Booty Shaking, Baseball and [Olympic] Bars

I have a new addiction. It is to the song Blurred LInes by Robin Thicke. It constantly runs through my mind and I find myself singing it under my breathe, which is fine if I am at home, not fine if I am walking through the halls at work. If you haven’t heard it, check it out and I dare you to try to not dance. I bet you can’t, it just makes you want to shimmy and bootyshake. ¬†(Video is Not Safe for Work)

I joined a club softball team that starts next Friday. I’m not that great at land sports that involve hand-eye coordination, so last night I went to the batting cages to practice.

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It was a blast and a fun, but cheap, way to spend a Friday night. I still need to work on keeping my eye on the ball when it is thrown at me (I wish I was kidding, but I have a tendency to close my eyes at the last second), but I’m trying! I never played team sports on land, so it’s a whole new experience. My boyfriend and one of our friends who came along both played baseball so they were trying to give me pointers and I made some progress as the evening progressed.

I think I mentioned that I joined a new gym by work and they have an olympic lifting platform that I have been spending a lot of time with.

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I was finding it really hard to motivate myself to workout after a long day at work, so instead I’ve been catching the 6:10 am bus downtown to workout before work. It was rough at first, but I really prefer starting the day off that way and then I have my evenings free to do whatever. Plus, I am obsessed with hang cleans and love the look of surprise when I step up to the platform and start lifting. Usually I am the only girl in the weight room at that hour and I hope my presence can help break the ice for other girls to check it out.

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I’m off to go camping for the night!

Tell me what you are up to this weekend! Anyone else going camping? BBQ-ing? Any races?

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 ūüôā

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?!

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!

Planning for Success (Includes 1/2 Marathon Training Plan)

Guys, I’ll admit it. Past couple weeks I’ve fallen off the wagon. I could blame it on being sick, but in reality I’ve been lazy. I just haven’t been that motivated to cook/eat clean or work out that much. In fact, I haven’t really been motivated to do anything, including the piles of reading I have to do for school.

My dog thinks Corporations reading is boring too.

My dog thinks Corporations reading is boring too.

I definitely go through phases of being super motivated, I can totally do this, I’m a rockstar, YAH!… and then I just burn out. It’s hard once you lose that drive to try to find it again and re-motivate yourself to be the best version of “You” that you can be.

There’s a two phase plan I used to try to get myself back on track when I fall of. ¬†Phase 1 starts with watching this video, which always makes me want to go take on the world This. Very. Second.

Then I look up and see it’s cold and grey outside and I decide the world can wait. ¬†But no one ever got what they wanted out of life by watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns for hours on end, so then Phase 2 kicks in. Success doesn’t just happen. You have to work for it. You have to plan for it. So, I make a plan. I make it detailed. I make sure I stick to it. ¬†It’s hard to fall off track when you know exactly what you are supposed to be doing at any given moment.

I’ve been really slacking in the cardio department. Like, really slacking. Like, I’d probably be wheezing after a mile or two if I went for a run. Since one of my 2013 goals is to ¬†break a 1:45 1/2 marathon time, we can’t have that. So last night I sat down and drafted a training plan. It’s an easy one, one just to get me back into the grove of running. I still want to keep my lifting, so I scheduled Three “PT” (Personal Training) times in there, along with interval runs to work on speed, hills, and tempo runs.

Week Mon Tuesday Weds Thursday Friday Sat Sunday
Week 1 PT 2 Mile Tempo PT 2 Mile Easy REST 4 Miles &PT 1 Miles Easy
Week2 PT 3 Mile Tempo PT 3 Mile Tempo REST 5 Miles &PT 2 Miles Easy
Week 3 PT 3 Mile Tempo PT 3 Mile Interval REST 6 Miles &PT 2 Miles Easy
Week4 PT 4 Mile Tempo PT 3 Mile Hill REST 7 Miles &PT 2 Miles Easy
Week 5 PT 3 Mile Interval PT 4 Mile Easy REST 8 Miles & PT 2 Miles Easy
Week 6 PT 4 Mile Interval PT 3 Mile Tempo REST 9 Miles &PT 2 Miles Easy
Week 7 PT 4 mile Tempo PT 3 Mile Easy REST 10 Miles &PT 2 Miles Easy
Week 8 PT 2 M. Hill, 3M. T PT 4 Mile Tempo REST 11 Miles &PT 3 Miles Easy
Week 9 PT 5 Mile Tempo PT 3 Mile Interval REST 9 Miles &PT 2 Miles Easy
Week 10 PT 5 Mile tempo PT 4 Mile Interval REST 1 Mile EZ RACE (?)

As of now I haven’t registered for a race, but I know in a month or so I’ll start looking some up. ¬†I’ll have another week’s worth of groceries/recipes this Saturday to help get me back into making my own food again.

I know I’m capable of more than I’ve been giving the past couple weeks in school, in working out and in life. I’m ready to get back on track. I’m ready to be successful.

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Rest days were the best days…

Last week I woke up for CrossFit, stumbled into the bathroom and was half way through washing my face before I realized I was using toothpaste and the little granules exfoliating my face were whitening stain-lifters. Once my face was removed of its minty freshness, I stumbled back to bed and decided that sleep was more important for my success at work that day than Snatches and dead lifts that morning.

Rest Day 1

Even with the extra hour and half of sleep, I spent the whole day in a slight fog, giving myself internal pep talks to focus and pay attention. Somehow, when I got home I decided it was a good idea to go for a quick run anyway. It has been a while since I went running and I figured it would still be a break from lifting. The next day I woke up still tired, but chugged some pre-work out and headed to the gym. I was feeling pretty good, ready to sweat and feel those endorphins flood my body.

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And then I hit a wall. My lungs tightened as I desperately sucked in air, I felt nauseous and my muscles were burning. Two weeks of double days had caught up to me and I had to call it quits. But my body wasn’t ready punishing me for neglecting to listen to it. I spent the next couple days curled up in bed, fighting away flu like symptoms that left me drained and weak.

What did I learn from all this? Don’t be a stubborn meat head – take rest days. I know that it’s easy to get excited when you see yourself making progress, and there is the tendency to want to keep going so you don’t lose it. Truth is-I’m not going to lose all the progress I’ve gained if I take a day or two off. In fact, it will actually help my muscle tissue to recovery and help replenish my energy stores.

What else did I learn? I need more sleep. Not getting sufficient sleep decreases glycogen synthesis, decreases muscle tissue repair, decreases activity of human growth hormone and increases the stress hormone cortisol. Also, if you are trying to loose weight numerous studies show that a lack of sleep can increase over eating.

So next time you are feeling overly sore or tired, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Go to a movie, go out to dinner, do anything except try to push through it. Your body will thank you.

Dispelling CrossFit Myths – Base Camp Week 1

I have not been asked by CrossFit Sanitas to endorse this gym. All opinions in this blog are my own

Well guys, I have officially drank the kool aid. Today was the end of week 1 of my 2.5 week CrossFit “Base Camp”. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 4:45am I got out of bed and drudged out into the snowy cold and headed towards CrossFit Sanitas like a moth to a warm flame. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:30am I excitedly texted anyone I knew who was awake at that time (mainly my parents on the east coast and my boyfriend) everything we had done that day, what the WOD had been, what my time was, what technique methods the coaches had used and how excited I was for the next class. Needless to say, I’m hooked.

I thought I’d start out by going over some of the many things I had heard about CrossFit and whether or not I found them to be true.

Myth #1: The coaches lack in training/aren’t educated well enough. FALSE

Doesn't really apply, but makes me laugh anyway.

I wanted to start with this because it’s one of the ones I’ve heard most often and because of the amazing experience I have had with my coach, Dan, so far. My CrossFit box offers an 8 session base camp to all incoming CrossFitters to help teach proper technique. Each workout begins with about a 30 minute “skill” session (this is true for their regular WODS outside of base camp too, I believe). Each day we focus on 3 main skill sets (for instance: deadlifts/sumo deadlift shoulder raise/press or squat/push up/ring row). Dan not only was able to demonstrate each move slowly, while articulating exactly what he expected of us, but would walk around individually correcting each person’s form. Prior to even adding any weight we had to do about 30 air/body weight versions of whatever move we were doing.

Now youmay be thinking – well how do you know what good instruction is? Thanks to my trainer boyfriend, I watch strength and conditioning videos all the time that focus on proper technique. While I am far from having perfect form, I do know the areas I need to improve on and Dan called me out on all of them. He would also continue to do so during the actual WOD, even AMRAP WODs which focus on a high number of reps where your form can easily get sloppy. So, as far as qualified coaches go, I’d give him as an A+.

Myth #2: CrossFit is only for super intense crazy people who like flipping tires, climbing ropes and wearing tiny spandex. FALSE

Not my box, but this grandma is kicking some butt.

Not my box, but this grandma is kicking some butt.

The group of people in my base camp are so incredibly diverse. There’s 14 of of us total, a surprisingly large number for a 5:30am class, and the participants range from a trainer at CU who wants to know what the fuss is about to a group of amazingly bubbly and motivated moms who want to get more fit to be good role models for their kids to twenty something’s looking for a challenge. Each WOD we do can be adapted to each individuals level of fitness and abilities to make it perfect for people of all ages and fitness level.

MYTH #3: CrossFit workouts only last about 10 minutes and aren’t actually that hard. FALSE

I aspire to be Andrea Ager.

I aspire to be Andrea Ager.

The opposite of the myth above, but also one I have heard (conveniently from people who had never tried CrossFit). Before base camp I also believed that people just came in, did the WOD and left. As I mentioned above, however, there is a whole other section prior to the WOD that focuses on skills and lifting heavier for shorter reps and is a whole other workout in and of itself. While I haven’t tried a non-basecamp workout yet, I’m hoping to try one this Sunday so I can get the full idea of what this pre section is like. Also, a lot of the olympic lifting moves are combined with dynamic athlete moves (box jumps, lateral jumps etc) that will help any athlete improve. Lastly, we are encouraged to stay after the WOD to do some more cardio or work on things not covered that day to help us reach our own individual goals.

Myth #4: CrossFit gyms are small and dingy. Definitely False.

Does not even begin to capture it. Also, that's my coach. Hi Dan!

Does not even begin to capture the Sanitas Box. Also, that’s my coach. Hi Dan!

I know that my box is exceptionally nice, but literally I could not ask for a better CrossFit gym. The space is HUGE, brand new, with every piece of equipment you could ask for from competition kettle bells, tons of barbells and racks, boxes, ropes, rowers, sleds and even a turf area. Plus it has childcare. Not all boxes have to be in someone’s basement.

Myth #5: They will pressure you to be Paleo.

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My second class we had about a 5-10 minute talk on nutrition. It basically came down to “Do what works for you, but try to follow the basic principle of ‘If man made it, don’t eat it'” Simple. True. No pressure. We also were given a packet on the first day that had further information on nutrition, should we desire to know more, as well as information about lifting techniques we would be learning.

Myth #6 It’s a cult that will suck you in and make you never want to stop. TRUE & FALSE.

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I don’t like the word cult, as that has a negative connotation. I don’t associate loving something that is beneficial to your physical and mental health with the dangers of a cult. I do believe that it feeds on human natures desire to work as a community to succeed, while also individually pushing yourself past your own personal limits. I didn’t realize how motivating it would be to be working out with a group of people and how much harder I would push myself when doing it. I also didn’t realize how exciting it would be to see everyone, especially the people who were struggling, complete the workout. It motivates you to work harder, because if they are pushing themselves through the pain, you can too. I remember reading somewhere that a great thing about CrossFit is that the loudest cheers are for the last one to finish. I definitely think that is a reality.

I have so much more to say, but I can save that for another post about what we actually did during each session, but hopefully this helps convince some of you who may have been on the fence to give it a shot.

(Re)New Year Resolutions

It’s that time. The time when the gym starts emptying out again. When you start giving into your cravings. When all those things that seemed so important January 1st don’t seem worth the effort anymore.

But now is not the time to give up.

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Was your goal fitness related? Finding it hard to get motivate to work out after a long day? Try morning workouts. It will boost your metabolism, give you more energy throughout the day and get it out of the way so you can enjoy your evenings. If that idea makes you cringe, try at least getting up 30 minutes earlier. It won’t ¬†ruin your sleep, but can provide you time to squeeze in a 3 mile run or a quick HIIT workout to start your day off. ¬†Still can’t do that? Try doing squats while you brush your teeth or take 1 minute to do 10 pushups and 10 sit-ups.

Is working out cutting into your social life? Find people who support your changing lifestyle and try new ways of socializing.¬†¬†Bring a friend to a group exercise class. Instead of meeting to catch up over drinks, go for a walk, a hike or a bike ride. Guarantee you’ll relieve stress and feel better that you did something to achieve your goals.

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Was your resolution diet related? The biggest thing to remember is “By failing to prepare, you plan to fail”. Take the time to have healthy snacks in your fridge to avoid mindless snacking. Prepare healthy meals that you can take with you on the go. Eat out a lot? Try to pick restaurants that have healthier options and avoid appetizers and alcohol. Once again, try to surround yourself with people who are supportive of the changes you are trying to make. Making dinner can be a fun and healthy way to hang out with friends and you have complete control over how healthy the meal is you’re making.

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Was your resolution non-health related? Get better grades? Be a better friend/mother/father/daughter/son? Read more? Watch less TV? Finally apply for your dream job?

No matter what your goal, make sure you set attainable benchmarks where you can measure your progress in small steps so you don’t get discouraged. Image

Whatever you wanted to improve upon this year, keep going!

Swimming Workout #1

I have a tendency to forget that swimming exists. Maybe it’s because it’s not as easy to do as running unless you have a pretty awesome house where you can just step out your door into a pool.

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You would think that for someone who spent 8 years of their life swimming 2-4 hours a day, every day and traveling from pool to pool all along the east coast every weekend, I would remember what an amazing workout it is.

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Prior to my ankle injury, I hadn’t been in a pool to workout in over 5 years. After I broke my ankle, it was the only form of cardio (just pulling, no kicking) that I could do. But once again, as soon as I could run again the pool was just a distant memory.

Until this week.

Last Wednesday morning I woke up to go for a run and my legs were killing me. They were so tight that I could barely extend them far enough for a full stride. I thought about going to yoga, but it’s not really my cup of tea, so instead I decided I needed a date with the pool.

The minute I jumped in and the cold water flooded over me, I remembered just how much I love to swim. Here are some reasons swimming is good for you:

1) It’s perfect for people with knee problems (or other injuries like, say, bum ankles)

2) It builds longer, leaner muscles compared to the more short and compact ones you get from weight-training.

3) It’s perfect for cross-training, as it can give your joints a break from the pavement pounding.

4) It increases flexibility

5) Strengthens your core, as well as the rest of your body.

6) It’s fun to channel your inner child and pretend to be a dolphin.

Here is the swim workout I did. It only took about 30 minutes, but left me feeling so much better.

SWIM WORKOUT #1

1*200 yd freestyle warm up

4*50 yd sprints with 15 seconds rest in between. 1st 25 freestyle, 2nd 25 butterfly

100 yard butterfly kick on back (really works the abs)

4*50 yd sprint with 15 second rest in between 1st 25 freestyle, 2nd 25 backstroke

100 yard back kick

Repeat the 4*50s and 100 kicks again

200 yd “Lung Buster” – First 50 breathe every 3 strokes, 2nd 50 breathe every 5 strokes, 3rd 50 breathe every 7 strokes, last 50 breathe every 9 strokes first 25, then swim the last 25 butterfly breathe every 2 strokes.

Warm down 150

TOTAL: 1,650yds (swimmer’s mile)

Obviously adjust to your own personal skill level. I was a swim instructor and swim coach for 3 years as well, so if you have any questions ask away and I’ll try to help!

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My 10 Favorite Workout Songs

Okay, this is awkward. I know I’ve been gone for a while, I’ve been having a crazy week. But it’s about to get even more awkward, because I am about to admit my 10 favorite songs to work out to. These are not my “10 favorite songs ever”, but the ones that always get my blood pumping and make me want to sweat it out.

1) Sweet Nothing – Calvin Harris

This one has a great beat to get your body moving.

2) If you want to – Travis Barker (ft. Lupe Fiasco)

I was a drummer for 5 years, so this song just does it for me.

3) Wipe Me Down РLil Boosie ft. Webie (NSFW)

Anyone who knew me in college knows my relationship with this song. This was THE song to put on to get pumped up and always fills me with energy.

4) Animal – Mike Snow

I bet you cannot listen to this song and not get it stuck in your head for DAYS.

5) Ven Conmigo – Daddy Yankee (NSFW)

This song is perfect for fast cardio. Plus, it reminds me of one of my best friends who currently lives in Brazil, but came all the way out to CO for my birthday a month after a moved her and danced like a fool to this song to cheer up my homesickness.

6) Neato – Three Loco (NSFW)

I feel like this is one of those “you love it” or “you really really hate it” type songs. I personally love it, especially when lifting. Also, it’s pretty vulgar so you’ve been warned.

7) Sexy Love – Ne-Yo

Sometimes on long runs, you need to do a little day dreaming to get you through…

8) Right There – Nicole Scherzinger ft. 50 Cent

Pretty much along the same line as the one above

9) Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men

So upbeat, plus I always picture the music video in my head which keeps me entertained.

10) Take Care – Drake ft. Rihanna

Okay, I’ll admit it. I am in love with everything Drake produces. Including this one. I have no shame.

National Women in Sports Day

Today, February 6th, is National Women in Sports day.

Over 40 years ago, in 1972, TItle IX was adopted to Federal Law to prohibit discrimination in school based sports programs (and other after school programs) based on gender.  In 1972, 1 in every 27 girls played high school sports. Today, the number is 2 in 5.

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Time Magazine in 1978

So, I just wanted to give all you women athletes and the men who support women atheletes a pat on the back. Keep on working it!