Wednesday Workout: Run (or walk) & Strength Circuits

A few months back, I participated in a challenge run by Jill Coleman (aka: JillFit). One of the workouts was a running sandwich, of sorts. And, as much as I prefer steady-state treadmill running (confession: because it’s easier!), I really loved the short sprint pushes that the workout had me doing. Fast forward a few months and I found myself back at the gym, planning my workout. I had wanted to run 3-4 miles, but my hip & foot have been bothering me so I’ve been trying to limit my running.

Enter: another running sandwich workout! Capping each part of the run to 1/4 miles avoided any pain and it was the perfect bout of high intensity cardio to add to my workout. The way it works is you run 1/4 mile to start. Try and make it challenging – it shouldn’t be an easy jog. You’re only going for 1/4 mile so you should push yourself. Once you hit 1/4 mile, you jump off and go into your first mini circuit where you’ll complete 3 rounds of the 3 exercises. Then, you jump back on the treadmill, and I encourage you to increase your speed a bit. In fact, your goal should be to complete your 1/4 mile run in less time each time you do it. I think I started around 1:55-2 minutes and worked my way down to 1:40.

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I think the exercises should be fairly straight forward, but if you have any questions, let me know. I really enjoyed this workout as it was fun knowing I only had to push myself on the treadmill for 1/4 mile (aka: 1 lap around the track). I also think it’s great because it’s doable for ALL levels. Running is too much? Try power walking! Or walking on an incline! Or a slow jog. You can do whatever you need to do 🙂

Questions for you: Do you prefer sprinting or steady state running/cardio?

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Doing things that scare you {Falmouth Road Race Recap}

I’ve mentioned it in a few Instagram posts by now, but last weekend I ran the Falmouth Road Race. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s one of the most popular summer races in Massachusetts. I had never been, so I wasn’t sure why, but I knew I wanted to run it.

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Fast forward to last week when we were out to dinner with some friends, one of which has a family home in Falmouth and has run the race over 10 times by now. We were talking about the race and my urge to run it was even more real… even considering it was a short 4 days away.

If you know me, you know that when I get my mind on something, I can’t let it go, so when I saw someone selling their bib (shhh), I had to jump on it. Not only was it after I hit “send” on Venmo that I realized “Holy Sh*t! What did I just get myself into? I haven’t run much at all lately and haven’t run more than 4 miles in probably 3 years”.

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As I voiced this concern to people, everyone said “you’ll be fine! You’re so active and so fit. It’ll be easy!” While they were so kind to give me those words of encouragement, it wasn’t totally successful in quieting the negative words & thoughts in my head telling me it would be hard and that I would regret my decision to run a 7 mile race entirely untrained (in terms of running). I wasn’t afraid of not finishing, but moreso in what condition I’d finish in. Would I go out too fast and burn out too quickly? Would I cramp up? Would I have to stop a lot? What’s the slowest I thought I’d actually run it?

By the time Saturday night rolled around, I was a bundle of nerves, but luckily slept great. I woke up Sunday excited, but still very nervous! I got dressed, braided my hair, applied sunscreen, packed my throw away bag to hold my snacks & water and got ready to go. My friends Sheila and Amy drove me to the race bus pickup which was a good distraction and got me excited about it.

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I ended up getting to the race start over an hour and a half early, which left lots of alone time for me to continue to be nervous, lol. My sister texted me and when I told her I was nervous, she said that was so weird because I never get nervous. And she was right! Most of the time I feel confident about my abilities, but for some reason (likely because I didn’t traing), I felt SO nervous and scared! When I texted my concerns to my mom, she hit the nail on the head with her response and it helped to calm me down (funny how moms are always able to do that).

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Shortly after she sent that I ended up seeing a picture on Insta of a friend I used to work with so I ended up meeting up with her and her friend which was exactly what I needed – distraction from being nervous and people to hang with!

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Before we knew it, it was time to start. We were already sweating, so I was happy that the race started a bit slower than I normally would. The crowds were huge so it was a struggle to navigate them throughout the first handful of miles. Looking back, this was a blessing in disguise because it forced me to run slower than normal, which I think was necessary in order for me to finish the race feeling as strong as I did, rather than coming out too fast and burning out halfway through.

The course was incredibly beautiful – lots of rolling hills, gorgeous homes, views of the water and amazing spectators. I couldn’t help but get super emotional as I was running – there’s something about races that do that for me!

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The miles ticked away and I continued to feel good. I was getting negative splits as the crowds dispersed a bit, but I knew to still take it easy since it was a longer race than I’ve run in a long time. Around miles 4-5.5 I started to get super antsy. It was just a long, straight, flat part of the course entirely in the sun and I just wanted to see RM and my friends. I knew they were just before the 6 mile mark so it seemed like those 2 miles DRAGGED on. I felt hot, tired and ready to be done, however, seeing RM and my friends helped give me the push I needed as I forged ahead to the last mile.

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By this point, my feet felt like hot sausages stuffed in my sneakers, I was getting a blister, felt dehydrated and started to cramp up a bit. I paused for a brief moment twice in that last mile as I prepared for the big hill at the end. Leading up to the hill, I wasn’t sure if I’d make it without walking, but I did it, slow step by slow step and getting to the top felt so great! Before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line and it’s hard to explain how amazing it felt.

I had done it. I had completed the 7 mile race. I felt good (all things considered). I was smiling. And I was so happy it was over, lol 😉

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As I continue to reflect on the race and the experience, I am so proud of myself for doing something that scared the sh*t out of me. I fought through all of the “I can’t’s” in my head and I proved to myself that I CAN. It was uncomfortable at times, but I am stronger for having done it – it truly is amazing what you can accomplish once you put your mind to it and give it a try.

I like to think of it this way: we can live our lives only doing things that make us feel safe or comfortable, or we can push through that and challenge ourselves by doing things that scare us a little or make us feel uncomfortable. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather live my life doing the latter- it’s a hell of a lot more exciting and when you realize you CAN do things you didn’t think you could, well, it’s the most incredible feeling.

Thank you to everyone for your kind words and to RM, Sheila and Amy for being so supportive while I was running!! Huge thank you to my friends at NB for inviting us to hangout at their after party, which was exactly what I needed! And thanks to Sheila’s parents for letting us stay at their Inn and then using their boat for the afternoon. It was a weekend I will never forget!

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Questions for you: Have you ever run the Falmouth Road Race? Do you like to run races? When’s the last time you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone?

 

5k Walk/Run Bootcamp + Cold Weather Gear to Keep You Warm

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own. #BreathThermo

Good morning! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving- and hopefully long weekend, too! Work has been really stressful so it was especially nice to have some time off that I was able to spend with my family/in-laws. Just knowing I didn’t have to wake up early for a long day in the office was really awesome.

What else is really awesome is a package I received from Mizuno as part of their cold weather apparel line. This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time because I was just looking for some cold weather gear to help keep me warm during my outdoor Seaport Sweat series. Although I’m not leading my 5K bootcamp anymore, I was able to test out the Breath Thermo base layer top that they sent me, as well as their Breath Thermo Warmalite glove. Their cold weather apparel is engineered to keep you warm without weighing you down, which is so important because no one wants to add more weight/resistance to themselves when they’re working out, right?! 😉

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In short, I’m loving both of these products. The shirt is fitted, which makes it a great layering piece- perfect for outdoor workouts where you tend to have to shed layers once you get warmed up. I love the color, style and it fits very true to form- the small fits exactly how I like tops like this to fit (I don’t like when workout tops like this are loose and baggy). On top of the fit, the Breath Thermo  technology generates heat and helps keep the body warm when working out in the cold weather, while still allowing for breathability so that you don’t overheat. There is also a reflective trim which was important to me since I was wearing it during runs in the dark- safety is key!

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My hands (and feet) are always cold, so I was really grateful to receive the Breath Thermo Warmalite gloves. Although they are a bit too big (I ordered the wrong size!), they still work perfectly to keep my hands warm and protected from the wind during running. They’re also great for teaching my fighters conditioning class because the ground is really cold when doing burpees or pushups without them 😉 I love that they have the touchscreen forefinger so I can still operate my phone when running/teaching. They also have the Breath Thermo  fleece technology to keep warmth in, and the storage pocket on the top is perfect for holding keys or money or anything else you might need stored while you’re working out outside.

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If you’re looking for some new cold weather apparel for those shoulder months or for layering throughout the colder months, head on over to Mizuno because they have some great products worth checking out. If you came to the blog post just for the workout, here you go 😉 While we did this running, you can also walk the 5K and still do these exercises.

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Big thanks to Mizuno for helping to keep me warm during my outdoor workouts!

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Questions for you: What’s your favorite brand of outdoor workout gear? Do you like to workout outside when it’s cold or do you take it to the gym? 

Weekending {Extended Version}: Birthday Celebrations & Marathon Monday

Good morning! I opted to not blog yesterday as I had the day off and figured a lot of you may also have it off or may even be running the marathon! Between taking my birthday off last week, working from home on Friday and then having yesterday off, I feel like I’ve been on a little vacation, which is pretty awesome. With everything going on these days between wedding planning, the BoxFIIT certification, teaching, blogging, working, etc. I feel like I was running on empty and really needed some time to re-charge the batteries. Granted, the past week has been filled with lots of things, but most didn’t involve work which helped give me that “recharge” I needed.

I’m going to keep my captions short, so enjoy the pictures!

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Birthday yoga!

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Birthday manis/pedis/lunch with my birthday buddy!

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Strong ladies supporting me in class. Not pictured: after class drinks at Gaslight 🙂

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Julian pizza from Max & Leo’s- the birthday girl doesn’t cook on her bday 😉

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Beautiful flowers and prosecco from coworkers who came to my class

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Extra bday flowers from RM

 

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All dolled up! Love the new bag RM got me

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My sister surprised me with a bottle of bubbly at dinner. We went to Committee in the Seaport and everything was unbelievably good- we couldn’t stop raving about how flavorful everything was AND they sent out a birthday treat- I highly suggest checking it out!

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Post kickboxing sweaty selfie.

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Entertaining my parents- I’m so sad that I didn’t get a single photo with them while they were here 😦

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Food shopping

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Pancake breakfast

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Birthday presents from my dad- picnic table, fire pit and a heck of a lot of wood. It was SO nice of them to come down not only to celebrate, but also to bring all of these things to help us have an awesome back yard/patio!

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4miler in gorgeous weather. I wish I could say it was a great run, but my legs felt like lead the entire time and my miles averaged 15-20 seconds slower than usual… BUT… I finished it and it felt great to be outside. Who cares about the mile times!

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Taking advantage of the sun and doing my thank you cards for the bridal shower gifts we’ve received outside. And then I started reading Defending Jacob, which is our new book club book. So far, I’m enjoying it, although it’s crazy that it takes place in Newton!

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Beer at home by myself: a rarity, but the weather encouraged it 😉

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Meal prep for the week: a cauliflower rice & other veggie “stirfry” with a peanut sauce and then a veggie-filled quiche- both have so much flavor!!

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Loving our outdoor patio space! Took my workout outside yesterday morning and it was amazing.

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We walked from the Intercontinental Hotel (where RM parks his car) to the Back Bay and it was so nice strolling through Boston Common’s in the gorgeous weather.

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We were fortunate enough to hang out at the Solas Pub (part of the Lennox Hotel) pretty much right at the Marathon finish line thanks to New Balance- drinks, food, prime spectator location?! Yes, please. So thankful for this opportunity!

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Watching the marathon is always a super emotional and inspiring thing. I love watching everyone who is finishing strong, but I also love how everyone is looking out for each other. The crowds roared even louder when struggling runners were trying to get to the end. Fellow marathoners helped those who were physically too beat to run on their own. Paramedics and EMT’s and all of the other helpers were there to help get people safely over the finish line. It gave me chills soaking all of that in. Such a wonderful experience.

If you made it this far, THANK YOU! I’ll be back tomorrow with a workout… and maybe even a recipe for you this week!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Did you get outside to enjoy the weather? Did you go to the marathon or did you run the marathon? What do you have planned this week?

Weekending: Frank Pepe’s Pizza, Boxing, Brunching & More

And just like that- the weekend is over in the blink of an eye! Don’t get me wrong- we certainly made the most of the weekend, but it doesn’t mean it makes it any easier when it’s over.

Friday

After work on Friday I did some shopping for shoes to wear to various wedding-related events. I ended up finding a few pairs at Off Saks, including these fun pink heels. What do you think?

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They’ve got a snake skin-ish type of material, too. Once we both got home, we headed over to Chestnut Hill to check out Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria. While there was a long line, we ended up getting seated in just about 35 minutes which wasn’t bad. We opted for their famous clam pizza and a traditional cheese pizza. Both of us were “meh” about the clam pizza but totally loved the cheese pizza. It was light and thin so you could eat multiple slices without feeling too weighed down. Definitely worth a trip if you’ve been thinking about checking it out.

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Conveniently next door was a little Gelateria, so obviously we had to stop and get one. I opted for the baby sized Biscoff and Hazelnut and both were amazingly good. I haven’t had gelato that good since Italy!

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Saturday

Saturday morning started with an awesome Bags & Body class at The Club, followed by mitt practice with Nicole. I have never done that so it was really humbling, but it felt good to be out of my comfort zone and learning something new. The best part? Nicole sent me home with some awesome fighters swag so I can be outfitted for my first class (more details soon!).

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After class I met up with a few friends to celebrate Jessi’s engagement. We went to Worden Hall in Southie which was another place on my “want to try” list. We got a bottle of bubbly and I got spinach and goat cheese omelet which was really tasty.

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I love girls luncheon dates! Jess had to leave after lunch but my sister stopped in so she, Jessi and I had another drink at Stephi’s in Southie before heading home. On my way home I offered to pick up food at Whole Foods for dinner so I opted to get food shopping for the week out of the way, too. The rest of the night was spent hanging out, making wings, eating left over pizza and watching House of Cards.

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I love Saturday night’s where I’m in bed by 10:30… yes, I’m 30 going on 75 😉

Sunday

After breakfast, I went to church and then came home and worked on my taxes. While spending 2 hours on that sucked, I’m getting a good chunk of money back which will come in very handy for the wedding! Once I was done, we went for a quick walk and then I finished off with a quickie 5K since it was so gorgeous out. I needed Vitamin D in a bad way!

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We finished off the day with the most delicious eggplant parm and chicken cutlets at RM’s mother’s house. I opted to not do any real meal prep this week since it’s my birthday week which was a nice change.

Although my Sunday was not nearly as productive as I wanted to, it was perfect. I had wanted to get to the gym to film a few BoxFIIT videos and work on that certification, but I decided that I wanted to go for a walk and a run MORE, so that took precedent over that. Sometimes you just have to pick and choose what’s important to you on a particular day… and sometimes that’s not in line with what you “should” do or what’s on your to-do list…. and that is totally fine.

With that, here’s to a good week! It’ll be a busy one for me due to birthday celebrations, but it’s all fun things so I can’t wait!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? Have you ever been to Pepe’s Pizza? Did you get in any good workouts? Did you go out to eat at all? Did you get out to enjoy the sunshine throughout the weekend? What’s going on this week?