mention the same thing I have mentioned: “I don’t really use the machines or lift  weights, or anything like that because I don’t really know how and I don’t know who to ask; but, I wish I knew because I feel like that would be good for me.”

That being said, there have got to be ways to learn how to use machines other than hiring a personal trainer, right? Can’t think of what these “ways” might be? Let me help…let’s think about it:

1.) Grab a friend just as clueless as you are. If you guys head to the gym together, you can have a partner in crime to figure out the machines right along with you. No worries about feeling dumb, because you’re with someone else and having fun figuring everything out together.

2.) Grab a friend who is in the know. You always try to figure out how that one friend of yours stays in such good shape. He/she always talks about going to the gym. You know they do some lifting, do some circuit training, and know how to do it the right way, so why not ask them to go join you in the gym for a day or two, or even more? You guys could end up training together even after that, who knows? Or, at the very least it will be time you get to spend with your friend while getting in shape, too–kill two birds with one stone!

3.) Ask a trainer, other gym employee, or someone using the machine. Did we forget why most people work at their place of employment? Most people apply to places they are interested in, doing something they enjoy at least a bit and are knowledgeable about. That goes for gym employees and trainers too! Take a step outside of your comfort zone and ask a trainer or other gym employee if they have a second to show you how to use a machine or two that you are curious about. Chances are they will be more than happy to help. If they are busy, they will probably refer  you to another person who is not busy at the moment or will offer to help you as soon as they can.

Another option here is to ask someone who is using the machine you want to use. Does the person using it look pretty friendly, like they might not mind taking a minute or two from their workout to help you out? When they are resting (obviously not in the middle of their hard work) ask if they would mind showing you how to use the machine, and if you might be able to watch their next set of reps so you can see how it is done properly. More often than not, the person will actually take it is a compliment that you are asking them for help.

4.) Go late. Belong to a 24-hour gym? Or, one that is open pretty late? Usually the crowds start to wane off around 9pm during the week. After that, the number of the people working out is minimal, which means you have less people looking at you (which people probably aren’t anyway, even when there are a lot more people there). You have a nearly empty facility to figure things out on your own, read the direction on the machine, and get a solid workout in! Before you know it, you won’t be afraid to head to the gym any time of day, busy or not, because you’ll feel confident and comfortable getting in just the workout that you want to.

Hopefully this helps, and you can start achieving even more of your goals at the gym! Now, get out there and get it done 🙂

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This one goes out to A-Sund

This post is dedicated to A-Sund, the one who gave me my own proper nickname of S-Guts. We ran together for a few years, during high school cross country. We ran, we sang, we laughed, we were mischievous, and most all we had fun when it all came down to it (even when we had two-a-day practices).

I learned a lot about running from my time spent on the roads and trails with Amy:

  • furious workouts are never easy, but they’re always better when someone else is enduring them right along with you
  • slowing down for a few minutes to sing a pump up song while you run is always a good bit of inspiration
  • just keep going
  • run with a partner, especially on long runs, to keep yourself going – think about it, are you really going to stop and walk if your partner is still going? probably not.
  • make your run into something fun — heck, be sneaky, stop and say a quick unexpected ‘hi’ to a friend that lives along your route
  • if there is a way to hydrate mid-run, do it. you’ll thank yourself.
  • have fun…otherwise, it’s almost not worth doing the workout

I love that Amy and I have both continued to be pretty avid runners after high school, into college, and now post-college. The fact that someone who shared so many of my “growing years of running” (that is, the years that turned me into a lifelong runner) is still going strong helps keep me motivated, especially when the going gets tough.

Whether I’m having a tough time getting through an outdoor run or getting my treadmill run finished (usually the latter), I just need to remember everything that Amy and I went through. WOW! For two silly high school girls who just wanted to create theories about everything all day long, we did decent for ourselves on our runs. We finished everything and we worked hard to get better.

I’m thrilled that Amy is running the Dexter half marathon this year, and I will be there as well. Another race together! And, now that we’re in the same city again, we are trying to see if we can fit some training runs in together. Knowing that there is someone to run with who is right around your pace and who will push you is great, because you know you will be challenged but you won’t be absolutely killing yourself to finish a workout. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even get Amy to be a runner at Detroit too 😉 Don’t you guys think she’d be great? After all, we do have fun running together!

Thanks, A-Sund for being an awesome running partner…even if it was years ago. Let’s make it happen again and show those miles who’s boss!

Who inspires you to run or exercise? What great, fun, silly things have you learned from training with a partner? Or, do you prefer to workout by yourself and just can’t seem to get accustomed to the idea of working out with someone? Share your tips for training with a partner (or if you just can’t do it, what are your tips for staying motivated to go it alone?)!


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thank you, chris

I was ready for a workout, and since it rained all day today I stayed in…and was about to head to the cardio center here in my apartment complex for a treadmill and elliptical workout. Lucky for me though, my wonderful friend Chris called–he got off work early today (mind you, this is a very rare occurrence as he is off every day saving the world in the wonderful world of cinema) and asked if I wanted to go out for a run. Well…yes, of course I did! This meant I could run outside, in the cool weather post-rain–I wasn’t going to do this since it was already dark out, but with a friend by my side, running in the dark would be delightful.

Chris headed over, we stretched and kick-started our hearts a bit by walking just a couple blocks down to the path along the beach. Off we went, after I asked Chris how far he was planning on running today. He first said to the second pier and back, which would be just about five miles. As we go going, he decided that we would go just past the second pier–against my will, I was going along with it. We kept a good pace going (good pace for me…thank you, Chris for staying with me despite having to slow down a bit). I conquered one side stitch on my right side and was ready to keep it up. We made it to 18th Street, our goal, just past the second pier and I was glorified–our halfway point!

We turned around and just a few minutes into the second half of the run an uncomfortable stitch hit my mid-section…uncomfortable, but I took some long, deep breaths to help fight it. It took longer than I would have liked to fight it, but I fought through it and kept on going. Even better, Chris was wonderfully motivational and really kept me going–helping my form, keeping my focus in the right places, and keeping my pace a bit above comfortable. When we had about a half mile left and I said only half-jokingly, “I’m going to need some entertainment for the next half mile,” Chris actually kept me entertained with jokes for the last half mile of the run (the last one even ended after our run ended, and we headed back up the hill, a couple blocks to home). Overall, great run…and I feel great! Five and a half miles!

Luckily, I was well-rested too. I had the day off today, and after going to the dentist this morning and getting a few things done, I was just hanging around in my apartment since there was a downpour outside all day. Around 1 p.m., I ended up taking a nap…a pretty long one…a couple hours…okay, maybe three hours… What can I say? It was gloomy…I was chilly…and my bed was comfy and warm!

Anyway, post-run I finished my laundry which I started just prior to running (after all, multi-tasking is all about time management and being effective!), made some dinner, and am just relaxing. Tonight started a new season of One Tree Hill so I caught that, and now I’m getting caught up in the new series, Life Unexpected.

I’m ready for a shower to wind down for the evening…then maybe I’ll clean up a bit and relax in bed with my Netflix movie of the week: The Pursuit of Happyness.

Good run today, friends. How was your workout today? I’d love to hear all about it!

Run with Chris…success.

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