Sunday, May 20, 2012

 Colorado- 2012:

Saturday May 19 4:30 am....The alarm sounds "I'm Sexy and I Know It".... Time to get off and get the coffee brewing just 30 minutes until we leave or the airport to catch our 7:40 flight into Denver. Going through security was interesting. They saw a small metal piece in one of my tennis shoes and had to investigate it. Turns out I wasn't a terroist or killer after all. That little metal sliver was just a bobby pin...oops! After that I got my usual grande quad skinny carmel macchiatto from starbucks and waited to board. On the plane I enjoyed my book Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World. And after awhile of reading i nodded of into a peaceful sleep. After about a two hour flight we landed! Next stop Caribou Coffee and then off to get the rental car. ? Just about two hours later we got to my Aunt Karen and Uncle Scott's house in Colorado Springs where we would be staying for the next couple of days. Its really the cutest little house, not to mention the view from my bedroom window which is just gorgeous. After having some soup for lunch it was time for a run while my mom took a nap. It was a little raining and chilly so I suited up in my Under Armor and my Nike windbreaker and was off. I ran down to a cute little out door mall about 3.5 miles away and shopped for a bit of course before running back home. I got a smoothie from good ole Smoothie King after my run and enjoyed the company of the fam while stretching. Then it was off to take a nice hot shower and catch up on some Gossip Girl before falling asleep.

Sunday May 20th: First stop the coffee maker. Then onto a protein shake for breakfast before heading out for the next adventure. We went down to the Garden of the Gods to get my dad the petrified wood he requested (he is so weird sometimes lol). We unfortunately didn't to get to rock climb like we had hoped, but that's ok because it still turned out to be an awesome day! We went down to Pikes Peak next and went up the Manitou Springs incline. It is about a mile in all stairs (actually they are old railroad ties) up the incline. I'm not gonna lie it is tough. The steep incline combined with the high elevation was a breathtaker. Not to hard but definitly a good challenge. After reaching the top and taking a victory picture I jogged down Barr Trail while my mom followed behind walking. It was about a 3.4 mile jog down the trail to the base. What a beautiful run! I did eat dirt on the way down tripping over a rock but all was well and I just ended up with a minor battlewound on my knee. Nothing to serious at all and frankly falling is something I have come to expect out of my clumsy self. We went back to my Aunt's house showered and then headed off to Mackenzie's Chop House for dinner. It was super nice and the food was amazing. I had the house salad (spinach, lettuce, walnuts, balsamic marinated apples and grapes) and the best salmon I have ever tasted paired with mushrooms and asparagus. It was devine! Such a great dinner. Now I'm just sitting here typing this before I hit the sack for tommorow the big day of visiting Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Should be an exciting day!

See you at the top of the Mountain,

Manitou Incline

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Experiences

Hey there,
       Its been a little bit since I've done one of these so I'm taking the time this morning while I'm enjoy my nice bowl of plain oatmeal with a sprinkle of cinnamon and some cut up banana to tell you all about some exciting new things I've done.(Oh yea that's right notice the "plain" inmy description of the oatmeal..all you need is to start with some good ole fashioned rolled oat cook those up and add some cinnamon and some bananna pieces, no sugar needed to sweeten this healthy bowl of breakfast goodness!) Anyway back to what I was saying, I recently started doing kickboxing at Title Boxing Club. I have wanted to take one for a while and let me tell you it was fantastic! Such a great way to add a pinch a variety into my workout week! The trainers are awesome and comined with the energetic, loud music energy levels are always high! So far I've done two classes and have already invested in my own pair of gloves. It is great way to have fun, relive stress, and get an awesome workout at the same time! The classes are an hour long of nonstop, hard core exercise. The 15 minutes consist of a warm-up (as my AP Euro teacher calls it the "warm-up from hell"). If you've ever seen or done the insanity dvds basically the warmup is like that! Then you are on the bags doing different combination for approx 35 min and the the last part of the hour is spent on abs! Also this week I went to the gym with one of my managers from work! Training her was fun and I look forward to doing it again.( This was on Thursday after I did my boxing classes, she is still sore as of yesterday!)
  Today I am going rockclimbing at Upper Limits in West County with the best friend Ashley. Look for a new post and pictures from this trip coming soon!
 Until Next Time around the Track,
    Nicole (:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Plyometrics and HIIT Training

There is nothing i enjoy more than plyometrics and HIIT to switch up my cardio routine and improve performance in speed and cardiorespiratory endurance. It is a great way to start the day and get energized.  Now I know some of you may be wondering, what is plyometrics and HIIT? Well, plyometrics is jump training and HIIT stand for High Intensity Interval Training. Basically you do a high intensity exercise for an alotted amount of time say 30sec-1min and followed by a period of rest for say 15-30sec (basically about a 2:1 ratio of intenisty:rest) and then go straight back into another intense exercise. HIIT is also a great way to burn fat in a shorter amount of time that traditional cardio in which at least 30 min must be preformed before fat burning becomes effective. Now for some of my favorite plyometric exercises. (any of these can be used in this interval training).
Burpees: Perform this move by jumping in and out of the positions pictured above. To increase difficulty perform a pushup in position three before jumping back up to standing.
Side Box Jumps: These are another favorite. Start with one leg on the box and the other on the ground alternate legs by bringing the one on the ground up with moving the one on the box to the otherside of the ground. To increase difficulty change the height of the box.(step aerobics blocks are great of anything requiring a "box"). Perform this exercise for 30sec-1min.
Box Jumps: Just as you would imagine start in a squat postion and jump straight onto a box. A great variation for this exercise would be jumping up and then twisting and jumping off onto the other side and then repeating(there and back is 1).
Mountain Climbers: The ever famous exercise we all have enjoyed in P.E. at one point in our lives. Being in push-up position(standing plank) and then alternate bringing knees into chest. (Like the picture at the top of the page).
Sumo Squat Jumps: Begin in wide squat with toes pointed out and jump. Be careful to land on your toes so you land with less force on your joints.
Jumping Jack: This one doesn't even need explination. One thing I will note is that the exercise becomes more effective when performed rapidly.
Toe Taps: Great for a home or the gym. Using a stair or box alternate raising legs and tapping toes onto box. To increase difficulting make the boxes higher or lengthen time.
Jumping Lunges: begin in a lung position and then jump into a lung on the opposite leg alternating back and forth. Because as this one can be very hard on the knees. You could even do this in front of a mirror to make sure that your knees stay aligned and aren't overlapping  your toes.
Another great way to perform HIIT is in sprint intervals with the times listed above spring for the intense part and then perform a slow jog during the resting period and then jump right back into sprinting.

Well that is all for this time!

Until the next lap around the track, happy sweating!
    Nicole (: