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Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist

Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist

So story time after a two-month hiatus from posting. Sorry about that.

Anyway, I created the *perfect* Spotify playlist (located at the bottom of this post!) for the Army Ten-Miler Race in D.C. last October. And guess what? The race “rules” online said headphones and electronic listening devices weren’t allowed on the course.

Say whhhaaaat? Run 10 miles without any music?!?!

Inside I was like “Well sh** sh** sh**. I don’t know how well I’ll run it now…”

I had only ever run 2 miles without music a handful of times for the Army’s PT test. And with that run, I never think about music. For PT test runs, I’m always waaaay too focused on not dying or puking since I’m running full throttle. So I’m kinda like this photo minus the sitting down and hammock part.

As you already know if you’ve read my previous posts, I finished the Army Ten-Miler Race, and I ran it really well for me (an 8:16-per-mile pace). And now with this story, you know I did it without any music whatsoever. Just me and my thoughts for 1 hour and 22 minutes. Good times.

To be honest, although music would’ve been nice, I didn’t need it. Racing past the monuments and the thousands upon thousands of other runners gave me such a cliche runner’s high that I didn’t even think about music. It’s a really unique, patriotic experience that I encourage runners and non-runners to do at least once. It’s definitely a bucket-list type item. 🙂

So after hearing my story about how I didn’t need music for the race, I’m sure you’re ready to listen to this playlist!

Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist from Hungry Gator Gal

Just kidding. I really do prefer running with music, and this playlist contains some recent hits and really solid motivational throwbacks. <— I’m talking to all of you 90s kids.

So if you’re doing longer runs for race training or if you’re running distance just for fun, feel free to give this playlist a try. I still use it when I feel like doing a long run. I’m on a more strength-focused routine and have turned to cycling and swimming lately more so than running for cardio. But the reason for that switch is the topic of an entirely different post.

More to come on (1) preparing for a ten-mile race and/or a half marathon, (2) workout playlists, and (3) my favorite workouts lately (cardio and strength). Stay tuned!

P.S. Follow me and my playlists on Spotify here. Oh, and did I mention how everyone on the course had their phones, headphones and music? So much for “rules.”

Also, early registration for the 2016 Army Ten-Miler Race opens May 11 for service members and for persons who have run the race seven times or more. Mark your calendars!!!

 

Questions:

  1. Do you prefer to run with or without music? <— With music for me, for sure.
  2. What’s your current favorite running song? <— Mine has been any remix of “Roses” by The Chainsmokers for like a solid 6 months now, haha. 

 

Related Posts:

Running, Surprising People and Surprising Yourself

 

Fast-paced Fall with SOS Rehydrate

Fast-Paced Fall with SOS Rehydrate

Fast-Paced Fall with SOS Rehydrate

Steve-Prefontaine-Cross-Country-Running-Poster

Fall 2015 was a combination of being exhilarated, terrified, happy, and overwhelmed . . . and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

Despite the suicidal pace of my life at times, I realized this fall that if you’re afraid of how fast you’re going, you know the journey is a good one.

With that said, I can’t thank my friends, family, teachers, and classmates enough for being a part of this insane journey that is law school, ROTC and my personal life. And on the fitness front, I have SOS Rehydrate to thank for keeping me and my teammates hydrated while training for and competing in two fun, challenging events: the Army Ten-Miler race and my second Army ROTC Ranger Challenge competition.

So here’s a recap of my fast-paced fall. More to come in 2016 about journeys in running, racing, competing, fueling and life as a officer candidate and law student. 🙂

August

2015-08-21 08.45.09

My 2-mile time in August was 15:50. After a season of training and racing, my time is currently around 14:30, give or take a few seconds based on the day. Stay tuned for more on the simple program I used to shave those 80 or so seconds off my time.

September

2015-09-20 17.21.33
If I remember correctly, it was about 90 degrees with what felt like 100% humidity when I took this photo, hahaha. Long training runs in Florida heat and humidity are awesomely awful. Give me my IV drip of electrolytes stat.

October

2015-10-11 13.12.35
The Army Ten-Miler Race – SO MUCH FUN!!! The energy of the thousands of runners during the race was insane. Racing through our nation’s capital was one of the best moments of my life . . . and I came in 7.5 minutes under my projected finishing time! Here are my stats (out of about 30,000 runners):

2015-10-12 20.09.37

2015-10-11 11.46.02
2015-10-10 14.07.34
2015-11-11 17.08.27
This photo was taken somewhere in of the middle of the 10-mile ruck, which was the final event at the Ranger Challenge competition. Other events for the competition (which started at 3am!!!) included 1,000 ruck lifts & 1,000 sit-ups (total for the team of 9), a triage lane, a rope bridge lane, a shuttle run and a 5-mile relay run. Needless to say, we were TOAST by the end.

November 

2015-11-12 18.20.33
Army-Navy ROTC annual football game! I have no idea why my tongue is out. Maybe I was focusing? I’ve been told I do this when studying intensly. . .

December

2015-12-18 10.56.09
Here’s to 2016 and all of the hope, excitement, challenges and fun it will bring. I wish you and your family the best in the new year! 🙂

Note: SOS Rehydrate provided me  with electrolyte packets in return for me writing this post, promoting their products and wearing their gear. However, all opinions are my own. The US Army is not supported by nor does it endorse SOS Rehydrate.

10 Tips for Cranking Out More Push-Ups on a Military PT Test

10 Tips for Cranking Out More Push-Ups on a Military PT Test

Once upon a time I HATED push-ups. And when I say I hated them, I mean I loathed them, and not in a love-to-hate kinda way. I just sucked at doing them.

But guess what?

Push-ups are by far my favorite exercise now, even over the squat, which says a lot coming from someone like me who lives for the power rack and sprints.

Source

Push-ups are a total body movement, and I didn’t master the movement overnight. I learned the tricks of the push-up trade. After nine months in the Army ROTC program, here’s what I’ve learned that can help you perfect the form, get stronger and therefore crank out more push-ups.

I went from being able to do 25 push-ups in two minutes to being able to crank out 62 push-ups in two minutes on last month’s PT (physical training) test by using these techniques.

10 Tips for Cranking Out More Push-Ups on a Military PT Test from Hungry Gator Gal

Graphic by Brianna Kolota

 

1. Look straight ahead while performing the entire movement.

In other words, DO NOT look down at your hands!

 

2. Pull in your glutes.

a.k.a. Don’t sag in the middle or make yourself a tepee. Your body should look like one straight line from the heels to the top of your head.

 

3. Find the distance between your hands and feet that naturally allows you to perform the greatest number of push-ups . . .

 

4. . . . and change that stance when it becomes difficult.

Changing your stance will engage different muscle groups and will allow you to crank out a few more push-ups than you thought you had left in you.

 

5. Enagage your quads (a.k.a. the tops of your thighs) and push your heels backward.

 

6. Engage your core muscles (a.k.a. your abs).

 

7. Don’t forget to breathe.

You don’t want to pass out in the middle of a push-up, do you?!?

 

8. Take a 10-second break when you’re nearing complete muscle failure.

After your 10-second break, perform two or three push-ups and then break again for five seconds. Repeat this pattern of two or three push-ups followed by a five-second break until you can do no more push-ups or your time expires (if you’re being timed for a test).

 

9. Practice!

Basically every other day I crank out 100 to 200 push-ups. I usually complete it circuit style by alternating between 20 push-ups and a 1-minute rest. I do these push-ups a few hours before or after a workout to give my body enough time to rest.

Some days I go MUCH slower with these reps than I would during a test. Slowing the upward and downward motion of a push-up allows you to focus on form rather than speed and builds the muscles needed to push out as many reps as possible on test day.

Other days I focus on an explosive upward movement as I would during the test. This trains the muscles of your upper back for power and speed.

Note: If you can’t complete 20 push-ups in a row without resting, focus on doing 5, 10 or 15 at a time. Rest 1 or 2 minutes. Repeat as many times as possible.

 

10. Lift heavy things (body weight and added weight).

In addition to practicing straight push-ups for muscular endurance, I lift and pull heavy things.

I bench press or do incline presses. I do pull-ups. I perform military presses, goblet squats, dips, and biceps curls. In other words, I hit it all.

I like to stick with three or four sets of five heavy reps for each of the exercises. I focus on strength here as opposed to endurance with the 100 to 200 push-ups every other day.

 

That’s it!

Feel free to email me at bkkolota@gmail.com if you have any questions related to Army ROTC, military PT training, or PT tests. I’d be happy to share my experience! 🙂

 

Question:

  1.  What’s your trick for performing as many push-ups as possible?

 

Related HGG Posts:

Lately + 5×5 Circuit Workout

5x5 Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

10 Goals to Improve Overall Fitness in 2015

50-Rep Upper Body + Abs Challenge

50-Rep Upper Body + Abs Challenge from Hungry Gator Gal

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 3

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 3

If you ask me what it’s like to be an Army officer candidate and a law student at the same time, I’ll give you these responses . . .

this-is-fine-meme

I love that there’s a cup of coffee in that photo because I’m totally guilty of caffeinating while stressed. The goal is to be jittery and motivated enough to conquer a mile-long to-do list while sleep deprived.

Don’t get me wrong. I like school and have come a LONG way in terms of analytical thinking abilities, but sometimes I just want to pull my hair out due to the non-stop mental gymnastics. Logic is so hard (and NOT logical) at times.

And when I’ve reached the point where I’m literally about to go insane, I turn to exercise, including yoga and my favorite practice songs.

So without further adieu, here’s my biggest +Spotify yoga playlist to date. It’s a good mix of slow and upbeat songs. It’s perfect for hot yoga, power yoga or a fast-flowing vinyasa. Find the playlist HERE. Enjoy! 🙂

P.S. The playlist is TWO images. Make sure to pin both if you’re adding the playlist to a Pinterest board. Also, if you like this playlist, follow me and my other playlists on Spotify and Pinterest.

1

2
Images by Brianna Kolota

P.S. I pay $5 per month as a student to have access to a bazillion songs with zero ads. I have the ability to follow and make as many playlists as my heart desires. It’s TOTALLY worth the money. 🙂

Lately + 5×5 Circuit Workout

Lately + 5×5 Circuit Workout

Words can’t even begin to describe everything that’s happened since I last stopped in. A lot of good stuff. Some bad stuff. But that’s life, right?

The good . . . competing in the Army ROTC 6th Brigade Ranger Challenge competition!

Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Competition on Hungry Gator Gal

Photo by Taryn Boyer

Ruck running 30 miles in two days with added challenges along the way is, without a doubt, the most grueling thing I’ve ever done.

I’m SO grateful to have had the opportunity to compete as the only female from the University of Florida. My body literally ached from head to toe, and there were times when my mind told me to give up, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat if that meant I would work with eight of the kindest, strongest, most motivating guys around again.

Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Competition on Hungry Gator Gal

Photo by Brianna Kolota

I don’t remember running miles in the rain with gear in full combat uniform or the blisters on my feet. When I look at this patch, which I’ll wear on my uniform for the remainder of my ROTC career, I remember the laughs, the motivation, and the teamwork.

Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Competition on Hungry Gator Gal

Photo by Brianna Kolota

So what went wrong after the competition? Unfortunately, I walked, actually more like hobbled, away with a bum knee in addition to a cool patch and a t-shirt. The injury sidelined me from all high-intensity exercise for nearly all of February.

Boo injuries. 🙁

Despite the setback, it was almost a good thing I was injured. I focused on spending time with family and friends, recovering from two back-to-back colds and catching up with schoolwork. In addition, I learned a few valuable lessons that anyone who’s serious about exercise should pay attention to.

  1. Stretch or die.
  2. Don’t ramp up your routine too much, too hard and too fast.
  3. Embrace rest.

More to come about these topics in a separate post. For now, check out this AWESOME circuit I created on the fly while at home on spring break. It’s very back-to-the-basics and hits every major muscle group, if you perform the exercises correctly.

Check out the tutorials below this image if you’re unsure about how to do a particular exercise. As always, move as quickly as you can between exercises but rest as needed. I rested for 10 seconds between exercises and 1 minute between circuits.

5x5 Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

Exercise tutorials:

Did I mention the workout can be completed at home and requires only one piece of equipment? Gotta love a good garage workout with the pull-up bar.

P.S. The +Spotify “House Workout” playlist is killer. Give it a listen while you try this workout.

Until next time,
Brianna 😉

 

Questions:

  1. What are your favorite at-home workouts? Links are always welcome. 🙂
  2. Do you own an at-home pull-up bar?

 

Related HGG Posts:

150-Rep Lower Body Challenge

150-Rep Lower Body Challenge from Hungry Gator Gal

Upper Body + Abs Circuit Workout

Upper Body + Abs Circuit Workout from hungrygatorgal.com

Holiday Circuit Workouts