Two days later, ruminations…

Two days, post-PR and my brain is whirring away over here. 

…did I really PR that half marathon, to the tune of 13 minutes faster than the last half?? Holy sh*t I did.

…ouch. Perhaps back-to-back barre n9ne classes last night wasn’t my best idea yet, but it *did* honest-to-God loosen my legs up last night (a certain Heather would laugh but know exactly what I’m talking about here…). Today? Two days later – I hurt everywhere. I’ve always been a two-day-later DOMS kinda girl, so I don’t know why I’m surprised by today’s extra big ouchies. Thank god for rest days (and staycations that involve a mani/pedi date with my sis later today!).

…what’s next, what’s next, what’s next? Just two days later and I’m already wondering what my next challenge can/should be.

…there is one challenge coming up that my sister is concocting (more details on her blog soon!) that I’m especially excited about. But after that? I’m itching for more. Yes, I’m Type-A, thanks for asking.

…but what else lies ahead for me? More barre n9ne epiphanies and learnings while watching and mentoring the 60-day challengers conquer their own 60 days? Yup, you betcha. More runner’s highs and maybe more running milestones? I think so, too. But what else? Hmm…

…two days later, mind whirs on (and dreams on, and on, and on)

(and I really hope I’m not alone in this “what’s next” vibe after completing a challenge or reaching a goal…or am I??)

Let’s recap, shall we?

Let’s recap the week, shall we?

…I kicked the sickies to the curb.

…I started a new weight rotation, created by the one and only me. And I’m loving it. So much more than I thought.

…I finally got to run after three weeks sidelined.

…I stuck to my Core Fusion committment, including yoga.

…and I have major, major DOMS going on today, which I love. Feeling wicked alive today. 🙂

But guess what? I realized, sort of by accident, that I took two rest days today. Wednesday was my original rest day – mostly because my husband surprised me with an invite to an impromptu date night. Much needed. And I happily accepted. But also – today I awoke at 5:20 ready to hit up Ride for the first time in weeks, but as soon as I moved, I knew it wasn’t happening. Holy DOMS. My legs, particularly the front of my quads and calves are super-duper sore. Thank you leg workout from last night! And my upper body, biceps particularly, are STILL sore from workouts I completed days ago.

And I felt zero guilt upon resetting my alarm clock and snuggling back down next to my now-sick husband (woops, I guess I shared my germs with him. Boo).

Zero guilt after skipping a workout? That is so not me. At least it’s not the “me” from before. Like I said recently, I’ve suddenly turned a corner and have learned to let go and enjoy my workouts for me. No schedules. No numbers. Nada. In fact, because I’ve learned not to be tied to a workout schedule so much (goodbye workout manager!), I nearly forgot that Wednesday was my rest day when I got up the second time this morning to get ready for work. Score one for me? I’ll take it. 🙂

Also, in other news – wanted to give you an update on last night’s weight workout. It was awesome, but I did make some modifications. In the spirit of full disclosure, this is how it turned out (hehe):

Legs set #1: Lunges, body-weight only. 3 sets @25 reps per leg. 30-45 sec rest between sets <—this turned into 20 reps per leg

Legs set #2: Squats with a barbell. 3 sets @ 20-25 reps per set, 25lbs. 30-45 sec rest between sets <—this turned into 25-30 reps per leg, I probably could have gone heavier. Note to self for next week.

Legs set #3: Plie squats with one weight. 3 sets @ 25 reps per set, 30 lbs. 30-45 sec rest between sets

Legs set #4: Calf raises with two weights. 3 sets @25 reps per set, 15 lbs in each hand. 30-45 sec rest between sets.

Shoulders superset #1: Front raises (12.5 lbs) followed by overhead press with the barbell (20 lbs); 3 sets @15-20 reps, 30 sec rest between sets. <—front raises were done at 10 lbs each, was I on crack when I jotted that number down? Those are hard when you go high reps!

Shoulders superset #2: Overhead presses with dumbells (12.5 lbs), arms rotated forward followed by rear delt flyes (10 lbs); 3 sets @15-20 reps, 30 sec rest between sets.

Shoulders superset #3: Side lateral raises (10 lbs) followed by upright row with the barbell (20 lbs); 3 sets @15-20 reps, 30 sec rest between sets. <—by this point I was pooped, I skipped the third set of these

See? I’m nothing if not an honest fitblogger, huh?? Happy Friday, ya’ll!

3 weeks later, the verdict

Well, after three full weeks of absolutely no cardio due to sickies x2, I finally got my run on this morning. Run-date style no less! (with my fab friend Steph who ran the half with us last fall)

The verdict?

I can still run.

Seems simple enough right? But seriously, after being out of the cardio game for so long, I was legit nervous while I waited for Steph to arrive for our run date. I was worried that I’d suddenly lost major cardio endurance. And worse, that this would be a “bad” run for me today.

But as soon as we started running, the nerves subsided, those new sneaks felt nice and cushy and supportive, and we were off! We ran about 5 or 5.5 miles and talked the entire time. I’ve missed her and our run dates!

I will say though, that damn – I cannot wait to be running longer and longer distances again. We were reminiscing about our half marathon training runs last spring/summer and how crazy it was that 5 or 6 miles was a “short” run in our book. And banging out a good 9 or 10 mile training run was no biggie.

I so miss that. Not the mileage per se, but the accomplishment of seeing your body acclimate, adjust and perform to longer and longer distances. <Guess it’s time I revisit my race calendar, huh?>

It makes you feel just a little bit more alive.

And honestly – that’s the key for me, really. Working out makes me feel alive. Having major DOMS from my two upper body workouts this week has been such a welcome feeling. Not because I’m a glutton for punishment (well, I kinda am), but because that feeling reminds me that my body will not fail me. That it’s built strong and is willing to endure a lot for me.

And I dig that. So much.

In other news, today is the last weight training workout for the week for me. On tap? Legs and shoulders. I’m planning to get those done before dinner (fingers crossed) so I’ll post my planned workout today and give ya’ll an update tomorrow. Fair enough?

Shoulders and Legs – endurance-style (high reps, low weights)

Legs set #1: Lunges, body-weight only. 3 sets @25 reps per leg. 30-45 sec rest between sets (I find that going with body weight only in an endurance style workout helps me keep proper form and I can truly get my legs into that 90 degree angle that’s required of a proper lunge. If you’re looking for form pointers beyond my rambles, check out Heather’s post  over at Mile26andMore on this very topic today. Great tips, girl!)

Legs set #2: Squats with a barbell. 3 sets @ 20-25 reps per set, 25lbs. 30-45 sec rest between sets

Legs set #3: Plie squats with one weight. 3 sets @ 25 reps per set, 30 lbs. 30-45 sec rest between sets

Legs set #4: Calf raises with two weights. 3 sets @25 reps per set, 15 lbs in each hand. 30-45 sec rest between sets.

After legs, I’m switching to supersets for shoulders. It’s efficient and gets the job done a wee bit faster. 😉

Shoulders superset #1: Front raises (12.5 lbs) followed by overhead press with the barbell (20 lbs); 3 sets @15-20 reps, 30 sec rest between sets.

Shoulders superset #2: Overhead presses with dumbells (12.5 lbs), arms rotated forward followed by rear delt flyes (10 lbs); 3 sets @15-20 reps, 30 sec rest between sets.

Shoulders superset #3: Side lateral raises (10 lbs) followed by upright row with the barbell (20 lbs); 3 sets @15-20 reps, 30 sec rest between sets.

Whew. If I get through all of this today, it’ll be a minor miracle. Hehe. 😉

Me: 1; Me: 1

It’s official – I legit just kicked my own ass.  Hence:

Me: 1; Me: 1

Yes, I’m a dweeb.

But I digress.

Today’s “something new” workout knocked my socks off! I was so surprised at how hard I worked tonight, and all by myself, with nobody coaching me alone. Just me, my weights, and a little Food Network in the background (which proved to be a bad idea, hello rumbly tummy!).

It ended up being a PM workout for me – I was up until nearly 3am hacking and coughing away, it was awful. Needless to say, I was dragging this morning, like whoa. I smartly (thanks to my husband who told me to stop “being so <bleeping> stubborn around 2:30am) reset the alarm clock and got a few decent hours of sleep. It was worth it. Tonight I was in MUCH better shape to get my workout done, surprisingly so.

Here’s how it looked:

Back/Chest – supersets, endurance-style (high reps, lower weights)

Warm-up: four sets of push-ups done in drop-sets. 20x; 15x; 10x; 5x. I did these on a mix of my toes and knees. Really can’t wait to do them all on my toes. For some reason, push-ups have always been tough for me. A good goal for the end of this mini “rotation” maybe?

Superset #1: flat bench press followed by bent-over rows with a barbell. Three sets of 15-20 reps, with 30 secs of rest between each set. Bench press: 35 lbs; Bent-over rows/barbell: 60 lbs

Superset #2: chest flyes on a flat bench followed by one-arm row. Three sets; 15-20 reps each; 30 secs rest between.  Chest flyes: 12.5lbs; one-arm row: 17.5lbs

Superset #3: incline bench press followed by deadlifts. Three sets; 15-20 reps each; 30 secs rest between.  Bench press: 35 lbs; deadlift: 80 lbs
<whew, tired yet??>

Supertset #4: incline chest flyes followed by seated “T’s” with a band. Three sets; 15-20 reps each; 30 secs rest between. Incline flyes: 10 lbs (started low, arms were shaking like crazy by then); T’s – band only.

I decided to top it all off with some killer core work with the ab section of Core Fusion Body Sculpt. That one kills me everytime. Abs burn like craaazy. Love.

Whew, done – about an hour later.

So yeah, that was a pretty damn good workout.  Especially considering how long I’ve been away from consistent workouts (hello sickies, you can depart whenever you’d like, btw) – I was duly impressed with myself, not gonna lie. Expecting some good-sized DOMS tomorrow (I hope, heh).

Already looking forward to tomorrow’s workout – but let’s hope it’s an AM workout this time. I seriously need a good night’s sleep tonight, and hopefully this workout did it!

Well, that happened…

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

I had a really, really bad run today. So bad that I barely made it 3 miles.

This after kicking my dreadmill hatred after discovering a love for intervals.

This after finally getting to run outside this winter and loving every chilly second of it.

This after letting go of the garmin and the numbers and just running to run.

This after just telling you how much a workout is mental vs. physical and I proved that the opposite can be true sometimes too, today is a perfect example of that.

Today, my body failed me, not my mind.

And as I ran along realizing that this was turning into one of those “bad run” days, I started to tick off all the reasons why this was a bad run from the start. Had I sat back and thought about this beforehand, I might not have attempted to run at all. But then, I never would have learned the “why’s” behind today’s poor run and I also wouldn’t have gotten the bad run “out of the way” so to speak. 😉

So without further ado, here’s why and how today’s run was doomed from the start:

  • Mentally, I felt great. I was with Scott, we were chatting along, everything felt great, no mind games, nada.
  • Soon, shin splints which I have not suffered for months settled in. Then, a side cramp. What?? A side cramp?! Haven’t had one of those in eons.
  • Then, my legs started to feel like lead. Hello, trying out the new Kick Spring ’11 release which was described from the start as “leg intense” yesterday was probably not my smartest move.
  • And then it hit me, my last rest day was almost a week ago. There have been lots of workouts in between: Ride, Core Fusion class, Kick class, Core Fusion Yoga Energy Flow, Ride and Kick (at home).
  • My body was (and is) just tired. And it screamed at me for it.

This is the most frustrating part for me. I WANTED to run, and run long and just clear my head before this week’s trip to Austin for SXSW. I wanted to enjoy the last day with Scott before saying good-bye to him for a few days (something I HATE to do) with that run. It’s a big-time bonding thing for us. Mentally, I was prepared for it. Physically, I was not. And I was too darn stubborn to see it.

But here’s the thing. The “old me” would be sitting here feeling guilty for having such a poor run and would be beating myself up for it. Especially considering it’s going to be a tricky workout week for me with travel thrown in the mix. Instead, I’m writing this post both as a reminder to myself that “life happens” and as a reminder to you to listen to your body, even when your brain is trying to convince you otherwise. And yes, sometimes your body does fail you.

And that’s ok – tomorrow is a new day.


Speaking of tomorrow, wish me luck as I head on out to Austin at the crack of dawn . A week that will be chaos-filled I’m sure, but will include lots of good “uncomfortable” experiences for me (this *is* why I took this job, right??), and will almost certainly include a potential 2-day rest week this week. Another thing that would’ve thrown me into a tailspin a few months ago, but something I’m taking in stride this time (as best as I can, anyway).

Of course, one of the main highlights of my week will be meeting Lindsay so make sure to come back to see a post from me on our meet-up. 🙂

“You showed up on your mat, it’s all good!” and other randoms…

“You showed up on your mat, it’s all good!”

Very true words, spoken by Elisabeth Halfpapp during my return to Core Fusion Yoga Energy Flow DVD this morning.

I really, really enjoyed yoga today. It was just what my sore, very sore, muscles needed after a pretty killer workout week, if I do say so myself. And it was exactly what I needed to center myself before a really busy Friday ahead, as we are thisclose to SXSW kick-off and all.

And quite honestly, it’s really *all* I could  muster after yesterday’s early morning Core Fusion class at Exhale Spa Battery Wharf followed by Group Kick last night at my gym. Um, probably wasn’t the smartest decisions I’ve made, of late. Even though I LOVED both classes, combining the two classes in one day took a LOT out of me. That coupled with a “weird” eating day and I definitely didn’t feel as well-fueled as I probably should have been given that workout line-up.

Duh. And I KNOW better than to do that, yet it still happened. Call that my “confessions of a fitblogger” thought for this Friday.

In other random thoughts, I was tagged by the wicked awesome Alison over at Physically Philosophical. I’m sure you’ve all seen this “7 randoms” list swirling around the blogosphere, but I thought it rather fitting for a Friday post!

1 – In a throwback to childhood, I”m discovered a very tasty (and all-natural!) turkey bologna at Trader Joe’s. Yes, I’m eating bologna. BUT, it’s all-natural and literally made from turkey, just spiced to taste more like bologna from childhood. Sorry, no Oscar Meyer “mystery meat” for me. Seriously, been eating it for lunch this week on Ezekial bread. It’s amazing! I feel like I’m 5 all over again!

2 – I’m secretly (ok, now it’s not a secret) really nervous for Fitbloggin’ in May. I don’t know why, but I am. I think I have this insane fear that nobody will talk to me or will like me “IRL” or something. I know, so silly. Wow, this “7 randoms” is slowly turning into a “7 confessions” post. Sheesh!

3 – I was a cashier at a grocery store in our area throughout middle school/high school and part of college. And I secretly loved being a cashier – and a fast one at that (I even won a “cashier of the year” award!). I remember being a child and always thinking how cool it would be to run a cash register. I used to play “store” or “office” on our couches with my sisters growing up and everything!

4 – I love to clean. Like REALLY love to clean. One of my sisters even teased me once for saying I didn’t want to “rush” the cleaning job one day for fear of “phoning it in” and doing a poor job of it. So yes, I don’t like to “phone in” a cleaning routine OR a workout. Can you blame me?? Ok, maybe you can on the cleaning thing anyway…

5 – I’ve never broken a bone, or stayed in the hospital overnight, or really had any “serious” health conditions growing up. (yes, I am very lucky) The closest I ever came was having surgery to fix a lazy eye when I was in high school.  And now that I’ve said that, I’ve probably totally jinxed myself. Eeep.

6 – When I left my last job, I hardly had anything to physically take with me. Especially not any files. I hate printing stuff out, at least to store long-term. I NEVER look at it once I print stuff so why let it gather dust in a file cabinet? Speaking of which, I never understood file cabinets, btw.

7 – I love to read. Yet I rarely if EVER read anytime of the year aside from summer. Then, I plow through books like it’s nobody’s business. In Maine by the lake, at the beach, on the deck. Notice a theme here?? Has to be outside in the sun. No idea why, but that’s just how it is. Sun + relaxation = book reading for me. Which reminds me, must stock on lots of books for Jamiaca. Which, if you’re wondering is, t-minus 15 days from now! <—if you have book recommendations, send them my way!

Ok, your turn. I want to hear your random thoughts/ruminations/weird facts! I won’t tag: you, forcing you to post on my behalf. But, just know that it’s actually a really fun Friday activity. Just sayin’.

Workouts as “detoxifying”


This is a word I hear a lot from Fred DeVito during some of the Core Fusion workouts I”ve been doing at home. Usually it’s in reference to a hip opening move or spinal stretch or other stretching techniques.

But when I really paused to think about it, I totally view an entire workout as a detoxifying process.

Not just physically (though that’s a huge part of it) but also mentally.

And I think that’s a big reason I return to my workouts faithfully each and every day (‘cept for that rest day, of course).

It detoxifies me.

Centers me.

Makes me feel alive.  Energized.


Finally! I have an answer to the question I get all the time: “how do you stay so committed to your workouts?”

Working out is detoxifying.

At least it is for me.

This as I sit here working from home today and noticing that I’m increasingly feeling the effects of Kick last night followed by Core Fusion Body Sculpt this morning. Can you say DOMS city?? Ahhh, just how I like it. Nice and warm and toasty up in my back, my shoulders, my core, my glutes (ok, my ass).

Not a bad way to kick off the weekend if you ask me. Yes, pun intended. Because that’s this workout nerd rolls. Take me or leave me. 😉 


On listening to your body, and other ramblings

As you can imagine, my body is still in recovery mode from the half marathon shock my system took over the weekend.

Of course – totally worth it, to wear the badge of “half marathoner” proudly. I view it as an honor and a priviledge and I’m still beaming over it.

My body, however, notsomuch.

Everything hurts. Still.

Albeit I am in far less pain than I was on Sunday, one day after the race, or Monday, two days in. But I’m still not 100% on the DOMS recovery scale, or on the energy levels scale.

I guess it didn’t dawn on me that this half would be such a shock to my system – maybe it was that kick at the last mile that did it, who knows – all I know is that I’ve had to listen to my body in a big way this week.

Which is hard for me because I’m about to go on a TEN day vacation to San Fran and wine country (more on this later, promise) where my routine is bound to be totally disrupted.

But – I’m taking a cue from what my body is telling me, post-half: I need to recover. Like whoa.

So the majority of this week will involve some weight training, but very little cardio – until at least Thursday. It’s so weird – I’ve been known to be a total cardio addict but the sheer thought of cardio right now makes me want to cry, no lie.

Instead of freaking out that my “routine” has already been disrupted and I haven’t even left for vacation yet, I’m listening to my body. I’m taking cues from Tina’s “gifts of my body” message as part of the 30 DSL series and I’m embracing my body for what it is and what it’s done: I’m a half marathoner because of the strength, endurance and stamina I’ve built up. Why risk an injury “just” to get back to “routine” so soon after such a major accomplishment?

Instead of fearing the “rest” days, I’m embracing them.

Yep, you heard that right. ME. Embracing rest days. More than one in a week, too.

Who is this person you ask??

This is me, listening to my body, in a big way. Embracing balance, something I firmly and totally believe in, despite my love of a good sweat. 😉

Not gonna lie, this extended vacation couldn’t come at a better time. Yes, I still plan to fit in some workouts while I’m away but I’m going to do my best to NOT schedule them, and instead, go with the flow. If I can fit in a run on Thursday, the first morning we’re in SF, awesome. If not, that’s ok, too. If I fit in a run with Naomi on Friday in SF, how awesome would that be? Totes. But if it doesn’t work out, that’s ok too.

It’s time to give my body a break.

Because Lord knows when I get back from this trip I’ll have surely come up with a new challenge now that the half marathon is behind me. 😉


Side note – please, please, please continue to pray for my sister Jen, and Isabel. Jen is still battling a fierce infection – and damn, she is so strong, and is pulling through like a champ. She’s not out of the woods yet, but I KNOW it’s just a matter of time, and what’s more? I KNOW she’s gaining strength all from her love of Isabel – that love that only a mother and daughter can share. That instantaneous bond that they have, that I can already sense, is unreal and I am so thankful that she has her to help her through this. And that she has the love of her family, friends and her faith in God pulling her through. I just pray that this ends for her soon, and thank you all so much for sending your thoughts, prayers, vibes, whatever, her way.

Wicked Half – the after-party, and other thoughts

Now that the reality has set in – as well as some serious DOMS – that I’m a half marathoner, and all, I have a few observations to share.

Namely – I have an incredible ecosystem of friends (both IRL and blogger, alike!) and family who have been such an incredible support system for me and my sister throughout our training and eventual completion of the Wicked Half.

I’ve been so completely blown away by the slew of Facebook comments, Twitter exchanges, and blog comments – as well as the IRL phone calls, hugs and words of encouragement – I’ve received in the past few days, weeks and months.

In a word, I’m blown away.

By your collective love, support, and pride.

It’s been so touching, so amazing, quite honestly, it’s been unreal.

And I thank you ALL so very much, you have no idea how much it meant to me during the race on Saturday to know and to sense your support and thoughts and good vibes you were sending my way with every step that I took. I could myself as one, very luck lady. (((hugs!!)))

And, the Wicked Half party at my house after the race, well – it was awesome. Yes, I was SUPER tired and totally had to rally but it was worth it. Such fun.

Of course, there was lots of eating, a little drinking, and tons of laughter and fun. Perfection.

The Wicked Half girls – Steph, Jo and I. Don’t we look tired?

Jo and Meg – aka team photog ‘o the day, and fab friend!

Wicked Half cake – a surprise treat from fab friend Jess (who will be joining us in our return trip to wine country in t-minus 3 days

Me and Jo

End of the night shot – an early night, ha 😉

Core Fusion – two days later…

DOMS. ‘nuf said.

I actually was planning to post a recap of my return to Core Fusion yesterday but aside from the day getting away from me (including the return of the hubs from his weekend away with the boys, yay!), I never ended up posting this.

Well – it’s kind of a good thing I didn’t. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this related to DOMS (reminder – stands for delayed onset muscle soreness) – but I’m totally a two-day-later kind of gal in that department. While I was DEFINITELY sore yesterday, I sort of anticipated that today I’d be doubly sore.

Um, whoa, DOMS-city today! While I definitely give credit (big-time) to Core Fusion on Sunday afternoon, I also give credit to my “mini” STS rotation I created for myself, too. This week I started meso 2 for two weeks – including a chest/shoulders/triceps workout on Sunday and a legs workout (looove those trisets!) on Monday. That, coupled with Core Fusion, and you’ve got some major DOMS going on. <—seriously, how many times can I use DOMS in one blog post? This may be a record. But I digress.

So – back to Core Fusion. In a word – LOVE. Now I know why I shelled out all that money the minute I saw the 10-pack deal on Rue La La months and months ago. This workout is incredible – and totally sneaks up on you. For those of you not familiar with it, I highly recommend you can read up on it here.  Basically – it’s a combination of conditioning exercises (with light hand weights, a ballet bar,  a cloth band, and/or a small red ball I like to call the “‘lil bastard'”), core work via Pilates-inspired moves and stretching, all intended to produce long, lean muscles and a strong core. It’s not like any other workout I’ve tried – I wouldn’t even compare it to yoga or pilates, because I don’t love either of those workouts, I’ll do them sometimes but I’ve never uncovered a love for either one. Partly because I’m soooo inflexible it’s ridiculous (um, hi, can barely touch my toes – well I can *almost* touch them thanks to previous Core Fusion classes, I swear), but partly because those workouts just don’t “do it” for me for whatever reason.

Core Fusion “does it” for me and I am already excited to go back and give it another try. I’ll say that I do need to modify some of the stretching moves but the conditioning work and core work I can mostly do without many modifications (that’s the other thing – you can jump into this class as a beginner and modify your way through it without a problem, I promise – so get over the intimidation factor if you’ve been dying to try it, I promise you won’t be disappointed).  So I count that as an accomplishment from when I first started taking the class – and this, despite not even taking the class in months and months and months. Score one for me!

Anyway, in the name of trying new things and switching it up, I totally recommend adding new workouts to your typical regime – not only to avoid boredom and to prevent plateaus – but also because its great for re-inspiration.  And we all know when it comes to inspiration (re-inspiration or otherwise), I’m all about it! 😉