dailymiler of the week: Alicyn H.

Our dailymiler of the week this week is Alicyn H. Alicyn is great! She embodies what makes dailymile such an amazing community, and I had such a fun time interviewing her. She kind of a badass too – logging hundreds of miles, and pushing herself consistently. If I had to choose anyone to help me stay motivated in 2011, Alicyn would definitely be a candidate.

KS: Are you noticing any changes from your challenge to do a core workout every day? How do you stay motivated to do this every day? What does the routine entail?
AH: I am starting to see little changes since I just recently started the everyday core routine. But since working on core strength starting about six months ago with my trainer and on my own time, I have seen huge benefits all around in my cardio, Pilates mat work, and even lots of strength moves. If you don’t know about the bosu ball yet, you should check it out. You can use it so many different ways and it will all work your core.

As for staying motivated, I love working my core. I just put on my headphones and crank up the music and go. There is something very satisfying about doing core work for me. And as my mom has always said; “Even your first grade teacher knew you’d be a hard worker. On your last day of school that year she told us that she knew you would be a success at anything I did because how hard of a worker I am.” Plus, I have no excuses. Ab muscles recover so quickly you can work them every day. So even if I only have 5-10 minutes, I have no excuse not to do it. When I started working my core on my own time, I would only do 5-10 minutes. I have had to build up to daily 30-45 min core work.

Each day I change it up based on what I feel like doing. But my usual is planks of all varieties and various crunches. My favorite planks are with my feet on the stability ball. I love crunches so I do some everyday. I have asked my trainer for some moves that are really tough, and I am working on getting better at them. I also watch other trainers in my gym when they are working with their clients for new ideas. Shape, Self, and Fitness magazines/online are also great for ideas for core moves. Overall I aim for 30-45 minutes of core work a day. I also work on core with my trainer. Every session with him has about 85% core work in it. If I am working upper body, I am usually incorporating core in there some way.

KS: What’s your favorite way to spend a rest day?
AH: I love to go for walks so I try and walk places on my rest day so I don’t feel too lazy. I also do lots of stretching on rest days. And I will admit that I have not let go of all of my partying ways from my time at the University of Alabama quite yet. So I try and schedule rest days for after a night out. So some days I am a total bum and hang out on my couch watching Netflix all day. I also love to do brunch with the girls on rest days.

KS: How do you like working with a trainer?
AH: I have actually worked with trainers before, but this has to be my favorite one. He really knows his stuff and I am seeing great results. I am lucky to be able to work with a trainer. It’s a luxury, but one that I felt I needed after coming off of a two and half year break and two surgeries. I can push myself with no problem in cardio but I have a hard time doing the same with weights. It’s also really nice having someone come up with the routines and who really knows what they are doing.

KS: Coming back from surgery must have been difficult. How did you find getting back into running?
AH: Oh my lovely surgeries! I have had five orthopedic surgeries. Three to try and repair my ankle: I still have shredded tendons and a tendon sheath that pops off easily. My ankle issues are really what ended my running long distances. So that’s when I found my love of the recumbent bike, weight lifting, walking long distances, and the elliptical. It’ll never be the same, but it works for now. Due to my tendon problems, I stay away from really high impact activities so I can stay away from more surgeries. I can’t take anymore surgeries right now unless absolutely necessary. Most recently I had a bone graft and pinning of bones in my toes. Then I had a morton’s nueroma removed where they cut a mass of nerves out of my left foot. The bone and morton’s surgeries where a lot easier to come back from then the ankle surgeries. I feel like an old pro at coming back from surgery with all that I have had now. Hopefully I won’t have too many more surgeries in my lifetime.

KS: Any specific goals for 2011 besides staying healthy and happy?
AH: Just to keep at it. I love to see what I can do and what my body is capable of. So as long as I can work out and keep pushing further, I’d say it would be a successful year. A personal goal each year is to laugh as much as possible. I am easy to please!

KS: What made you want to “run” a marathon on the elliptical? Can you talk a little about the experience? (Beyond being badass… :) )
AH: Ahh, Monday. I walked into the gym and was thinking how I have been in a funk and I just needed to get out of it. When I get like this, no matter if it’s personal or work related, I like to put a challenge in front of myself. So after changing into my workout clothes and walking to the cardio area, I just decided to do a marathon on the running elliptical. And it was exactly what I needed! I had to push hard to get it done, but I felt great after doing it. And what’s even better is I have been having some great workouts this week. That “marathon” gave me my workout mojo back!

KS: Do you workout with anyone else at the gym besides your trainer, or is it mainly by yourself? Do you listen to music to stay motivated?
AH: I do cardio all by my lonesome. My friends hate doing cardio with me because they say I make them stay too long. I mainly workout alone and then two days a week I work with my trainer for strength training. I do chat with people at the gym and I know almost every employee there with all the time I spend there. And yes, music is a huge motivator for me. I love music and all different types of music. I love to just put on my headphones and work hard. I spend a lot of time downloading music and creating playlists to keep me motivated for my longer gym sessions.

KS: You seem to be killing it already this year, any advice for other dailymilers to stay motivated in 2011?
AH: For this, I have four pieces of advice:

First, stay on DailyMile, it is the best motivation tool you will find.

Second, as hard as it is to remember some days, you can totally do it! And if you need motivation, come onto DailyMile and find me. I’ll totally talk you into doing your run, swim, bike, or workout!

Third, you always feel better after you do it. So go get it done!

Fourth, don’t be so hard on yourself. If you mess up or don’t meet your goal one day it’s ok! The world will not end.

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