A Huge “Duh” Moment

You know when people give you the same advice over and over and over again, and you just think to yourself, “I KNOW ALREADY! GEEZ!”? That has always been me, so you’re not alone. (And if you honestly listen and implement every bit of advice you’re given, you are inhuman and should donate your brain to medical science.) But, one fateful day when I decided to give one piece of running advice a chance, I unfortunately showed myself that all of those people had been right all along. Continue reading

I’m a Bad Mudder (Shut Yo’ Mouth!)

I’m taking a quick break from food and paleo-related posts to make an announcement of seemingly un-epic proportion, but one that I feel is epic for me:

You may have noticed a new item in my blog’s sidebar (and, if not, check it out)… I’m officially registered to do the Boston-area Tough Mudder! A former college classmate of mine shared a link on Facebook for it, saying she’s formed a team and is looking for anyone interested in joining them. I haven’t seen this girl in ages, and I wouldn’t blame her for forgetting who I am, but I’d wanted to do this race ever since I completed the Cincinnati Muidathlon last summer.

The Mudathlon was a ton of fun (even though I got a foot-long cut on my back from barbed wire!), but I did it alone. Also, I didn’t really work on any strength-training, so when it came to the monkey bars, climbing over 7-foot tall walls, and anything else involving upper body strength, I was pretty much screwed.

With nine months ahead of me, I have more than enough time to prepare for this… I hope! Even so, I’m pretty terrified! The difference between the Mudathlon and the Tough Mudder are few, but great: Mudathlon was about 3 miles while the Tough Mudder can be anywhere from 10-13 miles; the Mudathlon obstacles are a challenge but not that hard, while the Tough Mudder obstacles are plentiful, designed by folks in the British Armed Forces (so I’ve been told), and are bit more intense (see here, here and here).

So, I have some strength-training I need to do. My teammates are mostly Crossfit-ers, which is intimidating, but they swear they won’t leave me behind on race day! I still want to prove it to myself that I can at least do one or two monkey bars! Time to get back to BodyRock.TV!

This race isn’t just about being a glorious badass; proceeds go to a good cause. If you’d like, please help out my team by donating to the Wounded Warrior program! Here’s their pledge, to show that they are seriously legit:

To support the needs of injured service men and women, Tough Mudder offers special discounts to participants who raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. The Wounded Warrior Project hopes to achieve the following: 1) To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members. 2) To help injured service members aid and assist each other. 3) To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

Expect updates on my training during the next 9 months!

Too Much, Too Soon

This may be The Queen of Excuses talking, but I think I’ve done too much too soon with my running. In the back of my mind when I signed up for the Intermediate 10K Training Program, I thought it was a bit ambitious. Given that until I started “training” under that regimen, my longest run in the past 6 months was 2 miles; next thing I know, I have to run 4 miles, then 5 miles, then 4 miles again…!

Well, given that my Wednesday 5-miler was a fail (due to a number of reasons), having only run shy of 4 miles, I figured on Thursday I could just extend the scheduled 4-miler by one mile. Easy peasy!

Er… not…

Within the first half mile, my right hamstring was feeling strained. Then my right hip. Next thing I know, at 2.13 miles, I started to walk. I pretty much walked 70% of the way back home, finishing up at a mere 3.7-ish miles. Even after stretching and getting a good night’s rest, my hammy is still quite sensitive. Boo!

So, I’m switching to the Beginner 10K Training Program starting on 6 August. 1.5 miles, 1.5 miles, 2 miles in week one. Much more manageable! The longest run in the program is 10K (6.2 miles) which is on the last week (week 8).

Fail? I think not!

My Latest Intrigue

I’ve heard the term “CrossFit” around the fitness world — stories in the running magazines I read, photos on Facebook of friends in CrossFit classes, and most recently in Reebok commercials on TV. But… what is it??

As usual, Google had the answer! CrossFit is apparently a fitness class that’s sweeping the nation. It seems to be a very military-style workout where you incorporate a lot of different drills in an hour workout. It’s basically circuit-training to the extreme, from what I could tell!

Now, it’s not cheap. In Cincinnati, which is definitely not a big city by any means, the monthly fee for unlimited CrossFit classes is $150… that’s more than my car insurance! In New York City, obviously the largest in the US, it’s really not that much more expensive at $200 per month. I’d think that like everything else, it’d be mind-blowingly pricier to do this kind of thing in the good ol’ NYC, but I guess I’m wrong. (One of the gyms even will do a $999 up-front price for 6 months of unlimited classes, which lowers the monthly bill to about $167, only $17 more than Cincinnati’s! They even do “friendly competitions” and social dinners, all included in the price!)

I’m no stranger to gym memberships or fitness classes. I was once a 15-hour-a-week gym rat, doing Spinning classes at least 3 times a week, Zumba once a week, and other random cardio or circuit-training classes whenever I was in the mood to do so. I stopped going to the gym because the idea of driving 15 minutes to a smelly, hot, humid building to sweat lost its appeal to me. Why not exercise for free by running, climbing stairs at a stadium down the block from my apartment, doing free fitness videos online in my living room, etc.?

So, instead of paying $20/month, driving a half-hour round-trip, sanitizing my hands between machines, waiting in line for a treadmill, and hoping nobody breaks into my locker, I’ve spent maybe a total of $150 out-of-pocket on random, cheap equipment: resistance bands, a couple of dumbbells, and most recently a kettlebell (which came with a free DVD). I’ve also gotten many gifts from family and friends for holidays and birthdays that have added to my little home apartment gym: a stationary bike, a yoga mat, ankle weights, running shoes, DVDs, a jump rope… and, best yet, I can do all of these things in my apartment or in my neighborhood!

But… I really like the idea of CrossFit! I hope that wherever the boy and I end up moving to next (NYC? Boston? NJ? San Diego?), I can save my pennies and join CrossFit. (Hey, the aforementioned NYC location has a deal that two members can join for $300 total per month, a $100 savings… maybe I can convince the boy to do it with me!)

Do any of you do Crossfit? What do you think?

Learning to Run: Part Three

Here’s a quick re-cap before we begin part three: In Part One I was a blob who started (but never finished) the Couch to 5K running program to get my butt off the couch and, in the end, lost about 12 pounds in a matter of 2 months. I then moved to the Cincinnati area, which is where Part Two begins. After 3 months of laziness, beer-drinking, and socializing, I finally moved to California where the sunshine, lack of snow, and healthier feel of the state motivated me to get back on track (even if it did take 6 months to do so)! Unfortunately it’s time for me to move back to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area and bid farewell to the lovely, lovely state of California. Continue reading

Bike + Dine

One of the most fabulous things I’ve done in my 2 years of Cincinnati/Northern KY living was the “Queen City Bike + Dine” back in June.

Now, I’m not a cyclist by any means, but I have a certain friend who is such an enthusiast that not only does he race, but he is the co-founder of a local bike team. It was a lazy Saturday when all I had planned was to do laundry and lounge on the sofa. It was too hot for me to go for a run (or so I told myself) so staying in my shady, yet AC-free, apartment was definitely on my agenda…

…until said friend IMed me on Google asking if I was going to the Bike + Dine. “I’m not a good rider,” I told him; however, he reminded me how his girlfriend (who is also a friend of mine) isn’t a very strong cyclist either. Well, there went my excuse!

The guy behind me in the teal race gear is my aforementioned friend.

Next thing I knew, I was on my bike heading to downtown Cincy to meet up with the gang.

You’ll notice how the event is called Bike + Dine — it’s that last part that was the goal I had throughout the ride. Knowing that I’d be stopping for free food four times throughout the multi-hour ride and that there would be alcohol at the end (!!) kept my motivation going.

And I needed that motivation! The hills… oh, the hills! Much like my running skills, my cycling suffers when going uphill is part of the route. But, there was food!

Burrito from Lime Taqueria in Covington, KY

Thai from Siam Orchid in Bellevue, KY

Indian from Dusmesh Indian in Cincinnati.

Cupcake and alcoholic beverage when we finished!

Yes, my ass was hurting and my quads and glutes were worn out. Yes, I was exhausted. Yes, it was still too hot to run (just as I thought!), as well as too hot to bike.

But I did it, and I (might) do it again sometime! Trying new things can hurt sometimes, but it’s totally worth it… especially with foodie rewards.