10 Day You Challenge

Howdy friends and Happy Friday! As you are reading this, I am likely in the air traveling to Chicago, or I have already landed and am hitting the ground running!  While I am busy working and hopefully soaking in some of the Windy City, I have something fun (or something I hope is fun) for you all today.  As I was perusing my beloved Pinterest, I saw this image and thought it piqued my interest and thought it would make a great blog series.

10 day you challenge

I won’t do this on consecutive days, that’s a bit of a “me” overload for anyone..but I am thinking I will do this on Fridays for the next few weeks.  So, to kick off the 10 Day You Challenge, I will share with you 10 “secrets” Some are lame..sorry in advance 🙂

1.  I was a red-head until I was 5 years old and wish almost everyday that my hair never darkened to auburn.

2.  Until I met Robyn, the thought of marriage and being with one person for the rest of my life made me cringe.

3.  Growing up and into adulthood, I never wanted to be a mom.  I have to follow this by saying that Ashton was 100% planned, and now of course, we know he was the very best decision we ever made, but I just wasn’t born with that, I HAVE to be a mom gene.

4. In relation to #3, while a very, VERY tiny part of me wishes Ashton had a sibling to play with and grow up with, he will be an only child.  I have NO desire to have another child.

5. I hate when people say that if they had their life to do over again they wouldn’t change a thing because their mistakes have molded who they are now…blah, blah, blah, sorry but  I’m calling BULLSHIT on that.  No matter how great their life was, I have a hard time believing they don’t have at least one thing they wish they could go back and change.

6. I never got into trouble when I was a kid for anything other than having a smart mouth.  I was and suppose at times, still am VERY mouthy.  I speak my mind, it’s both a good and bad trait.

7. The most “rebellious” thing I ever did was get a tattoo when I was 17. I am currently in the process of getting it removed. Live and learn because it’s WAY, WAY more expensive to fix a mistake like that!

8. I was raised Catholic but am an atheist.  I have a very hard time with religion (and no, I won’t argue or judge you on your beliefs, to each their own.)

9. While I occasionally enjoy a good glass of wine or two, I have never been a big drinker. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been buzzed in my entire life. Alcoholism runs in my family and I have always been terrified to drink more because of that.

10. People who use words in the wrong context (there vs. their) irk me, especially in a business setting/context. I know it is ridiculous, but it’s just one of my “things”…I have many 🙂

 

Alright friends, that’s it from me today. Have a wonderful weekend, I’ll check in with you all on Monday! 🙂

 

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Question of the day

Play along, what is one of your secrets?

 

 

 

Choices

Hi friends!  I hope you are having a great day.  It doesn’t seem like a Wednesday over here.  I don’t know about you, but whenever we have a Monday holiday it always throws my whole week off kilter.  I’m going to keep this short because to say I am a bit slammed at work would be an understatement. I am getting ready to head to Chicago on Friday and the prep needed to go to a conference is INSANE.  I will be spending the rest of my day in meetings prepping for this trip, but I wanted to stop by, say hello, let you know I’m thinking of you all and share with you a quote that I read last night before heading to bed that really resonated with me and got me thinking (way PAST my normal bedtime.)

 

reflection

I think this can be applied to all aspects of your life.  I often hear people complain about hating their jobs, being unhappy in relationships, with their level of fitness, etc.  It makes me sad that people choose to live in situations that lead to a state of prolonged unhappiness.  I know some things can’t be changed with the snap of a finger and to make serious changes, it takes time and hard work, but it CAN be done.  While my life is not all sunshine and rainbows, I do believe that your life is what YOU make it and when you don’t like something, it’s up to YOU to change it.  I choose to be happy, so when things aren’t making me happy, I figure out a way to change them.  Sometimes these changes are easy fixes, other times they are much larger and harder and can lead to a shift so substantial that it changes your life forever.  But in either case, you have to start somewhere to make progress.  So friends, this is what I was deep in thought about last night. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

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Question of the day

Do you agree or disagree with this?  What changes have YOU made to get the results you wanted?

 

 

 

Weekly Wrap Up

Hey friends!  Happy Memorial Day!  I wanted to thank you all for the sweet comments on my last post, I can’t tell you how much it meant to me, so thank you.  As many of you know, last week could be summed up in four words: I’m glad it’s over.  It was a mentally and emotionally tough week for me.  I got my workouts in, which is good, but I just didn’t feel like my normal self.  I’m not beating myself up over it though, I’m accepting and embracing the suckiness of it and using it as motivating to kick next week’s butt!

Week 5/19-5/25

Monday: I did the T25 Cardio and Blogilates Victoria’s Secret Model Ab Workout in the morning.  I tried to run, got on the treadmill and only made it .25 miles and was done.  Mentally I was checked out at that point, so I got off and foam rolled.  In the afternoon I did the Strong Lifts 5×5 program before I took my regular lunchtime yoga class.  I wasn’t really feeling yoga as much as I normally do today, I have been under a lot of stress with a sick dog at home and I think that is weighing heavy on me right now.  I can usually push everything out of my mind for a yoga class, but I just couldn’t do it well today, but, alas, I got in a good workout physically, just not mentally.

Tuesday: Saying I really wasn’t into my workout this morning is an understatement.  I rarely feel this way, but I just didn’t want to work out.  BUT…I pushed through and did my T25 Total Body Conditioning video and then the Blogilates Slim Waist Cocktail Dress video.  I mentally wanted to get in a run, but physically, it just didn’t happen.  I don’t know why, but I just lacked the motivation to get out there and run today.

Wednesday: I worked from home because we had to take Morgan to the vet.  I slept in until 6:20 a.m., got to wake Ashton up and get him ready for daycare, which I LOVED and then did my T25 lower body video and that was it in the am.  In the evening, I did Blogilates 5 minute Ab Express and the What makes you bootyful butt challenge.

Thursday: I did my T25 Total body circuit video right before having a great hour long vinyasa yoga class before work.  After work I taught my Group Power class at the gym and it was awesome.  I started to feel like the week may be taking a turn for the better. Just goes to show you, a workout can help put things in perspective.

Friday:  I took Friday off for an extra long weekend, so I did my T25 Speed video and then T25 ab circuit video before heading to get my hair cut and my car inspected.  Not the most glamorous day off, but I did get to have a quiet lunch out with Robyn, which I can’t remember doing in forever, so it was actually pretty freaking great!

Saturday: We were running around all day long with Ashton, while I didn’t get a formal workout in, I didn’t stop all day long, running after him in the yard and at the park.

Sunday: Pretty much the same kind of day as Saturday, lots of outdoor playing and laughs. We also had a few friends over for a cookout on our new deck and had a blast.

Overall, the end of my week was pretty great and I am now leaving my “week of suck” behind.  I have a very busy week ahead of me, ending with a trip to Chicago at the end of the week!! I am hoping this week’s workouts have more force behind them and I hope to get in some running, which was clearly lacking this past week!

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Question of the day

How are you celebrating Memorial Day?

Overcoming a week of suck

Hi friends, Happy Friday!  I hope you are all having a good week.  I have to admit, I was looking forward to Friday all week-long because I am now on vacation until Tuesday morning.  This week all around was a tough one for me.  I am forever dubbing this week my “week of suck.”  I try to not let days, experiences, things get me down, or at least for too long, but it seemed like at every turn this week, I was faced with an obstacle.  Couple that with being stressed to get my Mom’s test results to see if she is still in remission and it was a recipe for disaster.  Now, let me start off by saying I KNOW that there are many people who are going through things that are WAY, WAY worse, and this is exactly what I tell myself pretty much anytime something in my life doesn’t go the way I want it to.  I totally get that and that is usually how I stay grounded and thankful for all the truly WONDERFUL things I have in my life.  I know it’s just a bad week and not a bad life, but this week got the better of me and I am not afraid to admit that.  I’m only human.

It's just a bad Week, not a bad Life

The week started off with multiple fights with our contractor.  We hired a company to tear down our old deck and rebuild us a new deck.  Simple right?  So we thought.  We laid out exactly what we wanted with dimensions, the look, things that were important to us, etc.  We provided print outs of the exact look, etc.  We over communicated the entire time to ensure we got exactly what we wanted.  Well, things never go as planned and while the deck came out nice, not 100% perfect, but what is really 100%? Here is what it looks like.

deck collage

Not too bad, right?  Like I said, it looks good.  However, throughout the process there were MANY mistakes that we had to address and have them fix so our one week project is going on a month.  Additionally, while in the process of doing the deck, they messed up our electrical system and at different points over the past week, we had no water and no electricity in our house.  It has led to multiple electricians at the house, so much time spent waiting around for things to get fixed and multiple conversations with the contractor over this and other issues that were not taken care of (such as picking up all the nails and screws ALL OVER our yard) that are a hazard to our dog and child.  All things we discussed were critical to us when we hired them for the job and we were promised would not be an issue.  This all culminated with a late night phone call on Monday where Robyn (my level-headed, easy-going husband) got on  the phone and called the contractor out on every single issue we have had with them and all the things that are still left to be fixed.  Listening to him take charge like that was fun to watch, especially because the contractor kept trying to talk around the issues and Robyn kept calling his B.S.  However, we are still without power in some parts of our house and the deck is still not finished.

On Tuesday it was my Dad’s birthday.  He would have been 67.  It’s been almost 4 years since he died and this day still brings me to tears.  Even writing this took a few tries and kept me reaching for the Kleenex.  It was a tough day all around for me.

Wednesday I worked from home because I had to bring my sweet Morgan to the vet for an echo-cardiogram.  Last week I brought him to the vet because he started to cough a lot and was up all night on Wednesday night coughing and struggling to breathe.  After a lot of x-rays, we learned his lungs were completely full of liquid and his heart was enlarged, which led us to this appointment.   Well, after being at the vet’s for almost 3 hours, with strong words given to a very rude vet tech, we now know that Morgan is deep into congestive heart failure and he has a leaky mitral valve.  There isn’t much they can do for him other than medicate him and hope he responds well enough to the medicine for now to keep him comfortable. We have to keep him quiet and out of stressful situations.  Thankfully, even with a toddler, our house is very quiet.  We know our time with him is limited (likely only a few months at best) and this breaks my heart more than I can get express and hearing Ashton say “Hi Doggy, give you hug” and then turn to me and say “Mama, doggy sick” is almost too much right now.

On Thursday, I spent the entire day putting out fires and trying to get ready for a big conference that will take me to Chicago for 5 days at the end of next week.  Nothing too terrible, but the culmination of this week’s events are weighing me down a bit so it feels harder than it should. I will say though that I had an incredible vinyasa yoga class that put a big smile on my face and teaching my Group Power class at night ended the day on a great note.

So, friends, that was my week in a nutshell.  My workouts are getting done, but not with my usual tenacity and focus.  To say I have a lot on my mind is an understatement.  I have totally fallen behind on reading and commenting on all you awesome bloggers, but I hope to get caught up soon.

I am also hoping this long weekend is good for the soul.  With that, I started my vacation off with a super sweaty workout this morning and I am off to get my hair done now and then get my car inspected. I am working hard to turn around my “week of suck”.  I AM going to make today ridiculously amazing, because really…I know it could be a million times worse.

make today ridiculously amazing

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Question of the day

Have you ever had a week of suck?  What did you do to make it better?

 

XTERRA Trail Run Series-Wallum Lake Race Recap

I mentioned a few weeks ago on the blog that I signed up for the XTERRA Trail Run Series Wallum Lake 8k race, which I ran this past Saturday.  So let’s do a little race recap, shall we? So,  like the planner that I am, I had laid out my racing outfit the night before so I  was able to relax a bit before getting ready Saturday morning.

race outfit

I had one of my favorite Swirlgear long sleeve shirts, my compression sleeves, my beautiful new trail running shoes, the Brooks Cascadia’s , my Nike tempo shorts and Injinji run socks.   I was a little nervous to try my new shoes out for the first time in a race, but it is what it is and if I was going to try them out normally, I’d be going out for a 4-5 miler anyways, so I had my fingers crossed that everything would be okay.  So, with my clothes all laid out, I was ready to rock and roll.  Then, on Saturday morning I was awoken (WAY too early) by the sound of a monsoon outside my window.  We have a skylight in the master bedroom and the rain was coming down so hard and fast that the noise level was just too much for me to ignore.  So, I got up and looked outside and prayed to the weather gods to make it stop for my race. The ground was soaked and I will be honest, my biggest concern was getting my pretty new shoes dirty. I know, I know, it’s called trail running, they ARE going to get dirty and I KNOW this, but their first trip out of the gate, I wanted them to stay clean for as long as possible.  Don’t question my rationale, I know it doesn’t make logical sense, but let’s just go with it, okay? 🙂

So, my loving husband got up and made us all pancakes for breakfast. I don’t normally eat a heavy breakfast before going to run, but I had a few hours to digest before the race (it started at 9am) so I had 2 pancakes and then got ready to leave. I left my house at 7:30 a.m. as the directions said the location of the race was about 22 miles away and would take me 40ish minutes.   I assumed it was all back roads and since I have NO sense of direction and rely on my trust GPS, I wanted to give myself plenty of time to get there, get my number and shirt and stretch before the race started.  Well, luckily the rain stopped and I arrived at Wallum Lake at 8:05 a.m. and followed the signs down into the woods towards the beach to get my bib and t-shirt. I got to walk through the start line and take a picture when it was still very quiet and no one was wandering around.

start line

Bib pick up was the quickest and easiest I have ever encountered.  There were two wonderful women whom I gave my name to, they crossed me off the list, gave me my number and my t-shirt.  111 has to be a lucky number right?

number

I went back up to my car to put my t-shirt away, get my bib attached and relax for a bit before I headed back down towards the start of the race.  At around 8:35 a.m. I went back down to the start, used the bathroom (score for real bathrooms, not port-a-potties) and then mingled with some of the other runners, they were all really nice, and of course, I took a selfie near the start flags! 🙂

before the start

As I was looking around, I noticed a lot of people spraying bug spray.  That is the ONE thing I didn’t think to bring with me, rookie move!  Thankfully, they had a communal bug spray for those of us who didn’t bring our own, and for that, I am eternally grateful because even with using their bug spray, I have about 20 mosquito bites all over my body, including right on my ankle, which is the worst of them all!

Anyways, I digress.  So about 5 minutes before the start we all headed over to the starting line and people began to line up.  You could automatically pick out the die hard trail runners, those who literally lined up toeing the starting line and just looked hard core about the race.  I seeded myself towards the back right while I got my Garmin powered up, found my satellites and waited patiently.  The race director gave us some directions as there were two courses, one for the 8k and one for the 10k, we listened to all the directions, then the national anthem started and before I knew it, I heard the sound of the air horn and we were off.

We all took off running towards the finish line, going up a fire road near the parking lot.  At this point, the crowds were thick as people were settling into their paces.  I wanted to start off at a comfortable pace since I had no idea what to expect.  We quickly were going up the first of WAY too many hills and took a sharp left halfway up.  We continued down to what is called Coffeehouse Loop.  I heard the first mile of my Garmin beep but I missed my split time because I was too busy looking down at the ground.  The course so far was very rocky, there were a lot of tree roots and everything was slick with the rain that barreled down earlier in the morning.  However, while the weather cleared up thankfully, I quickly realized I made two mistakes.  The first of which was since we had rain, even though it was fairly cool out at the start, it was really humid and I got hot FAST.  I pulled up my sleeves as best I could and reminded myself that the race wasn’t THAT long.  Famous last words, right?

So, moving on….we took a right to stay on Coffeehouse Loop/Midstate trail.  We came across a single track in the woods that had some rock gardens and thin wooden bridges.  I was enjoying the scenery as much as I could while trying to stay on my feet.  I slipped a few times, but luckily didn’t fall.  The course thinned out a bit and I noticed I was pretty far up front which was a nice little confidence booster.   I knew a few of the people who were running the 8k because our bibs were red instead of black, and up until this point, I hadn’t seen any of them on the course once we started.  At this point,  we had hit quite a few hills and my breathing began to suffer.  While I have had sports induced asthma for as long as I can remember, I have had it under control throughout  my adulthood.  However, I think given the humid conditions and running on a terrain I wasn’t accustomed too, I couldn’t get my breathing under control.  I stopped to catch my breath for a few seconds and then continued on.  I crossed over  the Trunkline Trail and continued up ANOTHER hill on Midstate.  Now I typically don’t mind hills, but seriously, these were TOUGH, probably because they were not only steep but I had to make sure I didn’t fall over slippery rocks and had to side step more piles than I’d like to count of horse s**t!  Seriously, it was EVERYWHERE!

I heard my second mile beep and again missed the pace, but I assumed it was in the very low 9’s or high 8’s given my horrible incredible math skills!  At this point I realized my second mistake…I should have brought my handheld water bottle because I was seriously thirsty.  I don’t usually take any fluids when I run less than an hour, but my mouth felt like a bag of cotton balls, likely from all the heavy panting I was doing.  Thankfully, I took a sharp left (up another freaking hill) and saw the only aid course on the station.  I may have had a small tear in my eye when I saw that.  I stopped to catch my breath and grabbed a small cup of Gatorade and savored every last drop. I wanted to take another one, but people were passing me and my competitiveness got the better of me.  At this water station, the 11k runners went left and the 8k runners went right.  So I veered to the right and enjoyed a small decline before taking a left onto another trail.  At this point, I was really hurting in the breathing department.  We hit a fairly flat straight away of dirt for what I’d estimate was 1/2 mile which was great but I felt like my legs were really heavy.  I had to stop a few times to catch my breath and walked for a few seconds.  Once I started up again, I took a left onto Trunkline and took the Coffeehouse Loop back along the edge of the parking lot back to the fire road.  At some point around here my Garmin beeped for the 4th mile and I was thankful it was almost over so I could finally stop and really catch my breath.  A few male runners passed me and we both told each other good job and they flew by.  I stopped one final time once we passed the parking lot and hit the fire road that would lead us to the finish line.  I saw a big hill in front of me and cursed under my breath.

At this point, a super speedy guy (who I later found out got 2nd in the 11k) was passing me by and patted me on the shoulder, looked me in the eye and told me to push through and I was almost there.  That was what I needed to hear in that moment, as I questioned my sanity for thinking I could do this race, on this terrain.  I dug deep and pushed up that hill as fast as I could in that moment and crested the hill and saw the finish line.  I flew down the hill and crossed the finish line, so thankful I was done.

I stopped my Garmin, 4.81 miles in 43:42, an average pace of 9:05.

garmin time

I really don’t know how that  pace was even possible since I felt like after mile 1 I was struggling for every breath and step.  A nice volunteer gave me my medal and told me I looked strong as I finished.

medal

I thanked her and  I quickly made my way down towards the pavilion that was set up and grabbed a mini-bottle of Gatorade and talked with a few other runners who had finished.  They were all super, super nice and it was fun to listen to their thoughts on the course as well (they all thought it was really hill and tough too!) After about 15 minutes, I made my way back to my car because I had to get home and shower so Robyn and I could take Ashton to his swim lessons.

Here is my post race photo! Still smiling which is always a good sign 🙂
post race

Overall, the race, while small was really well-organized.  The packet pick up was super easy and fast, the course was really well-marked with flags, tree markings and volunteers out on the course to ensure you were heading in the correct direction and the course was really beautiful, albeit hilly.

On the way home, I kept replaying the race back in my head.  I did a few things I wouldn’t make the mistake of doing again, like wearing a long sleeve shirt, not bringing bug spray and not having my handheld bottle with me.  Also, I really need to work more on my rhythmic breathing, I haven’t felt winded running like that in years (with the exception of speed work on the track), and at times it felt a little scary, especially being out in the woods, when most of the time, I was running alone with no one else in sight.  I also went through mentally just how different running on that terrain is than on the road.  For example, I totally zone out when I run on pavement or the treadmill, you absolutely CANNOT do that on the trails, you have to watch every single step you take while watching out ahead of you to see what is coming.  For me, that was probably one of the most difficult things.   They also didn’t allow headphones for this race, another first for me. I have never raced without my music, did that make a difference, maybe?  I don’t really know but I did find myself singing certain songs to myself while I was running to keep me distracted.  I know the point for many to trail running is being out in nature and enjoying the scenery, and of course, I love that too, but I don’t think having a little bit of music would have hurt either.

Anyways, after I got home, I quickly hopped in the shower and got dressed so we could get Ashton to his swim lessons and in the car I was checking my email (don’t worry, I wasn’t driving!) and I got an email from the race saying all the times were posted and they had a screen shot of the winners in each division and overall.  I quickly looked as I was curious as to how fast the winners were able to make it through the course and I was SHOCKED into silence (a rare occasion over here!)

wallum lake final times Not only did I just finish my first trail race (and run), but I placed in my first race and not just placed but got FIRST place in the Women’s open division.  HOLY CRAP!!  To say I was stunned is an understatement.  I didn’t think my time, especially given how much I had to walk would have given me an opportunity to place anywhere in the race.  While it was a small race (I think about 70 or so people) I was still really shocked.  I live in an area where the runners are fast, like SERIOUSLY fast, so the thought of ever placing in a race was non-existent.  Well, after seeing the results, I start thinking, well, the overall winner was only a little over 2 minutes faster, maybe if I hadn’t stopped to catch my breath and walk so much I could have beaten her.  Crazy thinking I know, but that competitive part gets the better of me sometimes! HA!

Well folks, that’s my recap of my very first trail race.  This race was #1 in a series of 3 races in my area and if my schedule allows, I would really like to do the other 2 races, but I really need to get running on the trails for practice, since clearly, I am not conditioned to run on the trails right now.  Overall, I am really happy I did something that has been on my running bucket list for a while, and even though it was SUPER hard, I am really glad I did it, pushed through and finished strong.

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Question of the day

Have you ever done any trail running?  Have you ever placed in a race?  Tell me about it!

Weekly Wrap Up

Happy Monday friends!  Did you have a good weekend?  It was supposed to be rainy and gross this weekend and Saturday early morning sure started out that way, but it cleared up and was wonderful, which led to us spending almost the entire weekend outdoors, running after Ashton, playing at the park and ending with a beautiful family hike on Sunday evening before dinner. It was amazing!

ash hike sunday 5-18

So let’s talk the weekly wrap up…here is what the week looked like for me!

5/12-5/18

Monday: I did a 3 mile interval run, with the first warm up mile at 9:24 and then did .25 mile repeats. I wanted to get in 5 miles but I was running late and I needed to get in my T25 workout and I did my first 5×5 Strong Lifts workout.  I’ve mentioned last week that I needed to get a better, more structured lifting routine down and my friend at work has a CrossFit buddy who recommended this workout because they really liked it, so I tried it and so far, so good.  It was quick and did what I wanted it to.

3 mile intervals

I did my normal Monday lunch time yoga class, which ended up only having 2 people in it (very rare), which as an instructor totally stinks but as a participant I loved it because we got a lot of 1×1 attention it was like a private lesson.  In the evening I did the Blogilates Cinch that Waist video.

Tuesday: I did the T25 Speed video followed by the Blogilates Belly Fat Burner video.  I hopped on the treadmill hoping to get 3 miles in but about 1/4 mile into my run my left knee was bothering me.  I know from my PT session last Friday that my IT bands are incredibly tight so I hopped off and foam rolled both IT bands for about 20 mins and called it a day. Knowing I have a race on Saturday, I didn’t want to push it if I wasn’t feeling good.

Wednesday: I had to be into work early for an event and had to miss my normal spin class, I was really bummed.  But,  I did my T25 at home before showering and leaving for work (it felt so weird to not be doing it at my work gym) and then during lunch I did my 5×5 strong lifts program and finished off with a great 4 mile run in 34:23, so an 8:35 pace and I felt really good, maybe my speed will come back soon???

4mile lunch run

In the evening I did some planks and called it a day.

Thursday: I did my T25 video followed by a morning flow yoga class that was one of the best classes I have ever had.  The second half of my day didn’t go as planned and I was really feeling down going into the gym to teach my Group Power class, but I left feeling a little less stressed, just showing you that you are only one workout away from a better mood!

Friday: I did the T25 Total body circuit video followed by the T25 abs video and was a sweaty mess.  I wanted to do some more abs when I got home but I topped the night off with 2 pieces of a small broccoli and tomato calzone, I would have probably eaten more but my little monster wanted to “share” it with me.  It was wonderful and worth every single calorie and afterwards, I just couldn’t muster up the energy to do anymore ab work.

Saturday: I got up super early…I’m blaming the monsoon that was occurring outside.  We have a skylight in our bedroom and the rain was coming down so hard and fast (and loud!) that I couldn’t stay asleep.  I had my first trail race (next post will be the recap) so I ran 4.8 miles then raced home for Ashton’s swim lessons, which ended up being cancelled 🙁  We ended up going to the park and running around for over an hour, so it worked out fine.  During Ashton’s nap I spent 2 full hours try to start my first garden in the garden beds at our new house, let’s just say I was soaking wet and so sore when I was done I could barely get up off the couch later that night and I have a bloody blister on my right hand that hurts just typing this. Fun times! 🙂

Sunday: A day of rest, that meant I just ran around after Ashton all day, playing at the park and enjoyed a leisurely family hike before dinner. After dinner I was feeling restless so I did the Blogilates 5 Best Exercised to Flatten Your Lower Belly.

Well, that’s all folks.  A pretty good week of workouts and my first trail race!  I hope you had a great week too…let me know in the comments about your best workout last week!

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 Question of the day

Tell me about your best workout this week…or tell me what you learned about your worst workout.

Fuel Your Better: Vega Sport Review

Happy Tuesday Friday my friends!!  I am a falling a bit behind this week, but today I want to talk to you a bit about Vega SportVega just launched their #FUELYOURBETTER campaign and I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to get involved and try out one of their products since I have heard a lot about them via social media.

Badge_Vega200_zps53a557ddThe #FUELYOURBETTER campaign really resonated and motivated me.  Most of us who are into health and fitness do the things we love because it makes us better and healthier.  I mean,  I don’t know anyone who will say that they don’t want to get better,  right?  A phrase that comes out of my mouth weekly when I am teaching my Group Power class is that if we aren’t getting stronger (better) than we are moving backwards and no one wants to move backwards.  I also often remind my participants to “Find comfort in the discomfort” and “Embrace the battle with your body”  because it means we are getting stronger.

running uphillFuelYourBetter-800x800-v5

It’s all about the constant improvement, the drive to be the best version of ourselves.  As part of #FUELYOURBETTER, the concept that you have to provide your body with the right “fuel” in order to successfully complete your workouts and get better is at the forefront. With this, as part of this campaign, I was given the option of what product I wanted to review and the Recover performance protein powder was my first choice, mainly because I ALWAYS fuel post workouts with a protein shake, so this was the most natural fit into my daily life and routine.  I am a big believer in fueling within 30 mins of a hard workout so that you can recover and get back at it tomorrow.  I was excited to open up my package and find a box of their RECOVER performance protein powder in vanilla (it also comes in chocolate and berry.)vega vanilla proteinAccording to Vega, their recovery performance protein powder is a complete multi-source, alkaline-forming, plant-based protein powder blend, featuring 5,500mg of BCAAs and 5,000mg of glutamine per serving, and formulated to:

  • Improve strength and exercise performance
  • Repair and build muscles
  • Reduce recovery time between training

What I liked about this product (and Vega Sport in general) is that they really stay true to their all plant based and natural ingredients claim.  I love that my sampled protein powder is made with pea protein, SaviSeed, sprouted whole grain brown rice protein, and  organic alfalfa protein, all while delivering 26 grams of protein with only 131 calories.  That is a great nutritional profile to me.  I also love that each packet contains a balanced amino-acid profile, along with glutamine, and a digestive enzyme blend to round it out.

nutritional info

 

It comes from a seemingly-alchemistic combination of sprouted brown rice protein, organic green pea protein, hemp protein, and organic alfalfa juice protein.  And there’s a complete, balanced amino-acid profile, plus some greens, glutamine, and digestive enzymes. – See more at: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/new-drinks-for-runners/#sthash.sNxDlwrV.dpuf
It comes from a seemingly-alchemistic combination of sprouted brown rice protein, organic green pea protein, hemp protein, and organic alfalfa juice protein.  And there’s a complete, balanced amino-acid profile, plus some greens, glutamine, and digestive enzymes. – See more at: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/new-drinks-for-runners/#sthash.sNxDlwrV.dpuf
It comes from a seemingly-alchemistic combination of sprouted brown rice protein, organic green pea protein, hemp protein, and organic alfalfa juice protein.  And there’s a complete, balanced amino-acid profile, plus some greens, glutamine, and digestive enzymes. – See more at: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/new-drinks-for-runners/#sthash.sNxDlwrV.dpuf
It comes from a seemingly-alchemistic combination of sprouted brown rice protein, organic green pea protein, hemp protein, and organic alfalfa juice protein.  And there’s a complete, balanced amino-acid profile, plus some greens, glutamine, and digestive enzymes. – See more at: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/new-drinks-for-runners/#sthash.sNxDlwrV.dpuf
It comes from a seemingly-alchemistic combination of sprouted brown rice protein, organic green pea protein, hemp protein, and organic alfalfa juice protein.  And there’s a complete, balanced amino-acid profile, plus some greens, glutamine, and digestive enzymes. – See more at: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/new-drinks-for-runners/#sthash.sNxDlwrV.dpuf

What I had a bit harder time with was the more grittier, natural taste of the powder.  Now, I can’t say I didn’t like it, because I did, but I think when you move to an all natural product, sometimes the taste suffers a bit.  I will be fair and say that 90% of the times that I drank this, it was just mixed with water in my blender bottle because I drank it in my office post workout.  It mixes very well with just water, there were no clumps or anything, but when I got towards the end of the drink, you can see all the “settlement” on the bottom of the cup below.

vega sediment

That was the hardest part of me to finish.  However, when I blended it with a frozen banana in my blender on the weekend, it was PERFECT and the banana helped with the earthy flavor. So, here are my pros and cons:

 

Pros:

All natural, plant-based product

Great nutritional profile

Healthier alternative to many other protein powders on the market

Convenience of single serve packets is great for those on the go

Mixes well with just water

Helps you recover from a tough workout

 

Cons:

Grittier, earthy taste when mixed with just water

Cost (for a box of 12 packets, it is $41.99)

Overall, if you are in the market for a plant based, healthy protein powder and make most of your shakes at home with your blender, I would recommend giving this protein powder a try and become #vegafueled.   I think it delivers with it’s nutritional profile and will help to #FUELYOURBETTER by helping you recover after tough workouts so you are ready to dig deep and find your better in your next workout.

better doesnt see the wall only the finish line-FuelYourBetter-800x800-v1

***Disclaimer: The following post is a review for Vega Sport. I  was given the opportunity to participate in this review through my Sweat Pink ambassadorship and was provided with a box of Vega Sport Recovery Protein to try out for this purpose.  I received no other compensation for this review and the opinions expressed in this blog about this product are 100% my own honest, unbiased opinion.***

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Question of the day

How do you #FUELYOURBETTER? Have you tried any Vega products before? Thoughts?

 

Are you secretly an introvert?

A friend posted on his Facebook feed an article from the Huffington Post on 23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert. I read through this post and had to laugh because I identified with EVERY SINGLE EXAMPLE.  This however, is no secret to me.  Now, if you were ask my co-workers (and I have) they would all adamantly disagree that I am an introvert.  Why?  Well, most likely because my job is to be extroverted.  I have to interact and be social every single day.  It’s actually pretty funny because my counterpart in one of our other therapeutic areas is an extrovert to the extreme and I go to her a lot for advice on how to be more extroverted and she laughs saying I can’t really be an introvert.  Well, it’s not that I CAN’T do these things, it just drains me to do them.  It’s not where I am naturally comfortable.  Also, because I know my co-workers, I am comfortable around them, so all my natural introverted tendencies aren’t as noticeable.  However, if I start thinking and describing my closest friends, every one of them is extroverted.  I guess I tend to gravitate towards extroverted people to balance me.  Here are the signs that you are introverted and my reactions to them.

1. You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.

Yes.  If I am going to speak to someone,  it’s because I am actually interested in what they have to say.  Small talk feels a bit disingenuous to me. I understand why it’s used, it’s just not something I enjoy engaging in.

2. You go to parties -– but not to meet people.

True.  The thought of going to a party to meet new people hold no draw to me at all (not that I wouldn’t welcome meeting a cool new person), but, going to a party to see people I know and like is what draws me to a party.

introvert3. You often feel alone in a crowd.

Yes, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I definitely agree with the “We might let friends or activities pick us, rather than extending our own invitations.”  This is totally me.

4. Networking makes you feel like a phony.

This is one of the hardest things for me to do.  I agree that I “crave authenticity” in my interactions with others so unless I am in a small group setting, you will never see me in a networking setting.

5. You’ve been called “too intense.”

Yes, more times than I can remember.  I definitely like to “jump into the deep end.”

introv6. You’re easily distracted.

Yes and no.  From a work perspective, I actually get bored easily when I don’t have enough to do, much like extroverts.   I get overwhelmed when I am in a new environment with new people with a lot of new stimulation. Again, I CAN manage it, as I am put in this position a lot because of my job, but I certainly don’t thrive internally in this environment and I do find myself getting more distracted when this happens.  I prefer quieter environments.

7. Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you.

100% agree.  I need to recharge, especially after a tough day at work.  I don’t get bored or antsy sitting at home for a day reading and relaxing (although I haven’t had a day like that since before Ash was born!!) I love to curl up on the couch and read a good book for a few hours, its therapeutic to me.

8. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards.

True, although I’d rather never talk in front of 500 people, but I could.  However, ask me to talk to them in a crowd afterwards and I’d rather poke myself repeatedly in the eye with something sharp.  I say this in jest (kind of!)

9. When you get on the subway, you sit at the end of the bench -– not in the middle.

Yup, I hate feeling trapped in. I want to be able to get away whenever I need to. I drive this way too, I can’t ever be boxed in on both sides or I will find a way to get out of that position.

10. You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long.

Totally.  Active of course, not in the workout sense, but being out and about for too long. Like the article says, “Everything introverts do in the outside world causes them to expend energy, after which they’ll need to go back and replenish their stores in a quiet environment, says Dembling. Short of a quiet place to go, many introverts will resort to zoning out.”  I am very good at zoning out when necessary. I always find ways to cope in any situation.

11. You’re in a relationship with an extrovert.

As I mentioned above, all my serious relationships (friends and Robyn ) are with extroverts and I agree with the assessment that I gravitate towards these people because they encourage me to have fun and not take myself so seriously, which I am always guilty of.

12. You’d rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything.

Yes, the whole “Jack of all trades, master of none” is not appealing to me.  I like to develop expertise in things, especially my work.

13. You actively avoid any shows that might involve audience participation.

Yes, unless it’s on tv, like the Voice, then I am all about getting involved in audience participation! 🙂

14. You screen all your calls — even from friends.

I am guilty of this.  There are just times I don’t have it in me to have another conversation.   I spend my work day “on” and engaged and it leaves me mentally exhausted, so sometimes even catching up with my BFF isn’t enough to entice me to answer the phone.

15. You notice details that others don’t.

Most of the time, yes.  I notice a lot of the details that others don’t, but I will caveat this with, I do this when it’s something I am interested in.  If I’m not interested in it, I tend to block things out.

16. You have a constantly running inner monologue.

Oh yes, and I thinking things over a lot before talking about them.

17. You have low blood pressure.

I have super low blood pressure, like so low they usually take it more than once to confirm the initial reading and it’s usually followed by a comment about it.  I’ve talked to my Dr about it before because every nurse commented on it, esp when I was pregnant and it made me nervous.  She told me its not uncommon for distance runners and people who work out a lot to have low blood pressure.  Now it kind of makes me feel hard core when I hear that!!

18. You’ve been called an “old soul” -– since your 20s.

More like since I was in elementary school.  I have always felt like an old soul too. I was never really interested in the same things as most people my age were interested in growing up, which is probably why I am the youngest of all my close friends.

19. You don’t feel “high” from your surroundings

True, “Neurochemically speaking, things like huge parties just aren’t” my thing.  I’d much rather spend a quiet night at home or have a few close friends over than go to a big party.

20. You look at the big picture.

This is true, although I am actually very, very detail oriented, which I think is what makes me so good at my job. I am the one people turn to for answers and detail, however, I do often think about the bigger picture and how everything works together.

21. You’ve been told to “come out of your shell.”

I’ve been told this by a lot of people throughout my life.  I actually will just smile and move on when I am told that now as an adult. I am much more confident in myself the older I get, so I don’t take this “advice” to heart anymore like I did when I was younger, feeling like something was wrong with me.

22. You’re a writer.

I suppose I am a writer, since I keep up this little piece of the internet.  I do feel like I am better at communicating in writing, especially when it is something important that needs to be conveyed.  I definitely need time to be alone with my thoughts before I let them out.

23. You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity.

I totally do this, I go through periods when I am much more social and busy (at home) and then I have to pull back and recharge.  I enjoy the socialization in spurts, but if it lasts longer than a weekend or two in row, I can’t take it and feel really stressed.

 

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Question of the day

So, tell me…are you an introvert or extrovert?  Do you identify with any of these #23 characteristics?  Which ones?

Weekly Wrap-up

Happy Monday!! I hope you all had an amazing weekend!  I feel like last week was such a blur, I kept thinking it was a day later than it was all week, so I was a bit scattered.  I guess that is what happens when you are stuck in meetings all day and running a 1,000 miles a minute all day long! I can’t complain though, I’d rather be busy at work than bored, so it keeps me on my toes and sharp!  This weekend was a lot of fun, I got to spend time with my sister and Mom on Saturday night.  My SIL and I went down to my hometown to my sister’s new house and she had an Origami Owl party, which was a lot of fun and on Sunday, I spent the whole day outside with my boys and enjoyed the incredible weather we had!  We even made our first trip to the ice cream stand this season, it was GLORIOUS!!  Check out my ice cream monster!

ash eating icecream

So lets see how last week went, shall we?

Weekly Wrap-up 5/5-5/11

Monday: Week 2 of T25 started.  I did the T25 Cardio video followed by a 4 mile run.  I played around with my speed for the first time in a long time and while it felt difficult, it was nice to move my legs faster than I have in a long time.  I did my normal flow yoga class at lunch time.

4 mile run 5-5-14

After Ash went to bed I did 50 of the waist whittlers move and called it a night because I got pretty bad rug burn on my right elbow (not to self, don’t do this again on the bedroom throw rug!)

Tuesday: I did my T25 video and then went through a circuit of full body free weight strength training. I decided I really needed to get a set strength training program figured out, I am really bad at doing this as I go, I don’t feel accomplished and it bothers me, I need a plan!!  After Ash went to bed, I did a quick Blogilates 5 Minute Ab Express video because Tuesday night is game night in our house and I needed to get my game face on!

Wednesday: I did the T25 Speed video immediately followed by an hour-long cardio & muscle class.  I had originally planned to do my normal Wednesday morning spin class but the instructor had a stomach virus. I felt bad pulling out of my spot on this sub for the 2nd time, so I bit the bullet and did her class. I wasn’t expecting it to be that challenging, but I was surprised and actually enjoyed myself. Some of the cardio pieces were a bit too old school for me (think grapevine and clapping hands) but I was soaked and the strength training piece of the class was AWESOME!

Thursday: I did the T25 Cardio video followed by a flow Yoga class in the morning and then I FINALLY went back to teaching Group Power at my gym. I had taken the week before the marathon off and then 2 weeks post marathon off because I had no idea how I would be feeling.  I would have been fine to teach that first week but I already had subs lined up and didn’t want to take that away from them since they had moved their schedules around to help me out. It felt SO good to get back on that stage and see all my favorite people at the gym! I was a bit sore after class though, so I didn’t do abs when I got home like I had initially planned.

Friday: On Friday I worked from home because I had a dentist appointment so I got in the T25 lower body video followed by the T25 Abs video.

Saturday: It ended up being a mostly rest day. I had big plans to do a trail run during Ashton’s nap but we ended up with a thunder-storm and torrential rain so I ended up cleaning around the house.  I did take him to swim lessons in the morning and that is always a workout!! 🙂

Sunday: Sunday was a GORGEOUS day outside and while I really wanted to get in a run, it just didn’t happen.  It was Mother’s Day and I was just too busy enjoying the outside and playing at the park with the boys.  During Ashton’s nap I did do two videos, the Blogilates Victoria’s Secret Model Ab workout and the What makes you Bootyful Butt Challenge just so the day wasn’t a total waste from a workout perspective.

Overall, I really want to start getting some more mileage in during the week, but it just hasn’t worked out like I had hoped, but I am working on it.  I am really liking the T25 program so far, it’s really easy to incorporate it into my schedule while allowing me to do the cross training I want to do as well. I am also really proud that I have been working on my core as much as I have, it’s usually the first thing I drop when I am short on time, and I know I have to be better about it. So, if you start seeing it drop off my weekly reports, please get on my case about it okay?  Seriously, I need you guys to hold me accountable!!

 

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Question of the day

Tell me about your training–How’s it going?  What was your high and low from last week?  What races or other things do you have lined up?


The weekend is so close…

Hi friends!! It’s almost the weekend and I have to say, all week I thought it was a day later, so I am REALLY excited the weekend is truly almost here.

Friday Funnies - How Animals Eat Their Food

I don’t have a big post for you today, rather, I wanted to give a shout out to the beautiful Erin at Love For Running.  Erin started a featured runners series on her blog today and I’m the first one she profiled. I was super excited and honored, so I’d love for you all to head over and show Erin some love!!

I hope you all have a great weekend and get out there and sweat a little. I know I am planning a trail run at some point this weekend (wish me luck)! We also have swim lessons with Ashton tomorrow morning, I have a jewelry party I’m heading to on Saturday night and hopefully we get to spend a lot of time outdoors soaking up the sunshine!!  A perfect mix of busy and relaxing!! 🙂

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Question of the day

What’s on tap for you this weekend?