US Wellness

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!


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 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 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 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 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 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

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 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 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.  

  • 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.

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. 

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!! :)