Monthly Archives: June 2013

Treadmill vs. the Great Outdoors

After lifting today I decided to take a run for my cardio. I have set a goal for myself of running a 5k in under 30 minutes by the end of the summer so I’ve been trying to get out for at least one run each week. I waited too long to get to the gym today so by the time I was ready to go running it was too hot outside to take my run outside. To the “dreadmill” it was! While I was running I was thinking a lot about the differences between running outside and running indoors. I never really thought about it before but there are definitely pros and cons to both!

I found it was easier to track my time. Every time I adjusted the speed I could see the change in what my time was which was motivating. It made me want to keep my speed up and helped me keep tabs on my time so I could easier reach my goal. When I’m outside I just kind of go at my own pace and find out at the end how I did. Its hard to know if I’m pushing too hard, not enough, or am going at just the right pace. I don’t get the same workout on a treadmill, though, that’s for sure. There is no terrain changes, no hills, no downhills, unless I change the incline myself. And that’s where the mental aspect comes in to play. Running outside, it’s just about me and the road. The only mental barrier I have to push through is to keep myself running at a decent clip for the whole 3 miles. I can’t give up until the end because even if I stop running I would still have to walk all the way back to where I started and, if that’s the case, I might as well keep running and finish sooner! On the treadmill I don’t have the distraction of the scenery so it can get boring. I can also stop any time I want and just get off the treadmill and be done with it. I also have to spend the entire run staring at the handrails strategically placed in front of me, wanting so desperately to grab on. I can’t decide if the mental workout that I experience on a treadmill is beneficial or detrimental. On the one hand, the sense of accomplishment I feel at the end of treadmill workout is much greater than an outdoor run; I have just spent half an hour busting my butt physically but I also didn’t give up on myself and didn’t grab on to those handrails! But during the course of the run I am afraid that being so mentally challenged takes away from the physical workout. I don’t want to turn up the speed so fast that I get too tempted to grab onto the handrails, but I don’t want to go so slow that I am not pushing myself. I also find that I don’t play with the incline as much as I should. Outside I don’t have to mentally push myself to change the incline because the world does that for me! 

If you had to choose, would you rather run inside or outside? I think that, even though my run today was faster than my other outdoor runs, I would rather run outdoors any day! It’s so much more enjoyable, you can run a new route with every single run, and you don’t have to deal with those darn handrails calling your name for the entire run!

xoxo,

Claire

Living the Life

Everything is starting to come together in my life right now which is so great but also so terrifying! I have been a studying fiend the past couple of weeks because I am taking my boards to get my RN license in 8 days! And I have an official start date for my big girl job in South Carolina – September 9th!! AND I’m moving into my very first apartment the last week of August! Saying it all in one paragraph practically makes my head spin! But I am so excited to begin this new journey in my life 🙂 in the meantime I am working as a hostess part-time, killing it at the gym, catching up on some seriously needed sleep after my crazy past semester, and enjoying my time at home with family and friends.

I have to admit that I am one of those crazy “love to be busy all the time” people! In high school, I used to spend my summers sitting around at home all day watching TV and surfing the internet, never leaving the house all day long. I mean, I didn’t have a license so where was I going to go, really? But thinking about spending my summers doing that now makes me cringe! I enjoy the occasional lazy day but any longer than one day of lazing around the house and I begin to go a bit stir crazy. Within the past few months I have gone from one extreme – working 24 hours a week at the hospital on top of 24+ hours per week of clinical, 8 straight hours of class every Monday, and training for a fitness competition – to the other extreme – working 10-20 hour weeks max and my off season training. Don’t get me wrong, the training is especially intense (and I love it) but that only takes up about 1-1.5 hours of my day and then some days I don’t even have work. So then the rest of my day ends up being me wondering what to do next. Thank goodness I have the NCLEX to study for, but what comes 8 days from now when I have no more studying to do?? I think I need to start getting more creative with my free time! Any suggestions would be welcome!

It’s been great having all of my friends slowly start trickling home from college in the past month.

This pretty girl hit up a spin class with me last week :) missed her!

This pretty girl hit up a spin class with me last week 🙂 missed her!

The BF was able to stick around for long enough to be my date for a wedding. We jammed out pretty hardcore to "Don't Stop Believing" and "Summer Nights"...#noshame
The BF was able to stick around for long enough to be my date for a wedding. We jammed out pretty hardcore to “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Summer Nights”…#noshame

And I got to celebrate my graduation with this pretty lady and our entire family!

And I got to celebrate my graduation with this pretty lady and our entire family!

I’ve also been enjoying some kick a** gym sessions with my fav workout buddy evaahhh!

photo

 

After the competition, I started following a more intense workout schedule designed to build, build, build…and I am loving it! The changes that I have noticed within the past month are insane. I have never had arm muscles, but here they are! My shoulders are rounding out nicely, my legs are getting so much stronger, I’m lifting heavier and heavier every week, I have ab muscles in places I didn’t even know muscles could be, and I’ve even successfully completed two unassisted pull-ups. Doesn’t sound like much until you attempt them! Not as easy as you thought, is it?? My goal is four by the end of the month! I’m even getting faster at running. I used to be the queen of running a 12+ minute mile and I decided to take my steady state outside a couple weeks ago and ran a 5k at a moderately easy pace – which ended up being about 9:30/mile! I am looking forward to spending the rest of the summer making even more gains. I’ve been repeating this statement to myself a lot lately:

It Takes 4 Weeks v2

 

I can see the truth in this now! I am most definitely seeing the changes I’ve made in the past 4 weeks, both mentally and physically, and I can’t wait for what the next four weeks will bring!

I’ve also been really enjoying yoga recently. There is one instructor, in particular, at my gym that has the best class. It’s the perfect balance of strength, balance, and stretching and you never get bored because she never lets you stop until that beautiful “Dead Man’s pose” at the end of class. I’ve been trying to set a different intention for my practice every week – strength, happiness, confidence, love – and I find I leave class every week truly feeling that intention. Today I started my class focusing on breaking boundaries and going after everything I want. I know, big aspirations, but I left feeling so self-assured and confident that I can take on the world! I am strong, capable, and ready for whatever the world decides to throw my way!

So bring on the big girl job, bring on the terrifying thought of signing a lease on and paying for my very own apartment, bring on the intense workouts, and bring on moving 14 hours away! I can take it!

Xoxo,

Claire

Story of my life!

Story of my life!