Tag Archives: Lifting

Countdown To My 1st Tri

7 Jul

Today marks ONE MONTH until my very first TRIATHLON!

Sorry about all the caps locks – I’m just super excited / nervous / pumped / scared / ready to kick ass / all of the above. If you’ve known me for a while, then you’re aware that I’ve been wanting to do a triathlon for years. I seriously considered joining the Tri Club at Penn State, and I’d always look for triathlons to compete in… I just never followed through with any of it. I think I was just too nervous – which is really weird because I’ve been a competitive runner & swimmer for years now, and I rode my bike everywhere in college, so by all means – I can physically do a triathlon. No problem. I’m physically fit and I have no doubt that I could go out today and swim .5 miles, bike 15.7 miles, and run 3.1 miles with no issues what-so-ever. It’s all the logistical stuff that totally psyched me out.

Reasons I was too nervous to sign up for  Tri

  • I don’t know what to wear. Seriously – do I need a wetsuit? Do I need a special tri suit? Can I just wear a sports bra & bike shorts? And not to over-share, but I need some extra support up top, so a bathing suit top isn’t going to cut it for the run.
  • I needed a road bike. Well I finally have one now – and I love it. But it’s a big investment that I just didn’t have the money to make when i was a poor college student.
  • How do I get everything where it needs to be? My first tri is in downtown Philadelphia. I’m going to have to drive my bike down there at like 4am and try to find somewhere to park & figure it all out & I’m just envisioning insanity.
  • I’m afraid I’ll be blown away by the pro’s. Well on one hand, the actually professional triathletes should beat me. That’s why they’re professionals. But for experienced triathletes, I know they’ll intimidate me with their $5000 bikes & aerodynamic helmets & super sleek wetsuits… Ich.
Anyways – it’s time to stop making excuses and go for it. I’m competing in the Philadelphia SheRox Sprint Tri – a women’s only triathlon with the aim of empowering women. So I’m going to go, feel all empowered, and hopefully walk away knowing more for my next triathlon. (There will be more, including a Half IronMan… and eventually a full IronMan). I know I’ll figure out all of the logistical stuff as I go – and it won’t be nearly as overwhelming as I’m envisioning!
Since I was all excited about how soon my tri is, I decided to do a Brick work-out yesterday to see how I felt.

Wednesday’s Work-Out: Lift, Spin, Run

  • Lift upper body – mainly biceps & triceps
  • 60 min Spin
    • Warm-up
    • 15 minutes of varying combinations of seated climbs, standing runs, and hover for 1-2 minutes each, adding resistance every minute. (I can’t remember the sequence but it definitely got my heart rate going)
    • 4x [30 sec of jumps, 15 sec rest]
    • 2x [30 sec sprint, 15 sec rest, 30 sec jumps, 15 sec rest]
    • 45 sec each x [seated climb, standing run, hover, jumps]
    • 1:00 each x [sprint, seated climb, standing run, hover, jumps]
    • Cool-down
  • Run 3.1 miles on the treadmill (27:00, 8:42 min/mile average)
    • It was entirely too hot for running outside.

Surprisingly, I felt pretty good throughout my entire work-out. I’d obviously like to run a lot faster on race day, but I’ll have adrenaline on my side then.

Do you have any races that you’re really looking forward to?

Do you ever psych yourself out before a race?


Finding Motivation

27 Jun

Since I’ve started putting my life on the internet, a few people have asked me why / how I work out so much. Well for one, I don’t think I work out that much. Compared to most working professionals, maybe – but compared to high school me, I feel like a slacker.

High school Jess worked out 6 days a week for pretty much the entire year. Whether it was soccer, cross country, swimming, or track – I was doing 1, maybe even 2 work-outs a day. Swim practices were either 2 or 2.5 hours during the week with a 3 hour practice every Saturday. But now I’m a “grown-up” (ugh) and I just don’t have the time that I used to – but I’d still love to be in the same great shape that I used to be in. Unfortunately, after 8 hours of sitting in an office – and another 2 hours of commuting, there are many days where I just want to go home, curl up on the couch, and eat a bag of Milano cookies relax.

So here are a few things that help me stay on track and hit the gym instead of hitting up Pepperidge Farms.

1. I work out for ME and me only.

  • When I was younger, I was always trying to look my best for someone else. Maybe if I do 5000 sit-ups a day and only eat carrots from here on out, that cute boy will notice me. Yeah, that’s bound to end tragically. Luckily I met the man of my dreams and I’m fairly certain that our relationship goes a bit deeper than looks. So if you think that achieving 6-pack abs is going to land you the man of your dreams, you’re wrong. Having confidence in yourself is probably a more sure-fire way to meet Mr. Right. So, nowadays I work out for myself – because I enjoy it – and because I feel better when my body gets a good work-out in.

2. I genuinely ENJOY my work-outs.

  • The name of my blog is not by mistake folks. I work out for the fun of it. Call me crazy, but I actually like working out. I get an amazing natural high after every run, ride, and swim I do. So for me, it’s not a big struggle to be active. But, if you don’t enjoy running, you’re certainly going to struggle with finding the motivation to run every day. If you dread spin class and think of excuses all day long, chances are you’ll talk yourself right out of it. You have to find an activity you enjoy. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. If everyone enjoyed the same things, this world would be really boring. Try Zumba or yoga or some high intensity aerobics until you find your niche. Then you’ll look forward to your workouts!

3. I look up to ATHLETES, not models
  • Sure, I watched the Miss America pageant last week. And I’ll gladly watch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show every year. With a bag of Milano cookies in my hand, of course. Those girls do nothing to motivate me. Their pictures are all airbrushed and half of them look like they haven’t had a good meal in years. Plus, what do you think the chances are that they’re athletic enough to compete in a triathlon? Probably none. So pssh to them.

  • So who do I look up to? Personally, I love Chrissie Wellington. She’s a 3-time World IronMan champion who is famous not only for dominating the field of triathlons, but also for her contagious smile at every finish line. This girl loves her sport, loves the competition, and loves cheering on the other athletes as they all achieve their own personal goals. When completing a race that spans 140.6 miles, it’s fair to say that she doesn’t starve herself and she knows how to treat her body right. She’s my hero and an awesome role model.

4. I set goals for myself (in the form of races)

  • Now that I’ve signed myself up for some kind of race every weekend from now until 2012 (I only exaggerate a little), I pretty much have to work out if I don’t want to embarrass myself. I have my first triathlon coming up in August (!!!) and I want to rock it. I also have a half-marathon and a 65-mile bike ride thrown in there, so there are plenty of events motivating me to get out there and train. If you think you might want to try a new race – just sign up. Trust me, it will force you to get your shit together and train.

Monday Work-out: Run, Spin, Lift

  • Run 1.0 mile on the treadmill at 8.6 MPH (6:58 min/mile)
  • Spin
  • Warm-up
  • 1min seated climb, 30 sec standing run, 2 min seated climb, 30 sec standing run, 3 min seated climb, 30 sec standing run, 1 min sprint
  • 1 min hover, 30 sec seated, 2 min hover, 30 sec seated, 3 min hover, 30 sec seated
  • 4x [1 min jumps + 20 sec rest]
  • 45 sec intervals x [seated, standing, hover, jumps]
  • 1 min intervals x [sprint, seated, standing, hover]
  • Cool-down
  • Upper Body lifting

What motivates you?

Who inspires you?


15 Jun

Stressed out doesn’t even begin to describe my current situation. [Sorry for the blogging rant right here] But honestly, I have been completely on edge for about a solid week now. I have no appetite, my heart feels like it’s going to beat out of my chest, and I’m too anxious to sleep. ARGGGGHHHHHH. I need a serious change in my life. ASAP, please.

I really needed to work-out to calm myself down, so despite everything going on with work, I forced myself to get to the gym for some serious stress relief. I wish I knew of a kick-boxing class or just boxing for that matter. I’d like to punch someone something. I mean, I suppose I could down a bottle of blueberry wine to calm down too… but that’s probably a poor choice.

Re-cap of my work-outs:

Monday: Lift + Spin + Abs

  • I don’t remember exactly how the spin work-out went… but I remember doing a solid set of high intensity intervals!
  • 5x [15 sec sprint, 15 sec rest, 30 sec jumps, 15 sec rest]
  • For lifting, I actually added some weight this time – I’m not trying to “bulk up” but I do want more definition, so hopefully the extra weight does the trick.
Tuesday:  Stay at work an hour late and get lost on the way home because all the normal roads home are closed = Day of rest
Wednesday: Run + Lift + Spin
  • Run – Total of 4.5 miles
    • 3.4 slow miles outside at 9:03 min/mile
    • 1.1 miles on the treadmill at 10:00 min/mile, increasing the incline 0.5% every 0.1 miles
  • Lift – Upper Body
  • Spin ~50 min
    • Warm-up
    • Some rolling hills that included seated and standing climbs with 20 sec pushes built in
    • 2 min x [Jumps, Seated Climb, Standing Climb, 20 sec Push, Standing Climb, Seated Climb, Standing Run]
    • 3 min Standing Climb, 1:30 Sprint, 3 min Standing Climb, 1:30 Standing Run
    • 4:02 of 4 jumps + 15 second rest [The song ‘Jump’ by Van Halen happens to be 4:02]
    • Cool-down

Here’s some potentially exciting news! For any of my readers based in the Philadelphia area, there’s a really fun race coming up on July 16 and I would love some friends to run it with.  It’s the Back on My Feet Midnight Madness Run! I signed up solely because I thought it would be hilarious to run around Philadelphia in neon / glow-in-the-dark gear at midnight – but it turns out that the Back on My Feet organization has a really awesome purpose, so it made the registration fee less painful. And to make it even more less painful for anyone interested, you can receive $10 off of registration using the coupon code friendmm11. (Disclaimer – this code expires after the first 50 registrants who use it, so act quickly!) Anyways – definitely check out the link and let me know if you’re thinking about running it! There’s a pajama run the next morning at the ass-crack of dawn too… but that’s not my style.
In the meantime, I think I’m going to do a post on GMO’s / organic food tomorrow – as being that my major at Penn State pretty much revolved around GMO’s. Let me know if you have any questions about the topic so I can address them for you. Otherwise, you’re all going to get a  dose of my personal opinions 😉

Triple Digits

9 Jun

Apparently we could hit triple digit temperatures in Philly today. Lovely. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather it be 100 degrees and scorch in the sun than ever have to scrape ice off of my windshield again, so I shouldn’t really complain… BUT it just gives me another reason to move to Hawaii. It’s just perpetually 80 degrees there. No heat waves, no snow storms, just a comfortable sea breeze every day.

Fact: I will live in Hawaii one day. Whether it’s for a few years or a few months or forever, it’s going to happen.

Can I go on about 10 Honeymoons a year please? Thanks.

Anyways – back to real life / Pennsylvania life / workout life.

Wednesday Workout:

Wednesdays = Spinning + Lifting (I’m actually working on a Google Document to just give a basic outline of my daily activities…)


  • Warm-up
  • 1 min of each [seated climb, seated climb hands in the 3rd position, jumps, standing climb, hover, sprint, recover]
  • Same set as before in reverse order
  • 1 min seated climb, 1 min stand, 2 min seated climb, 1 min jumps, 3 min seated climb, 1 min hover, 2 min seated climb, 1 min jumps, 1 min seated climb]
  • 4 min of participant’s choice! [1 min each x standing climb, jumps, hover, sprint]
  • Cool-down
  • 50 min & 14.2 miles

I mentioned before that I don’t go into the gym with a specific plan… [insert your personal opinion on my methods here]. I just head towards machines that are open and do a combination of biceps, triceps, pecs, shoulders, and back exercises – finished off with some ab work. Total time in the gym ~ 40 min.


Well, I got home from the gym / quick visit to the In-Laws at 8:30. Dinner consisted of whatever we had in our apartment that could be prepared in under 10 minutes flat. Yes, I ate dinner at about 8:50pm last night. This should be bed-time, not dinner time. AHH. Someone please explain how to fit in everything I need to do without eating at 9 o’clock.

Hawaii dreamin’

Question: How do you find time for yourself while working full time, working out, and trying to cook nutritious meals!?

Cooking for Two

7 Jun

And by cooking for two… I mean cooking for one x2. Quick re-cap of our standard dinner routine. Steve asks me what I want. I respond with some non-meat product. Steve claims I don’t eat anything other than “rabbit food”. I ask Steve what he wants. He responds with some kind of meat. I call him a carnivore. And then we ultimately end up cooking two totally separate meals. This wouldn’t be a big deal except that we don’t exactly have what you would call a large kitchen. (Note for my future home: Double oven and a stove with at least 6 burners) Good times.

Last night though – we reached a semi-compromise! Score. We made home-made pizza. (And by home-made, I mean we bought pre-made crust, and pre-made sauce and just threw it together…) Anyways – the only differences were in our toppings – which is a lot easier to prepare than two different meals that need different oven settings. Steve’s side: pretty standard with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, green peppers, onions, and mushrooms. My side: Blue cheese, green peppers, onions, mushrooms. Perfect.

Random fact: I HATE melted cheese. It creeps me right the ef out. I don’t like that it’s stringy – how are you supposed to eat it when it never breaks and its just this huge long string of goo!? It reminds me of having a really bad sinus infection where you have a lot of mucus that is stringy like that. (TMI, maybe?) Anyways – this is why I can’t have “normal” cheese on my pizza. Creepin’ me out.


Conclusion: Awesome dinner.

Monday’s Workout:

As usual, Mondays mean spinning and lifting. I always try to lift on days that I spin / bike because otherwise, I would get zero upper body work done. It’s never anything terribly structured or planned – just different exercises that keep these guns of mine lookin’ good 😉 I get in some bicep curls, tricep dips, bench pressing, rowing, lateral pull-downs, and maybe some shoulder presses if I have time. I can try to be more specific if anyone’s interested… but really, I just try to work a variety of my upper body muscles before hopping on the bike.


  • Warm-up
  • 2x [2 min seated, 2 min hover, 2 min jumps, 2 min sprint (broken up into 1 min sprint, 30 sec stand, 1 min sprint)]
  • 1 min seated, 30 sec stand, 1:30 seated, 30 sec jumps, 2:00 seated, 30 sec sprint
  • 1 min hover, 30 sec stand, 1:30 hover, 30 sec jumps, 2:00 hover, 30 sec sprint
  • Intervals: first round at 45 sec, second round at 1 min. [Sprint, Seated, Standing, Hover, Jumps]
  • Cool down and stretch
I really need to start stretching more… I used to be adamant about stretching and now I’m just becoming lazy. But now my legs hurt and they’d probably hurt a lot less if I had only taken like 5 minutes out of my time to stretch.
Alright – onto another [super stressful] day at work… followed by a long, stress-relieving run. Ciao!

Surviving the Office Desserts

25 May

Well I got into the office today and was just bombarded with temptations…

To start: Someone brought in 2 dozen Panera bagels. Honestly, how do you say no to a Panera bagel? I tried – but they looked so delicious… plus I didn’t want them to go bad, right? So… I decided I would just have a “healthy” one and grabbed what I thought was a raisin bagel (Raisins are healthy, right?). Wrong. I bit into it and those little morsels were actually chocolate chips. Oops. Oh well, it was awesome.

"Raisin" Bagel

Later: Someone brought in a home-made double-layered banana cake with chocolate icing… I know this is supposed to be a “healthy living” blog, but I just didn’t have the will-power to pass up cake either. Again, it was awesome.

Thankfully it was BEAUTIFUL outside today – which totally motivated me to workout after work.

It's finally warm 🙂

As per usual, Wednesdays = YMCA for Spinning 🙂

My Wednesday Workout

  • 1 mile on the treadmill (7:03 min/mile, 8.5 MPH)
  • Bicep curls & Tricep extensions with 10 lb weights
  • 50 min Spin Class
  • Ab Work
  • 2 miles outside (9:00 min/mile)
Tricep Extensions

Bicep Curls

Spin Class
  • Warm-up
  • 2:00 each (Seated climb, Standing climb, Jumps, Sprint [1:00 on, 30 sec rest, 1:00 on])
  • 1 min rest
  • 2:00 each (Sprint [1:00 on, 30 sec rest, 1:00 on], Jumps, Standing climb, Seated climb)
  • 1 min rest
  • 3 x [Sprint, Seated climb, Standing run, Standing climb, Jumps] @ 45 sec each, 1:00 each, 1:00 each
  • Warm-down
And now it’s definitely time for bed. I’m hoping to do a hill work-out tomorrow… and avoid any left-over cake 😉 ha Do you guys have any office temptations that you just can’t resist?
%d bloggers like this: