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?

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On (Not) Conquering Trail Running

A couple friends of mine recently signed up to attempt a 50 mile trail run in Fort Collins in May. I randomly ran into them this past saturday on the trail as they stormed past me and my dog and my roommate, jumping over rocks with ease.

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They inspired me with their wildman ways,  so for todays 6 miler I decided to hit the trails for at least part of it. Luckily, I live 2 miles from trails leading up into the Rocky Mountains, so I ran over there and was off!

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I was cruising for the first 1/4 mile or so, and then we started the steep ascent into the mountain and I died. My pace slowed, my lungs began to burn and I was hurting.

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This does not even begin to convey the steepness. Or maybe it does, and I’m just a pansy. Either way, I texted my trail running friend when I got back and told him he was even more crazy (and inspiring) for signing up for 50 miles of that. He reminded me that you have to approach trail running with a different mentality. You are going to go slower, especially when avoiding rocks and running up steep hills and just to stay calm, enjoy the scenery and the challenge

Hope you all had nice Wednesdays!

Why I’m Excited to Try CrossFit

I am fortunate to have a father who raised me as a strong confident woman. Who would tell me daily I was beautiful, but remind me that “pretty is as pretty does” and that true beauty was on the inside. A father who supported my time consuming  USS swimming career, didn’t tolerate whining and who actually chose to watch WNBA games.

Because of this, I never thought I was growing up in a “man’s world”. It never crossed my mind there were things that were for “men only”.  I always viewed the sky as my limit.

Except when it came to my body. Unfortunately, our society often chooses to focus on an unrealistic image ideal driven in part by a $40 billion dollar diet industry.

The number one wish for girls 11-17 is to be thinner[1]. 80% of 10-year-old girls have dieted[2]. Although most girls have a 1% chance of being as thin as a runway model, 69% of girls admit that fashion models influence their idea of an “ideal body.”[3]

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Like the majority of “healthy living bloggers”, I’ve had my struggles with body image and disordered eating and blog to try to pass on what I’ve learned from my struggles.

One of the most important lessons I have learned is to take pride not in how your body looks, but the amazing things it is capable of doing.  If your only goal is to “look skinny and hot” you will never be happy, as you can always find flaws no matter who you are.

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I grew up swimming on a USS Team and playing water polo. I’ve run half marathons and 5ks.  But the idea of fueling my body properly to perform, not to look skinny, never struck home until I started lifting.

I set goals for myself (be able to do wide grip pull ups, squat my body weight, etc) and I found that on days when I hadn’t eaten properly, I simply could not perform at the level I wanted to.  In order to gain the muscle I needed to, I had to eat more and couldn’t be dieting or restricting.  The sense of pride I got in achieving my goals took control of my desire to be thin and I began loving my body for its accomplishments.

The idea that your body is not your enemy seems like a simple concept, but for millions of women it’s an incredibly hard concept to grasp.

So by now you’re probably saying: Fiona, I thought this post was going to be about CrossFit? And first, I’ll thank you for reading this far. And then, I’ll show you that it is.

I decided to give CrossFit a one month try starting the second week of February. First, because a new Box (that’s CrossFit speak for gym) opened up in my town so they are offering a discounted month (hello, I do live on a student budget). Second, because it’s something I’ve been curious about for a long time.

I’ve been curious to try CrossFit not because of the workouts themselves. I do plenty of cleans, and squats, and kettle bell swings on my own. That’s not something unique only to CrossFit.

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I’m joining because I want to be a part of the community.

I want to be surrounded by men and women who support strong bodies to fuel strong minds.

I’ve had a lot of arguments with people I know about CrossFit. They argue that it’s a cult, that the instructors aren’t well trained, that people are bound to hurt themselves. I respond by saying that yes, it’s possible to have an instructor who doesn’t know the proper form. Yes, the culture of doing AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) can encourage people to get lazy with their form. But this is the case if you go to the gym as well. You need to be careful and knowledgeable about the physical activity you are doing no matter what it is.

I know so many girls who are scared to enter a weight room because they don’t know where to start and are scared of being judged. I applaud CrossFit for being a place for those women to go to start their fitness journey.

I’m excited to be surrounded by supportive people who have taken the same commitment to improving their quality of life through fitness as I have.

I’m excited to be surrounded by women who view their bodies, no matter the size, as something to be proud of and something to admire.

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So, I’ll let you guys know how it goes 🙂


[1] Facts on Body and Image,” compiled by Jean Holzgang. Just Think Foundation web site. [Online: http://www.justthink.org/bipfact.html . Last retrieved April 14, 2000]

[2] Kilbourne, J., “Slim Hopes,” video, Media Education Foundation, 1995.

[3] “Magazine Models Impact Girls’ Desire to Lose Weight, Press Release.” (1999). American Academy of Pedia