December Thoughts: Brace Yourself.

Back in mid-October, I started back with CrossFit and Half Marathon training. It happened on a whim.  A lot of whimsical stuff happened around that time. One could blame it on the full moon but that’s another story for another time.

Around this time of year, marathons crop up. I suppose the excitement  lead me to more running than usual. I am pairing the CrossFit with running for crosstraining purposes. I have been going to CrossFit on strength days twice a week; For the run, I run once during week and perform a long run each Saturday with a training group.

Kid you not, my running store sponsors a FREE half marathon the first Saturday of January every year. It’s the Red Nose Half Marathon. That’s right, a free half marathon that is about 5 miles away from my house.

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(FREE !! FREE!!!! FREE!!!!!!!)

 

I do have a lingering thought. It’s really cold outside. For example, tomorrow morning’s long run of 11 miles begin with 29 degree weather.  Wouldn’t be cool to celebrate half marathon training by….sleeping in race day? Think about it.

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(It could be fatique talking. Quiet as it’s kept, I really think it’s the dude on the right talking mess.)

 

I’ve been easing away from the vegetarian lifestyle by eating tuna fish a few times a week to up my protein. Those little Bumble Bee Tuna and Crackers are tasty. I only like the Thai flavored ones. That’s the only seafood I like right now. I don’t have any interest in going back to white meat or red meat.

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(It’s delicious!)

I want to get back into meal prepping. Right now seems impossible, but I want to resume doing so after December 16th when I am on Christmas Break from my full time and part time teaching jobs.

 

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(The Bookworm just finished reading Outliers. Here is her favorite quote from the book:)

“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

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It’s Okay. Scale Down and Be Flexible!

 

When I started this blog, I was a fairly high octane chick with a decent level of  down time and optimism. This enabled me to do stuff like train for full marathons or CrossFit 4-5 time a week. I enjoyed the experience, but as far as time and recovery was concerned, it wasn’t sustainable for me long term.

I’m more of a scaled down version these days. Like 10k races and YMCA scale down. I’m signing up for the YMCA this week. It’s time to add cross training into my running. Also the area is scenic and runner friendly, so  I could  go for jog before a yoga class  or bodypump class (for example).

Last week, I signed up for a Labor Day 10k race in my town. I plan to walk/run, long run, and socialize during the run. So don’t judge my time in the next post! The only gag is that that a shuttle will not be provided. So more than likely, I will park my car at the finish line and take a taxi to the start.

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(That’s why I’m not taking an Uber. Don’t worry, Uber has a launch date in the area for 9/21/16. )

Also, I am leaning toward buying a 10k decal. Even though I have completed distance races ranging from 5k to 26.2 , it was a couple of years ago. I like the idea of representing my most recent distance.

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(Something like this will do. What do you think?)

 

Forget Meat.

Yeah. I said it.

People who know me personally, know I rarely get sick. WELL, I have had 2 digestive issues this year from meat consumption. It is leading me back into to the vegetarian lifestyle. Like the last time, the entire transition should take a couple of months.

I was vegetarian for two years. I dropped it when I started CrossFit. During this time, I strived to eat meat once a day. I would forget to eat meat  over half  the time.

The Past Two Weeks:

The Good: I have successfully abstained from meat flesh. I have been using meat substitutes. So far, I like the Quorn brand of plant based chicken nuggets and hamburger meat.

At home I have  stopped eating food derived from animals (chicken broth).

There were a few social settings where I simply  chose to “pregame” by eating before I arrived. From there, I just ate lightly.

The Bad: My junk food intake has been high during this time period. I see how people become junk food vegetarians. There’s a lot of junk food that is vegan/vegetarian friendly.

The Challenge:  I am still trying to get used to visiting the grocery store more often, meal prepping, and cooking more often.

The Plan:  Eat 1 salad and 1 green smoothie daily. That seems easy right?! Meh, but I’m making it happen. I’m also backing away from the junk food.  As usual, I will keep you posted!

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(Proceed with caution!!!)

Exploring My Options….

Now that the school year has began, I am back into a lifestyle with less downtime. I maintained a baseline of fitness through CrossFit workouts. However, I am ready to mix it up a tad bit. The past few weeks, I finally made it my business to check out more of the active community in downtown Columbus, Ga. I live about 10-15 minutes away, depending on traffic.

I did the following:

  • Yoga on Bikes: A free hour of yoga at a bike shop with my favorite yoga instructor!
  • Bike Ride 20 miles with a multi-level/ability group of about 100 cyclist: I used my hybrid bike. I anticipated soreness the day after, but there was none!!!
  • 3 mile run with a new running group: It is very nice to know that through functional fitness training, I can still comfortably run 3-5 miles whenever I feel up to it!

CrossFit has definitely toned me up. It has also made me see diet and exercise from a different perspective. Before, I was a vegetarian half marathoner. My mobility was poor. I was also sore the next day when I completed other fitness activities outside of running.

However, the cooling weather has me wanting to be back outside. I definitely plan maintain functional fitness at least 3 times a week.  I enjoy the toned look that I have worked hard over a year and a half to develop. I am in the process of coming up with a plan. Stay tuned!

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(Not the most flattering, but you get the PICTURE… Get it?)

Step To It!!!

By nature, I am a homebody. A clean house, full fridge, and Netflix is pure luxury to me. Yes. I know I am weird. That’s why you like me! Anyway, being sedentary is my kryptonite. It’s the monster that wants to get me.

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(Sugar the Dog: “Mommy! I’m ready for you to walk me. Again.”

Me: “Girl! I already earned my benchmark steps for today! Okay, let me finish this coffee.”)

So my tactic is to take my pedometer readings seriously. For this summer, I have determined that I can always average 7000-8000 steps. This is how I am doing it:

CrossFit: At least 2000 steps.

Dog Walk: At least 2000 steps.

House Chores: At least 2000 steps.

Miscellaneous: 1000 to 2000 steps.

(Maybe I will average the magical 10,000 steps when I go back to work in August!)

Am I the only person that predicts the amount of steps the day before? By the way, be should be FitBit friends! I enjoy doing the competitions!

Eureka!!!!!!

GOOD NEWS: It is a teacher in-service day, and also my last work day of the school year! I got the idea to workout during my lunch break today!

BAD NEWS: Today’s WOD is Murph….

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Hopefully this trial run plays out well so that I could do this on other in-service days. For those that don’t know, teacher in-service tends to be chock full of meetings. This can make for a long work day, even though the hours are the same. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but as a teacher (math teacher at an alternative school), I have always envied people with other jobs/careers that are blessed with this option. Seriously, even a lunch break power walk is out of the question for the average educator.

I changed my WOD workout time from 5:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. about a month ago. I plan to maintain this for days when students are scheduled to report to school.  It takes prior planning and organization, but it works for me because it provides enough time for me to also  (power) walk my dog and shower. Right now, I am getting up at 4:45 a.m.; but when the school year resumes I may choose 4:30. I would like to walk my dog first, so that I have time to put on makeup and jewelry.

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(A little after WOD grub. I will drink the shake en route back to work, then eat the salad when I get there. Don’t worry, I have more food around if this isn’t enough.)

Podcast Favorites!

I am really impressed with how Apple itunes Podcast have evolved. I listen to several on a daily basis. I tend to do this when I get home to tidy, cook, and dog walk. It enables a smooth transition from work to home life.

I increase the speed of the podcast of those that tend to talk slowly, have a regional drawl, or doesn’t require deep thought.

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Here is a list of podcasts that I regularly listen to. What do you all listen to?

Health/Fitness

No Meat Athlete

Squats and Espresso

Nom Nom Paleo

Work Related

How I Teach

Personal Growth

Happier With Gretchen

Real Simple

Joel Olsteen

Dave Ramsey

The Art of Charm

Entertainment

This American Life

Yo, Is This Racist?

Double Unders

How do you feel about double unders? To me learning how to do them will be the “easy way” out. I say this because if a WOD (workout of the day) consists of jumproping, it usually will be recorded like this on the whiteboard:

“50 double unders or 100 single unders”

Seeing a person do a large amount of double unders at CrossFit is very impressive to me. But then again, I am easily impressed at CrossFit anyway. Well, I finally got out of the admiration stage, and did the following things:

  • Bought a proper jump rope. It is measured to my height and it is lightweight. It cost me about $20.
  • Downloaded an iTunes app for my phone geared toward performing a tabata (20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest).
  • Began doing a 5 minute jump rope tabata about 3 times a week. I do this before the WOD begins. I usually foam roll after the WOD on these particular days. ( On a side note, I go to CrossFit 4-5 times a week.  When I began CrossFit, six months ago, I was going twice a week and running 3-4 miles two other times a week).

Result: I can do double unders in the following set

Single Jump

Single Jump

Single Jump

Single Jump

Double Under!

Repeat

WooHoo!

To Be Continued.

Because You Might Get Injured…

Yoga, marathon running, and Crossfit seem to be 3 activities that people love to make scary predictions about how one will get injured. It is something that I take in stride because in many cases, it is true. However, with me living in the Deep South most of my life, it appears that I have seen more people get sick and injured from football, poor diet, and/or being couch potatoes.

With that said, I find myself making a lot of modifications depending on energy level, experience, and athletic ability  when I choose to complete a  CrossFit WOD.  I also began CrossFit with a slight knee injury from running; so sometimes I opt out of heavy squatting  or Olympic lifting focused  WODs.  One would consider that cherry picking. That’s okay. While we are on the topic, I think I will discuss the CrossFit moves that I shy away from 100% of the time:

Anything that involves hanging from the bar such as pull ups: I don’t want to fall. I also don’t care for wearing gloves, and I don’t want to mess up my hands.

Jumping on top of  boxes: I tried that once when I was in high school and busted my shin. It left me with a about a 1/2 in scar.

Climbing up a rope or the scaled version: I don’t care for wearing gloves, and I don’t want to mess up my hands.

Head stand pushups: I don’t like being upside down.

Wall Climbs: I don’t like being upside down.

 Yep. So there it is. Take care and be safe, or you  might get injured………

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Back to Work/New School Year/Consistent Habits

Sometimes  when the new school year begins, I temporarily drift off from healthy eating and consistent exercise. So far, I have had a smooth transition. Right now, I haven’t felt like running. However, I go to Crossfit 3-4 times a week. Throughout the summer, I often went 3 times a week. I went 4 times this week, and I didn’t t feel “broke down”. I think I will stick with this workout routine for a while. So here is my eating routine right now:

Breakfast: Oatmeal, almonds, and  coffee (holds me until lunch time with ease)

At Work:  Vitamin pack and a lot of water

Lunch: Chicken breast sandwich, raw veggies, a few tablespoons of ranch dressing

Snack: Can range anywhere from a Quest bar, to scrambled eggs , to  a few handful of Cheetos. I want to do right and stick with a 1/2 cup of almonds from here on.

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Exercise: Pre-workout and Protein shake

Dinner: Whatever my mind tells me to eat. Regardless if it is healthy or not, I am usually pretty sensible with the portions. I want to get more consistent though. I am currently looking for crock-pot meals to solve this sort-of problem.

I need ideas. What have you all been consistently eating that is pretty healthy? I will keep you guys posted.