Friday…Weddings, Best Friends, and Boot Weather!

It’s finally Friday! But…it’s only 11 am, which means I still have 6 more hours in my cubicle before the weekend begins. Things to look forward to this weekend:

-We have one of my coworker’s weddings tomorrow. It should be a good time…especially with an open bar all of my coworkers 🙂

-My best friend will be in Wheaton for the afternoon on Sunday! Even though she only lives downtown it’s sometimes hard to get our schedules to sync so it’ll be good to see her.

I’m planning on waking up early tomorrow morning to get in a workout before the wedding. I also have to make a trip to the DMV to get a new sticker for my license plate. Oh boy. Then it’s time to get all pretty 🙂 One of my favorite parts about a wedding is getting all dressed up…I even bought a new dress for this one! What’s your favorite part?

On another note, I’m secretly happy it’s still in the 40’s in Chicago today because that means it’s still boot weather. I have a slight obsession with boots.

image

Sweater: TJMaxx about 10 years ago (yes, I’ve had this since middle school)

Tank Top: Target

Jeans: Express

Boots: Aldo

Necklace and Bracelet: From my amazing boyfriend for the last two Christmas’ 🙂

Advertisements

Frozen Yogurt: Turning Frowns Upside Down

Well I’ve been mourning the Blackhawks loss on Monday night. I don’t know what to do without hockey games to look forward to. Sad day. At least the off season is short and hockey season will be back before we know it!

But…my week quickly got better when I found this on my car after my workout 🙂

image

And then got to enjoy this after dinner on Tuesday.

image

Best concept ever. Frozen yogurt, you control your portion size, and you get to put anything on it that you want. I chose peanut butter frozen yogurt with some granola, cookie dough, and an assortment of berries. Delicious.

I’m ready for this week to be over and the weather to start getting nicer. I have my own yard for the first time and I’m ready to meet gardening head on (I think).

image

Workouts

Monday:

Lifted chest, ran 2 miles, Elitical Intervals for 30 minutes

Tuesday:

Lifted legs and 20 min on the StairMaster

Wednesday:

Lifted Biceps and Triceps, ran a mile at 8:30 pace, Ellitipcal for 35 minutes

I haven’t been running as much on the treadmill because training for my half marathon starts on Monday. I know I will be spending more than enough time on the treadmill starting then!

Bored at the Gym??

On Friday when I was working out one of my lifting friends (aka one of the older men who occasionally engages in conversation with me) asked me “Do you ever get bored of this?”  I was confused at first because I love working out.  A lot of times working out is my escape from everything else happening in my life. I thought about it more during my workout and I could see how some people would get bored of working out.  A lot of the guys at the gym seem to do the exact same thing every day…upper body…and a lot of it. 

I try my best to change things up…keep things interesting. 

I put together some tips that I use to not get bored with working out everyday.  They might not work for everyone but hopefully someone will find them useful 🙂

Change up the order of your routine: Instead of lifting chest/back one day and biceps/triceps another day, I’ll do chest and biceps or triceps and hamstrings.  It’s not a huge change but it’s enough to be doing something different. 

 
Cardio Intervals: Instead of running for 4 miles at a steady pace or busting it out on the elliptical for 45 minutes try turning your cardio into intervals.  I posted an awesome interval run here.  If you’re more of an elliptical or bike type it can be adapted for those too!  If you’re on Pinterest I’ve found a lot of really good interval workouts on there.

Circuit Training:  When lifting I always try to turn my workout into short circuits.  I’ll usually do two lifts focusing on a specific body part then throw in an ab workout and a quick cardio move.  An example:

Back Circuit Workout           
               
Single Arm Bent Over Row        10 reps each arm       
               
Dumbbell Pullover       12 reps
               
Mountain Climber        45 seconds     
               
Plank   60 seconds     
               
Repeat 3 times!        
               
 

Try new equipment/new lifts: Venturing to a new machine in the gym can be scary.  Even with the pictures on the machine it’s sometimes impossible to figure out what you’re suppose to do and if you are doing it correctly.  But if you don’t try it out you’ll never know if it’s the perfect machine for you or not.  I downloaded two apps on my phone that I’ve found very useful when I want to find a new lift to target a specific area: Bodybuilding.com and Jefit.  Both apps have excercises sorted by specific body part, along with pictures and videos to help you out.  Instead of doing the same exact routine I like opening up one of these apps and finding a new lift to throw in there. 

Try a new fitness class or workout dvd: If you’re a member at a gym there are always classes going on.  Give one a try, it’ll definitely be different than your normal routine.  Or instead of doing your normal cardio, throw in a workout dvd.  I’ve never actually done the entire Insanity program but if I don’t feel like doing a normal cardio workout I’ll do one of the DVD’s every once and awhile.  No matter which DVD I choose I’m always drenched in sweat by the end of it.  I always feel accomplished by the end of the DVD as well (sometimes throw in a little “Screw You Jillian…I CAN do it). 

Find a workout buddy:  This is one thing I wish I could do.  With most of my friends living downtown (or farther) it’s hard to find someone to workout with on a regular basis.  Not only is it a good motivator but a workout buddy gives you someone to talk to or laugh with if things get boring.  I have combined a workout buddy with a new fitness class before.  Grab some friends and try out the new gym down the street or the yoga studio that you’ve always wanted to try.  It turns into a fun night out and you get a good workout! 

New Playlist:  I don’t know about you but I get bored of hearing the same music on my iPod after awhile and find myself hitting the next song button more than actually listening to the songs.  Make a new playlist.  Everytime a new song comes on it’ll put an extra pep in your step and keep you going (and maybe get you to bust a little move in between sets)

Some of my new favorites:

Call Me Maybe- Carly Rae Jepson

Boyfriend- Justin Bieber (Yeah…I know…)

Wild Ones- Flo Rida

Birthday Cake- Rihanna

Work Out- J Cole

Personal Trainer:  This tip isn’t for everyone.  Getting a personal trainer can be expensive and not in everyone’s budget BUT if you can fit it in I would recommend it.  Even if it’s just for a few sessions, a personal trainer can help give you some new ideas and tips. A lot of gyms offer a free session with your membership, it would probably be worth it to give it a try and see if she/he can help give your workout a boost.   

Read Blogs:  Sometimes the best way to find new workouts and get tips are from real people.  Read some fitness blogs and see what other people are doing to stay in shape. 

Workouts
Friday: Lifted Legs and 35 minutes on the StairMaster
Saturday: Day Off!  (Although I cleaned the entire house and my arms were sore from scrubbing the kitchen floor!)
Sunday: Lifted Back and Shoulders

 

P.S. Go HAWWWWKKKSSS 🙂

Hash Runs? Drinking and Running…I’m in!

I was with my roommate from college last weekend (who I’ve gotten to see twice in a month…very exciting!) and she mentioned a new running group her and one of her friends recently discovered.  They meet once a week to do a Hash Run.  I texted another one of my running friends and asked him if he had ever done a Hash run.  I quickly discovered that this could sound very different (and possibly illegal) if you don’t actually know what it is. 

What I can gather from the information I received from her and from google…you run, while following a path two runners have left, and stop to drink along the way.  My roommate said you don’t even realize your running as far as you are. The name “Hash” comes from the Hash House Harriers. Check this out to read more. According to Wikipedia it goes all the way back to 1938.   

Since the Quad Cities are too far for me to travel for a weekly run/drink, I tried to find some Hash Runs around me. Chicago has a group called the Chicago Hash House Harriers.  It looks like a lot of fun but I’m wondering if there are some unknown rules for “hashing.” Can you just show up?  I also found a website that lists all of the kennels (group of hashers) in a certain area. (http://www.gotothehash.net/) There are hashers all over the world! Why haven’t I heard about this before??

Has anyone participated in one of these?  Can you just show up and join in on the fun?  Anyone in Chicago want to do one with me??

 Workouts

Tuesday: 40 minute interval run (Posted Here)

Wednesday: (I was suppose to go back to HealthSource for my second appointment/massage but because the first one didn’t go as well I had hoped I decided a good workout would be much more beneficial)

Lifted: Biceps/Triceps and 35 minutes on the StairMaster 

Onion tears.

Cutting onions are the worst! Not only do tears stream down my face but they sting/burn like crazy.

image

If you look closely you can see my mascara running down my face

I found this article on howstuffworks.com about the chemicals that are released when an onion is cut. If you’re really interested you should read the article, they do a much better job describing it then I would. The article does have a few tips for reducing the tears when cutting onions:

-Chop an onion beneath running water.
-Turn on a fan while cutting an onion to scatter the sulfur compounds.
-Chill or cook an onion before chopping it.
-Use an onion chopping container
-Wear goggles or glasses to protect your eyes.

image

I have used the last tip a few times. Sunglasses or ski goggles are perfect for protecting your eyes… and it’s very stylish! Also, I find that using my Pampered Chef Food Chopper works wonders.

Cutting the onions was worth it because they added to the wonderful Chicken Stir Fry I created for dinner.

image

I cooked some brown rice for the side then stir fried some chicken breast, red peppers and onions with a little bit of soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Delicious.

My legs are so sore.

Yesterday at the gym I decided to bust out a plyometric jumping workout that I haven’t done in a while.  My hamstrings and butt are so sore today.  But it feels so good.  All you need is an aerobic step and 20 risers.

Different size boxes would work too!

Below is the workout!  If the risers are too high (or too low) just put the step on less (or more) risers.  Just a warning…I did fall once yesterday.  It was embarrassing and everyone in the gym did stop what they’re doing and stare.  My tip if you fall…just pretend it never happened 🙂 

But seriously…please be careful! 


                                                            

P.S. If you like it make sure you   !         

Today after I lifted chest and back I came home and did Insanity….Max Interval Circuit.  Sean T really knows how to beat you up! I hate it while it’s happening but if feels so good when you’re done.  I’ve never actually done the full Insanity program but I like having the DVD set so I can do one of the workouts to change it up my routine a little bit. 

Does anyone else do this? What’s your favorite DVD to do if you are just doing it for a good workout?   

Workouts

Sunday: Plyo workout above and a ladder sequence from my volleyball days

Monday: Lift Back and Chest then  Insanity: Max Interval Circuit

Chiropractor Visit!

On Monday when I went to the gym a representative from HealthSource was there signing up members for a free chiropractic analysis and massage.  Give me a free massage and I’m there!  I also thought it would be interesting to hear what a chiropractor has to say. 

A quick picture while I was waiting to capture my office visit

I’ve never really considered going to a chiropractor on a regular basis.  I mostly wanted to hear what she would have to say about my knees/IT bands.  Playing volleyball for most of my life has been pretty hard on my knees (And I’m sure all the running doesn’t help much either).  Senior year of college I strained my MCL and ever since my knee hasn’t really been the same. 

Sweet Knee Brace!

Since it was a free appointment and I don’t have any major problems the appointment only lasted about a half an hour and didn’t really give me any insight on what I could do to ease the pain, besides coming back once a month for appointments.  I’m hoping when I go back next week for my massage I’ll learn a few stretching techniques that might help. 

One thing the chiropractor did share with me was the power of the foam roller.  I try to foam roll my IT bands after long runs and have used it on my shoulders and back on various occasions.  If you don’t foam roll I would HIGHLY recommend it!   One thing she mentioned that I have never tried is to foam roll my inner thighs/knees.  I’m going to try it on a regular basis for a while and see what happens!  We’ll see. 

I’ll report back next week after my massage and see if I get any more tips.

Workouts

Monday: Lift back and shoulders, 30 minute intervals on elliptical

Tuesday: 5 mile treadmill run at 9 min pace

Wednesday: Rest Day