Torn Up Hands

This weekend was so much fun!! I typically love to just stay at home and do nothing but relax, but every once in a while I love having a fun-filled friend weekend. This weekend started out with going out to a line-dancing country bar, finishing up with a stay at home and be lazy kind of day. However so much happened in between! Here is a recount of my weekend..

Friday: I planned on not working out on Friday since I would be going out later that night. I was so excited to have a girl's night, I bought some new clothes for the occasion (ok - let's be real buying new clothes for any occasion is my specialty). I headed out to meet my friends and we had such a blast dancing the night away. I got to learn some new line dancing moves and even though I felt like an idiot and bumped into some people, it was totally worth it.

Saturday (Morning): I had made plans to have a brick workout at my house with my friends at 6:30AM. Even though I only got 4 hours of sleep, everyone knows that I would never miss a workout. When the group came over at 6:30AM I was ready to go with my bike in hand. Our brick consisted of cycling 10 miles and finishing up with a 3 mile run. The cycling route went quickly, and even though we got lost along the way (momentarily, of course), we had such a great time. We managed to get the bike done in under 47 minutes, averaging around 14MPH. After the bike, we puttered around for a little bit and got the bikes organized and took some time to refuel (I of course had my Jelly Belly Sport Beans). Once we got situated, we started a nice easy run. One of the most important things about a brick workout is to understand that this workout is primarily used to develop "muscle memory." By teaching the body to run after biking, the legs develop a memory to become more efficient in this process. Therefore, the more an athlete practices bricks, the more efficient (and less painful) he/she becomes when running after cycling. Another thing to remember about this workout is that speed will not necessarily help you. Again, you are not trying to accomplish this purpose, you're just trying to build the muscle memory in your legs. The run was great and we kept it light and easy. Overall, I think it took us 33 minutes to finish 3 miles. It was such a fun workout!


Saturday (Later in the morning): So this is the point where I may have gone a little crazy :) One of my friends invited me to come to the StrikeGym Open House in the later morning/mid afternoon. They were having a 5K Obstacle Challenge and she thought it would be a fun thing for me to participate in. (Again, for those of you who know me, you know that I am totally game for things like this). Since I had some time to kill in between workouts, I showered and rested a bit before heading to the Open House. I opted to wear something super casual instead of my typical "runner-esque" outfit. I got to the Open House and helped my friend N set-up for one of the water stations. Once everything was set-up, I ran to the start line and patiently waited for the race to start with her friend M. M and I had planned on getting through the race together. The race started and .25 miles into the run M told me to just go ahead, so I did. I sped up and started my way up the front towards the top group. I tried pacing myself since the race started at 10:30 and there were obstacles along the way. First obstacles were set-up around .70 miles in and consisted of: 20 Burpees, 20 Pushups, and 20 Squats. After you finished those, you crawled underneath these rings, flipped a tire twice, pulled a tire towards you (I'm not sure how far I had to pull it but it was pretty long), dragged the tire back to it's original place, and then carried buckets (it was called farmer's walk or something like that), before starting back on the run. Here is a picture of the burpee/push up/squat area:

I'm up in the front, in the tank and grey pants!
Once I got back on the run, I decided to break ahead and pick it up. About .20 miles in we had a bear walk (It was probably 100 meters long). After I finished that obstacle, we ran another .15/.20 miles where we had to jump rope 50 times and then crab walk over the bridge. (At this point I think I realized that my hands were torn up. Don't worry I have pictures to share of this lol). I did grab some water and ice since it was ridiculously hot. I stuffed the ice in my sports bra (triathlete tip) to try to cool off my body temperature After the crab walk, we had a good running stretch where I tried to keep up with the front pack and close our gap a little more.
Our next obstacle was pretty much the same as the first one, minus the 20 burpees/pushups/squats). After we finished that round, we had to run to a wall and jump over it. You had two choices between the walls: a big one an a little one. If you chose the little one you had to do 10 burpees, for me this was an easy choice - small wall lol. The first time I tried it I pretty much ran into it lol. The second time I succeeded. Here's a ridiculous picture of it:
I laughed so hard when I saw this picture. I look ridiculous.
After the wall, you had to pull up a 25 pound weight to the top of a light post with a rope and then bring it back down without having it drop down with a clunk. Once you finished that last obstacle, you yelled "Done" to get your time. I honestly didn't hear what time I had finished it in because I just wanted a water.
After the race was over, I looked down and saw my hands ripped to shreds. I should have used gloves (which they had) to do some of the exercises, but I didn't even think about it. The challenges were tough and the run was hard with the heat (I think it was over 90 degrees). I still kicked butt and was in the top 3 overall finishers. I later found out I finished this course in under 33 minutes. Overall, I was extremely impressed with StrikeGym. The workout was tough and they did a good job providing water and ice along the way. The rest of the Open House was fantastic as well!! They had food trucks, free trial gym sessions, and even an appearance by Spiderman!
There I am in the bottom center picture carrying the buckets!!
I have such horrible blisters!! My friend M had her hands ripped up a bit as well!

Saturday night I passed out. I was so tired!! Today I plan on relaxing and not moving especially since I feel like a bus hit me. Tomorrow, Orange Theory :) 

How Do You Pronounce Your Name?

My trainer asked me this question at the gym today. It's funny. I've been going to her classes for months now, and I knew she had absolutely no idea what my name was. I must admit that her line was clever and she was lucky that my name wasn't Jessica or something simple like that. Now that she knows my name, she spent some of her time during class to mention my name every once and a while and even helped me on my dumbbell dead lift. So, overall, kudos to her and a win for me!

My workout today consisted of seven minute blocks.

My first block started with the treadmill:
2 minutes push pace (8/MPH on the treadmill to 9/MPH)
2 minutes walking lunges
3 minutes push pace (8/MPH to 9.5/MPH)

My second block was in the weight room:
10 Step-ups on each leg with lateral raises (I used 7.5 pound weights)
10 Chest Flies with leg raises (I used 15 pound weights)
10 Dolly Roll-Outs

My third block was the rower:
200 Meters (Under a minute)
15 Goblet Squats with a kettlebell (Used a 20 pound kettlebell)
10 Upright rows on each arm with a kettlebell (Used a 15 pound kettlebell)

My fourth block was on the treadmill again (YAY):
2 minutes at base pace (6.5/MPH)
1 minute at base pace with a 10% incline (4.5/MPH - I cheated)
3 minutes at base pace (6.5/MPH)
1 minute at an all out pace (12/MPH)

My fifth block was back in the weight room:
10 Dumbbell Deadlifts (20 pound weights)
*I didn't remember the second workout*
15 V-ups

My last block was back on the rower:
30 kettlebell Swings (20 pound kettlebell)
15 kettlebell presses (15 pound kettlebell)
10 Closegrip Pushups

I am currently sore and am so excited for my "off" day tomorrow. However, I am looking forward to dancing my arse off tomorrow instead!!!

So Tired I Didn't Even Run on the Treadmill at the Gym

This past week I turned on the heat with my workouts. I think this change in my workouts is related to my unhealthy eating habits this week. Since I had people on-site this week, I ate out pretty much every day. Let's be honest about eating out: the food tastes delicious but it sits heavy on your stomach for the rest of the day.

So to rehash this week, let's start with Monday:

Monday: Orange Theory workout! Woot! Woot! I don't remember the workout, but I do remember the class consisted of 3.5 minute rounds. I started on the treadmill first and remember just running 3.5 minutes at a "push" pace and that's pretty much all I can remember lol. The other thing I do remember was that it was a tough workout and I was hurting that night.

Tuesday: First day back swimming! I was trying out a new swimming pool and was nervous about showing up at the pool for the first time. So I drove over to the pool and the pool was full of kids. I was not about to get in the pool to swim all those laps with all those people, so, I go to the window and they tell me that I can come back after 7, and it should be quiet. So, I come back to the pool at 7 and it was empty!! I get my happy little butt into the cold freezing water and start my swim with 4 straights (a total of 200 meters). When I first started my swim, my mind was racing and I could feel my chest tighten. I was so stressed out, and it affected everything about my swim: my mind, my breathing, and my form. After my fourth lap, I stopped myself just so I could calm my thoughts and mind. When I started back up, I relaxed my mind and was able to straighten up my form. Once I started my laps, I get into a groove, and end up getting in 8 laps (16 straights) for .50 mile swim.  On a side note, I ate almost a pint of fro-yo before heading to the pool. Yes. I am an idiot.

Wednesday: Holy soreness. My legs were on fire. I was heading to Run Club that night, and was nervous about running on tired legs. I ended up running with the last group and bolted off. My stomach was killing me because of my greasy cheeseburger that afternoon, and I momentarily regretted my unhealthy lunch choices that day. Although my stomach hurt, I ended up running a 7:20 min/mile for 3.5 miles. Impressed? I sure was.

Thursday: My legs felt like blocks of wood today and I had to get in my Orange Theory Workout!! Tonight, our blocks were 7 minutes long. I started off the class on the treadmill where I  "ran" (I freaking walked/slow jogged)at a base pace  for 7 minutes. Next, we hit the weight room for 7 minutes where we had to do as many repetitions as we could of: jumping rope 30 times, squatting and pressing 15 times. and accomplishing 10 Muscle Ups on the SBT straps. After 7 minutes, we moved to the rower where we had to get in 600 meters on the rower (only once). We then had to do as many repetitions as we could of: 10 reverse lunges with a kettle bell (KB) and 10 Hip Dips. After those 7 minutes, I ended up back on the treadmill where we had to run at base pace until the last 1.5 minutes where we put the incline at 15 and had to speed walk. Next, I headed back in the weight room for 7 minutes where we had to do as many repetitions as we could of: 20 mountain climbers, 10 Push ups with side rotations, and 15 reverse flys. For our last 7 minutes, I had to get back on the rower and get in 600 meters ) only once, 10 KB Gauntlet squats, and 10 Dolly roll-outs. All I can say is that I can't currently feel my legs.

Good news? I'm taking tomorrow off from working out.    

Post Father's Day Thoughts

I know I mentioned this in a previous post, but I figured I should restate this: I hate Father's Day. I've only formally met my Father when I was younger, and haven't spoken to him on the phone since I was 15/16. It's been over 10 years and I still can't get over it. Every year I dread this holiday. I stay away from Facebook or any other social media that can make me cry at the drop of a hat. Yesterday I figured I would cope the only way I knew how: by running.

So I ran. I ran 6 miles. I ran without my Garmin because I just wanted to let my mind drift. I felt great as I took in the scenery around me. I lost myself in my music and focused on my breath. This feeling of just "being" is absolutely incredible. I was drenched by the time I got home and it felt absolutely wonderful. My dogs loved it too :)

I don't know why I felt better after this run. It's not as if I thought this whole not having a dad thing  through or came to the realization that everything was going to be ok. I think what made me feel better was the fact that something like running can overtake your mind after preoccupying it with the same thoughts day in and day out. It's almost like having a mental "spa day." Now, don't get me wrong, the run was Garmin-free but it was still tough. I think you need a little toughness during these workouts to really get the sweat going lol. Even though I got this run in the morning, it definitely carried me through the day, which is just what I needed.


Broken Water Heater!!

So, our water heater is broken. It's actually holding on by thread, but it's near death. So what does that mean until it gets repaired? Well, we need to conserve water. In our household that's hard since I workout almost every day.

We noticed it was leaking on Saturday. Luckily I had taken a shower after the gym. Let me tell you about my gym experience on Saturday... It was absolutely insane. I think the jumps and squats on the SBT straps killed me. I also ran to the gym and ran back (1.25 miles each way). You may think I'm hardcore, and I guess a part of me is. However, the other part of me wants Oreos and cheesecake, so that in itself is motivation.

Since I was super sore on Sunday I decided to rest. Resting was probably one of the best ideas of my life.

Today I went back to the gym. I'm still sore but needed something to get the anxiety out of my system since I have a serious project at work tomorrow. Well, my plan definitely worked. Let me tell you about my workout:

Treadmill Block (about 25 minutes):
  • 2.5 minutes at a Push pace (8.0 speed) - after our 2.5 minutes we had to get dollys for our next workout.
  • Next we had 1 minute Push Pace (I went about 8-8.5 speed)
  • Followed by 30 seconds all out sprint (I went from 10-12 speed)
  • 20 Dolly Tucks  
  • 10 Dolly extensions
Weight Room 1st Block (about 10 minutes):
  • 8/8 Reps of Step Ups with Squats (I had 12.5 pound dumbbells)
  • 12 Bent Over Rows (Same 12.5 pound dumbbells)
  • 6 Burpees
Weight Room 2nd Block (about 10 minutes):
  • 8/8 SBT straps Reverse Lunge with a high knee
  • 5/5 Walking Plank
Weight Room 3rd Block (5 minutes):

  • 12 Bosu Ball crunches with jumps
  • 12 Back Extension pulls
My calves burn, so I think I'm going to foam roll. For your information I showered (in case y'all were wondering). Since I'm conserving water, tomorrow I am going to workout at work and shower there. We should get this water heater situation figured out by Wednesday, and I couldn't be happier..

National Running Day!!

Today a National Running Day! So it was only appropriate that I went to run club tonight. I am so glad I did!

Let me start off by saying that this week has been busy at work and my mind has just been all over the place recently. If it wasn't for working out, I think I would be a wreck emotionally and physically. Luckily, I don't have to worry about that lol.

So here's a recap of my week: Monday night I ended up going to the gym. The workout was okay, not one of my trainer's best which was kind of disappointing, but nonetheless I focused all my energy on whatever set/workout I was on at the time. We did treadmill, rower, kettle bells, SBT strap workouts and an exercise with the dolly. Tuesday I reverted to being lazy and spun at a low cadence for 40 minutes. Then tonight was run club!!!

Now, I have a couple of people I talk to at run club, and was excited that my one friend, A, has been coming the past couple of weeks. We met at run club, and we both lost touch for a while. However, the last couple of weeks we've been there, and it's definitely something I look forward to during the week. Her and I typically start with the fast group where she ends up blowing everyone out of the water.

Today was no different and she bolted to the front. I tried to keep close by so I could pace with her and really push myself during the run tonight. I ended up maintaining a close distance from her, and then on mile 3, I just pushed it. I felt like garbage, but I just wanted to get up ahead and bolt. The only way you can get faster is by training fast. So I pulled ahead and ended up coming in a little before she did. We clocked around 27:51 for 3.77 miles, which INCLUDED stops for traffic lights. We were so stoked and we bought gave each other a high five and a "good job."  It felt great to push myself that hard tonight. It made me happy.

After the run we had a plank challenge. I actually was one of the last three standing out of like 40, but I lost focus after seeing the other two guys holding strong. Funny how some things are just mental, and get to you when you start thinking about them. Even though I didn't win, a bunch of the girls came up to me telling me they were rooting for me. I've got to say that was kind of fun :) after the plank challenge, A and I took some funny pictures.

What a fun day to be a runner :

Familiar Faces

In Orlando I saw many familiar faces in the running community. I trained with some of them, ran alongside many of them during races, or crossed paths with them during one of my runs. In Fort Lauderdale I haven't really come across many familiar faces since moving here 2.5 years ago. I visited some of the local running clubs and run often, but I typically see different faces since it seems as though people aren't very consistent. However, recently, I've started seeing familiar faces, and it feels pretty good.

Moving to Fort Lauderdale has probably been one of the riskiest decisions of my life. I moved to be closer to family, and took on a whole new job to get here. I was the reason we moved. My husband didn't end upcoming down until two months after I moved which was pretty rough. My job in Orlando was pretty awesome, and I still miss it all of the time. I knew that  once I made that decision to leave Orlando, I had to leave for something better. After all, if I was leaving for something mediocre than it wouldn't be worth it. However, moving also meant leaving all of my friends. I had a ton of friends in Orlando and was able to find something to do every weekend without any real trouble. Making new friends here hasn't been too difficult, but it's definitely not the same. I know it will take time, but it feels as though time is moving by so slow. Even with all these difficulties, I don't regret any of it. I love South Florida; I missed it.

This brings me to this morning's run. I planned to do my long run this morning since I took yesterday off. I figured 6 miles would be a good distance, and picked my route. I decided I would run a decent pace, and so I brought my Garmin along (and my Ipod of course). During my run, I came up to a girl traveling in the opposite direction, and as she got closer I recognized her as the girl in my running group I've been talking to lately. I raced against her in one of my last races and pulled in 10 seconds before she did. Again, I only came in early because my friend M was pushing me, otherwise she would have beat me. During our training runs she shoots out and overtakes the pack, leaving me behind. Overall, she's a great runner. I waved at her as she passed by, and we exchanged that runner grin. You know, the one where it's like - Yup. We're crazy for being out here early when no one is out. I miss those exchanges.

I kept chugging along until I got to my turnaround. I almost laughed as I turned around, because the last time I picked this route, I was huffing and puffing. I pretty much felt like death. This run was so much different, and I actually tried picking up the pace. As I looked at my watch I made a mental note to try to get my run in under 50 minutes. I felt like that was a decent goal and I picked it up a little bit. As I got down to less than a mile left on my run, I knew it was going to be close. I ended up sprinting it in, and freaking made it with one second to spare. It really sucked and I was completely winded. It's crazy how I can hit these targets so easily during races, but in training I'm sucking wind.

After my run I figured I would do something nice for my husband and finish one of his chores for the weekend: the yardwork. I totally kicked butt and got everything done. Not only was that an additional calorie burner for me, but it scored me major wife points lol. As I always say - #winning.
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