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Need New Cardio Ideas, Maybe Goals Too

Cardio Woes
This was one of those mornings when I felt like I could have easily slept another two hours. Maybe it's because most of the week I've been waking up at 5 am and not being able to go back to sleep. I am really starting to miss being able to run at lunch. I love summer, and I don't mind it being hot. But, it's just too hot to run at noon now. So I'm starting to feel like I'm flailing with cardio. I can only do so much kickboxing (I only have 3 kickboxing and 1 boxing DVD). Step aggravates my plantar fasciitis problem, so I've been trying to avoid step now. I love doing boot camp/HIIT/interval style workouts, but those are typically short.

So what's a girl to do on a cardio-only day? Oh, that was a real question by the way. I have no answer. I don't have any cardio equipment at home. I have gotten to where I simply dread the mere thought of running on the treadmills at the gym. I will say that when we were on vacation and I ran at the condo's gym and was able to watch what I wanted on tv, that helped tremendously. At the gym, however, it' CNN or ESPN period.

I was totally on the fence about my workout because nothing sounded appealing enough to do for 45-50 minutes (let alone an hour). I came very close to just calling it a rest day, but that wouldn't change the fact that I would need cardio for tomorrow. So I sucked it up and chose Cathe's Cardio Fusion. It is comprised of step segments from 2 other DVDs as well as non-step drills/boot camp style cardio from another DVD. I also did stability ball abs after.

I used to LOVE this workout. But I have really gotten used to breaking out my workouts into 2 shorter sessions. So the length seemed daunting. I only did about 45 minutes of it (opted out of some of my least favorite drills). While there was some clock watching, it did go by faster than I was expecting (I had been psyching myself out obviously).

Let's Talk Goals
I read a lot of blogs and hear a lot of people mention setting goals: fitness goals, personal goals, mini-goals, etc. I very rarely set a goal for myself for anything. If I am going to do a race, then I'll set a goal for that perhaps, but other than that...none. I don't set weight lifting goals; I just lift. I don't set cardio goals; I just "cardio."

With my musings about careers, it made me start to wonder if perhaps I shouldn't be setting goals for myself. Jason often asks me my goals with my workouts. He sets goals such as signing up for a race as motivation. Perhaps I need to set some sort of goals to help motivate me career-wise, and maybe even workout-wise. Perhaps I'm losing focus and motivation and haven't truly noticed.

Sorry for that ramble. Do you set goals? Do you think they're important?

Lucky Gal & Easy Dinner

I received another fantastic goody package today. I've apparently been lucky lately winning a couple of giveaways. I don't normally win things - do you? I won a terrific NuNaturals Stevia set from Angela @ Southern Grace Gourmet. My box o' goodies included: Vanilla Stevia (love this stuff), Stevia Powder Packets, and Stevia Baking Blend. If you haven't tried NuNaturals products yet, you really need to. I don't think you will be disappointed.

We decided to take the easy route for dinner. It just wouldn't cook itself no matter how long I procrastinated. I grilled both sweet and russet potato "fries" to go with Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers that I made and froze a few weeks back (recipe here).


  1. Good Evening Heather,

    Cardio inside is no fun. I am right there with you. I am considering an elliptical. If we get one I will let you know what we think.

    I am the princess of goal setting. When I was in grad school (a million years ago), one of my favorite courses was a PhD level course in organizational behavior taught by a wonderful gentleman whose focus was goal setting. I learned so much from that course. There are some tips to setting effective goals. I think you have just given me an idea for any upcoming post, LOL. Thanks!

    Every time you post a veggie burger I am reminded that I don't have any in the freezer. I really need to correct that soon. Your dinner is making me hungry. ;-)


  2. You should get a bike trainer and put your bike on indoors, or go the gym and spin with your iPod. So much better! I have to get my cardio in before 7am otherwise its deathly hot oustide. EEK!
    Veggie burger looks always. :)

  3. Your fries look restaurant quality! And maybe you could try Insanity to get out of the cardio rut? Or do a spin class? I love those!

  4. Alicia @ Vegan Epicurean So you need to set a goal to make veggie burgers ;-) LOL. I think I need to learn to set goals for myself.

    Lindsay @ Cotter Crunch I know you understand the heat issue. It's already 75 at 7am. 75 is fine when the humidity isn't through the roof though. I'm not really a cyclist (hubby is), but it's definitely a thought, something different.

    Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries Thanks girl - I'm a bit OCD about things like cutting potatoes the same size! I do like spin, but my gym only offers spin classes at very restricted times like noon or 5:30 MWF period...that's it.

  5. AnonymousJune 17, 2010

    Congrats on the contest win....I never win anything! I set goals without setting goals. :)

  6. Firstly your veggie burger looks delicious!

    Goals.....I try not to set goals so that if I don't accomplish it I won't be very disappointed ;) But to keep me going I do sign up for races so that I know I need to work hard to make sure I do well at that race.

    Cardio.....I like running on the threadmill at the gym. I have my ipod and I run away. I always play a game......when I get on teh threadmill at the gym.....I have to be the last one off of everyone that is currently on the threadmills. Many times its easy b/c people were about to get off but a few times I really push myself and do more than I would. Godo luck finding the right cardio!

  7. "I have gotten to where I simply dread the mere thought of running on the treadmills at the gym."
    STORY of my life! I would rather run in 110F heat or -40F below than run on a 'mill. I HATE THEM. Dearly. I would rather do jumping jacks and burpees and just anything to get my cardio going (skipping cardio is not an option for this type A beast who needs to do cardio or else...grrrr!) LOL I feel you girl!

    The goal thing. I set them but for my show, i didnt have some elaborate thing. I run half marathons by lacing shoes, leaving house, running. There is not a "big plan". No, I just do. I am like you it sounds like. Goals are nice but not the end all be all

    Thank u soooo much on the Polar jazz!!!


  8. I am such a goal oriented person, I require them, even if they're super short term (as small as a daily to-do list) to keep myself focused. I feel ya with the struggle to find interesting cardio.. man do I wish I enjoyed just going for a run!

  9. Hey girlie! I'm terrible about setting goals. I'll think...okay I need to set a plan for this..and it never happens. Maybe one day I'll get my stuff together and make it happen! Do you do any biking for cardio? It's way too hot for me to run outside now..I'm a wimp..but I can rid long distances just fine.

  10. Emily @ Emily Eats Clean I typically don't win either. I'm a happy girl. LOL - I like that "Set goals without setting goals."

    Bela @ It's Life, Max it Out I think a lot of my prob with goal setting is possible disappointment too. The only way I can manage the treadmill is by doing intervals. I like your little game ;-)

    Averie @ Loves Veggies and Yoga Maybe goals aren't 100% necessary for Type A'ers huh? Glad I could help out with the HR monitor questions.

    Alyson @ Nourished Fitness Maybe some people are goal oriented while others aren't - just a personality thing. I soooo hear you on wishing that I adored running. I enjoy certain things about it, but not actually running. Sigh.

  11. Oh....maybe you could try Insanity for your cardio! Trust me it is SUPER hard:) I consider myself pretty fit and I could barely keep up!!!

    I like goals....they keep me super motivated! But I don't beat myself up too much if I don't meet's all about just getting out there and moving:)

  12. AnonymousJune 18, 2010

    Aw, you sound like me in a way - flailing for the "what's next" factor. Part of it is totally a head game but part of it is for real - the wondering what's around the bend and wondering if you should create your own destiny in a way. All very hard to wrap your head around sometimes, huh? As for goals - you know I'm into mini-goals versus massive goals and that I also try to avoid goals that involve numbers (like wanting to be a certain pants size or weight, or being able to lift a certain amt or whatever). I'd rather focus on goals that make me feel good/strong/accomplished. Like that pike on the stability ball thing - its a little thing (and a silly thing for most I'm sure), but I really want to be able to say I did one! That and those darn levitation holds in the ab circuits series. Still can't do those either!!

  13. Maybe you could try running outside instead. I'm thinking of doing a marathon training plan (like from even though I have no desire to actually run a marathon. I think it will make a good concrete outline of what I need to do for cardio.

  14. Heather, you sound just like me! I am kinda bored with my workouts lately and have no idea how to change them up. I am not a runner. I have a treadmill and hate it! I don't set goals for myself on things that I know I have no control over. Seriously, I have been looking for a job for a year now and still nothing. Ugh...

    I love NuNaturals!!! Your dinner looks great! Have a great day!

  15. I agree that it is SO hot right now that unless you run at the crak of dawn it is just so miserable! My friend does cardio dance sessions. She sets her IPOD to play 45 minutes of music and she dances her heart out. I thought this was crazy but I did it with her once and it definitely can get your heart rate up and it is fun! hehe!

  16. Thanks for posting about the NuNaturals...I'm definitely going to check it out, since I'm trying to break myself of my Splenda habit!
    I like the idea of mini goals -- I need to start doing them more often. :)

  17. I think goals are VERY important, and I set them all the time!

    My twitter account is under: mariejolene

  18. AnonymousJune 18, 2010

    I am definitely a goal setter. I love having something to work towards whether it's a marathon or just a stronger core!

  19. Goals are really important in my life. If I don't have something specific that I'm working toward, I start to feel unmotivated and down. Sometimes it drives me crazy because I can never just "be." I always need to be striving toward something new.

    Maybe you should experiment with a new workout...something you've never done before...and see if you like it. Like biking? I also have heard so much around the blog world about the insanity workouts, and they sound really challenging.

    Sorry I'm not much help - I've been struggling with the heat issue as well. Even when I get up at 6:30, I still feel like I'm going to die of heat exhaustion. I'm not really a fan of the treadmill either, but if I have really great music that pumps me up and I do some kind of intervals it helps a lot.

  20. have u tried rebounding on a mini tramp! thats my fav cardio!! <3

  21. Simple Daisy I really want to try Insanity!

    Jessica @ EatDrinkBreatheSweat I think mini-goals might be more my speed too. You WILL master the pike ;-)

    Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday Part of the problem I'm having is trying to find something in lieu of running outside b/c it's simply too hot here right now. I'm too lazy to get out at 5:30 am!!

    Sarena @ The Non-Dairy Queen Do you do intervals on the treadmill? That's the one thing I can do, and like to do, on the treadmill.

    Kelly @ Healthy Living with Kelly Oh I love the dance idea!!! I could totally do that one ;-)

    Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life Definitely give the NuNaturals a try. It's a little different than splenda, but I like it a lot. The liquid vanilla rocks!

    Jolene @ Everyday Foodie I may start trying to set at least one a week and see how that goes.

    Madeline@ Greens and Jeans Thanks for stopping by and sharing. This is fun hearing what everyone thinks!

    Candice @ ChiaSeedMe My hubby really wants me to ride with him. May end up heading in that direction!!

    Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel I had a mini-trampoline when I was younger and loved that thing! So much fun - makes you feel like a little kid bouncing around!


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