Tag Archives: Spinning

Belated Weekend ReCap

27 Jul

Well if there’s been any common theme with me lately, it’s that I’m extremely busy and haven’t been able to post regularly. But I guess that makes the days I do post even more exciting, right? Lucky for you, tonight I’ve decided to make time and finally recap my amazing weekend for you – it was just too good to go without mentioning 🙂

I decided to celebrate my upcoming 24th Birthday this past weekend – so I invited a bunch of friends to visit for the weekend and go out on Saturday night. I didn’t really expect many out-of-town friends to come… but my best friend, Maranie, decided to surprise me and just show up at my door Friday afternoon 🙂 Best surprise ever!! I was just starting to get really depressed about how none of my friends from home ever visit or talk to me or care about me anymore, so having her surprise me pretty much made my weekend.

[Dan & Ken – you two are the exception, you always visit. Love you both!]

Instead of celebrating our reunion with drinks & dinner, we decided to celebrate by doing what we love best – working out. It’s awesome to have friends who enjoy the same things you do! We had an obnoxiously sweaty spin class – and then got dinner from our local Wegman’s. So typical for us.

Since we knew we’d be going out Saturday night, we decided to head out to Kelly Drive on Saturday morning for some running / jogging / walking / “forward motion” in Philadelphia. The day started out at a “cool” 95 degrees, so the first two miles of our run along Kelly Drive weren’t bad at all. We ran to the Art Museum and then continued to walk around Philadelphia and do all of the touristy things one should do in the city 🙂

Overlooking Waterworks on the Schuylkill River

Pictures from the top of the “Rocky Steps”

Rocky himself.

Love Park

We also wandered around Reading Terminal Market and got some amazing fresh produce to re-fuel for our 4.5 mile journey back to my car…

Overall we ran / walked 9 miles around Philadelphia with a heat index of about 110. I thought I was going to spontaneously combust.

After my body temperature cooled down to normal, we headed back and stopped at the King of Prussia mall on the way home. I’m sure all of those high-end shoppers enjoyed the smelly sweaty messes we were. Oh well. I needed a birthday outfit. Success.

By the time we arrived home, some of my other amazing friends were arriving – and we all got ready to head out to Manayunk for dinner & drinks.

I rarely go out in Manayunk because it’s a bit far for me – but I wanted to meet up with friends in the city – so off we went. We had dinner at Manayunk Brewery – which is an awesome restaurant… but not so much when they have been out of power all day and the inside of their building is at a stifling 87 degrees. I guess it beats the outside temperature of 110.

I loved seeing so many of my friends – so thank you to everyone who came out 🙂 It means a lot!

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 🙂

 

Athena

18 Jul

So when I sign up for races, I usually sign up in my respective “age group” division. I figure it’s my only option, as being that I’m certainly not elite and the idea of being an “Athena” or heavy-weight athlete didn’t seem to be something I’d qualify for… even though I could definitely be pretty competitive in that division. With that in mind, I decided to click around and see what constituted the Athena status for a race I was looking at.

“Female participants weighing more than 140 pounds can compete for the Lady Athena title”

140 pounds is a heavyweight!?! Say what? As being that my normal weight fluctuates between 138 & 142, I’d venture to say that I could compete for the Lady Athena title if I ate a big dinner the night before the race. Personally, I find this hilarious. I’m 5’5″ and I have a lot of muscle on me, but by no means am I a “heavy-weight” athlete.

Tomorrow, I think I’ll elaborate on why I think women’s fixation on weight is ridiculous – but for today, let me just say that I’m 140 and if that makes me a heavy-weight, then I’m damn proud bitches.

Today’s Work-Out: Spin + Lift

  • Warm-up
  • 5 minutes of seated climb – adding resistance every 30 seconds until you can’t pedal anymore – then come up to a stand and continue to add every 30 seconds
  • 2 min each x [seated climb, standing run, jumps]
  • 2 x 1:00 sprint with 30 seconds standing run (active recovery) in between
  • Recovery
  • 2 x 1:00 sprint with 30 seconds standing run (active recovery) in between
  • 2 min each x [jumps, standing run, seated climb]
  • Intervals – 1:00 each x [sprint, seated climb, standing run, standing climb, jumps] followed by the same set at 1:15.
  • Cool-down
  • Total: 15 miles
Have a fabulous week everyone!

Putting a Price on Healthy

30 Jun

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard that obesity is on the rise – not only in the US, but around the world. And since you’re reading a blog on healthy living, I’m going to imagine that this disgusts you. (As it should). Not only does this whole obesity thing disgust me – it flat out pisses me off.

For some reason, a burger in this country costs more than a salad. I wish someone could explain this one to me. You’re telling me that it cost more to grow that head of lettuce than it did to feed that cow, butcher it, process it, and fry it up into some greasy patty of “meat”? Doubtful. Nonetheless, I can walk into a McDonald’s right now and pick up a double cheeseburger, small fries, and a small Coke for $3. THREE DOLLARS. Cheap. Cheap. Cheap. Meanwhile, if I want to order one of their McHealthy salads, it’s gonna cost me $4-$5 depending on the location. Seriously!? Why do they punish people that are trying to live a healthy lifestyle?

I’d also like to point out that when I was on a business trip recently, I stopped at a McDonald’s in the morning for some breakfast, under the assumption that they had a low-fat yogurt / granola concoction (I had no idea where I was and McDonald’s was the only place I could find). I was wrong. This McDonald’s only served coffee and breakfast sandwiches. Since I was starving, I ordered an orange juice and an Egg McMuffin. That “sandwich” reeked so horrifically that I threw it out, headed over to the local gas station and bought a ridiculously over-priced granola bar for breakfast. Lesson learned.

But since I plan to never walk into a McDonald’s again, I’m going to shift gears. Apparently Salad Works is the latest craze. They offer super healthy options and make-it-yourself type deals which sounds great to me. Except that they charge you like $57.26 for a salad. Wait, you wanted a scoop of almonds on your salad? That will be an additional $2.50  (I’m exaggerating, but it’s expensive!) So as much as I’d enjoy a nice, quick salad for an on-the-go option, I’m not about to spend as much on a small salad as I would spend to go to a sit-down restaurant.

Even at the grocery store – produce is one of the most expensive things I buy! And if you want organic produce, you’re going to pay even more! But if I decided that I just wanted to live off of Pop-Tarts, Ramen noodles, Easy Mac, and chicken fingers, I think I’d easily save about $300/month. It’s ridiculous.

Luckily, I have a good job and I can afford to eat foods that I feel good about. But this brings me around to my original point – obesity pisses me off because it’s kind of being forced upon the lower class. Some people can’t afford healthy food. They can’t afford to buy fresh produce at the market. They have to buy greasy burgers off of the dollar menu and options like Easy Mac at the grocery store. And while there’s absolutely no excuse for laziness (at the very least, people can take walks everyday) this epidemic isn’t going to disappear until eating healthy becomes affordable.

With that said, I had an amazing home-made healthy dinner last night (and even Steve enjoyed it, so win-win).

  • Red Quinoa & Mahogany Rice – cooked as per directions
  • Chopped zucchini, portabello mushroom, some sweet peppers, and onion, satueed in olive oil, teryaki sauce, lemon juice, and topped with minced ginger
  • Gardein chicken for me – and normal chicken for Steve
  • Throw it all together.

Wednesday Workout:  Spin & Lift

  • Warm-up
  • Intervals: 1st set at 45 sec, 2nd set at 1:00, 3rd set at 1:15 [Sprint, Seated, Standing, Hover, Jumps]
  • 1 min Seated, 1 min Hover, 30 sec sprint
  • 2 min Seated, 2 min Hover, 30 sec sprint
  • 3 min Seated, 3 min Hover, 30 sec sprint
  • Rolling hills [Seated, Standing Hover] repeats
  • Cool-down
What’s your favorite *affordable* healthy meal / snack?

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?


Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

26 Jun

Hopefully you all had a great weekend! I can’t complain too much about mine, except for the 23082345 things I want to get done before tonight. It happens. Anyways – here’s a quick re-cap!

I jump-started my weekend with an early morning spin class on Saturday.

Spin

  • Warm-up
  • 2x [2 minutes seated climb**, 2 minutes standing climb**, 2 minutes jumps**, 1 minute sprint, 30 seconds standing run recovery, 1 minute sprint, 30 second rest]
  • 2 minutes seated climb**, 30 second push, 1 minute seated climb, 30 second push, 30 second seated climb, 30 second push, 1 minute rest
  • 2 minutes jumps, 2 minutes seated climb**, 2 minutes standing climb** , 30 second push, 2 minutes standing climb, 2 minutes seated climb, 2 minute standing run
  • Cool-down
  • [** – Add resistance every minute]

And then I headed out to the pool for some sun & relaxation… and reading. I’ve been wanting to read ‘The Jungle’ by Upton Sinclair for a long time, so I finally had the time to get through about the 1st 10 chapters. 

First of all, so far I love it – in one of those ‘this-is-incredibly-disturbing’ kind of ways.  If you don’t know already, this book follows a Lithuanian family trying to make their way in America by working in the stockyards of Chicago in the early 1900’s. This book also inspired the 1906  Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. Needless to say – it’s gruesome and disgusting. If you’ve ever considered a vegetarian diet, but needed some extra inspiration – read this book. I’ve never been so glad that I don’t eat meat. (Conversely, if you eat meat, at least you know now that there are strict rules on the cleanliness of your meat?) Even aside from the whole meat-eating aspect, it’s a really emotional story involving the working class of early America, immigration, political corruption, and lots of history. In short- go read it.

In other news, you should probably also make these cupcakes ASAP.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

  • 1.5c self-rising flour
  • 4 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1c powdered sugar
  • 1c (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. mint extract
  • 0.5c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325° – Sift together flour, cocoa powder & baking powder in a medium bowl – Beat sugar & butter in a separate large bowl until smooth – Add eggs 1 at a time beating well – Slowly add flour mixture & stir until well combined – Stir in mint extract & chocolate chips – Spoon mixture into cupcake liners & bake for 18-20 min.

 

Oh and buy one of these Kitchenaid mixtures. It’s life-altering. Never mind that they cost ~ $300.

Mint Frosting

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. mint extract
  • Green food coloring
  • Chocolate chips

Beat butter & sugar until smooth & creamy – Stir in mint extract & enough green food coloring to tint the frosting to a mint green color – Spread on cooled cupcakes & top with chocolate chips!

SHARE & enjoy. (No one needs 18 cupcakes to themselves)

Speaking of sharing… I should probably share my findings at the Pepperidge Farms outlet shop.

Was it necessary for me to buy 6 boxes of Milano’s? Probably not. But they were cheap… and I’m obsessed.

Anyways – I have a lot to catch up on before the week starts (and I’ll hopefully fit in a run when it cools off this evening) so have a delightful Sunday evening!

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?

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