Sunday, March 25, 2012

Best Body Bootcamp - Week 3 Recap

Week three was overall a really good week.  Late this week, I finally felt like I was starting to see the effects of bootcamp on my body, and it feels really great! If I am starting to see it just three weeks in, I can't wait to see how I look (and feel) at the end of this. Next week will be more of a challenge though. I will be on the road for work all week, but I am going to do my best to make reasonably healthy food choices as well as try and fit in mini-workouts where I can. 

Week three's goals:

Goal 1: Eat at least one serving of fruit or vegetables with every meal
Goal 2: Take my vitamins every day

I did very well on both of my goals this week! I ate fruit and/or veggies at (almost) every meal. Thursday was my only 'bad' day. I was exhausted, and while not an excuse, I did fall asleep around 8:30 PM and it was still daylight when I got in bed! 

And here are how my workouts for the week went. Not quite as planned (it never is!), but still a great week.

Monday: cardio + lower body strength training circuits (this felt awful and great at the same time)
Tuesday: 20 minute jog + 10 minute walk + core work (another great run!)
Wednesday: 40 minute mixed intervals (I hate the treadmill, but I did it)
Thursday: unplanned rest day
Friday: cardio + upper body strength training (can't wait for the sculpted arms to come out!)
Saturday: full body strength training + Crunch abs DVD
Sunday: planned rest day

I am not going to plan any specific workouts for week 4, but I am going to squeeze in a workout wherever I can and hopefully I can get 5 days of workouts in. Even if it is a quick Pilates DVD, or another workout from Netflix. Not sure what the gym situation will be like at the hotels...

Have you ever checked out all of the workout selections on Netflix? So awesome to have when you are traveling. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cake Batter Blondies

I really don't have a whole lot to say about this other than OMGamazing. I borrowed this recipe, and it was the best life decision I have ever made. Also, I did not alter the recipe one bit. I just did not add the optional white chocolate chips. It would have been too much. This was already very sweet.

3/4 of the blondies were consumed between last Friday night and Saturday morning (ok, it wasn't just me! Sehar was there too!) The last 1/4 was consumed at some point during the St. Patty's Bar Crawl.

Just go here, now. And make these. Eat them for dessert. Eat them for breakfast. You won't regret it until you wake up from your sugar coma covered in rainbow sprinkles.

Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patty's Day

I don't usually celebrate St. Patrick's Day. This year things were a little different. I had some guests coming in to town, and we had to celebrate in style. How did we choose to celebrate, you may ask? Well naturally, by participating in the world's largest bar crawl. Duh.

It happened to be taking place in uptown Charlotte, so the convenience factor definitely played in to our choice to celebrate this way. Also we got shirts and coozies. How could you pass that up?

The day started innocently enough. Sehar and I had to make a Target run, so we decided to make the most of the nice morning and walk there! About 5 miles later, we ended up back at my apartment. We took the long way around, and the only thing we actually left Target with was an Iced Passion Tea from Starbucks, but that is neither here nor there. By the time we got back, it was time to start showering and getting ready for the bar crawl (that started at noon, by the way.)

We finally made our way there by cramming ourselves on to a completely full light rail car, and by the time we got to Dixie's Tavern, we were all very familiar with our light rail neighbors.

The bar crawl started at Dixie's. They corralled all of the participants in to a fenced off parking lot (above), which actually worked out quite well. It was a good place to meet up with our friends, and they had plenty of outdoor bars set up where you could get your Bud Light on.

I saw this on Facebook - an aerial shot of the 'holding area' 

At 3 PM, the masses began the crawl portion of the bar crawl. We made our way to Fox & Hound and got super lucky in grabbing a table outside, so we could get a good view of all the action, and we had a waitress so we could easily order food. And more Bud Light of course. Because of our amazing table, we hung out here for a while.

Then it was time to head to the next bar. We headed to Howl at the Moon (because I love piano bars). We lucked out again and got a table there, and started ordering what I like to call 'booze bowls.' Good times were had by all... let the photo shoot begin.... I warned you...

By the time we left Howl at the Moon, it was really time for me to go home. I was in bed by 10 PM - I would call that a successful bar crawl, even though we really only made it to three places. Oh welllll! All in all it was a very fun day drinking event and I had a great time with Courtney, Jess, and Sehar! These pics and more can be found here for your viewing pleasure.

Me, Sehar, Jess, Courtney

Best Body Bootcamp - Week 2 Recap/Week 3 Plan

Week 2 of Bootcamp has gone MUCH better than week 1. No unexpected illnesses! I did have some unexpected late days at the office, but that frustration just gave me some awesome workout fuel...

As far as my healthy goals went, I did pretty well...

Goal 1 was to drink at least 64 oz. of water each day. I successfully accomplished that 6 out of 7 days this week! Goal 2 was to eat a fruit or vegetable with each meal. I accomplished that at the beginning of the week... I kind of fell off the wagon at the end of this week, so I will be re-attempting this goal again this week!

As far as workouts go, I planned on starting the week slowly, eventually building back up to running again. I love the flexibility of this plan. As long as I get up and get moving almost every day, and incorporate the strength and circuit training in with my normal cardio, I know that by week 8 that I will be seeing some serious results.

Here is my workout recap for Week 2:

Monday: 50 minute walk
Tuesday: 20 minute run + 10 minute walk + strength training
Wednesday: 30 minutes on elliptical + 15 minutes walking on the treadmill + circuit training
Thursday: 20 minute run + 10 minute walk
Friday: 30 minute run + 45 minute walk
Saturday: 5 mile walk
Sunday: Rest

Yesterday was a WELL deserved rest day. I probably ate way too much, and was totally worthless watching Saved By the Bell all afternoon, but I earned it! 

So far so good with Best Body Bootcamp. I feel great. The scale isn't reflecting a weight loss, but I am not worried about that. I can see and feel my body toning, and I can feel muscles working that I really didn't even know that I had. I still need to work on getting more strength in to the routine. Due to schedule conflicts, I was only able to do strength training one day this week, and circuit training one day. I'd like to take this a bit more seriously in week 3! I think the way that the workouts are structured, I will be getting some more strength work in naturally.

And now for the week 3 plan... 

Goal 1: Eat at least one serving of fruit or vegetables with every meal (Did not work out so well last week)
Goal 2: Take my vitamins every day (Again, I slacked this past week)

Exercise Plan... Weekday workouts are clearly defined. Weekend workouts are still kind of TBD!

Monday: Circuit intervals + lower body strength training
Tuesday: 30 minute interval training + core work
Wednesday: 40 minute mixed intervals + core work
Thursday: Full body strength training
Friday: Circuit intervals + upper body strength training
Saturday: Cardio - maybe a long walk, maybe Pilates, maybe both? Kind of depends on the weather
Sunday: Off - traveling to MA

Cheers to a good week 3!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My running legs...

I feel like they are back! I have had some serious doubts recently on whether or not I want to keep running.  Last week's cold set me back once again, and not to continue making excuses... but I am not a natural runner, so pretty much any semi-lengthy break feels like I am just starting over again. I have come to terms with the fact that running will probably never be easy for me, but I will have good days and bad days, and it is totally OK to walk whenever I feel like it! I am trying to take the pressure off myself, but I am a perfectionist in a lot of areas in my life, and that is starting to rub off on my exercise habits. I don't think that is the best feature, so I am working on it... one day at a time, right?

This week has been kind of rough at work, and instead of coming home to pout on the couch and emotionally eat like 'old Katie' would do, I got my running shoes on and worked it out!

This is my excited face. 

I just have to share my success story from today. I wasn't sure what I was going to do workout-wise, but I got my shoes on and headed out the door anyway. It was too gorgeous to just stay inside. I figured my legs would take me somewhere, at some pace, and I'd eventually end up back at my apartment. Well, my legs started running, and (for me) my legs started running fast! I decided to do a 2-mile, mostly flat loop, because I am still warming back up to running since my few days off due to my cold. I finished the first mile at a 10 minute per mile pace, and then I had to slow myself down for the second mile. I wanted to bring my heart rate down a bit, so I slowed it down to a sub-12 minute per mile pace. I finished the 2 miles in 22 minutes flat (with one 20 - 30 second delay waiting at an intersection). I think that is the fastest that I have ever completed a run!

Today's run was a great one. I felt powerful and strong! It definitely gave me some inspiration to 'just keep running...'

Monday, March 12, 2012

Best Body Bootcamp - Week 2 Plan

Well here we are, week 2 of Best Body Bootcamp! Last week didn't quite go as planned for me, but I am feeling mostly recovered from whatever illness knocked me down. I am still not going to do anything intense today or tomorrow, since I am pretty stuffy - I will probably just stick to walking outside until at least Wednesday... notice I was generic with 'cardio intervals'

The weather is supposed to be gorgeous here all week, so I should have no problems getting outside after work! While this time change is hard to adjust to, I love the extra hour of daylight at night and not having to rush home and cram an outdoor workout in.

Basically, perfect weather! If that isn't incentive to get outside, I don't know what is!

Here are my two healthy goals for the week!

Goal 1: Drink at last 64 oz. of water each day - this stayed the same from last week, still trying to drive this healthy habit home!
Goal 2: Eat at least one fruit or vegetable with every meal!

 Love my 32 oz. Rubbermaid bottle!

And here is my workout plan! Hopefully by Wednesday I will be back to jogging again!

Monday: 50 minute cardio intervals
Tuesday: 20 min cardio + workout B
Wednesday: 50 min cardio intervals
Thursday: 20 min cardio + strength training
Friday: 20 min HIIT + circuit training
Saturday: Bar Crawl = lots of walking
Sunday: Rest

Looking forward to kicking bootcamp booty this week in preparation for some special visitors this weekend!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Best Body Bootcamp - Week 1 Recap

First week of Best Body Bootcamp is complete! 7 more to go!

Here is how my workouts for the week went. On Wednesday, I came down with a cold that came along with flu-like body achiness. It knocked me down on Wednesday and Thursday, but I felt a bit stronger on Thursday after resting all day and tried to go for an easy walk. Strength training was still out of the picture, although I attempted one of our strength training circuits on Saturday. Bad idea. I decided it was better to tone down the workouts for the rest of the week and just do walks, instead of pushing myself with a jog.  

Monday: Strength Training + 20 minute jog
Tuesday: 50 minute run/walk intervals
Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday: 30 minute easy walk
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: 1 circuit of strength training 
Sunday:  Walked ALL day furniture shopping

I took this week a lot easier than I had planned because of my unexpected illness. I am starting to feel better, and am down to just being congested. I can deal with that. No running just yet, but this shouldn't impact my basic workouts for the week because I can substitute walking.

Looking forward to week 2! Next week's workout plan is coming tomorrow...

How was your first week of Best Body Bootcamp? Did it go as expected, or did life get in the way?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Working out while sick?

I am looking for a little advice here. How do people handle working out while sick? Do you do it? Do you skip it? Do you scale back? I ordinarily would skip it all-together, but it's week 1 Best Body Bootcamp, and I really wanted to start out on the right path. I am trying to turn over a new leaf  and not make excuses to not work out. But I do get it, you have to rest your body when you are sick.

I woke up yesterday morning with a sore throat, congestion, and feeling weak. Throughout the course of the day, I just progressively got worse weakness-wise. It felt almost flu-like. Luckily at work, I didn't have to move around a whole lot, but as soon as I got home, I collapsed on the couch. Working out was just not going to happen last night, and I didn't think I would be making it to work today. I probably sound dramatic... but I haven't been actually sick in a long time so I am a bit frustrated, to say the least.

I didn't go to work today, and I am glad I didn't. I still feel congested and my throat still hurts, but the feeling of weakness isn't nearly as bad today. Slightly achy, but not sure if it is residual workout achy-ness or illness related. I slept for almost 11 hours last night, and took two one-hour naps today.

After nap number 2, I decided to TRY and go for an easy walk. Emphasis on the word easy... I took a 30 minute stroll around my neighborhood, and went at a pretty easy pace. That really took it out of me. I am glad I got out and got some fresh air, and was even sweating a bit (the humidity is rolling in!) But now I am pooped. I hope I made the right choice and don't feel worse tomorrow. It seems like working out at an easy pace while would be better for you in the long run. I will see how I feel tomorrow and hopefully have the energy to do an easy walk again after work... running is totally out of the question since I can't really breathe!

Thoughts? Comments? How do you handle working out while sick?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Best Body Bootcamp - Week 1 Plan

Monday was the kickoff of Best Body Bootcamp, hosted by Tina Reale! What an awesome concept, and it has attracted a really supportive and awesome group of women. (Are there any men in it?) I have been so excited to start. I really am hoping to see some good changes in my body through mixing up my workout routine.

The concept of the bootcamp is to complete a flexible workout plan (to the best of your ability, and according to your schedule) and to set two healthy goals each week. If you complete a certain amount of workouts and meet your goals, you get entered in to a prize drawing each week based on your activities!! Who doesn't love prizes? And any reward on top of improving my fitness through working out is just a bonus (yes, I am cheesy).

I am going to aim to move at least 6 days per week - whether it is a walk, or a run, or strength training, or pilates.

Here are my goals for this week:

  • Drink at least 64 oz of water each day
  • Track my food 100% in My Fitness Pal
I am going to try and change these up each week, and not make all goals food-oriented. But duh, that is always what I gravitate towards...

Here is my workout plan for this week: 

Monday: Strength Training + 20 minute jog
Tuesday: 50 minute run/walk intervals
Wednesday: Strength Training + 20 minute jog
Thursday: 50 minute run/walk intervals
Friday: 20 minute HIIT + circuit training
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 3.1 mile run + 3.1 mile walk (inclement weather backup: pilates)

I plan to post my weekly plan on Monday or Tuesday of that week, and then on Sunday night's, recap on how the week went. I plan to take before and after pictures, but I still have not decided if that is something that I want to share with the internet yet. I am also going to weigh myself, but because I know I will be gaining new muscle, I am not going to focus on the number on the scale. I am just weighing myself to keep my eating in check!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Corporate Challenge 5K

On Saturday morning, our 2012 Corporate Challenge kicked off with a 5K hosted by my company. The first 5K I ever ran was in October. I had one goal and one goal only that time: finish. I did with a time of 40:50! This time I wanted to finish in under less than 36 minutes (12:00 pace). The course was around our work, which is fairly hilly, and I wasn't sure how treacherous the course would be. I didn't want to make any commitments I couldn't keep! I thought as sub-36 5K was very reasonable for me. Also, it was about 5 minutes faster than my first 5K time.

The weather was iffy, but the rain did hold off and the clouds kept it pretty cool. The temperature was perfect for the run (50-ish degrees). My only complaint was the evil hill sometime during mile 2. We had to run down the hill, knowing that shortly we would have to run back up it. That was killer a bit of a challenge, but I ran the entire time! And... I know you are all wondering how I did...

Evil hill. 

Well, I did it! I finished in 34:14 (chip time) with an average pace of 11:01. I was really excited and proud of myself. That is 7 (SEVEN!) minutes off of my first 5K time. As soon as I finished, I headed home for a really fun surprise!

This was before I ran. Sharpie represent! Side note: so brave. No makeup on. 

My newest goal is to be able to run a 5K at a 10 minute mile pace. I don't have any 5K's right now on the radar, but I am sure I will find one in Charlotte or Raleigh in the next few months and hopefully meet that goal! Anyone in the area know of a good race and want to join me?!


My mama is one lucky woman! She had not one, but two surprises for her 50th birthday! She is also lucky because she doesn't look anywhere near her age...

She hasn't changed a bit! That's me and my mom at my Aunt Jenny and Uncle Dean's wedding. I was 3 - over 20 years ago!

Anyway, back to the surprises. My dad planned to take my mom to the beach for her birthday, but she wanted to be with her whole family. My brother and I made excuses for why we couldn't be there, and even presented her with her birthday present a few weeks early - which would be the "last time" we would both see her before her birthday. Little did she know, we were all scheming!!!

Friday night I drove from Charlotte to Durham and met up with some special friends of mine for dinner. It was great to see everyone, and it is always a wonderful time when we get together. I got to see so many people that I love! On Saturday morning, I picked my brother up in Raleigh and continued on our way down I-40 east (my favorite road in the world!)

My brother and I planned to meet my parents at Ruth's Chris in Wilmington - conveniently at our hotel. My parents were staying at Carolina Beach. My brother and I were hiding in a booth awaiting my parents' arrival! My mom and dad came in, and sat at the bar (we were behind them) and my dad told her to turn around - she was so surprised and happy to see us! Also, dinner was delicious... That was a fun surprise. All the while there was more scheming going on for the next weekend. Her birthday celebration was not over!!

My dad planned a surprise party for my mom back at home with all of our friends and neighbors (our NC family!). He did it all! All I had to do was get my mom out of Apex for the afternoon so she wouldn't be suspicious.

I had run a 5K that morning in Charlotte, and conveniently scheduled an eye appointment on Saturday afternoon so that I would have to come home. My mom came with me to the appointment, and then we did some shopping! All while my dad was working like a busy bee to get the party started! He got a customized banner and candy bars as party favors! I was constantly texting my dad keeping him updated on our whereabouts (thank goodness I am always on my phone, or she might have gotten suspicious!). We got delayed at the mall due to some unfortunate circumstances (I may or may not have gotten stuck in a dress), which was a good thing; everyone was totally ready for the surprise when we got there!

When we walked in to Rudino's, my mom was still totally clueless. I walked right in, and I hear her telling the hostess "oh we are meeting someone..." I had to walk towards the party for her to realize what was going on! The bar area was really busy and loud and it was kind of hard to tell what was happening! As you can see below, she noticed!!

Totally surprised!!! The party was a success. The food was yummy (I <3 Rudino's pizza) and Coors Light was on special... that worked for me! My mom had a great time and was surrounded by her NC family and friends. Here are the rest of the pictures from the party!

I am so glad we were able to surprise my mom TWICE for her birthday!!! I love you, Mom!!!

P.S. I promise the surprises are over now... or do I?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Confidence 5K

So, I have a 5K on Saturday (that may or may not be cancelled due to AM thunderstorms, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it). I made my little weekly training plan and told myself I would do it!

Monday: Eliptical (lunch) + pilates (after work) <- didn't happen
Tuesday: 2.5 mile run <- major struggle with cramping
Wednesday: Eliptical (lunch)
Thursday: 3 mile run <- turned in to a 5K run + 5K walk
Friday: Pilates (after work) + maybe walking
Saturday: 5K (?)

So far, so good. I will consider myself on track. 

Today was the most gorgeous day in Charlotte: 78 degrees and sunny. It was hard to believe that spring is not quite here yet! And I had a 3 mile run on the training plan (groan). This week I have really lost running confidence in myself. I took a break from running and just lost my mojo. I am not a natural runner, but I have come a long way since I started running in August (reminder to self!). Even so, I have been doubting my abilities. However, I signed up (and paid for) a race on Saturday, and I want to give it my all. If there is one thing I am, it is stubborn; so, 3 miles would indeed be run today. I had no excuses: no headache, hydrated, perfect weather. 

I set out on my run, and decided to take it pretty easy today. I wanted to successfully finish 3 miles, and not struggle too badly. My apartment complex is essentially located at the top of a slightly graded hill. When I go out, I am mostly going down hill. When I come back, I am mostly going (slightly) uphill. I always love tolerate the first half of my run, but coming back just kind of sucks. I decided to run a 'confidence' 5K today. 

What the heck is a 'confidence' 5K? I don't even know. I made it up somewhere around mile 1 while I was talking myself in to actually running 3 miles. I took it easy speed and hill-wise, but decided to run the first part of my long route (not my usual 3-ish mile route): mostly graded downhill, but with a few good uphills (enough to give me an excellent workout, without wearing me out or giving me bad cramps). I completed running (!) the 5K in 36 minutes. That made me feel great! Strong and powerful. And tired. 

But, I had to get back to my apartment. After the first 'cool down' quarter mile or so, I got my second wind. So, I decided to wind through the neighborhoods surrounding my apartment and finish the second half of my workout by walking a 5K. The walking leg took me about 46 minutes. 

I finished the workout in just over 1 hour and 22 minutes! Not a bad 10K time if I do say so myself... I am proud that I pushed myself today Not to toot my own horn, but I really wanted to write this post so that when I am feeling unmotivated or unable, I can look back and be reminded of today! 

P.S. sorry for the lack of cutesy workout pictures. I am not a fan post-workout pictures in other people's blogs. Pet peeve, but to each their own! I know that I look like a red-faced, sweaty, train wreck when I am done with my workout. And I have no need to put that all over the internet. Maybe one day.... but most likely not. Phew, glad I got that out there. 
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