Running deaf? and Mexican Shepherd’s Pie

I had a great race this morning.  Almost half-way through the first mile, it almost became a terrible race.  I love music.  The only time that I don’t workout with music is when I am with someone else.  Even then sometimes I will have one earbud in, just so I can keep pace.  So back to my race this morning…my iPod died.  I was charging it on the way to the race and when I went to the starting line I thought that it was halfway charged.  Nope.  However, I realized the joy of not running with music.  The race I participated in this morning was a women’s only run.  No matter how you feel about it, I enjoy them.  I love seeing the people cheering on the runners, and since its mostly women, you see husbands/boyfriends/partners cheering on their significant others and children cheering on their moms.  It warms my heart to see people cheering for the women in their lives as they tackle something that could be very difficult for them.  Many women-only racers are “first-time” racers.  The fact that people are out there cheering them on and being positive about their accomplishment is amazing.  Not only that, but complete strangers were cheering me on.  I love that! 

Anyway, I wanted to post some of my favorite running/workout songs (this is only a smattering).  The keys for me when picking songs for my playlist is speed (it is really difficult for me to keep pace when the song is slow…I use slow songs for weight training) and something that I genuinely enjoy listening to while running.  Most of these songs I would not listen to unless I was working out, but that works for me.  Here we go (in no particular order):

– “Sweet Nothing”  Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch

– “Halfway Gone” Lifehouse

– “Where Dem Girls At” Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj (pretty much any Flo Rida song works for me, except the “Whistle” song….I’ll forgive him for that one)

– “Valerie” Steve Winwood (I also enjoy “Call on Me” by Eric Prydz which is a remix of this one)

– “Bon Bon” Pitbull (be aware that this is completely in Spanish and I pretty much love any Pitbull song)

– “We Run the Night” Havana Brown

– “Aeroplane” Red Hot Chili Peppers (of course I have to listen to the Chili Peppers…that funky bass line just makes me happy)

– “All I Want” A Day to Remember (this is actually a really great band out of Ocala)

– “Brother Lee” Citizen Cope (this was the last song that played in my first half marathon…never will forget that)

– “Hurts Like Heaven” Coldplay (Coldplay’s Parachutes album was playing in the period prior to my very first triathlon)

– “The Pretender” Foo Fighters (starts slow but kicks in quick with a distinct drum beat to pace yourself with)

– basically anything from the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack

– “Points of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer” Jay-Z and Linkin Park mashup

– “Blow (remix)” Ke$ha (I would never just listen to this as I was driving around, but the distinctive beat is perfect for pacing)

– “Milkshake” Kelis (only because the milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, so you have to keep the milkshake in shape)

– “Excuse Me Mister” No Doubt

– “Graceland” Paul Simon (this was the turning point in my night run for Ragnar, when I actually started to relax a little bit and not hate myself lol)

– “Bring the Noise” Public Enemy vs. Benny Benassi

– “Bloodclot” Rancid

You get the idea.  Also, you understand why if someone ever steal my iPod they would think I was schizophrenic.  My music love is all over the place.

In food news, I was really working furiously in the kitchen today.  Strawberry harvest season is upon us in Florida and its awesome.  This also means that the Strawberry Festival will be happening soon and who doesn’t love risking their lives on rides that break down easily for transport and watching pig races.  It is a great place to see the locals in their natural habitat.

Anyway, after slicing about 10 pints of strawberries I think I’m set for a while.  Additionally, I did the prep work for my “Mexican Shepherd’s Pie.”  Basically you saute onions, shredded carrots, and bell peppers then add black beans and corn and cook for about 15 minutes so the flavors can mix.  Once that is done you add a freshly chopped tomato and turn off the heat.  Season as you like (I finished it with some homemade seasoning and lime juice).  When you are ready to serve, you make a little guacamole (I just mash half an avocado with lime juice and some salt) and heat the black bean mixture.  Spread the guacamole over the top of the black bean mix and enjoy!  It is so yummy. 

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I’m a Raganarian

Oh boy.  So most of the reason I have been non-existent is because I was training for the hardest event I have participated in to date.  If you are not familiar with the Ragnar Relay series, they are running events that take place between two cities that are usually around 200 miles apart.  I got the itch to try this after I saw Meghann’s posts about Ragnar last year.  It wasn’t until around November-ish that I got serious about it and put my name on the Ragnar board as a runner looking for a team.

The day after offering my name up, I got an email from a team looking for a runner in position 6.  I checked the distance…2.7/7.8/4.1…and decided that was more than achievable and said sure thing!  This is where things get crazy.  Training for an event in which you run three times within 24 hours is certainly untraditional.  There would be days where I ran in the morning, ran at night, and then ran the next morning to get my body prepared for (or at least as much as possible) running 3 times within 24 hours.  What I learned is that, no matter how you train, you will not be ready until you are in the midst of running the event.

January 3rd I made my way down to Miami.  After getting settled into my room I talked with a few of my teammates arranging a time to meet up for dinner and discuss our plan of action.  You see, I didn’t know anyone on my team.  I would be in a vehicle with 5 other people who I have never met before.  We met up for dinner and we all clicked.  It was perfect!  I was the only Floridian, which was a little disconcerting because I knew it was going to be hot and humid the next few days, but no one could back out now.  We agreed to meet up at 8:30am the next morning so that we could drive over to the start point for our 10:30am start and meet up with the 6 members of van 2.

I get up the next morning bright and early and organize my van bag.  Here is what my van bag contained:

– 3 changes of clothes in separate bags (this is so I could grab and go as well as put the dirty clothes back in a bag…and they were certainly gross when I finally pulled them out)

– Garmin Forerunner 305 and USB charger

– iTouch (in case we hit wireless)

– iPod and USB (I soon found out that my iPod is picky and won’t allow itself to charge just anywhere)

– Reflective vest, headlamp, and blinking tail lamp

– 1 credit card and drivers license

– toothbrush, toothpaste, baby wipes, face wipes, sunscreen

– hat

– water bottles

I also brought a bag full of delicious vegan food, a blanket, and a pillow.  All of this proved to be essential.  The one thing that I didn’t pack in my bag that I wish I did was a change of comfy clothes.  After my night run, I slept in the clothes that I just ran 8.8 miles in.  Gross is an understatement.  So let’s get into it shall we!

We had a safety meeting at 10:00am where they basically told us all the rules.  Yes, this does actually have rules, and they are super important.  I guess it didn’t occur to me until I was actually running that I would be on the side of a road.  Our first runner took off at 10:30am and we were immediately in the van for the next exchange.  Basically you would run from one exchange to another where the next runner would meet you and you would give them the “baton” or in our case a slap bracelet.  Since I was the last runner in the van I would hand the bracelet off to the first runner in van 2.  That also meant that I had to wait until everyone in my van ran before I would actually take off.  All of our first runs were within downtown Miami.  My first leg was only supposed to be 2.7 miles.  We began to notice that everyone’s runs were longer than they projected.  I took off from exchange 5 and headed off on the sidewalks of Miami.  It was definitely hot.  The concrete didn’t help, but I felt really good.  I knew it was going to be a fast run.  I had two guys pass me and I passed two people.  Luckily all of the turns were still clearly marked (they tell you to memorize your route because sometimes people will move or redirect the signs…I experienced this in the 2006 Hotter n’ Hell Hundred in Wichita Falls TX).  I saw the announcer (they had someone about 200 meters from the exchange with a radio that would call in the runner’s number so the next runner would be ready).  I sprinted the last little bit and handed off the bracelet.  I checked my Garmin and sure enough I was at 3.1 miles, not the 2.7 that I expected.  But I PR’d it which was really astounding.  There were so many people cheering me on!  It was such an amazing feeling that all of these people who I didn’t know were cheering for me :).  After walking around for a while and cooling down, we all got in the truck and headed off to the next major exchange.  On the way we ended up stopping at an Olive Garden for dinner…at 4:00pm haha.

Ironically, none of us got pasta but instead feasted on salad and soup.  I wanted something fresh so this was perfect.  We headed out from there on to the Homestead Raceway which was the next major exchange.  This would kick off our night runs.  We got there and walked around and talked with a bunch of the other runners.  I also got a massage.  It was glorious.  My legs felt really fresh and prepared for the long night run.  I was not mentally prepared and worked on that while we waited.  I don’t remember what time our first runner took off, but I think it was around 9pm.  The night legs were much different from the first legs.  First of all we drove through the Everglades at night.  It was creepy.  I wasn’t concerned about alligators or snakes, because it was cool enough that they wouldn’t be active.  I was more concerned about wild boars.  Not familiar?  Look them up.  Some of them can weigh 200 lbs.  Scary.  Anyway, I tried to take naps in the car, but that really wasn’t working out well for me.  Finally around 2:30am, it was my turn.  I could receive van support along the route, so I asked my team to stop around 2.5 mile mark and the 4.5 mile mark.  I took off from the exchange and my mind was already playing tricks on me.  Every leaf that fell and every noise I heard set off alarms in my head.  I was running alongside US 1 facing traffic.  A half hour into the run the panic and the running begin to take its toll.  I was mentally drained and really really tired.  I started to think about family, friends, upcoming changes in my life.  Anything to get my mind off of it.  Physically I knew I could do it, I just had to get my mind on board.  I saw my van mates and was so thankful for water.  I took off again and about halfway through the run “Graceland” by Paul Simon came on.  Perfect timing.  That was exactly what I needed to get through.  When I saw my van again, I knew I didn’t have too much further.  I appreciated the water.  My quads felt like lead though, which I can only attribute to all the stopping and starting.  I finally saw the “one mile to go” sign and was so excited.  I really needed sleep.  It was nearing 4am and I was getting delirious.  I finally saw the exchange and handed the bracelet off.  My 7.8 miles turned into 8.8.  Nice.

This exchange was at a school and luckily we planned on staying there and sleeping.  There were showers available, but they were disgusting.  I also didn’t have any clothes to change into.  I ended up folding myself up like a taco on the courtyard of the high school and drifting off to sleep around 4:30am.  I was woken up around 7:30am by someone who was kicking us all out.  I was so groggy and not feeling well at all.  I staggered over to the vehicle and was tired, starving, and dehydrated.  All bad things.  Eating a ton of stuff was not going to fly, so I slowly consumed a protein bar and had a banana waiting for me.  While the rest of my crew went to Ihop for breakfast, I slept in a ball on the backseat.  I had to recover for the 4.1 miles that were ahead of me.  I think in total I got about 5 hours of sleep between the high school and the car.  Around 11:30 I started coming around and feeling much better.

Our first runner took off on her last leg around 12:30.  We were so close!  I think my last leg started around 3:00pm.  I was actually feeling really good.  I knew my pace would be slow, but I knew I could run the whole time and be done!  As I was running, I passed several people.  You could tell the heat and the work was taking a toll on a lot of people.  I came up on a woman who was walking and clearly struggling.  I slowed down and asked her if she wanted me to run with her.  I could really sense that she was struggling and something told me to stop and check on her.  I offered her some water and she told me that she was doing the Jeff Galloway method (really effective and basically a walk/run program).  She was running for 5 minutes and walking for 1 minute.  I was in it with her until we finished!  It worked out well for me also, because I was so busy motivating her, that I couldn’t pay attention to anything else.

It was an awesome feeling to finish and know I was done.  Although I wavered on the night run, I know that there are things I could have done differently to make things better.

So now what…

Just as with every major event that I complete, I am experiencing post-race depression.  Not clinical, but related only to exercise.  I’ve been unmotivated and generally apathetic about exercising.  And I’m feeling it.

To help motivate myself, I’m keeping myself accountable with other people.  I’m posting my intentions and keeping them.  I’m also keeping a health journal, so that I can write about what I’m eating, what I’m doing for workouts and how I’m feeling.  I have Gasparilla weekend at the end of February and I have to be ready for that.  I’m going to try to post more frequently here as well.  Just more accountability and you get more workouts and recipes so its a win/win.

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Gratitude and Awakening

As I have done now for several Thanksgivings, I start it off with a run.  I run without direction and without any type of mileage in mind, but only the goal of reflecting on everything that I have been blessed with and the things that I am thankful for.  Once I feel that I have reflected on everything, my run is over.  I have also added in meditation by a beautiful lake that I can run to and not be around anyone.  With every step, I have the opportunity to reflect over how much gratitude I have.  When I get the opportunity to sit by the lake and enjoy the solitude and the ability to exist in the moment with my spirituality, it is truly amazing.  Its like every year I get the opportunity for an awakening.  I take my iPod with me and make a point to only listen to uplifting and positive songs.  Songs that make me reflect over where I’ve been, where I exist, and where I want to be.  This is my New Year’s Day.  I get the opportunity to express my gratitude, even though it is through thought alone, to all the people and experiences that have touched my life.  In no particular order, here are some opportunities for gratitude that I meditated on today.  I am eternally grateful for my current state of health.  Its not perfect, but I wake up daily and have the opportunity to run and experience the love of fitness.  I do not have daily aches and pains or debilitating injuries that prevent me from performing daily tasks.  I recognize that this is but only a privilege and not a right.  As a friend once told me, “you are only temporarily abled…all it takes is a solitary second for your life to be changed forever.”  I cherish these moments that I get to push my body to its limits and appreciate the gift of health and wellness.  I am eternally grateful for all the soldiers and civilians that I worked with.  I am thankful that some of them trusted me enough to confide in me and allow me and others to help them through experiences that no other person will ever be able to comprehend or understand.  I am grateful for the gift of reaching out to others and being able to lift them up in times of need.  The ability for me to help someone fall asleep on their own for the first time in years…even if it is during the meditation phase of my yoga class and they are snoring J.  I am also grateful for the soldiers that I encountered that taught me humility, respect, honor, and selfless service.  I am thankful for my family.  There have been so many twists and turns…loved ones leaving and earning new extended family.  There are some that I don’t go a day without thinking about, and others that I’m just building relationships with.  I firmly believe that people come into and out of your life exactly when they are supposed to, and this has been the case with my family.  Regardless of the mistakes and bad decisions I have made, they are always there to help me understand where I took the wrong turn and be supportive of me when I take the right turns.  I am thankful for the animals that have shown me unconditional love.  I am thankful for my spirituality.  I am forever grateful that I can share my love of food and cooking with others.  I am thankful that I have friends around me that would do anything for me, as I would in turn for them.  I am so glad that I have people surrounding me that accept me as I am and not judge me for the shortcomings that everyone experiences and has.   I am grateful for all the people that have challenged me and pushed me to go further.  Even if everyone that has entered my life has not been there with good intentions, there is not one situation that didn’t teach me a lesson, provide me with lifelong friendships, or show me a path.  For many of those situations, I could not see the forest for the trees, but that is what this reflection is for.  Reflection = healing.  I’m thankful for the opportunities to cry and experience my emotions and not harbor any ill will.  I am grateful for being able to quiet my mind and deal with the build-up of things in my head.  I am grateful for the ability to go back to school and pursue a career that will allow me to always work towards the betterment of others.  I am so fortunate to experience so many different places and cultures.  I am grateful for all those that opened their homes to me and allowed me to cry, laugh, and experience life with them.  I am grateful for a full pantry, a big heart, and a home of my own.  I am also thankful that I can recognize that all of these opportunities for thankfulness are privileges and not something that everyone gets to experience. 

If you have made it this far, you should understand that this only scratches the surface of my level of gratitude.  One song that I always listen to as I meditate on my run is “Less Like Scars” by Sara Groves.  My favorite lyrics include “Its been a hard year but I’m climbing out of the rubble.  These lessons are hard, healing changes are subtle.  But every day it’s…less like tearing, more like building; less like captive, more like willing; less like breakdown, more like surrender; less like haunting, more like remember…the pain and hurt looks less like scars and more like character.” 

I also want to close this by stating that while I am thankful for all this and more, this does not in any way mean that I feel that I am better than someone or someone that doesn’t experience this sort of thankfulness is less of a person.  Everyone experiences gratitude in different ways and this should not be judged.  I encourage everyone to perform this sort of reflection as often as possible.  It can only do good things for you, and I have found that it makes me appreciate things much more.  It makes me a nicer person and by looking at the utter chaos that I experience in my life, I can also acknowledge that others are experiencing the same if not worse chaos than me.  This encourages me to continue to treat people with respect and be kinder in my interactions with complete strangers.

So whether its on Thanksgiving day, or any other day, reflect on your gratitude.    

Namaste/1 Corinthians 15:10

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Keeping Down the Thanksgiving Fluff

Did you know that the average Thanksgiving day can consist of 3500 calories?  Most of that in one meal.  So how do you keep on track?  How do you incorporate your path of wellness into the never ending buffet that is Thanksgiving?  Here are some opportunities:

1.  Portion control!  You know that you will indulge.  So keep those portions small.  It is also helpful if the food is in a different location than the table.  If you have to get up to get more, you are less likely to do so.

2.  Practice your mindful eating.  Focus on the people (or animals – Bosley will be squarely under the table with me) that you are with.  Also, focus on savoring the wonderful food that is provided.  Take your time instead of wolfing it down.  Most of these foods you only get one time a year, so enjoy them.  That way, after your meal you can continue to enjoy company and not have that heavy bloated feeling.

3.  Don’t forget your workout.  I too will be seeing family that I haven’t seen in a while, but I will still get my workout in.  They understand that I have adpoted a healthy lifestyle and they respect that.  That doesn’t mean that you should plan your 3 hour workout for Thursday.  But you can get something in…a Tabata, interval, quick run.  Also, include your family.  Go for a walk or run together.  Get a quick core session in while the turkey is baking.  Everything can be modified to include people at any place in their wellness journey.

4.  Don’t nibble.  Tasting and nibbling can add many calories on top of the calories you will consume at the actual meal. If you feel yourself getting snack-y, place a bowl of baby carrots or celery on the counter.  Slip these into your mouth instead of taste testing everything else and that will satisfy you until your meal actually begins.

5.  Other than focusing on the big day, remember that your wellness journey won’t be made or broken in one day.  You can’t forget the rest of this week either.  Don’t slack!  Especially this week.  Keep on your routine and don’t neglect your clean eating habits.  Don’t lose your focus.

Here are some quicky workout options.  Do them all or break them up and perform what you can. 

Lower body (2-3 sets):

25 reps squat

1 minute squat jumps (or if you can’t jump, just speed up your squats to get your heart rate up)

25 reps forward lunges on each leg

1 minute jump lunges (same rules apply as above)

25 reps plie squats

1 minute plie squat jumps

Upper body (2-3 sets):

25 push ups

1 minute jump rope

15 pull ups

1 minute jump rope

15 tricep dips

1 minute jump rope

If you want pure cardio, get in an interval run…1 min sprint, 30 sec. jog for 20 or 25 minutes.  You can also do this on an eliptical or stationary bike.  Also, if you are new to running, run for 1 minute and walk for 30 seconds.  Just get it done however you can :).

However you celebrate your Thanksgiving, don’t forget how far you have come, where you want to go, or your goals! 


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99 Problems….

But working out isn’t one.  Did I mention how awesome it is to be back in my workout groove?!  I’m back in it, with my first interval workout tonight since the infamous back injury.  I’m semi-participating in the 30-day challenge at BR, and I say “semi” only because I’m not really sure my back is ready for burpees quite yet.  Oh but it will be soon!  So I’ve been modifying some of the moves and rearranging some of the ab workouts (or cutting them) just to save me some pain.  Anyway, I completed Day 2 today (since it seemed manageable with no burpees!) and a leg workout because a girl has to workout her milkshake!  I rounded it up with a little bit of yoga to stretch all the important muscles, including my back…


Why yes we can Ryan….yes, we can….

So first off we have Day 2 of the 30 day challenge at BR: Sexy Steamy Fitness Workout.

Here’s how that panned out for me (all with an 8lbs Ugi ball)

1. 4x side abs & 4 Side out jump – 5, 5, 5 (sets)

2. Push-up Roll & Plank Knee  to Elbow Abs – 13, 15, 13

3. 4 Tuck Abs, 4 Ski Abs, 4 In & Outs & 8 Mountain Climbs – 3, 3, 2 (started to run out of gas!)

4. Straigh Arm Lift & Criss Cross Jumping Jacks – 27, 27, 26

 I skipped the abs today, because I did the Presidential debate abs game last night and they are talking to me today.  Hooray for becoming a more involved citizen and working on your body at the same time.  Anyway, here is the leg workout that I did after all that.  Tomorrow = DOMS!

No-shake Milkshake WO:  1 minute per exercise x 3 sets

1.  Clock lunges (as demonstrated here)

2.  Alternating lunges

3.  Plie Squats

4.  Pulse lunges

5.  Bridges with stability ball

You could use weights, but I decided not to and it still kicked my tail.  Enjoy your workouts and let me know if you give this one a shot!  I’m always open to feedback!

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Oh Right…I have a blog

Meaning…I have to write in it.  This is precisely the reason that I don’t participate in fun virtual events like Vegan MoFo.  I would love to, but the whole problem with me participating is that I would have to post, like, consistently.  And I just can’t commit.  Anyway, let’s catch up…

About two weeks ago now, I hurt my lower back.  I have racked my brain on what I could have done to injure it, but nothing seemed to really click.  After about a week of having a dull ache in my lower back that wouldn’t go away, I headed to the doc.  An incredibly nice Italian doctor basically told me that it wasn’t a kidney infection and that I needed to dial it back some, take some muscle relaxers and high dose NSAIDs and it would be fine in a few weeks.  And that is partially why there were no posts.  I was mad….and frustrated….sad….and depressed.  He told me that I couldn’t workout, with the exception of walking (*phooey*) and that I would know when I could work out again.  The irrational part of my brain said, “Sweet, I’ll give it a day and then be back on my interval workouts and running!”  The more logical part of my brain said, “maybe this whole rest thing is what you really need.”  Shocking, I know.  This was Tuesday a week ago.  I was supposed to run a 7 mile race on Sunday.  Including a medal….that’s right.  The doctor told me that if I felt like it, I could run it.  After much debate and two days of rest and seeing noticable difference, I decided to not run.  On Friday, I hit up the elliptical and felt the nagging ache in my back, but it was much different.  Finally, I completed a full workout on Sunday, consisting of the elliptical and a tough lower body routine (which I will post later ;)).  I’m happy to say that I am pretty sure that I am 100% now.  I’m trying to be more cautious about my form when lifting and working on strengthening my hamstrings, gluteus medius and minimus, and abdominal group (these are all your “assistor” muscles for your erector spinae AKA your tiny little lower back muscle).

So I’ve been working out regularly (not running or doing plyo yet) for a few days and I’m off the meds! 

If you are planning on watching the debates tonight, instead of a drinking game, why don’t you participate in an AB game!  Here we go:


Pick a candidate (doesn’t matter if you are voting for them or not) and for each of the words/phrases that they say below do the ab exercise associated with it…


If you are drinking to Barack Obama:

Let Me Be Clear – 15 crunches                 

Inherited – 30 sec forearm plank                 

Middle Class – 10 side planks (5 on each side)

Loopholes – 10 roll upsCongress – 25 bicycles                 

Tax Cuts – 25 Russian twists (with weight if you can)

Medicare – 5 plank ups

Sanctions – 15 reverse crunches                 

Nuclear – 100s               

Clinton – 10 situps

If you are drinking to Mitt Romney:

Unemployment – 15 crunches                 

ObamaCare – 30 sec forearm plank

Small Business – 10 side planks (5 per side)                 

Freedom – 10 roll ups                 

Israel – 25 bicycles                 

Spending – 25 Russian twists

Candy (as in Crowley) – 5 plank ups                 

China – 15 reverse crunches                 

Benghazi – 100s               

Reagan – 10 situps

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Interval mania

I have no food pictures for you.  I am ashamed.  But!  I am hoping to have some awesome one’s from the Food and Wine Festival on Sunday.  Yes, food and wine.  I will have a glowing review of the *brand new* vegan kiosk and all of its delicious (hopefully!) vegan glory.  There will also be wine…lots of wine.  They better have that awesome Pinotage from previous years. 

As a side note, I feel that there are changes in the air.  Some really heavy and not so heavy things have been happening to a lot of people that are close to me.  Not sure what that means for me.  I can embrace change though, so we’ll see what happens.  Nutrition class is awesome!  Organic chemistry not so awesome.  Why is chemistry such a cruel subject? 

Anyway, on to the workout, since that is what most of you are here for anyway…

I did two interval workouts and one ab workout…

First I did the up here:  12 Minute Real Time 

– There are three other warmups/workouts on that page that are great for intermediates and beginners.  I definitely recommend that as a go to for warmups or just quick workouts.

Then I mixed it up with abdominals.  Set an interval timer to 30 seconds work/10 seconds rest 21 rounds (!)

1.  Regular crunches

2.  Bicycles

3.  Straight leg lifts

4.  Hip lifts

5.  Roll up with weight (I used my 25 lbs sandbag…make sure that you can handle the weight, because this one can really do a number on your back if your form is wrong)

6.  Crunch pulses with dumbbell (hold the dumbbell directly over your body and contract your abs, crunching with little pulses)

7.  Plank (forearm or straight arm, doesn’t matter)

Finally, I ended up with this doosy:

Cardi-hoe burnout

I rolled with 10lb dumbbells for both the chest press and shoulder press.  Remember the reps are until exhaustion so you don’t want a super high weight.  Honestly, I should have probably dropped the weight down for the shoulder press, but oh well.

So enjoy these workouts in whatever order you like 🙂

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I really want more…leg workouts ;)

I had this entire post written yesterday and somehow WordPress ate it.  Oh well, clearly I needed to revamp it.  The good news is that I splurged on a new camera.  The bad news is that I haven’t used it yet.  I really haven’t had anything spectacular.  There was sushi the other night, but really tonight was nothing to write home about.  I did get to watch the Colbert Report and The Daily Show, where Jon Stewart made me spit my water everywhere.  That’s why he is my plutonic boyfriend…he makes me laugh.

Anyway, I was super tired and sore today, so I took an impromptu rest day.  I am posting yesterday’s workout though, because my legs are still screaming today.  It was awesome.  Definitely went into the workout notebook.

Give Me More Leg Workout:


1.  This is meant to be for people that are working out regularly.  If you are a beginner make sure that you understand the form and I would go through it just once, or cut down on the reps. 

2.  As with any exercise program, check with your doc first if you are starting something new.

3.  I am putting my weights in the workout, but remember to work with something that you can complete all the reps and exercises without hurting yourself.

4.  You have to get in a good warmup before this one.  I ran 4 miles…I would suggest at least 30 minutes of cardio.

3 x 15-20 reps

– Static Lunges – I went with 25 lbs dumbbells; 20 on each leg

– Squats – Stuck with the 25 lbs dumbbells

– Step ups – make sure you are using a sturdy surface; I went with 10 lbs dumbbells, but you could do this one without any weight

– Dead Lift – My favorite….30 lbs; remember if you feel this in your lower back then you need to check your form

– Walking Lunges – 20 total

– Side lying hip raises – no weight here; 20 per side

– Plie squats/Sumo Squats – 1 30 lbs dumbbell

This workout is brought to you by Usher and his song “More” because you really need something to distract you while your legs slowly die.

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And Nine Months Later…

We have another blog post.  Not a baby, if that’s what you were thinking.  The past few months have been incredibly interesting.  Here’s a recap to get you up to date:

1.  Still pursuing Dietetics and it is just as awesome as I had anticipated.  I’m currently sludging through the depths of Organic Chemistry while at the same time loving each and every minute of my Principles of Nutrition course.  The key to success in school is take one class you hate for every class you love.  I have changed directions and will be entering the actual “program” part and not the pre-req part of the degree in June. 

2.  My mom is moving back from Germany.  This is great!  But part of me is sad that I won’t get a wonderful box of German delights every so often.  I am putting together an email of items I can’t get here so that I will be stocked up.  There are few things that can’t be cured by Blood Orange tea.

3.  I finished P90x 2 this summer.  The verdict:  eh.  I was super disappointed with the amount of cardio.  Yes, the strength workouts were designed to have cardio interlaced with them, but that is not enough for me.  On the positive side, I enjoyed the strength training and the balance work that was involved in most of the workouts.  My results were lackluster….I definitely got more bicep definition but other than that nothing.  Take it for what its worth.  In comparing it with P90x, the workouts are shorter and I liked it better, but still wasn’t thrilled with the end results.

4.  I’m back with my “boyfriend” running.  We always break up over the summer, but now we are back together and the relationship is flourishing.  I’m doing about one race even a month and shaved two minutes off of my time from August to September.  Don’t be too thrilled, because it was mostly just getting me back to my normal time.  I basically went from slow to not-as-slow.  Either way, I’m doing my first long run of the season next month and getting prepped for the 7 miler.  I really have Gasparilla again on my radar and potentially thinking about the Cooper River Bridge run in Charleston.  Its a 10K with about an 8% grade. 

5.  I found out that my thesis is on sale at various online bookstores.  It ranges from $75-100 and I was shocked quite frankly.  I sometimes still wonder how I ever finished that whole thing.  One of the best accomplishments of my life.

6.  FOOTBALL IS BACK!  I love football season.  For Florida, it means that the weather will be changing to a crisp 75 degrees until January.  It also means that I am a little bit more stressed every Saturday.  Its tough to be a Gamecock fan. 

7.  I haven’t been cooking as much as I would like, but I’m getting back into it.  I hope to have some pictures up along with some of my recipes.

8.  I’m working out more than ever….and love it!  My weeks are generally structured around running, interval training, and strength training.  I throw in yoga every now and then to maintain my flexiblity and try and avoid injury.

9.  Food and Wine Fest is almost here and….the have a vegan kiosk this year!!!!  I am so excited!  At least I will not have to bring Cliff bars to eat so that I won’t get completely drunk.  I will definitely get a gift certificate this year so that I don’t overspend.

I think that pretty much gets you up to speed.  Although I’ve said this before, I am going to start posting regularly again, so check back!


There is your motivation for today.  Get your workout done!  I’ll post later because I have a good friend coming by to make me dinner and I get to meet his partner!  Also, I will workout somewhere in there.

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Celebrate and Elevate

This is my year to celebrate and elevate!  I whole heartedly believe that there is something that we can celebrate each day.  Even being able to wake up, having a job, food in the kitchen, people that care about me…there is so much to celebrate!  But in addition to this, there is a definite need to elevate…everyday there is an opportunity to elevate someone else.  As a personal trainer, it is so important to be able to influence someone into believing that they can do more than they think they can.  I think this is a quality we should all instill in each other.  I love how great it is to celebrate with others as they are elevated by either something they accomplished or something that they have overcome.

I have a close friend who continues to inspire me.  She was in a terrible car accident years ago and was told that she would never walk again.  She made it her mission to walk again, and yesterday completed one of the many half marathons that she signs up for each year.  She is a phenomenon!

There is also Healthy Ashley who had a terrible bike accident late last year that left her with a shattered pelvis and ultimately the addition of screw in her pelvis.  She today completed her first marathon post-pelvis shatter – four months ago!

I feel so blessed to wake up every day and feel healthy and strong, and even sore sometimes.  It reminds me of why I make the choices that I make!

So as you go through each day, take the time to notice when someone is making a step in the right direction or towards their goals and give them a compliment!  It means the world to them and really can keep them going on the right path.

So today I elevated all of my friends that participated in the Disney Marathon weekend.  Whether you finished last or had a personal record, you got out there and did it!  Congrats to all the runners/walkers!

For my celebration this month, I’m continuing to celebrate my veganism.  When I first went vegan, many people who were swimming in negativism told me that this was just a phase and it would never last.  Here we are 6 years later and I’m loving my life!  Initially, I became vegan for the health benefits.  And boy did I get some benefits!  I have more energy, sleep better, have less digestive issues, have better skin, and my internal numbers have never been better.  I go ever January for my physical and actually look forward to what the numbers reflect.  I’ve expanded my vegan horizons greatly and now have more vegan culinary skills than ever before.

I am proud to be in the ranks of other vegans that have taken the step forward to a plant based diet.  I can attest to the differences it has made in my life, but please remember that you have to make the decision for yourself what style of eating is for you.  If you want more information on veganism, please feel free to leave a comment or message me!

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