Monday, May 11, 2015
As someone who's almost always training for something (a race, following a workout plan, for a goal, etc), I often get asked the question, "What's your typical workout routine?" And that's the hardest question for me to answer, because my workouts are never the same. I've found my greatest successes from mixing it up and constantly trying new things. Whether it's a new half marathon training program (this is my go-to running training site), a free 30-day ab squat & push-up challenge (which I saw great results from, by the way!), or just getting my daily workout fix—I'm always doing something. My goal typically doesn't revolve around, "Do legs on X day and run on X day"—my goal is simply to move for 30-minutes each day.
That being said, I am currently following a training regime to help me stay balanced and improve my run times for all the races I have scheduled this year. My training program includes 3 run days, 3 strength days and one cross training or stretching day per week. I've put together a combination of several different programs to make one that suits me at the moment.
For my running programs, I'm using a combo of Hal Higdon's Intermediate and Advanced half marathon training programs. On my strength days, I'm working my way through the Kayla Itsines 12-week Bikini Body Guide. After I finish her first guide, I'll work through her second Bikini Body Guide 2.0 which includes weeks 13-24. A normal training week for me typically looks like this:
This program works very well for my schedule and I'm able to stick to it. Monday thru Friday, I get up early and begin my workouts at 5:00 am. Most days I'm in our garage home gym, others are spent at the actual gym and the rest are out on the open road. Saturdays are typically spent at the gym with my husband, and Sunday mornings I rise early and get my long run in before church, usually finishing before the sun comes up. Yes, I get up early—and I love it. I know that timeline doesn't work for everyone, but for me, if I don't do it early—I won't do it!
In regards to the training programs, I can't advocate for them enough. I LOVE Hal Higdon's free running programs and have been using them for race-prep since 2010. I enjoy a balanced approach to fitness, so in an effort to increase strength days without hitting weights too hard (and being able to have the flexibility of an at-home workout), I began the Bikini Body Guide program. It is worth every single penny. The workouts are high-intensity and get the sweat dripping! I've seen a huge strength increase since beginning them, and have also significantly leaned down and toned up!
Whether you're following a program or just training to be your best you, setting small goals is always something to strive for. While I may miss a BBG workout or run day here and there, as long as I stick to my goal of moving 30-minutes per day, I know I've done something good for my body. And right now, working toward racing faster, becoming stronger and staying lean is my main goal. And that's the beauty of goals—each day you can set a new one.
I hope this breakdown of my fitness plan helps. If you're curious, I'm using a Garmin vivofit 2 to track my activity. Please let me know if you have any questions!
Follow my fitness journey here: Instagram @auniesauce │ Fitness Instagram @auniefit │ Garmin Connect
Thursday, May 7, 2015
My Dearest Daniel,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! My sweet husband, I can't even believe you're 31 today. I'm so excited to enjoy this next year with you.
I feel like this year comes with a lot of significance. Maybe because we have so many places we know we want to travel to, new places we'd like to see, and family members we'd like to visit. Maybe it's because we have so many ideas, dreams and wishes that we just can't nail a few down—they're all so good! Maybe it's because we know we have some upcoming possibilities professionally and for our future, but they just haven't happened yet. Or maybe it's because your dad became YOUR dad when he was 31 and there's always been that impending, "Maybe, just maybe, when I'm 31 I'll be a dad," thought going on. Or maybe that's just me! ;)
No matter what this year holds, I'm just glad to be holding your hand through it all. 31 years. Think of all you've accomplished... so much! But what's even better? Think of all you have left to do.
This is the fourth year I've had the privilege of writing you a birthday letter. It's so nice to be home and be able to give you a kiss when you walk in the door this evening instead of writing letters from 1,600 miles away this year. I'm so blessed to be able to spend each day with you and to finish each day wrapped in your arms. Here's to many, many more days of that and celebration of YOU. After all, this is your day. I love you, honey.
Praying that God's got good things in store for you (and us!) in this 31st year of yours,
Your Auniekins ♥
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
In the beginning of April, Daniel and I ventured to Palm Desert, California for one of our annual trips to visit family. As we always do, we treated ourselves to a vacation filled to the brim with hikes, morning workouts, adventures, golfing, eating delicious food, laying out at the pool, and exploring! While I didn't often take my camera with me to our dining out excursions or film us around-the-house in relaxation mode, I did make sure to tote my camera to each of our hikes... we tend to experience some pretty special moments (and find some pretty crazy things!) so we like to capture them and create fun video diaries filled with memories!
This trip's video is set to Daniel's favorite song of all time, "Mandolin Rain," by Bruce Hornsby. It seemed only fitting to pair his favorite song with his favorite past-time—"hunting" for reptiles! I hope you enjoy the video... and if you aren't a fan of snakes or lizards—this is your warning... BEWARE—we love them and there were no shortage of them on this trip!
See more photos from our trip here.
Monday, April 13, 2015
During the first week of April, Daniel and I packed our things and headed south for a road trip to Palm Desert, California. It's hard to believe it had been two years since we'd been there! I was attending Air Force Basic Training last year during our normal PD trip timeline, so we had to skip a year. Bummer! Thankfully, this trip made the wait well worth it.
We, as we always do, spent out trip being super-active and enjoyed each day by fitting as much in as we possibly could. On our past trips, we've done several hikes like Joshua Tree National Park, Indian Canyon, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the Living Desert and The Valley of Fire. Wanting to take in as much as we could, this year we tried new hikes and visited places we'd never been before.
Our first hiking spot was the Coachella Valley Preserve, where we hiked three hours on the Pushwalla Canyon Trail one day and then three more hours on the Moon Canyon Trail the next day. Both hikes were incredibly scenic (and so vastly different!) and we found lots of wildlife on the way. We caught—and released, of course—several chuckwallas, a desert iguana and even a sidewinder rattlesnake! I'd never seen a rattlesnake in person before, so to have Daniel catch it right in front of me was quite a thrill. And don't worry—we were safe! Daniel has been catching reptiles since he was a kid.
In addition to the Coachella Valley Preserve hikes, we also did a two-hour night hike in Joshua Tree National Park (with flashlights! It was so cool!) looking for fun night-time creatures. All we found were black widow spiders... not the thrill we were hoping for, though the hike was wonderful. We also ventured to Whitewater Preserve where we hiked four hours on the Painted Canyon Trail—which ended at a "hidden" waterfall! That one was really neat and very unlike anything else we'd seen on our Palm Springs hikes.
Of course we didn't spend our entire trip hiking. We also got up early to go to the gym each day, spent lots of time with my Dad and his wife, ate lots of delicious food (Armando's is our favorite!) and even managed to get in a round of 18-holes at Desert Falls Country Club.
See more photos from the trip below.
We spotted a red diamond rattlesnake on Highway 247 going into Palm Springs. We pulled him off the road to save him from being hit by a semi. What a neat snake he was!
The gorgeous view of the valley on the Pushwalla Canyon Trail at the Coachella Valley Preserve.
We found a chuckwalla on the ridge of the Pushwalla Canyon Trail at the Coachella Valley Preserve.
One of our more thrilling finds, a sidewinder rattlesnake, which we stumbled upon during our Moon Canyon Hike at the Coachella Valley Preserve. Daniel is fearless, I tell you!
My favorite shot of the sidewinder rattlesnake. He was small but aggressive!
Playing a round of best ball golf with my dad and his wife. They are the most generous people and we wish we could get down to PD to visit them more!
We took a day-trip up to Idyllwild, California. What a neat little mountain town. We ate lunch at the Gastrognome and it was delicious!
We passed a giant flowering yucca on our hike up the Painted Canyon trail at the Whitewater Preserve. That hike was so beautiful and scenic.
Climbing the small "hidden" waterfall at the Painted Canyon trail at the Whitewater Preserve. That four-hour hike was my favorite of the trip.
Our vacations to Palm Desert, though usually a week long, never feel long enough. I love the hikes on those trips—it's so good to be active and enjoy the outdoors—but I love catching up with my dad and his wife most of all. Now that they spend half the year down there, we don't get to see them as often so it's truly nice to be able to vacation to such a beautiful place and spend time with such great people.
Watch the video diary of our Palm Desert trip here!
Monday, March 23, 2015
This past Saturday, March 21, I finished my very first competitive half marathon! It was the Volition America Half Marathon & 5K Series that is touring the United States. They kicked off their inaugural race in our hometown of Boise—what an honor for us!
Going into the race, my goal had been to run a 1:35 (I've run several half marathons before, but this was my first "competitive" half). I ended up having a better race than expected and set a new personal record for myself with a 1:33:09! I was so excited. My fastest half prior to that was a 1:48 in 2009, so I was stoked to test my legs and see what they could do! My splits averaged 7:08/mile, though the breakdown was much more varied. My fastest mile was a 6:28 (mile 1) and my slowest was a 7:37 (mile 10). But I finished strong with a 6:49 on mile 13.
I ended up finishing 12th overall, 4th overall female, 1st overall military member, and 1st in my age group (25-29). I was very happy with those placings and my time.
The race was harder than I expected—I'm used to running those splits for 10k training runs but hadn't truly trained for more than an hour at a time for this race, so after mile 8, it was pretty painful. I think with a dedicated training plan I could significantly improve this time! We'll see what the future holds for half marathon races.
See more photos of the race below!
Feeling great and waving to the volunteers around mile 6.
Running along the greenbelt at mile 6—check out my neon 124th Fighter Wing Squadron PT Shirt!
Having a "Why am I doing this moment?" from miles 8-10. The man behind me is a colleague out at the Air National Guard. It was awesome seeing so many Air Guard members at this event!
I was so excited to finish with a new PR of 1:33:09!
Totally experiencing a runner's high!
I'm a lucky wife! His encouragement was what kept me feeling strong and motivated!
I was so grateful that Daniel came out to support me during this race. He drove the course and was on the sidelines about every 3-4 miles. The only thing I looked forward to more than each new mile marker was his smiling, loving face! I mean, when you have a handsome man cheering you on and saying, "Finish strong, sweetie! You're doing so well!" how do you NOT go all out and finish strong? His support made all the difference!
I have several more races planned for this year at varying distances. Can't wait to see what else 2015 holds and where my feet will run me to next!