Category Archives: Exercise
This past weekend I got a more-than-healthy helping of all my favorite things in life: Running, Fresh Air, Beautiful Scenery, Comradery, and Competition, and got to do it with an amazing group. And now I’m back…Reality Bites. I was lucky enough to be asked to be part of an amazing group called The Marathongs to compete in a crazy race called Reach The Beach. Reach The Beach is unique because it’s the LONGEST (in distance) relay race in the whole entire country. Holler!!
The longest relay race in the nation? Yep! 204 miles through the White Mountains in NH, starting at Cannon Mountain in Franconia, NH, and ending at New England’s Jersey Shore: Hampton Beach. The goal is to complete the 204 miles within 24 hours among your team of 2 – 12 people. Our team, The Marathongs, came in 87th out of 480 teams, averaging about an 8 minute pace. Each team member has three legs along the way, giving a little bit of rest in between, but little to no sleep. Everyone on the team ran somewhere between 15 – 24 miles over their three legs. Basically, it was awesome!
Our team comes from all over: West Haven, Ellington, Vernon, and Glastonbury CT, Buffalo, NY, New York City, Boston, MA, and Newport, RI. There were some (super boring) super serious teams, but many dressed up. Our major competition was “The Kilts”, “The Lumberjacks”, who, by the way, ran in jorts – no kidding, and “The Cropdusters”. Most of the teams had really great names. It was really an awesome experience as all the teams were supportive of each other – all with the same crazy goal of running 204 miles and “reaching the beach”.
I think from here, the best way to show our journey is through pictures and videos.
Goofing around before the race, getting our wiggle on!
The MarathonG boys’ dance. Get it boys!!
Who says white girls can’t dance??
It was the longest 24 hours of my life…but surprisingly to most, I’m saying that in the best way possible. Things that happened on Friday afternoon seemed like they happened 2 weeks ago by Saturday night. I dont know if it was the lack of sleep, the overexertion, or the amount of things that happened, but it was truly an experience I will never forget and I’m already counting down the days until the MarathonGs run Reach the Beach in 2014.
Last night at work I had a conversation with one of my co-workers about my morning run the next day. The conversation went a little like this:
Me: So I’ll be running by your house tomorrow.
Co-worker: Oh yea? What time?
Me: Early…I’ll probably pass your place around 5:25AM
Me: What, are you going to come out and cheer for me? haha I would die if you were standing out there with a sign or something.
End of story. Now this particular co-worker is a bit on the unpredictable side. Nothing that he does, or doesn’t do, really surprises me. He’s a rolling stone of sorts. So this morning I was running with one of my girlfriends and as we were coming close to my coworker’s house I was telling her the story. We rounded the corner, and to my surprise, a small sign low to the ground caught my eye.
This was surprising, even to me! But it absolutely put some pep in my step! I have a great appreciation for thoughtful little surprises like this – it will not be forgotten!
I love America. I think it’s a great country and I feel lucky to live here. That being said, I have some pet peeves about how so many Americans are so LAZY and not only that, but we are a country that not only encourages it, but also facilitate it. Go ahead, eat 2 Big Macs everyday for lunch and grab a pizza on your way home for dinner to scarf down with your 2 liter of Mountain Dew. Don’t worry about the repercussions that it will have on your health because America will accommodate you. They will make seats larger for your expanding ass, they will make clothing bigger for your expanding gut, and they will give you an “easy way” to get your sexy back. And if something should happen to you because of your health, whether its a heart attack or safety harness snapping don’t worry, there’s millions of people out there that you can sue to get what “you deserve”.
Where is this coming from? Well I was listening to the radio and heard an ad for Laser55. Laser55 is a “non-invasive” method to lose weight quick. You know what else is non-invasive? eating healthy and exercising. But unfortunately even the thought of that is too painful for many to bear. The part about this whole ordeal that I find entertaining is that all of the pictures on Laser55’s website show sexy ladies who probably weigh 105 lbs, and have probably not eaten a carb since they were 14. These people likely didn’t go through the Laser55 Lipotherapy because they are already stick skinny. All the fatties out there thinking they are going to magically look like this by just sitting through a couple of lipotherapy sessions during their lunch break are in for a rude awakening.
As you can see from this picture, though there is a slight different, this woman still looks much different than the woman shown above. Is there a difference? Certainly. Is there more of a difference than if this woman spent her lunch hour walking and having a healthy salad or sandwich rather than spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, getting a non-surgical laser weight loss solution? Probably not. And without continuing to receive these expensive treatments, she will either continue to look the same, or plump back up to the picture on the left. Remember the results are “staggering” and the before and after pictures I see, I can only assume are the “good ones”…and that’s not saying much.
Hey, whatever you want to do with your life is completely up to you, but in my own experience it is much more rewarding to work hard and earn your result than just pay for them…wait, isn’t that called cheating? What was that saying?
Winners Never Cheat…and Cheaters Never Win.
Think about it.
Yesterday me and 6 of my friends participated in Connecticut’s Warrior Dash. What is the Warrior Dash? It’s a mud-crawling, fire-leaping, extreme 5k run from hell. Ben and I did it for the first time last year in Massachusetts, but this year since it was going to be held in Connecticut we decided to recruit some of our friends to get muddy with us! We got matching shirts made so we could all look united as a team and met up down in Thompson, aka the-middle-of-nowhere-Connecticut at the International Speedway. We all started together, but ended up splitting into two groups. Some of the obstacles included running through swinging tires, high knees through about 100 yards of tires, run over cars, climb walls (some which were about 20 feet tall), tight rope across a stream, and shimmy across another body of water holding on to little hand holds on the walls. (I fell into the water on that one). Then afterwards we celebrated like true warriors with beers, turkey legs and hot dogs! Anyways, I’ll let the pictures do the talking from here on out, but we looked great, felt great, and had a GREAT time! Now I can’t wait to do another one, or maybe graduate to a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race if I can round up a fun group to do it with!
A couple of days ago in Cape Cod, Ben and I decided to go mountain biking. We drove about a half hour to Hyannis to the Cape Cod Pathways. We started the ride, and for some reason I was feeling a bit more adventurous than normal. I even recall actually saying to Ben “I’m really keeping up with you a lot better than I was before”. This was my first mistake…overconfidence. I was feeling really good, actually riding on the downhill parts and pedaling through the sandy parts…basically feeling pretty comfortable throughout the whole experience.
It all seemed too good to be true. Probably because it was. I officially counted my eggs before they were hatched. We were on our way back and I decide to go down this hill a little more (ok, a lot more) steep than normally I would. This was my second, and nearly fatal mistake. I thought that since it was a small hill I could totally handle it. I was wrong (shocker, I know). Anyways, so I get half way down the hill, and my left foot and petal catch a rock, causing my handlebars to flip around and ultimately resulting in my bike flipping over my left shoulder bringing me with it. Cool. Luckily, I didn’t break any bones, especially because I have a very important wedding to be at in a couple days, but I do have one badass bruise to show for it…ouch!
Growing up I was always skinny. I never really had to worry about “eating right” or dieting, and to be honest a diet for me never really lasted longer than about 2 hours. But really, they would have lasted longer, but then I would get hungry and eat whatever was in my fridge or pantry. I’ve always been really active so, being lucky, I never really had to worry about my weight. Then about a year ago, I really started to get self conscious. Since I had been out of college for a couple years and most of my day was spent sitting, instead of playing sports, or walking across UConn’s enormous campus I was noticing that had put on a few (ok maybe more than a few) extra, unneeded, lbs! My clothes started not fitting right, and it was at that time that I vowed: I will NOT buy bigger clothes to make myself feel comfortable. I WILL change my life to feel comfortable in the clothing I own. After all, isn’t that how people get fat? They eat too much, get uncomfortable in their tight clothes, buy bigger clothes that have some spare room, and repeat cycle. It all starts innocently enough, but before you know it you’re not allowed on amusement park rides and are buying two plane tickets for yourself. And that, my friends, is no way to life.
Anyways, back to my story: About a year ago, I really started to notice changes in myself and I didn’t like it, but since I had always been active and never really dieted (my idea of a diet was having only 4 slices of pizza instead of 7), things didn’t really start out so well for me on the weight loss front. I tried exercising in the form of running, but I’ve been an avid runner since the age of 11 so that didn’t do anything for me. No seriously, I trained diligently, and rain a full marathon (26.2 miles) and was literally the exact same weight after. I also tried every “diet” out there: Atkins, South Beach, Veggie Cleanse, Smoothies, Juice Diets, Slim Quick, Fasting…They would work for a short period of time, and then OF COURSE because they are only a “quick fix” I’d be right back to where I started…sometimes even worse off! Turns out the only REAL way to lose weight is diet and exercise, muscle confusion to be exact…who would have ever guessed!
So, thanks to my patient boyfriend’s encouragement, I decided to try p90x. I had already been through months of boot camp classes, and not for nothing, because they were amazing, but I really needed more. More intensity, more times a week, and unfortunately I really couldn’t afford more than 2 times a week at boot camp. May 6 was my day. Decide. Commit. Succeed. The initial plan was to go from Adele to Jillian Michaels (*see bottom) in 90 days…needless to say, that didn’t happen, but I’m proud to say that I for the past 13 weeks I have done every single main workout (60-90 minutes) and all but 2 of the ab workouts (16 minutes) in addition to running, biking, and hiking. I’ve also tried my best to stay on track with the p90x nutrition guide. Of course I’ve failed many times, but I’m only human, and I can only learn from these experiences. I’m not perfect, and I’m no super model, but I’m definitely much stronger both mentally and physically now than I was before.
It’s funny because as I started the 90 days, I thought to myself…wow this is so easy! Not easy in the sense that the workouts were easy (they weren’t) but easy in the fact that I enjoyed working out and the workouts were similar to those that I have done in bootcamp and other classes at my gym so it wasn’t difficult to motivate myself to do the workouts. It was about week 6 that I hit my first wall. I was tired (most days I had to get up around 4:45AM to fit it all in) and to be honest I just wanted to be lazy. But that wasn’t an option. How could I be mad when nothing was happening to my body if I wasn’t doing anything differently! I’ve seen that with too many people, and quite frankly I find it annoying so I chose not to let myself fall into that category. I mean like anything, there were some days that were way easier than others, and some days that I literally hoped I would fall and break my ankle so I wouldn’t have to continue. In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t break my ankle or any other body part for that matter, and am even more glad that I stuck with it and am on my way to reach my goal.
To say that I did it alone though would be lying, so I really have to give credit where it’s due. Of course, thanks to my loving boy who encouraged me every single day for the past 90 days . Next, I have to thank an amazing co-worker, Andra, who was nice enough to take a look at my food log every single week not only to keep me on track, but also to give me some helpful tips and motivate me. She also helped me get on track with some great vitamins and supplements! She rocks! Then of course some of my girlfriends, Liz, Carrie, Erica who have gotten up at ungodly hours to do workouts with me and forced me to believe that I could get through it when I was mentally or physically fried – Especially Erica who would do extra workouts with me just to keep me company on a low day! Additionally I found motivation through fellow bloggers, loseitbig, roundtoravishing, and theblissproject whose blogs I found motivating, inspiring, and many times entertaining! (I especially appreciated loseitbig – he’s hysterical!) Finally I gotta thank my bestie Stef. She’s so far away (I’m in CT and shes in CO), but since we both have the same mind set and similar goals and are both working out and eating right so we look to each other for support, and it always means a lot to me.
Feel free to read more about my exercise regimen, food log, measurements, and success on my page Eating Clean & Getting Lean! I’d also love to hear some of your own personal success stories or challenges! cheers!
I was supposed to meet up with a friend this morning at 5:30. “Supposed” being the key word there. I slept through my own alarm clock and didn’t wake up UNTIL 5:30 when my boyfriend’s alarm went off. I could have said “ahh F it, I already missed the boat” and rolled over to go back to sleep, but I didn’t. Most of that had to do with the fact that my poor friend already was waiting for me and I felt like a complete jerk being this late!
I arrived about 15 minutes late to our clubhouse and we rocked a KenpoX and ab workout. So, if you’re feeling lazy on this dreary Friday, keep your motivation up and think about how great you’ll feel knowing you completed your workout, and how bad you’ll feel knowing you took the easy way out if you skip it!
I tried out a new yoga joint this morning and was MORE than pleasantly surprised! I went to Bikram Yoga Downtown Hartford and it was an amazing experience. Normally I go to a place in Glastonbury, and though I always liked it (with the exception of a few classes that were taught by some uptight yogi who literally yelled at the students, myself included), I thought “hey, why not try something new?”. So I did. Bikram Yoga Downtown Hartford is located right off the highway on Main Street across the street from City Steam Brewery. There isn’t any free parking available like there is in Glastonbury, but luckily I’m an early bird and was able to park on the street (which you can do until 8AM). There are also two parking garages that are in walking distance and cost only $3 and $4 with validation from Bikram Yoga Downtown.
Of course the practice of Bikram Yoga is going to be the same everywhere you go: 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. But this studio had a amenities that are not available at my last studio.
- Spacious, Clean and Most Importantly COOL Locker Room: Instead of having 30 yogis all trying to put their clothing into cubbies the size of a sandal box, there is a full on locker room fully equipped with large cubes, benches, nice showers, and a full counter and mirror to get ready.
- Scent Free Yoga Room: I couldn’t believe it. You’d think that a 107 degree room where people sweat their ass off for 90 minutes would be impossible to keep scent free, but somehow they did it. OK, well maybe when I go back I’ll notice it wasn’t completely scent free, but thinking back on the situation, I can’t recall any nasty sweat smell, so it must not have been that back.
- Unpretentious Staff: I’m not saying that all yoga teachers are pretentious, but some of them, ok most of them, give off this vibe that they are so relax and have their lives so under control that it actually sometimes stresses me out! How annoying is it that every yoga teacher is about 110 lbs and has a six pack just from standing in tree pose and saying a few oms? My teacher today was just a regular girl and seemed wicked down to earth…I loved it!
- Small Class Size: Since I’ve only gone once, I’m not sure if this is the case, but this class had only 5 people in it, including myself. Cool!
- CLOCK! Finally, the best part about this place: there is a huge clock right in the middle of the room. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but let me tell you…I cannot stand not knowing how much longer I have til I’m done. I’ve even worn my watch into practice a few times just so I can keep an eye, but I swear I got dirty looks for doing that so I reluctantly stopped!
I definitely recommend this place to anyone who is looking to test the waters with Bikram. The staff is nice, the studio is clean, and in my humble opinion, its a great place for new comers and experienced yogis of all kinds!
click here for deals on yoga clothing!
So by now you have probably come to realize that I’m an odd duck. If you haven’t realized this by now, I really can’t help you. Anyways, I’m going to be traveling for the next 7 days. The first 5 is for work,the last 2 is for my oldest friend’s batchelortte party. I’m super pumped for both trips, but I have been concerned about one issue: working out. Now I’m not some weirdo workout nazi or anything, but I’m 63 days into my first ever p90x cycle and I’m MORE than determined to complete it without missing a workout. At this point I haven’t missed one single workout and I completely intend on keeping it that way. So being that I’m going to be in Las Vegas and Newport for the next 7 days, you may see my dilemma.
So I got to the airport this morning about 2.5 hours early (I came to an airport I don’t normally travel out of and I wanted to make sure that I had plenty of time to get there without hitting traffic or any other issues). So…what to do with 2.5 hours? Why not my plyometrics workout? Hey, it’s either now or 10 hours from now when I get to Vegas….sooooo I chose now. I changed in the bathroom into my workout gear and scouted out an empty terminal and got to work. Luckily I don’t care what people think of me, because let me tell you…I got a lot of strange looks and even some chuckles. Don’t get me wrong, I understand this is a weird thing to do, I just don’t care. If it were someone else doing this and I just happened to witness it, you better believe that I’d be blogging about how weird this person is, but I decided not to care, and just owned it…and blog about myself doing it haha.
So recently I started listening to the “Jock Jams” station while doing my p90x workouts, and almost immediately I became OBSESSED. In fact, I like it so much I’ve been listening to Jock Jams all day at work recently too. It’s such fun music that really pumps you up. You gotta love the classics like Technotronic’s Pump This Jam and 2 Unlimited’s Get Ready For This. Then of course there’s other great hits that you can’t help dancing to, even when you’re sitting like 69 Boys’ Tootsie Roll, and Quad City DJ’s C”Mon ‘N Ride The Train. Luckily the train dance is pretty easy to do even while sitting. I even get taken back to the good ‘ole days of 5th grade socials with gems like Freak Nasty’s Da’ Dip.
I do have one qualm with this station though. They don’t know where to draw the line. All of the above mentioned songs and artists really pump you up and make you want to work hard. Somewhere along the line this station got confused and started sticking in music by Michael Jackson and the Allman Brothers. While I enjoy both of these artists, they are not exactly what “pumps me up”. I mean really, when was the last time you heard Black or White and said to yourself “you know what, I suddenly have a ton of energy to complete a plyometrics workout”??
Luckily these songs come on less frequently than the REAL Jock Jams, but Jesus, when they do, I feel the same way that I did when I went on a 7 mile run and my iPod seemed to ONLY play Sara Bareilles…