Year of Fear: Fear One!

She did it! Sam conquered her first fear of the year! A couple weeks ago we took a gal pal trip up to Cape May and decided to take a step out of our comfort zone once a month for a year and do something that scares us. We haven’t mapped out all of our discomforts and fears that we are going to tackle this year, but Sam took the leap and did her first one last week. What did she do you ask?

Can we say #shorthairdontcare

Maybe men won’t be able to relate to this as fearful, but I’m sure most women can. I think part of us is always wishing we could just chop all our hair off one day and not have a care in the world about whether or not it will “fit our face” or worry “do I look like a boy now?” I know at least once or twice a year I get the idea to cut my hair super short for a change and a fresh start. But…I’m still trying to grow it out from the last time I did that!

Sam hasn’t had a short haircut since high school. Ready for something new and something easier to take care of, she had been eying the pixie cut and thinking about going that route for her next hair do. The pixie cut! I know every woman who is reading this eyes just went wide. The infamous pixie cut that only certain face types can pull off. 

Well don’t worry, she didn’t get the pixie cut. Sam took a risk, but she was smart about it. She asked the professional for her opinion on the pixie and I think her stylist told her to start with a cute bob and go shorter from there if she wanted to.

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, she likes her short hair! Go Sam! Fear one in the books! When she gets back from her family vacation next month we are going to start working on conquering my first fear. Stay tuned!

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Running Diary Entry 4: Hill Repeats

Hill repeats. Also known as pure misery.

I am really digging my running group! (Who am I?!?!) I think I’ve told you before that on Wednesday nights we meet at the track to do speed work, right? Well right now we are looking for a new track to do that at. The one we were supposed to work on all summer is being resurfaced or something so we’re trying to find a new one. In the mean time our track coach made us do hill repeats last night. What are hill repeats you ask? Hill repeats are 4 miles of straight misery. But I loved it! Once we were done of course. I don’t know why I enjoy punishing myself when it comes to physical fitness.

The hill is 400m, so you would sprint (or just try not to die) up hill and the down hill would be your recovery time. One up hill run and one downhill run was half a mile and one round. We had to run 8 rounds

Hill Repeats

Sprint: 400m up hill 
Recovery: 400m down hill
8 Rounds

Thank the GOOD Lord that the heat index was not 105 degrees last night otherwise I think most of the group would have legit died. The first 4 rounds I was able to maintain a 2:46 pace up the hill. Not great, but I’m a work in progress! I slowed down a couple seconds on the last 4 rounds of it, but my last set I REALLY pushed it on the up hill part and shaved off 5 seconds and had a 2:41 pace. Then I almost threw up at the top of the hill. It was an awesome workout!

This weekend is a 7 mile long run. Thankfully, next weekend is a recovery weekend and my mileage drops down to 5 miles. I don’t want to have to run a ton after the 4th of July AND 30th birthday celebrations!

Stay tuned…I’ve got a Year of Fear post coming up soon!

Happy hill repeats y’all!

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Cauliflower Fried Rice (sort of)

I slept in until 7am this morning! That never happens! Then I laced up my shoes and hit the streets. I logged my easy 3 miles even though I told myself I would run 4. Last night I thought to myself “push and run 4 miles, 3 is too easy for you now” but running 3 miles in the morning is not easy for me and I can’t figure out why. I can’t tell if it’s just adjusting to the heat and humidity, something to do with my fueling or if I’m just feeling sluggish because I haven’t had any coffee yet. I’ve always preferred to workout in the evenings…I have more energy then and can work off the stresses of the day. But when the heat index is 105 and the humidity is at about 80%, it’s best to be smart and do it in the morning. So, I did. And it was hard but I got it done.

I ended up working from home this afternoon because of some car trouble and that ended up working in my favor because I’ve got an article to write for my company magazine covering the Warrior Games and the Cycling Classic we had a couple weekends ago. I do better with my writing when I don’t have distractions and I’ve always got distractions at work. So, I got a big chunk of that taken care of today.

Anyway. The whole point of this post is to tell you all about the cauliflower fried rice I made! Remember in my last post how I was talking about how I’m into everything easy right now when it comes to cooking? Well, that is exactly how I would describe this “recipe”. Easy peasy.

What you need:

– Coconut Oil
– Frozen bag of cauliflower rice
– Frozen bag of organic mixed veggies
– Low sodium soy sauce
– Tessamaes Lemon Garlic dressing
– Salt & pepper
– 3 cloves garlic
– Onion powder (or a real onion if you’re not a weirdo like me that doesn’t like onions)

Not pictured: Bag of organic frozen veggies and garlic cloves,

Not pictured: majority of the other ingredients

What you do:

Grease the pan with the coconut oil and throw the frozen cauliflower rice in along with half the bag of veggies. Seal the veggies back up and save the rest for another time! Add the garlic, salt, pepper and lemon garlic dressing. Stir it up for a little bit and then cover for 5 minutes. Remove cover and pour in the soy sauce– I’m not good at measurements here so do what you think your tastebuds would like. Same goes for the lemon garlic dressing. Stir it up and cover again to let it simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every now and then. Voila! You have the easiest cauliflower fried rice you could imagine. 

This isn’t a paleo recipe or a Whole30 compliant recipe, but it’s still healthy. The frozen veggies didn’t have any added junk to them and were organic. No heavy starches and the chicken I added to the meal helped add some protein. The soy sauce was relatively healthy since it is from Trader Joes and low sodium and the lemon garlic sauce was 100% clean from Tessamaes. We can still enjoy healthy foods while stepping outside of the lines every now and then. 

IMG_1129

Frozen goodies

I use the term recipe loosely with this since I kind of just picked stuff and threw it into the pan to heat up. Next time I may try to scramble up an egg and throw that in there, too. I heated up some of the crockpot beer chicken I made the other night and threw that on top of the rice once it was complete. A yummy and EASY early dinner/late lunch since I had some free time this evening! Hope y’all will enjoy too!

Final product! Glad I remembered to snap this before I started to tear into it

Final product! Glad I remembered to snap this before I started to tear into it

We found out this week that the track we use for our speed work isn’t going to be open to the public anymore. While we try to find another location to have practice at I think we’re just going to run hill repeats tomorrow. I’ve never done that with the club before so I don’t know exactly what it is but I’m sure it’s some form of sprinting up a hill and repeating that multiple times. Should be fun. I will write about that later this weekend!

Happy hill running and easy cooking, y’all!

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Quick and Easy Breakfast Recipe

Hi friends! I apologize in advance that this post doesn’t have any pictures to go along with the recipe, but I didn’t think I’d end up writing about it until after I ate it and realized how yummy and easy it was. So use your imagination!

I’m working from home this morning before I head down to Quantico to work the Warrior Games and I figured I’d take the time to actually make breakfast since I had the time to do so. But in reality, I could make this breakfast when I have to go into the office at my regular time because it was so quick and easy!

Here is what you need:

– Three eggs (or two, whatever you prefer)
– Four cherry tomatoes cut in half
– handful of baby spinach
– Coconut oil
– Salt & pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

Throw some coconut oil in the pan and let it melt then throw the spinach on top of it to sauté it up a little. While the spinach is sautéing whisk up your eggs in a separate bowl and then dump them in the pan with the spinach to scramble. Add the salt and pepper and tomatoes and cook up until the eggs are as fluffy as you’d like them to be.

Rocket science, huh? But really, this took less than 5 minutes and was delicious. I threw my eggs on top of some leftover quinoa I had. I’m trying to stick to a paleo-ish diet as much as possible, but with my marathon training I need more carbs for energy. So I’m subbing quinoa for rice and will add in sweet potatoes here and there.

Ok, I know this shouldn’t count as a recipe since it’s so easy but that is my game plan right now. Easy recipes. I haven’t really been into cooking that much lately so I’m trying to take the easy route with things.

Last night I cooked up some chicken breasts in the crock pot. I didn’t have any chicken broth to throw in with it to keep the chicken moist (ew that word) so I poured some beer in. I realize that is not at all paleo-ish but it worked! And added some extra flavor to the chicken. In the theme of keeping it easy, I picked up a couple pre packaged bags of cauliflower rice and am planning to test out a cauliflower fried rice recipe! I will be sure to share and post pictures with that one.

Until then– happy easy eating y’all!

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Running Diary Entry 3: Real Talk

REAL TALK: Ladies, don’t get a bikini wax the day before a long run. That is all.

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Running Diary Entry 2: Speed Work

I never thought I would say this, but running has been a little therapeutic for me lately. I tell ya, when I miss a few days of working out I get in a serious funk. Work has been insane the last week or so and I haven’t been sleeping much. When I do sleep I’m up every few hours thinking about work. The worst! I worked 9 days straight and in those 9 days only managed to run once. Not good for my head space, not good.

This week was the official start of my training. Finally! I feel like I’ve been talking about my training starting for a long time and I’m glad it’s finally here. Knowing that I have a strict schedule to keep will help me stay accountable. I do better with structure. So, on Tuesday I woke up and got my first training run in. It was three short miles but with the heat and humidity it felt like 15. Not my best run at all, but I guess it’s good to get used to running in these conditions.

I officially paid my dues and joined the Arlington Road Runners club. On Wednesday nights they meet at a local high school track and do speed work. I’ve never done this before, but apparently it will help me speed up my pace for the big day! I’ll try anything at this point. I don’t expect to be super fast, but if I stick with it I know I will come out stronger and faster than when I started. Last nights work out was a doozey…

Two Times:
1200m at sprint pace
400m rest pace

Two Times:
400m sprint pace
400m rest pace

Three Times:
200m sprint pace
200m rest pace

Total Mileage:4.75

It was tough but great! For the first couplet I was told to try and finish my 1200’s in 8:45. I think I did that for the first one but probably slowed down a little after….and so on and so on. I was paying too much attention to my overall pace on my watch when I should have been focusing on the time it took me to finish. Now I know!

Most people would probably classify my version of a sprint as a slow jog. But whatevs…I felt like I was getting work done and I’m OK with that! I think any kind of sprint/interval work will help in the long run so I’ll stick it out and see what kind of progress I make. I still can’t believe how into running I’m getting. After the last marathon I ran I swore I’d never do it again.

I’m switching things up and going my long run tomorrow morning instead of on Saturday. I’ll be going to the baseball game tomorrow night and probably won’t want to get up at 5am on Saturday after that. I’ll have to remember no more Friday plans for the rest of the summer…yippee.

Does anyone have any tips for a fuel belt to run with? I trained with my CamelBak and hand water bottle last time and don’t want to do either this time. I’m scared a fuel belt will be too bouncy on my already very bouncy hips– if you know what I mean. Any advice?? Pleas share in the comments!

Happy sprinting, y’all!

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The Year of Fear

Oh my lanta! Things have been busy. Life is getting in the way of life and I’m neglecting this precious little wannabe fitness blog. Switching gears from fitness to life with this post. Hope ya don’t mind.

My friend and I ventured off for one of our annual beach trips last weekend and headed to Cape May, NJ. Jersey Shore– gross, right? No way. This place is the bees knees and a hidden gem when you think of all the other jersey beaches that get attention. Unfortunately, it rained the entire weekend and the temps didn’t get above 72. The sun did not show its face until Sunday morning. Just in time for us to pack up and head back to DC. I hit the beach at 9am and enjoyed my cup of coffee out there before we packed up and headed home. I wouldn’t call it a TOTAL bust but I did not come home all Hawaiian looking like I would have preferred.

Beautiful Cape May Point!

Beautiful Cape May Point!

While we were there I finished reading My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock. Have you heard of it? I heard of it after reading this article that was all over the inter-webs a few weeks ago. The author was inspired by an Eleanor Roosevelt quote and decided to take a year off (after being let go from her six figure job) to do one scary thing a day before her 30th birthday. She doesn’t go over every single fearful thing she did, but she focused on the major ones and the impact they had on her personal growth. She is a charming writer that brought a lot of humor to some serious stuff– so I would suggest you check it out if you’re in the market for a new book. (Side note, can I have her life? I’ll happily scoop ice cream in the Caribbean; even if it means having a chicken in my shower.)

Anyway.

Sitting on the porch of our beach house and after a few too many bud light limes, my friend and I decided that we are going to borrow Noelle’s concept and do the same thing. Except we scaled it back to being one scary thing a month– for the next year. One month we will focus on my friends fear, and the next month we will focus on mine. Our fears are different but we’ll be there to support each other through the process. Yea teamwork!

Important decision making material.

Important decision making material.

I’ll be honest and tell you that I don’t think either one of us is 100% certain of what we are trying to get out of this little experiment. Maybe some change, maybe some excitement, maybe some personal growth or maybe we’re just looking for something to do on the weekend. Either way, I think it will be an adventure and at the end of it I’m sure we’ll have something to take away from and reflect on.

I will be sure to document our “Year of Fear” as we get things going. We’ve already decided what our first fear factor will be– but you’ll have to stay tuned for that. Our Year of Fear begins in July!

Happy fearlessness y’all!

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Running Diary, Entry 1: Ugh

45 thoughts I had on my run this morning:
1. Woo hoo! The weather is perfect, no humidity, thank God! Let’s get moving!
2. Whoa, where did that breeze come from? I hate running when it’s windy.
3. Oh good, I can rest at the stop light that isn’t even a quarter mile from my building.
4. Don’t worry, you’ll start to feel good soon. You know the first mile is always the hardest.
5. Ouch my knee.
6. Why don’t other runners wave back at me? I’m just trying to say good morning.
7. Does that mean I’m not a REAL runner? Are REAL runners too in the zone to say hi to people?
8. Oh cute puppy!
9. Why do my legs feel like tree stumps?
10. Why does this suck so much this morning?
11. How has it only been a mile and a half? I have three and a half more to go?
12. Maybe I’ll just do 2 miles today.
13. Ugh, don’t be lazy.
14. This is not going to be one of those “break through” runs. Nope. Not today.
15. Should I see a Chiropractor about my back? It’s so tight all the time.
16. Is this what happens when you turn 30? Your body breaks down?
17. Maybe your 20’s weren’t so bad after all. You never needed to see a Chiropractor in your 20’s.
18. Oh look there is that girl and her dog that you always see, and yes, she is still smokin your ass.
19. Is it normal for a dog to run that fast?
20. Maybe if you switch up your route it won’t be as hard. Yea, let’s cross the street.
21. HOW IS IT NOT TIME TO TURN AROUND YET?
22. Whyyyyyyyyyyyy
23. Oh great, a hill. Said no one ever.
24. Attack the hill!
25. Eyes up, you almost just face planted in front of the fire truck full of cute firemen that drove by. Get it together Lo.
26. Oh this is a good song, I’ll pick up my pace.
27. FINALLY 2 MILES. TIME TO GO HOME.
28. I wish running was as easy as that girl makes it look.
29. Whatever, I can probably squat more than her.
30. Why did I sign up to run a marathon?!
31. I don’t even like running.
32. At least it’s not humid. I’m not sweating that much. Does that mean I’m dehydrated?
33. Crap. I have to go to the bathroom.
34. Why am I running to slow today?
35. Maybe it’s all the box jumps from last night?
36. No, you’re just slow.
37. At least it’s not winter.
38. OMG I HATE THIS HILL BUT IT MEANS YOU’RE ALMOST HOME
39. That sucked.
40. Don’t get hit by a car.
41. PEDSTRIANS FIRST JERK!
42. Oh crap I think that was my neighbor, I hope he didn’t catch me giving him the stink eye.
43. I’m glad Sue didn’t run with me today, she would have been bored with how slow I’m moving.
44. That sucked but at least I got it done.
45. What the heck, that was only 3.42 miles?! Damn it.

Slow and steady! (does not win this race.)

Slow and steady! (does not win this race.)

Needless to say, today was not one of my best runs. I’m not sure why, but I just wasn’t feeling it today. I know there will be days like this and then there will be days when I have those breakthrough runs and feel myself getting stronger!

I’m glad I can mark this off my todo list for the day. I’ll try again tomorrow and will hopefully have a better run!

 

 

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Marathon Training Plan

Hi hi hi! Look at me…two posts in one week! I hoping that by posting about my marathon training, some of you readers out there can help me be accountable and stick with it!

When I ran my first marathon back in 2013 I had no idea what I was getting myself into. At all. No amount of research can really prepare you for your first marathon. I don’t think I really understood the dedication and discipline it took to not just run a marathon, but to also train for it. The training was brutal– it started in the dead of summer, any plans I had for the weekends were planned around my long runs and how I would feel after them (like I died), I had to run on vacations (sacrilege!), my appetite was out of control…I could go on and on. But that is not the point of this post! The point is that I know what to expect this go round, I have a better idea of what my body can handle, and I’m actually getting excited to focus on this training. I say that now, but ask me how I feel come July.

For those of you wondering, I’m following the same program I did two years ago. Hal Higdon has a number of training programs for different races and experience levels. I’m following the 18 week Novice 1 plan. When I did this program before, I slacked off big time the last six weeks of my training. You know, pretty much the time in training when you SHOULD NOT BE SLACKING OFF.  I would get my long runs in on the weekends, but I would maybe only run a couple miles here and there during the week, on top of my CrossFit schedule. So while I was still being active, I wasn’t getting the miles in that I needed and I think I really suffered during the marathon because of this. Noted. I will not make that same mistake this year.

Unfortunately, CrossFit will have to be my secondary workout during my training. I’ve made up my mind that running will be my priority. I am hoping to get 2-3 days a week of CrossFit in on top of my runs, but we’ll see how that works out. All training plans will tell you that strength training is just as important as running so I don’t want to cut it out completely, I just don’t want it to be my primary focus. I’m ready to tackle this training! (Again, ask me how I’m feeling come July.)

I did some purging this weekend and found my marathon bib from 2013.  I pinned it up over my desk in my bedroom along with the training plan I followed in 2013 and the training plan I plan to follow this year. I think having them side by side like that will help me to track my progress and compare it to how I was doing 2 years ago. I’ve also got a copy printed out on my desk at work, too– I’m a visual person! I like to write things down and then scratch them off once they are completed.

Determination!

I’m determined to do better this year!

I start training on June 14th. Smack dab in the middle of my busiest month at work…I always say I love a good challenge, don’t I? I’m going to have to switch a few things up during my training. I’m starting a few weeks earlier than I have to in order to give myself some grace in case of injuries, or if I get sick, or if I’m particularly lazy one week. According to this plan, I’m also supposed to run my 20 miler the weekend that my brother is getting married. LOLz. I will most definitely be switching that up with another weekend because I don’t see 20 miles happening on top of wedding festivities.

Call to Action: I need your help! I need new songs to run to! Would love to hear some of your suggestions. I love country music, but hate running to it. Other than that, I listen to anything so please send me your suggestions– I will be forever grateful!

WOD2

HAPPY TRAINING/RUNNING Y’ALL!

 

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Zembiec Memorial WOD

Ok, ok…blogging is hard to keep up with on a regular basis. Especially when you have a fitness blog and you haven’t exactly been practicing what you preach the last couple of weeks. Forgive me! Regardless, the month of May has been particularly active for me, so far– let’s hope I can keep it up!

Last Saturday I went up to Gaithersburg, MD to participate in a Memorial WOD fundraiser at CrossFit Hardshells. My friend is a member there and the fundraiser was in honor of her late husband, Major Doug Zembiec, USMC. He was killed in Iraq on May 11th, 2007– eight years ago today– leaving behind his wife Pam and their daughter Fallyn. You should Google the guy and see what comes up about him, he was a one of a kind Marine.

Capt. Doug Zembiec, the commanding officer of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, gives orders to his men over a radio prior to leaving their secured compound for a short patrol in Fallujah, Iraq April 8, 2004.The company entered Fallujah April 6 to begin the effort of destroying enemy holded up in the city. (Official USMC photo by Sgt. Jose E. Guillen)

Capt. Doug Zembiec, the commanding officer of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, gives orders to his men over a radio prior to leaving their secured compound for a short patrol in Fallujah, Iraq April 8, 2004.The company entered Fallujah April 6 to begin the effort of destroying enemy holded up in the city. (Official USMC photo by Sgt. Jose E. Guillen)

In 2014 CrossFit Headquarters created a Hero WOD in his honor. So on Saturday, CrossFit Hardshells teamed up with PS Charities to host this Memorial WOD fundraiser. There were 5 different heats for the workout, you could do the workout as prescribed or scaled– it was a great turnout, I think there were at least 50 people there. The money raised through this fundraiser is going to help build a low mortgage home for a young Marine Veteran and his family. PS Charities had shirts made, they had AWESOME raffle items, and prizes for the people with the fastest times in both Rx and scaled divisions. It was an awesome day to do this tough workout in honor of such a great man.

“Zembiec”
Rx
5 Rounds
11 Back Squat (185/125)
7 burpee strict pull ups
400m run

Scaled:
5 Rounds
11 Back squat (65#)
7 burpees
7 jumping pull ups
400m run

On paper it doesn’t look too bad, right? Especially the scaled version, right? Wrong. My strategy for the workout was to just not die. I finished in 24:45 and think I could have shaved off a minute or two if I would have really hustled on the run, but sadly- the run was my recovery time! I thought I would be able to tack on 85# for the squat (65# is relatively easy for me) but then I realized that I would be doing 55 squats on top of the burpees and jumping and running– and I don’t care who you are, that is just a lot of stress on your legs. Especially out of shape legs like mine!

Some of the folks in my heat after the workout. Majority of the guys in the back row served with Doug at one point or another, it was great they came out to support.

Some of the folks in my heat after the workout. Majority of the guys in the back row served with Doug at one point or another, it was great they came out to support.

CrossFit Hardshells and PS Charities did a great job putting this fundraiser together! The atmosphere was great, everyone in attendance wanted to support Pam and honor Doug– all for a great cause.

In addition to my CrossFitting, I’ve been hitting the pavement with my running. I haven’t done any LONG runs yet, but I’m getting in to a routine of early mornings runs a couple times a week and I’m really starting to enjoy it. I don’t think I will enjoy having to run 10 miles in the morning (week 15 of my training plan!) but a quick 3-3.5 in the morning is a good way to start the day! I’ve still got a few weeks until my training officially starts and I think I need to kick it into gear with the mileage. Some mornings I’m lazy and just run for 20 minutes– 10 minutes out and 10 minutes in. Now that it’s becoming more a routine for me, I’ll start to focus on the miles and increasing them along the way.

This summer is going to be a great one– lot’s of activities planned and lots of training to focus on! Change comes in seasons and I’m ready for summer to hit!

 

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