Kathryn Morgan’s 12 Week Challenge — Day 1

If you don’t follow Kathryn Morgan on social media, then you might not know that she’s performing at the Kennedy Center at the end of March. To help her prepare and get fit for it, she invited her readers to join her over the next 12 weeks to get fit, strong, and in amazing shape — by launching her 12 Week Challenge:

Morgan has created two versions of the challenge – regular and light. She’s also created workout calendars for the next 12 weeks (although only January is available right now).

Right now, I’m probably basing most of what I’m doing off of the Light schedule, although I expect to move everything around a lot (based on class, work and other workout schedules) since my life can seem so hectic at times. I’ve also done a lot of pilates and running lately, so I don’t want those to fall to the wayside for this challenge (since there’s only a day or two of core and cardio each week).

I don’t expect my workout schedule to change too much (other than coming back from ballet after a one month hiatus), but I love that this challenge will help me be more accountable and track my workouts more. I plan on keeping a journal of it here so that I can track my progress.

Here’s what I did for Day 1 (January 4):

  • 2 miles cardio on the treadmill
  • 15 minutes Pilates Flow (from this DVD set — which I love!)

Plan for tomorrow is to do follow along to one of Kathryn Morgan’s barre and center videos on YouTube (check out this great YouTube playlist with video suggestions for the challenge by fellow adult ballerina Mary Fran). I’ll also probably at least throw in a quick pilates flow as well with some light stretching.

Are you taking part in Kathryn Morgan’s 12 Week Challenge? Let me know in the comments!

Getting Enough Sleep Over the Holidays: REM-Fit Review

Disclosure: I received REM-Fit in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

It can be really hard for me to get a good night’s sleep — especially during the holiday months, when both my work and life can get pretty hectic. Plus, I really need my sleep now that I’ve stepped up my fitness game: running 3-4 times a week, Pilates, and ballet (although, for now, ballet is on a hiatus for the holidays — more on that later).

So I jumped at the chance when Fitfluential offered me the opportunity to check out the following products to see if they would help with my sleep issues:

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I’ve struggled a lot lately to find the perfect pillow that would help me sleep better (especially since I can get quite grumpy when I don’t get enough sleep!). I’ve bought really stiff pillows to see if they would help (they didn’t), I’ve also had really fluffy pillows that were huge (that wasn’t great either). However, REM-Fit’s 300 series pillow has been great so far, and the perfect combination of the two: the right amount of fluffiness and stiffness as well as the perfect height. I’ve been calling it my “Goldilocks” pillow for being jusssssssssssst right. It’s been the perfect fit for me and has helped me sleep a lot better, whether I sleep on my stomach (yes, I know its bad for you, but it happens), my side, or on the rare occasion, my back.

Things I love about this pillow:

  • It’s adjustable: There’s cute little fiber-fill on the inside that you can leave in or take out to get the pillow to the perfect height for you. I like to leave it all in, but it’s nice to have options, too.
  • It’s cool: There’s a ton of features that help keep this pillow a nice, cool temperature.
  • It helps protect against allergens: Allergies are my worst enemy, pretty much year round, so I love this feature. A lot.

REM-Fit also sent me a sleep/activity tracker that’s been great for tracking my sleeping progress as well as my many activities. I also love that it has a watch face, which my previous tracker did not.

So if you’re looking for a great gift for the athletes in your life and you know they struggle to get the perfect night’s sleep — REM-Fit might be the perfect fit for them. Plus, you can use my code, KG20, for 20% off in the REM-FIT store!

How do you make sure you get enough sleep when life gets busy?

Disclosure: I received REM-Fit in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Running Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Bridge

I haven’t talked much about my running recently, but HQ and I recently got back into it at the end of the August and have been running an average of three times a week, slowly working our way back into it (and trust me, it’s felt like a struggle some of the time in Philadelphia’s humidity — even through September).

This past weekend, when the Pope was in Philadelphia,  I wasn’t sure where we were going to get our longer run in. Usually we do it on the Schuylkill River Trail by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but it was closed.  The entire city was essentially shut down, including to cars (for the most part anyway).

So Sunday morning we started off by running down in the streets (not something you usually get to do here) when we decided to head towards the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The bridge was originally supposed to be open to foot traffic so that people could get in to see the Pope from buses that had been parked in Camden — but there was less foot traffic than they expected. So they opened it up to anyone, to run on the surface of the bridge.

I wasn’t sure if we were going to walk or run it when we got there, but we decided to mostly run it (with the occasional walk and picture break). In total, we covered six miles from home to to the New Jersey side of the bridge, further than we had ever covered before. Here’s all the photos we took:

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Things Have Been A Little Crazy Around Here…

…but I’ve still been going to ballet, more than I used to. I just haven’t had time to write about it. But it’s been going really well. I’ve finally been able to go to class consistently, which has made me feel a lot stronger than I have been. I also finally feel like I’m starting to get some of my flexibility back.

My feet still seem really weak — although my calves seem really strong — so I really need to keep working on therabanding and other foot strengthening exercises.

I haven’t really been running as much, besides a race and a fun run in late September and early October. Here’s a photo from the fun run on a new boardwalk on the river here:FullSizeRender (2)

I plan on starting to run more now that things are slowing down a bit and recent things have given me a bit more of inspiration to start running some more, including the boardwalk opening and reading What I Think About When I Think About Running by Haruki Murakami. I plan on starting super slow again, to be extra careful.

Other things we’ve been up to:

A trip to the Baltimore aquarium where my friend got engaged:FullSizeRender

Working a fair for college students with work:FullSizeRender (1)

Art Museum trip with my friends (channeling Rocky here):

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Let Training for the Philly 10K Begin! @thephilly10k

I’m not going to lie–HQ and I haven’t been running in about three weeks–and 10K training (for the Philly 10K I wrote about a couple months ago) has kind of crept up on us. I was kind of oblivious to the fact that it was almost time to train until I saw a post from Be Well Philly featuring a 10-Week plan for the 10K–and it clicked that we should probably get moving if this race was going to happen.

I’ve never prepared for a 10K before and I wasn’t sure where to start.  I considered going with the plan provided by the Philly 10K and Be Well Philly, but it seemed a little intense–so I went looking for a plan that was a little bit easier that would be more on my level. I discovered Women’s Health Beginner 10K plan.

What I think I’ll enjoy most about this plan is that the easy days are all by time–this way I don’t have to worry about how far I’m running in the mornings–just how much time it’s going to take me. I’m hoping this will help me get up earlier, too.

We’re going to start training now–even though the plan is only 7 weeks–in order to allow for a few hiccups that may happen along the road.

 What training plan do you usually use for your races?

 

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