Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Told Ya They Was Organized


Looking for something productive to do outdoors on a sunny day?  Time to organize all those fitness magazines so you'll can actually find those tips, recipes, and workouts when you want them.

First thing's first: get protected.  Beyond your basic sunscreen, here's a few other items that might come in handy:

Kiss My Face Sun Spray and Burt's Bees Miracle Salve (tip: don't spray the oil near the roots at your forehead...unless you're planning to impersonate Elvis Presley; apply salve to the ends of your hair for added protection)

Fedora from Old Navy (most hats don't flatter my face shape, but I can still pull off the Sinatra look)

Next, grab a stack of magazines, a binder in a cute color, divider tabs, and a plethora of clear protective sheets.  (A towel wouldn't hurt, either.)

I've been living by this acronym for a year!
It's so easy to remember.

You can organize the pages any way you like...the first two sections in my binder are for food and workout ideas.  I've already finally tried some workouts I've had on my shelf for months and months!  Make it easy on yourself to try new things.  Variety keeps your motivation up and works your body better!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Support Your Local Sheriff, bloggers, that is.

Yes, good stuff here

Lately I've been falling prey to the old peer pressure trap.  Good thing I read really awesome blogs.

Dress Cute/Sweat Hard - think pretty thoughts

Katy recently bought a pair of compression crops from Old naturally I ran out and bought myself a pair.  Obviously the plan is vicarious osmosis: the more I wear these pants, the more muscle-building awesomeness I will inherit from Katy.  Pretty cool, right?

They have a hidden waist pocket, too!

So cute!

Sweat Hard/Think Sharp - Ali on the Run

One of Ali's cool friends bought her an adorable plaque to hang her medals on.  Now, I'm not necessarily the kinda gal who is motivated by medals and awards...but I'm DEFINITELY motivated by cuteness.  I rushed to the Etsy site to find that they had gotten my memo about the accent color in our living room.  So I pretended to be my own cool friend and bought one for myself.

I'm such a good friend
Now I need more medals to add to the decor!

Eat (really really freakin') Well - Eats Well with Others

See?  Joanne's blog basically forces me to try her recipes to be true to my own.  I therefore claim zero responsibility for the 4 loaves of zucchini banana bread we have made since her amazing, drool worthy post.  There's whole wheat flour in this stuff...which means it's healthy and REALLY hard to turn down.

Plus when I first saw the recipe I had bananas but no zucchini, and then a day or so later, zucchini arrived in our CSA box.  It was the hand of God.

Prepping for heaven...
reading the Bible and eating zucchini bread

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rise and Shine

Good Morning and Happy Weekend!

I'm off for a run and then I'll be picking blueberries with my mom.  After that, probably a farmer's market and grocery shopping...then just enjoying the sunshine!

Here's a great pre- or post-workouts smoothie: the Rise and Shine!  I love it because there's veggies in it...but you can't really tell.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Fitness Faceoff Friday...Kind of a Stretch

I told my husband last night that I've always felt Thursday nights were the worst part of the week.  Some people love them, I know, because they signal that Friday is on the way.

But I hate them.

On Thursday night, I start getting burned out from the week...and all I can think is, "Great.  I've been doing all of this all week...AND TOMORROW I HAVE TO DO IT ALL AGAIN."

Thank heaven Thursday night is behind us.  From here on we have 6+ days of happiness.

To get on with the celebration, here's a little recap from the last FFOF...

This is our team: Kyle, Bethy, me, Jared, and one of our awesome buddies giving me bunny ears.  (I've known this little dude his whole life...he actually did the 5 mile round trip hike section of the challenge!)

Event organizer Greg
I was so impressed with the level of organization that went into this event.  This was the 4th annual Rattlesnake Challenge.  We all signed waivers, as well as an additional sheet for each step of the journey (two sheets for the hike).  There were 5 check points: one for the run-bike transition, one for the bike-swim, one for the swim-hike, one for the top of the mountain, and one for the bottom/the finish line.  This ensured that no one would be left behind in need of aid. 

We all milled around chatting while the runners stretched and warmed up, and Greg prayed over the event before we got going.

Runners of all ages!

I loved all the younger kids competing, and especially liked to see the variety in teams...some folks did 4 person teams, some 2, some 3, and some brave souls actually did all 4 legs themselves.  Yikes!

Rattlesnake Ledge!
We saw Bethy off for the run, and then drove over to Rattlesnake Lake to prepare for the swim and hike.

I wasn't quite sure when to start warming was a chilly day and I knew the water would be pretty cold, but didn't want to start warming up too early and then be all cooled down by the time Kyle finished the bike leg. 

*I realized I'd left my swim cap and goggles in my bag...which at this point had been taken to the other side of the lake.  Turns out my super-sweet husband realized the same thing and ran all the way back to get them to me in time.*

By the grace of God, I timed my warmup just right, and plunged into the water after the tag-off from Kyle.  There were water-safety folks out in boats on the lake, which was good for me since I started swimming a little off-course, and they straightened me out.

Swimming's never been my strong point...particularly swimming in a straight line.  I always bumped into the buoys in the pool as a kid.  I hadn't trained for this at all, and the cold water made my muscles pretty unhappy.  My mouth kept getting confused and trying to inhale water instead of air, so I'd flip over and swim on my back to keep from drowning (figured that was a good goal - don't drown).

Somehow, I made it to the other side without losing us too much time!

Jared took off up on the "hike."  That man is a serious competitor.  No strolling up the trail for him - he planned to run the whole steep thing.

It was really fun watching the other swimmers make it across and splutter out of the water.  My favorite was watching these two brothers...the littler one (our team photo crasher above) kept yelling, "Tag me up!  Tag me up!" as his brother came out of the lake.

The record time for previous years was around 1 hour and 22 minutes...this year, the record was broken by our first and second place finishers...both of whom did the challenge solo.

First challenger finishing...
Our team finished first for the teams, and in fourth place overall!  (Winner came in at 1:18:25.)

Elizabeth R, Kyle R, Meghan M, Jared M

Jared running in...

Jared (and water-safety!)
We had such a good time!  I'm so glad Bethy asked us to participate...and that I did the swim leg.  To me, swimming is the worst part...and now that I know I can do it, I'm considering trying the whole thing next year!

Sweaty couples = happy couples
After the race, I changed into my new Nike Frees...first time wearing those awesome shoes.  I'd done a trail run that morning with a girlfriend and took my old, cruddy shoes to keep the new ones nice a little longer.

My mom says this shirt is the most
depressing thing ever.

This shirt was like a prophecy about my day...trail run in the morning, swimming a race in the afternoon, and then I got roped into playing Ultimate Frisbee with friends at the park that evening.  I'm turning into some sort of monster...who obsesses over workout clothes and feeds voraciously on protein.

This Week's Face-Off: Yoga

As you may or may not know, I'm in my fifth week of half-marathon training...and things are going WAY better than my first.  My endurance is way up, I'm enjoying the running itself more, I'm working on my form and seeing results in my speed.  I've also been really good about cross-training and getting in my strength-training.  But now my body is starting to complain a little about how hard I've been working...since I kinda haven't been great about doing my yoga.

Usually I try to do yoga every day, even for just 10 minutes...but lately, I haven't been very consistent, and my body thinks that a little longer would be good for me.

So, this week, I commit to doing at least 15 minutes of yoga every single day

The last thing I want is to get injured halfway through my training when things are going well...and I think really stretching out these muscles, especially in my legs, will prevent my pulling or overworking something.

You tell me: What are you proud of accomplishing lately?  How many Muscle Milks do YOU drink each week?  What's something you're working on incorporating into your life?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Speedy Gonzales

Kinda in a hurry to write a I figured this would be a good time to share a time-saving tip!

Playtex Sport Body Wipes are pretty much lifesavers.  I'm one of those gals who needs about 45 minutes to go from sweaty clothes to clean and cute and made up.  Combine a pack of these with a good dry shampoo and you can cut that down to about 15 minutes. 

To save more time, put your hair in French braids before working out, skip the dry shampoo and just add lip gloss.  You could be out the door in 5 minutes, I kid you not.

Seriously, I'd rather spend the extra 30-40 minutes on my workout, not my shower.

Let me know what you think of these babies!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

REVIEW: Personal Training at Stroum Jewish Community Center

For details on my sessions, check out My First Personal Training Session or the back and biceps workout!

Prepare for sweaty workout clothes!

Personal Training Review
  •  Professionalism: 5 out of 5.  All the trainers are easily identifiable based on their blue uniforms - they even say "TRAINER" on the back, so as long as you can read, you can probably track one down.  Both my sessions ran in a timely and effective manner, without focus being pulled by other clients or management.  (Note: My trainer kissed me at the end of our session...but since I'm his wife I consider that worth extra points rather than otherwise.) 
  • Challenge: 5 out of 5.  I worked very, very hard the entire way through both sessions.  (At one point I think I was lying on a mat saying I didn't think I could go on.)  When he realized I was stronger in an exercise than he'd expected, he bumped up the difficulty to make sure I was getting the most out of the move.
  • Sensitivity: 5 out of 5.  The last thing you want is to get injured from personal training.  Even though I was sweating up a storm and working my butt off, Jared kept a keen eye on my form and never pushed me beyond what was safe.  He could also tell when I was sincerely struggling and backed the weight down a few times accordingly.
  • Creativity: 5 out of 5.  I strength train quite a lot, (I even get a lot of my moves from this dude) and I have to say, almost every exercise Jared put me through was something I had not yet tried (some I hadn't even heard of).  I was impressed and engaged the whole time.
  • Affordability: 5 out of 5.  Obviously my intro sessions were freebies, but "real" training is not too bad.  I love that they don't wheel and deal you like a lot of gyms - they post prices directly on the site.  You get a better deal for more sessions, and it's especially good if you sign up with a buddy.  Ten hour-long sessions with a friend will put you at $40 a hour.  Convenience: 4 out of 5.  The gym itself is open from 5am till 10pm Monday - Thursday, with reduced hours Friday - Sunday, but you will also need to make sure you can get your favorite trainer at a time that works for you.  They are usually very flexible and will work with your schedule to the best of their ability.
Final verdict: I did not expect this outcome...but I am seriously considering signing up for a package of sessions.  Crazy, right?  Here's the five reasons I'm sold on personal training :

  1. Accountability -  a lot of people just need a reason to get up and go get a workout in.  Many times, simply having a gym membership or home fitness equipment isn't enough.  Making an appointment (that you are paying for) can be the success factor in overhauling your life for better health.  Good trainers will even check in with you if you miss sessions unexpectedly to help keep you on track with your goals.
  2. Goal setting - many people know what they want out of a fitness program (lose weight, get in shape), but don't know much about goal setting.  A good trainer can help you turn your goal into something more specific and attainable AND create a plan to help you get there.
  3. Form - great trainers will do more than tell you what moves to do...they will show you how to do them.  This is something that can't be learned any other way - no book, magazine, or website can watch you and give pointers on your specific movements.  Good form builds strength much more effectively and keeps your body safe.
  4. Variety - learning about a wide variety of effective workouts is your trainer's job.  The best ones read constantly and stay abreast of workout trends by trying new products and classes and even going to seminars or conferences.  Variety makes things fun, protects your body from injury, and majorly boosts the results of your effort.
  5. The Jillian Michaels Factor - it's so easy to get a little lazy working out chill out reading a magazine on the treadmill or figure the weight you've got is heavy enough or you'd rather stretch instead of doing that last set of push-ups.  Your trainer will push your limits, persevering with you towards achieving your goal.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Personal Training/30 for 30 for 30, Continued

30 for 30 for 30: Day 4 (back and biceps)

I had such great time at my first session that I returned the next morning (after a 45 minute training run) for back and biceps Thursday!

Headband - lululemon, tee - Nike,
turquoise high impact sports bra - Nike,
jacket - lululemon, pants - Old Navy,
Nike Frees and Nike socks
I was pretty warmed up from my run, so we went straight into the strength-training segment.

First, Jared had me doing band assisted pull-ups.  I have a goal of doing one unassisted pull-up by the end of 2011.  I learned something new from Jared: the weight-assisted pull-up machine is not as effective a means of building up to "real" pull-ups (insert joke about big-girl panties here).  Bands are better than the weights because they more closely simulate the movement used in un-assisted pull-ups, particularly in how they utilize your core.  And hey, anytime you can incorporate core work into your other moves, go for it!  We did 4 sets of "as many as you can."  Turns out, my form on this stuff is pretty poor, too.  I do this weird scrunching up of my right shoulder to force through the move.  We decided for now I should use more assistance and focus on getting my form down pat.  This will help me ward off injury and ultimately build strength for when I'm an unassisted pull-up champ.

Next we tackled a circuit of 4 excercises (3 sets of this circuit, resting briefly between sets):
  • Short bar/barbell row (8-12 reps of 50-60 lbs, focusing on keeping abs solid to protect lower back, palms facing up)
  • Kettlebell snatch or clean?  Not sure exactly what this one is called...(8-12 reps of 22 lbs)
  • Bent-over Y raise (8-12 reps of 5 lbs)
  • T raise - like the Y raise, but arms go straight out to the sides, hand position is different: at the high point of the raise, pinkies are nearest ceiling, thumbs pointing down (8-12 reps of 5 lbs)
Then, we finished up with a circuit of 2 excercises (2 sets of this circuit, resting briefly between sets):
  • Seated cable face pull - didn't see a seated version, but you get the idea (15 reps of about 20 lbs)
  • Twenty-ones (fancy-pants alternating bicep curls) - this one was crazy.  Hold weights in front of you, palms facing up, forearms parallel to the floor.
    • Keep left arm at the 90 degree angle.  Lower right arm till perpendicular to floor, then curl back up only till level with left forearm for 7 reps, then repeat on left side.
    • Keep left arm at 90 degree angle.  Curl right arm up to shoulder height, then lower back only till level with left forearm for 7 reps, then repeat on left side.
    • Keep left arm at 90 degree angle.  Lower right arm down till perpendicular to floor, then curl all the way up to shoulder height for 7 reps, then repeat on left side.
Killer diller, dude.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My First Personal Training Session (more 30 for 30 for 30)

Hey howdy hey!  I'm playing catch-up since I spent the weekend catching up on sleep and sunshine instead of hunched over a laptop, blogging.

30 for 30 for 30: Day 3 (chest and triceps)

Wednesday was a "rest" day on my training obviously I figured it was a good time to get in one of my free personal training sessions at the new gym (sign up for a membership at SJCC and get 90 minutes of personal can split it up or do it all at once). 

Pink tee - Nike, pink sports bra - Champion,
running skirt - Champion (grey Nike cross-trainers)

Every gal needs a good pair of weight-lifting gloves...unless she wants callused hands. 

I had done yoga first thing in the morning, which really got my day started on the right foot.  I drove over to the gym after work and got in 20 minutes of racquetball with the hubby...It turned out that his 4:30 client had cancelled, so he worked me into his training schedule instead!

You'd think that, being his wife, I'd get free training with Jared all the time.  Truth be told, I bug him for advice and spotting and ideas, and sometimes we even work out together.  But Wednesday was my first official personal training session

First off, Jared took me through an overhead squat assesment.  Basically you do some body weight squats with your arms raised to the sky, and the trainer watches to find out where you have strength imbalances.  I am apparently tight in my hip flexors and stronger in my left arm than my right.  I also have tight IT bands...but I knew that already (many people tend to have overly developed/too tight inner thighs...I'm the other way around).

Next, he had me warm up with 20 jumping jacks and 15 burpees. 

Then, we moved into strength training.  I tend to work different muscle groups on different days, and Wednesdays are usually my chest and triceps day.  Jared rolled with that so I could stay right on schedule. 

He started me with 4 sets of dive bomber pushups, with about 6-10 reps, resting between sets.  I was dying.  I had done these before but apparently never the right way.  My form coming back up was not at all right...and I wasn't working my triceps the way I should have been.

After that, (which took a while due to all my gasping and shaking and Jared's encouragement) we moved over to do a circuit of three exercises (I think 3 times through the circuit, doing 8-12 reps of each exercise):
That was all we had time for in our 30 minute session, and frankly, I was beat...

Next up, personal training session #2!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Daily Dilemma: My Sandwiches are Getting Boring

Do you get sick of PBJ?  Or maybe everyday is turkey and swiss on whole wheat bread?

Jared is a big sandwich fan.  He's also a man with big muscles and a high he goes through two sandwiches per addition to breakfast, a Muscle Milk, a ProBar, and a protein shake...all before dinner.

This puts him at upwards of 10 sandwiches per week, day in and day out.  Obviously it saves us a lot of money to bring our own food each day (in addition to being much healthier), but eating healthy is no fun if there's no variety.  I try to mix up what I make for him as much as possible.  Variety is the spice of life...and ensures a broad range of nutrient intake.

Here's one little off-beat sandwich for your munching pleasure:

Spicy Cilantro Sandwich

What you need:
  • Spicy black bean bread (Costco) or other Mexican-inspired bread
  • Chipotle jack cheese
  • Ham
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lettuce
What you do:
  • Slice 2 or 4 slices of bread depending on loaf size...if it's tiny, you'll want 2 smaller sandwiches.
  • Add 1 slice of cheese and 3-4 slices of ham
  • Rinse and chop cilantro
  • Rinse and dry lettuce
  • Add cilantro, lettuce, and olive oil if desired
  • Pack in a ziplock bag and be the envy of your coworkers!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer Sweataway: Part VI - Sure Beets McDonald's

It's the final leg of our little jaunt in Bend...makes me a bit sad.  Oh, well.  I'm on my countdown till our next trip in the fall.

After reading and walking and snacking and window shopping, I met up with Jared after his massage at The Wine Shop across from Oxford Hotel.  We wanted to get a bottle for his grandparents. 

This place claims to capture "the essence of European lifestyle," and they are not kidding.  I felt like I was right back in the suburbs of Rome.  Slow-moving, easy-going staff...or friends of staff?  It was hard to tell who was working and who was just there to chill out.  We found a perfect bottle and ended up with a hand-written receipt because the register wouldn't print one out.  Kinda fun.

Our next goal was to find a place for lunch.  We had a plethora of options in walking distance, but really wanted to find somewhere tasty and healthy...which, as usual, narrowed the choices down quite a bit.

We landed in the outdoor seating of 900 Wall.  You could tell we were tourists from somewhere dismal and rainy...all the smart locals sat inside due to the high temperature wihout.  We were hot, they were cool, and we were all happy.

I ordered beets.  This was a big step of faith for me...I grew up hating most vegetables, and still have bogey-man notions about many of them.  I don't remember even having beets much (if ever) as a kid, but I was convinced they would be like purple, dirt flavored jello.  These changed my mind:

After lunch, we bid a fond farewell to the little shops and streets and headed over to Whole Foods to grab snacks for the long ride home...

We ended up with a Clif Builder's bar, a Probar, fresh berries, and tiny bell peppers - all easy and nutritious fingerfood. 

Even the drive home was gorgeous.  Can't wait till next time!

What's your favorite getaway destination?