Stretch it Out

Greetings!

This morning’s workout was a little rushed, but it was still a good one!

First up, I did a quick 20-minute cardio blast on my new love, the Precor machine. After that, I headed down to the spare room to complete an ab routine of what have been hailed as the “Six Best Six Pack Moves.” (Please note: it is not actually my goal by any means to have a six pack, but some ab definition is never a bad thing, right?).

I did between 25 and 30 of each of the following moves. When I got to the plank, I did 3 “sets” of 1 minute with a 30 second rest in between. I’ve included links to youtube videos of each move in case you’re unfamiliar with any of them!

Once again, I don’t think this one will leave me sore tomorrow (abs are always the hardest section for me to really kill with any moves, I think I need to up the reps.), but I definitely felt the burn.

After all of this was done, I did something that I rarely do: stretch. I don’t know what my problem is, I know how important stretching is and how critical it is to injury-prevention, but I just don’t usually do it! Fortunately, the group classes that I participate in always include a stretching cool-down, but when I’m on my own? Forget about it.

And then I had a revelation.

The other day, I was on the treadmill and my hip was really bothering me. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was, but it was ridiculously uncomfortable and I ended up moving over to an elliptical. It was then that I remembered that the day before, my legs and joints felt very tight when I was elliptical-ing away. I realized that perhaps if I had stretched after my workout the day before, I may not have experienced that discomfort the next day. I then decided to make a conscious effort to always stretch after my workouts and to stop being a lazy dumbo. I know this will be 100% critical when I begin my race training and I might as well get in the habit now, right?

The rest of my day was filled with babysitting (where I made brilliant drawings of Spongebob Squarepants and Barney the dinosaur) and tutoring (where I overcame some serious iMovie obstacles and managed to completed a science project with my tutee).

That’s all I’ve got until tomorrow! Enjoy your night!

The Core Challenge Workout

Hello there friends!

There are a few things that I really, really enjoy. I love food. I love books. I love exercising. I love nail polish. I also love clothes. A lot. Which is why I decided to attempt to pilot a new 5ks & Coffee Beans feature. Which we will cover after the daily recap.

So first up, this morning I tackled the Precor machine at the gym. This is probably a confession that I shouldn’t make, but I honestly don’t understand these machines. They’re some sort of combination of the elliptical, stationary bikes, cross-country skis and a machine made to make me look like a fool. Today instead of my typical tunes, I was watching an episode of Gilmore Girls on the Precor TV and it actually helped the time to fly by. I will have to keep that in mind!

Even though I didn’t really feel like I was working up much of a sweat, I kept at it for about 40 minutes and according to the little calorie-burner-reader-thingy I was scorching some major calorie-age which is just fine by me!

After that, I completed a core workout that I’ve seen floating around on Pinterest for quite some time now.

This one:

Core Challenge

Source.

I really “enjoyed” this workout and even though I’m not entirely sure it’ll be burning in the morning by any means, it was a good challenge! The instant I saw the three sets of 50 crunches, I knew that I’d have to get rid of my mental block against completing any reps higher than 25 or 30. It’s easy enough to overcome, if I simply complete two sets of 25, I’m just fine. Even if I do it without a break in between and just re-start my counting after 25. I know it sounds silly, but something about doing the same motion that many times and reaching such a high number kind of psychs me out a little!

Overall verdict? Glad I tried it, but it won’t be a go-to workout for me!

After some serious gym time, I made my way to Starbucks with Chloe for a snack and some coffee:

photo-165

I haven’t had the Starbucks oatmeal since the spring when I was school (mostly because it’s a bit of a rip), but it was certainly filling. It also was a much better choice than the raspberry scone that was actually calling my name after my hard work! I also hit up a café misto that one of my school friends introduced me to years ago and I kind of forgot about until recently! I love me my Starbucks, but I definitely can’t do that everyday! $$$$

The rest of the day was spent chilling at home with some babysitting in the evening. (Which is where I procured a nifty little Cinderella sticker that I lost somewhere along the way! Major upset.)

Other newsflashes and revelations:

  • Taylor Swift has really been speaking to me in recent days (what does this mean about my life?) 
  • Taking down the final traces of holiday decorations is endlessly depressing
  • A lot can happen in a week!

And now for the Fashionista Friday feature of 5ks & Coffee Beans!

As I have mentioned many times before, I love clothes, bargain shopping and putting outfits together. (That includes workout gear! Chances of me going to the gym when I have a new outfit waiting for me? 100%.)

I am working to figure out the best way to include this interest into the blog in some way as I know many of you share my excitement for clothes (and even better, for a good deal!). So let’s see how this goes. I have created a “Fashionista Friday” tab at the top of the blog’s home page. Each week, I’ll be posting something on that page that is either a collection of outfits from the week, recent deals I’ve procured, new fashion finds… something like that. I’ll be sure to post a link when there”s actually something there to read so that you can follow along that way!

Let’s hope this works out! 🙂

Have a great night and happy weekend!

Tuesday (need a) Snoozeday

Things today started off promisingly enough.

I met Katie at the gym this morning bright and early for a quick workout before work. After hitting the treadmill for a very brief 15-minute jog to get the heart rate going, we completed the following ab workout from one of my favorite tumblrs:

Source (I highly recommend the Back On Pointe site. She has some fantastic workouts.)

I tossed in some random jump roping intervals and we were out of there within forty minutes, but I could definitely feel the burn.

Afterwards, we swung by Dunkin Donuts where I had myself a multigrain bagel with peanut butter (that was exceptionally salty for some reason!)

dunkin' donuts multigrain bagel

I also caved and ordered a cup of hazelnut coffee:

Dunkin' Donuts Holiday Cup

It tasted extra delicious served in a HOLIDAY CUP.

We all know how much I love Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. It’s definitely my favorite “take-out” coffee. Throw in a Christmas-themed cup and life is good.

After that it was time to head to work where I was up to my knees in Thanksgiving pies and holiday orders. I wasn’t feeling 100% today anyway and after staying up FAR too late last night in order to finish a couple of application-related things and waking up MUCH too early, by the end of the night I was tired and seeing spots (spots that were shaped like pies.) That most unfortunate combination made me cranky and snappy which is no good for anyone involved!

I think that all adds up to one thing: hit the sack early tonight.

I did happen to get an adorable note in the midst of the all of the craziness:

 

My tutee’s little sister made an appearance at the market today and delivered this note to me and a co-worker. “Brine” = Brittany. It’s actually quite funny because almost every little kid who tries to say my name pronounces it as “Brinny.” Way to sound it out! Either that or she thinks I am very salty.

Today’s “thanks” goes to the little kids in my life who never fail to make me smile (even the mischief-makers). There is something so refreshing about the honesty you get from kids. They don’t play games and they hold NO punches (for better or worse). Sometimes I do wish that I pursued the career in education that I had always dreamt of, but I know it just wouldn’t be quite right for me!

Hope you had a great day! I will be back tomorrow.

Left-Over College Habits

Hello friends!

The weather was absolutely gorgeous today. I think the temperature nearly hit 60 degrees! A lovely day off indeed.

Around noon today, I hit the gym for a workout of my own (instead of the typical exercise classes that I have been frequenting). Since I never really go to the gym that late in the “morning”, I threw myself off a tad! I was quite confused when I returned home around 1:00 instead of the typical 9 or 10. Also, the crew on the floor was quite different from what I am used to. There was not a single woman there, and it was packed. I guess I missed the memo. 😉 

First I completed a two-mile run on the treadmill that started off with a pretty steep incline. Generally speaking, I feel like my soul is slowly being drained out of me when I’m on the treadmill, but today I was feeling my oats! I know that it is a little early for this nonsense, but I actually had Christmas songs playing on the iPod as I ran and they energized me! I love my triumphant Christmas music and even though Thanksgiving hasn’t even arrived yet, I am 110% in the Christmas cheer spirit. (Hey, whatever works, eh?)

Next I darted down to the vacant aerobics room to complete the following ab routine:

I don’t know why I decided to go Victorian on this, but I do like those fancy little corners!

Next, (because I’m the most predictable person alive?) I made a stop at my canal-side coffee shop and worked on some MORE versions of the famous resume. As I sat there with my laptop, I realized that there are a few habits from college that I am pretty sure I will be stuck with for quite some time:

  • Cafe/ Library Required: For some reason, when I was in school I could NOT study at home. Even without the distraction of the television/ business of other people around, I just couldn’t do it. I would always relocate to a library, cafe or bookstore. Apparently, I still have that problem as I always feel the need to visit my favorite coffee shop to work on anything “important”.
  • Online Procrastination: First of all, I hardly ever visit Facebook anymore. Other than meeting up with a friend for a “scheduled” chat, I just don’t really find it that interesting anymore. However, apparently when I should be doing other things (like writing resumes and filling out applications), every-other click takes me to America’s favorite social networking site. I find myself perusing the photos of my “friends” that I hardly even speak to anymore. I write statuses like there is no tomorrow and I post random links on other people’s timelines. The procrastination runs deep.
  • Coffee Addiction:  Next, the coffee habit is one I will never be able to kick. Throughout my freshman and sophomore years at school, I didn’t drink it. Ever. I just couldn’t get past the bitterness of it and never found a flavor that I found to be especially enjoyable. Then things took a very sharp turn. Even the feel of a mug in my hand is enough to make me feel a little better about life in the mornings. Today, I managed to sleep in a bit and ran right to the gym and did a few random things afterwards so the coffee never made an appearance. Around 6:00 my head was pounding and I even felt a tad nauseous. After I mentioned my headache to my mom, she asked if I had any caffeine today at which point I realized that it was another caffeine headache. I made a pre-dinner cup of coffee and within minutes felt 100% better. Thank you, on-campus Starbucks. Thanks a bundle.
  • “Midnight” “Snacking”:  Towards the end of my senior year, I fell into a nasty habit of ordering midnight meals with my roommates. I wish I could call it midnight snacking, but the “snacks” consisted of: chicken wings and french fries, XXXXL pizzas and Chinese food. Even though I no longer give in to the temptation, whenever I am up just a little later than usual, I find myself craving those same foods in all of their caloric, MSG-ridden, sodium-swimming glory. (Side note: The XXXXL pizza thing is real. Since we were both night owls, Josh and I used to go in half and half on pizza for those late nights when I’d be working all night long after returning from my job. –let it be known that two XL pizzas somehow managed to cost less than one medium. He would eat a whole entire pizza and maintain his fitness regardless. I’d eat three slices and gain 14 pounds. Life isn’t fair.)

My 7:00 cup of headache remedy.

Anyway, I didn’t accomplish very much at today’s working outing. Better luck next time, I suppose.

In true Monday style, I also met up with Katie for lunch! I did something wild. I purchased a salad. 

Where did that come from!? That’s a spinach/arugala salad topped with garbanzo beans, feta cheese, beets and raspberry vinaigrette. As you may know, I typically hate salad. I just don’t understand it and I hate greens, but this was 100% enjoyable and I wasn’t 2,000 calories as some salads can end up totaling! (For some reason, more than any other exercise, running makes me feel more conscientious about my food choices. Perhaps that’s because it is so difficult for me and since I am well aware of the fact that it really doesn’t burn that many calories–especially for the amounts of time that I run– I feel that I should be extra careful not to negate its benefits.) 

Since we ate in the restaurant that is above the grocery store, we wandered down to do some very quick shopping which is when I picked up yet another bottle of nail polish (it’s quite possible that I have a problem. 🙂 )This is the perfect fall color and will definitely be my Thanksgiving nail polish!

OPI, Germanicure, Germany Collection, Nail polish I’ll stop buying new colors for a little while now. Maybe…

I think that’s all she wrote for tonight! I will talk to you all tomorrow.

 

A Mid-Autumn “Hike”

Good afternoon and thanks for stopping by today!

I have some very exciting news. I am back in the business of having a gym buddy! I was able to spend the better part of my day off with katie today and we were extremely productive!

First of all, we ditched Boot Camp. The forms have been filled out for a refund and I should be getting about half of my money back ($5 cancellation fee? What is that nonsense. They are charging $5 to avoid certain death  unnecessary pain and suffering!

Next, we hit up my gym since this week is “Member Appreciation” week which means that Katie could come along for free to test the place out! (She also ended up joining so now I officially have a gym buddy which is endlessly exciting.) First up was a 20-minute stint on the treadmill. In that short time, I tackled both sprinting intervals and inclines and by the end I was sweaty and red-faced. Next Katie and I did the following arms and abs circuit (thanks Jordan, for the arm-moves that I STILL use all of the time!)

After that, we realized that the weather was just too beautiful to spend inside so we “went for a hike”. (What actually happened was we walked the perimeter of a large field and followed a “path” for a short time that led to yet another field and some spritely, unleashed dogs.) Despite the fact that we didn’t cover much ground and really didn’t hike at all, it was nice to be outside in the beautiful weather and the trees were still gorgeous! It was almost 70 degrees, I couldn’t believe it!

 

I also spent some quality time in a coffee shop that is right in the middle of the village. It was very quiet and the view out the window was gorgeous. We all know that just about any day of the year I would choose coffee over tea, but for some reason, I bought a cup of hot tea and it was absolutely delicious. Maybe I should consider coffee’s backup drink more often.

 

Numi Tea

Now it is time to head off to tutor. We are in the middle of completing a big project! Sometimes I wish I could go back to high school. And then I snap out of it real fast. 😉

See you all tomorrow!

Turn It Around

Greetings! 

When you hear this story, you will probably do two things. First of all, you’ll laugh. And then you will wonder why you bother reading the blog of a crazy woman.

The fact that this exact same series of events (nearly) happened last week only makes matters worse. 

So tonight after work, I decided that it was time to head out for some gym time. I was rearing and ready to go with a cardio plan in my head and a new ab routine that I copied down in hand. I drove the short distance to the gym and drove past the window. What did I see but about 450 fellow gym-goers. Machines were racing and weights were flying left and right. I pulled into a parking spot. And sat there for a solid two minutes debating whether or not to go in. I turned the car off, I turned the car back on again. I turned the car off and on once again. I did (yet another) loop past the window and pulled back into my parking spot. I was fully convinced that I was actually going to walk in this time. Instead, I drove back home and never looked back. (FORTUNATELY, I did finish the ab workout and also a leg workout at home which is good because otherwise I would feel like a complete and utter failure.) Anyway, let us call this an Exercise In Flexibility. And also a glimpse into the life of a socially awkward fitness fanatic. 😉

For those interested, here are the two workouts that I managed to complete: 

1. Legs: The Glamour Magazine Miniskirt Workout  (this one usually KILLS my legs, but I think I may have finally worn it out!) 

2. Abs: Runner’s Workout (this one is new to me, but I really enjoyed it! Additionally, this article has some really interesting information about the mechanics of running and the muscles involved. I highly recommend it.) 

Dinner tonight was kind of a bust. I had a five-piece chicken nugget and baked potato from Wendy’s. Semi-tasty, but not particularly nutritious and not particularly filling. 

In other news, I have been continuing to research half-marathons in an attempt to find the perfect race for me for 2013! Things are gettin’ surrrreous! 

Tomorrow morning I am due in to work quite early, but the plan is to get to sleep early tonight and make it to the gym before work! 

 

 

I’d Make a Terrible Caveman

This morning, I ate like a caveman. That’s right guys, I gave the famous “oatless” oatmeal (a staple in the Paleo diet) a try. The oatless oatmeal actually did a very good job of keeping my hunger at bay for most of the day and it didn’t taste too terrible either!

So what is the Paleo diet? In short, it’s back to what is assumed to be the prehistoric diet. The meal plan contains lots of meat, protein  and also some nuts and grains mixed in. (OK, that was a terrible explanation. This website does a much better job of explaining what the Paleo diet actually is.) Let it be known that I never, ever, ever would consider the Paleo diet (or “template” as they call it) for myself even though I’m sure it works just fine for some people. For one thing, any diet that puts my beloved oatmeal on the forbidden foods list is automatically off of my radar! One thing that I came to  realize in my perusal of various diet and health plans is that I’m not willing to cut anything out 100%. I’ll cut back and reduce and swap and skimp until the end of time, but I’m not OK with cutting any of my favorite things out of my diet indefinitely. As I talked about yesterday, for me it’s all about moderation and control. I love sweets and carbs WAY too much to cut them out completely. I’m also 100% positive that peanut butter did NOT exist in Fred Flintstone’s time and a world without peanut butter doesn’t fly by me! I’d definitely be willing to give the Paleo oats another try though, I’ve also seen many variations that make it more flavorful and change the texture a bit (I ended up swirling in some yogurt which really improved things in my opinion). If you’re curious, here is the recipe that I used. It’s been flying around on various blogs and also good ‘ole Pinterest for a few months now and I finally decided to give it a try.

For the workout tonight, I got right on it the instant I got home for work. I knew that if I didn’t do it then, I wouldn’t do it at all so I decided to leave The World’s Most Irksome Day EVER (think: The Office meets Saved By the Bell) behind me and hit the mat. I completed an ab workout that I found online a while back that hit all of the right places. It was quick and mean and I loved it!

Here’s what I did tonight:

  • 25 Crunches
  • 25 Toe-Touches
  • 5 Leg Lifts
  • 30 Seated Rows
  • Plank (1 minute)
  • Right Side Plank (1 minute)
  • Left Side Plank (1 minute)
  • 25 Burpees
  • 10 Leg Climbs (10/ leg)
  • 15 Slow Bicycles (each side = 1/2 rep)
  • 15 Right Side Crunches
  • 15 Left Side Crunches
  • Plank w/ Leg Lift (1 minute)
  • 10 Knee Tucks
  • 10 Leg Climbs (10/leg)
  • 10 Leg lifts
  • 25 Mountain Climbers

In other news, it’s Tuesday. You know what that means… DANCE MOMS! Tonight was the season finale and it was fantastic. 90 minutes of catty, frenzy-filled dancing with the one and only Abby Lee. What will I do now that the season has ended??! Make a paper chain until the next season premier, naturally. (Just kidding, even I’m not that nutty. 😛 )

G’bye for now!