Weekending: Red Sox, Massages & Parties

Hi there! How’s the week? Mine has been good so far- changing up the workouts and taking it a bit easier with them. I know it’s a little late for my weekend recap, but the past one was super fun… and extra long, so let’s recap 😉

Thursday

My company often gives away Red Sox tickets and I was not only available to go to the game on Thursday night, but won the tickets so I COULD go- it was such a fun treat! On top of that, no one else wanted the other 2 tickets so I grabbed those and invited RM’s brother and sister-in-law. They left their son with Nona (RM’s mom) and joined us for the game- so fun! The seats were REALLY good and it couldn’t have been a more perfect night for a game.

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Friday

RM and I bought a Guilt deal for massages at Exhale Spa (my favorite place everrr) so we cashed them in on Friday night.

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If you’re looking for a good place to get a massage, I highly suggest Exhale- everything about the experience is perfect! From the locker rooms, to the waiting areas, to the steam room/sauna to the massage itself (and warm lavender tea bags for your eyes!)… it never disappoints!

We had plans for a BBQ picnic after our massages, but the weather didn’t cooperate so we grabbed a drink at the Living Room before heading home to make turkey burgers…inside… womp.

Saturday

After teaching my kickboxing class, I ran errands and then picked up RM to head north. My friends Nikia and Kyle had their engagement party at their beautiful home in New Hampshire- I always love going up there! The whole afternoon/evening was SO fun. We drank, we ate (a lot of food- her mom is an amazing cook!!), we played games, I went on the 4-wheeler… solid day/party!

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Sunday

Sunday started off with a healthy smoothie before getting some Sunday things done (grocery shopping, picking up, puttering etc.).

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We had RM’s nephew’s 1st birthday party in the afternoon so before I knew it we were heading to Watertown. I made this caprese orzo salad and was quickly reminded of how easy and tasty the dish is. I should’ve made it more often this summer 😦

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The party was really fun! The food was amazing (wouldn’t expect anything less), the company was great and the birthday boy was adorable!

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Sadly, I got a really bad stomach ache by the end of the party, which was likely brought on by all the different kinds of food I ate and the fact that I had 2 parties in one weekend. Party food is great, but too much of it can make me feel icky.

All in all, though- it was a really great weekend!

Questions for you: Have you been to a Red Sox game this summer? Where do you get massages? Do you over-indulge at parties?

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Take Me Out To The Ball Game!

A few months ago, my friend Lauren had a great idea for all of us to get tickets to go to a Red Sox game during their home opener weekend. I think we all know I’m not a huge sports fan (or fan at all), but I never turn down a chance to do something fun with my friends, so I was all in! I can’t say I wasn’t a little nervous about going to an outdoor sporting even in early April, especially with the crappy weather we’ve been having in New England, but lucky for us, Sunday ended up being an absolutely gorgeous day! IMG_7099 Lauren ended up getting us amazing seats in the bleacher section, just a few rows from the field- well done, my friend. IMG_7101 Although my college friends and I are in communication via text or email fairly often, it’s not always easy to get us all together in person these days. While not all of us were able to make the game, a good amount of us and our significant others were! It was so nice to be able to catch up with everyone; I can’t say I watched any much of the game, but my socializing skills were top notch 😉 IMG_7105 Post game, we headed to Landsdowne Pub for another drink. Icing definitely happened, which was amazing. IMG_7108 IMG_7111 IMG_7112 Spending a sunny, relatively warm Sunday afternoon at the Red Sox game with some of my favorite people was the perfect way to end the weekend! Thanks for setting it up, Lauren! IMG_7113 Questions for you: What’s your favorite sport? Do you like going to games? Do you get together with your friends a lot?

2013 Fenway Spartan Sprint {Recap}

As I have mentioned before, on November 16th I ran the Fenway Spartan Sprint. For anyone who knows me, you know I am not into sports whatsoever, but for some reason I was REALLY excited to run a race IN Fenway, especially since the Red Sox just won the world series there. But, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, too. I was actually really nervous. Even when people would tell me I’d be fine because I’m in good shape and I do this stuff all the time, I shrugged it off and was convinced that since I didn’t do CrossFit, I would have a really hard time. Remember how I voiced my concerns about the race and how I was going to go into it with no goals? Well, I am happy and proud to say that I absolutely crushed every possible goal I could have had!

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I finished the race in 51:06, and could’ve finished in probably 46-48 had I not had to wait at some of the challenge stations and at the last wall climb. To say I was shocked and ecstatic about this would be an understatement!

Let’s back up to the beginning, though. Stacey, a blog reader (and now friend!), contacted me to say her team fell through and asked if she could run with mine. I was more than happy about this because I love meeting new people and was happy to have a girl race with me! We got to Fenway with lots of time before our heat so we grabbed our race stuff, checked our bags and did what bloggers do… take selfies 😉

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Not long after, the rest of our group showed up and before we knew it, we were lining up for the race! I was still so nervous, but as soon as we started going, I felt really good. So good, in fact, I grabbed BOTH water jugs at the first challenge… ok, that’s a joke. I didn’t grab both water jugs because I felt good, I was just dumb and didn’t know that women could grab only one. Whoops!

I was really happy when I realized that there was a lot of running; I may not have terrific upper body strength (or so I thought), but my cardio endurance is pretty good, so I definitely gained some time during the running bursts.

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Photo from the Spartan photo page

I can’t remember all of the obstacles/challenges, but here’s a list of what I remember:

  • Water Jug walk up & down the stairs
  • 40 jump ropes with the big battle ropes
  • Cement block carry and burpees
  • Rope climb
  • Weighted rope pull
  • Monkey bars
  • 20 hand release push ups
  • 500M row in 2 minutes
  • Wall climb
  • Javelin throw
  • Cargo net climb
  • LOTS of walls
  • Stair jumps with rubber band around our ankles
  • Sand bags
  • Box jumps
  • LOTS of walls to jump over

And, the kicker, if you couldn’t do a challenge, you had to do 30 burpees. Lucky for me, I only had to do burpees when I missed the rowing (by 12 meters, mind you… so mad!) and the javelin throw, which is pretty much a guaranteed for most people.

I was most nervous about the rope climb, but I flew right up it (the knots did help). Monkey bars were not fun, but jumping over walls was 🙂 Except for the fact my legs looked like this after:

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Other than that, I got excited at the challenges. I loved pushing myself and seeing what my body was capable of doing (I was actually quite surprised with all that my body can do!).

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In true Monique fashion, I was yipping and yelling my way through the course and cheering people on. I got even more excited when I would run into my team members. Paul, Kyle and I were always right around the same area throughout the race and it was awesome seeing their faces and pumping each other up. I know I may sound crazy for saying this, but I had FUN throughout the whole course. Literally. I think I was even smiling through the burpees! The whole race was just so energetic and people were so supportive and encouraging and I WAS RUNNING A RACE IN FENWAY!!!

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(I know my face doesn’t look like I’m having fun, but I was just focused on the stairs and not tripping up them 😉 )

Before I knew it, I was lining up to jump over the last wall and was ready for the home stretch of the race. I smiled as I ran the last bit and tried to really soak everything in.

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After 20 box jumps, we fought our way to the finish.

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Omg was it fun! The best part? Looking up in the crowd and seeing my sister, Amy and Amy’s mom, Christine (Amy’s aunt ran the race in the 8:30am heat and killed it!) waving and cheering me on in the spectator area.

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My whole team did amazingly well!! Dave crushed his time from last year by 13 minutes, Paul came in not far after Dave, Kyle came in a bit after me and Stacey made her 1 hour goal! Our energy levels at the end were so high!

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After we got our stuff and changed, we headed to Boston Beer Works for beers and food. I was ravenous after the race!

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I think we’ve all already pre-registered for the 2014 race. Just like my friend Tim said, I am totally hooked on these races and can’t wait to do more of them!

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After Boston Beer Works, I headed to Jillian’s for a drink, but I didn’t last long. Between a full day of fitness on Friday and giving the race my all, I was absolutely beat!

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I can’t believe it took me so long to run a race like this, but I can guarantee that I’m just getting started. Running this race made me proud. It was proof that my workouts work and that I am stronger than I think I am… and sometimes it’s nice to get that type of reassurance. And as the Spartan’s say, I finished… Can you?

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Questions for you: Have you ever done an obstacle race like this? What would you be most nervous about?

Weekending: Sushi, Shopping, Harvest Party & Travel

Weekends go by fast enough when you have the whole one, right? Well, getting one cut short makes them seem even shorter 😦 Even though my weekend was cut short, I feel as though I was able to do a lot of fun stuff during the time I did have!

Friday night, I went to Douzo Sushi in the Back Bay. I had never been there before, but I was pleasantly surprised by both the atmosphere and the service/food. We sat right at the sushi counter which was fun because we got to watch the sushi chefs do their magic. I had a glass of Cava to start… nothing like bubbly to kick of the weekend!

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We got the garlic-spice edamame (holy crap SO SO good. I want to try and recreate this at some point), a few signature rolls and some sashimi pieces. Yum!

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Isn’t sushi presentation the best?!

Saturday started with a workout and then some shopping, which was really just a reason to exchange a pair of shoes. There was a Chipotle in the mall so I treated myself to a chicken burrito bowl for lunch. Delish!

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My friend Nikia and her boyfriend, Kyle, had a Harvest Party at their gorgeous home in New Hampshire, so I headed north on Saturday afternoon to attend. It was only about an hour trip- love that. No surprise that Kia had the place beautifully decorated!

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I was driving back home to Boston that same night, so I had a few glasses of bubbly at the start and then switched to water.

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They had games set up outside and I had forgotten how fun it was to play corn hole, beruit, etc. Steve and I (well, mostly me… apparently I’m good at corn hole?!) killed it at corn hole!

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Per usual, Nikia had an amazing spread of food.

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Thanks for a fun party, Kia!

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I made it back to Boston in no time at all and ended up watching the Sox game… I don’t watch sports, so I am glad I picked Saturday’s game 6 game to watch.

Sunday morning was spent blogging, catching up on some TV shows, filming something fun for an upcoming post and getting ready for an afternoon of travel. I love that most airports have Wi-Fi because it allows me to get work done.

I hope you’re having a good week so far, I’m hoping to be back tomorrow with a really fun Wednesday Workout post.

Questions for you: Do you like sushi? What is your favorite sushi restaurant? Favorite drinking game?