Friday Inspiration



This was the quote of the day on Oakley’s Perform Beautifully Collective ( website. It’s the first time I looked at the site and it’s really inspirational to see so many women doing amazing things.

I love this quote, but it’s a little scary to think about and actually put into practice. This is a good way to look at it though. You can’t push your limits without some risk.

Anyways…Happy Friday! We made it through the week!

It took me a little longer to make it to the gym this morning so I only got in a quick leg workout.

Front Squats: I haven’t done these in a awhile so I wasn’t sure how they would go. I think I did pretty good.

10 rep warm-up at 45 lbs

2x 10 rep at 85 lbs

10 rep at 95 lbs

Single Leg Lunge on Bench with a 25 lb plate superset with Abs

3 sets of 10 reps each leg

Lying Leg Curl Pyramid: Start with 14 reps at an average weight then increase weight by 10 lbs and decrease reps by 2 and repeat until you get to 2 reps

leg curl pyramid

Then I did 28 minutes of intervals on the elliptical while watching Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo. Quality show to start off my morning Smile

Since it’s Friday and we’re pretty much out of all breakfast food at home I decided to check out the Protein Bar on my way to work for breakfast. It opened a few weeks ago right next to my gym. I’ve tried their quinoa chili in Downtown Chicago once and enjoyed it so I thought I’d give breakfast a shot. I don’t think it can become a regular thing because my quinoa oatmeal was $4.30.


It was different…but good different. I had bananas mixed in but I think strawberries or blueberries would be even better. They also ask what kind of protein you would like (I chose Whey) and what kind of milk (I chose skim). All good things.




Has anyone else been using hand sanitizer like crazy after watching the news or listening to the radio this morning? The main topic of the day is the flu epidemic sweeping the country. I got a flu shot this year but I still get nervous. Having the flu is the worst.

I’ve been meaning to post this workout since I did it on New Year’s eve but I’m just getting around to it (baby steps towards my 2013 blog goal…). I had to work on the morning of New Year’s eve and wanted to get a quick workout in before we had people over that night. I decided to check out the WOD on and found “Loredo”.


It was tough! It took me 33:52.7. I thought that was really slow but when I looked at the times posted on the website it was right around average. I do think I would’ve gone a little faster if I ran the 400’s outside. I probably put the treadmill on a slower speed than I could’ve run a few times.


Even a few rounds of this workout would be killer. My legs felt like jell-o afterwards!

This morning I lifted triceps and biceps with some abs mixed into the supersets. Then afterwards I did 25 minutes of intervals on the stairs.


Tomorrow’s Friday!  Doing anything fun this weekend?

Back to the Grind

Happy (delayed) New Years! Today marked the first day of normal at work since the holidays. It’s good to get back in to the swing of things, but I won’t complain about the shortened days and laid back atmosphere the last few weeks!

This morning I got myself out of bed at 5:30 am and headed to the gym for a leg workout. Because of the holidays I feel like my workouts have been all over the place so it was nice to start a routine for this week again.

When I headed over to do some cardio ALL of the Stairmasters and ellipticals were being used (at 7 in the morning!) A lot of determined people at the gym. So I jumped on the treadmill and improvised an incline walk/sprint workout.

15 min incline

It was pretty short but after doing deadlifts, leg press, and lunges my legs felt pretty heavy.

Random Thoughts from the weekend:

-It snowed a little bit but not enough to stick and it is all gone today.  How is it January 7th and there is still no snow on the ground??

-I need a new book to read…any suggestions?

-HOCKEY IS BACK! And it’s just in time, The Bears aren’t in the playoffs so I need something to watch again.


-I’m still not good at bowling.  In 2 games I didn’t get one strike. Sad.

Now off to watch the BCS game/The Bachelor.  Roll Irish?

Moving into 2013

Hope you had a great holiday weekend with your families!  Despite having to work until 2 on Christmas Eve, I had a great, family filled 2 days.  We went to my parent’s house on Christmas eve, my grandpa’s house for Christmas morning, and Adam’s parent’s house to round out our Christmas celebrations.  There were 15 people at Adam’s parent’s house…craziness.  Coming from a smaller family I tend to sit and take in the chaos around me, rather than participate in it. 

Since I just started blogging (occasionally) this year I didn’t have any written down goals for 2012, so instead I thought I would do a recap: 


-Chase Corporate Challenge

-The Color Run


-Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon


-Turkey Trot

-Ugly Sweater 5k


(Please note the mustache..)

I think that’s it?

Tried and LOVED CrossFit – I wish I could go back because the gym just isn’t the same after doing crossfit for a month.  I do have a groupon for 2 weeks at another box that I haven’t used yet.  I almost feel like I’ll be cheating on the original box I went to though.  Maybe after the new year I’ll use it to avoid the resolution crowd at the gym (side note:  It’s awesome that so many people sign up for the gym and start going more after January 1 but I hate how crowded it gets for about 3 weeks.  At least if they stayed with their goals and continued going to the gym all year I would know what to expect. End rant.)

I Continued Lifting heavier than I used to– I love being stronger than I used to be.  It’s amazing, I weigh the most I ever have but I feel the best and am more confident than I used to be. 


Crossfit – I know I’ll use my 2 week Groupon in January sometime, but I wish I could continue.  It’s a very expensive sport that I don’t know if I can justify paying $150 a month for.  If anything I know I will continue to read the website every day and throw a WOD into my routine every once and awhile. 

Tough Mudder – I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to sign up for the Chicago Tough Mudder in May.  I haven’t been running as much because I don’t have a race to train for.  I think if I don’t sign up for the Tough Mudder I’ll definitely be doing the Urbanathalon again in the fall.  Obstacle races are so much fun and you don’t feel like you’re running the 10 miles because of the obstacles thrown in between.

Consistent Blogging – I want to continue to grow my blog and write on a more consistent basis.  It’s fun and even though not many people read it (yet…) hopefully I can help someone along the way.  The last week I’ve been working out before work, it’s nice being able to go straight home at the end of the work day and I have more time at night.  Hopefully this will give me more time to write great things. 

Handstands – This is completely random but I would love to be able to do a handstand.  I don’t really know where to start but we’ll see if it happens.  Practice makes perfect right?

What are your 2013 goals?

Monday thoughts

1.       We had our company Christmas party downtown Chicago tonight.  It was a lot of fun…also a good time watching your bosses break it down on the dance floor.   After the party I went to Second City with Adam and some friends.  It was really funny!  It’s amazing how many SNL actors started at Second City.

2.       I chopped off 5 inches (!) of my hair last week.  Is it weird that one of the first things I do is check to see what it looks like in a ponytail?  Now that I actually write it down…it seems a little strange. Oh well. 


3.       My birthday is today! And I have a dentist appt…who does that? 

4.       Thanks to Best Body Boot Camp…I have a new love for Tabata workouts.  For some reason I’ve always been nervous about doing them at the gym.  But I downloaded a Tabata timer (A HIIT Interval) and stuck my headphones in and went for it.  It was fun, went by quickly, and was an awesome workout!  I’m sure at some points I looked ridiculous flopping around on the stability ball but I can’t wait to do the 2 workouts again and create some of my own Tabata workouts too! I’ll keep you posted on good ones.

5.       Two Words: New Shoes.  I haven’t ran in them yet…but I’m excited to start breaking them in!


6.       Last week I woke up early and did an Insanity workout before work.  It felt good…I wonder if I’ll be able to get up every morning that early? It was nice to get my workout in before work. 

7.       It needs to snow…I’m sick of rain.  It’s December 10th!  If we don’t get snow today Chicago will break the record for most consecutive days without snow…280 days without snow.

Have a great Monday!

Holiday Cheer and Paleo update!

Holiday season is in full swing! We don’t have a tree yet but I did put up our Christmas decorations last weekend.  Since this is only our second Christmas in the house I don’t have a ton of decorations but I figure if I add a little bit every year I’ll eventually have more than I know what to do with.  Last year my mom gave me a box of her unused Christmas decorations…some of which are useful…but only some…

At work today my coworkers and I were talking about how it gets harder to get to the gym around the holidays.  There are a lot of different events planned and errands to run after work.  I find it best to schedule my workouts for the week ahead of time so that I know I will have time. Our company Christmas party is this Friday after work.  I’m going to do my best to make it to the gym before work to at least get a short workout in.  I’ll feel much better about indulging in a few cocktails at the party that way.  If there is too much going on in one week I also try to prioritize, sometimes a good sweat session is much more satisfying than drinks after work!

So…in my last post I said that maybe I would try eating paleo.  While I haven’t been eating every part of my meals paleo, for the last three days I ate paleo for lunch and dinner.  Of course I forgot to take pictures, but I made the following:

Lunch – On Sunday night I made a skillet sweet potato, sausage, and spinach hash for lunches for the week.  At work I quickly cook up an egg in the microwave and put it on top.  It’s so good and keeps me full for most of the afternoon!

Dinner –   On Monday night I made a chicken, lemon, and artichoke dish from Practical Paleo.  I think I used a little too much butter but it was delicious.  I saved the leftover artichokes with onion, lemon, and capers to make an egg scramble for breakfast too! Always love when I can use a meal for more than one meal 🙂

On Tuesday I made Practical Paleo’s stuffed peppers with ground turkey.  Highly recommended!

Last night was some seasoned chicken breast with green beans. (A weekly dinner staple)

I found it very helpful that I planned our meals for the week on Sunday before we went grocery shopping. Then when I get home from the gym…I don’t have much to think about.

Hope your holidays are off to a great start!  Do you have any tips for making it to the gym around this time of year? 

Some thoughts on Paleo

It seems like the word paleo is becoming more and more popular.  It’s always intrigued me but I have never really seen it as a possibility.  Paleo has always seemd like a lot of work and preparation. But ever since I tried crossfit I’ve wanted to actually try eating paleo for at least a week (or maybe a few days).

The last few weeks I’ve made Skillet Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Hash for lunches.  It was easy and by making it on Sunday night I was able to eat it for lunch until Thursday.  I have one meal down so all I need to do is focus on is breakfast and dinner.  I think I’ll be able to do it…but since next week is Thanksgiving I’m going to make it my goal for the following week.  It’ll be perfect for one of my goals for Best Body Boot Camp!  Eating Paleo for a week will also make me plan meals before going grocery shopping..which I’m usually not very good at.

Have you tried the paleo diet? If you have a favorite recipe or paleo website let me know! I’m a little excited to go on this adventure for a week, who knows maybe it will last longer.

Wednesday Workout

Bicep/Tricep workout – I did Cleans on Sunday and my wrists were a little sore when I was doing any bicep movement.  Hopefully it’s just sore and nothing that will last a long time.

Row 1,000 m – rowing is not easy!  I try to jump onto the row machine at the gym every once and awhile though because it is an excellent workout!

Stairmaster – 30 min