Tag Archives: workout

A Jump-Start To My Week

Happpppppy Monday, friends.  Gosh it was hard to get out of bed this morning.  After getting back from Chicago around 8:30 last night, I crashed into bed almost immediately.  Even with such an early bedtime, that 5AM alarm clock still felt rough.  Not to mention I had a feeling it was going to be humid.  Saturday’s run in Chicago left me feeling over the heat and humidity.  This morning, I figured, I’d give outside running one shot, but after looking up the forecast, the only words racing through my head were “NO.”

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See that dew point?  According to the Runner’s World chart for training in the heat, (made familiar to me by Mary over at Minutes Per Mile), I knew that there was absolutely no way I was going to run outside.  The minute I walked out my front door, my glasses fogged up–not a great sign.

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Today’s dew point was 76 F.  That, according to this chart, meant “extremely oppressive-skip it or dramatically alter goal.”  Now, I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t going to let the dew point or some minor exhaustion impact my ability to jump-start my week.  So, I came up with a plan B:  the gym.  I grabbed my gym bag, drove over, and hopped on the treadmill as quick as I could.  By 5:50AM, I had run 4 miles, my glasses didn’t steam up, and I was actually able to do it at a comfortable, yet fast pace, opposed to feeling like death and swimming in sweat.

The treadmill is NOT my favorite.  I much prefer views like I got to see Saturday in Chicago.  I don’t like to wear headphones while I run, and the scenery outside helps distract me.

img_0692-1 The views inside the gym are not that exciting.  However, instead of moping around the gym with a poor mental attitude, I loaded up an episode of House of Cards on Netflix (low-key obsessed) and powered through 35 minutes of running inside in the AC.

Getting a run in on Monday morning first thing helps me get in a positive frame of mind for the week.  It helps me get off on the right foot, with a good start and healthy attitude.  Not every plan is perfect, and sometimes, you have to be willing to understand the human body’s limits.  I know my body does not handle the heat well, so I altered my plan.  When the dew point is oppressively high, it’s better to run inside, or not run it all.  This morning, I’m glad I ran inside 🙂

What is the hottest run you’ve ever been on?  What is your best tip for making treadmill running fun?

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Spartan Sprint

I think I promised you guys this review last week so apologies for the delay!  Last weekend, I participated in the Spartan Sprint.  Participation in this event was a last minute decision for our group, and one I’d consider making again.  For those unfamiliar, the Spartan race series involves grueling obstacles over the course of trail filled miles and crossing the finish line covered in mud is mandatory.  This type of event is one where consistent strength training in your weekly routine would help you be more prepared, but individuals of all shapes and sizes were up and at it on the course.  For the sprint distance, 4.8 miles were on the agenda and let me tell you, it was tough.  We faced steep up and downhills (it took place on a ski resort after all), lots of mud, 8 foot walls to climb over, monkey bars, and even a fire pit to jump over at the finish.  This was hands down one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  It took over 3 hours and just about every ounce of energy I had.  I’ll tell you one thing though, that post-race beer sure was refreshing.  Since it was way too muddy to carry a camera with me on the course, I will rely on the free, professional photos that the Spartan Series made available to event participants.  If you’re looking for a fun way to challenge yourself that isn’t running, a Spartan race is the way to do it.

Here’s the crew before we started. No mud!  That will change.   

Trudging through an over flooded creek.  Lots of super muddy “quick sand” like spots along the way for an added challenge!  

In between all of this, there were barbed wire fences we had to crawl in the mud to avoid, large walls to climb over, and even monkey bars to fall off of.  It’s safe to say I was stuck doing a lot of burpees.  For those unfamiliar, if you skip an obstacle or are unable to finish the obstacle, you are required to do 30 burpees.  Over 25 obstacles, I think I did 180 burpees.  Oof.

This was probably one of the worst.  Had fill this bucket up with what felt like a ton of rocks, and carry it up, then back down a steep ski slope.

 
Finally, the fire.  We wanted an epic, holding hands photo, as we jumped over the fire.  I ruined that.  I was terrified I wasn’t going to make it over and let go.  I think you can see the fear in my eyes.

 
It’s fine though, because everyone started cheering for me and I made it over.

 
Victory looks like mud.  Safe to say we all wanted to shower.

  
 
A few tips I’d suggest if you decide to do one of these bad boys:  do it with a group so you can help each other with the obstacles.  My team / random good people were crucial in my ability to make it over some of the walls we climbed.  I’d also suggest going in knowing your limits.  I love that I pushed myself to try things I’d never done before, but don’t force yourself to do things that you don’t think you can handle.  

I’m a Spartan now!  What’s the hardest rave you’ve ever done??

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Catching Up

You guys.  What a whirlwind of a past week or so.  I can’t believe it’s been 2 weeks since I last posted.  Instead of diving right in to some topics / recaps I have planned for you all, I thought that 2 weeks is a long time to be away.  So, let’s ease back in slowly and start by catching up.  Shall we?

  
July 4th weekend was crazy fun and crazy relaxing.  It was one of those weekends where I got off the couch a few times, but mostly just relaxed a lot.  The weekend started by catching up with a good friend at the brand new Nine Giant Brewery (good beer and great food).  We shared the spicy peppers and the fried pickles.  So good.  Other exciting eats from July 4th weekend include an old favorite, the Silverton Donut Shop!  It had been ages since I’d been, and I enjoyed every bite.  Not pictured:  the TO DIE FOR apple fritter I wolfed down in the car.  It was that good.  Tried a bite of the other donuts before going into a sugar coma and calling it quits.  Gosh do I love donuts.

 
July 4th I whipped up this super simple and tasty frittata (similar to this recipe), by cleaning out the veggie drawer in my fridge.  Cooked up broccoli, sweet potatoes and bacon in a pan and mixed in the eggs + cheddar and baked until finished.  Easy as pie!  Took the frittata over to my parents house and they had some patriotic berries waiting to serve on the side.  Perfect, light summer meal.  Non traditional for the 4th?  Sure.  But it certainly hit the spot.   

   
July 4th also involved running the Rocket Man 15K in Loveland, Ohio.  To be completely honest, I went into this one to just have extra motivation to run the 9.3 miles.  I wasn’t pushing it at PR pace and I certainly had no goal finish time in mind.  Plus, it was pouring rain (giving me major flashbacks to the Derby Festival Marathon) and the course was looped, so we ran 3 5k distance laps.  Oof.  Overall, glad I got up and at it on a rainy morning.

  
Last week was my third radio show with WRBI.  I did a segment on “Satisfying Your Summer Sweet Tooth.”  If you guys are interested, I can turn that same information into a blog post!

I think the most exciting thing I did over these last 2 weeks was the Indiana Spartan Sprint on Saturday.  It was touch, muddy, and included too many burpees.  I’ll have a full recap coming ‘atcha on Friday!  For now, here’s a before pic and a muddy pic of the group at the finish.

   
 Other notable eats from the last 2 weeks include:

This super tasty meal of BBQ baked panko chicken + salad + fries.

  
Snack night at Braxton with Queen City Running Club.  After 5 sweaty miles, an icy cold beer plus lots of snacking was in order.

   
 Pizza at Cork and Cap Hyde Park.  This was seriously amazing.

  
One of Anne’s banana pancakes topped with candied pecans, peanut butter, plain Greek yogurt, and strawberries.  Almost felt like dessert!  

Some amazing desk lunches at work–leftover pulled pork salad + potatoes and lemon cod + kale salad + tomatoes.  DELISH.

   
  

Tell me, what have you been up to recently? 

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WIAW – Recap Post

Hi Guys.  I think it was cold out last time I did one of these posts so I thought I’d share with you what I ate yesterday.  So, while today is definitely Thursday, we’ll still call it “What I Ate Wednesday,” because it’s actually what I ate on Wednesday 🙂  Boy guys, Wednesday sure was A DAY.  Like one of those days that moved so quickly it makes your head spin but moved so slow you constantly found yourself checking what time it was.

Wednesday morning actually started out slow.  I woke up at 5:05am without an alarm and decided that instead of waiting until 6:15am to go to bootcamp, I’d just go to the gym and take it easy on the elliptical with some good ‘ole Netflix.  Currently switching between Grace and Frankie and House of Cards.  Who else watches?!  Because I went to the gym an hour earlier than normal, I actually had time to cook a breakfast I hadn’t had in what felt like decades…Anne’s Banana Pancake!  I never seem to have ground flax when I make it but I had garbanzo bean flour so I gave that a try and it was perfect.  I topped my pancake with fresh blueberries, my homemade whole milk yogurt, and peanut butter.  Hit. The. Spot. 🙂  Enjoyed with black coffee!

  
By the time I arrived to work, it had been almost 3 hours since I had my pancake and I was craving something sweet.  I listened to my body, and treated myself to a donut.  No shame at all.  Enjoyed with the rest of my coffee.

  
Then I was off to a meeting that would end up being the longest meeting of my life.  2.5 hours later, my body was screaming, feed me!  It was lunch time.  I like to eat as many veggies at lunch as I can to fill up, and I love that the cafe at our hospital has these amazing veggie salads every day that employees can purchase for .91 cents.  Lately, I’ve been bouncing between the broccoli bacon salad or the kale salad.  Today was broccoli bacon day!  I paired the salad with some leftovers:  pulled pork (this recipe + BBQ sauce) + sweet potato + cabbage / spinach salad.  So good.

  
I’m a snacker and today was no different.  I got hungry multiple times throughout the afternoon.  First were these “banana cookies.”  Recipe included only 4 ingredients too!  Banana, nut butter, chocolate chips, and oats.  Definitely more granola-y than cookie like, but it still tasted good.

  
Next was a giant container of blueberries and cherries.  Who else loves summer fruit?

  
Still feeling hungry around 4, I had about 10 whole wheat crackers to tide me over.  I probably should have spread peanut butter on them… regrets 🙂

  
Then, a once and a blue moon treat for me, a coke zero.  I gave up soda cold turkey a few  years ago and rarely crave it now.  I usually only want a few sips and that’s what went down here.  I put the rest in the fridge and might drink more later in the week.

  
Dinner was late because I work late on Wednesdays.  I had to drop off something at my parent’s house so in good fashion, I raided their fridge.  Veggie, chicken and feta wrap + chips.

   
 And because it’s impossible to end the day without chocolate, chocolate.  This dark chocolate and orange bar I bought recently.  Chocolate paired with a guilty pleasure of mine, Pretty Little Liars.  Anyone else watch?

  
So that was my day.  Ever have a day where you can’t seem to stop eating?  I eat when I’m hungry and I was hungry far often than normal

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Weekly Food + Fitness + Life in 9 Pictures

  1. Two Blue Apron Meals!  
    This Peruvian chicken recipe with green beans (+ extra spinach from my fridge for good measure.    
    An arepa party!
  2. Volunteering in the community–always wonderful when I can return to my old stomping ground, the Freestore Foodbank 
  3. Blood orange + key lime Yagoot topped with crunch topping (brown sugar + cashew + coconut).  So good, I have another yogurt date planned for tonight!  
  4. Satisfied a breakfast craving.  
  5. Feasted after run club at 50 West Production Works.  Nothing beats an out and back run on the bike trail followed by good food, great beer, and fun people.  Can’t wait to return for the Yelp Elite event tomorrow–I’ll definitely be trying out the sand volleyball 🙂  
  6. A Blue Ash bootcamp.  This one killed my hamstrings.  
  7. The most random breakfast:  dark chocolate almonds + cherries + grapes + an egg  

Best thing you saw, did or ate this week?  Tell me!

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Why Having a Workout Buddy is Almost as Important as Working Out

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Posing pre-marathon with two of my favorite workout buddies!

As a registered dietitian and fitness enthusiast, I frequently find my peers and patients asking me how I stay motivated and inspired to fit in physical activity.  The truth is, it’s always a challenge because some days, you just don’t feel like it.  Just because I am well educated on the reasons I should be working out, doesn’t mean it’s easy to push myself to work out every day.  Want to learn how I find accountability with my fitness routine?  Head over to my blogger friend Jess’s blog, Dietitian Jess, where I’ve shared a guest post on this very topic.

Happy rainy Thursday everyone… it’s almost Friday!

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5 Things Friday!

TGIF, Friends!  This week has been incredibly busy between deadlines at work, and evening commitments after work.  Some highlights for the week include Yelp’s Cincy Made at Urbana Cafe and volunteering (then indulging later) at my favorite Cincinnati fundraiser, Taste of the NFL.  I’ll have full recaps on both those events coming at ya next week but I thought I’d share 5 food and fitness tidbits from my week so you can get a glimpse of how I’ve managed to find balance amidst the chaos!

  1.  I made it two times to P/E class at the Blue Ash Recreation Center.  Every time I go, I realize how much I miss having the time to attend all 5 early AM classes.  Per usual, Andrew designed some killer workouts, and my hamstrings definitely felt it yesterday when I tried to run.   
  2. Taste of the NFL!  I love that I’m on the volunteer list for this event.  Not only do I get to support a great cause, but I get to taste some of Cincy’s best eats.  I think the last time I felt that full was Thanksgiving dinner.  Standouts for me were obviously the dishes that included donuts, but more to come on that next week 🙂   
  3. Yelp’s Cincy Made at Urbana Cafe was a winner in my book.  I love supporting local business, especially those with coffee, so learning the history behind the business and getting to taste some of their menu offerings was a real treat. 
  4. After a week of indulging, I was in major need of something green.  It’s rare that I crave kale–those who know me best know it’s not a favorite food of mine–but when I saw the kale salad in the cafe at work today, I knew it would hit the spot.  Paired this salad up with some hummus and wheat crackers.  Perfect satisfying, healthy lunch. 
  5. A patient told me yesterday, “God gave us taste buds for a reason.”  Couldn’t agree more.  Food is meant to be enjoyed and every now and then, we may have a week where we overindulge, but finding balance and getting back on track is the real key to staying on the healthy lifestyle wagon.

What are your taste buds planning to enjoy this weekend?  A new recipe?  A new restaurant?  A favorite food? 

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Weekdays Can Be Weekends Too

Happy Wednesday aka hump day, friends!  For me, Wednesdays are hands down the longest day of the week for me to power through, so I always love starting it out with a solid workout.  Per my usual Wednesday morning routine, I hit up Andrew’s P/E (power and endurance) class at the Blue Ash Recreation Center.  While it’s slightly out of the way for me now, this class is hands down one of my favorites and a great value at $6 dollars for a drop-in fee.  Plus, I used to be a regular back in 2014, where I attended 4-5 mornings a week!  So, it’s always a good time seeing some familiar faces :).  Andrew organized a killer workout this morning.  I think the hardest part was the third tabata we did–instead of the traditional 10 seconds of rest between rounds, we did wall sits.  Ooof!  Super challenging.  As always, loved the puns on the workout board and the high energy of class.  Can’t wait until next Wednesday!

  
I wanted to pop in today to tell you why I think treating your weekdays like weekends is a good thing.  That’s right.  The world we live in is incredibly fast paced, over-scheduled, and full of constant, non-stop activity.  My life is no exception to this.  Sometimes, this can lead our weekends to feel just as busy as weekdays and no time for relaxation with loved ones.  In an effort to try and be a more positive thinker, I’ve come to the realization that slowing down can be a good thing.  I read this post a few weeks back and realized what a great concept it described:  Making our weekdays feel more like the weekend.

  
I spend every day of my workweek looking forward to Saturday, my one guaranteed day off each week.  I look forward to taking my time in the morning, getting in a great workout, enjoying a delicious breakfast or brunch I might not normally indulge in (or have time for) during the week, and in general, moving slower.  Weekends are also great because they involve more mental relaxation and time spent with friends.  Weekends are also great for downtime.  I read this article from Scientific American recently, that describes why our brains need more downtime.  “Research reveals how mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories, and encourage creativity.”  Mental breaks can look different for everyone.  For me sometimes it’s curling up with a good book.  Sometimes it’s eating a delicious meal outside and just enjoying the quiet and peacefulness.  Sometimes a mental break is a walk to grab coffee with a friend.  These mental breaks can lend towards productivity in the workplace, but can also allow us to have a clear head and positive attitude when it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices too.

  
While I can’t say I’ve discovered a true love for meditation, what I have found is that slowing down and allowing myself to enjoy activities I traditionally save for weekends has allowed me to think more clearly, positively and remain more productive and motivated to accomplish goals during the workweek–work goals, fitness goals and even health & nutrition goals.  I gave this idea a shot on Monday, because we all know Mondays can be tough, and it worked out really great.  From moving just a touch slower and making a real effort to incorporate things into my day that provided mental breaks from my work tasks, I was really able to end the day feeling positive and refreshed, even though I spent 9 of those hours at work.

  
In an effort to move slower, Monday started out sleeping in an extra 15 minutes until 5:30 AM.  While it seems silly, allowing myself the extra 15 minutes made a huge difference!  After waking up and enjoying my coffee with a dose of NBC news on the side, I did a 25 minute circuit in my apartment.  Normally, I wouldn’t have time for this, but I knew that working out helps me to clear my head and start the day on a positive foot, so I was happy to make time for some movement.  I did a few tabatas and EMOMs (every minute on the minute) and then made breakfast.  I have been craving bacon for weeks now, and it’s typically a weekend food for me, but since I was trying to have a “weekend” kinda mindset, I went with it.  Breakfast was soaked oats, fruit and extra crispy bacon.  This meal left me so, so happy.

  
Later that day, I decided to take a work break and squeeze in a walk + coffee date with a friend instead of my traditional lunch break where I snack at my desk.  The sun was shining and there was a nice breeze.  It felt absolutely incredible to grab an iced latte and breathe in some fresh air.  It made all the difference in my day.  After work, I went straight to the park to meet up with my friend Mary for a run.  Normally, I probably wouldn’t go to a park on a weeknight, just for sake of time, but in an effort to incorporate more interesting and exciting activities into my day, I was excited to go see how the development of Summit Park was going.  We did 4 easy miles on the loop that surrounds the park before our good form running clinic that was meeting at the park later that evening.  Wandering and exploring the park prior to the clinic was a fun way to slow things down too!

 

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 The day ended with the Bachelorette  premier + pizza with Mary.  Pizza is normally a weekend food for me, but in honor of treating Monday like the weekend, and JoJo, why not?

  
What did I learn from slowing down my Monday?  Well it didn’t impact my productivity negatively, and I ended the day feeling more refreshed, less stressed, and overall more positive about my week.  While slowing down every day isn’t a realistic goal for me, I will be making a more conscious effort to incorporate more positive activities into my days to make them more interesting and exciting.

  
Your turn, how would you make a Monday feel like the weekend?  What are your tips and tricks for slowing down?

 

 

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Why Early Morning Running Is My New Favorite Thing

Happy Monday morning everyone!  Is it just me, or does the weekend always end too quickly?  I had a nice one, specifically because I got to spend Saturday catching up with my brother; he moves to Seattle next week!  I also got to hit up the Hyde Park Farmers market and that always puts a smile on my face.

  
So these past few weeks, I’ve been making it a pretty permanent part of my workout routine to squeeze in some early morning runs before work.  That’s right, I said early.  When I run in the morning, I’ve gotta be moving by 5:15 or 5:30.  Ridiculously early, I know.  I used say that that waking up before 5:20 AM was too early and I wouldn’t do it.  I also used to roll my eyes at the 5:00 AM runners I’d drive by on days I used to go in to work at 6:00 AM.  Things change though, and these early runs have actually become my favorite thing.  Here’s why:

  1. After I finish, it’s usually just after 6AM, and I feel BADASS because I’ve accomplished something awesome, while most people are still sleeping.  
  2. It’s calm and quiet outside.  I have most of the streets to myself and have time to just think and release any stress from my week.
  3. Because recently, I feel like I’m chasing the sun.  I start around 5:15, and by the time I finish, the sun has completely risen.  I get to see the world wake up right before my eyes.  
  4. The sun rises early now so recently, there has been less of a need for my reflective gear.  Three cheers for safety!  
  5. Now that the sun has started rising earlier and the temps are warmer, all my fellow Hyde Park neighbors are joining me for runs.  While I typically do my early AM runs solo, it’s fun and motivating to see so many other runners hitting the pavement at ridiculously early times.
  6. Weekend warriors!  My fellow neighbors come out to run early on weekends too.  Case and point?  I had to work Saturday and ran at 5:45 am.  SO MANY other runners were out.  It was surprising to me that so many individuals in the area had such incredible motivation to get up and at it on a weekend morning.   LOVE IT.  
  7. Finally, who else feels like they can conquer the world after an early morning run?  It sets a nice tone for the rest of the day.
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Fun Week of Workouts

It’s Friday.  YAY!  This week has flown by and I’m certain part of that is because I’ve had so many fun things going on, including some new to me workout classes in the Cincinnati area that have helped me to deviate from my regular routine.  I’ve been trying to make it a priority to incorporate more strength training into my workout routine because I used to experience the benefits when I was an avid bootcamp goer.  I just haven’t been as proactive about fitting it into my schedule until recently.  I’ve discovered some fun new workout facilities around town and had time this week to check them out.

First stop?  Cincy 360 Fitness.  This gym was a new to me option in the area.  I discovered it through word of mouth.  Some running buddies of mine had mentioned that they tried a class and were super sore from it.  Awesome.  Sounds like what I was looking for.  After doing some investigating, I discovered you can try your first class out free.  Sold.  I signed up for the Cincy Circuits class Monday evening and was excited to experience a new workout.  Circuit workouts happen to be some of my favorite.  I love how you are moving through various stations and do a variety of movements and exercise, maintain a high heart rate, but never get bored.  The structure of this class was awesome–the first circuit was 8 strength exercises focusing on upper body and core.  We rotated through the circuit 3 times and spent 40 seconds on each station with 20 seconds to rest and move to the next station.  The second circuit was mostly legs and plyometrics, or as the instructor called it, her cardio circuit.  I certainly understand why too!  This really shot my heart rate up.  We rotated through the circuit 3x, but this time did each exercise for 30 seconds since these were much more intense exercises (think burpees and box jumps).  The instructor was really friendly and provided modifications and demos as needed.  You can pay to “drop in” here so I’ll definitely be back for another workout soon!

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My favorite workout of the week was definitely last night.  I attended the Yelp Quirks Out event at Corestrong in Covington, KY!  As a Yelp Elite, I am so thankful to get access to events like this just for sharing honest reviews of local business on the site.  I had never heard of Corestrong prior to this event but it’s safe to say I’ll want to return.  This studio was located in a warehouse type setting.  They have the Indo-Rowers which are powered by water, they have TRX Suspension Training, sleds, battle ropes, tires, boxing bags and a variety of other equipment to prevent members from getting bored.

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Loved the modern feel of this facility too.  While it was in a warehouse type setting, they definitely gave the gym a more upscale feel.  The class offered free to Yelpers was essentially a sampling of everything they offered.  We divided up into 4 groups and rotated through each for 10-15 minutes at a time.  The instructors here know what they are doing because they certainly got the room sweating in a matter of minutes.  We all started warming up together.

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Then, my group started on the TRX.  Loved the inspirational quotes on the walls.  TRX training is one of my favorite ways to incorporate strength exercises into my routine.  I’m always sore after.

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Next up, boxing.  I’ve done kickboxing classes before but never using a bag.  This was fun and really got my heart racing.  Third stop?  Rowing!  I’m not very good at these.  I’ve tried the Indo-Rowers a few times before at another gym and the instructor there has tried to help me improve my form but I tend to overthink the motions.  I know if I could improve my form, this would be a sweat dripping workout all by itself.

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Last up were the sleds.  I’ve never pushed a sled without weights before.  While it was still super tough, it was fun to see how fast  I could move while pushing it.  After the 4 stations, one of the instructor lead us through some cool down yoga.  Then we hopped back on the rowers for Glow Row!  They turned out all the lights, gave us glow sticks, and had us compete in races in teams.  Super fun.  Your first week at Corestrong is free so it’s safe to say I’ll be back.  I’m not sure if I’ll invest in a membership quite yet because it is pricey, however,  with all the different options it’s safe to say this provides some great variety to any workout routine!

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Anyone else try some fun new workouts this week?  Where is your favorite fitness class?

 

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