Thanksgiving Break Recap

I know. I realize it’s Wednesday and Thanksgiving break ended a couple days ago, but it’s finals season and as much as I would prefer to be blogging, any free time I have is devoted to CrossFit and even more studying. Life is so fun right now…. not. Luckily, I had a great week off last week to squeeze in some fun before the next two weeks of my second to last finals ever (thank god). I celebrated Thanksgiving with the new boy in my life (like how I snuck that in there?) at his sister’s house in  Denver.

We started the day off with a turkey trot of our own in an attempt to counter act all the food we would be cramming in our faces soon enough. It was a gorgeous day, so I was glad to spend some time outside

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I didn’t have to cook anything, which was kinda nice to be able to just sit back and have people bring me food. Though at the end I felt a little like Jabba the Hut.  The food was delicious and included a maple bacon wrapped turkey. It. Was. Amazing. And the gravy was even better.I could have eaten it plain. I took home a big tupperware of it and have been putting it on everything I eat.

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I’m usually not a big fan of black friday. I think it’s hilarious (in a bad way) that a day after we celebrate and be appreciative of everything we have to be thankful for, we go out and fight people over items we feel we need.  That being said, I did head out to buy something on Friday to take advantage of some deals. I got new snowboard boots and bindings! During the course of putting the new ones on, I was told that I had been set up improperly and had been riding the wrong way this whole time. At least I found it out at some point!

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So on Saturday I headed up to Copper Mountain and the day could not have been more perfect. I started the morning with a beer at 9:30, because that’s what you do when you snowboard.

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Then I tried out my new binding set up and boots. It made SUCH a difference and I was able to get off the beginner greens and onto the intermediates. Black Diamonds here I come! (Not really.. I’m still scared to go too fast). It was a great relaxed day, with a couple runs, then a beer, then a couple more runs and another beer. I like this whole snowboarding thing.

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On Sunday, me and the boy decided to go get some trail running in while the ground was still free of snow. We went out to Matthew Winters Trail in Morrison, CO. I highly recommend it. It’s a 5 mile loop that allows bikers and runners, with some challenging terrain to keep you entertained. It had a nice incline that made me feel like I was dying from breathing too hard and left my booty a little sore after, which is my favorite.

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But every time I started to want to stop, I would look ahead and realize my companion was wearing a 30lb weight vest like a crazy person and still trudging on, so I pumped my arms hard and pushed through.

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Going down was a lot more fun. We made it down just as the sun was setting on a beautiful weekend, with a lot to be thankful and appreciative for. Hope you all had a wonderful break 🙂

First day on the slopes!

Today someone found my blog by Googling “fattie meatloaf”. To that person – I applaud you.. Hope my Bacon Meatloaf helped make your day that much better.

Sunday was my first day up on the slopes this year! When I moved to CO I had wanted to get really good at snowboarding. I went twice my first year and three-four times my second. Turns out, you have to actually practice something regularly to get good at it. Fancy that. A month ago I went to this ski/snowboard movie with some friends and was totally inspired. Not that I ever have any plans of jumping out of helicopters to fly down a mountain, but being able to get off the easy greens would be nice. So, I decided to get my ass in gear and get up on that mountain early in the season so I can really make some progress this year.

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My amazing friend has come with me the past couple times I went to help teach me, since she rocks the mountain and makes it look easy. She is super patient and encouraging, yelling out “Yah Fiona, you go it!” super loud and drawing attention so that people zooming by me began to comment “you got i!” and “making progress”.  I’m getting better at connecting my turns and not making it so I have to go super wide, but I still am petrified every time I start picking up speed and throw on the brakes. I’ve been told it’s like riding a bike and it’s actually easier once you have some speed, but I still just picture myself rolling down the mountain and breaking my face every time I get going. Anyone have any tips for getting over that?

We were there for about 4 hours, but then it started to get dark, icy and cold, so we decided to call it a day. I love driving through the mountains at night, nice and warm in the car staring at the dark snow covered trees. It was the perfect way to close out the weekend and, hopefully, just the start of many days up in the mountains this winter.

The Shoes Make the Woman – Reebok Lifters

My Oly shoes came just in time for my last practice! I ended up going with the pink simply because it turns out the black and white didn’t come in my size. I think they are pretty snazzy though.

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I spent the first half hour after I got them using them around my apartment, overhead squatting my dog and such. They make SUCH a huge difference. The have a good sized heel in them, so if you have tight calves/hammies like I do they make it easier to get into a deep squat when you are actually a bit elevated on your toes. Cheating? Maybe a little, but I’m hoping they help me get used to being in that position so I eventually won’t need them as much.

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This morning I was able to use them for my final Oly Training before the competition Saturday Morning. We did some light snatches, jerks, clean pulls and snatch deadliest.  They definitely helped and it made me wish I had gotten them a long time ago. SO, if you are considering getting some – DO IT. They are amazing. I can’t wait to train in them for my next Oly Comp, whenever that may be.

I am off to be productive in the less fun part of my life, aka school and work. But check back tonight for a delicious Bacon Meatloaf recipe. Layers of beef and bacon, what could be better?

A Week of PR’s

Well hello there! Sorry it’s been a while, it’s not you, it’s me. I’ve been ridiculously busy at school, work and in general  kicking ass and taking names. I know, I know.. I’m been cocky but I feel I’m allowed to brag a little since this week I got four PRs in Cleans, Jerks, Front Squats and Back Squats. I’ve had a couple people ask me if I am still doing the Oly Comp and all I can say is hell yeah, I am! It’s less than two weeks away and I am slightly terrified, but I signed up to push myself outside of my comfort zone and get a foot in the Oly Lifting Door, so here I am. I’m not expecting to do anything crazy as far as heavy weight goes, but I do feel like for me it’s finally all starting to come together. My squats are getting lower, my hips are thrusting faster (haha) and I’m getting my elbows up in record time (for me).

This past week I took advantage of the open gym at my CrossFit box and went in for two separate workouts on Sunday. The first one was just Cleans, trying to actually find my one rep max, front squats and presses. The previous time I did this I was at 103. That was one month ago. On Sunday I got 115 and was so close to 120! I came in later that day to attempt 120 again because I couldn’t get it out of my mind, but still couldn’t quite get it. I stepped away, did a WOD to take my frustration out and know that in a little bit more time that 120lb clean will be mine.

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I also PR’d with Front Squats with 105 (Yes I know its weird I can clean more than I front squat, that’s my main problem), finally was able to squat my body weight (140), which has been like a 7 month goal and this morning I got a 120lb Jerk. Now if I can just bring my clean up to 120, I will be all set for the comp!

I’m also going to take the plunge and invest in some real Oly Lifting shoes. My CF Coach had me try front squatting with 5 lb plates under my heels and it made a world of difference. I will definitely still work on stretching out my hammies so I don’t need that extra boost that the shoes provide, but until then I think the shoes will definitely help me and I’m looking for any help I can get before the comp.

Now, question for you. Up to this point, all my shoes are pink. I’m not quite sure how that happened, because I don’t own any pink clothing outside of gym items. Should I keep in the pink trend with my lifting shoes, or go for the black and whites?

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Double Trouble: Tips for training for a Lifting Comp and 15K at the same time.

I’ve learned three things about myself over the past couple months. (1) That I have way too many fitness/sport related things I want to try (2) That I have a tendency to spread myself thin and (3) that I’m stubborn. From running to lifting to swimming to hiking to climbing, the list of things I desperately want to get good at goes on and on. Currently I am training for my Oly Lifting Comp on November 16th and the Denver Hot Chocolate 15k on October 6th. Two events that require very different training methods and conflicting body types, all while trying not to flunk out of law school, keep my friends, and succeed at work.

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I’ve been having a hard time balancing training. Days after I lift, my legs are too sore to run.  If I devote too much time to running, I start leaning out and don’t make gains in the lifting.  While it’s not an ideal situation at all, I’ve finally managed to strike a small balance with these tips to get through double training:

1) Get enough sleep. I get made fun of for never doing anything in the evenings past 9, but I have actually come to love this lifestyle and rarely feel like I’m missing out on anything. (Hi, I’m secretly 60).  It gives me time to go to dinner/movie/happy hour with friends, while still getting home to be in bed by 10:30. Sleep is necessary to build muscle and will also reduce bad food cravings during the day. It also keeps me from drinking a lot, which leads me to point 2.

2) Don’t drink alcohol more than once a week.  Alcohol keeps you from making gains by dehydrating you (bad for muscle growth), lowering testosterone (bad for muscle growth), and slows down protein synthesis. Depending on how much you consume, it can also make you feel like you are going to die the next day, which is not conducive to training. As I have mentioned before, my body type is not one that naturally puts on muscle. So I want to prevent anything from getting in the way of my muscle growth. (My boyfriend jokes that I am always bulking, because I chow down on food in hopes it will help me grow).

3) Drink at least a gallon of water a day. Water aids in protein synthesis and helps your muscles recover.

4) Don’t get frustrated if you aren’t improving as fast as you want to.  This one is particularly hard for me. I want to be good at everything and improve on things right away(who doesn’t??). I have to keep remind myself patience is a virtue and if I keep going the gains will come.

5) Do short, but faster runs more often. I know I have the muscle to get me through a 15K, but it’s really the cardio aspect I need work on. I’ve been trying to squeeze in shorter (3 miles), but faster runs to build up my lung capacity without cutting into study time, work and without making my legs too sore to lift. So far it’s been working to improve my long runs I do once a week.

6) Find people with similar goals. It can get lonely if all your free time is devoted to activities you do on your own. Try to find people to run/lift with who can help push you through the times you want to give up and who understand the discipline you need to have to succeed. They also can understand that aspect of your humor and provide a lot of laughs to get you through training.

7) Stretching.  Foam roll. Foam roll. Foam roll. Don’t just sit and grab your toes. That’s like taking a knot in a shoe lace and pulling it tighter. Foam Rolling/Active Stretching helps untangle those muscle knots for faster recovery.

8) Supplements.  I don’t usually use supplements, I don’t even really use protein powder. However, today I bought BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids) for the first time. They are supposed to help muscle recovery. We will see how those go and I’ll let you know.

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So those are my tips to how I’m getting through this strange period of pushing and pulling at my  body in hopes of not having to cut one of the things I love out of my life. I truly get so much pleasure from both lifting and running that I can’t imagine not doing both. I don’t want to get to my competition knowing I could have given it more and wasn’t disciplined enough to reach my full potential. It’s just a matter of training smart, not doing things that will harm my progress (staying up late or partying) but giving myself enough of a break so I don’t get burnt out. It’s a fine line to walk, but I’m slowly starting to find my balance.

SUP: I’m in love

I have a new love. It’s one I’ve been thinking about for a long time but couldn’t get up the courage to make it happen. It’s SUP. Thats right, Stand Up Paddle boarding. Two Saturday’s ago my friend offered to come with me to try it. After our normal Saturday morning workout we headed to the Boulder reservoir, where you can rent paddle boards on the shore for 20$ an hour.

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It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining without a cloud in the sky. I was so nervous about falling over, especially when standing up for the first time. They start you on your knees as you paddle away from the shore, then you move to a standing position. The boards weren’t as tippy as I thought they would be and I managed to stay on the whole time, even with the waves from all the motor boats. In fact, I started loving the challenge of remaining upright when the waves came. I loved the challenge of shifting my weight from side to side to help keep me going straight so I didn’t have to move the paddle from my left to right side as much. I loved the burn in my shoulders as I took the last couple stokes back to shore at the end of the hour. And lastly, I loved how completely relaxed and centered I felt after I was done.

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If its still warm where you are, try to get out and squeeze in a quick paddle boarding session before fall takes over. I promise it will be worth it.

Let’s Talk about Miley’s Ass

Today is my birthday, I’m feeling a little old and over the hill, so I thought – “what better way to metaphorically tell these youngin’s to get off my lawn then by chiming in too late to comment on people’s reaction to Miley Cyrus’s butt “? I figure if it’ still on the front page of CNN (…) then I have the right to still mention it on here.

I know you all know what I’m talking about, Miley’s now infamous performance at the VMAs where she appeared in a nude skin tight bikini and humped the air with a foam finger. I’m not going to get into the debate about what her performance represented for feminism etc. I have plenty to say on that, but this is a healthy living/fitness blog. What I am going to talk about is the fall out of prancing around in that barely there bikini.  I woke up the next morning to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the blog world posting things like this:

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with the caption “At least GaGa squats” and this…

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Now my questions is.. Why? Why did countless WOMEN post these pictures solely to shame and criticize another woman’s body? In a world where 24 million America’s are affected by eating disorders, and more money is spent researching boob jobs/viagra than on Alzheimer’s, do we really need to put more focus on image? I’m not perfect, I definitely laughed when I saw this.. but then I took a minute to think about what type of message I was endorsing. Women especially should be congratulating each other, cheering each other on, and helping each other fight the negative media images, not supporting them.

Now I don’t necessarily think that Miley really needed “support” and “cheering on” for her performance, I don’t think I’ve seen a lazier performance in my life. HOWEVER, I do not think that it warrants images of her butt being plastered around the internet only furthering the unrealistic ideal image of what a woman’s body should look like, and enforcing the notion that if it doesn’t look like that then she has the right to be publicly scorned.

I know people might say “it’s her job to look perfect” and I say you are wrong. It is her job to perform, to sing, to dance. But to have a tight ass? I don’t think that’s listed in her contract.

Do you agree/disagree? Why?

Tap N’ Run 4k – Time to get Tapped

This past Saturday I got tapped. 4 times actually. It was hot out, it lasted about 30 minutes and by the end all I wanted was more.

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Of course, I’m talking about the Tap N’ Run 4k event, a fun run event that involves beer, “running” and may be coming to a city near you soon (definitely not Paleo, but good for the soul nonetheless).  I had told my friends our theme should be jungle animals, but then proceeded to make a cow costume. What, you’ve never heard of the rare jungle cow? Yah, me neither…

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Good thing they were adaptable. They showed up dressed as cowboys, complete with cattle prods, and without even realizing it we had worn the perfect Colorado wild wild west costume.  The costumes at the race were amazing, ranging from a group dressed up as Pacman and blinky/inky/whatever the rest of them are called to sharks from shark week.  When the countdown finished and we were signaled to go we drank our 1/2 a beer, dramatically threw our cups on the ground and were off! To give you an idea of the type of “running race” this was, take a look at these two guys who rented bikes half way through from the lovely bike rental stations in Denver that lined part of the course.

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It was definitely very clear that this was an event that was solely to have fun with your friends, not to really attempt to race. I was perfectly fine with that and enjoyed the two “tap” beer stations along the way. When we reached the finish line there was a DJ and an after party, which we only ended up staying at for about 25 minutes due to the ominous rain clouds in the previous picture finally breaking.  It was definitely a different and fun experience. If you like beer, costumes, and running I would recommend trying it if it comes to your city. PLUS, they give out bottle openers as medals. win!Image

63 Days Until the First Snow

How is it August? Is anyone else shocked that somehow summer is almost over? If you live in Colorado, we only have 63 days until the first (average) snow. That means we are closer to the first snow than to Memorial Day. So I ask you, have you been enjoying your summer as much as you should be? In two months the daily runners and hikers that are enjoying the post-work sunshine will retreat inside to treadmills, or bundle up in gear like this just to take quick run in the dark.

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Mountain bikers will have to fight the frost and climbers won’t be able to soak up the sun on a rock slab midday. The days will get darker, the couch will be more appealing,  and the childlike delight that summer brings will be retired for another 9 months.

So make the most of these last two months.  If you’ve been trying to get in shape, it’s better to start now and get into a routine/habit before the cold and darkness comes. It’s harder to break a habit once it’s formed and will keep you from staying planted on the couch during the cold days.

Is there anything you’ve been wanting to try but are too scared? Hiking? Climbing Mountain biking? Paddle boarding? Sailing? What have you got to loose? If you don’t want to try it alone ask around to see if a friend wants to try it with you. If not, try meeting people on sites like meetup.com to find people with similar interests. Whatever it is, don’t let fear hold you back and get out there and do it!

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I flew to Boston this weekend to surprise my mom for her birthday. After the initial screams and tears she asked me what I wanted to do while here. The only thing on my mind that had been missing from my summer was the beach. We headed out to a small island about 45 minutes away for some salty air and sand dunes.

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It was mainly empty as we played in the water and strolled alone in the sand watching the boats. It was a blissful day that I’ll remember during the dark evenings of the winter when I long for the warmth and sun (I’m not a cold weather person can you tell?) Image

So I plan to make the most of these last 9 weeks. Go on more hikes after work. Choose to sit outdoors when I read instead of on the couch. Go a lake. Go for more trail runs. Soak of the sun and the amazing bliss of being surrounded by other people happily enjoying the warm weather and the beauty of the outdoors.

Earning My Independence (5K Race)

I hope everyone had a fun, safe and indulgent Fourth of July Weekend. I feel like I’ve been go-go-going for the past month so it was nice to be able to have time to sit back, relax and just breathe for a couple days. But not before I earned it…

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I got up at 6:30 on the 4th of July to run a 5K at the Boulder Reservoir to “Earn my Independence”. I had asked my friend, who just happens to be an MMA fighter and is in great shape, to run it with me expecting him to say no and for me to give an “eh, I tried but no one would do it with me” type excuse. To my surprise he was really into it (mainly for the tank top), so I had to haul my butt out of bed bright and early.

This race wasn’t the best. I had never run a 5K race before and definitely didn’t run smart. Since I was running with a friend, I didn’t bring any type of garmin/pace tracker. I made the mistake of trying to keep up with my friend and went out way too fast. Based on his finishing time, I’m guessing the first mile was about 7:10, which is not really my pace right now, even for a 5K. I told him to go ahead and leave me and then proceeded to die the next 2.2 miles. I think I was more happy to see the finish line for this race than for any half marathon I have done, which is pretty pathetic.

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Once again, it made me realize just how out of  running shape I have gotten (well really, poor shape I have stayed in since my ankle injury). Runner Ritsa talked about it as well, but it’s really hard to balance lifting and trying to build muscle with getting the miles in you need to stay in good running shape. I’m still trying to find a good balance. I ran every day this weekend, trying to get back in the habit. I plan on running some, even if it’s just two miles, every day from now on (except rest days).

I also spent a lot of time with friends this weekend, including a BBQ on the Fourth at my boyfriend’s client’s house,. They have horses, so we had to do some late night horse whispering after the fireworks…

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I also spent lots of time by the pool, at the farmer’s market and watching the UFC fights on Saturday with some of my besties.

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Hope everyone had a great weekend and is ready to get back into it!

Anyone else find it hard to balance all the different types of fitness you want to do (running and lifting for example)? How do you  find the time and energy to do it all?