Sincerely Carolina

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Keeping It Neutral

by caroline

Howdy! We’re hitting the road for Pittsburgh today for my brother’s graduation party which meant an early gym time for us (it’s raining here … ugh).

I’ve been slowly getting back into the running groove with daily short runs (3 – 3.5 miles), a solid strength program and TONS of stretching. Today I had a lot of energy, but I kept it fairly neutral by doing a walk-run on the treadmill. One of the lessons I’ve learned is that too much too soon can be a recipe for re-injury (which = one unhappy runner). Anyway, this was just what I needed to stretch out my legs after yesterday’s 3.5-mile run and tough butt/leg workout:

After getting awfully sweaty with that workout, I decided to stretch it out and do a little work on my hamstrings while Dan was finishing up. One of my favorite strength exercises is hamstring curls on a fitness ball. I had Dan take a couple photos for me — ignore the quality (we had to use a camera phone) and my funny faces ;):

All you do is lie on your back with your hands by your sides on the floor, heels on the ball. Lift your hips off of the floor until your body is in an even plank (photo 1). Push down on the ball with your heels and pull it toward your butt, using your hamstring and butt muscles (photo 2). (I know the proper term is gluteal muscles, but “butt” is just straight and to the point, ya know?) Return to starting position. Keep your hips and butt lifted and in an even line for the duration of the exercise. I did 3 sets of 10 of these guys and, wow, my hamstrings were burning by the end!

I finished up with stretching, and then we headed home for breakfast (yogurt, fruit and peanut butter granola):

Then, it was time to pack and put together snacks for the car!

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Speaking of snacks, coming up later I’ll have a review of gluten-free pita bread for ya. In the meantime, I gotta pack up this computer and get going!

Happy Friday Morning