US Wellness

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Half Marathon Recap + Results

Well, the half is finally in the books and so is my cheat meal of Monical's pizza! :)  I gotta say that I'm glad it's over, but that I'm really glad that we signed up for it.  I'll get to the more boring details, but first let me get to the part that you really want to know.  My unofficial time was 2:19:30.  In my opinion that is a better than average time, but nothing fantastic.  For my first long race and a lackluster training schedule leading up to it, I'll take it.  

So now, the details.  I didn't get a chance/feel like another run since my last 12 miler.  I would not recommend that as a training schedule at all.  The week I ran the long run I was very sore afterwards and took a few days off, then the weekend came, and then the following week I was just unmotivated because I knew I could do the race distance. Friday morning I woke up feeling like a I had a cold.  I went to Walgreens to get some airborne and some sinus meds and hoped for the best.  The cold never seemed to materialize into anything major, but breathing was a bit more difficult this morning and I had to spit to clear my throat several times.  

We got up around 6:00 am today and as I was getting ready I decided to wrap my foot with some bandage for extra support in the arch and around the ankle.  I'm not sure if this helped or not.  Usually it's not until mile 6 or 8 that I start to get pain, however, today it started in my ankle on mile 2.  Mile 2!  It's really hard to get into a groove when that starts happening when you're still trying to get comfortable and find your pace.    The pain was pretty tolerable until about mile 10 and then it was like a knife stabbing me in the arch whenever I struck the ground.  Physically, I felt pretty good...not too winded....not that tired...but it was really hard to get any speed with that happening.  I never was able to get the kick I usually get for the last few miles.  Post race, I felt good until we got home and I sat down.  Since then I have been extremely sore.  As in.....I can hardly walk and when I do it's incredibly slowly.  This is the most sore I've been post-run ever.  

To celebrate the race we went to Monicals, which I have been dying to since I discovered that Springfield had one.  I couldn't go all out but I did have a gf pizza...and it was amazing! In case you were wondering what other cheats I've engaged in this weekend, they include: apple cider donut, french fries, gf pumpkin brownies, and tons of cheese.  :) 

The Bucket Blog

There are 47 days until my 31st birthday.  As I am no stranger to all things cliche, I made a bucket list last year.  Thirty is a magical age (aka a slap in the face) where you realize that you're finally an adult, even if you've been at the grown up table at holidays for a while. You need to make sure you've done some of things you wanted to do because there might be other adventures like families and babies on the horizon.  Also, you've found a few gray hairs and maybe you have an ache and/or pain here or there.  

The Official Bucket list didn't have to all be accomplished this year, but I wanted to get a good jump start.  I clearly remember waking up one morning in February with the then-crazy idea that I wanted to run a 5k.  Why did I want to do this?  I have no idea.  I hated...I mean hated running.  Who was going to run with me?  When would I do this? Would I actually do this?  I decided that I would call a friend who would probably be excited to do this with me and who would make me accountable for this decision.  I literally dialed Josh's number probably 30 seconds later while lying in bed after finding a groupon deal for the Rave Run at the end of April.  He agreed, and I immediately started "training."  

Interestingly enough, the 5k didn't make the life-long Bucket list.....a half marathon did.  However, I had never considered that this would be a possibility for 2013.  But then, after a few 5ks....a 10k....and some longer 8, 9, 10 mile runs it became a real possibility.  The summer and my running became a real roller coaster of emotions for me.  Even now, with the half completed I can't look back and say it was a smooth path.  It absolutely wasn't.  Training was f#cking hard....finding time was hard....dealing with an injury was hard.....and my own mental battles with my abilities and performance were hard.  Lots of tears were shed, that's for sure.

I'm not sure I ran my best race and I still struggle with that a bit, but I did it.  I knocked something off my list - something that seemed completely impossible this year.  As much as I look at my time (official chip time: 2:17:50) and wish it was 3 minutes faster.....I look at my time and think that that's really freakin' incredible for a girl who worried that she wouldn't finish her first 5k not 6 months prior. 

Oh, and my friend....he's no longer just my friend....he's my boyfriend and that pretty much ices my running cake. I wouldn't be writing this post if it wasn't for him....agreeing to run....constantly running faster than me....and listening to me whine and complain about running 24/7.  He's awesome and I'm so proud of him for all of the running accomplishments he had this year, too.  :) 

It's my plan to switch my focus a little bit back to Crossfit right now, but running isn't over.  Running has turned out to be one of the most rewarding decisions I've ever made and I'll continue to do it for the next 47 days and beyond.  




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Running Buddies: Your advice is needed!

Hi there. I have just a couple of running updates.  

1)  I ran last Friday morning - just a short run.  I went around 7:30 am and it was really hot and humid.  It didn't make for very good running conditions so I cut things short around 2 miles.  

2)  I didn't run over the weekend even though the plan was to go Saturday afternoon.  It started to rain shortly after I got home from work.  I was really tired, anyways, so that was fine with me.

3) Today I ran 12 miles.  It always amazes me how far into downtown 6 miles is.  I went my "usual" route from Montrose and down Clark until I got to the intersection of North and LaSalle.  From there, I ran a little more east and down Dearborn until I got to Chicago and then I turned and went east towards the lake.  I followed the lake back up on inner Lakeshore Drive up to Montrose, which was exactly 12 miles.  My time was 2:05, which was not bad at all considering how shitty my other runs have been lately.  Around mile 8 my right foot got its usual pain...which really sucks.  Anyone have any suggestions about what I should do for it for the race?  Tape it?  Another insole? I noticed that my pace slowed, not because I was tired, but because of the pain.  Also, I can tell that I'm going to be really sore later today and tomorrow so I'll probably have to have a hot date with my foam roller later on.  :/  

So, that's probably the last long run I will have before the race in a little less than 2 weeks.  The other thing I'm wondering is what to wear that day?  I'm guessing the weather at 7 am will be in the 50's, but I tend to overdress and get really hot.  I am the queen of stripping while running and not breaking my stride at all.  It's a talent, for sure.  :P  Recommendations?  Shorts? I have no idea, but I would like to be a comfortable temperature so I don't have to worry about taking things off.  

Gotta run! ...actually no...I'll be limping. :)  Ttyl!  Thanks in advance for any advice.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Runday

Alright, so my training was derailed last week after I came down with a cold on Wednesday.  Thursday was my worst day and then by Saturday I was feeling back to normal.  I am going to get on my soap box about eating gluten free at the end of this post so if you don't want to read that you have been warned! :) 

So, first run since last week was much better.  Not a great run by any means, but I ran about 4.5 miles at about 10:00 min mile pace and then walked 1.5 miles back.  I'm not *exactly* sure what I should be running every day to train for this thing.  Before I would just run whatever I felt like that day, but now I think I need to be more systematic about it.  Things I've read suggest maintenance runs [3, 4, 5 miles] during the week and then a longer run on Fridays.  For some reason I think I need to be running longer than that during the week - like 6, 7, 8 miles?  My goal in my head is to be comfortably at 6 miles again by next week so that way my last week can be a couple of longer runs and then a few days off before the race on 10/21.  

Good news is that I was out for a little over an hour today on my run/walk and no foot pain! Yay! I think these shoes were definitely a good investment ....and also the time off that I had letting it heal.  

Tomorrow I think I should try to get in a shorter, quicker run so I can wash last weeks failed attempt at a 5k out of my mind. ;)  

Okay....so the GF soapbox:

When I was a kid I was always sick.  Things improved when I had my tonsils/adenoids out in 3rd grade, but in spite of that I always spent a majority of the winter months going from cold to cold and then experiencing allergies and sinus issues in the spring and summer.  Now, as I've gotten older my allergies and sinus issues have become very manageable and I barely suffer from them at this point.   My colds until 2 years ago were awful.  Every time I got sick I was miserable for 2+ weeks at a time.  Then, I started eating paleo and essentially gluten free (without even realizing it) and I noticed that I hardly ever got sick and when I did it was a normal duration of a few days.  This last time was no exception.  I was sick on Wednesday, the worst was Thursday, and by Friday I was on the mend.  Saturday I went on a bar crawl with my friends and took it pretty easy, but still was out all day and felt great.  I know this is a direct connection to my diet and it's just another reason why I will continue this lifestyle indefinitely.  So, if you're always sick...can't shake your symptoms....new ones pop up....and you're just usually feeling like crap you might want to investigate eating GF because it's certainly changed my life for the better.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blog Return :)

Long time, no blog!  I originally took a break from blogging about running b/c 1) it's hard to write interesting things about daily runs and 2) that would be incredibly boring for you guys to read.  I can catch you up in a few bullet points about how running, fitness, and health have been since 5/1/13.

  • I have a love/hate relationship with running.  I think I burned myself out a little expecting too much - as usual.  I love it, but I get really disappointed quickly if I'm not doing as well as I think I should be.
  • I ran a 10k in June at 56:25, which was not a bad time at all.  I was originally shooting for 55 mins so that was pretty close.
  • July was a rough month for me running-wise.  Work got very busy and I am not a morning person so it was hard to find time to run.  I do not do well on afternoon runs so if I got home at a decent time I tried to run, but if not, I just couldn't fit it in.  
  • At the same time, I got a foot injury that was VERY painful.  I took several (aka 10) days off between runs sometimes so that it could heal.  It was just a strain, nothing permanent, but I kept antagonizing it.
  • Josh and I signed up for a half marathon, which is just about 4 weeks away. 
  • On my first run back (post July) I pulled a 12 mile (9:45 min) pace run out of no where and just like that I was re-interested in running.  
  • I also got NEW shoes, which have nearly decreased/eliminated my foot pain.
  • We went on vacation to the Dominican Republic and prior to that I cleaned up my eating and drinking habits (no cheats!) because I was afraid of unflattering beach pictures.  I gotta say I am pretty happy the way they turned out and with me being so hypercritical of myself that's saying a lot.  
  • We did a Zombie 5k over the weekend that was pretty fun! I nearly survived and will know that I need to train with sprints if I ever do it again! 
  • I am actually going to go to the doctor next week to have some blood work.  I try to avoid diagnosing myself, but I seem to have a lot of symptom overlap with hypothyroidism.  I'm going to have it checked out.
  • I did have a few cheat meals last week after vacation, but I think my overall plan going forward is to be GF 100%.  My last real vices are cheese and coffee creamer/dairy in terms of non-healthy foods so I'm going to try to give those up, too.  
  • I'm going to go back to Crossfit and I'm so excited!!! I really miss it.  I will not quit running all together, but I just won't train for such long distances anymore.
Okay, so those are the highlights of the last 4 months.  :)  Like I said the half marathon is about 4 weeks away so I need to be serious now about my runs.  Today's run SUCKED.  Let's not even call it a run.  I have a sore muscle from Saturday and I had to walk a lot.  I think my plan is to quickly get myself back to doing about 6 miles by the middle of next week and then to try to keep that up, while doing 9 a couple of times....9 or 10....and then the week before the half doing 12 and then just a few easier maintenance runs.  I'm going to blog to keep myself accountable! :)  

Here's a few beach pix from our vacation:
 Obligatory jumping picture! :)
Josh always catches me making the worst faces! :P 
First day on the beach! Notice my running short tan lines! :)



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Rave Run Results

So if you're friends with me on FB, then you know that my first race was Saturday night.  Prior to the race I had had some less than stellar runs, but I figured that my adrenaline would kick in that night and I'd be fine.  That was definitely the case.  The race didn't offer us chips to track our progress officially, but I used my iPod app and I'm excited to report that we ran 25:30! Since my goal was between 25 and 26 minutes I'm perfectly happy with that!!  :)  ....and considering Josh and I spent a considerable amount of time and energy passing people I think we probably could have beaten that, too!  

That idea aside, I am just really proud of myself for coming such a long way with running in the past couple of months.  I actually look forward to doing it, when that had never been the case before.  I am excited to go back to the gym, too, but it's nice to have this as an alternative on nice days.  There really isn't anything that I like more right now than running by the lake.  I've always loved Chicago, but it's things like this that let me know that I belong here.  From the time I started running regularly in February of this year I have cut almost 4 minutes off my mile time.  :)  Goes to show that if I put my mind to something I can make it happen and I love that feeling.  #accomplished

I would just like to say thanks to anyone that supported me along the way...liked my fb updates, sent me texts, ran with me, or anything.  It's very cool to know that everyone cared so much.  I definitely have the running bug so I'll be signing up for some more races, but this one is special.  :)  I'm so grateful for the people I have around me.  

Gotta go for now, but I'll post a cute outfit picture (just for you, Erinn!) and a couple races ones, too:  

 The white jeans I've wanted for years that I'm finally in shape enough to have! Thanks to the JCrew outlet store.  Peplum top from Target.  
Pre-race.  I had to lose the glasses to run.  

Post-race.  25:30 looks good!  :) 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blog Pause

Hi guys :)  Sorry it's been such a long time since I posted.  I've been really busy and just haven't had a chance to make any updates.  Typically, if I fall off of blogging it might be because I find myself in a little "funk" and I don't want this to become an arena where I bitch and moan about anything.  I want this blog to continue to be a place where I share exciting and important things, mostly health and wellness related.  However, this time I haven't been blogging because there are so many amazing things going on with my life that I just haven't had the chance!

Since the weather warmed up I have been running outside.  I haven't set foot at the gym and don't get me wrong I do miss lifting 100%, but as I started to prep for the race - which is next weekend - I felt like I wouldn't really make much progress if I was only running a mile here or a mile there for warm up or cool down a few days a week.  I've run nearly every day for almost a month and a half now and I actually find myself looking forward to it and looking forward to running longer distances.  The most I've done right now is 6 miles at one time, but that was actually pretty easy and went by quickly.  On a typical day, I run about 3 miles ....give or take.  Admittedly, every run has not been amazing, nor do I improve every time.  There are days, like yesterday, where I just feel like crap and end up walking a little bit.  However, from the time I started running at 10 minute miles, I've managed to knock off a considerably amount of time.  I am able to run 8:20 miles pretty easily and last Sunday I averaged about a 8:00 pace for about 4 miles.  One of the miles was even 7:40.  If I ran that next weekend I would totally hit my goal of 25 - 26 minutes.  ;)

So, the plan after this coming weekend is to continue to run, but not every day.  I am going back to lifting and back to yoga to have a balance of things.

I haven't been taking a ton of outfit photos, but here's a more recent work one.  I am excited to say that those pants I'm wearing were my "skinny pants" and they're a little big now.  I haven't really changed much in weight (about 135) this month but my composition seems different.
Jeans are Paper, Denim, & Cloth, gray tshirt is from The Limited, and so is my blazer I think....Necklace is from Target....and my fav Steve Madden booties! :)  

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lakeshore Run

I've really tried to pick up my running because the race is less than a month away now.  This week I started running outside because the weather is finally.  Thursday I ran a 5k distance at 9:15m miles and Friday I ran 2 miles at the same place.  Today I ran at the lake with a friend.  We did about 5.5 miles at a 9:15 min mile pace and I was really happy with that!!  That's the longest distance that I have run, yet, and to have it be that consistent is awesome.  I saw a graph of our pace and it was really interesting how little variance there was.  I felt great on the return trip and even picked up my pace to be quicker.  It would be awesome to get faster because Josh is consistently doing 8:30 miles now, but I'll take this! :)

Everything else outside of running is going great, too.  I'm so happy with my life right now....I love my new job even more than I thought I would, I love my friends, I love Chicago and I'm soooooo excited for the summer.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Erica

Friday, March 29, 2013

Long time, No Post

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't posted in quite a while.  I've been really busy with work - in a good way - and I always tell myself I can blog once I have all my work done for the day .....and yeah you can tell that I'm a little swamped! Like I said, though, it's great and I'm loving every second of it!! :)  However, I still suck at getting up and being productive in the mornings so I've had to resort to being a night owl to get anything accomplished, which is ok.  So if you see me on fb at 2 am...that's why. :)  

I have tons to update so I'll try to touch on everything, but just so this post doesn't get out of hand I'll keep it brief.  Let me know if there's anything you want to hear more about.  

First, I'm going to get this out of the way for my BFF - who I am missing dearly right now!!  


Okay, so Chambray shirt from Target, black "leggings" from Express, striped tank from Gap, and my NEW tan and black flats from Aldo that I'm in love with!!  

Orangy/Pink sweater from Target, white tissue tee from Victoria's Secret, my H& M jeans and boots

This was an uber casual day - neon pull over from Old Navy, Express jeans....and I curled my hair - what?!

MINT JEANS!!  I finally found them at Forever 21...the VS tshirt from above and my jean jacket from Zara.

I love this sweater and I forgot I had it.  (Target) and then just a plain off-white long sleeved tshirt, and H & M jeans.

Sweater from Zara, with a cute "slit" in the back.  You have to wear a tank top under it for sure.  Black lulu leggings and my super tall black wedges.  


Whew!  There are also days I forgot to take pictures.  Bummer!  I'll try to stay on top of this.  :)

Okay, so without going to get my gym notebook I feel like the last time I updated was after I did workout 13.2??  I didn't do 13.3 in full, but just Karen (150 Wall Balls).  I couldn't walk for 3 days after that, but its that sore that sucks but you know did you a lot of good?  I'm probably going to try it again here, soon.  It took me about 8 minutes to finish it and that is just not acceptable!! I would like to get it to around 6:00 mins, if possible.  I did 3 sets of 25 and then sets of 10 until I finished.  

I haven't tackled 13.4 yet, but I will do that maybe next Tuesday!! 

In the meantime, I've been running.  Yesterday was my first run outside and I did a 5k distance.  It took me about 27 or 28 mins, which is exactly on pace with my best indoor time.  I got a little worried while running b/c I got a cramp in my side right away so I felt like I was going really slow.  Apparently not? I'm REALLY excited that the weather is nicer because running outside made the time go so much faster.  When I've been running at the gym lately I've been varying my distance and speed and incline.  Some days I do a mile just to warm up and run it as fast as I can.  Other days I do 2 miles at a good, brisk pace and I did do a 5k the other day, which I posted on fb was 9:15 miles.  I would love to be at 25 or 26 minutes but there's only a month left until the race so is that possible?  I have no idea, but I'll keep working towards it.

I've lifted a couple of times since I last blogged.  The other day I loved the work out.  It was 4 parts (1RM):  70% snatch (3 x 3), 70% clean and jerk (3 x 3), 80% strict press (3 x 5), and 80% OHS (3x 5).  I snatched at 45 lbs and  and clean and jerked the same. <-- Those numbers should not be the same!  I pressed at like 30 lbs and OHS ...my arms were super tired so I started at 30 and worked my way up to 40 by set 5.  I felt great lifting!!

So, I think I had just started to mention the saga with my weight, too?  Maybe not.  I've been hanging out at 133 consistently since December.  I weighed myself 2 weeks ago and I was 139.  Nothing had really changed so I was freaking out a little.  Not b/c 139 is fat ....don't think I'm being crazy about that....it was just the idea that something was happening and I wasn't sure what it was.  The only thing is that I had been eating a bunch of apples...they're portable snacks for when I'm out on the job and I just need something quick.  I'll admit I was eating a bunch of them, but I really didn't think that was it.  Last Friday I weighed 139 and I decided to do a small experiment.  I ate my last apple and didn't buy more over the weekend.  Yesterday I weighed 137 in clothes.  Today I weigh 134.  Fucking weird, huh?  I guess my love affair with apples has to come to an abrupt end.  We may still be able to see each other from time to time, but no longer on a daily basis.  I'm just glad I figured out what was going...and all my friends who kept having to hear about it are probably more glad :)  Sorry guys!! Loves you!!!

Alright well that's enough for now.  Have a great weekend!! :) 






Wednesday, March 20, 2013

This post brought to you by the letters W, T, and F!

If you're a girl and you're reading this then I know that you will understand the idea of monthly weight fluctuation.  Honestly I can say that these past few months have seen the least amount of variance than I have in my most of my life.  I have hung consistently between about 130 (my lowest before Christmas) and my "highest" of 135(which isn't high at all).  I hadn't really stressed over weighing myself because I've been eating well and going to the gym regularly.

On Monday morning I decided to weigh myself and when I stepped on I was 140.  140?! WTF?!  Yeah, I know I didn't eat paleo on Saturday, but c'mon really?!  I started freaking out.  I assumed my pj's had to weigh at least 5 lbs.  I took them off.  1 lb.  Fuck.  I frantically sent my friend, Kelly, a message because I know that she will - in the nicest way possible - tell me to quite being a psycho about it.  She'll list all the possible reasons and my anxiety balloon will start to deflate.  So after that happened (Thanks, Kell!) I was thinking about what was really plausible: 1)  Water weight or other fluid retention from drinking over the weekend, 2) hormones, and/or 3) muscle? Perhaps it's a combination of all 3 because there's no way in hell at between the last time I weighed myself ....maybe 1.5 weeks ago...and Monday....I ate 5,000 extra calories each day and did the minimum amount of expenditure.  Rationally, I know this, but it doesn't stop me from not scrutinizing everything I'm eating and drinking.

I've already been doing paleo life, as I'll call it, for the past month or so....I'm not eating any carbs that I can't help....I'm not drinking soda...and I've basically been cooking all my meals and not eating out.  It's just really frustrating that things can go up and down like that and it seems like I don't have a lot of control over it.  Hopefully in a few days things are back to normal and I can stop stressing.

You would think that I would have been going to the gym for 15 hours a day after Monday morning, but my motivation kinda tanked, instead.  I skipped Monday night and then yesterday morning, but I talked myself into going to run last night.  I did approximately 2 miles at a lighter pace (6.0 average), but on a 4 incline.  I'm surprised at how effortless this distance has become - especially for someone who doesn't really like to run.  After I was finished Josh texted me that he ran 3 8:40 miles....WTF?!  Now, I've got to try to run that here in the next couple of days to stay on track with him.  As much as it seems like I'm protesting, I really don't feel that way under the surface....I'm excited for the challenge of doing it.....and for us pushing each other to train for this thing.  :)

I have for a little bit this afternoon and then I'm going to go to the gym after that.  I'm going to lift today so I'll update about that later.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Quick Friday Update

Hey everyone! Just thought I would do a quick update about gym and paleo stuff for the past few days.  

On Wednesday, I had a really jam packed day but I did make it over to the gym just to run.  I'm annoyed to report that I am still kinda sick (just can't kick it) but wanted to try to stay in a routine. I decided to give a 30 minute run a try.  With confidence, I can say that I've probably only run 30 minutes straight on a treadmill maybe one other time in my life?  It's not something I enjoy and I constantly want to stare at the clock.  (Does anyone else notice that time absolutely stands still when you're on there?  You think its been 15 mins and you look down and its been 22 seconds.)  Anyways, I covered the clock with my jacket and set the speed for 6.5.

Around minute 20 I decided that I should be able to peek at the time.  Probably shouldn't have done that because that's when I started to feel like I wanted to quit.  I was hot, a little tired, and bored, even though I made myself a new workout jam playlist.  I pushed through, only taking a quick sip of water for my throat (still sick, remember?) and finished 3.22 miles in 30 minutes.  Per my usual, there is more in the tank at the end than I think there is so I jumped the speed up to 7.0 for the last 2 minutes.  That works out to be about 9:15 min miles.  Not bad.  Obviously, I want to run faster in the actual 5K BUT for running on the treadmill with a constantly speed for that long I was pretty proud of myself.    

I took Wednesday off and yesterday my work schedule didn't give me any gym time.  Today, I'm going to head over there and get in a little lifting at some point.  Not sure what workout I'm going to do.  I'm thinking maybe I'll do 13.2 with a lighter weight just for fun because it'll be quick and I don't have a ton of time.  [Update:  I did make it to the gym today.  I warmed up with running a mile.  It was 9:00 m pretty much on the dot.  Then, I decided I'd do the modified 13.2 workout I'd been thinking about doing.  This was one of the days where I wish that I had other people around to compete with.  I just don't know how to pace myself.  So the real 13.2 was at 10 m amrap of 5 shoulder to overheads at 75 lbs, 10 deadlifts at 75lbs, and then 15 box jumps - 20" for the girls.  I did 37 lbs for my shoulder to overheads, 60 lbs for my deadlifts, and 20" box jumps.  I'd say that the box jumps really killed my time b/c I just couldn't seem to get in a rhythm with them.  I got through 4 full rounds and then the S2OH and a couple deadlifts.  I'm not sure I could have gone much slower than that...blah!  

Before I talk about food, just something I was thinking about because I mentioned my playlist above. I have a fairly broad range of music that I enjoy overall and it's no secret that I love 80's music so clearly there's a ton of that on there.  I've found that I lift and run best to music that makes me happy or has a beat than more angry stuff like they're blasting over the sound system at the gym.  I think its stuff that you'd never think to listen to if you were trying to pick up heavy shit....like Usher OMG...or Michael Jackson anything....or Tom Petty Runnin' Down the Dream?  Weird, I know.  At WCCF I didn't lift with an iPod because its just not the culture for doing that, but at Conviction I don't really have a choice if I want to be in a zone.   It makes me wonder what other people are listening to.  That giant juice-head gorilla over on the other platform....is he listening to Sheryl Crow?  I don't know, but I'd love to be able to do a Zach Morris time out one of these days and just see what other people like to workout to. 

Okay, so food has been good.  Remember when I was having so much trouble with cheating?? It's not even an issue anymore.  I have been eating paleo all the time for about a month now without cheats and without really scrutinizing over it.  Someone at work the other night did offer me a small cookie and it was really awkward the way it happened to turn it down so there was that, but that's really all.  There are probably places that I could tweak some things - i.e. I have really had a craving for fruit lately....ok apples.  I guess there are worse things I could be eating, but I should probably try to cut back on that.  Also, I think I mentioned the almond butter incident the other day.  I don't know what happened...I blacked out....all my celery fell into the jar....I had to eat it.....you understand.  ;)  

I'll try to do some pics and measurements and stuff soon - definitely before I start training harder for the 5K and leading up to that.  It's April 27, so a little over a month away!  I also signed up for 1 in July and Josh sent me a link for another one in May.  I'm oddly excited about signing up for more races.....who knew this was gonna happen?  ;)  

Happy Friday.....
Be safe this weekend....
I have lots of outfits to post next time....


Monday, March 11, 2013

Old Pix

I am a big believer in the idea that "things happen for a reason."  I apply this logic to everything and in that way even the ugliest of events has usually led to something good in my life.  For instance, in undergrad I took a seemingly normal babysitting job for the summer.  The young girl (had Autism, but it was un-diagnosed at the time) had the worst behavior problems and there were many a day I went home in tears wondering why I couldn't handle her very well.  Looking back, it might be one of the most stressful jobs I've ever had.  But, I went to the chair of our psych department to see if I could learn more about her condition and behavior problems and she pointed me to a Learning class offered that fall.  I enrolled and 9 years later ....several undergrad classes....a master's degree in Behavior Analysis and Therapy....and 2 jobs....I help people with autism to communicate more effectively and to build on their skill deficits.  I love what I do and I can't imagine doing anything else.  :)

I am nostalgic.  If you've ever been to my apartment or better yet, my bedroom at my parents house you'll know that I have hundreds of pictures.  Permanent reminders of memories that I have from high school, college, grad school, vacations and etc.  These pictures are some of my most prized possessions because just looking at them can take me back to those times and those feelings and those friends....if I've happened to have lost touch.  Yesterday I was having trouble deleting some less meaningful photos off my phone and somehow in the process ended up downloading Picasa onto my computer (thinking I could do it from my synced desktop).  I am unsure of how this happened, but when it was importing all the photos on my hard drive hundreds of lost college, grad school, and high school photos showed up.  It was Christmas.  I probably spent 2 hours last night looking through them and emailing some of the more special (and also embarrassing/hilarious) photos to people I love.  It was exact therapy I needed after a week of being sick and a couple of "off" days.  Had I not been trying to get rid of photos I no longer wanted or needed I would have never stumbled across these.  It all happens for a reason. ;) 

Because I cannot resist to do this I'm going to share some of my favorites.  I really could have posted 100, but here's 16 good ones.


 Technical writing project group who had to drink together after completing some horrible assignment.  
 Becky, one of my best friends in San Antonio
 Some of the best nights of my life were with these guys! (I'm not sure where Brett was for this pic?)
 :) 
 My dad and I after my college graduation.
 Fourth of July.....2005? 
 Love this picture!  Halloween 2005 - my BFF
 The savior of my first summer in Carbondale when I didn't know anyone! 
 Laura and I - we probably have 100 horribly embarrassing photos of just us.  
 Flip Cup @ AEPi
 Girls @ Gorman's
 Probably one of my fav photos ever - Brandon (a friend from back in high school....Dave, a friend I met in Carbondale who I am still really close with....and Maya and Sarah 2 good friends from SIU....all in the same pic.
 Some crazy Halloween in Carbondale
 Coachlight Love.  
 Before the Law School formal dance @ SIU
 Salukis

Alright, so I've been a week away from the gym.  First with the flu and then the subsequent cold that I had over the weekend.  Grrr.  I'm gonna go tonight and do something....even though I'm not 100%.  Quick paleo update....going great!  I did eat my weight in almond butter one day, but no harm - no foul! :)  I was 133 yesterday, which is normal. 

Happy Monday everyone!

Post Gym Workout Update:
So I had it in my mind that I was gonna do a modified 13.1 (its the first games workout this year...google it)  last week.  Getting sick clearly put a stop to that but I decided that tonight was as good as any.  I knew that I was gonna have to pick a weight and stick to it since there'd be no one to switch out stuff for me.  I also decided that I'd probably have to cut the reps in half because I am still coughing and have a bit of a stuffy nose.  

Here's what I did: 

20 burpees
15 snatches @ 27 lbs.
15 burpees
10 snatches @ 27 lbs.
10 burpees
10 snatches @ 27 lbs
5 burpees
1 snatch from the ground....the rest were from the hang b/c I thought that seemed like it would be harder.  

All that took me about 15 mins....which is slow, but not that bad all things considered.  I was sufficiently tired.

After that I ran a mile.  I had a hard time regulating my breath so I was about 1.3 miles in 11 mins.  

Tomorrow I will go to yoga and try to get some running in if I can. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Where's the Theraflu?!

Just when my motivation was at its peak that pesky traveling friend, the flu, has shown up at my apartment for a visit.  Awesome.  I was really jacked up to lift this week and to run and to do yoga.  I had that "pre-sickness haze" yesterday but I shrugged it off thinking that I would take some meds and get to sleep at a decent time and be on the mend today.  "Not so fast, Erica!," says the flu.  "I'm in from out of town and I need a place to crash."  I guess things could be worse I could be puking, but instead I'm just completely worn down, achy, and my throat is really sore.  I took a walk over to Walgreens this morning to get some medicine.  Which, if you have seen my medicine drawer, is probably completely unnecessary but I feel better with a stockpile.  Take that cold + flu....I have 24 tablets of gel-filled germ fighting power.....costing me the equivalent of one paycheck.  :)

Seriously though - does anyone else have the problem that they never know what to buy?  Do I want cold and sinus? Do I want cold and flu?  Do I want a blue Tylenol drink thing?  Where the fuck are the Theraflu packets? (Time Out:  my Walgreens didn't have any....are these no longer being made?! I just looked on drugstore.com and they don't have any either.  This is not good.)  Why is Mucinex so expensive....Answer: because it's amazing.  I finally settled on some Dayquil/Nyquil, Exedrin (I was out and that's the only thing that takes away my headaches), and this economy bottle of Wal-dryl that was perhaps a little unnecessary - oh well.

I hope I can get back to doing stuff where within the next day or so.  I know I've been doing pretty well, but being the perfectionist that I am it's not feeling good enough to me.  I ran into another CF friend at Conviction the other day and I'm glad that she can lift during the day so that will be really awesome.  Hopefully we can start aligning our schedules at the end of this week or next.  :)

Alright so I went to the Hawks game last night (and I even left early so you know I was feeling shitty) and here's my outfit:
Hawks hoodie (my fav) that I got a couple of years ago, white tshirt, black lululemon leggings, and my Hunter boots.  

Here's an image from the Hawks' game and the tribute to Marian Hossa!! :)  I guess all of the dancing to Chelsea Dagger I did last night might make up for no trip to the gym yesterday. ;)



Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fab Pink Pants

Hey guys! Hope you all had an awesome weekend.  In my attempt to have more of a low key weekend I'd say I was half successful. I can't turn down going to dueling pianos no matter how hard I try. ;)  But....last night was a stay in and order chinese GNI (girl's night in), which was so fun and definitely needed!

Since my legs were pretty sore from Friday's workout I took the day off yesterday.  Today I headed over to Conviction after the Hawks' game.  If you saw the game then you'd understand why I didn't want to leave.  It was intense from the first drop of the puck!  :)

Here's the workout from today, it was less reps and heavier weights than we've been doing:

  • Clean and Jerk:  4 X 1 @ 95% of 1RM
    • I think I've mentioned a few times that I'm not exactly sure what my 1RM's are so I have to do some guess-work.  I get a little nervous about lifting heavy, too, because I don't want to kill myself and have no one around.  ....and reason 3 I get super embarrassed if I have to drop a weight...although that's getting better!  
    • I warmed up with 40, 50, and 60 lbs before doing my workout reps with 65 lbs.  I'll post the video of my 4th and final rep - which looks way easier than it felt.  I *wanted* to try 70 lbs but I just wasn't sure I could do it for 4.  I'll get there.  ;)  I started doing that little jump forward again today....maybe a function of a heavier weight??  That's gotta go!
    • My old notebook has my C&J 1RM at 44kg (96lbs).  I kept missing 45 kg (99lbs) for the jerk portion at the time, so I'm still about 30 lbs off that.  
video

  • Back Squat: 80% of 1RM, 5 sets x 2 reps
    • I haven't back squatted a lot because it hasn't shown up in a lot of workouts.  I did a few warm up reps at 40, 50, 70, and then decided I'd try my reps at 90 lbs.  I think the last time I BS'd I think I was around 70 or 75 lbs so big improvement!
    • I didn't video these, but I think they went pretty well.  I was worn out by the end.
  • Running:  I figured I should try to get in some running today since I was at the gym.  I ran 1 mile at  9:30 pace and I felt pretty good!  I was thinking I'd run another mile, but my legs were already sore so  I decided that wasn't necessary.  I definitely think 9:00 is very do-able right now, but breaking that is going to take some work!  
Busy week this week, but I'm ready for it!! :)

P.S. LOVIN' these new hot pink workout pants!  They'll be perfect for the Rave Run!!


Friday, March 1, 2013

Dream Dictionary

After going through a period of a couple of years without really dreaming or remembering them in the morning (that's a better way to put it) I've started dreaming really vividly again.  I'm not exactly sure the function of this, but I googled it yesterday and came across a couple articles about emotional health and your mind's way of processing events through dreaming.  For the sake of time and space the important thing from the dream was that my purse was stolen from a secure location.  I was on vacation with a few friends and had locked it up because I wasn't going to need it.  I had thought about checking it during "the trip" but didn't.  On the last day of the trip I went to retrieve my purse and everything was gone.  I knew it had contained my wallet, driver's license, phone, keys, money, passport, ipass (why was that in my purse?) and everything else that identifies me.  In the dream I didn't even know how to begin clearing up the mess and confusion so it just sent me into a panic.  

I'm finding this dream wildly entertaining because my dream dictionary (Yes, I have one of those)  suggests that the translation is something to do with feeling lost and having to find yourself.  How appropriate?  I've had so many changes in my life since the summer and there's been plenty of times where I've felt a little out of sorts.  It's so interesting to me that my mind tries to sort this out while I'm sleeping.  Like I mentioned a few posts ago, I have lately felt that things are all coming together and that's so exciting.  I'm hoping that having vivid dreams about this stuff is a sign that I'm close to working it all out. :)

I had a couple of rest days due to my schedule so I was back in the gym this morning to do yesterday's workout.  I'm really enjoying these complex lift programs so I hope we keep them going.  I took a couple videos to check on my form today so I've included those.  

Snatch:  1 Hang Snatch + 2 Snatch (5 reps) @ 65% of 1RM

  • I went with 42 lbs again for this one and my first few practice snatches weren't so great.  I was landing in my squat with my weight shifted forward onto my toes so I was having to take a step forward to stick the landing.  However, once I got started with the workout that actually corrected itself.
  • I ended up doing an extra set, too, because I noticed on my first video that my knees were coming together a little bit of the first pull during the regular snatch.  I had to see it corrected! :)  The video included is of this set.
video

Clean & Jerk:  1 Clean + 2 Jerk (5 reps) @ 65% of CJ1RM
  • Okay - good chance to redeem myself from the other day when I thought I could do this heavier.  I can jerk more than I can push press, obviously, so I went with 52 lbs instead.
  • Sets were good.  For whatever reason I've figured out how to correct my clean technique and now it's just getting back to the weights I was doing before.  Yay! 
  • I even took a video of an extra set of this - just a regular clean and jerk.  I can get away with not getting too low under the bar for the jerk now, but that will have to be something I work on as it gets heavier. 
video

Deadlifts:  4 rounds of 4 reps at 100% of CJ Max (which all time is about 105).
  • I did 90 lbs for this and I think that was a good call on my part.  They weren't bad at all, but definitely not easy.
4 x 20 Backwards Lunges - with a 25 lbs plate over head.  I'm hoping I feel that later! :)

I didn't get a chance to run today because this took me longer than I thought.  I had to come home for a Skype call.  The goal will be to run Saturday and Sunday!  

Happy weekend, everyone!! :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Running: Day 1

I've ambitiously set my goal for the 5K at 25 minutes - which I completely think is do-able as long as we continue to run between now and the end of April.  I started the "training" today and ran 2 miles.  The first mile I just ran at a very easy pace just to see what time it would turn out and it was around 10:30.  I ran the second mile a little quicker at 10:00 even.  Running felt awesome today so I'm really excited to see how much we can push ourselves by race time!  Also, I cannot wait to run outside when its nice.  This is the spring and summer that I start running at the lake.

I loved the workout today!!  It was quick, but challenging.

Snatch:  2 reps at the top of each minute for 12 minutes @ 60% of best snatch effort
-  I did several reps to warm up at lower weights and then quickly got started.
-  I went with 42 lbs for my 60%.
-  This went really awesome.  I was definitely tired towards the end, but I never broke form.

Power Clean + Push Press:  2 sets of 2 + 2 and 3 sets of 2 + 1  (I know that seems confusing!!)
-  I'm gonna throw it out there that I think I could have lifted heavier for this because I should really be able to clean more and I'm sure I can, but I also had to think about the press and how much I can do there.  I went with 42 lbs for this, too.
- The 2 sets of 2 power cleans and 2 push presses were quick and painless.
-  The 3 sets of 2 power cleans and 1 push press were also easy.

The workout online called for strict chin ups but I can never seem to find the freakin' band when I want to do this.  I'm going to have to order one I think because pull ups are never gonna happen on their own!

After the lifting I did the running that I mentioned above.

Last night I didn't get home from work in time to hit the gym so I did an ab video.  I'm totally feeling it today!! :)

Since I wasn't able to hit the gym last night I took the opportunity to cook.  I gotta say that I'm pretty proud of myself for branching out and trying new recipes and not just sticking with burgers and breakfast stuff.  (Those things sound really good, btw, but I'm refraining!)  I've noticed that I am crazy for certain foods for a period of time and then all of a sudden I don't want anything to do with them.  Right now I'm eating apples like it's my job and I probably bake a batch of brussel sprouts every other day.  A month ago it was broccoli and the mango slices from Whole Foods....and a number of other things I've cycled through.  I don't know if I'm the only person who does this, but it's weird, right?

So I did a little shopping over the weekend and I've (of course) been wearing things this week.  Here's my work outfit from yesterday.  I'm a little obsessed with these grey dress pants so that's why they're constantly showing up. Maybe I should throw my other ones back into the rotation, too? ;)


Black sweater from Zara.  You can't see it, but the back has such cool detail.  There's a gold zipper that runs the length of the shirt and the hem is asymmetrical in the sense its shorter where the zipper comes together and then gets longer and meets the length of the front of the shirt. So cute! Gray Editor pants from Express (Love them!) and my Tory Burch flats.   

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dressing Room Disasters

For those of you who follow me on Pinterest you'll notice that I am obsessed lately with one thing.....mint colored jeans.  Jeans are a purchase that I hate to make.  In fact, I even have an entire post in the archives here about how much it stresses me out. Shopping for these jeans amplifies the drama because I don't want to spend a fortune on them as they're a trendy thing, but the cheaply made pairs are a joke in terms of cut and fit. No joke - if they fit me in the legs then a family of 4 can usually fit inside the waistband gap!

Traveling for work now means that I'm frequently passing by Old Orchard.  I can already tell that this is going to be a problem, especially when its nice out.  (It's an out door mall with every store you could ever think of.)  On the way home from work yesterday I decided that it was time to find these jeans that I have been dreaming of for a while now.  How hard can this be?  Right?  I didn't even expect to spend an hour ....or 2....or 3.... but 4 hours, 1 venti chai latte, and 15 pairs of jeans in the "no fucking way" pile later I found a pair that I liked.  Of course, I will rock them soon and share a pic.

I think that shopping for jeans is particularly traumatic because I start thinking that my body is way out of proportion, which in fact is not true.  It leaves one to believe that having a butt and thighs is a crime because jeans are not cut to accommodate you.  Honestly, who's legs look like sticks?!  Apologies to anyone that reads this who does...but you need to squat more! :)  Just sayin'!!

The other thing I haven't figure out is why not make the lighting in the dressing rooms favorable for trying on clothes?  Soften that shit up people!  I don't want my constant inner monologue to consist of...."Ugh...not a good angle" ...."OOOh....that's even worse!"  Don't worry, I treated myself to additional retail therapy in form of candles to get over the psychological damages.  ;)

As you might expect, I didn't work out this weekend.  I intended to, but then I had a 4:30 am night and a 6:00 am night.  Good bye weekend productivity and motivation!!  Honestly though, I wouldn't trade sleep for laughs and good times any day of the week so it's all worth it in the end.  I am reminded of how incredibly lucky I am to be living this life.  Good times and good people.

Food and drink choices were pretty good over the weekend.  All paleo except for some bread and feta cheese I had on Friday night.

I'm going to start incorporating some running into workouts this week.  Not every day because I'm not really too stressed about running a 5k, but I want to make sure its smooth and effortless come 4/27.....and my partner in crime started running this last week so I have to keep up! ;)

....and now for the outfits.

I went out Friday, but forgot to take a picture before I left.  I donned the leather pants again and a silver/grey  lightweight tee from the Limited and a black sweater.  Cute stuff!! :)  Here's from last night:  green sweatshirt from Zara, grey tank from Target, jeans from H & M, and brown boots....and yes, no need to rub your eyes and check again....I curled my hair.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nice Surprise

Okay, literally ran home from the gym tonight to tell you how stupid I am. :)  Obviously, Conviction doesn't have exactly the same equipment that WCCF had so when I was doing the snatch work with the shorter bar I assumed it was very light in weight - 7 - 10 lbs - like I was used to there.  I calculated all of my January and February snatch weights thinking it was no more than that.  Wrong.  It weights about 22.2 lbs!

Let's recalculate my snatch math:  I finished the month thinking I was doing around 37-40 lbs when really I was doing 52 lbs!  That seriously made my day and for sure my week! :)  So last week when I mentally was having trouble with what I thought was 42 lbs....it was really 57 lbs and that's like 15 lbs off my 1RM of ever.  MIND BLOWN! :)

I went to the gym tonight after I got home from work and it worked out well that Clerky and Maggie were there.  It was awesome to see them to to lift with them.  I was happy, too, that they thought my lifts looked good!!  I must be doing okay by myself...even though its not my favorite!

  • Hang Snatch 5x2 @ 65% of 1RM
    • I warmed up with 22, 32, and then did the 5 sets with 42 lbs.  Honestly, no further comments.....I am just so excited!!
  • Hang Clean & Jerk 5x2 @ 65% of 1RM
    • Sets were completed with 44 lbs, which is 65% of 57 lbs (my known max for now)
    • These were easy and I had no trouble knocking them out quickly.  The cleans even felt good and I felt like I was making the bar travel straight up - instead of chasing it outward sometimes like I do.  :)  
  • Prowler - another couple was using this so I didn't get a chance to.  
  • Sit ups - I will take care of here at home 4 x 15 reps
I'm not sure what I'll be able to squeeze in tomorrow workout wise.  I would like to do yoga, but someone hit my car today so I have to get a couple estimates for the damage which will take up most of my morning.  Perhaps tomorrow is a rest day?  or....I will dance enough tomorrow night to count it as a workout.  I'm kinda hoping that's the case.  I love to dance and I never get the chance very often to do it.  Very excited!

Alright, here's an outfit of the day pic.  I worked this afternoon so you'll probably notice its less trendy and more work appropriate.  Don't look at my hair.  I am hatin' on my bangs big time.

Dress pants from Express, off white button down from the CK Outlet, CK jean jacket that I may have gotten from Marshall's a few years back, and my gray Steve Madden suede booties (love!)  





Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Decade 3.0

"One kind word can change someone else's day."

A few days ago, when I wasn't exactly at my best, a friend said to me that its remarkable how resilient I am.  At that moment, I think I wasn't really listening because I was emotionally wrapped up in what I was saying. Even if I was completely tuned in I may have just dismissed it in disagreement. It's a few days later now and I've found myself going back to those words a lot and feeling good each time I do.  I'm not sure that I see exactly what they do, but each unexpected and difficult situation that's come up I think I've not only survived but re-emerged a better version of myself.  If anything, I'm more appreciative of the good things that fill up my life, which is true now more than ever.  

Also, I just entered a new decade.  Some days the idea of 30 scares me, but I'm trying to think of it as the dawn of a time for me to really figure out what excites me.  Maybe I'll do a few things that scare me and I'll discover some new things in the process?  For instance, a couple of years ago, I would have never thought that I would be where I am now with the health and fitness part of my life.  I thought about being in shape but I had very little direction and/or motivation.  It was another time, similar to this, when I was trying to figure myself out.  Fast forward through being scared and intimidated....now the gym...lifting weights....doing wods...kickboxing....it's all familiar.  What's not?  Running.  I actually hate to run, so last week I decided that I wanted to do a 5k.  Serendipitously, the Rave 5K showed up on Living Social today and I knew that was going to be my first race.  My friend Josh and I signed up! I'm so excited about doing something that I never thought it would...even if I suck at it.  Hopefully, its the first of many things. :)

No gym today.  I woke up with a little bit of a cold and I reset my alarm so I could get some more sleep.  Honestly, I was disappointed, but I'm sure I wouldn't have had a very productive session.  I hope I'm feeling better tomorrow!

Food today was paleo minus the chai latte.  I looked up that it's gluten-free-ness on the Starbucks website.  I rationalized that it would make my sore throat feel better.  I was right....but then again...when am I wrong?? ;) *jk* 

A couple of random things....

1) I am so obsessed with hockey right now.  My interest in this is on a whole new level this season.  I'm not sure if it's because I had to wait so long for the season to start or what.  Whatever it is...exciting times being a Hawks fan at the moment!  Fingers crossed that I get to another game in March.

2) You know that they say that people and their pets start to resemble each other?  I took this picture of Sharpie tonight and I thought it looked familiar.  See for yourself. :)


3) Tomorrow's promise is to wear something not featured in the Slob Kabob Spring 2013 Collection and to blog about it, to cook, and to go to the gym! ;)