Tag Archives: local

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:

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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? 

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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?

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!

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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

Checking in on Huntington…

8 Dec

This morning, I found this article by food blogger Rebecca Maclean (she blogs at Food Me Once.) In the article, Rebecca comes to Huntington to take a class at Huntington’s Kitchen.

Huntington’s Kitchen was opened by Jamie Oliver while he was here filming the Food Revolution show. It was called “Jamie’s Kitchen” then and he used it for the show, but after the show wrapped, it was funded by Cabell Huntington Hospital and taken over by Ebenezer Medical Outreach (a local non-profit which provides medical care to people who can’t afford health insurance.) Now, Huntington’s Kitchen provides cooking demonstrations for the community to teach people how to cook healthy meals for their families. Most classes cost $15 (a bargain), although they do offer some classes free of charge for patients with certain conditions, and it’s a great resource for this community.

Some of the upcoming classes found on their website are:

  • Gluten Free and Fabulous
  • Fabulous Whisking with the Wise: Cooking for 1 or 2 (this class would be great for me!)
  • Perfect Portions: Diabetes Friendly Cooking
  • Whisking Your Way to Wellness

Now, I haven’t gone to a cooking demonstration at Huntington’s Kitchen yet. I know I should, and I especially should blog about it! But I was glad to read Rebecca’s article. The class she attended was geared toward Bariatric patients, and the meal they made was Indian-spiced chicken, skillet roasted cauliflower and squash, peach salsa and herbed couscous — sounds great! However, the best thing I took away from the article is that Rebecca noted some of the changes to Huntington since Jamie has been there — more restaurants with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients, and the addition of The Wild Ramp (our local food market). She also mentions a book in the works about the “food landscape” of Huntington post-Food Revolution.

Looks like Huntington is making strides toward good health after all. I’ve said it before, but I would really like to see a revisit to the original CDC study that ranked Huntington the Unhealthiest City in America. I’m not saying we would see vast improvement, but I bet there would be some. I’m so proud to see even the smallest changes for the better in my home!

A Few Friday Favorites

30 Nov

Boy, do I love some good alliteration…don’t you? 🙂

Friday is in full swing, and I am having trouble wiping this smile off of my face. I’m having a good, productive day so far, and I’m not getting stressed out by the millions of things I need to do this weekend. Here are some of the great things that I’m smiling about:

– I spent some time on the phone last night with a potential caterer, and then my mother, talking about our wedding in September, which got me excited about the wedding all over again! Sure, I get to look at these beauties every day: 

beauties

…which reminds me of our upcoming nuptials, but discussing the big day is both overwhelming and exciting. There is a lot to do, but luckily we have 10 months to do it, and I’m confident with all the help we have, it will get done.

– Speaking of my lovely fiance, we had a nice Subway lunch today. Usually we go home for lunch, so we will watch the previous night’s Daily Show while we eat. Today, we just ate and chatted and it was quite nice. After we ate, we went over to The Wild Ramp to pick up a gift for someone. The Wild Ramp is our local year-round Farmer’s Market. It is completely non-profit, and I love stopping by. While we were there, I decided that I must finally try some Jeni’s Ice Cream:

ice cream

I’ve been dying to try the Salty Caramel flavor. They didn’t have any, but the above flavor just spoke to me. I can’t wait to grab spoonfuls of this for the next week or so 🙂 The other really great thing that I saw was this:

yay

That’s me!

The Wild Ramp recently had a Kickstarter Campaign, and the put up the names of all the folks who donated on their bulletin board. This was all the thanks I needed!

– After a hard week of scrounging through almost bare cupboards to come up with dinner every night (we desperately need to do some grocery shopping!), I’ve reached my reward: Sushi for dinner tonight! Hooray!

Question of the Day:
What is the best thing that has happened to you today? 

A Long Run and Sunday Eats

20 Aug

I slept so well last night.

Like, the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a very long time.

I did not wake up during the night one time. I did wake up at 5:45 AM long enough to decide that I’m going to be keeping Monday as a rest day, and then rolled right back over and went to sleep until Zach’s alarm went off at 7. Ahh, sweet relief!

I’m in a great mood today, because we have officially entered the period of time which it is appropriate to count down to vacation! Although, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve really been counting down since August began. I really can’t wait, and I have a few vacation related blog post ideas formulating in my mind.

Yesterday was long run day, and I had such a great run! I took a ton of pictures:

From left – right: Me taking a break near my favorite water fountain, my favorite view, and my nemesis/lucky charm, the Muscovy duck that lives in the park where I run. I would have gotten closer to him to take a photo, but I harbor a healthy fear of him, so that’s all you get.

Backtracking a bit, I thought I’d share my meals from yesterday with you. Prior to heading out for my run, I had some greek yogurt with granola and “fruit” (it was really just fruit syrup):

I also had some instant coffee (still no coffee pot), which is surprisingly not bad. I followed it all up with a glass of water and a probiotic (I’m going to do a probiotic post soon, because I’m loving them!) and caught up with some magazines while my food digested.

I had a great run, as I mentioned. My training plan called for 6 miles, but I had to pause my CardioTrainer app (which was tracking my miles) at one point because some guy and I were running a ridiculously similar pace. It was awkward, so I stopped and pulled over to let him go ahead a bit. Apparently I forgot to restart the app, because I didn’t notice it until much later. I estimated I had ran about a mile or so, so I just added an extra loop on at the end of my run just in case I was shorting myself. Well, when I got home, I logged on to Map My Run and I had done 6.81 miles! To be honest, I could have kept running too, so that felt great.

I had planned to make brunch for me and Zach when I got back, but he decided to go golfing with his dad, so I whipped up some lunch for myself. I was surprised that I wasn’t famished right after my run like I usually am, I guess the yogurt/granola combo is a winner for staying power. I’ll have to remember that come half-marathon race day.

I bought some local tofu at the Wild Ramp market which I really wanted to try. I’ll tell you this: I’m never buying any other tofu again. This tofu had the best consistency, I only had to press it for 5 minutes, and I was able to cook it without the tofu breaking up and turning into a scramble. Even when I buy extra-firm at the grocery store, it doesn’t have the firm texture I’d like. I made the Cast Iron Tofu  using Caitlin’s method (Healthy Tipping Point is hands down one of my favorite blogs!), added it to some sauteed Kale and served it over Ramen noodles. Yes, Ramen noodles! I’ll admit I love ’em.

I don’t know if I’ll ever cook tofu another way again. It was so crispy on the outside! I love the texture of tofu, so I left the cubes to be kind of on the large side, but if you made them smaller this would be even crispier. I had a few strawberries on the side also. All of the meals I had yesterday had amazing staying power, and this was no exception. I was full for a long time after I chowed this down.

I went to a 5:30 yoga for runner’s class (which was incredible!) Our instructor focused on the Piriformis, which is a muscle in your glute area. It’s a deep muscle that is hard to stretch, but we sure did stretch it. In fact, I didn’t even know that mine was tight until we started stretching it out. My legs feel  great today! I’m on a budget, so I don’t know if I can afford to shell out the $8 a week to go to this class, but I think I’ll try to make it at least a monthly thing.

After yoga, it was late and we had movie plans with friends, so I whipped together a quick dinner. Earlier in the day, I had made a batch of Indian Curry veggie burgers from the No-Meat Althlete veggie burger formula (found here.) So, burgers it was:

This was an amazing veggie burger! I basically just used the recipe at the end of that post for the Indian Patties, but I didn’t have chickpeas so I used Great Northern instead. Also, I subbed carrots and yellow squash as my veggies. Yum! I made it a double decker because I was quite hungry. Add some baked french fries (yay, health!) and some steamed broccoli w/ a bit of shredded cheddar and it was a yummy meal. I decided to put a dollop of plain yogurt on my burger, and it was a very good decision. After dinner, I was ready for some dessert, so I had a frozen greek yogurt bar (flavor: blueberry), and it was delicious.

It was a great day for food at my house, and I didn’t realize how much yogurt I ate yesterday until I typed it all up. I swear, that isn’t typical!

Question of the day:
What is the best thing you’ve eaten recently? 

Making do with what I have…

16 Aug

Recently I finally made it to the new local food market in my town: The Wild Ramp.

I wish I had taken photos, but here is how it works. The Wild Ramp is a locally owned, non-profit market. All the produce is local (it seems that the farthest anything had travelled was Athens, OH), and most of the people who work there are volunteers. The produce is grouped by farm, so there may be, for example, tomatoes on several different tables. When you pick out produce, you also have to take a bar code sticker to the register so they will know which farm you are buying from. The best part: $0.90/$1.00 goes directly to the farmer, as opposed to buying local produce at the grocery store, where maybe $0.20-$0.30/$1.00 goes to the farmer.

Click on this image (from the wild ramp blog) to be directed to their blog.

The most surprising thing that I found was that it wasn’t all produce. There was locally made tofu, veggie burgers, local eggs (they have a place in the front where you can donate your used egg cartons), even local meat! I bought some local tofu, I can’t wait to try it!

I also bought some tomatoes and peppers, and a few other things I can’t mention because they went to my Foodie Pen Pal this month.

For $50 and 1 volunteer hour per month, you can become a “Friend of the Market”, which I absolutely plan on doing. The perk (although, I think the real perk is helping to support a sustainable local resource for healthy food) is that you can call ahead and have your food ready to pick up when you stop by. You also get a subscription to their newsletter. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have this resource so close by! Huntington, WV is really moving up in the healthy food game. I wish Jamie Oliver could see us now!

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In other news, my training this week is going well. I’ve had two really good runs in a row, so I  think I’m bouncing back from whatever was holding me back last week. Also, I had a really good night sleep last night, although I don’t know if the reason I slept well is particularly healthy:

After work, Zach and I went grocery shopping. Once I got home and got my run out of the way, we had some dinner and rather than clean the kitchen, I asked Zach if he wanted to go out for a drink. We decided to head over to a nearby bar which has a really nice patio and a couple of our friends were already there. Once we sat down, more and more friends kept showing up! It was a really nice evening, but I stayed up too late and had a few too many drinks. So I think maybe the sleeping well had more to do with being a little tipsy than actual, quality sleep. But it felt great, so that’s that.

Last night made me really look forward to my upcoming beach trip. Everyone who was at the bar last night will be at the beach except for one person, and it made me think about how much I’m going to enjoy sitting on the patio of our beach house, listening to the ocean and talking with my good friends. Just 7 more work days to go!

This morning, because I still don’t have a coffee pot, I made instant coffee from a sample that I got from Taster’s Choice, and it’s not bad! How’s that for making do with what I have?

Question of the day:
What’s your local source for fresh produce?