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?

Friday Fun: Fitness Survey

So, I wrote a long post that actually had substance to it, but my computer deleted it last night. So until I have time to re-write it, let’s have some Friday Fun! Definitely stole this from Runner Ritsa

1. What did you eat for breakfast?

Today’s breakfast was three eggs and two pieces of bacon. Gotta love the protein and fat combo to kickstart your day!

2. How much water do you drink a day?

 I’d say about 90 oz. I’m trying to bring it up to 128oz (a gallon)!

3. What is your current favorite workout?

Some times I love HIIT ( CrossFit MetCon style) workouts with lots of sprints, box jumps, rope work, ball slams, etc. But I also love slower workouts where you just lift heavy and see how far you can push your muscles. I’m also a swimmer, so I love getting in the water, although I don’t do that nearly enough. It really just depends on my mood and how much sleep I’ve had.

4. How many calories do you eat a day?

I have no idea, I don’t count calories anymore. Listening to your body and determining when it’s hungry vs. when you are bored or thirsty is more important than monitoring your caloric intake. Also, satisfying that real hunger with quality foods.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Banana and Almond/Peanut Butter, Nuts, Cucumbers, Carrots, Apples, Cherry Tomatos (the yellow ones only), canned tuna etc. But to be honest I don’t really snack that much, usually just an afternoon one if I’m working out in the evening before dinner, and then it’s always almond butter.

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

This changes on a daily basis. If I have leftovers from the night before, usually that.  A staple if there’s no leftovers is grilled chicken and veggies (lately it’s been squash and asparagus), or a jalapeno beef burger and veggies.

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?

I love abs. I know most people hate them, but they are definitely my favorite. Planks, Sit ups, Grave Diggers, Mountain Climbers, Rock Sit Ups, Russian Twists – throw them my way. Even partner planks/pushups.

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Also, to be honest, my butt. Growing up getting made fun of for having a “pancake a$$” will do that to you.

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

My shoulders, mainly because they are so weak. But I’m working on that shoulder cap!

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?

Ice cream and chicken wings are the top two. If I’m really craving ice cream and nothing will satisfy it, I usually go and buy these to at least have a “healthy” version of my craving.

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I also am obsessed with pickles, but I don’t consider that “bad”.

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?

Nope, I feel you don’t really need them if you eat healthy with enough variety. If I’m in a jam I’ll use protein powder, but I’ve cut back on that a lot.

11. How often do you eat out?

Friday is date night, so usually we go out then, sometimes Paleo sometimes not, almost always there are chicken wings.Usually one other time during the week with friends or coworkers.

12. Do you eat fast food?

Nope. If I’m in a crunch and really need something, I will get a salad at Chipotle. But my days of McDonalds #2 Meals are long gone.

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

As far as fitness goes I would say my Dad, his mouse pad has a picture from my last 1/2 marathon printed on it and he always loves seeing pictures/hearing what I did that day; my boyfriend, he really helped me pursue my desire to be more fit and continues to educate me everyday on lifting/training; and my old roommate Rachelle who, when I stopped wanting to go out drinking/partying as much and focus more on being healthy, was one of the few people who whole-heartedly supported me and didn’t make me feel guilty about it. I am very grateful for that.

14. Do you have a gym membership?

I do, I currently have a membership to the Colorado Athletic Club, but I’m considering ditching that this fall when school starts again and trying CrossFit Sanitas more regularly. I also work out at my boyfriend’s gym 2-3 times a week.

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15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

I aim for 7-8, but usually it’s more like 6-7. One thing that Paleo definitely helped with was not being as sleepy during the day. I used to need 9 hours at least to not crash in the afternoon, but I noticed right away when I started Paleo that I didn’t have that afternoon crash anymore.

16. Do you have a “cheat”day?

Not a designated one, no. Like I’ve mentioned before, I try to keep 80/20 Paleo. If there is something I really want, like the above mentioned ice cream and chicken wings, I will have it as long as it’s not too much or too often.

17. Do you drink alcohol?

Occasionally. Probably two-three drinks every week, sometimes more sometimes less. I don’t go out to party at clubs like I used to, now I just hang out casually with friends, so it really depends on the week and what I have going on.

18. Do you have a workout buddy?

I train with my boyfriend 2 times a week and am joined by a friend on Saturday, but other than that I usually fly solo.

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

I’m happier. I’m sure that came about through a combination of things, but working out/competing in races/making goals definitely gave me a stronger sense of pride and respect for myself than I had before. Eating healthy/Pale helped me come to peace with my body, not constantly fighting it to fit a mold I envisioned for it. I found that doing those two things made me not want to go out as much, not want to drink. Partially because I wouldn’t be able to work as hard if I had drank the night before, but also because I didn’t need that buzz to feel happy and social anymore, that just came naturally.

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?

I chose to take the stairs when getting out of the bus terminal instead of the escalator. It’s a small thing, but making it a routine to always take the stairs pays off in the end! I am usually the only one who does it, too.

Fill it out and tag me so I know you did it and can check it out! Happy Friday everyone!

CrossFit 151 Adventures

Today was humbling. One of those days that brings you down a notch and makes you realize you need to work harder.

I’m in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the weekend visiting my boyfriend’s family. One of his good friends, Zach, opened a big Crossfit Gym in Marion, Iowa that I’ve been hearing about for a year and was excited to check out.

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Zach wanted to try out a new WOD today that he had created to get an idea for its difficulty and how long it would take. His girlfriend, who had the body of Andrea Ager and was totally intimidating, and I were the female testers.

We had to run 25 yards, grab a 10lb plate, run back put it on a bar, repeat and then front lunge the now 75lb bar 10yds, do 10 cleans, lunge 10yds, do 10 thrusters then lunge 10 yards, drop the bar and sprint 100yds.

I. Was. Sweating. And that was just the warmup. The strength and conditioning coach from drake university, a friend of my boyfriends, popped over to join us. We spent 30 min working on snatch and overhead squat form. Then we did another WOD because….why not?

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I did 5 rounds with assisted pull-ups and adjusted snatch weight. I was shaking by the time I got through. Definitely a humbling experience to be around such in have and strong people. Definitely another motivator to get in the gym and kick my ass every time to hopefully one day reach that level.

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A look back on May Goals and mental barriers

I realize it’s half way through June, but I thought I’d look back to see how I did on May goals. I’ll be honest, I only made half of them. I got my running a bit more on track, able to do the 8 min miles again. I still need to bring it down to 7:30, which used to be my “norm” for 4-6 mile runs. One step at a time though

. I also managed to finally gain enough muscle in my back to successful do unassisted, no kipping pull up. My back/arms have always been my “trouble spots”, so I’m excited to finally see some change.

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Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get my clean to 110lbs. I did a lot more combination sets (clean, to front squat, to push press) so it was more cardio focused and not as heavy weight. I’ll just recycle that goal again for this month and hopefully will be able to achieve it.

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I also wasn’t able to get to 135lb squat without the assistance of chains. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting over the mental blocks and forcing yourself to believe you can do it. I think that I have a lot of trouble with immediately thinking “Oh, I can’t do that” when things get difficult or I try something new. I have to work harder to push through that mental barrier. Once I do that, I am sure I will be able to achieve my goals.

Yesterday, I had one of those moments when, during my saturday training session, I was told to do plank push-ups. That’s where one person planks, while the other person uses their body to do elevated push ups. The idea sounded crazy and impossible, as the person planking has to resist the pressure of the push-up and just because I suck at push-ups. My partner was a girl who I work out with every Saturday who always pushes me to my limits. I truly enjoy the challenge and fun of our weekly workouts. I didn’t want to let her down, so I had to try it. Turns out I didn’t collapse onto the ground and we made it through three rounds, with each round both of us planking and doing the pushups. Just goes to show that the body can achieve more than the mind realizes.

Did you have May goals?

What were they and how did you do?

Do you ever find yourself fighting mental barriers?

May Goals

Today is May Day, a holiday celebrating and welcoming spring and…. it snowed. Not just a little, but like 6 inches and still coming down. I find it very hard to get things done when it’s cold outside, so this is not helping my studying or general productivity. I did make it to the gym today and tried some squats with chains. The chains make it so the weight gets lighter as you go down (due to the chains hitting the floor) so you can get lower more easily, but then it gets increasingly harder as you stand up. It was fun, made me feel like a bit of a bad ass 🙂

ImageNow let’s talk about May goals. As I mentioned in my last post, I really wanna get my running back on point. I’m trying not to find it so depressing how slow I’ve gotten and instead just see it as another challenge.  So:

1) I’m hoping to get my speed up a bit so by end of May I am about 8 minute miles for anything over 5 miles, and under 8 for anything less than 5. I’ve been trying to do more hill work outs, so hopefully I can get faster at that as well.

2) I’d love to get my squat up to 135 with 12 reps still getting low.

3) Get my clean over 110 with good form.

4) Do an unassisted pull up from hanging position, no kipping.

What are your May Goals?!