Can you believe it is the last week of 2018!? This last year has been a pivotal year for me in many ways and I am beyond grateful for all the positive changes I have made in my life throughout 2018. While not really a change as I have always been a fairly dedicated gym-goer, this past year I have made slight modifications to my fitness routine that have made lasting impressions on my overall physical and mental health. From adding consistent yoga practice to my weekly workouts, implementing more stretch and meditation to the end of each trip to the gym, getting out of my comfort zone and participating in group fitness classes (some pretty tough ones at that) to signing up and training for a half marathon these last few weeks of 2018, it has been a great year for fitness. I have learned so much about myself and my capabilities. I have pushed myself well beyond my comfort levels and came out on the other side empowered and stronger. I am heading into the new year in what feels like the best shape of my life and I could not be more excited to see how my fitness routine will continue to evolve in 2019.

This week between Christmas and New Years was a pretty typical week as half-marathon training is coming up on the final four weeks until race day. Even though I was hit with knee pain around mile 5, I made it through last Sunday's seven miler. I am fairly positive it is IT band related and as I have been there before, I know what stretches and modifications I need to do to help remedy the pain. Luckily, I got through both 4.5 milers during the week with no knee pain at all! My first 4.5 miler fell on Christmas Day and it was possibly one of my best training runs yet. Not to mention it was nearly 50 degrees in Central IL that day, so amazing!! I made some modifications based on how I felt Sunday and increased my walking time in between run intervals and that seemed to work well. This Sunday I'll be bumping up the long run to eight miles so fingers crossed for little to no pain flare-ups!

Beyond putting in the training miles, the rest of the week consisted of Bodyflow (which helps SO much in between runs), yoga and strength training. I skipped Wednesday's leg day as I was stuck in a bit of a post-holiday rut but that didn't last too long as I was back in the gym Thursday and Friday to close out the week strong.

See below for strength training details from Monday's Chest & Back day and Friday's Biceps Triceps & Shoulders.

Chest & Back
Assisted Pull-up Machine, 2 sets of 10, last set failure 12 reps, 91.5lbs
Lat Push Down, 3 sets of 10, 40lbs
Rear Delt Machine, 3 sets of 10, 30lbs
Dumbbell Chest Press on Bosu, 3 sets of 10, 15lbs
Pushups, 2 sets of 10, last set failure 17 reps
Med Ball Chest Press Throw, 3 sets of 10, 2kg ball

Biceps Triceps & Shoulders
Cable Tricep Kickback, 3 sets of 10, 10lbs
Barbell Skull Crushers, 3 sets of 10, 20lbs
Dips, 2 sets of 10, last set failure 18 reps
Cable Elevated Bicep Curl, 3 sets of 10, 20lbs
Barbell Wide Grip Bicep Curl, 3 sets of 10, 25lbs
Rope Biceps Curl, 2 sets of 10, last set failure 20, 30lbs
Rope Delt Pullback, 3 sets of 10, 40lbs
Around the Worlds, 3 sets of 10, 5lb plate
Barbell Upright Row, 2 sets of 10, last set failure 13, 30lbs

I hope you have had a great final week of 2018 and I encourage you to keep up with your fitness program the last final days as we head into the new year. I'm excited to continue sharing my workouts with you and evolve the blog in 2019 to include even more fitness tips, ideas and strategies for staying fit all year round!