Ho it Up, Ladies

Good evening! Boy this weekend flew by. I was happy to see the sun for the first time in three days so this afternoon I got my butt to the beach in hopes of catching some rays. The sun had a different idea.  It thought it should play hide and seek behind clouds.  The beach got cold, so I packed up and headed home.  Better luck next time?!

Anyway….

Yesterday I woke up and headed to bootcamp. I had thinking about skipping, but I would’ve had to super late cancel and I had no real good reason not to go, so I got up and changed and headed to Avalon Crossfit.  It had been raining earlier in the morning, and though the ground was still wet, it stopped and we headed outside to the track. It was cool out so that made for great workout weather.

Warm Up

  • 20 alternating lunges
  • 20 jumping jacks
  • 10 air squats

Since it was my fourth Crossfit class of the week, and the third day in a row, my legs were super sore.  I really felt the burn in the lunges and squats.  My hamstrings are super tight today.  I think I need to spend some time with my foam roller tonight 🙂

  • 50 ab mat sit ups
  • 400m run
  • 225 jump rope singles
  • 400m run
  • 100 push ups
  • 400m run
  • 125 squats
  • 400m run

The workout was awesome even though I was skeptical at first.  It seemed like a lot to do! I had to push myself, especially through the push ups (which I modified on my knees) and with the squats (I felt these a million fold!).  I finished in 23:30 and headed straight home to meet Amy for a very special date 😉

I quickly showered and got to eating some breakfast, which Amy so graciously picked up. A bagel with cream cheese…

and a mimosa.

At 1:30 we met my friend Andrea and the rest of her lovely bridal party to get some bachelorette festivities going. First stop: Gypsy Rose for some pole dancing fun.

Lexi, our pole dance teacher, met us in the office area and promptly brought us into the changing room filled with sky high boots, bootie shorts, and told us to find something fun to wear before class. I would’ve thought I’d be a bit more self-conscious while trying to pick out a costume that would make me look like a “ho” (Lexi told us to “Ho it up”) but it was a lot of fun! I wore knee-high black boots, black bootie shorts, and a pink, diner-waitress dress that was SUPER short.

We walked in and went over some ground rules and then Lexi gave us a little dance. The room had three poles in it and was dimly lit with strips of white light ropes. There were several sayings posted on the wall as well: “The pole is your friend” and “sexy is a state of mind” were my favorites.

We started out class with a group strut from on end of the room to the other. We were given a few pointers and then Lexi put on “Free your mind” by En Vogue and we were off.

We then learned a little floor dance that started with the go-to exotic dance move: the booty circle. It kind of is like doing the hula-hoop, but sexier of course! After that it was our signature dance move for the night. I am sure everyone who came in contact with us after that was super impressed by our group’s booty circle skills.

Next up: the pole. We learned three different pole spins during class and they were way easier than I expected them to be. I was kind of a natural 😉 We were told to “trust the pole and trust your body”. 3 girls lined up at the poles and Lexi gave us all individual instruction and pointers as needed. I flung myself around those poles until I was dizzy and got all three spins by the end of the class. Woop Woop! It was so much fun!

The icing on the cake was our final lesson of the class: the art of picking up a $20 bill with your butt. Yes folks, that is now a skill I have actually acquired. The key was to do booty circles on your way to sitting on the chair.

As you can see, I look more like I am going to the bathroom than exotic dancing my way to picking up a $20 with my butt cheeks, but I was successful!

We were given about 5 minutes to mess around on the pole while Lexi got changed and then we took one last group photo before changing up and heading out. Andrea was given a special certificate declaring her and exotic dancer!

Pole dancing was such a blast. At first I thought I would feel uncomfortable or look dumb and make a fool of myself but it wasn’t like that at all. Lexi had such a good way of making us feel comfortable right from the start. I would definitely do it again 😉

After dancing we headed to the one-bedroom suite on the 27th floor of the Sheraton near the Prudential. THe views of the city were ah-mazing. We had Regina’s pizza (duh!), mixed some drinks, played some games, and got ready to head out for a night on the town.

It was a really fun night and I was happy I got the chance to celebrate her upcoming wedding with her. If last night was any sign of things to come, that wedding is going to be a blast! The rest of our festivities, my friends, will remain a special memory for Andrea and her girls!


Have you ever gone pole dancing? What did you think? What was a memorable bachelorette party you’ve attended?

Boston’s Run to Remember

A week ago I ran my first half marathon, a feat which was both amazing and terrifying at the same time.  You see, it is very easy to sign up for a race in February and proudly declare “I am running a half marathon in May” (ya know, when the race is three months away).  It is also very easy to map out a training plan that includes both lengthy runs and Crossfit.

But then May comes along and I suddenly realized that 13.1 miles is no joke.  And that one 10 mile race I ran in March doesn’t count as proper training.  Keeping this in mind it will not surprise you that a week before The Half I felt a range of emotions and barely slept.  I was still recovering from my toe incident and wasn’t loving running at the moment.

Friday I went to the race expo and picked up my number:

It was a pretty low number considering there were over 8,000 runners at the Run to Remember.

I grabbed a beer and some dinner after leaving the expo and then spent that night and Saturday relaxing.  Saturday night I headed to Ali’s “Carb and Hydrate Party”.  There were 12 or so runners there and we hung out, ate some really good food, and drank gatorade.  Ali played hostess and photographer:

I was probably home and in bed by 10.  The great thing was I had NO problem falling asleep!  I had made sure to charge my Garmin and itouch and pack my energy bites and bag for the morning.

The morning of the race I was so damn nervous.  Not the “I can’t do this” type of nervous, but more like the “let’s get on with this nervous”.  Jack and I headed to Boston’s Seaport around 7 am and from the car to the beginning of the race I managed to only use the bathroom twice.

I waited around with Jack and listened to the music as other runners arrived.  My friend Amy came out to take all my pictures and orchestrate her and Jack’s mile 9 spectator/get to the finish line plan.  Eventually Ali and a group of her friends found us.  It really calmed my nervous energy when I was around a group of people who were about to do the same thing as me!

Around 8:00 I headed to line up at the start line.  There were soooooo many people, everywhere!  I had originally planned to start alone and stay running alone, out of fear that I would not want to separate from the group if I started with them, but I found myself lined up right with them anyways.  It was nice to be able to chat and keep my mind off the 13.1 miles I was about to tackle.  I got a couple last minute pictures before the race began:

The first couple of miles was really packed and the pacing varied.  During this time I stayed with Ali and crew and we weaved in and out of the other runners.  It began at the World Trade Center in the Seaport and through Faneuil Hall up toward Mass General then all along Memorial Drive into Harvard and back.  It was pretty cool scenery for a race.  At the first water stop I knew I’d need to slow down so I waved goodbye to Ali and blasted my headset.

I made sure the beginning of my playlist was slower music:

  • “Two Step” Dave Matthews Band
  • “The Sotry of Us” Taylor Swift
  • “Wake Up Everbody” John Legend
  • “Closer” Kings of Leon
  • “Speechless” Lady Gaga
My thoughts were pretty much on people watching.  It always amazes me the different types of people who come together to run races.  I felt pretty good for the first 5 miles or so and was doing my best to keep a 10:30 pace.  My Garmin acted crazy at times (saying I was running 6 minute miles haha) but I was struggling to keep my pace slow.  I still had plenty of miles to go.
By the second water station, which felt a gazillon miles from the first, I had eaten quite a few energy gels and was feeling good.  Thirsty, but good.  The weather was definitely more humid as the day went on and the race continued down Memorial Drive.  Around mile 6 I started to think I was crazy for ever signing up for a half marathon.  My playlist was still on the slower side at this point but included a ton of U2 songs.
Mile 7 was a God-send because my friend Maureen was waiting to run a few miles with me.  The weekend before, at the Harpoon Race, I really helped push Maureen when she wasn’t feeling so hot.  I distracted her and talked a lot and helped her get through.  We devised a plan that would help her pay it forward during my half.  I figured I would need the most support in miles 7-10 and boy was I right.  I really wanted to walk and told Maureen a million times that I would never make it to the end.  I was being a bit dramatic probably.
At mile 9 I was looking forward to seeing Jack and Amy.  I didn’t get a picture of them but they got a picture of me and Mo!
Where’s Waldo?  I am in the pink behind the girl in the blue shirt and black shorts.
At mile 10, where Memorial drive splits to the Longfellow Bridge toward downtown or to Cambridge, Maureen headed home.  Now is when the real race began.  My music wasn’t really helping my mind stay in the game.  At this point I knew that I needed to think positive and try to take in the experience.  Because of the heat and humidity people were passing out all over the place, which led to unsettling thoughts because I was alone.  I passed some time snapping pictures with my iphone.
I made miraculously made it through miles 10 and 11 with a minimal amount of walking and made sure to hydrate with both Gatorade and water at the second to last water stop.  The last 2.1-ish miles in the race took me through Washington St. in Downtown Crossing.  At that point I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience.  I mean, I have heard the term “runner’s high” but this brought it to a whole new level.  I was so relieved to see Debbie, one of Ali’s friends, on Washington St.   We walked and talked for a tenth of a mile and decided that it was now or never- we have GOT to finish this race!
Ali had warned me not to be fooled when we se the bridge to the Seaport, and she was right, there was still quite a way to go.  There were a ton of people cheering.  I loved the little kids who were yelling “You are almost there”  “It is all downhill from here” “YOU GOT THIIIISSSS”.  If that doesn’t give you an energy surge I don’t know what will!
On the downhill I ended up losing Debbie but I saw the finish line and, man, I watned to cross it ASAP.
My brother and his fiance Meaghan surprised me and gave me the little more I needed.  Can you believe I was actually smiling when I saw them?
When I crossed that finish line the time was 2:20:55, which is a whole 10 minutes faster than I thought I’d finish in.  I almost forgot my medal, but got one and vowed to never take it off.  I also swore I would never run another half, ever.  Amy warned me to “never say never”.

Jack and Me 🙂

A FB status update was also in order

World's Best Spectators

Ali and Me

Amy (the photographer) and meeee

I went to my parents house for a cookout after showering up and drank a few cold beverages and ate a TON of food.  They even got me a cake!
I topped my night off with a stop by at Ali’s post race BBQ, by the time Jack and I got there we had a chance to recap the race (again) and hang out for a bit.
It was a long day….
an awesome day….
a day I want to happen all over again soon.  (As Amy said…… 😉 )
The. End.

 

 

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

Gym Motivations

Having a gym-buddy is an amazing motivation for a lot of reasons:

1) It is someone to hold you accountable for getting to the gym, even when you want to be laying on the couch or sleeping in

2) It is someone who knows your limits enough to be able to get you to push yourself more than you want to

3) It is someone to talk/rant/complain to while working out and while there isn’t always a need for a response you feel confident in knowing that they are listening anyway

My gym buddy does all three of the above and that is why I got up at 5 a.m. to gym-it with her before she went to work.  Many people may think it is crazy waking up to gym it when you have the whole day to do it, but if I didn’t have a gym-date with Amy this morning I probs would’ve skipped the gym all together!

I was also happy with the decision to get the second hardest/longest weight day out-of-the-way: shoulders.  My arms are now DEAD TIRED but I wouldn’t have it any other way 😉 !

Pre-gym I ate an Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Clif Bar

It wasn’t enough food though because I felt empty and nauseous the whole time.  Unfortunately I didn’t wake up early enough to be able to cook, eat, and digest a bigger breakfast than that so I had to make due with what I had on hand.  Clif Bars are quick and easy.

Post-gym I had a glass of chocolate milk!

and then I went back to bed for a few hours (ahhh, the luxury of summer vacation).

I had a peach for a mid morning snack.


This afternoon I met up with a bunch of my teacher friends for a backyard gathering.  Elaine, the hostess with the mostess, had a nice little spread set up in her yard overlooking her pool.  She had fresh fruit, chips and dip, and shrimp cocktail for starters.  I had some cherries and a whole bunch of tostitos.

Lunch was a salad with craisins, pistachios, feta cheese, and spring mix.  I topped it with her Good Seasons Italian dressing made with balsamic vinegar.

I also had a piece of pizza and a few slices of caprese salad (tomato slices topped with buffalo mozz, basil, and balsamic vinaigrette).

No pics, sorry!  I am still getting used to the whipping-out-my-camera-for-pics-all-the-time part of the blogging world.

Tonight I am taking my cousins Carney and Casey to a wine tasting to celebrate their engagements!  We are meeting for dinner then heading into the Seaport for the tasting.  Don’t be jealous!

Got to go get beautified for the evening!

~L