Tag Archives: huntington wv

That Time I Did Two Races in One Weekend

25 Feb

Last week, I did something crazy.

Every winter, there is a local “Winter Series” of races held in Barboursville Park: a 3 mile, 4 mile and a 5 mile race. I’ve never signed up for the full series (but I’d like to next year), but one of the races always seems to catch my eye. Last week, I noticed that the weather was supposed to be perfect over the weekend, the 5 mile race was happening on Sunday and it just so happened that my long run in half-marathon training was 5 miles exactly. After hitting up my fellow trainees on Facebook, I got a partner and paid the $15 for the race registration.

5 miler

 

It may seem crazy to pay $15 to run a scheduled training run, but I find the race atmosphere to be considerably motivating. I knew if I paid money, I would run and I would try hard!

Then, something kind of crazy happened. My friend Sarah posted on Facebook about signing up for the Marshall Recreation Center’s Indoor Triathlon, which is something I’ve always wanted to do, and despite the fact that I hadn’t been in a pool or on a bike in over a year, I immediately signed up. Pretty much right after doing so, I had a bit of a panic attack — a triathlon one day and a five mile race the next, on top of the fact that we had planned a surprise party (at my house!) for my sister-in-law’s boyfriend and I had a few other things on my to-do list!? I knew it was a lot, but after I paid good money I wasn’t about to back out. I pretty much put it out of my mind until later in the week. On the days leading up to the race(s), I took a couple of back-to-back rest days and just tried to relax. Then, on Friday I realized that I had no idea where my goggles were and I didn’t know if my TYR swimsuit even would still fit, considering I purchased it when I was twenty pounds lighter. I went to pick up my packet for the tri, and realized that the little equipment shop at the gym didn’t sell goggles. Uh oh.

I woke up bright and early on Saturday on a mission to get everything ready. I went to Wal Mart and found goggles, a swim cap and some fuel (energy jelly beans!), pulled out my old TYR suit (still fit, sort of) and packed my bag as best as I could.

photo 1 (6)

The triathlon, luckily, was a very short distance: 300 m swim, 8 mile bike (on the spin bike) and 2 mile run (on the treadmill) and the transitions would not be timed. I knew I would be able to finish everything, so I went into it just wanting to finish and have fun. When I signed up for the race, they asked me to estimate my swim time in order to set up heats. Since I hadn’t been in the pool for ages, I had no idea what to estimate, so I over-estimated — by a lot. That meant that everybody I knew was in a lower heat than me. I waited around for nearly two hours to get in the pool. Luckily, that meant I got to watch everybody else and got some good pointers.

Sarah rocking the 300 m swim.

Sarah rocking the 300 m swim.

One thing I noticed was that a lot of people went out very fast and ended up having to switch to breast stroke or back stroke to catch their breath. I knew I would have to do this eventually (breathing while swimming isn’t a strength), but I knew to rein it in a little at the start to not wear myself out too quickly. When it came time for my swim, I had just downed my energy jelly beans (those things are great!) and I was ready to go! I ended up swimming a lot faster than I expected with a finish time of 6:09! I was very happy with that time.

Next up was the bike. Since transitions weren’t timed, I should have taken a bit more time between skills. I was so amped up that I rushed up to the bike and hopped on immediately. I ended up finishing the bike in a decent time — 14:26, but when I got off the bike I had a side stitch. Again, I should have taken some time to breathe, but I was in a hurry to finish so I hopped right on the treadmill.

tri finish

I ended up running the two miles slightly slower than I had hoped, and ended with a total time of 40:53. I was very proud of this because I didn’t train at all, and this is my very first time attempting a three-sport race, or even doing three different sports in one workout! I definitely want to do this again. I’m hesitant to say that I’ll try a triathlon, because the gear needed is pricey, but I will definitely sign up for the indoor event again. It was very fun!

After the triathlon, I was busy, busy. Zach and I had to run some errands, I had a workshop to attend, and I had to do some straightening up since we were hosting a party that evening. Needless to say, I didn’t make through much of the party before heading to bed — I was so tired! Not to mention, I had  a five mile race the next day….

I woke up on Sunday not feeling so hot. So, I made waffles and vegged on the couch. I could see out my big front window that the weather was getting nicer and nicer, so I texted my friend Shannon to make sure she was still in for the race. She was, and though I thought of backing out, I pulled on some running clothes and headed out the door. The weather was perfect. It was like we were meant to run that day, because about an hour after we finished the rain started and then it turned to snow.

I won’t go into much detail about the race, just that Shannon and I both just treated it as a training race. We both ran with our music on low and talked the whole time, running just under an 11 minute mile pretty much the whole time. The course was great, and it was a change of pace from our usual long run courses, so that was helpful. We ended up finishing in just over 55 minutes, which was confusing to us because our GPS was telling us we were running under an 11 minute mile the whole time. Then, when we both looked at our devices after the race, they both said that we ran about 5 and a quarter miles. So I don’t know if our GPS devices were off or if the race course was long. At any rate, we finished and felt great. Plus, pizza!

5 mile run

 

I think all races should have pizza at the finish line!

So, I finished two races in two days and I lived to tell the tale. I’m glad I did it, but by Sunday night I had trouble keeping my eyes open.

Question of the Day:
Have you ever done a triathlon? Did you love it? 

Advertisements

A Spring-Like Weekend

13 Jan

We had amazing weather this weekend, and I really took advantage of it.

Yes, we take walks in the cemetery.

Yes, we take walks in the cemetery.

I think I mentioned here before that the one problem with our new house was the lack of sidewalks around the neighborhood. Lucky for Frank, we’ve figured out a solution. It turns out that there is an entrance to the Spring Hill cemetery only half a mile from our house, so we’ve been taking advantage of it every time we get the chance. The cemetery is huge and has lots of hills, so it’s perfect for long walks. It may seem kind of weird to walk in a cemetery, but it’s actually very peaceful and seems to be a popular route for walkers (there are lots of garbage cans for Frank’s waste bags). Don’t worry, we’re very respectful and stick to the walking paths.

Frank certainly enjoyed it. When he yawns, it means he's having a good time.

Frank certainly enjoyed it. When he yawns, it means he’s having a good time.

After our walk, I got to work on this weekend’s January Cure challenge: Tackling the kitchen. As it turns out, the kitchen was the part of the house that I picked for my ‘big’ goal for the challenge, so I was excited to get to work. I started by moving everything from the counter-tops to the dining room table:

photo 1 (4)

 

Then I got to work scrubbing the counter-tops, cleaning out the fridge and wiping down the cabinet fronts. Once the initial scrub was done, I re-organized everything on the counter-tops and re-organized the inside of the cabinets. Ok, you know how to clean a kitchen so I won’t go into too many details. Here’s the finished product:

photo 2 (4)photo 4 (1)

The funny thing is, I know how to clean a kitchen too, but it’s incredible how dirty a kitchen can get when you only “surface” clean it. I definitely will keep this in mind next time I do my daily kitchen cleaning. The worst part was the refrigerator — wow. After this challenge is over, I’m going to make a list of things that need to be done daily, weekly, monthly and annually — that refrigerator is going on the monthly list. I guess you just don’t notice  how icky it gets until you take everything out and start scrubbing. After all was said and done, I got a smile on my face every time I walked into the kitchen. I love having a clean home!

Now that the kitchen has been tackled, I need to get another “big” project for the remainder of the challenge, so I’ve decided to tackle our storage spaces. We have a pantry located directly outside of the kitchen that has become a dumping ground, and despite having shelves in our basement, everything is just tossed down there. So my goal is to get those spaces under control. I think once all is said and done, this challenge is going to make such an improvement on our home.

The other task for this weekend was to shop for ingredients and make a nice meal. I put that off to do sometime this week, because Zach wanted to get out of the house for dinner last night.

The weather this weekend was top notch in Huntington. I mentioned our Saturday walk (I wore capris and a light jacket!) and then on Sunday, I had a training run planned with a few friends. I wore a running skirt and a light jacket and felt great the whole time. Yay for nice weather in the middle of winter! Frank went with me on the run:

photo 2 (3)

 

He’s not the best training run partner, but I know he appreciated the exercise. So far, half marathon training is going super well, so I’m grateful for that. After the training run, my healthy and productive weekend gave way to a dinner out (hot wings – yum) and some couch time with the husband and The Golden Globes.

Question of the Day:
How was your weekend? 

 

Wedding Recap #2: Formal Photos/Ceremony

20 Dec
Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Well, hello there! Again, I’m pretty sure nobody reads this blog anymore, but these wedding recaps are mainly for my own reflection. Let’s get right to it, shall we? After our “first look”, we took the formal photographs. I tire of taking photos pretty quickly, and I was pretty excited to make a lifetime commitment to the love of my life, so we kind of flew through them (plus, it was hot, and I was wearing crinoline.) 

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

ZKformals016

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

This first part of the formals was so nice. It was just after our first look, and both of us were very giddy. We just talked, walked where they told us to walk, posed like they told us to pose and smiled really big. We were so excited! I’ll never forget that energy between us. It was very sweet and just amazing.

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Life was good! Next, we did the group photos with our bridal party:

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

….and our families:

ZKformals091

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

There are some shots we didn’t get — for example, for some reason there is no shot of my family with me AND Zach — but I really don’t care. Our photos are amazing, and I wouldn’t change anything about that day. I was so incredibly low stress (ok, I had a few bridezilla moments, but they were fleeting), and it was wonderful. Before long, it was time to head to our ceremony!

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

We had our ceremony and reception in the same place. This was my wedding vision — Zach and I don’t belong to a church, and since I had so many out of town guests I thought it would be nice for them to just be in one place. So our ceremony and reception took place at the hotel where everyone stayed. My family raved about this decision! They loved being able to have everyone in one place and not have to travel around much. I gave everyone maps in their rooms with directions to certain places they may need to go, and it seemed to work out very well. 

One thing I want to talk about is the sweetheart table. This is a new (?) thing people are doing, where instead of a big head table with all the attendants, the bride and groom sit by themselves at a little table and let the bridal party sit among the guests. While it was important to me to have the bridal party be able to sit with our guests (I didn’t want the bridal party’s spouses and significant others to have to sit alone), I was very opposed to the sweetheart table idea. I just found it to be…weird! Well, the day we came to set up the reception hall, Shelley (who is the coordinator at the Ramada and amazing!) had a sweetheart table set up for us and I just liked it! So I went with it. It turned out to be a really fun idea, but I’ll talk about that more in the reception recap. Which at this rate will be in a few months 🙂 

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography (can I just tell you how annoying it is that somebody put that brochure on the guest book table and it's in the picture?)

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography (can I just tell you how annoying it is that somebody put that brochure on the guest book table and it’s in the picture?)

After photos, the bridesmaids and I went up to my hotel room to wait until it was time to go down for the ceremony. Zach and the groomsmen went to the room to greet/seat guests. This worked out very well. Us girls had time to relax (and in the interest of complete honesty, I had to air out my undercarriage, haha. The dress and the crinoline + warm weather meant sweaty legs), and the guys were able to get the guests situated.

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Soon, it was time for us girls to head down.

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mismatched bridesmaid dresses for the win! If you are planning a wedding, please consider this trend. Not only did it make my wedding look super chic and adorable, but it was so easy. The girls just browsed on their own and sent me ideas along the way. Easy peasy!

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

My nephew Nick was Zach’s Wingman. He is too old to be a ring bearer, and he didn’t like the idea of wearing a bear suit (that’s what he thought it entailed), so we changed it to Wingman. It was in the programs and everything. He took his duties very seriously and did a great job. 

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

My cousin’s daughter, Ava, was the flower girl. I bought her outfit roughly a year before our wedding, estimating what size she would wear and I’m so glad it fit. Isn’t she precious? Basically, she walked into the door and threw all the flower petals onto one spot and ran away from my mom, which is exactly what I wanted her to do. I think it’s adorable when flower girls just do their own thing.

ZKceremony084

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Ok, so I just want to talk about the ceremony for a minute. I never could have guessed how amazing the ceremony would be. I knew it would be important, but I had no idea how much I would feel its weight (does that make sense?) I definitely felt the gravity of what we were doing, and I could tell that Zach felt the same way. It was awesome!! 

ZKceremony111 ZKceremony119

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Our officiant was a good friend of ours, Adam, who did such an amazing job. He worked with us a few times on our ceremony, and it was just perfect. I had several people come up to me after and say how nice it was. We also had two very close friends participate. Mandee, a close friend, read “I Like You” by Sandal Stoddard Warburg  — a common wedding reading, but I knew it was “the one” after it choked me up every time I read it. Another close friend, Patrick, sang “This is the First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes — and it was better than the original. Definitely teared up. 

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

After the reading and song, it was time to get hitched! 

ZKceremony148 ZKceremony149

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

You guys, I’m totally crying as I post this. That was the best day….

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

ZKceremony163 ZKceremony165 ZKceremony166 ZKceremony167

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Next up (in a few months): The Reception (aka the dance party to end all dance parties!)

Question of the Day:
Tell me about your wedding ceremony! 

The Graduate

28 Jun

Well, it’s almost that time. I’m almost a full-fledged Crossfit member!

onramp

 

I’d like to do a full review of the On Ramp class, because I really think that people need to know what it’s like. I feel like there are two camps of people: One group who see “Crossfit” and think they aren’t ‘fit enough’ to do it, and another group who thinks the On Ramp class won’t be a good enough workout. Prior to signing up for the On Ramp classes, I wasn’t brand new to Crossfit, and there were several people in my class who were pretty new to working out in general. I feel like we all benefited from the On Ramp month equally, and that really was amazing to me.

Although I wanted to take the On Ramp class, I’ll admit that I was a tiny bit worried that I would be bored, or I wouldn’t get a great workout. I was definitely wrong on all fronts. The instruction on form was unparalleled in the class. I think the form on my Olympic lifts has improved about a million percent or something from going to the classes. The coaches are so focused on your form, and there was never a moment where they didn’t work with someone until they got it right. Coach Zack and Coach Katie were so good at explaining the form, and there was never a disconnect — even when we had Coach Jeremy or Coach Brad, they explained the form the exact same way, so you know that they are well trained. Their main goal is for you to do the lifts the right way and prevent injury. I have a very bad habit of using my lower back too much on my deadlifts, and every time I did that in class, the coaches were right there to correct it. Very, very helpful.

As for those who think they aren’t fit enough to do Crossfit, my favorite quote that one of the coaches said during On Ramp was, “You get in Crossfit shape by doing Crossfit.” — enough said.

If you’re thinking about doing Crossfit, and you think it’s something you would enjoy, I can’t recommend this On Ramp class enough. I don’t care what fitness level you are, you will never feel uncomfortable or new. The coaches and members are super friendly, and it never felt ‘clique-ish’ which is one thing I was worried about. If you do decide to try the On Ramp class (the next one starts Monday, July 8th), please mention that I sent you! The first week is free, and I’ll get a free t-shirt if I recommend someone! 🙂

At yesterday’s class, Coach Jeremy gave us the go ahead to attend a ‘real’ WOD this morning, so I jumped at the chance — Benchmark Friday!

Today’s WOD was Nancy:

Photo Jun 28, 6 38 13 AM

 

…and like a big kid Crossfitter, I got a photo on the Facebook page:

1013801_10151514038382536_1179196042_n

 

It’s pretty fun seeing myself doing something like that! I used 35 lbs total — not even close to Rx, but I’m ok with it. Overhead Squats are no joke. I felt very shaky the whole time with the 35 lbs, but I was able to do the 15 unbroken each round, so I think I picked an appropriate weight. I finished the WOD in 17:21, which is about 3.5 minutes per round. Not bad — definite room for improvement, but a solid attempt at a first Nancy.

Photo Jun 28, 6 38 16 AM

 

One thing I love about Crossfit is, even though everyone puts their times on the board at every WOD, it never feels like you’re competing with anyone but yourself. Trying to out-do that last time or setting yourself up for something you know that will challenge you is the main goal, and there is never any question. I never worry about being the slowest one, or using the lightest weight — I just focus on proper form and working as hard as I can. I totally get it now, I get why people are so Crossfit-obsessed!

Ok, while I was re-reading this post to edit it, I realize I sound like a Crossfit cheerleader, but I want to assure you that I’m not being paid to do this or anything. I really just enjoy the program that much!! ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I know I haven’t posted in a while, so I just wanted to mention that I ran in the WV 5k Championship this past Saturday and share one of the official photos from the race:

Photo courtesy of Mark Webb Photography (I was given permission to share this photo)

Photo courtesy of Mark Webb Photography (I was given permission to share this photo)

I was so disappointed in my official race photos last year, but this one more than makes up for it. Love it! More importantly, despite the heat and humidity that day, I was able to eek out a PR of 27:13! That’s a 33 second PR, if you’re counting (and I am!)

Unfortunately since the race, I haven’t logged much mileage. I’m about to eat my words and cancel my gym membership to focus on Crossfit, so I’m not going to have access to a treadmill for a while in this heat and humidity, so it all depends on how often I’m able to get out there.

Question of the Day:
Would you ever give up your gym membership? 

I Need to Run 37 Miles in 12 Days

18 Jun

Running.

With the Crossfit On Ramp classes taking up 4 days a week, going out of town this past weekend, wedding planning and trying to buy a home, June hasn’t quite been the powerhouse of mileage that I had hoped it would be. I’d really like to be at 300 miles by the end of June, so that my goal of 600 miles in 2013 is pretty on track. Especially since I have a fun out of town trip planned for the 4th of July, and then we’ll be moving shortly after that, and then we will be on vacation, and then we will be getting married — there are a lot of running distractions planned for this summer/fall!

Just keep this in mind, Kristy.

Noted. 

So far I’ve done about 24 miles in June, which is decent considering all that has been going on. It’s been pretty rainy as well! I was lucky enough to get almost three miles in yesterday because of a quickie run before Crossfit and a mile of running between the warm up and the WOD. We also played a really fun game that I’d love to share with you.

One of our WOD skills was burpees, and while going over form, Coach Zack turned on The Police song, Roxanne and our task was to do a burpee every time they said Roxanne. Try it! It seems pretty easy until you get to the chorus 🙂

After that it was a pretty tough WOD: 15 dead-lift high pulls with a kettlebell, 15 burpees and a 400 meter run — 3 times. Doing 400 m after 15 burpees is pretty rough, let me tell you. I’m actually really looking forward to going to Crossfit each day. I have a 5k planned this weekend, and I think I’m just going to go ahead and go to Crossfit afterwards. I could make up the Saturday class, but I always really enjoy a marathon workout session on Saturday, so I think I’ll bike to the 5k, run, then bike to Crossfit for the WOD, then bike home. Then take a huge nap and eat all the food I can put in my stomach. Sounds like a perfect Saturday to me!

Speaking of the 5k on Saturday, I’m so pumped:

wv 5k

 

The WV 5k Championship is a race I’ve done for the past few years, and I can’t miss it! This year, I was online to register as soon as registration opened so I could get the free tech-t upgrade. The past two years, my times have been:

2011: 27:31
2012: 27:28

So, at least I’m consistent. I’ve really stepped up my running this year, though, and I’ve been running 5k’s nearly that fast just in training, so I’m anticipating a PR this year! Fingers crossed! I may even try to pace myself to a 1 minute PR and see how that goes.

So, this is a random post!

Question of the Day:
Any races coming up?

Crossfit Thunder: On Ramp Class #1

11 Jun

Apologies for a very wordy post. If you’re a local or interested in joining a Crossfit box, I think it’s worth a read, though. 

Since January, I’ve been attending “Crossfit” classes at the YMCA. It’s not officially Crossfit, but because we’re doing the same skills as we would be doing at a Crossfit box, I’ve always referred to it as such. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to join the On Ramp classes at my local Crossfit box, Crossfit Thunder: 

Because health and fitness is my main hobby, I read a lot of fitness blogs, and I talk to a lot of people about Fitness, so I know that the main benefit of going to a real Crossfit box is the support of highly trained coaches and the comradarie of the people who you are working out with. At the Y, our Insane Fitness Training classes were more independent and a scaled back version of Crossfit. The coaches, while totally great — I really like Jodi and Noah, weren’t Crossfit certified, although they were personal trainers (and very good ones). I learned quite a bit about Olympic lifts and the Crossfit skills. However, a few friends of mine are members of Crossfit Thunder and they saw how interested I was in the classes and they knew I would benefit from coming to the box, at least for a while. 

I’m going to be completely honest here — I can’t afford the fees of joining a Crossfit box. It’s expensive, and I’m not willing to give up my YMCA membership. I’m a runner at heart, and having access to the treadmills in bad weather is reason enough for me to pay the $44/month I pay to be a member of the Y. I will not argue that the membership fees of a Crossfit box are too high — after attending just one class, I’m convinced that this is not a rip off. You get access to a plethora of highly-skilled coaches, a nutritionist, and you have unlimited access to the box. After class, Coach Katie was talking about how different coaches will do different kinds of classes based on what fitness goals various members have — and that’s amazing! So yes, after one class I will say that the tuition is worth it — however, that money has to come from somewhere and with buying a house, planning a wedding and trying to still have somewhat of a life, there just isn’t enough money to go around, so the $44 gym membership is going to have to do for now. The only reason I have this opportunity is because a friend has offered to sponsor my On Ramp month as a wedding gift. I can’t even express how generous this is and how grateful I am! Thank you, Shannon and Ben! When my expenses calm down, I’m sure I’ll consider becoming a full-time member, but for now I’ll take what I can get. 

So, I’d like to just take you through my day at Crossfit Thunder. Starting with the drive there. 

Although I knew where the box was located, I realized only after a torrential downpour started that I had no idea where to park or how to get into the building. Luckily, I saw a friend’s car (he is a member) so I found a place to park and sat in the car. It was POURING! I saw a garage door open in the back of the box, so I gathered my things and prepared to make a mad dash to the entrance. Once I got there, however, the garage door had been closed and the door  next to it was locked. It was raining so hard, so I dashed back to the car. At that point, I was literally soaked through and not in a good mood: 

Photo Jun 10, 6 07 43 PM

 

Seconds after I got back into the car, the rain stopped. Sigh. I’ll tell you, I was tempted to hightail it back home and eat a pint of ice cream, but I sucked it up and walked inside. I immediately saw some friendly faces (Hi Shannon, Ben and Garrett!) starting their own WOD, so I felt a little better. I saw the newbies standing off to the side so I walked over to wait with them. A few introduced themselves, and I busied myself with intently looking at the Coaches’ profiles on the wall (I’m shy in new situations). 

After a short wait, Coach Drew came over and gave us a bit of a love story about Crossfit. The one thing I really like about Crossfit in general is how passionate the devotees are. When so many people love it, you know there must be something great about it. He also had us sign an insurance waiver for our first week (since the first week is free, you aren’t covered like the paying members are, hence the waiver). Then Coach Katie came over, holding her 2 1/2 month old son. I don’t know if there is a better endorsement for Crossfit than a really fit-looking girl holding her newborn son! Katie ran us through a quick foam rolling exercise and then we moved to the kids Crossfit room. She had us write our names on the white board in order to track our times for our WOD, and then we met Coach Zach. After a 200 m warm up run, he led us to another room to learn form for our first skill of the WOD — air squats. 

I love squats. Have I ever told you that? I’m a squat master. I don’t blink an eye at a WOD with 100 squats or more. So, we started squatting and Coach Zach and Coach Katie walked around fixing our form. I didn’t think I had much to learn, being the squat master that I am, but Coach Katie came over and told me that I should push my knees out just slightly and I was pretty impressed with how much better my squat instantly felt. At first, I wasn’t sure what she meant, but she put her hand where my knee should hit, and once I did that, I got it. Impressive. 

Next we learned push-up form. Again, I’ve been doing push ups forever and didn’t think I had much to learn. Wrong again. With just a few tweaks to my form, I felt a difference. You can tell when you’re doing a skill right, because it becomes easier and also feels like you’re getting more of a workout. 

Finally, we learned a bit about jumping pull ups. In the Insane Fitness Training classes, we went right to pull ups with a band, but I can totally see how jumping pull ups would help me become better at pull ups in general (they are my weakest skill). Basically, we used a bar that was low enough for our feet to touch the ground and we held onto the bar with a full extension on our arms (so our knees were bent), then we would jump so that our chin comes over the bar. Seems really easy at first, but once you get into doing a lot of them, it gets harder to reach the bar. I’m excited to try these at home to work up to where I need to be. 

After we had covered all the skills, it was time for the WOD: 

200 m run
15-12-9
air squats
push ups
jumping pull ups
200 m run

We did it in two heats. I was in the second heat. At this point, we had been there for over an hour and I was READY TO WORK OUT, so waiting for that first heat to be over was a struggle! I finally got my turn and I powered through the workout: 

Photo courtesy of the Crossfit Thunder Facebook Page

Photo courtesy of the Crossfit Thunder Facebook Page

The results are a bit skewed, because while I’m not entirely new to Crossfit, a lot of the people in my On Ramp class are new to working out all together. I will say, though, the workout was no joke. I was definitely huffing and puffing at the end.

 

After our WOD, we had a bit of a Q&A session with Coach Zach and Coach Katie, and then it was time to call it a day. I was surprised when I got back to the car that it was after 8:00 pm!! I got a little frustrated that we were there all that time for just a 7 minute workout, but I know that comes with the territory of an intro class, so I’m not too worried about it. I was mainly just mad that it was well past my dinner time. When I got home, I made this amazing salad and I felt better once I inhaled it:

As a Pittsburgh native, I highly suggest putting a few french fries on your salad next time. Yum!

I swear, there are a ton of greens under all that protein and french fries (they are baked!)

I’m excited to go back to class tonight. I hope I get to work out more, and I also hope I get out of there just a tad earlier!

Question of the Day:
Have you ever tried Crossfit? Would you join a box?

 

I Got it Right

2 Apr

Yesterday I was complaining about not being able to balance my morning responsibilities with a new puppy, but today I got it right.

But let’s back up for a second. After work yesterday, Zach and I had to go to the Sprint store to finally get me off of the family plan with my family and on to our own family plan. It’s about time! It seems like every time I step foot into the cell phone store, I’m there for at least 45 minutes and yesterday was no exception, so by the time we got home it was already after 6. I really wanted to get a run in, and I knew we had to have dinner soon, so I dashed off to the gym. Because I didn’t have a ton of time, and I knew I wanted to get those miles in, I decided to run as fast as I could:

fastest yet

…and I ended up running the fastest 5k I’ve done since my injury in November! I was pretty proud of myself.

So, still on a bit of a running high this morning, I was planning on getting up early and hitting the gym again. However, the puppy was not having it. When I got up to put on my running clothes, he was whining away and I felt bad leaving him with a still sleeping Zach, so instead we got up, played and ate breakfast.

Then we napped:

nap time

Well, they napped. I drank coffee and watched the news. I had to capture the above photo, because it’s pretty huge that those two were napping so near each other.  Tuscany is not a fan of the new puppy.

After the morning nap, it was play time again, so I dumped him into bed with Zach with some toys while I showered, and then after I got dressed I took him outside and then alternated playing with him in the living room and cooking breakfast. It was actually pretty funny, and I think I got a morning workout in anyway, as I was dashing from the stove to the living room to play tug-of-war with Frank.

I’m pretty proud of my desk breakfast today:

quesadilla

…a scrambled egg quesadilla! I basically just scrambled two eggs, and then filled a low-carb tortilla with the eggs and some cheddar cheese and grilled the whole thing. The cheese allowed the egg and tortilla to stick together, so I had a totally portable and dippable (into salsa) breakfast! Yum!

In short, having a puppy is hard work. I’m sure once he’s a little older and more independent, I’ll be able to get back into morning workouts, but for now I think I’m just going to have to skip them. It’s just not fair for me to ask Zach to get up at 5:30 when that’s just not his thing. He’s happy to watch the pup in the evenings while I hit the gym, so for now that’ll have to do! This is good practice for when (if) I’m a mom!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In other news!

logo_girlsontherun

I attended a benefit on Saturday that I just had to talk a bit about. There is a group of ladies trying to bring Girls on the Run to the Cabell County/Wayne County area. In case you don’t know, Girls on the Run is a program for school aged girls (3rd – 5th grade) to learn self-confidence, teamwork and to believe in themselves. From the GotR website:

One girl put it this way, “I learned that I am the boss of my brain.” Helping girls take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms. You can also think of it as Can University—a place where girls learn that they can. No limits. No constraints. Only opportunities to be remarkable.

How do we do it? 

Lots of ways, but we start with helping the girls get a better understanding of who they are and what’s important to them. Then we look at the role of teams and healthy relationships. And, finally, we explore how girls can positively connect with and shape the world.

And remember, we believe that life-changing experiences can be fun too—for everyone—the girls, coaches, families and other volunteers. So don’t be surprised when you hear laughter along with self-reflection and see beaming smiles across the beautiful, confident faces of our girls.

I’m super excited about this! As the coordinator said, this program is less about running and more about learning self-confidence and awareness, and basically that girls can do anything! The girls work as a team to train for and complete a 5k race. Again, from the website:

Meeting twice a week in small teams of 8-15 girls, we teach life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games. The 24-lesson curriculum is taught by certified Girls on the Run® coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large.

I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to coach a team once it is a reality, but first we need to get the chapter up and running. It’s a very time consuming and costly process, so the steering committee is organizing quite a few fundraisers in order to get the program off the ground. On Saturday, I was lucky enough to attend a fundraiser at Brown Dog Yoga, which is located in Heritage Station in Huntington.

cropped-brown_dog_yoga_small

Despite the fact that my next-door neighbor is an instructor there, this was my first visit to Brown Dog Yoga. The studio is beautiful! The waiting room is bright and cheery, with lots of hooks for your things and cubby holes for your shoes, and the studio itself is so welcoming with its wood floors and amazing exposed brick wall. The cost was $30 per person for an hour long session with the chance to win some pretty cool door prizes that were donated by local businesses.

I haven’t done any yoga at all for a while (bad Kristy!), so I was looking forward to a good stretch after a rough Crossfit session that morning. I wasn’t quite prepared for what I got! The instructor, Katrina, started the class by powering up the heaters on the ceiling and it instantly got quite warm in the studio. Then Katrina led us through a rigorous vinyasa flow that challenged me quite a bit. I even had to take a few rests in child pose because I was so sweaty and breathing hard. It was a great workout! I didn’t end up winning any door prizes, but there was a little bit of food for us afterwards (including the best orange I’ve ever eaten — seriously!), and I left with the satisfaction of a good yoga session and knowing I’d supported a great cause.

If you are a Huntington local, I strongly suggest you visit Brown Dog Yoga! I was quite impressed.

Question of the Day:
Tell me about your morning routine