Frelen

weds

So.

A total of 50 overhead squats on Thursday pretty much guaranteed that I would not be able to sit down by myself later on.After an hour of cardio that morning (okay, 57 minutes.  so close), I was feeling strangely energetic.  I went to an early crossfit class where my glutes learned the true meaning of sore.Actually, The Sore was not a reality until Friday morning.I felt sorry for myself and immediately did the dumbest thing I could do.This:plumYes, I am going to stop that now.On Friday, there is a *slight* chance that I hit my max weight a little too soon in the rep scheme.  There is also a *slight* chance that my deltoids were sore by late afternoon.I don’t know what I was thinking, really.  thursI sat and had a 2 hour lunch/breakfast type meal with a friend and nearly fell asleep in the hot sun.It was definitely time to go to the spa. So I did.  I fell asleep and woke up feeling awesome.  Score one for Planet Beach.photoAfter my napthing, I was feeling strangely efficient and cleaned out my car.  This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I spend a lot of time in my car and it was pretty grody.  I traveled a lot this summer and sadly my travel time to cleaning ratio was desperately out of whack.  Actually it was so bad that I spend over an hour cleaning it and I still need something to get the spray tan stains off of the leather.The joke was on me yesterday morning.  Since it was Saturday and I really had pushed myself during the week, I decided I’d run slow and steady and just take it easy.fricardioSo I did.emptyIt’s actually a little eerie when I am running in a totally empty gym.  I am way too neurotic to not check to see if the killer clown is behind me every two seconds.So the thing is, while I can control slow and steady while I am running by myself, I can’t control the WOD.  This was my first experience with “Frelen” – a combination between Fran and Helen.Processed with VSCOcam with m3 presetThere is no way in the world I would have chosen a challenging workout like that to finish up my week with, and that is what made it so incredibly great.It was crazily satisfying to wrap up a week of training with an intense WOD..               .               .There are few things I find more exciting than new beginnings.  September is basically *here*.  I love September so much because for me it’s the start of a new year.  Every year, when fall is rolling around, everything feels so fresh and brand new to me.  I am getting really stoked over my goals for September.  Every month I like to set new goals regarding all areas of my life and that includes health, beauty and fitness.  This month upcoming I’m really excited about a daily yoga practice (#yogakitten!), trying some different tactics with meditation, totally building a better butt (a bubble butt is not enough.  my butt must be able to take over the world, or at least a small country), and totally revamping my morning jumpstart exercises.

Two cups

When I was an undergrad, every semester I would sign up for a lecture class with one of my favorite professors.  The classes were great for many reasons that you don’t care about – and the lectures were never boring.  The only problem was that he tended to lecture for the entire four hours. Straight through.

Sometimes he would come in with two cups of coffee rather than his standard one cup.  When he did this someone would invariable mutter, “buckle down”.

I’ve got two cups of coffee.

Monday, honestly I don’t know what I even did on Monday other than kill cardio, and skip crossfit.  I didn’t have a plausible reason for skipping other than I peeked at the WOD and burpees were prominently featured.  I don’t generally skip, but I think I was using the previous weekend’s race to rationalise this decision.

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My brain must have still been in Dallas, because I was on the cardio equipment when I found two curlers still in my dreadlocks.

Keeping it classy at the gym.

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I felt the urge to be productive since I blew off burpees.  I spent the day trying to bring my overly sensitive skin back into it’s normal happy state after spending sweaty hot vomit time in the Dallas sun.  I made spinach smoothies – actually made and froze enough for the entire week (bring it on productivity), and I choked down more cod liver oil than normal (I swear by this stuff, y’all.  If you are not choking down cod liver oil every day, please consult Dr. Google on this immediately.  You will thank me in ten years when you still are smokin’ hot.  I chase mine with apple cider vinegar diluted with water.  I’ve done this for nine years.  Calories don’t count if it tastes bad, so please don’t worry about the fact that you are drinking oil).

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Another thing I swear by, and consumed in mass quantities on Monday (I usually have 2 cups a day, but on Monday I was determined to not have tired, irritated skin going into Tuesday, so I upped the amount) was green tea.  I don’t like to have a lot of caffeine so I drink the decaffeinated Celestial seasonings brand.  If I’m broke, I have an off brand – as long as it’s decaf.  I can’t say enough good things about green tea and frankly, we don’t have that kind of time today so just trust.  Drink green tea).

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Tuesday morning I ran a slow 5.7 miles.  I can’t just say 5 miles.  I have to throw in the “.7″.

I was dragging Tuesday.  Like, total Lazyville.

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I was feeling so lazy and I knew that going to crossfit would help - there are few things that can’t be cured by either a bottle of wine or crossfit.  I went to crossfit.  My theory is that even if you aren’t performing at your peak – you are still winning at the game of life for showing up.

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Trust me when I say I wasn’t exactly setting PRs during the snatch – but I was glad I’d shown up.

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So another one of my brilliant theories is that no matter how crappy you are feeling – if you wash your hair and go to Hollister the world will look a lot rosier.  This theory was proven to hold true once again yesterday.

After cardio, I was feeling strangely peppy and went to an early crossfit class.

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I felt so self righteous about being out so early in the day that I went to Hollister and bought what I consider to be The Mother Of All Kimonos.

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I love it. I love it so much.

Then I washed my hair and all was right with my world.  Still is.

.                                      .                                        .

I’ve still been meditating nightly.  This has been so helpful to me that I’ve decided to keep it as part of my regular routine.

How about you?  Have you exercised this week?  What did you do?  Do you have ‘go to’ foods or supplements that you consider to have magical properties when it comes to your skin?  I’d love to hear about them because, clearly I will try anything.

half marathon lessons

On Friday afternoon I was totally excited to hear that I would be able to run in the Dallas half marathon after all.  My favorite events are last minute things.  I find last minute plans incredibly exciting.

Every race I have run up to this point has taken place on a Saturday, so it was a little strange to run a half on Sunday.  Mostly because, as a general rule, I don’t do much on Sundays.

That’s okay.  It was last minute, and I will do *anything* last minute.

So I ran the half and true to it’s name, it was hot.  I’m always surprised that Dallas is hotter than Shreveport.  I’m not complaining because if I didn’t want to challenge myself, I would have just stayed home and ran on the treadmill – or not at all.

This did mark, however, my first – and hopefully only – time to vomit on a course.  I won’t blame the heat.  I will blame the heat, combined with the fact that Target had a really great sale on fresh apricots and I ate no less than 34 of them on the drive to Dallas and during the evening.  I was so excited about fresh apricots (i can’t find them much) that I ate *only* apricots all day long and for dinner as well.  Can you guess what I had for breakfast Sunday morning just before the race?  Yes.  Apricots.  Oh.  And a stomach that was already making some very unsettling noises.  At the time, just before the race, I found this slightly funny. 

What was I thinking?  That it was just going to settle down once I was running a half marathon on an unshaded gravel path in 100 degree heat? Sure.

Anyway.  I ran.

Here are the things that I learned yesterday and I am happy to pass on to you:

1. Eating ONLY apricots – in fact, ONLY apricots in great abundance (and possibly some red wine) the day before a race is ill-advised.

2. Standing in long porta-potty lines (with the other shamefaced runners who probably only ate the marked down apricots from Target all day too) every three miles will hurt your time.  It will hurt it a lot.

3. Vomiting on the course can cause other overheated people to vomit if they are already on the brink. This leads to an ugly chain reaction.

So, moving on from the lessons I learned yesterday, here are some tips I can pass on from my own experience with more successful racing attempts:

1. There will be a point, somewhere around dark thirty in the morning when you are sitting there in your car just before checking in.  You are wondering what you are doing there and why you are up so early to run so far.  Maybe you are not a seasoned runner, or are just beginning to get into shape – and you doubt yourself and your sanity.  Your panicked face may look something like this:

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Here is what you do at this point:  Get out of that car.  Go steal all of the post race bananas that you can right now.  Do you know the cost of bananas these days?  Steal the bananas, check in and have a few apricots.  It’s going to be okay.  I promise.  It’s 13 miles.  This is a few hours out of your life.  I promise you won’t die, and you’ll be really happy to take all of those bananas home.  It’s okay about the bananas – you probably overpaid for the race, so the bananas are a gift.  You are allowed to try to snipe an extra t-shirt too.  These are your rights as an American.  It is what we do.  Go forth and steal bananas, t-shirts and run your race.

2.  Put on sunblock.  Trust.  Use the stick kind so it doesn’t run into your eyes and make you hate life when it gets behind your contact lenses.  Stick sunblock is your friend.  I have very sensitive skin and Banana Boat Baby (it has to be the pink stick, i do not know what magical property that one has that negates the stinging of the other sticks, so just go with the pink one) sunscreen stick is the only sunblock for me on race days.  It won’t run, it won’t burn, and honestly it seals in your moisturizer so nicely.

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3.  If you have hair past your ears, it is going to get sweaty.  Sweaty has salt and will dry out your hair.  That’s terrible.  Go ahead and take advantage of the heat treatment the blazingly painful sun is providing you and apply a liberal amount of oil to your hair pre-race.  I use Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine oil treatment, or when I can find it, One and Only Argan oil.  Yes, your hair will be oily.  But in 15 minutes it will be soaked with sweat, so no one knows if it is oil or sweat.  Go with the conditioning option and protect your hair.

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4. Struggling?  Make a friend.  Yes it is a race, not a team event (sadly, because team events are so fun) – but I promise you are not alone.  Someone else is struggling.  In fact, most of the people out there are struggling because it’s hard.  If it was easy – well, you know…

So make a friend with someone who has kept basically your same pace through the run.  If they are pacing with you, likely they are hurting around the same time you are.  Take off the earbuds and talk through it.  Make a deal: neither one of you walks or vomits anymore or quits.  You can vomit again after you get your medal.  Run together.  Take unflattering photos together.  Turn a tough experience into a nicer one.

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(I don’t know his name, nor did I have permission to use this photo where he looks great and I look very strange.  If you are him, please accept my ap0logies and know I think you are rad)

5. Drink the water.  You may not *feel* thirsty, but you are.  Drink the gatorade.  Just drink it.  I get it, you don’t want the calories, or you don’t ever consume things that have ingredients you can’t pronounce – but just today – so you don’t die from an electrolyte imbalance, let’s have the gatorade okay?  Also?  It is perfectly acceptable in these circumstances to reach both hands into the community ice buckets and stuff ice cubes into your sports bra. 

If the boys can spit every two seconds then you can put ice in your bra every three miles.  Fair is fair, boys.  Quit spitting and we’ll quit putting our dirty hands into the ice bucket.  You first.

6. Have fun.  No really.  You paid for this.  This *is* fun.  You are doing something awesome with an awesome group of people from all different backgrounds.  This is an exciting day. You get free bananas, you can steal toilet paper, you made a friend probably, and you get to eat a whole lot of anything later on.  Enjoy yourself.  Enjoy the run and the people and the festive atmosphere.  It always reminds me of a party.  A really screwed up party where everyone is smelly and some people are hurt, but a party nonetheless.

7. Are you traveling for this event?  Well then! That makes it even more of a party, doesn’t it?  (YES)  Enjoy your trip there and back.  Enjoy your hotel.  Jump on the bed.  It is not your mattress.

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And if you want to know, what all of the porta potty breaks and vomit pauses cost me in terms of time yesterday  (;

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I wouldn’t change even one second of it.  Not even the vomit.

TomTom Runner Cardio: Long Live the King

Late Tuesday evening I had a distressing revelation about my Basis fitness band.  While the revelation was potentially wine-fueled, it was no less accurate:  My Basis B1 (much loved, Basis B1) provided too much information for a neurotic Virgo.  My Basis was beginning to remind me of the feelings I get while taking a long walk on the internet: what am I doing?  Can’t I just do all of this stuff in real life and trust that it will work out?

But my intent is not to review the Basis right now, and honestly, I still think that it is the best all-around fitness lifestyle tracker available at this time – to the extent that any of the fitness trackers can accurately measure caloric burn, heart rate, and so forth.  Because to be honest, I think a lot of us have, or have at some time had some degree of difficulty staying connected with the amount of calories we should be taking in, versus the amount we are expending.  Plus, if you are an information junkie (I am), the Basis B1 is going to be your Nirvana.

So.  Wednesday morning, my Basis stayed on the counter and I hit the treadmill to

a) clear the wine fog, and

b) think this over.

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I definitely wanted a tracker for my cardio based activity (I’ve yet to find one that will track weightlifting or anaerobic movements accurately – and besides, what would I do with this information?  Oh, right: compete with my PRs.  Same thing I always do) and I was hoping to try out Garmin’s new Fenix2, but I am reluctant to spend that much money on a band that I haven’t heard too much about yet.  I want to try it, but I want more information first.

Additionally, my previous Garmin (forerunner 10) was lacking in so many features, had shady GPS service and short battery life – so I was not excited about spending so much on another possible problem device.

I bought the TomTom Runner Cardio.  The reason I chose this device was that I could use it on a treadmill without a separate foot device.  It bothers me to have to purchase accessories to make a device function.  I wanted one that could get the job done without accessories.

I wasn’t clear on whether or not the Runner Cardio needed outdoor calibration to my arm swings prior to treadmill activity, so first I went for a jog outside just in case.  I felt that I got accurate measurements from this run and decided to take it to the gym to see how the TomTom stood up to indoor running.

After about 25 minutes on the treadmill I was satisfied that my new tracker can get the job done indoors.  Apparently I swing my arms with great gusto when I run indoors.

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I really need to run outdoors more often – I had such a nice time.  The only pitfalls are the heat (but we’re on the home stretch with summer) and sometimes the occasional creeper who will follow you or holler from his car.  Otherwise, you can’t beat an outdoor run.

Unless you are lazy, like me.  Then you hit the treadmill 95% of the time. 

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After all of that exertion  (haha) I decided to skip crossfit yesterday, which is something I have never done.  My shoulders were really sore from my enthusiasm over the rings and I read on the website that we would be doing burpees, so I decided that it would be a good day to skip.  No-one likes burpees.  Don’t lie.

I went to the spa instead.  For hours.  It’s sometimes hard to take that much time out of my day, and I’ll feel tense going in – but when I leave I feel so wonderful.  I. Love. Planet. Beach.  I  go in feeling tired and sore and sort of blah and I come out all, “I look like a movie star y’all.  Try not to snap too many photos”.

You know I sat and ate a salad after that at Sunshine.  That is because I have a really great book in my bag right now.  Once a book is in my bag, it becomes “the lunch book” and I feel compelled to eat out until I have finished the book.  I’m hooked on McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern again.  I have an unnatural obsession with Dave Eggers.  Please go buy a McSweeney’s.  Or at least sit at Barnes and Noble and read one while pretending you intend on buying it once you finish your coffee.

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Oh, one last thing?  Don’t take my word for it, google this: walnuts and blueberries.  Or you can read this article.

What my photos lack in the visual appeal/appetizing department, they more than make up for in awesomeness.

I toss an entire giant bag of walnuts in the food processor (nothing else) and blend them up until they are peanut butter consistency.  Hence walnut butter  (:

When I have yogurt (Dannon Oikos For The Win!) I mix in a tablespoon of walnut butter and a handful of frozen blueberries.

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photoIf this particular combination hasn’t made me smarter over the past few years, at least I haven’t gotten any dumber.  To the best of my knowledge.

I’m still meditating on youth and beauty in the evenings – mostly because by night time I am too uncreative to think of another set of words to meditate on.

 

I’ve added these sweet leggings to my shop.  They’re American Apparel and so cute.  I am dying for mine to get here.

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Okay, I’m off to get in a run before crossfit this morning.

How about you?  What are your weekend plans?  Do you have a go-to breakfast that you swear is making you brilliant?  Are you running this weekend, and most importantly - do you love Dave Eggers?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

skin the cat

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Wednesday was a great day.  Today has some big shoes to fill because really yesterday killed it.

Since I won’t be competing on Saturday in Dallas (because of the Michael Kors bag fiasco), I backed off of the speed runs at the gym yesterday.  While I’m disappointed not to be competing, I don’t mind slowing my pace down for a few days.  Giving a little less on my run just means that I can give a little more elsewhere.

I ran for a little longer than usual and kept an easy pace.  Since my Garmin (I currently have the forerunner 10) doesn’t track indoor workouts, and my Basis doesn’t display pace, I put my trust in the treadmill readouts for indoor pacing.

I enjoyed it so much – which is unusual for me – that my plan is a long slow run again today.

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After my run I went to crossfit where we did The Funnest Thing Ever.  I have always wanted to try out the rings.  Since I’m pretty good on a fitness pole (I better be good at it by now, I have one in house. That is a true story),I could see how the rings were going to

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be very similar, but horizontal rather than vertical.  I loved the rings from the first second, and yesterday was the best time I have ever had at crossfit.  Headstands, rings, flips; these are all things I learned on the pole first, so translating them to the rings wasn’t too hard.  For once (insert evil, victorious cackle) I excel at something at crossfit.

I was also delighted to learn that the rings progression has a name: Skin The Cat

I did not make that up.

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I want rings for my house so badly now.  I think I can make this happen.  At any rate, the rings have definitely reawakened my interest in pole fitness, so I’ll be spending more time on the pole again.  I can see how this is also going to turn into one of those things where the coaches have a hard time getting me to leave the box because I keep chalking up and going back to the rings while everyone else is pulling out of the parking lot and moving on with life.

 

I have developed a fixation with Hollister’s new kimonos.  I cannot stop buying them.  My pattern of going to Hollister, buying a practical pair of shorts on clearance and then buying 2 impractical and strikingly similar kimonos continued yesterday.

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I will do my best to break this habit.  Just as I am still trying to conquer the rotisserie chicken in the car habit.  Baby steps.

 

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I swear Sunshine is my rightnow favorite lunch spot.  The salad bar has *everything*, including locally grown sprouts.  What more can you want from a lunch-ish snack-ish type meal?  Plus, you can sit there and read for hours and no-one seems to think anything of this.  Since I’ve rediscovered McSweeney’s Quarterly, this is a great way to waste the afternoon.

 

My Chalk Up shirt is here and I was so excited that I changed into it immediately.  I love it.  I love it so much.  They are available here.Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

You know what else is here?  My new Toms.  But I haven’t opened the box yet because I’m tired and that gives me something to look forward to tomorrow.  I think they are the cutest Toms I have ever seen.  Merika!

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Tonight I’ll be meditating on clarity and rest.  Possibly youthfulness as well because I had to bargain away a year of botox in exchange for something else (this is complicated and ties into the Michael Kors purse/missing competition situation).

 

 

environmental superstar

Tuesday was awesome.  The reason it was awesome is because I finally got a badly needed spray tan.  No really.  I needed one.  I haven’t made time to keep up with them and the result was pasty and *not pretty*.

But it’s all okay now.

I was running late in the morning, which wasn’t a surprise.  On the days that I am really running behind on things, I seem to work harder at the gym, like I can’t slow down for the hour I’m there.  I ran like I’d stolen something for an hour and then bolted out of there to make it to crossfit in time.  Remember, if you show up late, that’s a 1000 metre row.

Since my Basis records my cardio for me, I don’t bother noting my speed or times (actually, I *should* use my Garmin for speed recording because Basis doesn’t have that feature), but I have started recording my crossfit wods in a little notebook.  It’s okay, I don’t do it while I’m actually at the box – so no one there knows what a huge nerd I am.  Recording my workouts helps me keep track of what I’m lifting from what position.  Yesterday we were snatching, and I really extra super need to  work on positioning and technique rather than weight, so I kept the bar light and tried not to have too terrible form.  Believe me, my form can only improve from here.  There is no getting worse.

 

I had time yesterday afternoon to visit the spa.  I wanted/needed a massage and I have an unhealthy emotional addiction to the red light therapy bed.

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I like to put in earplugs and use that time to meditate.  I swear I feel so pretty when I leave.  There is some kind of strange magic in the air in there.

Apparently I am not smiling when I think I am smiling.  Trust, I am smiling on the inside.

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I had a brilliant idea while I was driving home.  Why not make and freeze a few smoothies for the week?  I figure if I pop them in the freezer, I could just grab one on my way out the door in the morning and it would be thawed, yet still cold, by the time I was on the way to crossfit.  I’m usually hungry by then and I’m really trying to not keep eating an entire rotisserie chicken in my car.  This is a habit that must be broken.

picstitch I felt extra brilliant and very much like adjusting my environmental superstar halo after I filled up my used water bottles from earlier in the day.  I was able to fill seven of those guys and put them in the freezer.  Also, I drank a LOT of this because I got sick of filling up bottles and couldn’t go on after number seven.

 

Here is my dog, which is not relevant.  But he was sure looking cute.

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Because Planet Beach is literally three minutes from my house, I felt that it was not irrational to go back really fast – in my pajamas – for a spray tan after I got my shower.  This seriously was the high point of my day.  I do not think that it is healthy how much I enjoy the smell of a new spray tan.

Last night I meditated on “clarity”.  A few weeks ago, it was incredibly difficult and boring for me to even try to meditate, but now I am finding the time goes by so fast and I feel much better and totally renewed afterwards.

It’s not going to replace red wine or anything, but meditating is a habit I plan to keep.

 

Okay, off to the gym.

 

How about you?  Are you exercising today?  How are you exercising?  Do you take rest days during the week?

 

The Clock Watcher

Sunday night was one of those nights where I fell asleep on time-ish (yet another thing I’m trying to be more consistent about and succeeding about half of the time) but woke up every 45 minutes or so.  I’m totally not kidding.

At 3 am Monday morning I just gave up and got out of bed.  I bet it was the rain or barometric pressure or something woo woo and scientific that I don’t understand and I’ve been meaning to research that, because it seems to me that when the rain is coming I tend to get very restless.

Despite the fact that I had 3 extra hours to get on top of my game, I was still running late and ended up eating a true breakfast of champions – but it worked out because I have been trying to be extra kind to my skin lately so I can use all of the fatty fish I can get.  Probably.

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I really thought I’d be worn down, but I felt like a total bro at the gym.  I still ran slow, but I had a steady rate so I felt like I was winning.

 

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I have a near constant inner struggle with cardio machines – I constantly watch the clock.  Can’t change it, don’t fight it.  Here is the conflict that plagues me daily  (:  Do I want to know the ‘time remaining’ or my ‘time completed’?  Sometimes I try to be very mature on the inside and tell myself to focus on how far I have already come, not how far I have to go.  This actually works when I’m doing a competitive challenge or a GoRuck event.  Daily cardio on the other hand?  Tell me how much longer I must do this.  However, if I am doing reps or cycles of some kind of anaerobic activity, I want to know how many I have already done – it makes me feel like a boss.  photo 3

I was pretty sure I had The Ebola by the time I was finished with cardio.  I felt really rough, but that made feel feel extra determined to go to crossfit.
Anyone can get a good workout on a good day.   But I feel so rad if I can get a good workout on an off day.  I will not lie to you, The Ebola gave me some grief and I *may* have cried during my last set of thrusters, but I finished it like a boss (a weeping boss).

 

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I took a selfie in my car and realised that one of my eyebrows needed a bit of help.  This is funny now (because I have fixed it) but at the Ebola stricken time, I was hungry, tired, my Michael Kors satchel had literally just broken and now I only had one eyebrow?  (Which brings me to my review of ‘roux’ eyebrow dye).  Okay, it was funny at the time too.

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Do you get like that?  I am intolerable when I am hungry.  I have little weird foods tucked in every pocket, every compartment in my car, in my gym bag, my spa bag, my purse, my desk drawers –  I have food everywhere, yet I still somehow become famished and evil myriad times throughout the day.

I found myself at Sunshine again.
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I think they are on to me loading up both sides of the takeout container on the single pass salad bar.

 

You’d think it was a bummer day – not having any sleep and being struck down with Ebola, but it wasn’t.  It was rad.  I worked out like a total bro, my hair looked great, I fixed my eyebrow *and* got a great new purse.  Which explains why I have to run for time on my own this weekend, but we’ll get to that later.  Trust me, it’s relevant.  Mostly.

Since I felt a little extra foxy after re-establishing a two eyebrow appearance, I meditated on youth and beauty again last night.  I honestly am so glad I’ve tried out this meditation thing.  All of these peaceful, calm people seem to know what they are talking about.

So, do you have to watch the clock during cardi0?  Are you a ‘time completed’ or a ‘time remaining’ clock watcher?