Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reservoir Running Report: Week 1

Last week I told you about how my epic quest to try every cupcake in and around Boston is having quite negative effects on my health. (Daily cupcakes aren't a staple of a healthy diet? Shocking!) I challenged myself to some fitness goals in order to help counteract my continued questing. (I'm eating all these cupcakes so you don't have to...I hope you appreciate it!) Also, I mentioned that there would be a prize for a commenter if I didn't meet my goals for the week. So, without further ado, here's my report from week 1 of the anti-cupcake, pro-running-around-the-beautiful-reservoir challenge.

Week 1: The Goals
Run 5 times by next Wednesday, at least once around the Reservoir without stopping (about 1.5 miles) each time. In the event of torrential downpours, a seemingly likely occurrence, I'll substitute one hour of Exercise TV workouts in my living room with at least 30 minutes aerobic, such as Jillian Michaels' evil workouts. The other 30 minutes can be pilates and/or yoga.

Week 1: The Reality
Workout 1
On Wednesday I went home after work totally motivated to start the challenge, but a thunderstorm was looming, so I decided to do the indoor substitute workout. (As it turned out, the storm never actually occurred.) I turned on my TV, and the screen was green. No ExerciseTV, no other channels, nothing. Thanks Comcast. I called the 800 number and requested the auto signal refresh, which takes about 45 minutes to take effect. My motivation was quickly wearing out, and I didn't want this to take the whole night, so I pulled out an old workout DVD. I got through about 20 minutes of the most boring aerobics workout ever and gave up on it. Finally, the TV was working again, so I completed the rest of the goal requirements with a combination of aerobics and pilates workout videos.

Workout 2
On Thursday, I was meeting up with an old friend who was in from out of town, so there was no time. On Friday, it was 1000000 degrees. On Saturday, I finally got out for a run. It wasn't around the reservoir, but it was 1.8 miles non-stop, so it counts. (I ran in Somerville: down Summer St. from Porter St. to Davis Square and back to Porter St. via Highland Ave.) It was my first time out for a run in a month or maybe two, and it was rough, although I managed to drag myself up the steep Porter St. hill (the Highland Ave. side) near the end of the run. I was pretty sore the next two days.

Workout 3, 4, 5
...non-existent :(

Week 1: What happened?
Stupidly I picked the heat wave - not to mention a very busy week with events and out-of-town friends - to start this challenge, and my goal was too ambitious. There just wasn't time for five workouts.

One of you gets a prize!
Here's the deal: I failed, so you win. You may have heard of the recent devastating flood damage suffered by the local and delicious chocolate company, Taza Chocolate, which had just finished shiny new renovations before the floods hit. Due to some social media outreach, they've been selling chocolate like crazy, but their production has been interrupted by the damage. In order to continue raising money to fix everything up, they're now selling gift certificates that will be usable in the future only at the factory store (561 Windsor St, Somerville) - not valid for online orders. So here's the prize: I'll buy you a $10 gift certificate to Taza. You won't be able to use it until the store opens back up (they're aiming for August or September), but the wait will make it extra delicious. To enter, leave a comment on this post answering one or more of the following questions:
  1. How do you fit in workouts when your schedule is just too busy? Do you find it worthwhile to sneak in short workouts when possible, or do you just spend extra time working out when you have a free day?
  2. What's your favorite way to exercise on unbearably hot summer days? How do you keep cool?
  3. How should I go about training for a 10k that I'd like to run in early October? Is less than three months enough time to go from lazy cupcake-eating blob to a successful 10k finisher? 
Comment by 7pm tonight (July 21, 2010), and I'll use a random number generator to pick the winner. Please keep in mind that this gift certificate will only be usable at the factory store in Somerville, not online.

Week 2: The Challenge
This time, I'm not going to set a specific number of workouts; I'm just going to make two goals to meet in any number of workouts before next Wednesday.
  1. Run a three-mile route without stopping, preferably two laps around the reservoir (but any other route is acceptable too, as long as it's at least three miles.) No time limit, but no walking.
  2. Three cumulative hours of yoga and/or pilates workouts (acceptable methods: ExerciseTV, DVDs, or a class.) 
Same deal next week: if I fail, one of you wins! As much as I love chocolate, I don't want to keep buying you chocolate, so hopefully this week will be better than last!

Comment away! You have until 7pm tonight.


  1. This sort of answers 1&2 - get up early and run before the high heat or run at dusk when the sun is down and hydrate ALL DAY. As for the 10K - you gotta start a training program now. You've got about 12 weeks it's tight but if you stick to a traiing regimen you can do it.

  2. Poor Taza! I heard about their flooding but hadn't heard about the gift certificate promo. I try to fit in workouts in the morning, which I know sounds a little crazy. However: it's cooler in the morning, the streets aren't as crowded so running is easier, and I only have to take one shower that day so I save water, hey! I'm also so busy in the evenings that I rarely find time for exercise after work. My own personal goal is to get up and move (whether that's a quick run, 20 minutes of yoga, or a dvd) 4 times a week. So far I've made it two weeks!

    As for training for the 10k (is it the Tufts 10k for Women? That race is SO FUN), I haven't tried it but a lot of people love the couch-to-5k plan, you could probably use that as a jumping off point.

  3. Yes, I think it's worth it so sneak in extra workouts! Try high intensity intervals if you're pressed for time. When it is extremely hot out, I head to the gym and exercise indoors :) And if you train properly, you have enough time to gear up for your 10k. Good luck!

  4. Love your post! ExerciseTV is helpful because I need little quick workouts too..and they add up. It's not easy--keep it up girl!

  5. I will actually add to my schedule time to work out. If I have out of town guests I invite them to come along. This way I have a time when I will work out.

    When there is hot weather, I schedule my workouts early in the mornings to get out of the heat which can be unbearable.

    I have no idea if you can run a 10k in three months, I'm not a runner.

    Good luck on the new challenge.

  6. When my schedule is busy I really don't work out, it's not that high of a priority for me but I'm working on changing that. I love the 10 min work out videos on Exercise TV On Demand - the yoga abs one is my favorite!
    On hot days, yoga On Demand in my living room counts as 'hot yoga' in my mind. Swimming is a good alternative if you have the option.
    I think you can definitely run a 10k in 3 months, my friend uses this website to help her train for a marathon:
    Good luck!

  7. Thanks for the helpful tips, everyone! Adrienne won the giveaway - yay chocolate! FYI my second week is going much better than the first there will probably be no prize this time around :-P


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