Monday, August 6, 2012

New Priorities

Now that my life is coming together, I've had some time to think about where I really want to go from here. Do I want to rebuild? That means that I have to have had some sort of prior foundation that I want to fix. In all honestly, I think I want to take this opportunity as a new adventure, a new start to an old self.

If you recall (if you either know me in person or have been reading my blog for so long), last August/September I started a job with a company that just didn't work out. It wasn't mutual--it was my decision. It wasn't the right fit for me, even though they thought I was doing a great job. I just didn't feel like I was accomplishing anything. Now I know what led me to that ill-fated career. I wanted a job. I wanted any job. It just so happened to be related to my college field of study, but was I really that passionate about it? No.

I now have a second chance. A chance to do something that I wanted for myself. Not just a job because it was related to my college major, but something that I've wanted to do for so long now. So with my move back to Charlottesville coming in the next couple of weeks, I am ready to reassess.

What it comes down to is this: I don't want to be perfect under different circumstances. I don't always want to be waiting for the right timing or hopeful that things will change and fall into place. I want to always be perfect--my idea of perfection, not someone else's definition of it.

I'm tired of being a liability. I felt that way all last year. I felt like I was a negative opportunity cost. I was stagnant, and even through trial and error, I could not change that. I want to live actively, not passively. I'm going to take charge rather than letting time pass me by and assuming that waiting is the name of the game. Whomever said patience is a virtue was wrong--you don't get anywhere by waiting around. I know this, because I have lived this.

With my impending move to Charlottesville, I want to be my number one priority. This comes in numerous forms:

  • I want to be a better daughter. There was a time my mother and I were super close. These past several weeks have tested that, but I always love her. We just work better apart. I used to think we are too different, but really we are too similar. Similar in personality/quirks, different in interests.
Mom's visit to Cville, Spring 2010
  • I want to be a great friend. There were a few friends that I neglected toward the end of my time in Charlottesville. I wasn't in the best frame of mind, and because of this, I want to strengthen the bonds that I have there. I want to be there for the important life events. I want to enjoy the time I spend with these people.
My "Stepmom" Toni, my biggest motivator
My "Big Sister" Stacy, my greatest supporter
The Crew, from back in the day: Celia, Jeff, Madelyn, Cijlvere
  • I want to achieve my goals. I still want to do a bikini competition. Don't know when, but why just stop dreaming? It's going to happen.
  • I want to meet new people/go on new adventures. Okay so this is bound to happen one way or another, but I think it's about time I finally joined my friends' Cville Social football league. Amongst other things.
Bonfire with the sister and Amanda

I'm ready for these changes, and I'm not just sitting around hoping they will happen. Call me proactive, but I'm going for it, and I am my first priority.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

"That's the Spirit" Thursday

Generally, now is the time that I apologize for my week-long absence in blogging. Well, I really can't say that I'm sorry this time around. Don't get me wrong, I love the support I've been given by my blogging community, but I've been hella crazy with a top secret mission. Okay, maybe not so top secret, although I've been keeping it under wraps until now. Although the "mission" part still stands correct--I have been on a mission to create the good in my life. No more waiting around for good things to happen.

Remember when I started that Part 1 post of my trip to Philly then Charlottesville then Alexandria then Dc then back home (insert gasp for breath here)?? Well, I'm now ready and willing to explain Part 2 to you. Part 2 included the drive from Philly to Charlottesville, a run with the Partner in Crime, a day of fun activities including a surprise visit to the old stomping grounds (Loft) and lunch at one of my favorite local restaurants (Beer Run), and then an evening drive up to Alexandria. I suppose I definitely had ulterior motives for my trip to Alexandria. Once there, I stayed with the lovely Kait, another of the bridesmaids in Katie's upcoming October wedding. Such a gracious host! Her boyfriend cooked us a delicious dinner while we kicked back with a glass of wine, some television viewing, some bachelorette party planning, and some company research.

Company research, you ask? Well folks, here comes the ulterior motive. What sent me up north to Alexandria/DC was an excellent opportunity to interview with a successful Fortune 500 biopharmaceutical company. I guess it was technically a second interview, since I passed the phone screening a few weeks prior. So a quick weekend trip to Philly turned into an extended weekend with some welcome extra pitstops and ended with me driving back to VB in the rain, scratching my head in confusion. Had the interview went well? I'd never had an interview quite like that. I'd be highly surprised if I made it to the next round. Was I too honest? Too unprepared for those types of questions? Why did I feel like I was defending my educational background and all my life choices?

The questions came to a quick stop the next day--I received, via email, an invitation to undergo a background verification process. What did this mean? Was this good news? Do they do this for everyone? How do I calm down?? Skip forward a week and I got my answer--I was one of two final candidates! Out of numerous candidates, they thought I was good enough to be in the top 2? Was the interview a test? I think it was a test. Did they mean to call someone else? I have to fly to Charlotte? How do I get to Charlotte? I've never been to Charlotte!

I never said not to peg me for an over-analyzer, by the way. This is just a fraction of the thoughts that went through my head, including: I should probably get a manicure so I don't have nasty CrossFit man hands. I should get a new dress shirt just in case the District Manager is there and he recognizes the shirt I wore for my initial face-to-face. Did I research enough? Do I have competition? Should I get my hair trimmed or blown out so I look more professional? Do I trust any hairstylist down here with my hair?? Yeah--a mani, a new shirt, some additional research, and NO new hairstyle later, and I was on my way to Charlotte this Monday. Leave it to me to forget to capture photographic evidence.

Although, during that week prior, I learned what not to do with your iphone--aka do not leave it in your car during your hour-long CrossFit class.
Never seen that before! Lesson learned.

But yes, back to Charlotte--what a day! I spent several hours waiting in the airport, less than 4 hours on the plane, less than 3 hours in the air, and only 1 hour interviewing. I felt inadequate compared to my competition that I had met minutes before the interview started. But I knew that either way, I would know by the end of this week.

I'm sure by now, you are all getting a bit tired of this story. I promise it is almost over! Now, at work, we are really not supposed to have our phones on us, especially given that I'm part of the management team and therefore need to set the example. I figured this week was an exception. Please explain to me, though, how I missed THE phone call when my phone was in my back pocket on vibrate?! Has my butt grown that much? Regardless, the voicemail was vague and left me confused. I called back knowing that I wouldn't hear back for an hour, as they were in interviews from 3:30-4:30. You better believe that as soon as that phone rang, I sprinted to the back. And when I heard the phrase, "Do you have a few minutes to talk?" I responded with an enthusiastic, "Yes, definitely!" expecting the worst.

After a eternity-long pause half-second pause, my interviewer, such a friendly guy, told me the news... THEY WERE EXTENDING ME AN OFFER!!! You have no idea how beyond ecstatic I was! I was beginning to doubt whether or not I would be able to leave VB. I was beginning to doubt whether or not I would be able to leave retail. I couldn't fathom what the next year would be like if I didn't get this position. Color me pleasantly surprised! Of course, I was useless at work for the last hour of my shift, texting away and letting Facebook in on the news.

In my anticipation of hearing back, I had told my mom that we would go try out a new local restaurant, FireBrew, to which I had a Groupon, when I got the job. So that's just what we did. I think we have a new favorite! (Self-service) wine station, open-flame cooking, and a great atmosphere!
My Ahi Tuna entree.
Mom's Flat Iron Steak entree.
Thanks to all who have supported me and believed in me more than I did myself these past few weeks! And especially those who have had to deal with my NUMEROUS tears and whining and general unpleasantries. I owe you all more than you know!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Return of Wednesdays

Today's Wednesday, and you know what that means. Without further ado, I bring back to you What I Love Wednesday! Exciting right? In an attempt to make good on my promise to expunge the negativity from my blog, I have a lot of positive things that I am totally loving right now.


  • Playing through the pain: As I mentioned the other day on my blog, the Nike Free Run 3's that I purchased a couple months back are not too nice to my feet. Well, today the Vibrams decided to join Team Pain and were rubbing a little bit too. And when I say a little bit, I mean enough to make me walk sans shoes for the last half mile so I could just get back home. But I stuck it out for a good 4.5 miles before then! I have to admit, it's my own fault, because I think it's been a while since I last washed my Vibrams, and honestly, I probably need a new pair. They aren't the sturdiest things when they pass their mileage expiration date. Oops! Regardless, I made it my mission to finish what I started, the running loop that I intended to do, without cutting off any mileage. I may have had to walk there toward the end, but knowing that my willpower is stronger than my pain threshold is definitely something to love!
  • Workout options: It's no secret that sometimes I just don't feel like doing Workout A or Workout B. I went into today fully planning on hitting up the CrossFit gym after work--it seemed like a great workout! EMOTM (Every Minute on the Minute) for 10 minutes of 5 burpees, 5 kettle bell swings, and 5 box jumps. Well, I got out of work a bit early and was too impatient to wait around for 45 minutes for class to start, so I headed home and out the door for the aforementioned run. Mid-run, I stopped at the neighborhood playground and did my version of "box jumps" using one of the park benches as my "box." I intended to add burpees to the rotation, but there have been signs up all over the park saying it's being treated for fire ants, so I decided not to chance it. Nonetheless, having the option to workout in a class setting or by myself is nice these days. Especially when I need to clear my mind, like today.
  • The public library: I'm still working on finding good books to read, but up until the other week, it had been about 4 or 5 years since I had been to a library that was not run by a university. And it was the first time in that time span that I checked out books purely for pleasure and nothing more. Although, I have to admit, I pretty much just randomly took books off the shelf that seemed interesting by title alone. This is where I need your help (I'm talking to you, T!!)--if you have any book recommendations that you are willing to share with me, please do tell! I've heard great things about The Happiness Project and I had that on hold, but it came in when I was out of town and the hold expired when I was in NYC, so I'll have to get back on that list.
  • Life reorganization: More to come on this in the coming days, but I'm (hopefully) getting my life together. Not that it's in shambles or anything, but we can all use some self-improvement, right? Yes, yes--I'm being very vague again, but I'm a superstitious girl. To an extent. Just keep me in your thoughts and send some good vibes my way, will you?
  • Feel-good running songs: I realized mid-run today that the following song is one of my favorite songs to run to. Have you ever seen a white girl try to sing and dance while skipping running through the neighborhood? Well, if you haven't, please try to picture me doing that. Because that's exactly what I was doing. Oh right, the song:
  • My other fave song right now: Life is Getting Better by Javier Colon
What a voice!

What are you loving this week?? Any favorite songs to workout to?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

For the Love of All Things Neon!

I have to admit, I let my attraction to all things bright and neon get the better of me when I chose to buy the Nike Free Run 3's a couple months back. I tend to be an over pronator, but I assumed that since I don't have much of a problem running in Vibrams or Brooks PureCadence, I would be equally as well off with a minimalist shoe. Turns out I was wrong. Or the shoe was wrong. Let's go with both.

Mesmerizing, right?

I really don't know what it is--I think I just have really long toes and should probably start buying men's size socks. I really like the feel of these on when i'm not running more than 3 miles. Super light, breathable, sexy neon. But give me more than those 3 miles and I get all sorts of rubbing going on. That being said, they are nice shoes, but I should have taken my flatfooted nature into consideration a bit more. It could be worse.

On the upside, these babies are great for my Crossfit workouts! They have a low heel drop, so they keep me in better contact with the floor and I am really able to sit back on my heels without falling off balance. And that's always a positive since I tend to think that I lack balance the majority of days. Goodness, am I good for anything?! I kid.

Speaking of CrossFit, it may not have been the best idea to do a pullup intensive WOD with less than a week until an important meeting in Charlotte. Oh that's right, I don't choose the WODs, I just do what's put in front of me. It was worth the torn skin, though, to say that I completed 5 rounds of: 10 pullups, 20 pushups, and 30 air squats. Can't say that I remember my time (note to self: start a CrossFit journal), but I was impressed with my progress. Especially since I have been trying to correct my kipping form for about a week now. Also, I used to think that air squats were pointless because you are using nothing more than your body weight. I completely take that back. Not only do I think they are a great indicator of your lower body strength and stamina, but I was really busting them out today! Having a group to "compete against"--aka motivate me--really helps, and I've found that the more momentum I use to propel myself, the lower I am able to get my hip crease! Win all-around!

As you can tell, I'm loving my CrossFit gym. Now if only my schedule would allow for WODs everyday. That would be ideal!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Makeover Monday

Dearest bloggers,

I owe you a huge apology. Last week I sat down and read over some posts I had written ranging from last year to a few months ago and then reflected on how those differ from the posts I write nowadays. Huge difference. And not necessarily a good one. When I originally started this blog, it was for my own intents and purposes, and to explain to a mass of people what my goals with fitness were in a simple and easy setting.

My posts back in the day were funny, witty, and actually reflected how I was incorporating training into my life. Granted, back then I was a college senior. And then I was a recent college graduate. And now I'm a year out, so of course it's natural for the nature of the blog to adapt to my life events, but I think I lost the foundation on which I started this.

I am not a negative person. I try very hard not to be and for those that know me in person, they know it really takes a lot to get me down. And even then, it tends to build up for a while until finally I just have to let it all out. Which was why the move from Charlottesville to Virginia Beach was so hard for me. I had a lot of time to see it coming and I tried my best to find something to keep me in the area, but timing was just not in my favor. Reflecting on that time, it was extremely difficult for me, and it still is to an extent, but I have some hopefully good things coming my way that keep me positive.

During that transitional time, I let too much of the negative get to me, and I've noticed that in various posts, it comes out in some form or another. For every happy reflection on my daily happenings, there's a biting or negative comment that I'm sure no one cares to read. I know I don't. I felt uprooted and lonely, and I still tend to feel that way when I'm not at work or at the gym. Even when I'm with my sister, those feelings sneak in, because it just emphasizes all that I'm lacking being away from so many of my closest friends. Even when I'm out running, I tend to miss having someone to train with, to run against, to push me when I honestly just feel like walking.

But like I said, the negativity is not the intent of my blog. It never was and I refuse to let it take over the tone I'm trying to convey. This blog is about me adapting my fitness to my lifestyle. It's meant to follow the trials and errors I've faced in the gym and on the streets. Well--sidewalks. Sometimes sand. Yes, obviously I do intend to throw some fun events and activities in there--that's part of the whole "fitting in fitness" mentality, but I think one day I just started using the blog as an outlet, and you guys aren't therapists, so you surely don't want to hear all that! Am I right?!

So this is the last you will hear of me venting about X, Y, and Z. When small bumps in the road pop up, I do tend to address them, but I want that to be minimal in my blog. I had a long weekend (er...week) to think this over, and I'm glad I did. I felt like I lost all motivational control I had over the blog and instead it became a super depressing diary of a high schooler girl old enough to know better. Trust me, when I found my diary from high school, I realized that diaries are terrible ideas. No one wants to read about boy problems and swim team drama and who is dating who and who isn't dating who. Oh wait--that last one...yeah I don't mind a bit of celeb gossip here and there...

As I said in my, er, meeting the other day--I am positive and optimistic person...but I'm a realist. So every post may not be perfect. Ever day I have may not be that great. But I will take from it the positive and leave the rest be. Speaking of high school, someone may or may not have used the phrase "really bad haircut and it's senior year" to find my blog. To that lucky lady, I say no one will really remember what your hair looked like during senior year. You will not remember what your hair looked like during senior year unless you're as unfortunate as I am to have it commemorated on your school ID. Oh wait, that was junior year. But still, the same thing applies--hair grows out. You will grow as a person. I'm living proof that the caterpillar can turn into the butterfly. Oh wow, that was so lame. You get the idea.

Er, now:
Dang it! Now:
For real now... Now:
And still not perfect :)

Monday, July 16, 2012


I'm waiting on some pictures from the weekend before I post a recap/get into my everyday antics. Until then (which is most likely tomorrow evening), I leave you with the quote of the day from my CrossFit gym.
"We acquire the strength we overcome." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Green Monster

They say that grasshoppers(?) are supposed to be good luck, right? Well then, it's only fitting that my friend Stacy and I were accompanied by this guy while we caught up in Charlottesville on Monday.
We both needed to be graced by his presence! I think she named him Alfred?

Friday, July 13, 2012

VB-->Philly-->Cville-->Alexandria-->DC-->VB Part 1

Circles, people! I've been driving around in circles! Not really, but I have been running around like a crazy gal! My absence has been a little longer than I anticipated, and I honestly did mean to post before I left Friday morning... I hadn't even gotten around to packing though, so I had to weigh my options and choose my priorities. My priority being getting out of Virginia Beach for the weekend and making a trip up to Philly to visit my best friend, Katie for her birthday weekend!

Before I get to that though, I did manage to have a bit of a decent 4th of July. I was down in the dumps after leaving a boring day of work, because I really don't have many people down in the area to hang out with. I did manage to make a baller salad for lunch!
Spinach base, broccoli slaw, peas, and chicken.
Normally, I spend time with friends, family, or in last year's instance, my friend's family. Not having that option this year was seriously getting to me, and I hadn't planned much more than just falling asleep after work. And based on the picture above, you can see there was no cookout option.

Unluckily, my sister hit me up and I ended up making the drive over to Norfolk to see Magic Mike with her and her friend, Sam. Not going to lie, I wasn't one of those girls that was dying to see this movie. I really didn't know what the storyline was, but I had heard of the male strippers aspect of it. And Channing Tatum. Did I laugh a bit during it? Sure. But the storyline was highly lacking, the ending was terrible and left much unresolved, and the eye candy part of it was not that great due to the wide-screen theater we were in. Let's just say I've seen better. And I'm not just talking about movies! (Take that as you will).

The night ended in an impromptu sleepover at my sister's apartment. Complete with pajamas borrowed from her.

And a night full of tossing and turning in a sweaty twin bed shared by us both later... I managed to wake up early enough to head back to Hybrid for a CrossFit workout before work. Etc, etc, etc.

Question: Does anyone else drink coffee before they workout? I'm not necessarily a habitual drink-coffee-before-workout gal, but at least within the 2 hour period before my gym time I manage to have at least a cup. I think I need that little rush from the caffeine to really make my workouts count. I know it naturally dehydrates you, but my body seems to like that.

Anyway, skip forward to Friday and I was on the road to Philly after a quick Starbucks run. Note to readers: anyone travelling up Route 13 from Virginia Beach through Delaware, there are no Starbucks locations along this route. Seriously. I was basically driving sideways because my early morning wakeup (6am) was leaving me a little tired after the 2 hour mark on the road. Countless shopping centers later and all I was coming across was gas stations and Dunkin Donuts. Don't get me wrong, Dunkin Donuts has good coffee and I'm not much of a coffee snob (ha, what a lie!), but I was about to hit a milestone on my Starbucks card--30 stars/Gold Star status! It's the little things... 2 days later and I finally got that 30th star.

When I got into Philly, I was greeted by Katie's fiance, Tommy, and their new furry addition, Cooper!
Don't be shy, little guy!
Don't worry, he wasn't sulking like that for long. I think he was just nervous about his trip to the vet when Katie got off work, because he didn't want de-worming medicine. Poor pup, he's getting over a bout of worms and has had a few accidents in their apartment because of it. Since Katie was tired from work, and I was tired from an early morning and a long drive, we decided that we should just have dinner at home and partake in some alcoholic beverages. In the privacy of her apartment where only Cooper and Tommy could judge us. We are also terrible at taking pictures these days, even though we started off my stay with "Let's take tons of pictures together!" Fail. But win in the long run!

Now, if it were my birthday weekend and presents were visible in my apartment, there would be very little coming between me and ripping those suckers open digging into my gifts. Katie has more self-control than I do. Especially given the alcohol between the time the presents were seen and the next morning when they were opened. At least I think it was the next morning...

If you recall, I mentioned filling out bridal shower invitations and doing another project with Katie's mom a few days before I left. Well, that project was "Katie's Closet"!! Pretty much, her mom and I went shopping in Loft and chose items for Katie that she could mix and match and have several different looks available from just a few different pieces. Then we went even further and staged these outfits and created a photo book out of them for inspiration!
Katie's Closet!
Look #1
Look #2
Super excited Look #3
There were several more looks, these were just the only ones she modelled for Tommy, Cooper, and me. Given that she wore the striped dress later in the day, I would say she approved of our choices! Note: I have been "adopted" by Katie's family, so her mom is known to me as "YOM" or "Your Other Mom." Love her!

A day of shopping, lunch, puppy playtime, and an ER visit later, and we were again imbibing in alcohol. The only difference? This time we she documented it. A bit.

Oh, did I freak you out with the mention of the ER visit? A few weeks ago, Katie got bit by a small dog--not an intense bite, but a bite no-less and when searching for the owner to no avail didn't work out, she opted for the painful rabies vaccine option. Saturday marked her rabies vaccine completion! I feel like she should get a placard for it--just hearing about how many shots she had to have was daunting!
Curtain "walls" separated us from awkward convo we were
eavesdropping on.
Leave it to us to make an ER visit entertaining. After cracking jokes about foaming at the mouth, etc., Katie was hooked up to the blood pressure machine when it started making a very persistent beeping pattern. And the following conversation ensued:
Me: Does that beeping mean she's dying?
Male nurse: No, it just means the printer is out of paper.
Me: Oh, we never would have guessed that!
Don't get me wrong, I think Katie and I knew were glad she wasn't dying, but really? You'd think that hospitals these days would be a little more...I don't even know!

And she will never have to get a rabies vaccine ever again! And she lived happily ever after! Especially given that she was hanging out with me!
Oh, hi! We are best friends and we braid each other's hair! 
Oh, hi! We are best friends and your puppy loves me! 
Oh, hi! We are best friends and I WILL make you pose with me!
Oh, hi! We are best friends and we are finally acting normal!
Oh, hi! We are best friends and here's a picture
of 2 of the people you love most!
Unfortunately, Katie's birthday weekend (her actual birthday was Sunday) wrapped up midday Sunday when I took off for Charlottesville, and she and Tommy got more settled in their apartment with Cooper and got ready for their busy week ahead. I'm sorry to say this is basically a "you get the gist" post. There really was a lot more about Philly that included crazy neighbors and a trip to the Mall of Prussia, etc. But if I told you every detail, I would bore you to death! And also, I need to leave you hanging for Part 2 of my trip if not just because I'm too tired to continue blogging for tonight!

And trust me, you will want to stay tuned for Part 2! Although, I really can't say too much too soon!

Happy Friday the 13th! Stay away from creepy houses, graveyards, and dark spaces!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

May the 4th be with you!

Yes, I totally just geeked out for a moment. No, I have never seen any of those movies. But I'm a sucker for tag lines, apparently?

My day will be spent getting paid time-and-a-half for approximately 9 hours, during which I hope no one in their right mind decides to come shopping. Let's be real folks--all the good sales happened over the weekend. Regardless, I will make the best of the day and hopefully go running later in the evening. Just in time for fireworks!

You know who will be having a relaxing and fun 4th though? These guys!

Their biggest worry is when their chew toys will run out. And trust me, with how spoiled they are by Grandma, that will be no time soon!

What are your plans for the 4th? And firework displays or cookouts?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

24 Hours Early and 13.5 Hours Away

Apparently I didn't quite put two and two together this morning when I was dressing for work, and I inadvertently dressed for the 4th of July a day early. Oops. I thought I was just looking smoking hot as usual nautical and Lofty? Why do I even get let out of the house these days other than to do my business and chase squirrels? Unfortunately for you, I do not have a picture of said outfit just yet because I was away from the house (and apparently my iphone?) from 8am to 9:30pm. Long day, right?

Until this morning (7/4): recreation of yesterday's outfit!
Freshly showered!
Yeah, that didn't even include my run this morning, which was a SAD excuse for a run, but at least it was something. I only ran for 20 minutes. And not 20 balls to the wall minutes. Oh no--20 "I can barely move but I set my alarm for 6am so I can fit a run in so gosh darn it, I'm gonna flipping run" minutes! Here I am thinking that I'm young, I'm in shape, and I can workout an eon in a row without a rest day and I'll be fine and dandy. Someone please gently slap some sense into me! Not only was I awoken in the middle of the night by back soreness every time I rolled over, which happens a lot apparently, but I was riding the Struggle Bus trying to get down the stairs.

Now, if you've followed along for a while, you know that I have a weak lower back, so really nothing to be concerned about. And not being able to walk down the stairs like a normal human being isn't cause for concern either. I've been in worse shape. But generally when I get up and go, I'm able to at least get some sort of cardio done. Not today. Body wasn't having it. I only eeked out about 2.4 miles--a small neighborhood loop--and it was at a pace a whole minute and a half PER MILE slower than usual. This is one of those instances where I wish I had either run without Garmin or had tossed him down a stormdrain. Either works. Although, I would definitely regret the latter option.

You know what though? Not every workout can be my best ever. It can, however, be my best for that moment/for those circumstances. And while my duration and pace were nothing to go high-fiving (or ass-patting--whichever you prefer) about, it was my best given the circumstances. I'm still getting used to the constant functional movements of crossfit, especially all the leg-intensive stuff. The past two workouts (done on back-to-back days) were both heavy on the lower-body movements, so it's only natural that I'm tight and sore. You know what I found that works great on sore muscles though? Lint rollers! Who would have guessed?! By far the cheapest roller stick ever...which I discovered when I was trying to de-lint my pants at work today. I may have gotten sidetracked for a bit...

But yes, sore muscles at work, then I got together with Katie's mom to work on bridal shower invitations. Super fun! More on that later and more on the top-secret stealth fun we had, but that is a post for another day (after Katie's birthday, so I don't ruin any surprises)!

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Running Intensive

I feel like I've been running around all day--literally and metaphorically. I started today out with a short run--I was already planning on going to Crossfit but figured it wouldn't be too cardio heavy because of the heat. Keyword there being "figured," but I'll get to that in a minute. I'm normally a bit of a minimalistic runner. I wear my Garmin if I feel like it and I always have music, but these days it's a sports bra, shorts, socks and shoes. Minus the socks if I'm wearing Vibrams like today. In light of my recent sun exposure, I opted to incorporate a hat. Slightly problematic for a gal that wears her hair in a high ponytail on the reg when exercising...with the exception of jump rope workouts when my hair always seems to get in the way. Well boys and girls (mostly girls, I assume), I managed to wear my hair low and didn't die! And now the "Do your chain hang low..." song is running through my mind, dang it! I also didn't die from the heat--hallelujah! Need proof?
Oh hey there, Sweaty Liz! How ya doing today? ...Quite well until about 2 hours from this picture being taken, when I was in for quite the xfit surprise!

3.35 miles: done and done! More proof:
The little screaming monster? Yup, that'd be me.
I had just enough time to splash my face, change into some compression booty shorts, and head out the door to HTC. Upon walking in, I was confused as to which workout was being done. On the main whiteboard was an AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible for those of you that are unfamiliar with xfit terminology) workout that involved 15 minutes of dumbbell deadlifts, burpees, thrusters. There was possibly some pull ups and other jazz thrown in there, but I really don't know because that was NOT the workout I'd be doing. Instead, on the time board, there was a long workout titled "Lumberjack 20." It took up the whole board. And it took a while to set up. 10 minutes of testing out weights later, and I was set up with 2 bars of different weights, a couple dumbbells, a kettle bell, and a box. I'll let you see for yourself the torture workout.
I guess that makes this my first Hero workout? I think?

I chose weights that were challenging enough for me, but ones that I thought would allow me to get through the running portion of the workout. If you actually open up the video on YouTube, or if you just Google it, you will see that there is 1.75 miles of running in the mix. Add in a quarter-mile warmup and that tacks 2 miles onto my total for the day. I didn't quite hit prescribed weight, but I was close for some of the exercises--like within 10 pounds! I think there were about 6 of us there today, equal parts guys and gals, and I managed to finish first with a time of ~23:20. I can't say for sure because the clock is on the same wall as the door to outside and I got a little side-tracked by the water fountain upon completion.

Here's a question for you guys though: If I'm finishing first, does that mean that I'm just pretty good at it, or does it mean I need to go up in weights? I'm nervous to go up too much in weights, because I know I have a weak lower back and sometimes I have problems with my shoulders popping. My biggest fear with xfit is choosing a challenging weight and not being able to complete a workout. My shoulder already popped out during snatches the other day, and I had to readjust mid-set, so do I err on the side of caution?

Also, what do you do when you're first done with a WOD? I like to be super courteous to others and rack my weights/clean up after myself before cheering on others. I also start to put away others' equipment because I know that's generally the last thing I actually want to do after finishing. And I can only imagine that others appreciate it, so long as I don't get in their way.

Once we were all done and racked up today, a few of us got to talking since another girl and I are new to the scene. I got a few comments about "lapping us," from a couple of the guys that have been working out there for a while. Half of me thinks that it was because I should have gone up in weights! The other half is like "Meh, girl, you were training for a figure competition a year ago! You're using that strength, so you're obviously not losing it!" Thoughts?

After a nice cool shower, it was my mission to get my errands done for the day, which included a dreaded trip to the mall. True fact: I hate malls! Especially indoor malls. They're claustrophobic, they're stuffy, and dodging people moving at a snails pace and 4 abreast is not my idea of a good time. But I was on a mission to find a suit, and today was the only real day I had to do so because I work every day until I leave for Philly on Friday. If I was going to find a suit, it had to be today.

Let me tell you something--shopping for suits these days is a PROJECT! I think I went into 5 stores, told them what I was looking for and was either presented with limited options (Banana Republic only has one style suit available in petites?!) or extremely trendy options (why did I even bother going into Express?? Oh yeah, because I heard they had affordable suits!). I ended up at Dillards, a department store, where I found a suit on sale, which I did purchase, but I wasn't 100% sold on the fit of it. This may be because I am extremely partial to the Ann Taylor suit I tried on a few months ago.

Well today must be my lucky day because I got an email about 2 hours ago saying that Ann Taylor had an additional discount on top of their sale merchandise. I thought, "Why not check and just see if they have that or a similar suit in their sale section? They probably won't have my size, but it won't hurt to check..." Um, SCORE!! Not only did they have the entire suit in my size, but they also had the memory foam heels that my feet were I was in love with! $25 in shipping later, and I should have said suit in 3 days!

Why do I need a suit, you ask? Well, that's a good question, but I am unable to provide an answer at this time. But that will keep you checking back, right? Right?!

Until then, check out my adorable Archibald! Quite the fitting name since he's a bit of a baldy compared to his normal 'do!

Tan Lines

I have to admit, I've actually been having a decent week! Tuesday I was able to stop by HTC, my new gym and take my complimentary class. You would think that more people go to the gym on their lunch breaks (or that's what I'm used to at least), but I was the only one in the noon Crossfit class. You know what that means--free to be judged by the instructor one-on-one instruction! Skill work was double unders and power cleans, and I was given a little refresher on the modifiers "power" and "hang" when it comes to olympic lifts. Since it was a decent day out, the WOD was a little cardio intensive. And contained a LOT of pushups.

Tuesday WOD
Buy in: 50 abmat situps
5 rounds of:
  • 5 power cleans (I think I did 75lbs)
  • 20 push ups
  • 200m run
Cash out: 50 abmat situps
I finished in 13:08, which isn't bad for a first-timer (in an xfit gym setting). I loved it so much, that I had to come back for more the next day! With that, it's official--I am a gym member of Hybrid Training Center! The amazing thing about my membership is that it doesn't include just Crossfit, but I can take unlimited of ANY of the classes they offer. You know me--I'm always excited to try new things, so my next challenge is going to be boxing!

Speaking of challenges, the next two days of WODs looked a little something like this:

Wednesday WOD
Strength session: 5-5-5 push press at 80% max
Buy in: 50 double unders (I was the only one at the 10am class that had these down. They were subbed with tuck jumps otherwise)
25-20-15-10-5 of the following, with 5 strict pull ups between sets:
  • Kettle bell swings (25# should have gone heavier though)
  • Box jumps
Cash out: 50 double unders
That last set of double unders definitely kicked my ass and by the end of them I could only get about 3-5 at a time. Otherwise, I probably could have shaved like a minute and a half off my time. Oh well, lesson learned! Definitely leg-intensive though and I was feeling that for a few days afterward!

Thursday WOD
Skill session: Snatch
5 rounds:
  • 10 hang power snatch (Only #35 due to my weak shoulders)
  • 10 knees to elbows
  • 10 burpees
This one was a doozy! I am not flexible in the least, so the knees to elbows had me, but I managed as best I could! If it's not obvious, I'm absolutely in love with my gym--the best thing so far about being in Virginia Beach! 

After a short day at work on Thursday, I was off to get a little sun by my friend's parents pool as we started to plan bridal shower stuff aka float on pool floats. Then it was time to drive to Newport News to visit the partner-in-crime during his last night of kicking ass James Bond-like activities (except better!). Apparently he was Alpha Male (his words, not mine), and was a bit disliked by those less fit. I have to admit that I'm jealous he was able to go through all of the training that he got to experience! The only way I would be able to do the same is if I was to join the military. Sigh. I'll always have xfit though!

From One Beach to Another

So you're probably thinking "What does all this have to do with the blog title? I've only heard Liz mention the sun once, if that!" Well, Megan and some of the football gang were heading to the Outer Banks for the weekend and extended me an invitation! I can't say no to good company and great location! Although I live at a beach, the OBX is a lot nicer and has a more laid-back, slow-going feel to it. So yesterday at the crack of dawn, I put on my suit, packed my beach bag and got in my car to drive through Pungo to the Knotts Island-Currituck ferry. A relaxing a peaceful morning, and by taking the ferry, it saves me a good bit of gas!
Leaving the dock.
Captain's quarters.
I was a bit too tall for the clearance, so they made me sit down. I really need to stop those leg-lengthening treatments...

Unfortunately, that's really all the pictures I have from the day, because I decided to enjoy the time I had with my friends. And I was busy falling asleep in the sun. I awoke a couple hours later when I could no longer feel my arm because it decided to fall asleep too. Oh, beach-goer problems--they're never-ending!

After about 5 hours at the beach, everyone was ready to head back to the house for the afternoon, and I had to head back to VB. I missed the last ferry, which left at 4, so I had to drive the longer way home, but it was scenic and I did a good job of decreasing my Mapquest-suggested ETA by 20 minutes. I may have found a new travel game!

By the time I got back, cooking dinner was the last thing on my mind, so I opted to use a recently-purchased LivingSocial deal, and my mother and I headed to Som Bao, a locally-owned Lao/Thai food restaurant. Generally when I get Thai food, I get the same thing every time, so we both opted to go with the server's recommendations. With outside being so hot, I was very pleased when I was presented with this refreshing dish:
Don't ask me the name of it, because I'm very uncertain, but it was like a chilled mix of chicken, lemongrass, lime juice, cucumber, onions, and mint. Beyond amazing! I will for sure be back for more!

Upon my return home for the night, the weather had cooled off with the approach of an overnight storm, so I took the newly-groomed pups for a mile and a half walk around the neighborhood.
Now that they're no longer overgrown bushes of fur, they last more than 3 minutes outside. Success! Although at first glance, it's really hard to tell them apart... Until Archie perks up his ears. Now I'm off to deny the fact that I got a bit too much sun and thus look ethnic.
Just a couple hours until Crossfit today! Oh, and in case you were wondering, NEVER go running at noon when it's 95 degrees out! On Friday, I forgot there is no 12pm xfit class, so I got half way there before turning around. Since it was the only time I had to run before work, I departed for a 5 miler and may have walked the last mile. Better than nothing, but I wish there was a sprinkler to run through!
Now THIS is what I'm talking about!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Running, Loving, Living's Summer Virtual Run

The lovely Toni over at Running, Loving, Living was awesome enough to host a virtual 5k and 10k race this past week. Given the opportunity to do a race, I will never say no (unless I already have plans). The race "ran" from June 18 until June 25, and I managed to complete both. One was a bit unintentional and was far from race pace (the 10k). The other was a pain in the butt since my normal running loop is around 5 miles and running at 5k pace for the first 3.1 miles surely meant sudden death for the next 2.

And that was quite accurate! Now, I'm not really the best run-tographer (Oh yeah, you like how I merged those two words? You like that?!), so I didn't actually take any pictures. More like, I forgot, oops! These days, getting ready for a run means the following: waking up, taking the dogs out for their morning poos, getting a little something-something in my stomach, hydrating, actually putting on workout gear, getting my ipod (which lives in my car), and making the house dog-proof before heading out the door. Gasp! Out of breath before I even start running! I kid--my lung capacity is a bit greater than that!

Believe it or not, my 10k run was my first run back from almost a week hiatus. This was unintentional, but I was just having trouble finding the time and settle into VB. It pretty much started out as me saying to myself, "I think I want to go on a long run today. Let's see how far I can go if I make the following turns..." The answer: 6.2 miles. Interesting! I don't really have much to complain about during that run--it was nice having a slightly different route than the usual one I run around my mother's neighborhood. It also tested my memory from back during the school bus days. And I got to see what exactly changed. Let me tell you--lots did! Hence my slower (for me) time! I may have gotten "lost" a few times (aka I thought a few roads connected that didn't quite...).

The 5k run was actually a progression of 5ks over the course of the week. I started out around 24-25 minutes, which is nowhere near my race pace, but all I could manage in the 90+ degree heat knowing that 3 miles out meant 2 miles back home. Why not just select a shorter route? Well, at that point I had not joined a gym, and right after 3 miles, there is a conveniently-located playground. Or makeshift gym, as I just decided to refer to it as. 10-15 pull ups on the monkey bars, 25 pushups, some stretching, and another set of 25 pushups upon completion of my run. It's like rubbing salt in the wound (or more realistically sweat in the eyes). But I don't dare complain! No pain, and there sure as hell will be no gain! So over the next few days, I saw my 5k time drop by several seconds here and there. The route was never exactly the same--I had to dodge an inmate workforce one time that was doing some landscape work... Normally, I wouldn't really be that creeped out by that, but normally I'm in my car driving, and not running in a sports bra within feet of these men. Uh, I'll take the long route for $800, Alex! But yes, 5k done at 22:07. I could be a bit prouder, but I know I have better in me. The heat was just the unfortunate deciding factor, and it decided to slow me down. Oh well!

I have to say though, I love the feeling of racing, even in a virtual "setting." I'm so thankful that Toni organized this event (and got some great sponsors)! Make sure you click on the link above and check out her blog! It is well worth your time!

That's all for now, folks, but expect a recap/review of my new gym SOON!!!!


Monday, June 25, 2012

A Familiar Face!

This week has had it's fair share of ups and downs, starting with crazy torrential rain on my day off on Friday. While being at work all the time leaves me feeling like I don't have time to get anything done, when I'm not at work, I just feel bored and alone. I don't have a set enough schedule yet where I can create a routine for myself unless you count walking the dogs twice a day. I only work with about 10 other girls, and I live on the opposite side of town from everyone else, so meeting up with them would be a chore. Not to mention, there seems to be a decent amount of drama and cattiness between a few of them, so I'm not entirely sure I want to play into that. Don't get me wrong--I don't have a problem with the girls I work with, but in this instance I think it would be wise not to mix work and play.

Not that there's ever a convenient time to move, but I think I chose the most inconvenient time to relocate. Summer has already begun, meaning I'm missing out on seasonal Charlottesville fun with people that I love. Social sports leagues are already under way, so I can't join until Fall. I have a year down here in Virginia Beach before I can hopefully start grad school, so I better change my attitude soon and make some connections! And besides, my intention is not to whine and complain today.

Instead, I want to mention how GREAT it was to see a familiar face this past weekend in the form of my partner-in-crime! He was down in the area (a bridge-length away) on James Bond training for work. In other words, upstaging me by playing with guns, rappelling down walls, and showing off for the ladies owning some marines--or so I was told. He makes my daily runs in the 80-90 degree heat (pre-9am) seem weak! Obviously, this is unacceptable...

But regardless, two three bottles of wine later and I forgot I was even in Virginia Beach! I also forgot that there was a third bottle, but that's beside the point. I definitely needed a night of fun in the form of getting drunk in front of other people's families. I don't even get drunk in front of my OWN family! Oh, indiscretion! I have no shame!

Clearly, I was in no state to remember to take pictures if I couldn't even form sentences, but I was sent the following picture by a great friend of mine!
I'm an auntie (again)!! This little rascal is going to be so loved and spoiled!

All-in-all, it was a great weekend though! Unfortunately, work got in the way of getting to take a complimentary Crossfit or TRX or boxing or Jiu Jitsu or MMA or Muay Thai class together at my soon-to-be new gym, but that just means I have more time to practice kicking (his) ass! Speaking of the gym though, I stopped in today to take a tour after work. Had it not been for the rain (and an inconsiderate coworker who went on break late thus forcing me to stay late), I would have taken my class today and immediately handed over my credit card signed on the dotted line. But alas, that will have to wait for tomorrow. And trust me, I'm peeing myself jumping up and down in excitement!

I'll leave you with my weekly fail, which was last Thursday I believe:
Mixing chocolate protein powder with a "juice" made of carrots, spinach, and apple is FAR from appealing. In fact, it's wait-for-dinner-until-you-get-home-from-work-at-10pm REPULSIVE. Ick! 

What am I doing wrong? Fruit-flavored protein powder instead? Vanilla?
Help a girl out, please!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oh happy day!

Happy 20th birthday to my baby sister, Eleanor! I know, 20 is not so much a baby anymore, but since I'll always be older, I'll always refer to her as that or Ellie or Gorgeous or grinch. I kid about that last one. She's a sweetheart! But when we fight, it can get ugly...or as ugly as pretty girls can get!

I have to say, even when her and I do have spats, even when she does tell my mother things that I prefer for her not to know, even when she doesn't respond to my texts, my life would be much less amusing without her! She's a little crazy and a whole lot of fun!

Unfortunately, her jackass of an ex-boyfriend broke up with her recently--2 days ago to be exact--so I made a rescue drive over to Norfolk (one city away) to cheer her up on Sunday. Or just get her mind off things. Breakups are so rough, but she's going to be so much better off without him. She already is! I don't know what I would do without a sister--I know she would be there for me just like I was for her.

But yes, back to today... A few years ago, I inadvertently started a birthday tradition. One called dinner at PF Chang's. Yes, it's a chain restaurant, but oh goodness, the food is amazing! Side note: I meant to do a photo recap of the years we've been there, but back in December when my hard drive was wiped clean... Yeah, I don't have those pictures anymore.

The only ones I do have:
El's 18th Birthday and high school graduation
(2 months after) My 21st birthday
El's 19th birthday
I love the candidness and the laughter in that picture. And how jacked my arm looks!

Then today happened. Sissy turned 20. One more year til she can drink! Legally...
It was a girls' event--with Sam (left) & Amanda (right)

Amanda actually happens to be my running buddy--both when I lived in Cville and now down here in VB. Although she graduated with my sister, she attends UVa and works at Loft.

Family resemblance?
It was a great night full of food and laughter! I made sure that I went on a long enough run earlier in the day in anticipation of calorie-laden food. Lucky for me though, I found a dish that was exactly what I was looking for--high in protein, low in carbs/fat, and contained seafood and veggies! Sweet! And given that I shared a good bit of it, I was way under my calorie budget. Wow, how terrible do I sound right now?!

I believe the evening ended a little like this:
Girl's gonna hate me, but she brought it on herself. Also, I exude hotness apparently!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thought to live by

On occasion, I like to indulge in some chocolate. Meaning that my friend, Stacy, bought me a bag of Dove chocolates before my Charlottesville departure. I opened this one up several days ago and have been trying to keep it in mind. Lord knows I need a new beginning from the last time I lived in this city! Truth: I was a nerd in high school--that's all I'm saying!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I have a new obsession

I think this band has a song on the top 200 songs on itunes, which is how I generally find my new music. After listening to their entire CD, I think all the songs deserve to be on there. I encourage you to check out Imagine Dragons!

Did I mention they're super motivating to workout/run to? Catch ya later!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New & Improved

Hey there lovelies! What do you think of the new layout? I just wasn't feeling the old one--honestly, I just looked at it as the best of the unfortunate choices that Blogger offered. I'm not really that website savvy, so it's not like I could take matters into my own hands. And once, I asked if my tech-nerd brother would help and he just blew me off. Oh well!

I'm at Day 3 of living in Virginia Beach now, and while it's not what I hoped for, I'm making the best of it by forcing my mom to eat healthy. I'm not going to lie, I'm one of those people that can eat crap food if it's in the house...which is precisely why I do not buy it. It's not necessarily that it tastes good, it's just there and practically taunting you. These past 3 days, I've been super healthy though, packing a lunch to bring with me to work and cooking dinner (or crossing my fingers that my mother cooked the food that I defrosted/prepped/etc) upon getting home. So far, so good!

Last night, I may have gotten a bit peeved though when I got home from grocery shopping at Trader Joe's after a full day of work and started to cook the swordfish I had defrosted. Upon taking it out of the fridge, my mom claimed, "I'm not hungry," which irked me since there were telltale signs that she had not eaten healthy during the day. And had probably recently eaten. I can't fully blame her, because she's recovering from a total knee replacement and has to have her leg elevated for 6 hours a day. If that was me, I would get bored too--and would probably eat a bit more than usual. But we had chatted before I left for work that day and agreed on a dinner menu. Not to mention, I texted her as I was checking out at TJs letting her know I was on my way home. Perhaps I should not have assumed she would start prepping dinner... Regardless, I made the swordfish with some new (to me) coconut oil, lemon juice, and seafood seasoning. Umm, it was delicious!
With a side of vegetable medley, please!
What's not pictured is the glass (and a half) of wine that accompanied this. Perfection!

Then last night, I was surprised with the fact that my best friend, who recently moved to Philly, was in town! Commence the planning for our hang out today, which happened to be my day off! We decided on a puppy walk with her german shepherd mix, Delilah, and my two pups, Archie and Murdoch. Technically Murdoch is my mother's dog, but for the sake of not getting too confusing...

Our plans were thwarted a little bit after deciding that we would take the dogs to the local dog park at Red Wing. There was a bit of confusion over whether or not Archie and Murdoch were actually licensed in Virginia Beach, which is required of all dogs that use the dog park. Eh, well, we broke several of the park rules by taking them through the Japanese garden...and then letting them loose on the tennis courts with the gates closed. Luckily, it was pretty dead, so we didn't get caught!

What do you get when you introduce two (male) miniature schnauzers to a larger (female) dog? This:

They got along so well! Maybe too well, in fact! Lilah was definitely interested in sniffing some butts, but her tail was wagging the entire time! I've never let the dogs loose with another dog before, but everyone was on their best play date behavior! My favorite of those picture is the 2nd on the left in the top row--Archie and Lilah locked eyes and it was just too adorable!

After the dogs were thoroughly tired out, I dropped off the pups at home and headed to Katie's and chilled out by her pool while Delilah continued to be her precious self.

Don't get me wrong, I love my dogs, but german shepherds have a special place in my heart!

The rest of the day was spent relaxing, cleaning my car--vacuum & wash (it was about time!), and heading out for a 5ish mile run around the neighborhood. Good news is that I've dropped all the weight I gained while I was force fed saying my goodbyes (at various restaurants) last week. Oh, and did I mention that my mom fixed the licensing problem while she was out today? Looks like the pups will get to frolic in the dog park after all!