7, 8, 9…

Running Buddha, Sub 60 10k, Temple Building, Zaimu Challenge
In 2014, I began a running plan via my RunKeeper app. It's a fat burning plan, and alternates intervals with steady runs to increase your fitness level. The app features several such plans for goals like run a 5k (3.1 miles), run a 5k in less than 30 minutes, and so on. Although I don't enter races, I run 5ks and a rare 10k (6.2 miles), as part of a regular exercise regimen. While perusing the plans back then, I noticed a 7-mile training run included to build endurance for a 5k. At that point I was a consistent 4-mile runner and 7 miles seemed daunting. It was a little too far outside my comfort zone, and after all, I was just a casual runner. The goal and the fear intrigued me, though. I filed it in the back of my…
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In progress

Running Buddha, Temple Building, Zaimu Challenge
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="224"] Ajee' Wilson[/caption] Today I ran another 4 miler. I don't generally run two days in a row, but rain is forecast for tomorrow, so I had to get it in. I had modest goals – namely maintaining yesterday's performance with the addition of a slightly faster warm up mile. To my surprise and delight, I crushed it. I pushed the warm up mile and was progressively faster on all miles thereafter. I even dropped my average pace by 30 seconds.  That's pretty shocking, and in truth, I hit my target. As in, what I expected to be doing after a couple of weeks of effort. Next steps? Keeping this up long term, and not just as a quick trick a couple of days here and there. I'm still taking…
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Beyond the usual

Running Buddha, Temple Building, Zaimu Challenge
My usual run is four miles at a steady pace. Sometimes I do a faster three, or a slower five or six, but on a typical day, it's four – two out and back. I strive for negative splits, each mile faster than the last. But I haven't focused on overall pace in ages. In the past couple of months, I've added some interval training. So some days I do my steady four and others it's sprint work, or longer faster bouts, with periods of low intensity to recover. I selected a fat burning plan, rather than one for speed building. That said, it's reasonable to expect speed gains when you put your newly optimized lungs and legs to the test. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="318"] Monica Hargrove being badass.[/caption] I haven't done that. On my four-milers, I take…
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Winter Run: A Moving Meditation

Personal Narrative, Temple Building
January 5, 2016 | 7:10 am. I pull up to the trailhead, pleased it's not crowded. Understatement. Only one other car is here. It's cold this morning, so I get it. It's been unseasonably warm and the past couple of days Winter took over, as is her right to do. But it's damn cold. My weather app says 27º. Windchill 19º. I ran yesterday, similarly dressed in thermals and such. I had to ignore the cold to start. Colder now, but I really want these miles, so here I am. Me and one other brave soul. It's daybreak. Sunrise is 30 minutes away. The sky is clear. I see stars and a lovely crescent moon. I try to snap a picture, but the camera on my phone hasn't cooperated in weeks, and the shots are…
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Clement wins

Temple Building
I fancy myself a runner. Or a jogger, as the case may be.  As a general rule, I save my miles for clement weather. Put simply, I do not run in the cold. Pish posh on the mildness of Georgia winters; you can let your chest wheeze for an after inhaling frigid air. There are exceptions to my no winter running rule, but more often than not, I hang up my running shoes in November, and pull them out again around March. I spend the intervening months exercising with a DVD program. When I travel, I take it along. Unless I forget, which is the case at present. En route to the airport yesterday, I realized I packed everything I needed to do PiYo except the PiYo DVDs. Massive side eye to me. There was no turning back at…
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Ending the year strong

Temple Building
It's not winter yet, but Mother Nature has been pushing us to get ready for it. The days are noticeably shorter and unseasonably cold. The weather, along with my recent adventure, has put me in the mood to hibernate. Most mornings (and early evenings), I just want to swaddle myself in a ball and sleep. It's starting to impact my exercise regimen. From March to October, I jump out of bed before dawn, ready to log a few of the 40-50 miles I jog each month. I tweak my mileage to allow time for strength training with a barbell and plates. But all of this happens in the warm weather. Once we've entered true fall in north Georgia, I put away the running shoes and opt for indoor cardio. My program of choice has long…
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About those kettlebells…

Temple Building
Nearly two weeks ago, I asked about kettlebells. Folks on Twitter, Facebook and my blog responded, and everyone who did had something good to say. It's fun (men and women). It's a good workout (men and women). It feels more feminine to me (women). Out running errands around that time, I spotted a Pilates studio. Kettlebells practically leapt from their signage, and I smiled at the synchronicity. Once home, a quick search brought me to their website, and a phone call led me to their studio this morning. The studio offers a one-on-one kettlebell fundamentals class. It's designed to get you ready to join their group kettlebell classes, but I wanted some in-person training on technique for at home workouts as well. YouTube told me there are a lot of interesting exercises one can do…
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Free write

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April
I've set a timer for 5 minutes and I'm just typing stream of consciousness. I had so many plans when I woke up, and I've been working through them, but, well, you know how it goes sometimes. A few interruptions here, a fire to put out there, and it seems there's been a lot of busyness, but not as much business. That's fine. I can still check a few items off my list and create a clear plan of action for tomorrow based on what I accomplished today. And really, that's the best you can do on any given day. Since the fourth agreement is "always do your best," I can close out the work day in peace and look forward to a productive day tomorrow. [caption id="attachment_2008" align="alignright" width="225"] Me…
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Can’t build your temple without laying bricks

Temple Building
Today was a cardio day, but yesterday was weights. I got down. Crushed it today. Really knocked it out. o/ #champion #fitgoddess— nicole means victory (@ndcollier) February 13, 2014 Weight lifting is interesting for me. On the one hand, I love seeing progress. I can lift the weight with less effort as time goes on and see real strength. My muscles get sculpted. I lift and carry heavy groceries in a single bound. On the other hand, it's hard for me to get psyched up to do it. A run in the early morning? No problem. My favorite aerobic workout before sunrise? No sweat. Weightlifting, however, requires some mental gymnastics to get motivated. But yesterday? Crushed. I do a full body workout with a barbell and plates. Ten tracks including warm up, squats, chest,…
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On Holding Back

Temple Building
Today's run surprised me. It had been over a week since my last 4-mile run. Generally speaking, a couple of rest days are good for me. But too many means I start to lose a level of fitness. It's not to say I forewent exercise completely. In addition to rest days, I had a couple of bouts of weather-induced indoor aerobics. I also threw two short runs in the mix. In a hotel and pressed for time two mornings in a row, the treadmill beckoned. I've mentioned more than once how much I enjoy outdoor running and dislike treadmills, but there was no safe place to run nearby. It was the 'mill or nothing. No Bueno Let's get right to it and say both of those runs sucked. I never…
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