Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Turkey Trot Day!

Happy Thanksgiving, All!  

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays to spend with my family. Rather than Christmas, its the holiday where everyone gets together in one place to hang out and eat a meal.

My dad and I have been trying to find a 5K that we could run together for a while now and a Turkey Trot seemed like the perfect opportunity. Surprisingly, one in my parents area was dfficult to find, but we happened across one at the last minute. A  lot of other people must have found it at the last minute as well, because the coordinators said they were overwhelmed by the number of people who had come out to run.

We're all pretty beat since none of us have been doing much running due to schedules and dropping temperatures. It was just reaching 36 degrees as we were leaving this morning's race. Nick and I are signed up for a "Frosty Frolic" in a few weeks and today was likely a good preview of what that will be like. Cold. So cold. I was extremely thankful that I'd remembered my fleece headband and running gloves  this time.

In a few hours, we'll be off to my aunt's to hang out an eat! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jet Lag and Yoga

I got back on Sunday from a nearly week-long work trip to Las Vegas. I have to go out there several times a year and some trips are more fun than others. This time was one of the not-so-fun trips. I started coming down with a cold last Monday and was miserable by the time I got out there. I was hoping the dry desert air would help me feel better, but it poured rain the entire time.

I managed to force a few workouts in the mornings and thought I was keeping my body pretty close to Eastern Time. I think I was just that exhausted though, because, coming back, I'm finding it really hard to get out of bed on time. To help myself adjust to being back and stretch out some of the stiffness that inevitably comes from all the standing I do on these trips, Nick and I hit a hot yoga class later in the day on Sunday. We typically go Sunday mornings, then rush to church, but I think I may like going later a little better. 

The heat of the room temporarily banished my cold, which was soooo nice. I'd come equiped with a stack of tissues an ended up not needing any! I also stuck my Crow Pose way better than ever before, which made me really happy.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Search for the Perfect Gym Bag

Lately, I've been realizing that I need a new solution for all of my gym "stuff". On days when I'm on top of my game and pack workout clothes to change into after work so that I can go straight to the box, I end up leaving the house with three or four bags: my laptop bag, lunch back, a backpack with sneakers and a change of clothes, and a drawstring sack that holds my CrossFit things like tape, wrist wraps, jump rope, etc. It's too much. I need to consolidate the two workout related bags. It only makes sense.

1. Adidas Defender ($24.99)
3. Puma Teamsport ($31.99)
4. Adidas Squad ($35.99)

But the perfect gym bag? That's not so clear. I need something that's big enough to hold two pairs of sneakers, flip flops, a set of clothes, a hoodie, face wipes, my jump rope, water bottle, protein shaker, and lots of other little odds and ends. Looking at this list, I'm amazed that I didn't grab a bigger bag sooner!

I have it narrowed down to the four above. They're all about the same size and they all have ventilated shoe pockets of some sort, which I definitely wanted. I don't want my shoes stinking up all of my other stuff, nor does the idea of a pair of undies tossed into the bag coming in contact with whatever might be on the bottoms of my shoes thrill me.  

Choices, choices. I think the yellow Puma is in the lead, in case anyone's Christmas shopping ; )

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rest Day: Needed


I woke up this morning feeling so icky.Our weekend was a whirlwind of activity and frantic naps between activities. In a little over two days, Nick and I finished three WODs, a game of indoor soccer, a 75 minute hot yoga class, a family birthday party where I met quite a few of his family members for the first time (and was totally calm about it, of course), and made and canned seven jars of applesauce.

By the end of Sunday, the topic of taking one whole weekend day off from everything to just relax had come up multiple times.  Of course, there's not even a slight possibility of us (or at least, me) taking such a day until December.  Its difficult to remember to take time to rest in between all of the fun options we have and the things we have to get done!

One thing I was told a few months ago by a seasoned CrossFitter was to "take rest days!". She had worked out everyday for a year and a half and gotten so burned out by the time her body made her take a rest day. I would love to be able to workout everyday and do the comp-work cycles offered at the box, but right now I have to realize that my work schedule, although not very physically active, is still taxing to my body and needs to be considered. I need to let myself breathe maybe just a little more than I do.

I wish my nose would let me breathe through it right now.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

OOTD: First Snowfall

It feels like we skipped fall here in Northeast Ohio. If it was here, it must have been during the few short weeks that I was traveling for business, because I sure didn't get to enjoy much of that cool, crisp fall weather. We skipped straight to frigid, in my opinion.

Although it had flurried a couple of times in the last few weeks, this Monday was the first snowfall that actually stuck to the ground and covered cars. I'm not ready for it to be Winter yet! At least I cleaned out my garage enough so that I can actually park in it and avoid scraping snow and ice off of my car in the mornings.

I'd gone to Goodwill to look for an ugly Halloween sweater and came across this Calvin Klein sweater dress while I was there. I'm not usually one for thrift shopping. It smells weird and feels a little gross. But, Calvin Klein for $7.99? I'll just wash it twice. 

Turns out, this is the warmest dress ever! Paired with tights, boot socks, and leather boots, I was a toasty girl. Unfortunately, my clients didn't plan on anyone dressing so warmly and had the heat in their conference room cranked up. I felt myself getting sweaty and irritable. Not good! It worked out well for me once I got home though. I don't have the heat turned up very high, so I needed something to keep me cozy. I practically fell asleep on the couch in this outfit. It's not everyday you can find an outfit that is conference room appropriate as well as being totally snugly sleepwear, right?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sunday Morning Sweat

Image via CARLINE JEAN / MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS*No, those are not my abs. Someday...*
On Sunday morning, I met up with some of my fellow CrossFitters to try something new. I've always been interested in yoga and found the idea of hot yoga intriguing and terrifying. There's a new hot yoga studio in town that a few girls have gone too, so we decided to give it a try, since our box hasn't come up with a way to offer yoga classes yet.

I'm glad I went with a group for many reasons. I was seriously intimidated by the idea of a 75-minute long hot yoga class. I would probably have been intimidated by a 75-minute long regular yoga class, to be honest, since I had only ever been to one actual yoga class before Sunday. I'd always practiced on my own, which is nice, because you can't see how weird you look. Knowing that I had friends in the group and that at least one of them was pretty experienced seriously eased my nerves.

The room was definitely hot. I started sweating as soon as we did anything other than lay there in Child's Pose  Nick was nice enough to tell me I was "glistening" when he looked over at me during class. (That's right, my boyfriend does yoga, hehe.) At one point, in Downward Dog, sweat dripped off of my chin and up my nose. "Glistening" may have been an understatement. There was definitely a ton of water chugged throughout the rest of that day. Overall, it was an incredible workout, especially for my arms and abs (my weak spots) and wasn't nearly as scary as I thought. I'd definitely recommend it, but be prepared to want to nap afterwards until you get used to the practice.

I can't wait to go again!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Almost Paleo: Breakfast and Dinner Lately

I don't know about you, but I feel a big difference when I eat a lot of processed, commercial foods versus when I cook my own meals from whole ingredients. Avoiding processed foods, with their added sugar, salt, and preservatives is one of the main elements of the Paleo lifestyle, from my research, anyways. I don't think I could ever go permanently Paleo, because I love me some cheese and think that there are nutritional benefits to a lot of the foods that Pales eschews, at least in moderation. Anyways, I try to keep Paleo principals in mind when cooking for myself and I notice a big difference.

For breakfast this past weekend, since I'd gotten off to an early start, I modified this recipe from SkinnyTaste. Rather than baking the eggs, because I hadn't gotten up early enough to deal with preheating my oven, I cooked the eggs on the stovetop.

I sauteed baby spinach to wilt it, then pushed it to the edges of my pan, creating an empty space in the middle for the eggs. I let the eggs cook a bit and ended up covering the whole pan at the end to help the egg whites firm up. I hate gooey egg whites! I added two chicken sausage links (probably not Paleo) from al Fresca. All in all, the whole recipe didn't top more than 300 calories but kept me fueled through my mornings.

I got home late from work and CrossFit a few nights ago and needed a quick and healthy dinner. I'd been marinating a chicken breast in some oil, vinegar, and spices while I'd been working out. I cooked it with some olive oil in a fry pan and added about one stalk of organic kale to the pan about 3/4 of the way through cooking the chicken.

I steamed half of a spaghetti squash in the microwave for about 12 minutes (4 minute increments). After everything was done, I scraped the spaghetti squash into a bowl and added the sauteed kale and chopped up chicken. I'd wanted to use some canned diced tomatoes that some friends had given me, but since I couldn't get the jar open, I went with some organic pasta sauce (not Paleo). It ended up taking me about 15 minutes to cook and about 5 minutes to scarf down.

My favorite part was definitely the kale. I'd never sauteed it before, but will definitely be doing it more in the future. I'd skip the pasta sauce next time though. While it tasted good, I've been having tummy troubles every time I eat pasta sauce lately, which is a big bummer because I love red sauce. I think it's the acid and was hoping to have better luck with plain diced tomatoes. Maybe next time I'll be able to get the jar open! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

On Becoming A Morning Person/Adult

I've been feeling guilty lately about how often I am late for things: WODs, work, church, etc. A friend posted this article from the Huffington Post on Facebook last week and I really felt like it was aimed at me, although I'm sure it wasn't.  Regardless, I knew I was getting out of control with my fashionable lateness. Not to mention, I've always felt like there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything I want to do done.

This past weekend, I hopped out of bed a little earlier than my weekend usual time and used those bits of time (less than an hour each day) to do something productive, like throw laundry in the washer or wash a few dishes. I noticed that it set the tone for the whole day and I ended up feeling really accomplished.

This weekend also brought on Daylight Savings Time, meaning that it is now starting to get dark by the time I leave work. Since the marathon relay that I ran in, I've really wanted to keep up with running a few times a week. I'm not really comfortable running in the dark, so I really can't run during the week unless I plan to go straight from work or in the mornings. But there's not enough hours in the day to plan ahead and pack running clothes or go before work, remember?

All this let me to the conclusion that I need to start getting up earlier. As in, when my alarm goes off the first time and not after a million "snoozes". Yesterday, a friend at work told me about this app that makes you walk around in order to turn it off and doesn't let you hit snooze. I downloaded it right away and couldn't wait to try it this morning.

At 6am, the alarm started ringing. The first time it rang, I was so disoriented that I pulled the phone off its charger and dropped it, which seemed to silence it for a moment. Then the ringing started again, so I started walking the prescribed number of steps to try to shut it off. I realized that I needed to unlock the phone to activate the step counter, or brain wasn't quite all the way on.  Once I did that, the counter counted down my steps for two or three rounds I'm guessing the number of step sets coincided with the number of alarms that went off.  It's going to take a few more days before I truly get the hang of how to turn the alarm off. 

It's also going to take a few more days to get the hang of staying out of bed and not crawling back under the covers because my apartment is cold. Baby steps...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Major Recap

One of my biggest flaws as a blogger is that I fail to blog for long periods of time. It usually starts out as a lack of inspiration, where anything I'd write would feel forced and fake, so I just don't write it. I then fall out of habit, get busy, and forget that I started a blog over the summer that I haven't even gotten around to naming yet (but I think I'm close). I've been in the "busy-out-of-habit" phase for a long time now, but I'm ready to give it another stab. I have a lot of catching up to do.

Going way back to the summer....

Our box had a swim WOD! I wish we did this more often. I bought a few day passes to the local rec center to brush up on my swim skills beforehand. I quickly found out that if I ever want to train for another swimming event (mini-triathalon, anyone?) I'm going to have to find a larger practice space. Training for an 800m swim in a 20m lap pool is just tedious.

Despite my dismal failure at online dating, I found myself becoming better acquainted with the guy in this photo. We're quite happy, thankyouverymuch. He joined CrossFit shortly after we started dating and did the Hotshots19 WOD as his second WOD. He's hooked needless to say, and I love it! Its so great to be with someone who has similar fitness and lifestyle goals as you do. I'm sure he won't be absent from my future posts : )

In early September, two teams from my box participated in a morning-long "Amazing Race" hosted by another local box. We traveled all around the area, completing WODs at every location. Some were team/partner WODs and others were modified individual versions. We made it through Fran, Grace, Diane, Karen, Annie, and 150 burpees each! It was so much fun, even if we were one of the last teams to finish.

In October, four people from my work (including me) ran a marathon relay. It was supposed to be a five person team, but we couldn't fill the fifth spot due to illness and injury in a few of our fellow runners, so we split the five relay legs between the four of us. This meant that I'd be running a little more than 5.5 miles...a much longer distance than anything I'd even attempted since high school cross-country almost 10 years ago.  It felt like such an accomplishment to finish my miles at 8:30/mile and to cross the finish line for my whole team. A few of us even decided to try for the half marathon next year. Stay tuned to see how that goes, haha.

That's all for now, folks! I swear I've been doing more than just CrossFit and running, but I feel like I've been going on long enough for this post.