Don’t Tell Kim

I have a 20-lb kettle bell at home. It sits idly in the corner. Right next to a set of dumbbells I will never be able to pick up and a balance board I’m not stupid enough to attempt to use- even under supervision (Hello, my name is “Girl who falls down a lot”).  But yes, the kettle bell. It’s way too big for a girl my size to do much with. My mom gave it to me after she realized this, too, after my aunt gave it to her because said aunt tried to use it and threw her back out. It’s had many homes. But very little love. So when lil’ Miss Kimmers decided to focus one of her strength training classes on kettle bells? And I get to use ones that are more size appropriate? I’m in.

Who’s Kim?

This is Kim:

Kim and I were ZOOMA Ambassadors together back in 2012.... ah the good ol' days...

Kim and I were ZOOMA Ambassadors together back in 2012…. ah the good ol’ days…

Kim is one of my oldest blog friends (4 years now? Holy cow!) and one of the toughest chicks I know. Within the last year, she started teaching classes for Essential Fitness, LLC and has been gracious enough to invite some of us to take a Saturday class with her every other month or so.

As mentioned before, I’m not the biggest fan of strength training. In other words, I hate strength training with a passion and currently consider hitting a few weight machines and some planks as “good enough” during the week. BUT, since she always gets bunch of ladies together to do it, and it’s always stuff I never do on my own (obviously), I try to make it each time. A step outside of my comfort zone. Let’s call it personal growth.

This last Saturday was focused on kettle bells AND boxing. Neither of which I know anything about. So clearly I was going to be awesome at it.

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All the ladies. Pre-workout. So happy and full of smiles…. all wiped away after 60 minutes… just like that…

Did I mention Kim is also the most hyper-active girl I know? Energy seeps out of her every pore. I don’t think she sleeps at night. Just sits and taps her foot waiting for the rest of the world to wake back up. A blessing and a curse when it comes to personality traits of personal trainers. We really move for the entire hour. Swings and step ups and boxing during sit-ups and planks and triceps and steps while boxing…

This is why I hurt today. It’s Monday. 2 days after the fact. Glutes on fire.

Don’t tell Kim, but I sorta love it. Because she knows I slack on my strength. And she made sure I know that’s not ok.

Thanks, Kim. :)

Also, don’t tell Kim that I face dove into pizza that night to reward myself for a job well done.

Shhhh…..

There was salad as a side. So whatever.

What did you do outside of your comfort one this weekend? On top of the strength training, I also drank Merlot instead of my usual Cabernet.

…does that not count?

Princess Kate

This post is brought to you by inspiration of a royal nature.(Source)

Oh Kate Middleton. You are fabulous. And I kind of want your life. Call me if you’re willing to discuss a swap for a week or weekend or day or minute… or whatever…

But anyway, it’s true. I sort of idolize her. She’s elegant. She has a classic sense of fashion. She gets to travel the world. She’s sporty. And, oh yeah, she’s a princess.

To be honest, I’d be satisfied with just 3 of the 5. Maybe even 2 of the 5…

I’m not picky.

But anyway, as a fan of hers, I feel it necessary to say “happy belated anniversary” to her and Will. Especially since I made a point of watching the nuptials last year.

It’s one of my favorite “Mon and Amy” stories. Because we got up and hit the gym at 4:00 in the morning to watch the ceremonies start and ended the day with champagne to watch all the post-wedding coverage we had already seen 3 times that day.

I mean, we were going to get up to watch anyway, might as well be doing something during, right?

This was still sort of in that period where I was getting used to the morning workout- attempting to make it at least 3 days a week and calling it a win.

Now, it’s a set habit. And I’m at the gym/running no less than 4 mornings out of the week (when I work 9-6 in the office- it’s always changing). Sometimes cursing happens while getting dressed (not very princess-like of me, I’m sure), but I get there.

It feels awesome to sleep in. But it feels so much better to have my workout done and out of the way. When I do get home after work, all I have to do is take off my jacket and throw myself back into the dent in my couch for the evening.

Keeping that in mind, I did a pretty standard 22 minutes on the stairmill (to achieve that Middleton booty) before retreating to the elliptical for another 16 (why not 15? who knows- I like weird numbers) and finally to the weight room to mess around with free weights and that weird hip adduction machine I’ve started to like so much.

There’s no doubt that morning workouts are much more productive for me than evenings ones. Especially in intensity.

Which is a good thing. If I want to get in princess shape, this will surely help.

Please excuse me… now that I have that crossed off the list, I must track down a stylist to help me on my quest to become the next Kate Middleton.

Toodles!

I Missed You

It was over 5 months ago since we said good-bye.

5 months.

I’ve often thought about you. About how wonderful our time together was. About how much I missed you.

It was special- me and you. Doing our thing. Keeping each other happy. Keeping each other healthy. Through the best of times. Through the worst of times. You were always there for me. Encouraging me to be the best person I could possibly be. Thank you.

You always knew what I needed and how I needed it. Knew how to get me all in a tizzy. How to make me smile. How to make me fall in a heap of exhaustion every day…

Then, because of circumstances out of my control, we had to part.

At first, I thought about you every day. How I missed you. How I wanted you back. 

But slowly, I forgot about you. About how strongly I once felt. Until you completely faded into the background.

But…

Just as circumstances changed the first time, they did once again. And all of a sudden you crept back onto my radar.

Funny how those feelings come back so strongly and so quickly after all this time.

When we reunited, it was like you never left me. I realized once again how much I needed you and all that you do for me.

But a few things need to be cleared up before we start this relationship over. A few ground rules…

1. Just because I’m a morning person, that does not mean you’re allowed to wake me up before 5:00 in the morning. Don’t go filling your head with ideas because I know how energetic you can be. I like my sleep. Don’t bug me before then.

2. I’m not always going to be beautiful when I wake up. My face isn’t going to be washed every day and my hair is gross. This I cannot do anything about. Take me as I am.

3. My eating habits are going to once again be completely rearranged because of you. After the sweat we work up? No skipping breakfast. Like… ever.

4. We need to learn to be considerate of my roommate. She can hear us when we’re the floor above her. So the activity will have to be taken elsewhere or we’ll have to wait until later in the day when it comes to some things

5. We need an open relationship. Due to my career, we won’t always have time for each other. I may stray and have a late night fling every once it a while. I may not call at all one day. But remember, this doesn’t mean I don’t care about you. Please don’t be mad.

So there you have it. Things are different now. But I believe in us. We can do this together.

Morning workouts.

They rock.

And I’ve missed them. Getting to work early and leaving early all the time was nice, but sitting in traffic trying to hype myself up for the gym after a long day of work and commuting is a daunting task. So now that my hours are shifting around again? I can actually get an hour or so of exercise in at my gym with little to no crowds.

It’s fabulous.

Oh morning workouts… I’m glad you’re back in my life.

How To Fake It

I always giggle a little when people comment on Mon and my banter.

Because sure, we’re entertaining. Or at least I like to think so. But it’s not like that all the time. Example? As I was cooking dinner in my kitchen on Monday, she was reading the newspaper. No talking. No laughing. Just silence.

Even the coolest kids can be boring. Just don’t let that get around… ;)

And the dress I spoke of? You can actually see it here. I wore it on my birthday last year. You just can’t go wrong with a simple mini dress. It’s not possible. Don’t try to tell me otherwise. And because it IS a mini dress, you can see why I’ve been stepping it up in the gym the last week or two.

To be clear- I’m a firm believer that a little extra working out here and there the two weeks before a vacation WILL NOT make a difference in how I look. Seriously. Do you think anyone (even me) is going to notice that .2 of an inch I lost at the waist for doing so? No. In college, I used to shake my head at the “spring breakers” who would want to lose 5 pounds in two workout sessions the week before spring break.

“Like, oh my gaaaawwwwwwd. I work out for like 15 minutes and nothing happened. I really need to lose 15  pounds before the weekend. Oh my gaaawwwwwd,” as they sip on their 600-calorie post-workout smoothie.

Not happening unless you run a marathon or two on the treadmill while you’re here. And then not eat anything afterwards.

Which I do not encourage (let’s get that straight). One shot of tequila and you’ll pass out for the rest of your spring break. And surely you don’t want to do that. The wet t-shirt contest would lose one of their strongest contenders. Devastating.

However, I am a firm believer in fake it until you make it. And if that extra 15 minutes on the elliptical or session of The Shred makes me feel better about myself running around half-naked for an entire weekend? Well hell- I’ll rock it out.

(Source)

And I have been. The Shred happened last night after work and Mon met me for another early morning workout this morning. 22 on the elliptical and 15 minutes on the stairs. Before I left the gym, some ab work even happened- a move that often gets nixed from the agenda when short on time.

As rough as those first 5 minutes are every morning, I’ve yet to regret a workout after I’m done. Starting the rest of my day is easier. And I feel good about myself. Win-win.

Tonight is going to be restful. Partially because I want to do another longer run tomorrow (oh my gaaaaaaawwwwdddd- my race is coming up!). And partially because there has to be at least some time reserved for, I dunno, packing?

Oh… and Modern Family.

Priorities.

Sexy Sweat

That would be one of the most popular google searches to get you to my blog.

I’d be flattered if it weren’t for being slightly creeped out.

So, as we discussed yesterday, it seems running into a raccoon or skunk on a run is quite common, huh?

My boss asked if the skunk sprayed at me.

I told him I’d be taking a minimum of 3 days off to de-skunkify if something like that ever happened. And maybe even an extra day for sheer embarrassment from the whole situation.

Just a heads up on that one, Mr. Bossman. So no- it didn’t get me this time.

And yes, I was happy with the doctor and his outlook on the sitch. For the last few weeks, when I did run, I stressed myself out the entire time. Overanalyzing each and every stride.

Last night’s run was much more carefree.

3 miles at 8:34. After the first half mile, I didn’t think once about the leg. 

Maybe because my mind was consumed with how disgustingly hot and sweaty I was getting. The humidity tried to beat me, but determination and fingers crossed that I wouldn’t pass out mid-run were the two things that got me through.

Determination was also important to hit up the stairmill for 10 minutes after. Some because I’m starting to freak about what my booty will look like in a swimsuit next week, and some because I’m trying to take every advantage of the gym that I can before I no longer have it after I move (insert a Snooki “waaaaaaah!” here).

Normally the stairmill is my “cool down”, but because heat rises and it puts me right up next to the ceiling, it totally wasn’t.

By the end of it all, I didn’t even want to touch a thing in my apartment until properly showered.

Thank god a few people think I have sexy sweat, huh?

Because the sudden heat wave rolled through during the day, and because I’m slightly dumb when it comes to such things, I didn’t even think to open the windows/sliding doors to my apartment before leaving for work. Returning to a sauna is not the best feeling after a long day.

Because of this little oopsie, I thought it best to pass up plans to heat my oven and roast vegetables for 30 minutes. Instead, I heated the stovetop for 10 minutes or so and made the ugliest omelet ever using chicken sausage and mushrooms:Even my glass says “it’s getting hot in herrrrrr” with all the sweating it was doing. Sexy, right?  ;)

I screwed up the flip. So a bunch of feta was thrown on top in hopes that you wouldn’t notice so much.

It didn’t help, did it?

*Sigh. Whatever. It was still tasty.

We’ll try making sweet potatoes again tonight. The apartment temp levels are much better today. Air conditioning isn’t happening just yet because temps are supposed to dip back into the 60’s next week and I’m pinching pennies.

These 25-degree swings in temperature are just nuts.

Oh Chicago weather. You’re so fickle.

So what do you eat/cook now that the summer months are upon us?

(Other than ice cream, of course…)

Good to go!

That’s what the doctor told me yesterday.

We discussed in detail what has been going on the last month or so, and he said that “clicking” feeling I’ve been concerned about is actually more normal than I realize and it’s good to be proactive, but I shouldn’t be overly concerned about this one.

He bent my leg every which way it would go (I’m not that flexible, so it didn’t take long), he thinks the pain I had been experiencing was just overuse and not related to the pop he felt during one rotation. When that happens, he said to take some time off  and I shouldn’t be concerned until the specific “ache” just doens’t get better.

Well ok then. It was an expensive 15 minutes of my life, but the reassurance was nice. After dealing with crutches and taking 8 weeks off at the beginning of last year, I was starting to work myself up in a tizzy of all the things that could possibly be wrong with it.

Even though I’m still obviously cutting back on running quite a bit, at least we know my leg won’t be falling off any time soon. Whew.

At least one good thing of it all? I’ve been focusing a little more on my strength training. Or at least on my Jillian Michaels dvds- which may not be hard core to some, but it’s about as good as it gets for me. When it comes to weights, I lack any kind of motivation to do them. Someone needs to be barking orders.

To celebrate my non-injury (I guess?), I met up with Mon at the gym after work. We needed to catch up on each other’s weekends, and because of the threat of rain, we chose to walk side by side on the treadmills. Cute, right? 

We’re nerds.

What was not cute was the skunk that ran out in front of me on the way home. He’s been around for a while now. My friend Bailey has lovingly named it Petunia.

And then she called the office building and lovingly said, “Petunia needs to die”.

Clearly that has not been taken care of just yet. Because we had a stare down in the parking lot- both parties frozen in terror. After about 10 seconds, he bolted to the right. And I promptly bolted to the left.

My heart is still recovering.

Had it already been Tuesday, the worst day of the week, god knows what might have gone down.

But instead, it’s Tuesday now. Let’s hope my planned run tonight will go well. And that I don’t run into Petunia on the way home.

Because we’re not friends. And he’s got fire in his eyes. I’ve seen it.

Your turn- scariest/funniest/weirdest run-in with a wild animal.

Aaaaannnndddd go!

Time To Refocus

Good morning everyone! Happy April 18th!Wait a sec- what is this? NOT funny, dude.

I heard the forecast calling for snow. But when I got up a little early to fit in The Shred and saw this? Accumulation? COME ON.

I’m straight up discombobulated.

As is my body when it comes to my workouts since the St. Louis Half Marathon. (Did you like that transition? I enjoyed it.)

I guess I’m just feeling a little lost? Maybe because I haven’t ran once since the half. Not sure what my deal is with that one. All of my trips to the gym (all 3 of them) have been a combo of elliptical and the stairmill. Like yesterday- 25 minutes on both.

And I’ve done The Shred twice. Jillian punished me severely for letting the dvd collect dust for a couple of weeks again. Lesson learned. With this being my week of going into work a little later, I plan to spend more quality time with Jillian and get my strength back to par.

And even though the elliptical and The Shred is a workout- it’s not running. I miss it. Hopefully this week I’ll start it up again without too many issues. Because I’ve got another race in June…

The Run for the Zoo in Lincoln Park! I did the 5k race a couple of years ago with my cousin, and this year I’ll be doing the 10k with my girl, Annie! It’s a fun race because it actually goes through parts of the zoo. Totally beats the view I get from running a few miles on the tread.

And it hopefully gives me some motivation to get back into the swing of things. Annie’s already been hard at work training for it, so I’ve got my work cut out for me before June. Now that the half marathon business is behind me, I want to focus on speed a little more. All the longer races had me focusing on distance. I miss feeling fast. Can’t even tell you the last time I had an 8:00-minute mile. Time to fix that.

Alright… time for me to go scrap snow off my car and head to work.

Never thought I’d say that in April…

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