psyched

Hello!  How was everyone’s Tuesday?  I was pretty psyched that it was forecasted to be 80 degrees and sunny in the Boston area.  I was up and ready to go so early today!  Having my lunch packed the night before and a fun math lesson to do with my fifth graders did wonders for my motivation to get out of bed today.

After school I came home, did some blogging, cleaned up the house and waited for Ali to stop in so we could head to Avalon Crossfit Bootcamp at 5:30.  I have been taking Marc’s bootcamp class for a while now and really do enjoy the format and his instructing style.

Today we got to go outside to enjoy the weather (with everyone else in Charlestown 😉 ).  I have begun to realize that a lot of the outdoor WOD/classes are going to involve running, which I am OK with for the most part.  I am not very fast but hopefully that can be something that comes with more 400m runs.

Today my legs were extremely tired: my calves are tight and my hamstrings burn when I walk up the stairs.  After class today I decided that I need to put anymore Crossfit classes on hold until after the race Sunday.  No sense in pushing through to get in a workout, over-doing it can lead to injury.  Part of it is definitely because this weekend I ran twice (4.5 miles Saturday and 5 miles Sunday).

Bootcamp Warm-Up

  • 0-25 yard line: walking lunges, high knees, butt-kickers
  • 3 rounds: 25 jumping jacks, 15 air squats (yeee-ouch!), 5 inch worms

Bootcamp WOD (Crossfit Benchmark workout modified to work outside)

AMRAP in 20 minutes: I did 5 full rounds and a 6th round with the running and ledge jumps

  • 400m run
  • 10 ledge jumps
  • as many chest to ground push ups as possible without stopping (I usually did 10-15)
It was a really good workout but I couldn’t wait to get home to eat.  I didn’t have a chance to have my pre-workout Clif bar today and I could feel it when I was working out!
Dinner tonight started with a half glass of Riesling that I had to drink before it went bad 😉 *wink* and a salad.
Main course is Barilla pasta (it cooks in 45 seconds and is so much better than dry pasta) and a couple pieces of Pepperidge Farms frozen mozerella garlic bread.
On tap for tonight is the Glee season finale and bed.
The weekend can’t get here soon enough!
~L

Beat dat Beat: a no fail way to make a great playlist

They always say not to try anything new on race day, and while I know they are talking about wearing a new pair of sneakers or eating a new food, I am going to extend that into trying out a brand new playlist.  Now, I know what you are thinking: massive, bloody blisters and pooping your pants are pretty severe consequences compared to simply not liking a song- and I totally agree.  But if music motivates you to run, keeps you going, and pumps you up the way it does me then having a carefully built playlist will make any run seem more enjoyable and add to your racing experience.

Here are my tips to making a killer race-day playlist:

1) Consider why you are running.

  • I think it is most important to think about what you are running for.  My playlists on a “regular” run vary from slower paced music like John Mayer to music with a faster pace like anything Black-Eyed Peas.  If I want to run slow I listen to slower music, if I want to pick it up I listen to faster music.  I usually am not running to beat/create a PR or to win so I let my playlist take on the natural progression of a run: start off slow, build up power, then cool down.  The website JogTunes is an awesome resource to find the BPM (beats per minute) of songs.  You can use it to taylor a playlist to whatever you want your pace to be.

2) Scope out some new music on the radio.

  • When I listen to the radio I usually am listening for new (or new to me) songs that could be potential candidates.  Often times I find that hip-hop and rock songs have a great beat to them and I can imagine my feet moving with it.  Usually I end up You-Tubing the entire song and deciding if it is worth putting on a playlist.
3) Ask for suggestions.
  • Asking other runners for playlist music is a great idea.  One thing you may find, however is that their taste in running music doesn’t suit yours.  I always accept song suggestions or CD playlists and give them a try.  My friend Amy had once given me a playlist that included The Kings of Leon who I don’t really care for, but they ended up being a great running band!
4) Put the songs in an order that build up your pace gradually and carries you through the end of your run.
  • When racing you need to hold yourself back from going all out at the beginning.  Slow and steady wins the race!  Choosing music that will keep you moving at a slower pace is one way to help prevent you from the starting-sprint.  You spend a lot of your time at the beginning of races (especially longer races) weaving in and out of crowds and taking in the environment so pick music that will help make this part of the race less frantic.
  1. Dave Matthews “Two Step” (super long)
  2. Kings of Leon “Closer”
  3. The Killers “Human”, “Read My Mind”, and “All These Things I Have Done”
  4. Timbaland ft. Katy Perry “If we Ever Meet Again”
  5. Mike Posner “Cooler Than Me”
  • When you get about halfway through the race, and you start picking up your pace, make sure that your playlist does the same.  I like music that I can listen too, and possibly sing to, but haven’t heard over and over.  I try to stay away from “ear worms” that will never get out of my head as well.  No one wants to be singing
  1.  Akon “Beautiful”
  2.  Katy Perry ft. Kanye West “E.T”
  3. MGMT “Time to Pretend”
  4. Ke$ha “Blow”
  5. Craig David “Insomnia”
  • And don’t forget to add in those Power Songs.  You know the ones that make you feel invincible?  Putting these towards the end of a playlist, when I am more likely to need a boost, and turing them up LOUD really gets my feet pumping.  Finish line here I come!
  1. Eminem “Till I Collapse”
  2. Lady Gaga “Born This Way”
  3. J Lo ft. Pit Bull “On the Floor”
  4. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind”
(I had to keep my suggestion to 5 per section because I would be writing this post forever!)
5) Try it out!
  • Once you have carefully selected and placed songs on they playlist take it out on a training run with you.  I mean, you wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive right?! 😉  Sometimes songs just don’t fit the playlist, don’t hold your interest, or aren’t good “running songs”.  Many songs I have put on playlists during races immediately bring up racing memories (mostly good, some bad) after and sometimes they even get me motivated to go for a spontaneous run!
I am writing this post because I am currently beginning to piece together my playlist for this week’s race: Boston’s Run to Remember.  This playlist is going to have to be pretty hefty because I imagine the 13.1 miles to take me about 2 1/2 hours!  I need suggestions folks!

Question:

What are your beginning of the run songs? Pump you up songs?  Power songs?  

Harpoon 2011

Good morning peeps!

I woke up a lot earlier than normal today so I have the luxury to post before I leave for school.  It would be great if I could get up in time to do this every day, and while it may be a possibility this summer, or maybe even next school year, it is just a random occurrance for this year.

Breakfast today is a Van’s waffle sandwich with chunky peanut butter and a half a banana.  I had run out of waffles and was eating bagels for breakfast until today.  I enjoy bagels on special occassions like staff breakfasts or on vacation but I don’t personally care for them every morning so I am happy I stocked up on waffles.

I don’t eat breakfast until I have my coffee and settled myself into school for the day.

On Sunday I ran the Harpoon 5-Miler to benefit the Angel Fund.  It was a few weeks earlier than it had been in the past.  They actually changed the first-come-first-register policy that had me scrambling like a lunatic to get to a computer when registration opened to try to get a spot (the same process that you go through when trying to get concert tickets).  Last year I actually got put on the wait list and eventually ended up getting a number. PHEW.  This year registration was a lottery and they encouraged groups of friends to sign up as 6-packs (get it).  I liked this idea because it really encouraged teams to create names (and t-shirts/costumes).  Our team was split into three 6-packs and we were the “Ultimate Beer Runners”.  I got shirts printed up by my friend Bodner and they came out awesome!  You can design the shirts online and he will print them!  Check his company out here.

Before heading to the race I laid out all my stuff the night before to be sure I was all set to go in the morning.  I packed flip flops (which I didn’t end up bringing), my number, my t-shirt, etc.  I also ate a blueberry Clif Bar for breakfast.

My number was 3909.

When we met everyone at the brewery I gave shirts out and we headed out 0.25 mies to the start line.  There were so many people we actually started behind the “walkers” sign.  Good thing timing began when you crossed that “start” line (not that I wasn’t running for time or anything, I actually didn’t wear my Garmin).  I ended up finishing in just about 46ish minutes, which put me in a really good mindset for next Sunday’s race.  I felt great running, though I wish I had used the bathroom before beginning the run.  Mo and I kept pace together and chatted the whole time, which seemed to make the time pass much faster.  We actually ended up missing the first water stop because we weren’t paying attention!

After crossing the finish line and finding our teammates we headed to the beer line.  Every runner got 2 free beer tickets with registration, and if you are a friend of Harpoon (which I am) you get an extra beer.

I had a few Harpoon Whites through the course of the day.

I also ate a TON of Cape Cod chip samples.  The salt and vinegar are sooooo good that I actually bought a bag yesterday to bring with my lunch for the week.  Good marketing Cape Cod Chips 😉

Though it got quite chilly once the sweat started drying and the sun went in I hung out with Amy and Mo for a couple of hours post-race.

I left the brewery around 1 and when I got home I was DYING to take a nap.  I had woken up with a headache that played hide and seek on me throughout the whole race.  I drank a ton of water before lying down and it seemed to help.  When I woke up (headache free) Jack surprised me with a pizza from Santarpios.  It is no Reginas but it hit the spot.  I actually was SO hungry I had 4 slices.

Today is going to be 80 degrees and I am thinking that means Bootcamp will be held outside.  I am actually wearing a dress to work today because I have a feeling my classroom is going to feel very sticky.  My hair is actually already frizzing.

Happy Tuesday!

~L

Harkey and Pizza

Happy Pizza Monday friends!  I hope you all remembered that Pizza Monday gives you a reason to get out of bed after the weekend flies by!

I went food shopping after school today and picked up everything I needed.

Alexa Brand potatoes: parmesan and garlic flavor.  They are thick potatoes, less like a french fry, more like a roasted potato.  The seasoning was very tasty.  These babies are filling!

Salad:  50/50 Spring Mix and spinach, carrots, cucumbers, croutons, Newman’s Own Balsamic vinaigrette.

Pizza: Crust (Pillsbury roll out refrigerated), sauce (Contidina), pizza (cheddar/mozzarella mix).

I LOVED the Pillsbury dough because it was quick and easy.  All you have to do is grease the pan with Pam and stretch the dough to fit the cookie sheet.  It was way less messy than whipping out the flour and rolling-pin.

I spread some olive oil over the dough and cook it about 10 minutes to let the dough cook a bit before putting the sauce and cheese on.  Then you really only need to cook the pizza in the oven until the cheese melts.

The result was extra crispy but soft crust.  It was definitely Jack’s favorite so far.

With dinner I drank my newest obsession: Powerade Zero Strawberry.  I got a sample yesterday at the Harpoon 5-Miler (I will be writing about that later) and I couldn’t wait to get some more.  It was the first thing in my cart at the store today.  It tastes just like strawberry jello when it is in liquid form.

Before I had dinner I went to my usual Monday night class at Avalon Crossfit.  Marc was subbing for John tonight which was cool because I usually didn’t see him until Bootcamp on Tuesdays.  The original WOD was supposed to include 800m runs on the track outside, but since it is raining, they changed it up and kept us indoors.  I was pretty sure it would be inside but I was kinda wishing to go out.

Warm-Up:

  • Side lunges the length of the floor
  • inch worms the length of the floor
3 Rounds:
  • 20 air squats
  • 20 mountain climbers
  • 20 pass throughs with a PVC pipe
My quads were SCREAMING during all the squats, which was not a good sign considering the WOD was:
Indoor “Harkey”
3 rounds for time
  • 50 ab mat sit ups
  • 150 jump rope singles (because I can’t double under)
  • 50 air squats (SCREAMING quads!)
  • 50 Kettle bell swings (12kg)
It was a tough workout today.  My legs were tired from a 4.5 mile run Saturday and a 5 mile race yesterday.  I finished in just under 25 minutes (I don’t remember the exact time) and had to go slow and steady.  I actually felt like I had nothing left to give with only 15 KB swings left in the WOD.  Thank goodness for the supportive Crossfitters who cheered me on through those last ones.
This week I am in my final preparations for my first half marathon this Sunday.  I am going to have to let my legs rest if they are going to get me through 13.1 miles.  I am going to go to Bootcamp tomorrow and Crossfit class on Wednesday then take Thursday through Saturday off to tackle my pre-race to-do list.  
Pre-Race To-Do List (so far):
  • make a killer playlist (HELP?!)
  • check weather obsessively and decide what to wear
  • try to relax and think positive
OK, it is getting late and I am trying to get to bed early enough to actually read more than two paragraphs of the Chelsea Handler book.  It is so amusing but I find myself getting to be too late to enjoy it before falling asleep.
Night
~L


Stump it Thursday

By last Thursday it took about all I had to give to NOT have pizza.  By the time I headed to Avalon Crossfit’s “Kettle bells, Abs, and More” class I thought I had pretty much made it through the day scott-free.   Ali met me at class and when she mentioned going to Regina’s I knew that I lost my battle with the Pizza-Gods.

With my mind on pizza I made it through the hottest, sweatiest class ever.  I think it was Birkrahm Kettle bells.  I hadn’t lifted a single weight and was already sweating profousely.

Warm-Up:

  • 30 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 squats
  • 10 push ups
  • 10 jumping jacks
Round 1/ 3 sets:
  • 10 kettle bell swings (14kg)
  • 10 chest presses using 14kg KB
  • 20 Russian Twists (using 12kg)
Round 2/ 3 Sets:
  • 10 sumo deadlift high pulls
  • 10 KB tranfers
  • 10 bicycles
Round 3/ 3 sets:
  • 10 rows, alternating sides
  • 10 full-extension bicep curls
  • 10 tricep extensions
ABS:
  • 30 seconds crunches
  • 30 seconds knees to elbows
  • 30 seconds roll ups
  • 30 seconds leg raises
Legs/ 3 sets/ reps changed each time:
  • goblet squats with kettle bells
  • jumping squats
  • air squats
Tabata/ 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 8 rounds:
  • halfway kettle bell swing
Like I said before it was SO HOT in the room thatit almost made me feel too lathargic to do anything!  The class was pretty fast paced and I couldn’t get my head into it, but I did finish it regardless.  Kettle bell swings can seem so much harder when you just aren’t feeling them (not that anyone jumps for joy to do them).  Blah.

Photo by Ali

After class Ali and I headed over to Regina’s and ordered drinks before even opening the menu.  I went with a glass (or three) of Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio.  It was cool and crisp and a perfect post-kettle bell beverage.
Amy met us out to share some fantastic news:  She accepted a teaching position in Montana!

photo courtesy of Ali

I had a few slices of cheese pizza while we prepared (for some reaosn unbeknownst to me) to play trivia.  Now, Ali and I were part of a team that came in second place the week before, so I know I thought I couldn’t be that bad.  Boy was I wrong!
We got a couple questions right but other than that.  It was pretty bad.  The trivia guy even ended up poking fun at us toward the end.  We weren’t taking ourselves too seriously either.
It ended up being a pretty sweet Thursday night.  Sorry it took so long to share it with ya!
Are you good at trivia?  What category do you dominate?  Mine would be pop culture.  I am a Perez Hilton addict!
~L

What up Wednesday?

What up Wednesday?  I am so glad you are over, but before I get to you I got to revisit Tuesday.

Yesterday I woke up to more rain and my toe was still sore.  I can’t believe that I kicked the couch and hurt my toe so bad I had to wear flip-flops to school.  I was slow-moving I’ll tell ya!  My day was pretty uneventful because all I did was work and come home.  No Crossfit, no nothing.  In a way the rainy week and stupid toe situation worked out perfectly.  Who wants to go back out into the cold and rain after they finally got home and warmed up?

The highlight of my Tuesday afternoon (knowing I had time to kill until Glee) was picking up Chelsea Handler’s new book, “Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me”.  I also got a grande skinny vanilla latte.  I have read her other 2 and 1/2 books (the half was “Chelsea, Chelsea Bang Bang which I could NOT finish!) and they were a huge source of amusement for many friends and family.  I have been DYING for this new book to come out!

Amazon.com describes the author(s) of the book:

“Friends, family members, and co-workers of Chelsea Handler, who are happy to write a new book for Chelsea to promote since she’s feeling too lazy to write one herself.”

It is a collection of stories about the shenanigans and pranks Chelsea has pulled on her unassuming family and friends.  I have read the first two chapters and they (especially the second one) are so funny!  I can’t wait to read the rest!

Basically my Tuesday night was spent reading and Gleeing.  I won’t talk too much about the episode, in case you didn’t see it yet, but I will say that I was sobbing at one point!  Sue Sylvester’s softer side was nice to see for a change.

What did you think of last night’s episode?  Anyone else ball your eyes out??

____________________________

Today I was happy to wake up to realize that I could wear shoes again!  The toe still feels a little tender, and at this point I may be acting a bit dramatic, but I am running Harpoon’s 5 Miler on Sunday and I really want it to feel 100% by then!

Lunch today was left overs from diner last night:  BBQ chicken and long-grain wild rice.  It was actually better cold the second day than it was last night!

After getting home from school I prepped dinner quickly and changed for Avalon Crossfit.  Tonight I wore one of my new Sweaty Bands.  I really liked the blue with pink polka-dots and how it was thicker than the others.  It actually kept all of the hair out of my face.  I love all the Sweaty Bands but if I am to ever buy more I will definitely be buying the thick band!

I loved two things most about tonight’s Avalon Crossfit class.

1) They moved John’s class from 6:30 to 6 p.m.  I love going a half hour early and getting out a half hour earlier.

2) Modifications!  While modifications are always suggested and demonstrated, it seems like Avalon Crossfit is really making an effort to help us all listen to our bodies and know all the options available to us.  They have posted a list of modifications for anyone who feels like they need them.  This came in perfectly for me tonight because I wasn’t sure how my toe would react to burpees (the thought of jumping out and landing on the tips of my toes was not appealing).

STRENGTH:

4 x15 ring rows

4 x 15 thrusters (45lbs)

I only had time to do 3 sets.  The thrusters were challenging for me because my wrists aren’t super flexible and holding the bar in the way we have to makes them sore!  I was happy I could get through 3 sets of the thrusters with a 45 lb bar but kind of wish I would tried the prescribed 65lb for women.

WOD: “Meaghan” modified

*Note- I did this last week “regular” and today with modifications for my toes.  I think my time of 6 minutes-ish was the same

21-15-9 reps

  • push-ups
  • air squats
  • kettle bell swings (16kg)
  • jump rope singles (63-45-27)

I am glad I made it to class tonight.  I am the kind of person who could use the weather and a small injury as an excuse to take a while off from working out.  The problem with that is that I really do enjoy it, and it keeps me sane.  I also like to keep in routine and feel like I am missing something when I don’t go.  Everyone was sore today from Monday’s WOD and I was jealous!  Remember back in high school when you stayed home sick and would have to call your friend that night to see what you missed?  Same feeling!

Dinner tonight was home-made mac & cheese made with 8oz Velveeta Cheese (I’m a classy lady) and some cubes of pepper jack.  On top I crumbled a few Ritz crackers.  Super quick and easy.

I am also drinking a mock-tail because I have no wine in the house.  Wine makes the most sense on a Wednesday because it really gets you over the hump.  Tonight I went for blueberry seltzer water, in a wine glass of course!

What book are you currently reading??  As summer gets closer I am trying to build up my book list!

~L


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