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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bookworm

This morning, I had to fight to get out of bed. I have been so sleepy this week! I actually haven't done any sort of workout since Saturday's spin class. Yikes!

Last night, I skipped working out because I could not put down the book that I was reading!

"Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.


Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love."
(source)

The writing in this book was phenomenal. Given the two main characters meet at a Cancer Kid Support Group, I was expecting it to be pretty depressing, but Green does a great job of keeping the tone from being too heavy. The main characters are about so much more then their ailments. Definitely a tearjerker, but there are many laughs along the way as well.

I highly recommend this book to anyone!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Getting Sentimental

And I just realized that I've been married to Rob for exactly 4 months now! I know we'll be at a year before we know it!

Having attended a wedding this past weekend, it got me sentimental for ours. So today I'm going to post a few of my favorites from the wedding.



Monday, July 23, 2012

Seaside Workouts

Last Thursday, Rob and I had the pleasure of heading out to southern California for a friend's wedding. We got in late that night, and couldn't see much more from our window than the stars in the sky.

Friday morning, I woke up bright and early and was dying to see our view. I peeked out through the curtains and could see miles of the Pacific ocean.



The receptionist at check-in had mentioned walking paths along the resort edge, and upon seeing the view, I couldn't wait to get out and explore. I threw on my running gear and went out the door. I eventually found my way down to the path (this resort was huge!), and I started to jog. I'll admit, during that first half mile, I wasn't running so much as jogging from one photo opp to the next!


It was a little over half a mile when I reached the end of the resort's trail. I knew I wanted to go at least 3 miles, so I figured I could at least follow the road. It was a long the ocean, so I knew at least I could still enjoy the view. I came upon the entrance to an ecological preserve and thought that would be cool to run around, but then I saw the steep downward incline and thought better of that plan.



I kept along the road. It was hot and getting boring, but I noticed a couple of walkers and figured I was safe at least. It wasn't too far after the preserve that I came across a great little trail along the ocean that was perfect for my workout!
 

 I just kept wanting to explore more and more, and ended up getting to a parking lot along the trail.


At that point I was 2.5 miles into the run and figured the lot would be as good as anywhere to turn around. Upon leaving the parking lot, I saw a sign warning against rattle snakes. Just what you want to see at your turn around point.

Shrieking and running away is okay, right?
The weather and the scenery certainly kept me happy, so my pace felt quick. Though I definitely blew it by stopping for more photos.

The way back to the hotel felt fast, and I was sad to end my run. I jogged around the resort a bit to officially hit my 5 miles, and while exploring I noticed a group on a patio facing the ocean on stationary bikes. I had seen "Seaside Spin" listed on the resort's schedule but seeing it in action sealed the deal. I knew I had to go the next morning.

My calves were sore the next day (not sure why) and I was tired from staying up drinking the night before, but I knew I'd never get another chance to take a spin class like this again. So at 7:30, I got out of bed and headed to the gym.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how nice the fitness center was. It was spacious with tons of equipment, and even personal training available. There was a huge yoga studio with the bikes out back. The bikes were really nice too! Plus there were only 7 people in the class, so we got a ton of personalized attention from the instructor. Best of all was definitely the view!

I know a lot of people don't work out on vacation, but I am so happy that I packed my sneakers and gym clothes with no hesitation. I would have missed out on some truly incredible workouts that ended up being some of my favorite parts of the vacation!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jewelery at the Gym

You know what's awesome? When you opt to go to the gym over shopping for a pair of new earrings for a wedding this weekend, and then you find a jewelery sale going on in the lobby of your gym! WIN!

Wednesday nights there's a Bosu Challenge class at my gym. The instructor is notoriously awesome, but the only time I've ever been able to snag a spot in the class, the instructor was on vacation. This week I was able to secure a spot. Despite the pour rain and huge list of to-dos for my upcoming trip, I decided to trek to the class, and I am so glad I did! Not only did I get an intense workout in, but I was able to pick-up some cute earrings. I love when things work out like that!

This morning I headed back to the gym to go to a 6am Body Pump. I had wanted to get in a run beforehand, but honestly, just making it to the gym by 6am was an accomplishment. I challenged myself in the class by using heavier weights than usual. I'm a tad mad at myself for cheating on some of the reps, but I guess you have to start somewhere with more challenging weights.

And with today's workout, I have officially done a workout everyday for the past week! Some days were definitely easier than others, but now I can head out on vacation feeling pretty great!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dancing the Night Away

I was feeling great during Body Pump last night! Perhaps it was a leftover high from the previous day's run? I forgot grab extra 10lbs weights, so I did a bit of a lower weight during the leg track than I intended, but I upped my weight on chest, shoulders, and powered through all the tricep dips (I hate tricep dips so that is huge).

I finished the workout and took note of the women coming in for the next class. After peeking at the schedule, I saw it was a Zumba Express class. This means it was just thirty minutes. I figured that since I hadn't done any cardio prior to Body Pump that I could easily tack on 30 minutes of dancing to my workout. I turned around and headed right back into the studio.

I have to admit that I was nervous trying out my first Zumba class. The instructor did a great job of putting us all at ease, and she emphasized to just have fun with it! I definitely struggled picking up all the steps and had difficulty keeping up with some of the quick transitions. I found it was easy to catch on after a minute or two into each song, and it was easy to make each step your own and just have fun. My one regret is that I didn't have a friend there to laugh along with me!

I know I'm super late hoping on the Zumba bandwagon, but it was a blast! Not the greatest workout in the world, but it was the perfect class to pair with another workout, like Body Pump.

Have you tried Zumba? Were you able to keep up?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Good Times and Good Runs

So I'm totally in love with running. Most of you are probably thinking "Um, duh!" But if running were my boyfriend, recently he and I would be seeing other people.

I've done some great races recently, but have lacked having that truly satisfying run. My passion for running has been a bit dormant recently. I've often opted for a dvd workout or a class at the gym over pounding the pavement, and while I used the summer heat as an excuse, that wasn't the real reason behind my hesitation. Probably the most evident sign of my waned interest is the extremely empty race calendar ahead of me. I am not currently registered for a race until the BAA Half Marathon in October. That's right, no starting lines in sight for TWO MONTHS! Not a big deal for your average bear, but for a girl who recently raced twice in one weekend, that's a sign.

But enough about the past. This weekend was incredible for many reasons. Mostly because I got to spend lots of time with some of my favorite people. Also because I had two fantastic runs.

Saturday morning, I did a 5k with some good friends. One of these ladies was running her first race, and I was so excited to be there as she crossed the finish line. Not only was it a nice course by the Charles River, but we got to chat the whole time and even had some fabulous friends on the sidelines to cheer us on. Plus we wore matching t-shirts and I got to break in a new running skirt. Score!

Team Toasty!!

After running there was a weekend filled with awesomeness. I had the pleasure of attending the best bridal shower ever, a fun night of wine and board games, and a million laughs in between.

Sunday morning, I had to say good-bye as I was off to celebrate the upcoming marriage of two other friends. After some entertaining games and lots of delicious food, I came home and napped for a bit. Having fun is tiring!

Post nap, the husband and I took a stroll. I watched envious of all the runners who passed us and whined about how I should probably go for a run too. I was feeling sluggish and was tempted to just veg on the couch when we returned home. Rob convinced me to just go for a quick run, and I'm so happy I listened! I got out on the road and everything just felt right. Some great music came on my ipod and my planned 3 miles turned into a little over 4. I held a pace of 8:39 minute miles! This is speedy for me, so I was thrilled. Nothing like a fast pace to make you fall in love all over again!

Body pump is on the agenda for this evening, but I'm tempted to knock out a few miles first!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Spin Class

I get a big gold star because I actually went to a spinning class at the gym last night! I can't remember the last time I went to one. Maybe last fall?

My interested was renewed when I attended a class at a cycling studio a few weeks ago. Thanks to a Gilt Groupe deal, I was able to get a good deal and figured why not. The catch was that the bikes at that studio were Real Ryder stationary bikes. These bikes are designed to mimic cycling outside. They move so you really engage your core during the workout. It was a huge adjustment for me, but by the end of the class I felt more comfortable. I did leave with a few bruises though, so maybe I wasn't as well adjusted as I thought! The deal was for 3 classes, so I will make it back there at some point.

Last night, the standard spin class was a nice change of pace. I feel more comfortable adjusting the bikes and knowing what works for me. I liked that it was an intense cardio workout that was a change in pace from running. I was soaked in sweat by the end, and was surprised by how quickly the class flew by. I definitely need to incorporate more of these classes into my workout routine.

After some foam rolling at the gym, I came home and did the Bikini Abs workout on the Beach Babe DVD. Such an easy way to supplement a standard workout! It was the perfect way to finish last night's workout.




Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A New Run Club

Last night, my gym's Summer Running Club started. I have to admit, I was so nervous to join in! What if I was slower than everyone? What if I was faster than everyone and got lost? What if I have no one to talk to? I really panic in social situations, but I had signed up, and I knew the group would be waiting, so I followed through on my commitment.

I got to the lobby and signed-in. There were a couple girls who were there together, chatting away. And a few standing quietly in the corner. I went to the corner and stood in silence. About then I ran into an old co-worker, and we chatted for about 5 minutes, which was a good warm-up. It helped ease some of my nerves and I tried to talk to the 3 other women in the corner. One bit and she and I chatted until it was time to leave.

We did a warm-up to the esplanade, and I heard one of the girls talking about training for the Marine Corps Marathon, which I did 2 years ago. I tried chatting to her about it, but she didn't seem interested. Yikes! I guess that's why you're not supposed to listen in on other's conversations. Oops!

When we got to the esplanade the trainer led us through some stretches and told us our route. Off we went. It was an easy route that I'd run before, so I was thankful that even if I wound up apart from the group that I'd be fine. The esplanade was crowded, so I attributed the group's slow speed to the crowd. The women I was behind kept at the same pace even when the crowd thinned. I was a little worried because the pace was uncomfortable for me. They were chatting away with one another, but my legs were itching to go faster.


About a minute into my internal debate, I saw my new friend weave around the leaders and break out at her own pace. She inspired me to follow, and I was pleased to find we ran at about the same pace! We chatted as we headed up the pack, but we were also both comfortable to stay quiet at times. She ended up being a great running buddy for the night!

I'll probably try to go again, as it was a nice little work out for a Monday night. I might even get brave enough to venture out with another Boston running group!

Have you ever gone alone to an activity? Were you nervous?


Friday, July 6, 2012

Why I should always wear a helmet

Every work day, I head to the T to commute to work. It's about a 10 minute walk. Standard boring "I'm going to work" stuff. I've been walking this exact route for over a year now, and with the exception of grabbing samples from street team promotions people, spotting event set-up, or interacting with local crazy people, the walk has been fairly uneventful. Until this morning.

There's one corner I cross that's right by the train station and a Starbucks. There's a bus stop there as well, so it's always crowded in the mornings. Plus it's by a busy street, so there's always a wait to cross. This morning I stood on the curb waiting for the walk signal. There's a mailbox directly across from the corner, so I was rummaging through my bag to get a reply card to a friend's wedding ready to mail. Next thing I knew, my feet we slipping the the ramp that is built into the curb. Suddenly I was sitting on the ramp, sliding into the street, with my sundress around my waist. As if this wasn't awesome enough, there were about 30 people in clear view of my fall.

What could I do but pull down my dress, adjust my sunglasses and laugh at myself as a handful of people asked me if I was okay. I think I would have rather they ignored me, and let me pretend that no one saw what cut my undies were. The one exception to this is the woman who walked next to me and said "That's not the first time that happened, and probably won't be the last." Thanks random woman for making me feel like I'm not the only girl out there who need to make knee pads and a helmet permanent accessories.

I swear it looks more traumatic in person.

Beyond the bruised ego, I got a few scrapes. And that reply card? Sooo bent. I think this was karma telling me I should have gone for that morning run. I swear, I'm going after work! Hopefully no helmet will be required.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Finish at the 50

Hope everyone had a Happy July 4th!

Mine was filled with lots of fun with friends, so it was definitely a great day.

On Tuesday night, I had the pleasure of running the "Finish at the 50" race. The race took place in Foxboro, MA-home of the New England Patriots. The race started at the stadium, and then you got to finish on the field. I'd heard that it was a fun race so I was looking forward to it.

The race was previously held the morning of July 4th, but they moved it to the night before this year. They also added a 5k. So while it was an established race, there were some new twists this year.


After work, my awesome husband drove me to the race. With everyone heading out of the city for the holiday, this ended up being quite an adventure. We left well before the race, and got to the stadium about 90 minutes before the race. Number pick-up was on the opposite side of the venue than the runner parking, so we had quite a hike ahead of us!

I couldn't believe how many people were out and about! There were tons of vendor stands mingled amongst the shops, and there was even live music! The number pick-up went fairly smoothly and then I headed over to the looooong line to get my t-shirt. It actually ended up moving very quickly, and Rob and I had about 45 minutes to kill before the race started. We popped into a couple shops, tried to find water (with no luck) then before I left him to head to the start.

The start had pace signs set-up, but judging the crowd, I don't think anyone really paid the self-seeding any attention. There were some volunteers with water, so I snagged a cup and jumped in between the 8 and 9 minute mile markers.

Shortly after 6pm, the race started. The 5k and 10k had the same start but the courses separated about a mile into the race. I was nervous I'd go with the wrong group, but the race officials did a great job of directing the group and there was plenty of signage!

The heat and the hills were getting to me early on. The course had several long inclines, and it felt like I was always running up hill! The route was very scenic, and I was amazed by the number of spectators along the course. I ran without an ipod during the race, and it was so much fun hearing all the cheers.

I forgot my watch at home, so I just ran with my heart. All the miles are blending together now, but around mile 4 I saw the Hoyts. They are truly inspirational, and I swear running felt easier after seeing them.

Finally, we turned back toward the stadium. It was cool to know that the finish was within the massive building! I ran as hard as I could to the tunnel. I wish I'd had my camera ready to go, because it was truly a neat experience to literally run to the light at the end of the tunnel.

I came out onto the field and ran through a giant inflatable football helmet to the finish line. The announcer was calling out names, and finishers were being shown on the big screen.



After crossing the finish, I looked for Rob in the stands. While I was running, he apparently ran into Jared Mayo, who is a linebacker for the Patriots. He thought that was kind of cool, so hopefully he doesn't totally regret volunteering to cheer me on!


I would have posted a photo of me on the field here, but the girl who I asked to take my photo totally lied to me about taking it. I didn't figure this out until I'd already walked past the point of no re-entry. Drats!

My final time wasn't anything record breaking (59:15), but I had fun. It was certainly a cool experience. It was tough getting there after work, and the crowds made it tough. I doubt this will be come an annual race for me, but I would recommend it to anyone looking for a unique experience.


My feet on the turf


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Cookie Monstah

First there was the cupcake truck, then there was this...

My first thought was "Wow, I didn't even know a cookie truck existed!" My second thought was "WHY ARE THESE TRUCKS PARKED DIRECTLY OUTSIDE MY GYM???" And not going to lie, my third thought was "Hmmm I wonder what flavors they have..."

I am happy to report that despite 30 minutes on the elliptical and an hour of body pump, I did not feel entitled to a "reward." Though that is mostly because I had to head to the grocery store and knew that if I purchased a cookie, I'd want to run home and consume it immediately.

As I packed up my things to leave the gym, I didn't let myself think about the cookies. Instead, I thought about what vegetables and protein I could eat for dinner. Zucchini is my all-time favorite vegetable, so I'm thrilled it's in season! Knowing that I could enjoy the tasty squash, made my decision to skip the cookie so much easier.

Plus I know I'll splurge on July 4th, so might as well be good until then! How do you handle temptation?