Last Chance Workout(s)

Hey there.

I’m not at work today. Jealous?

Don’t be. I’ve got a 5-hour drive ahead of me. All by my lonesome. Well… and the random new tunes I’ve put on the ol’ iPod. Nine Inch Nails was added alongside Journey and Gym Class Heroes.

I don’t get it, either.

Anyway, even though I’m leaving a little later in the morning, I still got up and threw on my kicks for a last chance workout.

I had one last night, too.

It’s been an intense and exhausting 18 hours around here. And I’ll tell you why. It has something to do with this dress:Cute, right?

It’s my friend Mon’s dress. She bought it for a wedding she attended a few weeks ago. I was hot on the hunt for a dress of my own and she suggested I try it on.

I was nervous about this. Because… well… look at the evidence:Mon won’t hate me for this. Probably.

But we can easily point out the 6-inch difference in height (She’s the red head, my other love, Annie, is the blonde). And that she’s um… got a little more going on up top than I do. Or she will actually fill out a dress. I won’t. As much as I loved it, I didn’t think it would work.

She told me to shut up and try it on.

I did. It fits. Somehow. We’ve decided it will become the tale of the magical traveling gold dress.

Thanks Mon.

So anyway, the dress has been hanging on my closet door like that for 2-3 weeks. If you ever need motivation, I suggest you try it.

Last night I ran 4 miles. Then did 20 minutes on the stairs. The stairs sucked- the legs were tired, but I had too much energy left to stop.

Then this morning was my last planned workout for the week.

Even if I’m well aware of the treadmill in the basement of my friend’s house in St. Louis…

But anyway, the roommate was slightly stunned to see me up and following along to Jillian on the television as she was heading out to work. Pretty sure there was a mumbling of  “crazy girl” or something like that as she walked out. 

*shoulder shrug*  It’s the dress, man. Makes you do crazy things.

Then I ran through the rain to get to the gym to pull out 2 more miles. They were total crap. Soooooo sloooooowwwww. But I wanted cardio with my weight training. And the 2 miles put me at 14 for the week- a steady lead in the competition for most mileage of the week with my man friend. Holla’.

Now for rest. As I drive for 5 hours. Hopefully not hitting any traffic.

Cue the Nine Inch Nails…

PS- We will discuss the curling iron wand. Promise. Because I’m a huge fan. For real.

And with that, I’m out!

Hustle Up the Hancock 2011

94 floors. That’s nothing… right?

Similar to a Sunday stroll in the park?  Yes?

Um… well…

Let’s start from the beginning.

Yesterday was the Hustle Up The Hancock in downtown Chicago, put on every year by the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago. A 94-flight stairclimb all the way to the observation deck at the top.  

Mon and I set our alarms and made our way down to the city early in order to meet up with Megan before our scheduled climb at 10:45. Yes, Mon was with us. If you’ll remember from last year, I did not participate (the girl I was going to fill in for did the climb afterall) and Mon made a quick exit on the 10th floor to um… well, let’s just say she didn’t finish.

And she swore against ever doing it again.

Well when a team member from the Flyin’ Hawaiians dropped out this year, she took a deep breath and stepped up o the plate.If you’ll notice, Mon brought “Ramone” as her good luck charm.

Now you know where I get part of my crazy from. Poor Cecil had to stay home- the grandkids were coming for a visit.  ;) 

And let’s ignore that my race number ended in “666”. There was such a rush for us to get to the right line in the beginning, I didn’t even notice until much later that day. Whew… that could have really psyched me out…

Anyhoo, this was my first time as a climber and dealing with the crazy that is the “hustle” first-hand.

It’s crowded. And there are long lines. To do everything. Wanna take a group pic? Stand in line… Want to climb? Stand in line… Wanna take an elevator back downstairs? Stand in line…

You get my point.

But it’s all for a good cause. And as a member of a family that has been affected by lung cancer, I was proud to be there and amazed at how many people talked about doing this climb every year for YEARS.

This was not a real “race” for any of us. But more of a unique experience. They staggered the start (everyone waits 8 seconds before they can take off) but Megan and I climbed it together.

Thank goodness. Because 94 flights of stairs are pretty boring. And even just having someone there to say a quick word to (like “omg, only 40 more flights to go!)  helped immensely. There’s not much to look at (believe it or not). But we did have people cheering us on every 5 or 6 flights. Which was nice.

My calves started to burn a little around the 55th or so. Even our practice run didn’t prepare us for the whole thing. And the stairs were much more narrow and steep than anticipated. So it was much more of a workout than I figured it would be!

But Megan and I persevered. And kept that steady pace. Low and behold, we even passed people.  Woah!

Finish time?  19:15. Hells yeah!Balla’.

Actually, I don’t really feel like a balla’ because I’m pretty sure the fastest girl was 14 and had a time of 13:40. Seriously- did she sneak onto an elevator at some point?  What a show off…

Either way, we all made it up and celebrated from the top!

We enjoyed the view and took it in for the entire time we were standing in line for the elevator to get back DOWN. And then went next door to the Hilton for our goodie bags and snacks at the Expo…Gah! More lines!

But it’s cool. We had a LOT of fun doing it. The stairclimb was much like any other smaller race. It’s a good time and everyone is excited. What more can you ask for?Silly question.

Everyone needs a victory beer, right?  Even Ramone- who got kicked out of the bar after this. No shirt, no shoes, no service… sorry buddy…

Between the stairclimb itself and the walking to and from Megan’s place, I was exhausted. And crashed like a ton of bricks onto my bed last night.

Tonight I have a 5-mile run to look forward to.  Now that the Hustle is over, I plan to focus a little more on running versus always making sure I had enough time to get my stairmill (“crosstraining”) in. My booty is tired. And since it’s on the verge of getting its own zip code soon, I should probably give it a rest.  Seriously- those stairs are good for the butt if you’re looking to sculpt. But first let me warn you- sometimes with sculpting comes extra mass. And since all new pants aren’t in the budget, a break from the stairmill won’t upset me that much… ;)

Have you ever done a stairclimb event?  What are you thoughts? I may do it again, not sure. Definitely more of a “run outside and see stuff” kind of girl…

So here we are… it’s Monday. The beginning of the week. Hopefully one that will fly. Because I’ve got a trip to Vegas on my radar and could not be more excited! Have a good one, kids!

Keeping My Pants On

It really is unfortunate I turn into such a wus when it comes to the cold. This is one main reason why I’m not huge on running outside unless it’s at least 45-50ish degrees.  Feel free to judge- I still don’t care and won’t do it!

And that’s when I’m fully dressed in cold weather gear.  Imagine how much whining would occur if I’d be wearing less.

Which is one reason why I contemplated and inevitably declined participating in this:

Yes.  A Pantless Subway ride. 

Chicago is one of the many cities to participate in this tradition that was started in New York by a group called Improv Everywhere. I’ve actually discussed them before- I find them highly amusing and would love to participate in one of their little stunts one day (preferably one where I wouldn’t freeze my tookus off- like synchronized fountain swimming?). 

Pham was the one to shoot the above video and also to throw a text my way about it.  I told him it was pretty ironic, because at the time I was reading the book Causing a Scene by the creator of Improv Everywhere.Has anyone ever seen or participated in a thing like this or something similar?

The closest I’ve gotten is probably running into the Free Hugs Campaign when my brother and his friends came to visit a couple of years ago.Joke was on these dudes- it was one of the hottest days in March ever and we had been walking around all day.

We were probably stank.

Either way, I guess my point is that I think it’s really cool.  And maybe I should just suck it up, put on my big girl pants, and then take them off next year during the annual ride.

Expect me to talk myself in and out of it for the next 364 days…

Oh and fun fact- Aziz Ansari is an “agent” and participated in Improv Everywhere back in the day.  Neat.

Moving on…

I’m glad you guys sort of agree with my decision to chill out a wee bit on the running front this week.  Don’t think this means I’m not working out- just switching it up.

Last night, I did another round of The Shred with 5-lb and 8-lb weights.  Level 1.  I tried mixing in the 8-lb weights with Level 2 over the weekend.  Needless to say, there’s a reason why I went back down to 1.

This morning, I trudged through the mini snowstorm we’re having to the workout room at 5:15.  There was another girl in there and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t expecting to see anyone.  Because she looked started.

Maybe it was because I looked like a bit of a hobo in snow-covered sweats and massive winter coat. Because I was well aware of my appearance, there was no need to be offended by her reaction.

It was a little slow getting started (maybe from a night of tossing and turning?), but soon I was chugging away.  25 minutes on the elliptical. 10 on the stairmill.

Wish I could have had a few more minutes on the stairmill, but time was not on my side.  Whatever, though- it was a rough 10 minutes.  As a lot of you know, the stairmill puts you up pretty high.  In a workout room at an apartment complex, expect for the ceiling to not be that far away from your head.  Expect the air/heating vents to be poorly placed in said room.  Expect to be sweating that tookus of yours off twice as quickly because the air will be blowing directly at you.

Clearly, whoever helped set up the workout room does not actually use the workout room.

I like to think this helps prepare me for enduring the elements once I start taking my workout back outside. Right?  When it’s hot- not cold.  Because I’m sort of a wus in the cold…

Be careful today, kids!  According to the news, there’s snow falling pretty much everywhere.

Coming to a Stairwell Near You…

Megan and I met up around noon to walk over to her friend’s apartment building.  We needed the tallest building we could get access to.  22 stories?  We can make it work!

There’s really not much to climbing a stairwell.

You just sort of walk into the stairwell.  And start going up the stairs.

Basically, Megan and I thought it may be a good idea to practice a couple of times- make sure there’s no claustrophobia or dizziness that might sneak up, see if we’ve got the right muscles ready for it, use it as an excuse to hang out, etc…

We made it to the top (22nd floor) and rejoiced:It didn’t take much of a debate to decide to take the elevator back down instead of actually walking down the stairs.It’s training to go UP, not DOWN, afterall…

Although twice we did have to ride the elevator down with people.  And twice it was pretty awkward.  Heeeeyyyy… just hanging out in your building’s stairwell… don’t mind us…

In total, we climbed three times.

And it wasn’t hard!Well. That may be a little overly dramatic.  Or a lot overly dramtic. But we felt it.  And noticed that we relied on using our arms a little more towards the end. Guess I should start doing some more curls… :)

But I think it’s safe to say that we’ve SO got this.

We rejoiced with the consumption of bar food. I heart sweet potato fries.  And am such a nerd when it comes to how excited I get when I order them.  Fact.

It was a good day.

And a good night.  My neighbor Bailey and I went out to see a local band at a local bar last night. I like to think we’re doing a good job of supporting the community this way. It’s very important to do so. Even if this means having to buy a few beers.

Gotta do what you’ve gotta do.  Ya know?

Either way, it was a good night.  With a lot of socializing.  And a little dancing.Any morning that you wake up with a hand stamp is usually evidence of this.

Ignore the pancakes.  They were bad.  Even with the white chocolate chips.  I tried a new recipe for whole wheat pancakes and added my own spin to it.

It was a bad spin. And they were almost rubbery?  Not ideal pancake texture.  Unless you’re into that kind of thing. Which would be weird.

You know how I was complaining about all the bad movies I’ve seen recently?  Well, I watched The Other Guys during my bad pancakes this morning.

The movie was quite the opposite of the pancakes.  I really really liked it. Classic Will Ferrell. I’m honestly surprised more people haven’t talked about this one?  There are soooo many good lines from it!

I should probably get that movie back to Red Box. And just get out of the apartment in general. Sounds like a good idea…

Have a great Sunday!

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