Sprenk’s Favorite Things: Side Pockets

How did Friday get here again already?  How is it almost February?  Sometimes I laugh that after 30 years of dealing with the passing of time, I still get caught up in how fast it always seems to go.  Friday means I get to share a favorite thing with you!

Every so often there’s an innovation to something standard that is so brilliantly simple, you wonder why the hell it took so long for it to catch on.  The main development I’m sharing today is the SIDE POCKET.

Pockets on workout pants have evolved over the years.  Some were just big enough for keys, some on the front elastic band with no zipper, some on the back sacrum area with a zipper (painful for crunch work, and damaging to your phone), eventually they grew bigger to hold music devices and phones, and then finally, someone thought to put a big pocket on the side of the upper leg.

My first pair of pants with this perk were hot pink All the Right Places crop from Lululemon.  I bought them because they were pink, and realized later on my first run in them that this pocket was gold.

This year, my favorite tights for doing circuit workouts in also have a side pocket.  It’s great because I’m working out by myself most of the time and want to have headphones in.  Since I do floor work, I don’t want to smash my phone in my back pocket so I slip it into the side pocket of these tights.  These Tight Stuff tights deserve their own favorite things day I love them so much.

Finally, when I run now, I mostly always choose my full length leggings because they’re the only real cold weather running tights I have with this feature.  Before I owned pants with a lateral pocket, I would just carry my phone in my hand (to avoid the sweaty back pocket).  I never realized how burdensome that is!  It’s so freeing to stick it in that leg pocket and still have the headphones be long enough to reach my ears.

Besides being handy for my phone on runs and during workouts, they’re also at the perfect location for me to just walk around with my hands in my pockets – a joy I didn’t even know existed!

It’s hard now for me to buy pants without this side pocket functionality.  Yoga specific pants would be ok, since I’m not usually needing to carry a phone with me for those, but otherwise, from now on running and studio pants will be filtered by the option of the side pocket or not.

Do you love the side pocket?   How do you do music during your runs and workouts?

Workout Wednesday: Runner’s Dozen

Hi friends!  How’s your week going?  I’m feeling strong and on top of workouts and this Whole 30 eating plan we’re doing at the Studio.  I’m sure grumpy and tired days are ahead but it’s so great when energy, time and productivity seem abundant.

Case in point – I’ve filmed a workout video for you from my stack!  This week I chose one that is not my own creation.  I’ve actually looked to see who compiled these moves but I can’t find a true creator.  I’ve seen this workout referenced in my Believe Training Journal, on several running blogs and I’ve used it (not as much as I should) on and off for years.

The Runner’s Dozen

This workout is for anyone and requires no equipment.  It’s targeted to runners because the moves help develop core strength (core is glutes and shoulders too, not just abs) in a way that is functional to running.

There are 12 moves, to be performed in the order listed below:

  1. 60 bicycle abs (total)
  2. 20 pushups to side planks (total pushups)
  3. 30 marching bridges (total marches)
  4. Ab scissors – 30 horizontal, 30 vertical (total each direction)
  5. 60 second elbow plank
  6. 30 fire hydrants (total)
  7. 10 side plank leg raises
  8. 30 bird dogs (total, one side at a time)
  9. 15 V-ups
  10. Knee tucks (5 outside, 5 middle, 5 across – per leg)
  11. 10 second hold + 5 pulses flute balance (front, side, back)
  12. 10 pushups, rest, 9 pushups, rest……down to 1.

That’s it!  One time through takes 10-15 minutes so this could be done after a short run, or on its own as a maintenance day or strength day.  The link to the video is here, and the moves are performed in the order listed above.  It is not a real-time video, but sped up and not of the correct reps.  It’s meant to show form and modifications (pushups, side planks).  Good luck, and let me know if you try it!

Workout of the Week: Fit Camp

In all of my house tidy-ing efforts, I came across (or brought all together really) pages and pages of old workout routines.  I’ve been teaching for over six years now and have stacks upon stacks of magazine workouts and original workouts.   Themed class plans like Bosu, TRX and Spinning.  Core classes and yoga flows.  I’m not sure why I saved them all, and still not really sure what to do with them all either.

It’s like an antiquated (and nightmarish) Pinterest system.

After giving it some thought for a few weeks, I decided I’d like to film each workout at the studio and save it.  Maybe I’ll hyper lapse it.  Maybe I’ll just demo the moves and write the workout in text.  How cool would it be to have an archive of all of these workouts?  And I plan to share one per week right here.  Y’all are about to slowly get a library of different kinds of workouts for FREE!  You can thank me later (once I’ve followed through).

Today’s workout is a very recent creation of mine.  We just started another Fit Camp at StudiOne and this is an example of one of the circuits from the first week of the workout.  Fit Camp workouts are a combination of strength training and fat burning intensity levels.  They’re tough as nails but so worth it.  Give this one a try:

12 3-pulse weighted squats

12 push ups

12 step ups per leg

12 plank jacks

Set a timer for 8 minutes and complete those 4 moves as many times as you can in that timespan!  The Fit Camp workouts have 2 additional circuits included in them.

Here is a link to an instructional video of each move!  To see more of that fabulous(ly awkward) footage, you can sign up for an at home version of either the 8-week or 12-week plan.  Just leave a comment!




Week 3 in Review

Tuesdays are track days, Thursdays are tempo runs and Sundays are long runs on my current running plan.  Save a few miles on the tempo run, I managed to get the first two runs in before my trip this week.  I almost always bring running shoes on vacations with me because I think it’s a fun way to tour a new city, and spend some time with my favorite people.  I realized while I was packing in a frenzy with 30 minutes until we needed to leave for the airport that my running shoes were at the studio where Teresa was in the middle of a class.

There was no way to get them so I just decided I would try to buy them somewhere in Tahoe or Reno.  I tried, I really did, calling around to local running stores asking if they had my favorite Saucony Kinvaras in size 10.  No one in South Lake Tahoe did.  By the time we got to today, my long run day, we were all headed out of town earlier than anticipated to avoid the flooding that was coming through.  Chap and I headed back to Reno since it was pouring and there wasn’t much to do in Tahoe.  I made hime stop at a Dick’s Sporting Goods for me so I could try one more time to get the shoes to stay on track (lol, running pun).  Well they only had a size 9.5 or 11.

Frustrated but not deterred, I made my way down to our hotel gym in my Adidas trainers and decided I would do a warmup mile and then some sprints.  I didn’t want to do the entire 5 on the treadmill (for boredom’s sake, for one) since these shoes aren’t what my delicate feet are used to for runs.  Instead I did a one mile warmup and 15 rounds of 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off sprinting.  And since I was in a little bit of a mood from leaving family and the upcoming end to a vacation, I practiced some handstands.  Can’t stay upset when you’re playing upside down.

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I’m particularly proud this week of my cold weather run on Thursday, my living room workout with Shelby in Tahoe and the treadmill run today.  There will be weeks where everything goes exactly as I plan, and there will be weeks like this where life, weather, forgetfulness get in the way and I make due with the best I can.  Bring it on week 4!

Celebrating Two

I made it for a second day in a row on my training plan!  I’m not a believer in running every day.  I am also no longer a believer in “more miles are good miles”.  My training includes three hard runs a week with maybe one additional run for just a little stress relief or because the weather is nice.

So today wasn’t a running day.  But, I still like to have a designated workout or task I can complete for my training.  This morning after my first client, I completed an arm circuit geared toward helping me build pull-up muscles.  (Full disclosure, I tried to get up and get this workout in before I trained with him, but I’m just not adjusted to the early early mornings yet.)

Here is the circuit:

  • 3 sets of 10 scapular pulls.  Hang at the bottom of the pull up and pull the shoulder blades together.  That’s it.  This is a small movement but will train that initial pull of the motion.
  • 3 sets of 10 reverse flyes.  Nothing special here, just working on developing the rhomboids and other upper back muscles.
  • 3 sets of 5 assisted pull-ups.  Right now I’m using a green band to help pull me up.  I’ll keep scaling down in bands until I don’t need them anymore.  Hopefully before I turn 30 😉

Then, just because I needed to get a good sweat in, I did 15 x 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds slow on the treadmill.  Did I say I didn’t run today?  I guess I did, but I count this differently in my mind.


Also celebrating 2 years today with Chap.  What the heck? I can’t remember anything I was committed to for that long.  Does college count?  Never would have thought “beast mode baby, Sprenkeled” would have turned into this.   Here’s to two more!


Winter Season, part 2

Last week took an unexpected turn after that ambitious first Tuesday Track workout.  Wednesday was business as usual, which meant a strong arm workout in the afternoon with one of my classes and a routine mid-week day otherwise.

Then came Thursday.  I woke up with a splitting headache.  Very similar to the one I had a few weeks ago when I also had some sinus and congestion issues going on.  Behind one eye, affected by light and noise, and making me feel sick.  Usually I’ll get up and do things before I teach my lunch classes but I accidentally stayed in bed until about noon.

Once I got to the studio, I drank some water thinking maybe I was dehydrated, and about five minutes later, mid-interval for my poor kiddos, I had to leave for the bathroom.  Like a champ, I managed to finish teaching but hit the bed immediately when I got home.  The rest of the night was a tag team between bed and bathroom.  So not pleasant.

Friday I was on my feet again but with no appetite.  No workout this day.  Same situation Saturday.   By Sunday I was feeling alright again but the polar vortex made me not want to go outside to run.  So I decided I’d just start over.  I used the time locked in doors to register of 2 of my 3 goal races in the spring – Sweetheart Run on February 18 and St. Patrick’s Day 5k in March, both in Tulsa.

I also spent some time playing in my Believe Training Journal.  I made the tentative calendar for the year, thought about four major goals and re-wrote my first week of training.

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This morning I was all set to do a repeat of the 8×400 from last week’s Track Tuesday.  Except that I did not want to run at all.  Even indoors on the treadmill.  I don’t know if it was the idea of repeating the same workout, or just that I wasn’t in the mood.  But I had to drag myself over there.  And then, when the treadmill cut off after 7 intervals, I just let it end.

Regardless, got a 1 mile warmup at 7.5mph followed by 7 rounds of 400m at 8.5mph  for a total of 4.5 miles.


Week 1, run 1 is done!  So thankful.

2016 Firecracker 5k

Good morning y’all!  I hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July – I sure did.


Firecracker 5k 23:20

I started off one of my favorite holidays by running in the Fleet Feet Firecracker 5k.  I’ve been working on 5k spadework and tempo runs since January and in March, when the temps were still low and the weather kind of dreary, I decided to shoot for this race for my 21:something goal.  Well about three weeks before the race, I was out on a practice 5k run and realized I had completely forgotten what the heat and humidity can do to average pace times.  It’s no joke how much it can slow you down!  (Seriously, we learned about it in grad school, although now I can’t remember the specific statistic.  I just know that it’s true).

So after that practice run, I nearly bagged signing up for the race.  It was three weeks away, definitely not enough time to get ready to PR and close enough to the race that the fees would be high.  I had pretty much talked myself out of it.  But then this other  voice in my head took over.

You can’t just skip the race because you think you won’t do well.

Well, I could.  But I decided that I wouldn’t.  I signed up that day, staying true to my goal of running this race but adjusting what I expected from the outcome.  I decided I would shoot for under 24 minutes and work on getting faster each mile.  I hit half of that goal.


Flat Sprenk ready to go.

The race was set for 7:30 am and it looked like we’d luck out with no rain and temps in the low 70s.  I’m not one to get to the race early to hang around so we headed to the start line around 7:15.  I had my usual coffee and water at wake-up time and banana at the start line.  Works well for this distance.

The start line was crowded!  I ran into one of the runners I follow on Instagram but had never met in real life and we wished each other luck – man, what technology does!  Honestly I don’t remember thinking about much except wanting to get it started.  I need to get better at calming down at the start to stick with the game plan.  Which was to start slower and pick up pace as the race went on.

When I race a race, rather than run it for fun, I work my way up to the front of the pack.  It’s an intimidating place to be with all of these lanky, sleek-muscled fast-looking people!  But I go there because I’m racing, just like them.  And even though I feel like I don’t fit in, I do.  Mostly.


Waiting for the strollers to go.

This race I got swept up into them a little out of my league.  I could feel when we made our first turn onto Boulder off of Second that I was going too fast.  I checked my app (which was off anyway because I didn’t start it on time….so much to think about at that start line!) and saw I was running a sub-7!  Whoa Sprenk, slow down!  So I slowed my pace a bit but wanted to keep it steady and still under 8 minutes.  By 1.5 miles, I was hot but still pushing.  We looped around in near Guthrie Green and headed back toward the Denver dip in the road.  I had to walk up that hill.  I even tried to pull on the strength of all those mornings running back and forth over the Boulder bridge but it just wasn’t there.  (The end of the race can be real tough if you tank it in the first mile like I did on accident).

Then I was on Second with the finish line in sight.  But still so far.  I turned it up a gear (or thought I did).  Making my way into the crowd.  Closer and closer to the finish line.  I felt like I was sprinting but video that Chap got showed later I definitely wasn’t.  Oh well, it’s all in the perceived effort right?

I crossed the line at 23:20.  Not fast enough for an age group place which is always fun, but fast enough to meet my sub-24 goal!  I chowed down on a breakfast taco and then had to run home to change before a morning at the studio.  IMG_1267

I’m so glad I raced.  Even though I didn’t meet my original goal, I didn’t quit and I learned from this race.  I’m a firm believer that every race, every training run has something to offer you if you’ll just look.  The good and the bad.  Yesterday wasn’t bad, it wasn’t my best.  But it was good!  And I learned that I need to pace myself!  This lesson will give me a focus for the next training cycle 🙂


Sun was so bright!


Quick Race Review:

I enjoyed this race.  The course was challenging but a nice tour through downtown’s neighborhoods.  The medal was awesome (and not too common for 5ks) and so were the breakfast tacos.  I was not crazy at all about the very stiff cotton t-shirts we got and am certain I’ll never wear mine.  That’s mostly my only complaint about this particular race!  I’d definitely do it again next year.