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Workouts and Awards

This week I finally feel like I’m starting to get where I want to be in terms of my workout frequency and intensity, and I’m excited to start another productive week tomorrow! Here’s what the last week consisted of:

  • Monday: Pump class
  • Tuesday: 3.5 mile run
  • Wednesday: Though it wasn’t the type of workout you’d typically think of, I spent 6.5 hours at work moving freshman girls into their residence halls. Suitcases, stairs, and sweat. I considered it my workout for the day.
  • Thursday: 1-mile warm-up run, followed by Boot Camp
  • Friday: OFF
  • Saturday: OFF
  • Sunday: 6-mile run and some ab work

I was pretty happy with my run today, as I’m pretty sure it was the farthest I’ve run without stopping since sometime in 2012. Not proud of it. But I made it through with the help of my psychic iPhone that kept playing songs I needed to hear to keep me pumped! My foam roller and I had a date when I returned home. Since tomorrow is Labor Day my Pump class is canceled, so I’m looking forward to creating a leg and ab workout for myself. I’m also hoping to incorporate some more running into my workouts this week!

And now to the more exciting part of this post. Earlier in the week I received a Facebook notification that I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Joanna of Jo(w)anna Know What? I took some time looking up the Liebster Award and between Lorraine Reguly’s blog and Sophie Says I’ve determined that it an award for up-and-coming bloggers and sort of has a chain letter feel to it. Basically, you answer a set of questions that the blogger who nominated you gives you and nominate 3-5 other bloggers who have less than 3000 followers (other rules say 200 followers, but who really knows!). So here we go with the list of questions that Joanna gave me:

1. What is your favorite hobby? (Besides blogging of course): I think I’ll go with working out or singing
2. If a real life genie appeared while you did your weekly lamp polishing, what would be your 3 wishes? Ooh, this is tough! I think I’d wish for enough money to pay off my student loans first! As for my second and third wishes, probably more serious things like health and happiness for my family and friends. I don’t care if that’s sappy. Just go with it.
3. If you could leave right now for a 2 week vacation, where would you go? Vacation?! Yes, please! I’d like to go back to Grand Cayman, so let’s say there
4. If you were a super hero, what powers would you have? I’ve never had the opportunity to choose multiple powers! Teleportation, the ability to fly, and mind-reading skills. Those would be great!
5. What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate. I didn’t even hesitate on that one
6. What is a cool family tradition you have, or have started? My sister and I have always slept in her room on Christmas Eve. Every year, never fails. Shall be interesting this year since she will be married!
7. What is your favorite childhood memory? Family dinners, sitting around the table laughing until we can’t breathe.
8. What historical figure would you love to see in 21st century life? Freud would be an interesting person to talk to, ha!
9. What is your favorite holiday? I love Christmas!
10. If you were ever to be famous, what would you be famous for? I’d love to be a famous singer!
11. What is quote that you live by? “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
And now for the nominees:
  • Bliss, written by my very best friend Mo! Looking for inspiration? Find it here!
  • Katy in the Middle: A girl I went to high school with, Kate, recently started this blog and it is hilarious!

I think those are the only blogs I read regularly that meet the requirements for the Liebster, but I’m always open to new blog suggestions! And now ladies, your questions:

  1. What is your favorite animal?
  2. If you could re-live one day from your past, what would it be?
  3. If you could pick a different career, what would it be?
  4. What is your favorite sport to watch? To play?
  5. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
  6. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  7. What do you do to relax?
  8. Do you have any pets? Names, breeds?
  9. Where has been your favorite vacation?
  10. What is one piece of wisdom you will be sure to pass along to your children?

Have fun, Kate and Mo! And thanks again, Joanna!

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If You Fail to Plan…

This weekend, my days consisted of planning, planning, and more planning.

After all of the thought I put in to my workout motivation last week, I decided that one way to keep myself motivated would be to plan my workouts for the week ahead of time. By planning ahead, I know beforehand what my expectations are for myself and I’m prepared physically and mentally for what’s to come. This week my workouts will consist of my usual group exercise classes (Pump and Boot Camp), possibly trying a Kickboxing class, and a 5-mile run. I’m taking a trip this weekend to Charleston, and I believe my friend is going to take me for a run at the beach, as well! I woke up this morning ready for tonight’s Pump class and was able to stay motivated for it all day. It doesn’t hurt that my instructor is so much fun!

Along with planning my workouts, I planned my meals as well. I’ve been pretty good about eating healthy dinners lately, but I’ve found that I have been throwing lunches together at the last minute and often end up hungry mid-way through the afternoon–not good when I typically go straight from work to the gym! I based this week’s meals on what I already had in my refrigerator/freezer, what I’ve been craving lately (spaghetti squash!), weekly sales at the grocery store, and my farmer’s market favorites. This week’s lunches will be grilled chicken salads, and whatever my coworkers and I find in Columbia (I will be away at a training for two days). Last night I made myself spaghetti squash with grass-fed ground beef I picked up at the local farmer’s market.

spaghetti squash

It definitely satisfied my craving, and I am excited for leftovers! The rest of the week’s dinner will consist of grilled chicken and veggies with roasted sweet potatoes. I don’t know what my deal is lately, but I have a new-found love for onions and mushrooms and I can’t get enough!

As I was thinking about prepping my meals for the week, I started dreading the process of digging through my cabinet to find a matching container and lid to pack my food up in. It only took about 30 seconds before I was in my car and on my way to Walmart to find a solution to the problem. I walked out shortly after with this:

rubbermaid

 

These Rubbermaid containers (couldn’t find the exact set I got, but here is a similar one), cost me only $10 and have already made my life so much easier! The lids stack together in a way that makes storing them so simple and they don’t take up a ton of space. Hooray for organization! Look how pretty today’s meals looked in their new containers:

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Along with meal planning/prepping and planning my workouts, I have also been working a lot on the planning of my sister’s bridal shower and bachelorette party next month! Since Erin lives out of state (and so do I, now!), we have been planning to do her bridal shower and bachelorette party the same weekend. While I don’t want to give too many details yet, I will say that I’m having a lot of fun planning it and I can’t wait to share it all with you after the event!

And now, my plan for the rest of this evening is to enjoy The Bachelorette hometown dates and a bowl of popcorn! Have a wonderful Monday evening, folks!

 

Fitness Motivation: Appearance vs. Accomplishment

As I was completing a treadmill workout recently, I was thinking about my lack of motivation lately when it came to exercise–especially running. I’ve only run outside once since my move to South Carolina, and I run on the treadmill at the gym about once a week. This is a huge change for me considering the fact that, a year ago, I was beginning training for the Columbus Marathon. I pushed through my run while pondering why it is that I just haven’t loved running lately.

And then I realized that I’m not really working toward anything.

My motivation lately has been based on my appearance. It’s summer, I live a lot closer to the beach than I used to, and I want to look good in that bikini. Is that enough to motivate me through several workouts each week? Eh, sometimes. I’m sure it’s more of a motivation in the summer when the fear of wearing next to nothing in front of strangers creeps into my mind, but it doesn’t last long. I think this explains the people you see in the gym all the time in the summer, and never see again until the following spring. Once summer is over, their motivation to “look good” disappears.

This led me to thinking about what really motivates me–what makes me push myself to go that extra mile (or ten), what forces me to go to the gym even when my muscles are aching–and that thinking brought up one of the best feelings and memories I have to date: crossing that marathon finish line. A little history for all of you that don’t know me: I was a gymnast for 12 years of my life. This meant mastering skills that could likely paralyze me on a somewhat regular basis. Of course there was a sense of pride that washed over me every time I accomplished a new skill, but I don’t remember ever feeling the way I did when I finished the marathon last October. Even though my joints were aching and I was on the verge of tears for the last few miles (having your car totaled four days before a marathon does not bode well for lack of pain during the race), all of that disappeared in that last stretch before the finish line. Both sides of the street were lined with people cheering us on, and when I crossed the finish line the most amazing feeling overwhelmed me. I had accomplished a goal I had been working months to achieve. I pushed through the pain and the doubts in my head and I finished. It’s a feeling that words cannot properly describe and one that I would absolutely love to feel again. As I trained for the marathon, long runs often became boring and I would start to lose motivation halfway through. During those moments, I would imagine what it would feel like on race day to cross the finish line. My daydreams pushed me through those runs, and even my imagination could not compare to the actual feeling I had on race day.

Since the marathon I have only run one 15k and a few 5ks. Needless to say, my motivation to run hasn’t been as strong as it was during marathon training. Though I still go to the gym multiple times each week, I often go because I feel like I have to instead of because I want to. I’ve come to realize that I really need something to work towards if I want to maintain my motivation, and I’m struggling somewhat to come up with ideas. I know that registering for a longer race would definitely motivate me to run more, so that’s something I’ve begun looking into. In terms of other fitness goals, I haven’t come up with anything yet, but I am definitely open to suggestions! I’m somewhat of a competitive person, which is part of the reason I think races (and training for races) are so motivating to me!

The conclusion I’ve come to is that working out for the sake of appearance only takes me so far. Working out for the sake of accomplishment, or working towards a goal, is what really motivates me. Again, this is something that I’ve noticed about myself personally, and may not be the same for everyone. So now on my “to-do list” is coming up with goals to work towards in order to keep my motivation high. I will be sure to update with what I’ve come up with, and please feel free to share ideas in the comments section!

Flaky 5k

So I know I’m extremely behind due to my computer issues, but I wanted to take the time to write about a race I ran back in February. Myself, several of my coworkers, and a couple friends registered to run or walk the Flaky 5k in early February. According to the website, we would be running on a very flat, paved bike trail. It sounded like a pretty easy course! Unfortunately, the weather had other plans, and the course was covered in ice on the morning of the race, so the course was altered at the last minute. We ended up running a loop three times to complete the race. It ended up being 2.82 miles, so what I thought was a PR at first really wasn’t. Guess I’ll have to push harder next time!

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Muskies before the race
(Back Row L-R) Emily, Barb, HerBrina, Stacey, Susan
(Front Row L-R) Allison, Me

During the race I knew that there was only one girl ahead of me, but I am a very poor judge of age and was unsure whether or not she was in my age group. As I ran, my competitive side came out and I was bound and determined not to let any other females pass me–I wanted to place!

Photo courtesy of Flaky 5k

Photo courtesy of Flaky 5k

After finishing I enjoyed some chocolate milk (best post-race snack ever!) and waited for my friends to finish. After we all finished, we headed inside to warm up and await the results!

Stacey and me post-race

Stacey and me post-race

After some confusion, it was determined that I came in 2nd place for females and was not eligible for an award for my age group. This worked out perfectly because a few of us were in the same age group and everyone was able to place! Allison came in first, followed by Madeline, then Amanda.

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Winners with our medals!
(L-R Madeline, Amanda, Me, Allison)

All in all, it was a fun (but cold!) race. If I wasn’t moving to South Carolina I would definitely participate again! It was well-organized and small, which made for a fun, friendly atmosphere!

St. Patty’s Day Weekend!

Hello all! I’m back! Sadly my computer was out of commission for awhile so I have been MIA. I picked her up from the computer doctor this weekend and so far she seems to be doing well! I promise to be around more now and will update you on everything that has been going on the last several weeks.

I think I am still recovering from what was a busy but fun weekend. My good friend and coworker Stacey turned 29 on Friday. Stacey also loves St. Patrick’s Day, so we spent the weekend celebrating both exciting holidays!

Friday night was dinner at LongHorn steakhouse where we all enjoyed steaks followed by this yummy dessert!DSCN5898

It wasn’t quite as good as we all wanted it to be, but it was a perfect size for the three of us to share after our filling dinners.

 

 

 

The three of us before the race

The three of us before the race

Emily and I were sure to come decked out in the warmest St. Patty’s Day gear we owned.

 

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Check out those socks!

I don’t know the town where the race was very well, and it was much hillier than I expected! My official race time was 25:54.1. Not my best time, but it was good enough to win 2nd place for women! While we waited for awards, we wandered behind a curtain in the gym looking for food. Instead we found something soooooo much better! Gymnastics equipment! For those of you that don’t know me, I was a gymnast for 12 years, so seeing the equipment put me in my  happy place! Naturally, I flipped around for a little bit!

My first running trophy!

My first running trophy!

After showering and relaxing a bit, I picked up Stacey and Emily and we headed to Columbus for more birthday and St. Patty’s Day festivities! The three of us were all undecided as to what green we would wear that evening, so we took a trip to Polaris, a huge mall, before the festivities began. I don’t own a lot of green and I don’t own any peplum. So I bought this peplum shirt in green that I was equally nervous and excited about. I also bought a charcoal blazer from The Limited (pictured below). It was on clearance and doesn’t seem to be available on the website anymore 😦

We headed to Stacey’s friend Janeen’s apartment in Columbus to get ready for a night out! This was my first time meeting Janeen and she was an absolute blast! I hope to hang out with her again!

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The four of us at the bar

We were out late and I have to admit I am STILL tired today. I had an absolute blast celebrating with these ladies and wish Stacey her best year yet!

 

Special Delivery

Last week I was reading a blog I follow and there was a post about a deal from Klutch Club, a program where members receive a box each month (for a fee, depending on the length of your subscription) full of health and fitness related products. I had never heard of Klutch Club prior to reading the post, but couldn’t pass up the deal! With a coupon code I was able to get the box for just $9 shipped and it was to contain $100 worth of products. I am always looking for new products to try, so I thought I would give it a shot! This box was their Valentine’s Day box. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but anxiously awaited the arrival of my box!

The box arrived earlier this week, and I’m confident that I will be loving some of these products!

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I was excited to see a sample of the Good Greens bites! I had tried the Good Greens Nutritional Bars at the Cleveland Marathon expo and loved them! I am not a huge fan of chocolate and raspberry together (I know, people tell me I’m weird), but I really enjoyed this bite and it was a good afternoon mini-snack!

Please pardon my nails. I am in DESPERATE need of a mani!

Please pardon my nails. I am in DESPERATE need of a mani!

Good Greens snacks contain lots of essential nutrients and are gluten free and vegan! Check out their site for more nutrition info!

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The box contained a sampler of workouts. Since my legs were sore from yesterday’s workout, I decided to take it somewhat easy tonight and try a few of these workouts in the comfort of my apartment.

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I decided to try the Kristi Yamaguchi Power Workout, the Exhale: Core Fusion Boot Camp, and the Xtend Barre Lean & Chiseled.

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The workouts got progressively harder. The Power Workout focused mainly on triceps exercises, but I would assume that the full workout had more to it. The Core Fusion Boot Camp was definitely hard on my abs, but I didn’t find myself particularly motivated throughout it. Bella, on the other hand, got really into the ab workout!

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 I’ve always wanted to try a barre workout. I always loved the ballet aspects of gymnastics, so I thought this type of workout would be fun for me. I was innovative and used my windowsill as my “barre,” since my apartment isn’t exactly equipped with one. All I have to say is “wow!” My legs were shaking when I was only halfway through this workout. It was an intense lower body workout, and I’m sure I will be feeling it tomorrow. While the other workouts I tried were clearly samples from a longer workout program, this one I wasn’t too sure about. If that was only part of the workout then I might have to re-think my enthusiasm to start a barre workout class!

Bella was clearly exhausted at the end of our workout–she worked hard!

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I’ll be back to review more of the products I received, but I’d say the two I’ve tried so far were definitely worth the $9 I paid. I love when my spending pays off! Click here to join (note that this is my personal referral link)!

  • Are any of you members of these box subscription programs?
  • What workout classes are your favorite?

Weekly Recap

So I haven’t been doing a very good job lately at keeping up on my blogging New Years Resolutions. I promise to get better!! Last week was a busy week back at work and a busy workout week, as well!

 

Last Sunday night I sat down and planned out my workouts for the week so I would know what I needed to do each week. My workouts were as follows:

Monday, 1/21

Morning: 3-mile run

Evening: HIIT Reps Circuit Workout (from The Daily HIIT)

Complete 10 reps, 3 rounds

  • Push-Up & Punch (Left and Right)
  • Shoulder Lift & Burpee Push-Up
  • Drop it Like Its Hot
  • Tuck Jump & Squat Jump

 

Tuesday, 1/22

2-mile treadmill run

Bicep Curls 3×15

Chest Press 3×10

Standing Raise to Chin 3×10

Kneeling Row 3×10

Tricep Dips 3×15

Russian Twists with weight 3×15

Straight Leg Crunches with weight 3×15

G-Ups 3×15

 

Wednesday, 1/23

The Body Rock Workout I talked about here. I really like this workout and have done it a few times now. It gets easier!

 

Thursday, 1/24

4-mile run

Russian Twists with weight 3×15

Straight Leg Crunches with weight 3×15

G-Ups 3×15

 

Saturday, 1/26

HIIT Body #2-My Booty Rocks (also from The Daily HIIT)

  • 100 skips
  • 60 burpee calf raises
  • 100 skips
  • 60 total one leg push-ups with feet up
  • 100 skips
  • 60 total switch lunges
  • 100 skips
  • 60 total squat & kicks
  • 100 skips
  • 60 squat & dip
  • 100 skips
  • 60 each side V abs
  • 100 skips
  • 60 total mountain climbers
  • 100 skips
  • 60 total touch toes L & R

 

I bought the Run: First Base Tank at Lululemon recently and tried it out on Wednesday during the Body Rock workout. The tank is cute and was super comfortable. I liked the fact that it was long and form-fitting without being suctioned to my body.

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My obnoxiously bright workout attire

Please ignore the glasses. Did I mention that I had pink eye last week? Yeah, that was fun.

Other highlights of last week included renting Taken 2 and End of Watch. Both were really good movies, though I had some strange dreams after watching them both in one night. I also got to go see Silver Linings Playbook with my friends Stacey and Emily and we all absolutely loved it. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper were both excellent, and I think I’m qualified to make that statement as a licensed mental health professional! If you haven’t seen it you are missing out. Go!

On that note I am off to relax with a book before bed. I promise to do a better job at posting more often! I got an exciting package in the mail that I will be posting about shortly, along with other fun workouts and meals!