Embracing the Curves

Hi y’all! We’ve had some pretty nice temps this week so far, even though it’s only Tuesday. It’s such a sweet relief to be able to drive to work with my sunroof open! The winters in DC just seem to get colder and longer each year. It’s about time spring finally showed her face!

With the warmer temps comes the summer dresses, swimsuits, tank tops and my beloved slippahs (aka flippy floppys). Unfortunately, I am not one of those people that spend all winter preparing their body to be bikini ready. I’ve noticed I’m actually the opposite of that. I’m not made for cold weather, so I tend to hibernate on my couch in front of the fire place with a glass of wine and a box of mac and cheese. (Remember folks, FitWithLo is a judgement free zone) I make myself get to the gym here and there so I don’t fall COMPLETELY off the wagon, but I’m definitely and not as motivated as I am during the summer months and I don’t really know why. Getting bikini ready should be reason enough to get my butt up and get moving, right?

But you know what? At two months shy of my 30th birthday, I think I am finally comfortable in my own skin. I have learned to love my body for what it is and embrace every curve, dimple and stretch mark I have.  Because I FEEL good. I FEEL healthy. I am and probably always will be a work in progress when it comes to fitness and my weight, but that is OK as long as I keep moving, right? Right! I am finally to a point to where I am focusing on how I feel rather than how I look and my oh my, is it liberating. 

Some of you may have seen the #loveyourlines campaign that Chrissy Teigen accidentally started when she posted a picture on Instagram that showed her having stretch marks. Gasp! You mean former Sports Illustrated swimsuit models have STRECH MARKS?! Yep they are human, too. Hats off to you, Chrissy. You started a campaign without even meaning to and are helping women embrace and LOVE their bodies– which is a huge feat in today’s society.

You go girl, show them stretchies!

You go girl, show them stretchies! (I know you can’t really see them in this picture, but look her up on IG)

My gym has a member that comes out and take photos during some of the WODs we do on Saturday’s and then they post the album of photos to their Facebook page. A picture was taken of me running during last weeks WOD and I contemplated not tagging myself in it because…well, I don’t think I look skinny. In fact, I think it makes me look chubby! But then I figured– hey, I’m a work in progress and I’m proud of that. So I tagged myself, for all of the Facebook world to see. I know this isn’t as big a deal as posting a picture of my stretch marks on social media, but I think it shows that while I don’t have the perfect body, I am proud of the work I’m putting in to be healthy. As long as you are trying, staying active and just making an effort to be healthy then it doesn’t matter what you look like. What matters is how you feel.

And they say black is slimming...!

And they say black is slimming…!

Ladies. Stop comparing your body to what you see on TV and in magazines. Stop comparing your body to what it looked like before you had a baby. Stop comparing your body to what it looked like before you sat at a desk for 8+ hours a day. Stop comparing your body to what it looked like in High School. Stop comparing your body to anything and everything other than what it is. Embrace it. Love it. Cherish it. Because once YOU start to do these things then you’ll realize that other people see you the same way you do…and that, is fabulous

OK, I’m stepping off my soap box for the day.

Happy body loving, y’all!

 

 

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Plans on Plans on Plans

I have deemed this weekend my planning weekend! What kind of planning am I doing, you ask? Meal planning and training planning. On Monday I’m starting another Whole30. For real this time. I’ve gotta get my butt in gear and get to a better weight before my marathon training really kicks into gear. I’m not TOO heavy by ANY means, but I think the less weight I have to carry on all those crazy long runs the easier those crazy long runs will be. PLUS, it’s always a good time to start putting the right kind of foods into your body. So, today is grocery shopping and meal prep day at Casa de Lo!

Whole+30+Meals

My official marathon training starts on June 14th but I’ve decided to start putting more runs into my usual routine– without cutting my CrossFit. So, I am thinking that means I might have to start pulling two-a-days. Yea…you read that correctly. I am thinking that I’ll run in the mornings and do CrossFit in the evenings. (We’ll see how this goes) I put together this nifty little plan that should help me get into the swing of things. The plan itself is pretty simple, the hard part is going to be getting up in the morning to run. I’m a morning person, but more along the lines of I like to wake up early to have enough time to drink my coffee and watch Matt Lauer. I don’t like to wakeup early and run. In fact, I typically hate running in the morning because I feel sluggish and slow. But, you can train your body and mind to adjust to things and that is just what I’m going to do (try to anyway.) Check it out: Two a Days plan

Along with my planning yesterday, I got a workout in. I finally got back in the gym after being lazy for a whole week. Sometimes, we just need time to be lazy…right? I don’t recommend a full week of lazy but hey, I’m only human! Yesterday was a Hero WOD and a tough one. Saturday’s at my gym are always hard and they are especially harder after you’ve taken a week off.

“Rankel”
U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant John Rankel, 23, of Speedway, Indiana, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1 Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Pendleton, CA, was killed on June 7, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Helmond Province, Afghanistan. He is survived by his Mother and Stepfather; Father and Stepmother; and two brothers.

AMRAP 20 Minutes
6 Deadlifts (225/155)
7 burpee pull-ups
10 KB Swings (2/1.5)
200m Run

I scaled the weight of the deadlifts to 115 pounds and cutout the pull-ups and was able to get in 4 rounds plus 20 reps. It was hard, but I got it done.

On the flip side, I’ve got my old roomie staying with me for a few days and we may venture into the city to look at the Cherry Blossoms today, with all the other tourists that have flocked to the district. They said today is the perfect day to do it and that rain will come in and wash them away on Tuesday. I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend, and wish me luck as I start my early morning workouts tomorrow!

Happy planning y’all!

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Girls on the Run

Have y’all heard of Girls on the Run? It’s a pretty neat organization, I think. Their goal is to inspire girls to take charge of their lives and define the future on their own terms, while incorporating running and fitness into the program. I think it’s unique in the way it combines fitness all while empowering young girls to be proud of who they are and encourage each other. I try to stress that in every practice…to encourage each other and build each other up and focus on the positive rather than the negative. Some of the girls have caught on, some of them only come because their parents make them…but that’s ok!

Our first practice of the season and there was still SNOW on the ground!

Our first practice of the season and there was still SNOW on the ground!

I heard about this organization a few years ago but never had the time to dedicate as a volunteer. Luckily, now I do! So on a whim I signed up to be the head coach of a group of 11 girls ranging from 3rd to 6th grade at an elementary school near my house– with no experience doing anything like this whatsoever. Can you say nervous-nelly?

I love it. We meet twice a week before school/work and at the end of our season we’ll all run a 5k together. Practice starts off with an activity related to the lesson for that day. Lessons can range from helping the girls learn how to manage their emotions to having healthy nutrition habits. After the lesson is when we get down to business with the running. Each girl has an Identity Card that they use to track their progress on. They set a lap goal for the allotted time and then record how many laps they actually run. Some of the girls love to run and others only do it because I tell them if they don’t then they will have to do burpees.

Some of my girls participating in the lesson for the day before running laps!

Some of my girls participating in the lesson for the day before running laps!

At the end of each practice we pick a girl to receive the energy award. This girl is usually someone who really participated in the activity and made a really great effort during the run. But of course, we are fair and will make sure every girl has received the energy award by the end of the season…don’t worry! The girl who wins the award for that practice then stands in a circle and everyone does a special cheer around here. Take a look at the video below to see them going bananas during the energy award today 😉

It’s been so much fun to be a part of this! Whenever I leave practice I always wonder if I was as funny as they are when I was their age. I asked the girls how their spring break was last week and one yelled out “I was in Baltimore and saw TWO guys sleeping on the street!” She was so surprised by it! Which, I guess is a good thing. They crack me up and I love spending some of my mornings with them.

We’re running our 5K on May 16th, so I will be sure to report back with how my girls did!

Happy running, y’all!

 

 

 

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Skill Work: The Snatch

The Snatch. Such a lovely name, right? It’s probably one of the most dreaded Olympic lifts out there. It is a difficult lift that requires a lot of strength, mobility and good technique. I personally love it. I love the physical and the mental challenge that goes into it.

A couple months ago I couldn’t get 55lbs over my head and catch it in a squat, but now I’m able to get 75lbs up AND catch it in that dreaded squat. Seeing progress is what makes me love it even more.

The picture below shows you from start to finish what the lift is supposed to look like. (Click on the picture to enlarge)

photo courtesy of Hookgrip

Photo courtesy of Hookgrip

So many different movements go into making this a successful lift. Keep your back straight, engage your core, pop your hips, shrug shrug shrug those shoulders, elbows up, get under that bar quickly and lock those shoulders to stabilize the bar over your head. I’m probably forgetting a few steps. But that is why I make sure to put in the extra time outside the regular WOD to practice.

The video above shows me working on my snatch. (Go ahead and insert your that’s what she said comment here) This was one of many videos. I would forget to shrug, or I wouldn’t drop under the bar fast enough, or I’d pause half way down into my squat. All things that can be fixed with practice– so that is what we did.

One of my friends at the gym is CrossFit Level 1 certified and was helping me out with a few drills. You’ll see her holding a PVC pipe close to the barbell. She did this to make sure I would remember to shrug my shoulders instead of popping the barbell out with my hips and muscling it up over my head. If the bar touched the PVC then that meant I needed to shrug my shoulders and keep the bar as close to my body as possible. You still want to use your hips to pop it up, you just want to make sure it stays close to the body when you’re bringing it up. (Good thing I don’t have big boobs!)

Once I got the shrug down she started to hold the PVC up at my shoulders. If the barbell touched the PVC while it was over my head that meant I wasn’t dropping under it fast enough. Dropping under it is more mental than physical for me. Holding 75lbs of weight over your head is scary. Since I need to get more comfortable in my squat, she’d make me hold that position for a few seconds once I was there. Tons of fun!

See what I mean? So many different parts of the lift to think about.

Some coaches at my gym have told me I should switch my focus to the Olympic lifts and start putting more time into them because I have a natural ability to understand the technique. I know that you have to have good form first before you can work on building strength. Quality over quantity, y’all! I plan to start attending our weekly oly class to get more experience with these lifts– it’d be awesome to snatch 100lbs one day! New goal: SET!

CrossFit is one of the most humbling things I’ve ever done or been a part of and I love that there is ALWAYS room for improvement. I am a constant work in progress in so many ways and will get to where I’m going as long as I put in the time.

Keep working toward your goals– we’ll get there together!

Happy snatching, y’all!

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Marine Corps Marathon: Spectator Edition

I promise one day I’ll get better about writing on a regular basis! I’m a couple weeks behind, but I still wanted to share my Marine Corps Marathon recap with you guys!

Cas’s husband scooped me up bright and early on the morning of the marathon so we could head to the metro and start our hike into DC. He had mapped out the different spots we’d be able to see her at throughout the course and I figured out what metro stops we’d need to take to get there. We got lucky and saw her FIVE times along the course!

Here we are waiting at Mile 5 to cheer on Cas and the rest of the runners!

Here we are waiting at Mile 5 to cheer on Cas and the rest of the runners!

The first place we parked it at was around miles 5 and 9. The way the course was set up we’d see her run at mile 5 then walk a block and see her again at mile 9. It’s hard to look for a specific runner when there are so many passing you on the course! The first time she ran by us I almost missed her– the only reason I didn’t was because she threw her shirt at me! Once you spot them in the crowd you can’t miss them, though 🙂

Before all the runners came around the course, the hand cyclists came through. Many of these guys and gals are racing for charity and are either an amputee or racing in honor of one. It was pretty motivational to see these folks trekking along ahead of the runners. There were also a lot of people that were running, but pushing people in strollers that were disabled. I think that may have been one of my favorite things about the race. The people pushing the strollers would make sure to get real close to the crowds so we could high five the passengers as they ran by. Running a marathon is no easy task and I can’t imagine that pushing a stroller with another human being inside of it is any easier– but these people did it with a smile on their face and joy in their heart and I just think that is awesome. 

This sign was a hit with all the runners! They earned those beers!

This sign was a hit with all the runners! They earned those beers!

After we saw Cas at mile 9 we hopped back on the metro and headed toward the National Mall and planned to see her again at mile 15 and then again at 18. It was interesting to see the change in peoples faces between the first spectator spot and this one. At Miles 5 and 9 everyone was smiling and waving as they ran past us, but by the time we got to mile 18 you could see the wear and tear in their faces. I can’t say I really blame them, they had just run 18 miles and still had 8.2 more to go! But along with the wear and tear you’d see the determination in their eyes– and that inspirational to see on so many people. 

By this point we knew we wouldn’t be able to get to Crystal City to see Cas there AND at the finish line, but we knew we had a few family friends there waiting to cheer her on so we headed toward the finish line to grab her there.

Me and Cas at the finish line, with her Finishers Medal!

Me and Cas at the finish line, with her Finishers Medal!

Cas will tell you she is a little disappointed with her official time. She ran into some dehydration issues around mile 18 and it slowed her down a little, but the girl kept on running. She still set a PR and finished faster than most people would even dream of finishing, but she is determined to get back out there and fuel properly so she can reach her goal time. Even though she is slightly disappointed in her time, I can tell you that everyone there supporting her is proud of the finish. She trained hard and her hard work paid off with a PR! 

Me, Cas and her Mom celebrating their Marathon and 10k finishes!

Me, Cas and her Mom celebrating their Marathon and 10k finishes!

Overall the Marine Corps Marathon is a great race. The Marines do a great job of organizing the entire thing and a great job of cheering people on along the course. I’m anxious and excited all at the same time to think I’ll be out there doing it again next year.

Happy marathoning y’all!

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Gear Review: FlipBelt

Ready, set, flip.

So, I’m kind of sort of getting back into this running thing. Slowly, but surely……eventually.

Since I’m running around DC and it’s getting darker out earlier, I have decided to be responsible and carry my phone with me on my runs. I’ve never liked running with my phone because working out is the one part of my day when I can disconnect and not be bothered by emails or texts. I know, I know…what if I have some kind of emergency, or what if I just get lazy and decide to call an Uber? I get it. As annoying as it is to ALWAYS be connected to the world, I suppose it could have its benefits as well.

I bought this handy dandy thing called the FlipBelt. Ever heard of it? I hadn’t until one of my friends bought one last year at a race expo and told me about it. It’s this singular, tubular waistband contraption that swill securely hold your keys, phone, money and anything else you want to bring with you on your run–or any other type of exercise you’re doing. You keep the items secure because once you load up the belt, you flip it over so all of the openings are against your body so things won’t fall out.

Flipbelt.com

Flipbelt.com

I tried mine out last night for the first time and I think I like it. It sits on my hips, which I like, rather than up around my waist. I don’t think it looks all too flattering (adds a smidge extra around my already big hips) but I’m not really worried about how I look when I’m running so I’m fine with it. I don’t look like this when I run, so all is good.

I did notice it ride up a little as I was running, but it wasn’t terribly uncomfortable. I ordered a large and wonder if I could have gotten away with a medium instead. I’d rather the belt be a little loose than too tight and give me the dreaded muffin top. I ran with my phone and my keys; it comes with a hook that you can clip your keys on so they don’t move around while you’re running. My phone slide around a little, but it’s flat so I didn’t even notice it. My keys stayed hooked in place! I got a bright orange one because I think it can also be used as a reflector for when I’m running in the dark. Plus, I just really like bright things.

Knock Knock, who's there? Orange. Orange, who? Orange you glad I got this FlipBelt?!

Knock Knock. Who’s there? Orange. Orange, who? Orange you glad I got this FlipBelt?!

When I ran the marathon last year I carried a handheld water bottle that had a small pocket for my phone and jelly beans and I wish I would have discovered the FlipBelt instead. It frees up your hands and allows you to load up the belt without it being too bulky on your run. If you’re looking for ways to carry your junk with you on your runs without it being a CamelBak or something to have to physically hold, then I would give this bad boy a shot! (Also, I ordered mine on Amazon and got it in 2 days with Prime shipping!)

Flipbelt.com

Flipbelt.com

Now, does anyone out there have or use a FitBit? Is it better than the Nike Fuel Band? I appreciate your thoughts!

Happy flipping y’all!

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My Marathon Tips!

I was just about to start this off with saying Happy Monday and then I realized it’s TUESDAY! What a nice little surprise 🙂

We are FIVE days away from the Marine Corps Marathon! I wanted to share some of my marathon tips for the first timers that will be running with the Marines on Sunday. I’m no marathon expert, but these are a few things that stuck out to me last year and I thought they could possibly benefit someone else.

Chesty getting Rosslyn Ready for the MCM last the 2013 race!

Chesty getting Rosslyn ready for the MCM in 2013!

1. Gear– By this point you should have your marathon outfit picked out and ready to go. Hopefully you did your last long training run in it so you have an idea of how it will feel on the day of the race. Lay out ALL of your gear the night before– everything from your body glide, Gu, socks, etc.– get it all ready the night before so you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything the morning. No matter how hard you try, you aren’t going to get the best night of sleep before the race so make this one less thing you have to worry about on race morning.

2. The Expo– The Expo is really cool and something you want to give yourself A LOT of time to go through. I say A LOT of time because the lines are always incredibly long and no matter how much you tell yourself that you won’t buy anything there, you will. Give yourself time to get through it. There are great vendors there with free samples and different demonstrations, make sure you have a chance to see everything you want to see. Also– you have to get your Bib at the tent OUTSIDE of the Armory. Then you go into the Armory to catch all the vendors.

3. Carbo-loading– People automatically assume this means to pack on the pasta and over eat. Do not do that. Yes, you want energy from carbs, but you want it from good carbs and you need to make sure you have some protein in there as well. If I were running the race this year, this is what my pre race meal would be: chicken or steak for protein, a veggie as a side, roasted potatoes and then maybe I would do a cup of fruit for dessert. Stay away from sugary processed dressings, sauces, and marinades. Everyone is different, but I found that when I ate pasta before a race or long run it made me feel sluggish and heavy. For the morning of the race I’ve always had a PB&J sandwich or a PB & banana sandwich. The banana gives you a little dose of potassium to help with muscle cramps and the peanut butter is a good source of protein to help you keep going during the day. I also never ever ever EVER give up my cup of coffee 🙂 That also helps to get things moving in the morning if you know what I mean (insert winky face here).

4. Parking/Metro– The morning of the race I recommend parking at Pentagon City Mall OR in the parking lot across the street from Pentagon City Mall. The mall parking is about $9 for the day but there is plenty of it. From there you can take the tunnel and walk over to the Pentagon to get to the start. It’s a bit of a hike to the starting line– but I’d prefer this over the metro because it helps warms up your legs. If you’re unsure where to go always follow the crowd. Everyone on the metro that early or walking toward the Pentagon is there for the same reason as you.

5. Throw Away Clothes– I think most people know this, but bring extra clothes to keep you warm/throw away at the start. You’ll be standing at the starting line for at least 45 minutes and you’ll be cold. So bring an extra jacket and some old sweat pants that you don’t want anymore. Once you get running and warmed up you can toss them. The Marines take all of these clothes from the race course and donate them to charity for homeless people to use. Not only are you keeping yourself warm, but you’re helping someone else stay warm during the cold season in DC.

6. Spectators– Hopefully you’ll have family and friends coming out to cheer you on! Last year I made this super detailed briefing document of sorts for my parents. It told them what I was wearing– down to the color of my head band– what metro stops to use, and where I wanted/hoped to see them. When they got the document they laughed at the details (I’m pretty sure I suggested they get an air horn so I’d know where they were) but in the end they were glad I did it because it literally had every detail they could possible need to navigate the course. The night before the race I gave them a bag of extras to carrie. It had extra Jelly Beans in it, extra socks, a few military grade Motrin and then stuff to change into after the race if I wanted it.

Photo bomb! My Dad jumped in to run with me the last 10 miles and we ran into friends  in Crystal City right as they were about to snap this picture

Photo bomb! My Dad jumped in to run the last 10 miles with me and we ran into friends in Crystal City right as they were about to snap this picture

7. Have Fun– If this is your first marathon then your goal should be to finish it. I’m not a fast runner, plain and simple. Last year I stressed for the LONGEST time that I wouldn’t *beat the bridge. The week leading up to the race I can’t tell you how many times I double checked the specific time that you needed to beat the bridge by. I think I ended up focusing on beating the bridge more than actually finishing the race. Know this information, know what pace you need to maintain in order to make it and then don’t think about it anymore. You’re running 26.2 miles– that alone causes enough stress on your body, you don’t need to stress yourself out mentally in addition. Pay attention to the people running around you and pay attention to the spectators. They really are there to encourage you and pick you up when you feel like you can’t keep going. Soak it all in when you are running. What you are doing is amazing and you should let that sink in!

7. The Course– Overall the course is pretty flat. At the start of the race, I believe within the first 5 miles, you run up a pretty big hill. But that is the only big hill until you get to the last .2 miles. In true Marine Corpse fashion, you run your last .2 uphill, and it’s not an easy hill. But it’s the greatest part of the race because people are cheering you on like crazy and the Marines are right there to keep you motivated and going to make sure you RUN across that finish line. I remember see my Mom on my left, running up up the hill along the fence yelling “go sug!” and then I remember hearing a Marine on my right yell “you are motivating the shit out of me right now!” Then I remember telling myself to not look at either of them or I’d start crying. I kept my head down and ran across that finish line and threw my fist in the air– and THEN I started crying! I couldn’t even get the words “thank you” out of my mouth as the Marine placed my medal around my neck. My point is, they save the hardest part for last, but it’s also the best part of the course. You’ve made it this far, finish strong. 

This is how good I look when running. This was at the start of last years race, right before going up that 1st big hill

This is how good I look when running. This was at the start of last years race, right before going up that 1st big hill

Oh man, just writing this makes me motivated to run it next year! Ha…we’ll see how long that lasts. Does anyone have any last minute tips they’d want to throw in? Any last minute questions from first timers? Let me know! I’m here to help! I’ll be one of those spectators cheering you on on Sunday. Just remember to keep moving– you’ve trained for this, you CAN and WILL finish!

Happy #RunningWithTheMarines y’all!

*For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Marine Corps Marathon, Beat the Bridge is  mile 20, and you have to make it to this point on the course by a certain time or the straggler bus will pick you up and drive you to a different spot on the course. You’ll still finish the race if you get picked up, but you haven’t run the full 26.2 miles so you’re asked to not accept the medal at the end. 

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Guest Blogger: 30th Running of the Army Ten Miler

Hi everyone, Cas is back!

Sorry I have been a little MIA but I get a bit lazy at night during marathon training.

 On Sunday morning I ran the Army Ten Miler. It was the 30th anniversary of the race and it was a perfect day for a run. The ATM is one of my favorite races because the course is mostly flat and FAST.  The race coordinators switched things up a little this year and changed the ending of the course to where you kind of run around the Pentagon to get to the finish line, but I think it was a nice improvement.

I was so nervous before the race! Over the past few weeks I have been wondering if all this hard work–tempo runs, speed workouts and long runs– is really working? On Sunday I found out YES, it is working!

My husband got this shot of me racing toward the finish line!

My husband got this shot of me racing toward the finish line!

I ran the Army Ten Miler and had a huge PR. I finished the race in 1:12:23.  (The course was a smidge over 10 miles because my watch had me at 1:11 at mile 10 but I guess I have to go by “official” time!) I finished 1,536 out of 35,000 people! I don’t say this to be boastful; I say this because I am extremely excited with how I did and am so happy to see the hard work paying off. I know I will never WIN a big race like this, but when you put so much time and energy into something I think you should celebrate your personal victories.

My best PR yet!

My best PR yet!

I have to say that I have the best husband, family and friends. They are so damn supportive and encouraging. I actually think I could do an entire post on their support because it helps so much when you are training for a race. They were awesome on Sunday and made my PR that much more enjoyable.

Me and my Husband after I ran the ATM

Me and my Husband after I ran the ATM

On Deck: The Marine Corps Marathon! There are NINE more days until the big race I’ve really been training for, and the best part of my marathon training is that I am enjoying it! Actually…I am loving it!

I can’t wait to come back after the marathon and blog about my training program and what worked for me. Maybe it will help someone else who is training for their next race. Until then, I’ll be out pounding the pavement!

Note from Lo: I can’t begin to explain how proud I am of this gal and her success with running! She has put in the work and she is seeing the results– YOU GO GIRL! For those of you that are interested, I will be cheering Cas along the race route for the MCM and will be live tweeting using the hashtag #SeeCasRun. Follow me @fitwithlo to see how she is doing…and maybe get a few shots of me and Cas’s husband chugging some mimosas!

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Tuesday Shmuesday

Yesterday was Tuesday but it had the symptoms of a classic Monday.  You could say it was a low down no good kind of day. The kind where when it’s FINALLY time to go home at the end of the day, all you can think of doing is crawling into bed and putting it all behind you. That was my plan.

Until my fabulous coworker convinced me to go for a run with her. “You’ll feel so much better afterwards, you really will” she said “we can just do a quick 3 miles and then you can go home!” So I said fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine, laced up my shoes and hit the pavement.

As much as I hate to admit it, she was right. I was SO glad she forced me out of my rut. It wasn’t a fast run and it wasn’t my strongest run, but you know what? I got out there and I did it and it took my mind off the crummy day I had and helped me to readjust my attitude.

See, this is me running so fast that everything is blurry!

See, this is me running so fast that everything is blurry!

I think a lot of people that live in DC take for granted the fact that they live in DC. Don’t get me wrong it’s not always sunshine and butterflies– the  the Presidential Motorcade was cool the first time I saw it but now it’s just a fancy way of saying traffic jam– but man, do we have some beautiful scenery and running routes. We ran from our office to the Washington Monument, which is 3 miles there and back. But when you’re running around the Washington Monument you can’t help but see the WWII Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial off in the distance…and it’s just beautiful.

I’ve run a few races around DC before and did a lot of my training runs for the MCM in DC, but for some reason I really appreciated my city and its beauty last night.

Hello, beautiful!

Hello, beautiful!

The combination of the great weather, great scenery and great company  made for a great evening activity that rates MUCH higher than sitting on my couch. I’m glad I did it. Has anyone EVER regretted a workout? No. (That is another thing I tell myself when I’m lacking motivation.)

Get out there and get moving folks. Many articles report it, personal trainers swear by it, and here I am blogging about it: Physical activity really does get your endorphins going and will make you a much happier person.

I think I see more of these monumental runs (see what I did there?!) in my future. I gotta take advantage of the beautiful scenery and appreciate Gods beauty more often!

Happy sight seeing/running y’all!

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Everything is Better with Bacon

Bacon wrapped. Enough said, right? Right.

I haven’t been writing much lately because I haven’t been very “fit” lately. I’ve been missing workouts at the gym and NOT doing any sort of meal planning. BUT, I am happy to say that after a couple weeks of being out of it, I am finally getting back IN to it— my routine, that is.

This past Sunday was the first Sunday I have been home in a couple weeks and I was at the grocery store at 10am stocking up on goodies for Food Prep Sunday. I never thought I would see the day when I’d be EXCITED to go grocery shopping. Nope. Not me. My Mom and old college roommate could vouch for my hatred of grocery shopping back in the day…my how times have changed!

My local Fresh Market has great weekly deals with their meats. I got two chicken breasts stuffed with marinara sauce and cheese (not paleo) for $5.99!  They have $2 Tuesdays for regular chicken breasts, too…I just didn’t feel like waiting until today to cook! So, I got home last night and threw those bad boys in the oven to bake while I prepped my easy-to-do side. Bacon wrapped asparagus. Yum.

Nothing fancy here. But, bacon is beautiful!

Nothing fancy here. But, bacon is beautiful!

I’ve never cooked anything wrapped in bacon so I don’t have much to compare it to but I thought it was pretty dang delicous. Hard to screw up anything with bacon, though. Check out the recipe:

Ingredients
– Bundle of Asparagus
– Balsamic Vinaigrette
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
– Salt & Pepper
– Bacon (duh)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and coat your baking sheet with EVOO. Rinse the asparagus and then cut the ends off each piece. Divide the asparagus up into bundles and sprinkle with balsamic vin and salt & pepper. Wrap 5-8 pieces of asparagus in bacon and place on baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes, then use tongs to flip the bundles and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Depending on how thick your bacon is you may need to adjust the cooking times. Cook thinner bacon for 10 minutes on each side.

While I don’t enjoy the fact that my apartment still smells like bacon, I did enjoy 2 bundles of this with my chicken last night. And I will probably enjoy the leftovers tonight! I’m not very good at the presentation side of cooking, so I don’t have any pictures of what it looked like once it was on my plate. I’ll work on that.

Hey runners! Cas is coming back this week! She ran the Army Ten Miler this weekend and has some AWESOME news to share- stay tuned!

Happy bacon wrapping y’all!

 

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