Friday, April 30, 2010

Breakfast all Day

Yesterday I decided to eat breakfast all day. That is all! Enjoy the food pics! 

Loaded oatmeal with raspberries, cashew butter, shredded coconut, cream! French Press coffee!!

Brunch burrito: Eggs, cilantro, raspberry chipotle salsa, black olives, avocado, grilled zucchini on an Ezekiel wrap!  Rawr! 

Sweet potato waffles (Harvest Grains pancake mix, one egg, 3 T. vanilla yogurt, water, 1 mashed sweet potato) Topped with: a pinch of butter, shredded coconut and honey! Grapes!

 I am teaching my first Boot Camp class today and getting ready for a fun weekend!! 
Do you eat breakfast all day?? :) 
Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Career Change 30 day Recap!

Just over a week ago, on the 19th it was 30 days since I left my 8-5 job to take a big leap of faith, change careers and move into the field of fitness. I have had a ton of wonderful experiences so far and done some wonderful things, I NEVER would have thought I could do! 

First of all, I want to say that I am overwhelmingly BLESSED that I have been able to take the last month and only work minimally. I was blessed to be offered a good paying temp job one day a week which allowed me to focus on my 2 other goals.  I am in awe of the provision and guidance I am experiencing and have to give the shout out to GOD who is daily confirming that I am on the right path.

I have been able to use some of this time as a way to unwind and enjoy myself as well. I worked for 5 years as a receptionist, behind a desk, in an office (as I am sure many of you do as well!) and for 5 years before that, as a general Admin, or a temp in offices. I was actually experiencing job burnout, a real condition I will blog about later. 

Mini vacay days: 
I went to the Zoo with Mom

I went to Ryan's CD release party in a gallery and Microcinema, and
road tripped to chicago with the band! 

I got to hang out with my new bloggy friends!

I spent time outside in the beautiful spring air and SUN! I took time to watch
the tree's bud on my street and noticed everyday, more and more life!! 
I volunteered and have been helping with a community fundraiser!
I went running on my own and raced with friends! 
I went to See Joel Salatin speak at the U of M--lectures for fun--heck yeah! 

One of the BEST things I have been experiencing is that the "work" that I am stepping into is exciting and rewarding.  I have officially finished my internships (although I am still hanging around) and really enjoyed being at the gym and being able to observe trainers helping others and the clients striving toward their goals. It's so rewarding to show people the right way to do things to increase their results, reduce chance of injury and help them have the best experience they can at the gym. 

Plus, my second internship is at a gym that I have gone to for 6 years and where I went through my own weight loss journey! 
I have learned so much from all the people I have shadowed and worked under and look forward to working with truly talented people who challenge me and help me continue to learn. With my internship paper work turned in, I am just waiting for that final Personal Trainer Certification to come in the mail! 

Group Fitness: 
As you guys know from previous posts, I am working as a group fitness instructor! Right now I am teaching 2 days a week and going to be adding more classes soon, as my schedule allows! 
Here are the trainers that I bought to teach in, when my former co-workers gave me a gift card to buy workout clothes! Thank you!!! 


Here I am right before my class that I teach! It's a combo cardio and resistance. I want to teach Cycle, Kettlebells and bootcamp also! 

I always knew that personal training was for me because working with people one on one energizes me!!  But Group Fitness is a surprising fit because I have a natural enthusiasm that I am able to unleash and let it run rampant during the class! It's such a great fit and after 2 weeks of teaching, I am so glad that I took a chance and tried out!! If you are in the area and want to visit a class, contact me! 

Workshops & Certifications: 
I have been able to attend a punk rope workshop and become a certified instructor! It was a great experience and helping me build my resume too! Coming up, I will be attending a group fitness certification workshop through NETA and 2 workshops through my internship, these will cover: Myofascial Release and Functional Fitness. 

The Job:  
Other than the part time group fitness job and some fun work I have been doing to help a friend (temping -- if you can call helping her repot plants and organize her house temping!) I have 2 paths in front of me right now. I have been turning them both over in my mind and praying for direction. I think this is really close to happening, I stuck my neck out this week and talked to someone about working for them and am really happy with the outcome. When I have something and can tell you, I will totally let you guys know. The good thing is I have more options that expected!

Overall I feel great, I feel blessed and that my decision was exactly what I was supposed to do! Still some days I have felt a little anxious, especially the farther out from my leap I get. I don't want a 8-5 job, I would be thrilled to go to work on a Saturday or a Wednesday night, but I will be happy when I finally land somewhere and find my place!  I like to work and want to work helping people. In the last 30 days of interning, volunteering and teaching group fitness I have felt a little like I am temping everywhere! SOON, very soon! 

Thanks for listening to my update and my little job rant here at the end!

Have you ever changed careers and found it took a while to land on your feet? What is your favorite job you have had? 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nike Free 7.0 Review

I love shoes, I do. So much so that when I did my clothing purge, I only purged a few and didn't post pictures! (no judgement!) Lately though, shoes and I have been having some...misunderstandings. I just don't know how I feel about them any more, especially my running shoes. There is a part of me that distrusts them. It makes me sad.

The reason being, lately there have been too many books, articles, blogs, experts talking about what modern running shoes do to our feet, what they allow our feet to do while running that is unnatural and also, just all the injuries that they can cause. That is why I am moving toward a more minimalist style of running... I am weening myself down to... well... less and less shoe.  

 The graveyard

 Moving to a more minimal style of shoe also just naturally changes your foot strike more easily and can help in reducing injuries or stress to your joints and muscles in that simplest way. I blogged about exploring my own foot strike here: Running form: the heel strike, and put it to use in my first two races in my Nike Free's 7.0 the past 2 weekends. 

Their slogan is "Run barefoot" and the idea is to make it feel as if you are. They are so lightweight they don't even register on my bathroom scale! I pulled down a decorative kitchen scale and sure enough, they weighed in at just a hair under one ounce for the pair. 

Overall, they are very flexible and really allow our feet more movement. Even back as far as our mid-foot the tread opens and expands as the shoe moves. 

The first couple times I took them out for a nice spin, I knew I liked them, but I didn't feel any discomfort either, not like I anticipated. In most modern running shoes, our feet don't really have to work. The rest of our leg muscles work for them and our feet just clop along as if in casts. Our toes don't splay and move, gripping for ground as we go along. Our toes don't move freely in most of our shoes and why not? They are there for a reason, they have a vital part to play in our balance, agility and performance. 

They fit nice and snug, and they aren't obtrusive to any part of your foot. Even the heel is soft and forms to your foot instead of rubbing it the wrong way. 

Needless to say, around miles 7-9 I started to feel soreness in the ball of my foot and in my big toe. Signs that spots that were dormant are moving more. The soreness went away as soon as I stopped the run and didn't return until a similar milage on the next run. I could tell that this was the first part of reconditioning my foot to move naturally!

The Nike Free's don't have a lot of cushioning, but they have a little. I find that I didn't notice they were "hard" or not soft, I didn't really notice it at all, and that to me is a good sign. The point of a shoe like this was for me to kind of ease into a more minimal running shoe. It is designed to help build strength and flexibility as we recondition.  

One thing that will be sore and not just while your running, is your calfs and maybe even your hamstrings. At least for me, when I run in these Nike Free's or purposefully change my strike and gait, I use different muscles: my calf were sore. I was recruiting them more than I usually did when I changed my gait. But we foam roll, stretch and go again!   

The next few steps will be exciting to get into, I just know.  It's true, I'm drinking the kool-aid!

What has been your favorite experience with a running shoe? Have you thought about going more minimal?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Renegade Gardening

Welcome to my new readers!! Thanks for following and please chime in with comments or send me emails anytime! Incase you missed it, over the weekend I posted my: 

 Announced my Chester Woods Trail 10 mile race!

I have been so inspired lately with all the wonderful movies and lectures on farming, community supported agriculture and food that bought a few plants at my local co-op!  I just started small, with one heirloom tomato plant and some chard, for today!

 I went and bought plain jane soil and planted away! My local co-op has a display of organic plants from a local farm and I am thinking of getting more and am plotting to plant a little garden on my rooftop deck! 

Roof top deck party 2008!

I want to have: 
  • Peppers
  • Zuchinni
  • Tomatoes
  • Chard
  • and maybe cauliflower.... 

We will see how well I think these first two will fare on my communal deck. Who knows, maybe if everything grows well and my neighbors are nice, I can leave a sign letting them know to pick what they want!

After getting dirty, I cleaned up, and used some of my Skin MD lotion. I like it for dry hands and legs especially, but have tried it on my face a few times and found it heavy. I think I will stick to my Aubry organics for that. For dry hands, feet and other skin, this works well!

I treated myself to a home manicure also, clean and bright for now, till I do more renegade gardening!! 

Do you have a garden or do you garden in your apartment?? What is your favorite yield from your harvest?? 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cross Training to the MAX!

Since I had my Half Marathon Saturday, I should have taken it a little easier than I did, but I grabbed my roller skates and hit the lake this past week! It was SO gorgeous and I had time to kill, so I decided that a few trips around the lake won out over doing dishes. 

Ta-da! Going the right way!

I consider skating cross training in the most serious sense! 

Cross Training Benefits: 
 - You get to condition different muscle groups 
while giving your most used ones a break 
- You reduce workout boredom! 
- You can be active even when injured
- Reduces risk of injury 
-  Creates a higher level of fitness overall 

Methods of Cross Training: 
jump roping
resistance training
total body conditioning
group fitness
Team or court sports 
Skating..oops... did I list that twice? 

What is your favorite way to cross train? Do you notice a reduced injury rate and a difference in your performance overall? Soon, I will be diving into a cross training method new to me...can you guess what it is?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Get In Gear Half Marathon Recap!

Saturday was my second Half Marathon, the Get In Gear! 

I had 2 goals: 1) Not to walk and 2) to come in at 2:05: 00 which is 8 minutes slower than my first half, the Monster Dash in October. My training was less intense this time around especially my interval training so although I wanted a time goal, I cut myself some slack! 

I did a little VLOG before I left my house to show you the rain I got to run in and my strategic outfit for it! 

Meghan picked me up and we stopped and picked up some trash bags to wear -- we didn't know what size we were 30 gallon, or 39 gallon? Sizing these days, ya know!? 

We took off to the shuttle buses to get to the race, check our bags and line up! We were JUST in time! 

Crazy happy face, rainy face!

It was raining but it wasn't cold, so I was feeling pretty good when we started. I ditched the trash bag and found my pace, I was clipping right along, but there were over 7,000 people participating. (I can't find the exact number, but added up the finishers!) I was navigating from curb to sidewalk and street, moving around people trying to keep my pace when 

WHAM, I hit the ground! 

I hit with my knee's hard, my chest and my right hand knuckles. I jumped up, even wetter, dirty and confused! A nice man grabbed my arm and asked if I was ok, I said Yep, I'm fine! and took off. I was limping for a few steps, but sucked it up!! It wasn't till a few minutes later that I looked down to see that I was bleeding! 

So much for my socks and skirt plan to feel light and not soggy when I ran. I saved a pair of pants from certain tearing, but bloodied myself up good instead! I have no idea what I tripped on (curb, my own feet, crack in the road?) but it didn't matter, I wasn't even at mile 2 and nothing was stopping me. 

It was very nearly pouring rain as we ran over the Mississippi River around mile 3! 
I got trapped on the bridge behind groups running three and four across with headphones on. I tried maneuvering around them, but with little luck. I started to yell, On your left! like I was a cyclist and IT WORKED!! People started to move over a bit and I was able to pass a few. 

Do you think running crowds should function like traffic and leave a passing lane?  When they don't it's a pet peeve of mine! 

After the 10k and half marathon split, about mile 5, things really calmed down. There were only 900 half marathoners, so for the last 8 miles, there were much fewer, quieter spectators! 

I was feeling good, my knee was the least of my worries and I had a less populated road to try and make up time. This race was me against the clock! 

I pulled out my snacks: dried apricots and Cliff bar Shot Blocks! I was feeling strong and happy and once I saw the elite runners turn around, I started watching for a few people I knew! It helped to keep my focus on something for a while! I saw friends Chris and Doug each before the 9 mile mark and it pumped me up!! 

The whole race (especially after my spill) I focused on my form: 

  • Shoulders back
  • feet moving with quick, light steps
  •  mid foot strike to forefoot strike
  •  I pretended my legs were little rubber bands:  feet touching the ground then springing forward and up as soon as they touched. 
  • I leaned forward slightly
  •  I kept my arms pumping forward not across my body. 

I actually had people yelling: nice form, good form--it was SO encouraging! I felt like yelling back, Thank you, I have been working on it! 

A few of my favorite things people yelled: 
Go, I <3 the lakes
Go cupcake
Nice Skirt!

I had such a good finish! I felt strong and turned it up a notch at the 10 mile mark. I think to myself, it's once around Lake of the isles! You eat runs like that for Breakfast!! Telling myself I have less than 30 minutes allows me to really give it my all and bring it home strong! 

Stepping across the finish line, I saw my clock time and that was 5 min less than my goal. But knew that my chip time was faster, so I was happy!!! 

I think the 4 mile and 10 mile splits are swapped!

OFFICIAL finishing time: 157:03, 41 seconds faster than my last half! I was overjoyed, it was unexpected! 

I grabbed a ton of post race food like yogurt, banana's, nut rolls and of course Chocolate milk! 
I changed into a few dry things, put on another plastic bag (it's all the race fashion) and headed home on the train. That's when I took inventory of the knee injury! 
* WARNING-Gross pics dead ahead! 

Hmm...scraped and bruised, but I think it looks worse than it is. I am glad I didn't wear expensive Lucy running pants like I planned on. A woman at the race kept trying to get me to go to the first aid station and I told her no, I had to get pics first!!  

Cleaned up at home: just 2 scrapes from the fall, not so bad! 

I pulled out my Minnesota Rollergirls First Aid kit and fixed myself up so 
I could head out for a post race brunch with La from the The Curvy Life! She ran the 10k and it was her first race, she rocked it! Head over to her blog and check out the recap! 

Wouldn't you know it, I step outside and it's beautiful!! 

We went to The Bad Waitress and I had the Death Valley Veggie Omelet and a Velvet hammer (espresso and brewed coffee!) 

It was fantastic!

La and I hung out and talked for OVER 2 hours. She's the best. 

It was the perfect end to the race day! I met both of my official goals, I FELT great during the race, I had a good time and I learned a lesson:

We can't control somethings that happen to us, but we CAN control how we respond to them. When I wiped out even before mile number two, I could have looked at my ripped gloves, bloodied hands and knee and said, "Na, I can't do this." I could have gotten angry or cried because it slowed me down and ruined my race day and hurt!!

OR I can stand up and say "This is my race, and I will finish!" I trained for it, I had CONFIDENCE I could run it, and I knew I couldn't quit. You know, on facebook the night before I ran, I dedicated this race to my older brothers because I love them-- and I believe that they have great purpose in life! I wasn't going to let one little trip up, ruin that --I was dedicating my success to their successes and one fall doesn't mean we can't still brush ourselves off and still win!

 Sometimes things that are out of our control happen, sometimes in life we fall down, we hit bumps in the road, ones that weren't supposed to happen. I hit bumps for 8 years trying to get my crap together in life, but I didn't give up! We stand up and say, I am starting from here, again. I count points again from here. I will find love again, I can have forgiveness and be new again, starting today!  I want to point out that after my fall I focused more on my form and it paid off, I felt great and my time rocked.

Don't let the setbacks you face in life, KEEP you back. Use them as stepping stones, as learning experiences and build your way up despite them, climb over them and look ahead to the finish, you can win that race you are running today.

Congrats to Doug F. Chris,  Julie, Meghan, La, Carly, Ann, Sarah, Ellen and anyone else I missed who ran & rocked the Get in Gear! 

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