Tag Archives: Running

SheRox Triathlon

8 Aug

I did it! I completed my first triathlon! It was the hardest thing I have ever done – but I did it – and I will certainly be doing another. Let’s re-cap, shall we?

SheRox Philadelphia: All-women’s triathlon in Fairmount park consisting of a .37-mile swim / 15.5 mile bike / 3.1 mile run. “She swims, she rides, she runs, she rocks!” I loved that my first triathlon was a women’s only tri that really catered to first-timers. It was the perfect environment. Everyone was friendly and helpful and had a lot of the same nervousness that I did.

Wake-up call: 4:15 am. Not really ideal. I don’t think the 4am wake-up calls will ever get easier. Especially since I get pre-race anxiety about over-sleeping. I seriously had a dream that I missed the whole event. I didn’t.

Arrival: It was still dark, but there were hundreds of people & bikes & craziness. I got intimidated really fast, especially when some girls had bikes that were more expensive than my car. I’m not joking. There was a long walk from the parking lot to the transition area, and when we got there, I was shocked at how much went into it all. Everything was really well organized and looked awesome. It really got me excited, and everyone was so helpful that it really calmed my nerves. I got there really early, set up my little area, drank some Skinny Water… and walked around for a while to warm up. I didn’t feel like running or biking or anything, I just wanted to soak it all in.

Swim: Well, I’m a swimmer – so I wasn’t really worried about the swim. It was 600 meters (so about 24 lengths of a high school pool). I always envisioned the start to be a mass start where everyone runs into the water and starts swimming – but it was actually really well organized into waves and we started in the water. When it was my turn, my wave entered the water and treaded in place until the horn went off. The water was 78 degrees, so it was perfect. I got a spot right in the front too, so I didn’t have to fight anyone right off the bat. Once the horn went off, I was shocked at how fast some girls went out. They were like all-out sprinting, which isn’t what I anticipated. But I joined right in and swam really hard. I also swam off-course quite a bit, given that this was my first open-water swim ever… and I only breathe to one side – so I never looked the other way. Once I looked around and decided I swam pretty far out of my way, I wasted a lot of time & energy getting back on track – but oh well. Next time I know to look both ways. I also noticed near the end that my cap had fallen right off my head. I don’t understand why this always happens to me! I wanted to keep that thing as a memento!! Ugh. Luckily, my hair was tight enough that it didn’t really affect my swim. My swim time- 13:30 (32nd overall)

Transition 1: I kinda took my time here so I could have a little bit of rest before the bike. Plus, I wasn’t trying to win the event, just have a good time finishing my first tri. I dried off my feet the best I could, grabbed a quick drink, turned on my Garmin, put on my socks & shoes, snapped on my helmet, grabbed my bike, and jogged to the bike start. No big deal. My T1 time- 2:16 (211th overall)

Bike: I’m so glad I was in one of the first waves for the bike because the course wasn’t very crowded at all. It was so refreshing and beautiful. I originally figured I’d try to maintain 15mph (4 min/miles) but I quickly decided that I could go a lot faster – so I sped it up significantly. I felt crazy strong on the bike because I kept passing all kinds of people. I crushed the hills. I was feeling great! What wasn’t great was my shoes slipping around the pedals because everything was wet from the rain. The course was a 2-loop course – and the 2nd loop was a lot more annoying because more people were on the course at that point. I still felt like I was passing way more people than were passing me though, so that was positive. Obviously, some girls in like USA jerseys & bikes with the tires all filled in zoomed past me, but whatever. I’m not pro. I saw Steve a few times on this portion and I loved it. I waved & smiled & was just having a grand time. My bike time – 56:11 (16.6MPH – 289th overall)

Transition 2: Well, this should have been an easy transition, because I didn’t have to change my shoes or anything – I just had to throw on a shirt that had my bib on it. Unfortunately, my shoes were soaking wet. Yuck. I re-racked my bike, ditched the helmet, threw on my tank top, and wearily jogged to the run start. My T2 time – 1:45 (253rd overall)

Run: Never in my life have I had a harder run. I forgot to save energy for this part of the race. Plus, my shoes were soaked so they were heavy, squishy, and just insanely annoying. The humidity was also horrendous. It must have been about 90% humidity. I had my Garmin with me, but I refused to look at it, because I was convinced that I was going about 12 minute miles. I actually stopped completely at the first aid station (mile 1) and drank my Gatorade while walking. It was necessary. Shockingly, not too many people passed me – granted, people were definitely passing me – but I guess everyone is pretty worn down at this point, so no one was sprinting on by. I kept it going as strong as I could, and just tried to push through, even though I felt like I was going nowhere. I finally saw the crowd pick up and could see the finish line ahead… so I started speeding up, and when I was super close, I tried my best to sprint to the finish. I saw Steve & my little brother at the finish line & heard the announcer saying my name and it was just glorious. I MADE IT. My run time- 28:24 (9:10 min/mile, 267th overall)

My official time – 1:42:06  (9/61 age 20-24, 109/933 overall)

Thoughts looking back: I’m really proud of myself for finally signing up & doing a triathlon! I’ve always wanted to do one, I was just too nervous. Now I know there’s nothing to be nervous about.  I think that 109 out of 933 is awesome for my first-ever attempt at a triathlon. I know I can do better, but I can’t complain. What makes me mad looking back is how amazing I did in the swim, but how poorly I did in the other two events. I know I can swim faster. I just have to stay on course – I probably wasted a solid minute just going in the wrong direction. I know I can bike faster, I just need to practice. I also really wanted to run 8 minute miles… which didn’t happen. I definitely died on the run. I think the humidity played a huge factor, but so did my soaking wet shoes. Next time, I’ll use cycling shoes and have dry shoes for running. But otherwise, my tri tank & tri shorts worked perfectly. I’m glad I bought them, even if they were crazy expensive and I didn’t wait to buy the tank in pink. One day I will have a hot pink tri outfit. Just not today. Overall, despite wanting to die on the run – I had a lot of fun, and I definitely can’t wait to do more so that I can do even better!

Advice to myself for the future

  1. Learn to use cycling shoes with the clip-less pedals. My shoes slid around way too much on the pedals.
  2. Bring extra socks. My socks were so wet from the bike. I wish I had a dry pair to run in.
  3. Make sure running shoes are dry. This would have happened if I wouldn’t have biked in my running shoes.
  4. Do more brick work-outs. I need to train my body to run after I bike.
  5. Don’t use a water bottle with a screw-on top. You don’t have time to screw off the cap of your water bottle while biking. I need the thing where I can put a water bottle on my handlebars and just drink right out of a straw in front of my face.
  6. Bike faster. I felt strong on the bike, but obviously I can improve a lot here as I finished 259th overall. I do a lot of spin classes, but I need to incorporate more outdoor rides to get faster.
  7. Faster transitions. I took my time during transitions because I wanted to recover, which I’m fine with for my first triathlon – but in the future, this is an easy way to cut off some time.
A huge thank you goes out to my wonderful husband, Steve, for waking up with me at 4:15, driving me into Philadelphia, cheering for me, taking all of my pictures, and just being super supportive all the time. I love you!
Another huge thank you goes out to my little brother, Tyler, and his friend, Greg, for actually waking up early, driving all the way into the city, and being there for me at the finish! It meant so much to have people cheering for me and there for me when I finished my tri. Thank you so much!!

Weekly Work-Outs

21 Jul

I have a lot to get done tonight… so I’m saving Part 2 of my “Friends” post for another day. But I wanted to quickly re-cap my work-outs for the week!

Tuesday Work-Out: Run

  • 2.8 miles
  • This is pretty laughable in terms of distance, but it started pouring and Steve happened to pass me driving home from work, so I just got in and called it a day.
  • I thought the rain would be a nice break from the ~100 degree heat, and it was, but I totally wimped out anyways. Lame sauce.
  • I didn’t have my Garmin (since it was raining) – so I don’t know my pace.
Wednesday Work-Out: Swim AM, Spin + Lift PM

  • Warm-Up: 200 SKIPS  [200 each x Swim, Kick, IM, Pull, Swim]
  • 6 x [100 pull on 1:30 + 50 sprint on 1:00, finishing each sprint in ~35 seconds]
  • 100 Easy
  • 500 Pull on 7:30
  • 200 Kick [With kickboard]
  • 200 IM [Trying to go sub-3:00, touched in 2:59]
  • 200 Pull on 3:00
  • 200 Easy
  • Total = 3,300 yards
  • Spin
  • I can’t remember the exact work-out, but here were my favorite sets
  • 1 min seated climb, 30 sec standing run, 1:30 seated climb, 30 sec standing run, 2 min seated climb, 30 sec standing run, 2:30 seated climb, 30 sec standing run, 3 min seated climb [Increase resistance each minute of the seated climbs]
  • 5 x [20 sec sprint, 30 sec heavy resistance seated, 10 sec recovery]
  • Lift
  • In addition to bi’s & tri’s (as always) I incorporated more back, shoulder, & chest moves and increased the weight.
Thursday: Rest & get work done!

I need to get everything done tonight so I can enjoy celebrating my 24th birthday this weekend! Hooray for friends, drinks, and good times. 

I’ll be sure to throw together a Flashback Friday post tomorrow too – so if there’s any part of my wedding planning you’re interested in seeing, let me know 🙂


Midnight Madness Run

17 Jul

Despite the fact that I didn’t see Harry Potter (still don’t want to either) – didn’t go to the beach – and didn’t venture up to Penn State for a weekend of debauchery – I had an amazing weekend. Here’s a quick re-cap.

1st Kayak Trip Ever! Our friends invited us to join them for an afternoon kayaking trip down the Brandywine River. Who knew there was a little country-bumpkin place about 20 minutes away that offered kayak / canoe / tube rentals? This is probably the best news I’ve ever heard. Anyways – it was a lot of fun, even though it hasn’t rained in forever and the water was maybe 1 inch deep in certain spots, so we had to get out and walk our canoes downstream. Also – I may be the only person to FLIP their kayak while floating down an extremely calm, 1 inch deep river. I’m not joking. I flipped the damn thing. What a joke. I’m just walking entertainment, people. I wish I had pictures to share, but the whole idea of taking a camera out into the water seemed like a poor choice (and I was obviously right, given the flippage of my kayak). Ugh. But trust me, it was awesome.

1st Time Cooking Spaghetti Squash! As I was wandering around the produce department at Wegman’s, I saw some spaghetti squash and decided to finally  try it out. My mom gave me a recipe called “Confetti Spaghetti Squash” and I was good to go – well minus the whole cutting the damn thing in half. Does anyone have suggestions as to how to cut a spaghetti squash? Or should I buy an axe? Anyways – once it was cut in half (and I got my arm work-out in for the day) it was ridiculously easy. I baked the squash for 40 minutes and then proceeded to watch magic happen.

Seriously, it’s just like spaghetti. It’s the most peculiar thing I’ve ever seen. I added in some sauteed zucchini, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and seasonings (and Steve cooked up some tilapia) – and I had myself a whole new dinner.

I really enjoyed this dish – although it could have used a bit more seasoning. Next time I think I’ll cook it with some white cooking wine or perhaps some lemon juice. It was good, just could have used a bit more flavor. But honestly, if you’ve never had spaghetti squash, try it. It’s exciting.

Back on My Feet Midnight Madness Run! I decided a few months ago to just sign up for every race I could find, and so I decided that a race at midnight in downtown Philadelphia was a great idea… Not gonna lie, yesterday at 9pm when I had to get ready to leave, I was wondering why the hell I signed up for it. My normal bed-time is midnight. Parking in Philadelphia is a bitch. I haven’t been training for an 8.4 mile run (or any length run for that matter). But I packed up all of my glow-in-the-dark gear, put on my neon pink shorts, and headed out into Philadelphia with Steve. Surprisingly, parking was ridiculously easy – and once we were parked, we heard music blaring and saw people everywhere. I was shocked at how big of an event the ’20 in 24 Back of My Feet’ event was! The relay teams doing the entire 24-hour event were camped out all around Lloyd Hall, hanging out in tents, having a good time. And all the midnight runners were decked out in glow-in-the-dark gear. There were a ton of people, lots of music, a great crowd. It was awesome! I really want to get more people together next year! Plus, I really love the ‘Back on My Feet‘ organization, so it was a good choice.

After hanging out for a while & taking in the sights – we were finally ready to go (at midnight)


The course was an 8.4-mile loop on Kelly Drive and West River Drive, following the Schuylkill River. I’ve always wanted to run this loop – so why not at midnight, right? They did a great job of having bike escorts and police stationed along the course – and also had abundant water stops for the runners. Since we were running the opposite direction as the 24-hour relay & ultra marathon runners, it was also great to cheer them on & have them give us encouragement in return. I loved it. The course was obviously really crowded at the start, but after the 1st mile, it really opened up & for a long time, Steve & I were kind of on our own.

I had a set a goal a while back to finish the loop in 1:15.00 – holding about an 8:30 pace. (I previously ran a half-marathon at a 9:00 pace, and I wanted to crush that). I checked my Garmin throughout the race, and we actually kept up our ~8:30 pace really well! I was proud that I didn’t start too fast or burn out at the end. Even though my right leg (hip flexor / outside hip) has been really hurting lately. Around mile 7, it got pretty painful, but then I saw this beautiful sight.

Garmin Distance / Time: 8.63 miles in 1:13.55 (8:34 min/mile)

Event Distance / Time: 8.46 miles in 1:14.25 (8:47 min/mile)

Either way – I finished in under 1:15! Booya. I’d also like to go with my Garmin, because this event wasn’t timed with a chip, so my start time was a bit different than the actual start time (I started in the back). I know half of you reading this could finish that distance in under an hour, and probably another half of you might struggle to finish this distance at all – but that’s not important. What’s important to me is that I hit my goal time! I pushed through my leg pain & really picked up my pace at the 8 mile mark to make sure I hit my goal. Woohoo!

Haha Sorry these pictures are so ghetto. I didn’t think that bringing my nice camera into Philadelphia at midnight was a great idea – and this was the best my cell phone could do. Deal with it.

Hope you all had a great weekend as well!

For real, suggestions on cutting spaghetti squash!?!

Have you ever done a race at some ridiculously random time like midnight!?

My Feelings on the 4th of July

5 Jul

Sorry I’ve been MIA recently. I was at the beach this holiday weekend and had extremely spotty cell service. Surprisingly, it was kind of refreshing not to be so reliant on my phone and it’s social networking capabilities. Maybe I should turn it off every once in a while… (Who am I kidding? That’s not going to happen) Anyways – I’ll fill you in on my weekend now.

Steve & I went away to the beach this weekend – in Breezy Point, NY. I definitely had a great weekend catching up with friends & family, and enjoying the ocean – but I had a bit of a rough time with the whole eating healthy & exercising aspect of my long weekend…

I struggle a lot mentally when I don’t work out. I’m fully aware that my appearance didn’t change over the weekend… but I just feel awful. When I drink alcohol, I feel bloated and uncomfortable. When I skip a work-out, I feel lazy and guilty all day. If I eat some “non-Jess” foods, I feel sick to my stomach. You’d think that all of these feelings would be a constant reminder to drink less, work out more, and eat normally, but it’s never that easy.

Eating “non-Jess” foods really does mess with my entire body. I honestly don’t think too much about what I eat when I’m home. I buy foods I enjoy, I cook meals that I like, and I feel good, both mentally and physically! But apparently the foods I buy aren’t exactly “normal” to the average family. Before leaving for the beach, I actually went to Wegman’s to buy food to take with me. I picked up some soy milk, cereal, Chobani yogurt, granola, cherries, and Sun Chips. I also brought up some tuna & salmon. If Steve wouldn’t have told me to do this, I would have been SOL all weekend. I didn’t realize how much other people rely on fried eggs & bacon for breakfast, lunch meat for lunch, and beef for dinner. I guess to most people, this is completely normal. But for me – those meals are completely out of the question. And because of it, my stomach felt off all weekend. Ugh.

I stuck to my own food as much as possible, but I there were some discrepancies. For breakfast, I had some scrambled eggs. I love eggs and have no problem eating them – but these eggs were fried in bacon fat and included the whole egg. I normally make egg white omelets over margarine. So my stomach wasn’t happy. For lunch one afternoon, we went out to a Thai restaurant – and while I normally enjoy a curry dish with tofu & rice, I decided to try Pad Thai. It was good – but it was cooked in so much oil that my stomach was in revolt the rest of the day. And when my stomach is upset, I’m upset and I don’t want to be around other people. Luckily, for dinner I made up salmon on the grill while everyone else enjoyed bbq chicken, ribs, and filet mignon. Call me crazy, but I thoroughly enjoyed my salmon! I’m not posting this to make anyone feel bad about what they eat… I’m posting it to show how much my body is aware of what I feed it. If I don’t stick to a routine, there are some serious issues.

My highlighted eat of the trip: MooLaLa frozen yogurt. It’s one of those build-it-yourself type places where you pick your flavor & toppings and pay by weight. My concoction – vanilla frozen yogurt, mango, granola, and almonds. It was amazing. (I don’t care if vanilla is “plain,” it’s the best)

I also had all intentions of working out… it just didn’t work out so well. I was planning to take Saturday off – and wake up early Sunday for a bike ride along the shore. Except it rained all day Sunday. Not exactly biking weather. So then I was determined to go for a run on Monday morning – which I did, for about a mile. I was drenched in sweat about 5 minutes into the run because the humidity was pushing 110%. Not fun. So we ran as far as we could, ran straight to the ocean, and walked the whole way home.

Did I mention that the beach is attached to a bird sanctuary? We saw this sign running to the beach and largely ignored it – until we were getting dive bombed by the most insane birds I’ve ever seen…

Unfortunately I didn’t take a lot of pictures this weekend, but we definitely had a blast. We got to see almost all of Steve’s family – his grandparents, aunts & uncles,  and cousins. We got to meet up with Ken (our Best Man) and finally meet his new girlfriend Sam. We met up with Brenna (Steve’s best friend from childhood) & her sister Lauren. We watched fireworks over the Bay with beers in our hands. I got to catch up on my reading. And I got to spend time with my husband 🙂

Despite some minor setbacks in my stomach’s ability to handle food, it was a perfect weekend. I wish I could stay at the beach all summer and forget this whole “real world” thing. Ew. At least it’s a short week, right? Tomorrow I’m gonna get right back into the whole workout routine & start getting serious about my triathlon on August 7th 🙂  But for now, I’m off to bed. Sweet dreams.

Do you find that your whole body feels off when you change up your diet?

How do you maintain “normal” eating when you’re on vacation?

Married Life

28 Jun

Apparently people have some really big misconceptions about married life. No worries. I’m here to set the record straight.

Misconception #1:  As soon as you get married, you’re going to start poppin’ out babies the next day.

  • Seriously, you don’t need to plan my baby shower as soon as you take down the wedding decorations people. I’m 23. Do I look like I want to lug around a baby inside of me for the next 9 months? No. I want to run a marathon in 9 months. Do I look like I want to give up alcohol for 9 months? I don’t think I’m currently able to live without wine for 9 days. Do you think my biological clock is going to run out tomorrow? I don’t. So if you have the urge to hold a newborn baby and pinch its cheeks and make weird baby noises, YOU can get pregnant and have a child all of your own! (No offense to any moms or moms-to-be out there. It’s just not the time for babies in my life)

Misconception #2: All of the sudden, your favorite new hobby is “married couple things” with your new husband.

  • I’m still trying to figure out what “married couple things” are. Do you think Steve and I now enjoy staying in, eating popcorn, and watching romantic comedies on DVD every weekend?  Or is it that you think we magically found a whole brigade of other married couples that we sit around and play Scattegories with? I’m really not sure. Either way, I can assure you that much like before we got married, we still like going out with friends – regardless of their relationship status.

Misconception #3: You want to bring your husband everywhere.

  • People assume that because I got married, Steve & I must be attached at the hip. That’s a cute assumption, but let’s face it – I spend more time with him than anyone else on the planet now. I think we’ll both live if we do our own separate things for a while. We fell in love because we were two separate people with separate lives to share with each other. If we did everything together, what would we talk about? To be honest, I would LOVE a girls night. Somehow talking to Steve about gossip just isn’t as fun as it is with the girls! So don’t count me out. I won’t bring him, I swear!

So for anyone who wants to ask me “How’s married life!?” don’t expect that it’s much different than engaged life / dating life. My name might be different, but I’m still the same person. Just sayin’.

With that said, I had a solo work-out this evening.

Tuesday Work-out:  RUN

  • 1:00:09 Run – Approx. 6.65 miles – About 9:00 min/mile
  • I decided to do a time goal today instead of a distance goal. I felt pretty strong until about 45 minutes in when I started getting a tight pain in my right leg. (Right along the outside of my hip… any thoughts?)
  • I’m glad I decided to run on a trail because there was A LOT of shade, which was pretty necessary with the heat today. Plus it was a nice change of scenery.
  • My biggest problem with the trail is that my GPS loses signal under the trees so I have no idea if my distance is accurate. Grr.
  • The fact that the last 15 minutes were a struggle just reminds me that I need to get out for some longer runs. Especially with my half-marathon this fall.

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?

I am NOT a Girly Girl

23 Jun

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a girly girl. Not even close. I can probably count on 1 hand the amount of times I’ve put on make-up in the past year. Unless Blistex counts – because I’m addicted to it. Actually, the only make-up I own is from high school. I have blue eye shadow from my freshman year high school homecoming dance. It’s probably not even good anymore, but I keep it around for good measure. I once had to buy mascara (I thought it would make me look more mature on job interviews) and called my dad from the store asking what the hell the difference between ‘black’ and ‘blackest black’ was. He didn’t know either, for the record. I don’t know how to walk in heels, and I don’t pretend to either. The highest heels I own are under an inch tall.  I don’t own a hair straightener. If my hair dryer doesn’t do the trick, my hair is probably going to be curly. Actually, 90% of the time, I just pull my hair back into a bun and go to work with my hair still wet. I just don’t have the will power to wake up 30 minutes earlier to do this shit!

So… it’s probably no surprise that I don’t get my hair done either. I don’t feel like keeping it up. Salons are freakin’ expensive! And I’m lazy. Good thing my hair grows like grass, right? I was talking to my friend Jess today about hair, and she actually just did a similar post – so I thought I’d share my hair journey here because I think it’s funny.  (And pssh to you if you don’t – but for real, I have some funny pictures)

  • Baby me: Blonde little curls

  • Elementary School me: Inspired by the Hanson brothers and MMMBop apparently

  • 10th grade me: Obviously too lazy to do anything useful. (Also sportin’ a belly shirt. Nice)

  • 11th grade me: Only haircut I’ll get for the next 6+ years. Also the only time I’ve ever colored my hair. Everyone kept going blonde, so I decided to fight back and go brunette.

  • Senior me: Back to blonde and starting to let it grow…

  • Collegiate Senior me: Obviously didn’t get a hair cut since the last picture about 4 years prior. WTF. Why did I let my hair get this long!??!?

  • Smarter Collegiate Senior me: Finally a haircut (and my natural curls). 14 inches donated.

  • 1 year later me: Seriously, like grass – it won’t stop growing.

  • Today me: Please stop my hair from growing. I like this. 8 inches donated.
Despite my desire to keep my hair the way it is,  I’m sure I’ll give in to my anti-girly ways, wait another year and donate another 8-12 inches of my hair. At least I’m helping others out by being such a lazy tomboy 🙂

On another note…

Thursday Work-out: Run

  • 4.85 miles in 42:53  (8:50 min/mile)
  • I did the first 2 miles at 8:30 min/mile and then slowed down because of the insane humidity and a weird pain in my right leg.
  • I think I need to stop neglecting my runs and just get out there in the heat so my body gets more accustomed to it.
  • I really need to work on being able to run longer than 2 miles at a decent pace. This will require me to actually run longer… ugh.

Any suggestions on how to keep up with my hair without spending a fortune?

Any suggestions as to a new hairstyle?! 

Comparing Myself

22 Jun

I’m pleased to announce that I’m significantly less stressed out than I was last week. I even took yesterday off from working out and relaxed by drinking some blueberry wine and watching Unstoppable. (Amazing movie by the way – I didn’t expect it to be nearly as good or suspenseful as it turned out to be. I recommend it!)

Monday Work-out:  Spin & Lift

  • Cycle Fun!
  • Warm-up
  • 1min seated climb, 2 min standing climb, 30 sec sprint, 30 sec rest
  • 1:30 standing climb, 2:30 seated climb, 30 sec sprint, 30 sec rest
  • 2:00 standing climb, 3:00 seated climb, 30 sec sprint, 30 sec rest
  • 2:30 standing climb, 3:30 seated climb, 30 sec sprint, 30 sec rest
  • 3:00 standing climb, 4:00 seated climb, 30 sec sprint, 30 sec rest
  • 2:30 seated climb, 3:30 standing climb, 30 sec sprint, 30 sec rest
  • 2:00 seated climb, 3:00 standing climb, 30 sec sprint, 30 sec rest
  • Cool down & Stretch

Wednesday Work-out: Run, Spin, Lift

  • Run 0.5 miles eliptical
  • Run 1.5 miles treadmill [Increase speed by 0.2 every 0.1 miles, starting at 6.0 MPH]
  • Spin-o-Rama
  • Warm-up
  • 1:00 seated climb, 2:00 standing climb, 2:00 jumps, 30 sec sprint, rest
  • 2:00 seated climb, 3:00 standing climb, 2:00 jumps, 30 sec sprint, rest
  • 2:30 seated climb, 3:30 standing climb, 2:00 jumps, 30 sec sprint, rest
  • 3:00 seated climb, 4:00 standing climb, 2:00 jumps, 30 sec sprint, rest
  • 45 sec each x [sprint, seated climb, standing run, standing climb, jumps]
  • 1:00 each x [sprint, seated climb, standing run, standing climb, jumps]
  • Cool-down & Stretch

Now as for this whole comparison thing. It’s really hard not to compare myself with all of the other bloggers who post race results and work-outs. I know this is ridiculous / pointless / not going to get me anywhere, but I still do it. So here are a few things I know I have to keep in mind whenever I get into these “I suck compared to everyone else” funks.

  1. I’m training for 3 sports with the ultimate goal of a triathlon, so I can’t compare my run times to people who run 6 days a week.
  2. I’m probably not running the same courses as other people. I live in Pennsylvania – there are hills here. Chances are if I lived somewhere flat, I could run faster.
  3. I don’t follow the same training plans so I’m not at the same place in my training as everyone else. If I trained properly with speed work-outs and a pre-race taper, I’m sure I could PR.
  4. I just recently started cycling. I need a lot more practice before I can even start to compare my pace. (I should also probably some of my indoor cycling outdoors…)
  5. And just to pat myself on the back – with my swimming background, I can probably rock 90% of you in the pool 😉 so I always have that to boost my confidence

So I think I’m going to set some personal goals soon – with my #1 goal being to rock my first triathlon on August 7. Woo!

What are your fitness goals right now?

How do you deal with comparing yourself to others?


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 😉

Disturbingly Interesting

14 Jun

[Sorry I fell behind in blogging this weekend / today. I’ve been crazy busy – but here’s a weekend recap for good measure ;)]

Having friends visit for the weekend always gives me a reason to explore Philadelphia (since we never seem to do so when it’s just Steve and I).  Lucky for me, one of my best friends from Penn State came down to visit this past weekend!

Dan was pretty excited to have his picture show up on my blog 😉

Since I was having a rough week at work… I decided to take my rest day from any form of working out and make myself some mojitos. Win. When it came time to eat, the boys ordered themselves some pizza (with Mogli’s help of course)…

and I heated up some left-over tofu fajitas. I realize I am subjecting myself to ridicule by posting this – just as much ridicule as I got while actually eating this. Pssh haters – my fajitas were bad-ass.

And just because I didn’t do any formal kind of work-out doesn’t mean I didn’t work up a sweat playing PS3 Sports Champions! haha Seriously, it’s awesome. If you have PS3, get the ‘Move’ package – and then play Bocce and tell me you’re not addicted. Steve prefers Gladiator Duel – but to each his own, eh?

Since I took my rest day Friday – I decided that I needed to drag my lazy self out the door for a run before I went out for the day. There was probably 537% humidity outside, but it wasn’t terrible. I set out to do 4 miles – and then I passed an animal rescue fair that was taking place in a field by the sidewalk I run along. I think it’s safe to say I stopped… and then dragged Steve and Dan back to the fair after I was done and showered.

Saturday’s Workout

  • 4 miles in 34:30 (8:37 min/mile)
Backing up – I am such a sucker when it comes to animals. I love cats. I just want to hug all of them. But that’s crazy – I can’t hug every cat!! (For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about – PLEASE watch this video, you won’t be disappointed. Crazy Cat Lady) Anyways – I’m not psychotic, but I do love animals. Mogli was rescued from the SPCA, and I’ve always wondered if he wanted a little brother or sister. Look at this little kitten that OBVIOUSLY wants to be adopted (by me, preferably)

Tell me that isn’t the cutest thing you’ve ever seen!? Bah. I think my new career option is just volunteering full-time at an animal shelter.
After my detour at the animal rescue fair, we made our way into the City of Brother Love!

After some amazing treats at the Reading Terminal Market (including a vegan chocolate cupcake!), we ventured off to find the Mutter Museum. Their tagline is “Disturbingly Interesting” and they weren’t messing around. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside – but imagine a wall full of skulls, a 40lb colon, the skeleton of a giant (7’8″) next to the skeleton of a midget prostitute… and some other insane medical anomalies. If you ever find yourself wandering around Philadelphia and want to see some really effed up medical stuff, you should definitely visit the Mutter Museum. 

And to round things out for the evening, we met up with friends for a few drinks before heading to a surprise birthday party!

Sorry my weekend catch-up was a bit late – but hopefully I get back into a schedule after a few more crazy days at work…

Question: Do you think Mogli needs a little brother? (I really need to decide if I should officially adopt the aforementioned kitten :))

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