My Love of DailyBurn

Disclaimer – I am in no way directly affiliated with DailyBurn nor am I being compensated in any way for the following blog entry.  I have mentioned DailyBurn as part of my workout routine in other blog entries and felt I was overdue in elaborating on exactly what it is so here we go:

I am a runner at heart.  In high school I gained some appreciation for weight lifting as it helped me to have a very successful senior track season.  Over the years I have tried various workout DVDs and programs and hated them.  I found them to be either too complicated (I’m not the most coordinated person), too long (who has time for 60 min workouts everyday?), too fast paced or just too boring.

I found a solution to my non-running workout woes when I discovered DailyBurn.  Jason signed up for it a few years ago.  It is a fitness app; we downloaded it via our Roku.  Around August 2016 I started doing more and more of its workouts and I have even completed the entire Tactical Bodyweight Training program.

The following are the main reasons I love DailyBurn and would recommend it to anyone, runner or not.

1 – New Workouts  Each day there is a live 30 minute workout aired at 9am EST from the DailyBurn studio in NYC known as DB365.  That workout can be played for 24 hours.  On the weekends it’s not always a live workout but rather one from the past that is reran.

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Workout I completed today

2 – Program Variety  There are so many programs offered from cardio to kickboxing to yoga.  You can choose to either complete the entire program or pick a specific workout from the program to complete.  New programs get added every so often as well.  The latest one, 10 minute Tone, is great for creating your own workout or tacking on some strength work after a run.

3 – Quality Trainers  Each trainer definitely brings a certain personality to his or her workout.  What they all have in common though is their ability to break down the moves so that anyone can understand how to complete them.  In the daily workout modifications are often shown by one of the in studio members, either to simplify the moves or to add more intensity such as adding weights.

4 – No Equipment Needed  The daily workout requires no equipment.  It’s a good idea to have a yoga mat at minimum because of completing core moves, but there are plenty of days where I don’t even need that.  Sometimes light dumbbells can be used to make moves more challenging but again, they’re not required to complete the workout.  Some of the programs require dumbbells or a box, but other programs require no equipment such as the Tactical BodyWeight Training.

5 – Made for Everyone  Unless someone is an elite athlete I would wager that nearly everyone, from someone just starting a fitness journey to those of us who regularly workout, will find some benefit from DailyBurn.  Its workouts cover everything – cardio, strength, flexibility and mobility.  While I don’t utilize it, there is an online community for members to chat live during the daily workout.  Each week features a theme/quote that is discussed during the live workouts.  Members are invited to attend the in studio workouts or to participate via webcam as well.  It truly creates an interactive environment for those who like that type of motivation to keep up their workouts.

Since supplementing my running with regular DailyBurn workouts I have grown so much as an athlete.  I have gained strength in my total body.   I have been able to maintain my fitness even through a busy spring that involved coaching track and line judging volleyball games.  I have stayed injury free in my running partly due to learning better warmup and cooldown techniques.  I have learned new core moves to utilize when coaching my track kids.  Above all else, I have found fun in workouts that don’t involve running.

If you have any questions about DailyBurn please feel free to comment below.  I encourage everyone to sign up for the free 30 day trial and if you do, please let me know how you like it!

 

 

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Posted in Health and Wellness, Personal Life, Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

OCMD/Berlin

Every year since I was born except for 2013 I have traveled to Ocean City, Maryland, for vacation.  In 2013 Jason and I went on our first cruise and since that was an island itinerary, that counted as my “beach trip” for the year.  This year I did research a few other beach destinations such as Rehobeth, Bethany and Cape May.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find a hotel that was as comparable in cost or proximity to the beach as the Sahara.  For that reason Jason and I returned yet again to our usual beach spot.

We only ever visit for a few days, this year leaving on Sunday and returning on Wednesday.  I love the beach, primarily the ocean.  Unfortunately the sun doesn’t love Jason or me very much.  We spend a lot of time under the umbrella and reapplying sunblock.  I could never spend a week at the beach like many people do; I would come back looking like a lobster.

We enjoyed our time in the ocean and were fortunate that our particular section didn’t have any rip currents.  In the evenings we ventured onto the boardwalk, another perk of our motel location is being able to walk right onto it.  This year there was an Englishman who was both a comedian and magician performing near the end of the boardwalk and he provided a very entertaining show.

The highlight of our trip this year was actually a side trip to Berlin, Maryland.  Monday was a rain filled day and we didn’t want to spend the day in the motel room.  We figured the indoor mini golf, bowling alley and movie theater would be packed with other tourists seeking fun on a rainy day.  We saw Berlin advertised in the vacation guide we picked up in the motel lobby.  It was only 8 miles outside of Ocean City and labeled one of the “coolest small towns” so we figured why not?

Berlin was definitely an adorable and fun small town to explore.  Most of the shops along Main Street have large awnings extending over the sidewalk so our use of umbrellas was limited.  We explored antique shops and some other specialty stores.  We ate lunch at Blacksmith and enjoyed every bite.  Jason finally got to try a bahn mi sandwich.  I had crab mac & cheese made with goat cheese that was super creamy and loaded with crab meat.  We agreed we may have to venture outside of OCMD again in the future just to enjoy lunch there again.

Have you vacationed in the same place many years in a row?  What do you do on rainy vacation days?  

 

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EBACC 5k

In my previous post I wrote about a trip to Lake Tobias Wildlife Park that served as a birthday gift for my dad.  For his actual birthday on Saturday we ran the East Berlin Area Community Center (EBACC) 5k.

Before diving into the race I want to provide some background.  When I joined the cross country team in 2003 my dad decided to start running with me.  Living in a somewhat rural area my parents didn’t want me training alone.  At the time my dad’s cholesterol numbers weren’t the greatest despite him being thin and fairly active in general; his triglycerides were over 1000.  The doctor blamed poor genetics as both of his parents had high cholesterol.  Fortunately running helped his numbers drop into the normal range though he still requires a daily cholesterol medication.

The first race we ran together was the River Run 5k in May 2003 and I beat him.  I have not beaten him since.  The summers of 2006 – 2008 we raced a lot, sometimes every other weekend.  Back then we could usually race for $10-15 apiece so it was a relatively cheap hobby.  As years passed and costs rose, we raced less and less.

When dad heard that the EBACC 5k fell on his birthday he wanted to run it just to see what he could run in a 5k again since it had been quite awhile since he raced one.  Neither of us had ran it since 2008.  I remembered enjoying the course a great deal despite never placing in my age group and figured it would be fun to run it again.

The majority of my runs this summer have averaged a 9:30 – 10 min per mile pace.  That’s my normal training half marathon training pace.  I haven’t done any speed work.  Keeping this in mind I figured if I ran a sub 27 I would be good.  I was actually a bit nervous about setting that as a goal because I hadn’t been running any miles close to a 9 min pace.

Saturday morning had near perfect running conditions considering it’s July.  It was overcast with temps in the 70s and just a tad bit of humidity.  We arrived early, picked up our packets, waited for what seemed like forever to use the porta-potties (I was seriously starting to question what some people were doing in them), and did about a 5 minute warm up jog.  I also did my mobility warmup and some quick strides.

We lined up, my dad closer to the front of the pack than me.  I intended to go out harder than I normally do in a 5k in hopes of getting a sub 9 mile.  The gun went off and I went out hard telling myself I wouldn’t “settle” into a comfortable pace like I typically would until I had gotten close to a half mile into the race.  The course started in an alley and wrapped around into another alley and wound through some side streets of town before turning onto main street.  The only real “hill” in the course was on main street.  I use quotes because compared to the hills I’m used to running it was a glorified incline.

My watch beeped 1 mile a few feet in front of the 1 mile sign and the volunteer calling out times.  I believe he read the time backwards as he said “7:35” and my watch displayed “7:53”.  I was shocked to see a sub 8 mile and chalked it up to a good start.  I was feeling really comfortable and strong at that point, so I didn’t let up the pace and just figured I would see how long I could keep it.

The course continued to wind through the town of East Berlin.  I felt like a race car going around all the corners in the developments, turning from one street onto another street.  I don’t recall anyone passing me after the halfway point.  I was actually passing people on downhill grades which isn’t something I typically do; I tend to beat them on the uphills.  The volunteer calling out times at the 2 mile mark was way off.  All I heard was something in the 19s and knew he was wrong because even if I had slowed down, it wasn’t that much.  He had distracted me so I didn’t actually see the split on my watch.  I wasn’t too concerned though as I was feeling great and enjoying the race.

Although it had been 10 years since I last ran it, I knew the most deceiving part of the race would be the final alley.  One can normally see the finish and tends to start picking up the pace only to realize it is a lot farther away than it seems.  For this reason when I turned the corner into the alley I maintained my pace.  The alley proved true, feeling much longer than I even remembered, but I held strong.  When my watch beeped at the 3 mile mark I realized I didn’t have enough strength to sprint the final .1 like I normally would.  I was ok with that as I felt I used my energy well throughout the full course of the race.

Much to my dismay the finish line clock was not displaying the times as I approached.  I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch.  A volunteer handed me a soaked towel and another gave me a water.  My dad hurried over and asked what time I had ran, and it seemed to take my watch forever to pull up the time.

24:17

Not quite believing I had actually ran that fast, I quickly checked the computer display of results.

24:16

I was nearly dumbfounded that I had ran that fast.  That kind of time wasn’t something I had seen in 10 – 12 years.  My best times in high school cross country races were in the 23’s.  My dad had ran a 22:02 which made him happy though he said if the display clock had been working he likely would’ve been able to run in the 21’s seeing how close he was.

We both placed 3rd in our age groups and collected our medals after enjoying some great snacks.  There was a Sheetz food truck there giving out free smoothies which was beyond awesome.  The rain was just starting to arrive as we headed home.  It made for a memorable birthday for my dad and quite a memorable race for me.

I’m still wrapping my head around running that fast.  I actually found my 2008 race time online – 25:41.  While great weather certainly played a role, as did a relatively easy course (I had to laugh when I heard a woman ask another one why they called it a “flat” course – I wanted to tell her to come run where I do and she’d understand) I just didn’t believe I had that kind of speed in me.  Strength, yes.  Speed, no.  My running buddy Todd chalks it up to the other training I do through DailyBurn.  He thinks I can run in the 23’s.  It certainly is giving me a lot to think about moving forward with the rest of my training this summer.

Todd, dad and I are looking to run a race on Labor Day.  Originally I was going to sign up for the 10k, but they’re both doing the 5k.  I’m now considering running the 5k instead with the intention of trying to keep up with them just to see how much harder I can push.  In the meantime though I’m going to keep up my consistency and adding on miles to my weekly long runs to get ready for a half marathon in the fall.

Have you ever ran a race and then ran it many years later?  Have you ever surprised yourself with better race results than you expected?  

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Lake Tobias Wildlife Park

Saturday was my dad’s 58th birthday.  Instead of buying him a gift I decided to do an activity as a present.  A few months ago I told him and my mom to take a vacation day on Friday and we would all go to Lake Tobias Wildlife Park.  Despite being “in our backyard” at 1.5 hours away, my family had never visited.  I was able to buy discounted tickets through my work’s recreation office and Jason got in free as a veteran.

We left early in the morning and stopped at Subway to get sandwiches to take along in a cooler for lunch.  We were part of the first group to arrive which meant we were on the first safari tour of the day.  My mom was glad that they offered vehicles for the tour as opposed to safaris where you drive your own; she was concerned about animals damaging her car.  Animal food was sold at the concession stand to take on the tour, but we chose not to buy any.  The tour lasted between 45 – 60 mins and our guide was fun and informative.  We traversed parts of the 150 acres to various spots where the animals were.  It was to our advantage to be on one of the earliest tours as she said the animals are hungrier and more likely to come to the vehicle.  It was also cooler in the morning as opposed to taking an afternoon tour.

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After exiting our tour vehicle we set out to explore the exhibits.  All of the animals were active with a female gibbon being the most vocal.  She kept making a noise that sounded similar to an ambulance wail and could be heard across the park.  We were able to view a capybara, an animal from South American none of us had ever saw.  There was a section for newly born baby animals and we were jealous of the worker who was inside holding a baby bobcat.  We chose not to visit the petting zoo as many groups of school age kids were in there.

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The reptile and exotics building said closed until noon so we used that time to eat our lunch.  We had brought along Subway thinking that the prices for food within the park would be exorbitant.  Surprisingly they weren’t, and if we visit again we’ll likely buy lunch from their concession stands instead.  There were lots of picnic tables available and we wrapped up our lunch just as some of the school groups were arriving to have theirs.

We toured the reptile and exotics building and stayed for the show they offered.  A two-toed sloth, giant toad, snapping turtle, two types of snakes and an alligator were featured.  I did not take any pictures as I was more interested in listening to the facts about each animal.

We headed back home, our entire visit lasting about 3.5 hours.  My dad enjoyed it as his birthday present, and we were grateful for gorgeous weather to enjoy our time there.  There is a giraffe exhibit under construction; it seems like the park tries to add new features to keep visitors coming back each year.  I thought the park and safari tour prices were very reasonable and that we got our money’s worth which is sometimes hard to find nowadays.  It’s also very large so we never felt crowded by others who were visiting.  The animals seem to be very healthy and live in clean environments.  Lake Tobias Wildlife Park is a fun family activity no matter what the ages of your family members.

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Facebook Feeds Information, Blogging Nourishes Conversation

Last week my mom and I ended up in a Facebook related discussion.  She mentioned how when she added a friend of mine who she had met a few times, how she thought she would get to see pictures of the person’s baby.  I explained that my friend had said even before her son was born that she wouldn’t be posting pictures of him primarily for privacy and personal reasons, but also because she didn’t want to be one of “those” parents who post nonstop pictures of their kids.  I told my mom I respected my friend for it, and that no matter how much Facebook wants us to believe what we post is “private” that I don’t trust it.

Out of sheer nosiness Friday evening I reactivated my account for about an hour.  I was shocked to see a former coworker expecting her 4th child, intrigued to see an ex-friend was now in a relationship and not surprised to see the same typical ramblings of more than one person.  I shook my head seeing some nonstop status updates by some, wondering what more they could be accomplishing or how much happier they would be if they just deactivated their page for a period of time.  I won’t lie in that I did enjoy seeing pictures of some friends’ children and particularly their vacation photos.

In browsing people’s pages it reemphasized to me how much Facebook wants us to believe it’s connecting us to others when it really isn’t.  If I never activated Facebook I would likely have never known about that former coworker expecting another child.  The reason is she and I don’t talk anymore.  Not for any bad reason, just one of those drift apart because you physically moved apart type of things.  If I remained on Facebook I would still be her “friend” but I wouldn’t have any better of a connection to her than I do now.  Would I know more about her life?  Sure.  Would I interact with her?  Only if you count “liking” a status and a random comment here or there as real interaction.  Would I have a real relationship with her?  No.

In contrast by being a member of the blogging community I am connecting with “strangers” on a near daily basis.  By reading their posts I am getting a deeper sense of who they are – what they like, what they’ve experienced, what they hope to achieve.  The comments I leave often tend to be long winded.  There are two reasons for that.  One, I’m a talker by nature.  Two, if I’m taking the time to comment it means that the post affected me in some way.

Unlike Facebook, where many times I was liking statuses or leaving quick comments such as “Congrats” out of an underlying pressure to do it, when I like or comment on a blog it’s because I actually enjoyed it.  Sometimes these comments lead to a bit of back and forth, creating a nice dialogue.  I know odds are slim I will ever meet any of these people I “talk” to, but my interactions with them help me to grow as a person.  Too often on Facebook where it seems almost the norm to become offended and attack those who disagree with you or think differently, I censored what I wrote to people.  When I comment on a blog I’m never censoring myself because I feel there is an unspoken respect and acceptance that while we may all be different, we are all writers sharing our thoughts and that connects us.

Facebook may enable us to know more facts about each other, but blogging allows us to actually connect to one another.

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3 Runs in a Row

I ran for the third day in a row today.  I don’t think I’ve ran three days in a row since I ran indoor track my freshman year of college.  In high school and college I never thought anything of running five or six days in a row; it’s just what I did as part of a team.  Being older (and slower) now though I feel like recovery time is more valuable and needed.  After these past few days I’m now thinking maybe it’s not as much as I’ve thought?

On Saturday I went to the northern extension of the York Rail Trail to run 7 miles.  It was a great day to run weather wise.  I considered leaving my water belt in the car, but given I had only one glass of water with breakfast up to that point I figured it best to wear it.  As annoying as the extra weight is I’m starting to think that I should continue to wear it for any run over 6 miles.  The ability to sip water or a sports drink whenever I want provides a mental boost as much as a physical one.  I was on the trail fairly early (last summer most of my long runs didn’t start before 9am) so there were only a few people using it.  The first highlight of the run was seeing a bald eagle perched on top of a telephone pole.  I probably wouldn’t have noticed, but there was a man taking pictures of it which caused me to look up as well.  I have seen bald eagles in the past, but this one just appeared more picturesque perched so serenely above us.  The second highlight was seeing a man and a boy, who I would guess was his son, fishing along the creek.  Their bikes were laid on their sides on the bank.  Although I don’t have kids nor do I want any, it always makes me happy to see others who do have them sharing nature with them.  The final highlight was completing the 7 miles in 1:11.48.  Although I have only been consistently running again for about a month I feel like I am further along in adding onto my long runs than I was at this point last summer.

Sunday I was toying with the idea of a short run.  I have always used the day after a long run as a recovery day, but given how great the weather was again, I wanted to enjoy it.  I also wanted to test myself and see how my legs would feel after the 7 miles.  Jason was lifting weights in the living room and I was cleaning the bathroom when he asked me if I planned on running.  At that point I had actually convinced myself to take a rest day, but I asked him why, did he want to run?  He said a short one so I suggested two miles, almost to the borough building and back home.  The alley behind our house is a slow incline, and not looking to set the world on fire I started out at the same comfortable pace I kept while running the 7 miles.  Jason stayed with me and we agreed to pick it up at the turn around point since it would be primarily a downhill run back to the house.  Our first mile was 9:55 which he felt was slow but which I was fine running.  He picked up the pace heading back and I opened my stride to keep up with him.  He’s 6’1″ and I’m 5’4″ so he has an advantage over me when it comes to stride length.  I let him know when we had a quarter mile to the finish and I picked up the pace on him.  He hung with me though and we clocked a 7:55 second mile.  I hadn’t ran a mile that fast since last summer.  It was certainly a confidence booster to be able to run that fast, albeit mostly downhill, after completing a long run the previous day.

This morning my legs felt a little tired, but not as much as I expected.  The temperature on my phone showed higher for tomorrow, so I figured why not log another run today?  I laced up my shoes after work and set out once more.  I ran to the high school which is one of the flatter routes I can run in town though there’s a gradual climb through the parking lot to the stadium.  Somehow sweat dripped into my right eye even while wearing sunglasses and was burning and blurring it.  Fortunately the bathrooms at the stadium were unlocked so I was able to get a drink as well as wipe my face with a wet paper towel.  I ran a lap around the track then headed back home.  I hit 3.75 miles which was fine with me.  Sometimes I get anal and want an even number, but given it was my third day in a row of running anything was impressive to me.

Both half marathons I trained for in the past I did with only running 3 days a week.  The success I had in running 3 days in a row though has me now thinking.  Did I train the smartest only running 3 days a week?  I certainly benefited at times from the extra recovery days.  It also suited me better as far as having time to pursue other hobbies.  Could I have ran even faster though if I had trained more than 3 days a week?  I’m not committing to running more than 3 days a week at this point.  I think if the weather beckons and my body is feeling it I will, and if I truly need the recovery days then I will take them.  We’ll see how it goes!

Do you run with water and if so, is it only when running over a certain number of miles?  Do you follow a strict training plan when training for races?  Do you plan recovery days or take them as you need them?

Posted in Personal Life, Running | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Life Randomness

The worst of the heat wave has passed, but I’m still feeling brain drained from it.  This is partially due to the fact that Jason and I prefer to only use an AC in our bedroom at night and rely on fans/open windows throughout the day.  We did relent and put a second AC in the living room window on Tuesday and used it for two days.  I’ve been determined to blog though, so I believe the best way to compromise the two issues is to just write a blog with randomness regarding my life lately.

Last Thursday I ran my 6 mile Dtown loop.  I knew with the heat wave coming (the heat index reached over 100 for 3 days in a row) I had to get in my long run.  It went better than expected given I didn’t have my dad to join me like the previous week.  I wrote a great blog entry while running regarding hills and was all set to come home, shower and type it up.  Unfortunately life got in the way, my energy waned and no blog was written.  That doesn’t happen often, but when it does it frustrates me to no end.  I need someone to invent a thought reading machine that I can strap onto my head when I run and have it record my thoughts.  I’m fairly certain I would get a lot more writing completed if that machine existed; I might even be able to write a book!

I have trained myself to drink water in the morning with my breakfast.  For years I drank Turkey Hill lemonade.  A few months ago I switched to chocolate milk figuring if I was going to consume sugar in my morning beverage then at least that contained calcium and a little protein.  I began to feel bloated most of the day a few weeks ago and wondered if maybe it was related to the milk.  I finally made the commitment to switching to water.  Water had been my go to beverage all other times of the day, but it always seemed to sit heavy in my stomach to drink it right away in the morning.  Jason’s always been able to just take a big swig of water straight out of bed, and it turned my stomach to watch.  I have come to find that if I eat a few bites of my Cream of Wheat first and just take small sips of water, I can ease into being able to drink a full glass with breakfast.  The higher temps have probably helped my transition.  Drinking water with breakfast has enabled me to feel more alert sooner in the morning and complete my weekend morning workouts without as much of a struggle.

Jason and I booked a trip to Chicago in October to visit our friends, Alecia and Ryan, who we went with us on our cruise last September.  Airfare is so ridiculously expensive to me and I’ve spent a good portion of the year randomly checking flights and feeling dismayed by the costs.  One Friday I was texting with Alecia and we were venting about our lack of couple friends (not having/wanting children aids in this issue, a topic for another blog) and I began browsing flights again.  I came across one about $60 cheaper than I normally saw and quickly emailed Jason saying I knew we probably shouldn’t spend the money and that we already vacation planned for the year, but that I really missed Alecia and Ryan.  To my surprise he emailed back and said it was a good deal and that he would go if I wanted.  I confirmed the dates with Alecia and now happily have a weekend trip booked to visit her.

I am deciding on a half marathon to run in the fall.  Booking the weekend in Chicago killed the original one I was considering since it falls on the same weekend.  There is one at the end of September in Lancaster that my dad has ran in the past.  He enjoyed it though said it is more challenging than the Blue-Gray half marathon we ran last year in Gettysburg.  The other one is the end of October in Harrisburg.  I’m thinking it is the same course as the Harrisburg half which I have heard is a fairly flat and fast course.  I would prefer the Lancaster one since the course sounds like one I would enjoy, but I also like the idea of having a whole extra month to train to run the one in Harrisburg.  I’m also considering a 5 mile race in September that would fall two weeks before the half marathon which means I would likely have to go run more that day to achieve my longest run.  I’m not really a fan of running twice in one day.  Running so well last October I feel like having an extra month to train would really benefit me.  I’ve only been back to running 3x a week for about a month now and my longest run has been 6 miles.  I know if I amped up my training I could be ready by the end of September, but I also want to enjoy my summer without too much pressure on my runs.  Decisions, decisions…

Do you have any upcoming races planned?  Any races planned for the fall?  What do you factor into your decision when picking a race to run?  Any randomness in your life to share?

 

 

Posted in Personal Life, Random Thoughts, Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments