Friday, July 29, 2011

Mental Health Date

I've been working a lot lately. Normally, our summers at the office are a little less crazy, but after my coworker left for his dream job and some new clients rolled in...my time has been less than free. Two weeks ago, I was up almost every night until 2am, plunking away on my computer. Full disclosure, I've not be working for all those hours. A girl has to commute home, teach, make dinner, and get back to work.

Regardless. I've been feeling more and more burned out. I actually had a dream two nights ago that I woke up late and didn't get a document to my boss. I woke up and had to reorient myself. 7am. I still had 20 minutes to sleep.

So last night, I met up with a girlfriend for literally a power hour of shopping. We hit Nordstrom's, then she had to hit up a pedicure appointment (white girl problems!) so I was left on my own in the mall. While I was there, I kept my phone securely in my purse and didn't check email. I told myself "pretend you don't have service."

After another 30 minutes of window shopping, I headed home, dropped off my goodies, and walked to the local wine bar within visual distance of my apartment. I brought a trashy book, silenced my phone, and chose a small table outside within people watching distance. I ordered a sauvignon blanc, a plate of cured meats (proscuitto is my downfall) and a plate of cheeses. I chatted with the waiters, then settled in and read for about two and a half hours.

I had a glass of a red blend called a Mencia in my second hour, then I ordered a glass of prosecco and three chocolates. 

I watched a couple meet up who were having an affair together, a very bad first date, and people come and go on the intersection of Florida/Connecticut aves and generally enjoyed life. I actually stopped to savor the moment more than once. 

That all sounds so trite. But really, I wound up in one of those amazing little moments in life where I wished for nothing more than I had, wanted to be no where than where I was, and was perfectly happy to be alone with my book, my wine, my litte plate of gourmet, and unwind.

Health is more than what you eat and how you work out. A lot of it is about mental health. So, take yourself on a date, whether it's a bottle of wine on the couch, or out to a bistro or bar. Do something by yourself and enjoy it. It's a great confidence builder, which is healthy no matter what.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Detox Debrief

I've found that the hardest thing to do in a detox is to pre-prepare food and to think about what I'm eating.

I think most of us probably eat what's available, what we *want* at that exact moment (cravings!), or what's served to us. I found myself constantly wondering when I'd last thought about food this much. It's sort of embarrassing, really. Shouldn't we be thinking about what it is that we put into our bodies? I spend more time thinking about fueling my car (well, really about how I'm going to afford to fuel my car) than I do about how to fuel my body.

Part of this problem for me has been that Chadd and I have entirely different metabolisms. We have similar tastes in food, but entirely different reactions to them. The more fat, carbs, and fatty protein that Chadd eats, the better he looks (when he survives on salads he looks more like a camp victim). When I eat those same foods, you can guess the reaction (if you can't, it's a strong 180 degrees from Chadd's reaction).

I enjoy cooking as a form of stress relief. After a hectic day, cooking is my way of unwinding and also a way to do something nice for Chadd. Problem? I haven't taken the time to learn how to make a dual dinner--something where I can cook a similar dish for both of us, one needs to be low-cal, low-fat and the other needs to be high on the fatty protein and carbs. I know there are tips and tricks to doing this...one example:

Cajun Shrimp and Tomato Pasta
Ingredients:
- Tomatos
- Mushrooms
- Onion
- Pasta
- Shrimp
- Cajun seasoning
- Cream
- Parmesan Cheese

- Marinate the shrimp in a ton of cajun seasoning and a little bit of olive oil. 15min - 1 hour
- Cut up tomatos, mushrooms, and onions
- Boil water for pasta
- Heat saute pan and cook shrimp, once slightly pink, add veggies and more cajun seasoning and salt to taste

Here is where I can take out my serving of the shrimp mix, put it next to veggies and maybe some whole grain rice, and voila. Protein rich, good food.

For Chadd:
- once pasta is cooked, dump out water and put pasta back in large pot on heat
- add shrimp mix and cream (I have NO idea how much, it's a thing that you just begin to see) and cook until cream gets thick
- before serving, add more cajun seasoning, salt, and a handful of parmesan, stir til cheese is melted, and commence to fatten up the boyfriend.

I need more recipes like that. Anyone have any recommendations?

The great thing about this detox is that it's forced me to focus on what I put into my body. I've been drinking a lot more water and eating a ton of fruit and vegetables. I've experimented with quinoa like you wouldn't believe (I'll post a recipe later that will blow your mind), and stayed away from alcohol.

I feel lean, well hydrated, and healthy. I have been battling my share of cravings: pizza (or anything with melted cheese, I'd have done illegal things for a quesadilla this week), chocolate (which I normally never crave), and diet coke (sparkling water helped cut that one back a bit); but I feel a lot more in control of what I eat, instead of letting what I eat control me.

When the detox is over (or more likely, when I get to the beach trip where I won't have control over the food available to me), I plan to introduce everything back into my diet--dairy, wheat, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol--but I plan to do it in moderation. I've really enjoyed experimenting with different grains and the amount of water I've been drinking instead of coffee and diet coke is much healthier, no matter how you slice it. If I can keep the life style I'm living now (heavy on the real foods with my mind on fueling my body, not filling it), I'll be in a much better position.

Do you think you focus on what you eat?
What food are you most reliant on?
How would you deal with cravings?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sweat it Out

About the whole water thing...here's a great article from Runner's World on knowing your sweat rate!

http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-242-302--10084-0,00.html

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Water water everywhere

As part of the four week detox, a lot of my favorite beverages are off limits:
- diet coke
- coffee
- alcohol

A lot of fruit juices also add sugar, so I'm just going to steer clear. This means I need to renew my love of water.

I'm on my second 22 ounce bottle of the day. I'll have at least one more while I'm at the office, probably closer to 2 more, then I'll have at least one before/during/after spin class tonight.

But what is the "right" amount of water? It took a little scrolling down the google return since the internet is getting clogged these days...but Mayo Clinic has this article:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283

With this guidance:

  • Replacement approach. The average urine output for adults is about 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) a day. You lose close to an additional liter (about 4 cups) of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Food usually accounts for 20 percent of your total fluid intake, so if you consume 2 liters of water or other beverages a day (a little more than 8 cups) along with your normal diet, you will typically replace your lost fluids.
  • Eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Another approach to water intake is the "8 x 8 rule" — drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (about 1.9 liters). The rule could also be stated, "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," as all fluids count toward the daily total. Although the approach really isn't supported by scientific evidence, many people use this easy-to-remember rule as a guideline for how much water and other fluids to drink.
  • Dietary recommendations. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
So, let's just go with the 8x8 rule since we've all heard it a billion times. That's 64 ounces, or three of my water bottle.

Break the bank on a water bottle you love so you want to carry it around. I'm lucky enough that my two favs (one for the office, one for home) were both free. I like the camelbaks and the nathan hydration systems because of their straws. I can absentmindedly sip from it while I'm doing other things.

Make it a priority and I'll bet you have less headaches, healthier skin, and a smaller appetite.

The hardest part now is avoiding coffee...and alcohol.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Four Week Detox

So. I bought a beautiful bathing suit at Victorias Secret yesterday with Aria. We rocked Sunday like it was our job:

1) I taught/she attended 20-20-20 AND my spin class (subbed for Tyler--subbing again next weekend!)
2) We did a quick change and headed out in search of deliciousness and found ourselves at Tacklebox. If you follow my personal twitter account, you saw what a pile of fried oysters and a lobster roll looks like
3) Shopped through Georgetown
4) Hugged it out
5) Rocked the car karaoke

Back to the bathing suit. This bathing suit is HOT. Hot hot hot stuff. Leopard print (with tiny black skulls!!! zomg!) bikini. This thing is a motivator. Could I walk out there in it now and rock it pretty well? Totally. Would I like to hop onto the beach OWNING it? You bet.

To that extent, one of my wonderful running friends and amazing entrepreneurs, Melanie Spring of Sisarina (http://melaniespring.com/ and http://sisarina.com) has started a 4 week detox that I'll be participating in. Before you all wig out about a detox, read the rules from Melanie (you can follow the adventure on her blog!)

RULES:Remove all of the following from diet:
  • Fried food
  • Wheat
  • Refined Sugar
  • Dairy
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
TIMING: June 5 - July 2, 2011 
KEEPING TRACK: Follow our eating/drinking habits on our handy-dandy spreadsheet at:melaniespring.com/4-week-detox 
On Twitter, you can see what we're up to with: Twitter handles: @MelanieSpring, @DSklarin, @MRommel and @LaureeeO Hashtag: #4weekdetox
I'm starting 2 days late, well, a day and a half late, but it's better late than never! Glad I have some bell pepper to stuff tonight :)

I promise before and after photos. ....maybe.

How to Ragnar, Pt. 1

If you know me at all, you've heard me talk about Ragnar like it's my only passion. If you don't know me, let me enlighten you to the amazing race that is the Ragnar Relay.

Ragnar Relays are a roughly 200 mile team relay race. A team of 12 or 6 (ultra) completes the race in under 36 hours. We run through the night with the support of our friends, teammates, and the kindness of the small towns that we visit.

Ragnar currently has 15 races across the country, ranging from Napa Valley to Washington, DC.

I've been lucky enough to complete three of them: DC (Cumberland, MD to the National Harbor), Florida Keys (Miami to Key West), and New England (Yale to Harvard). I'll be taking on PA (Lancaster to Mt. Pocono) and TN (Chattanooga to Nashville) this year too.

I am even more lucky to be a part of the Ragnar Brigade, a volunteer staff of Ragnar runners in the DC area who attend race expos, running clubs, and other events to tell people about the Ragnar experience. I got pretty cool swag out of the deal (Chadd will tell you I almost never take off my Ragnar brigade jacket). Part of that position also includes the amazing opportunity to work as SWAT (our safety/volunteer coordinators on the race) for the DC race this year.

Now that you have my background with Ragnar, I'm going to tell you about how to run a Ragnar. I'm in the middle of working on a Captain's Bible to share with other captains, especially first time Captains.

The first time I was introduced to Ragnar was a little over a year ago. Some guy at an expo asked me to hear him out about Ragnar, I said no thanks and he said as I walked away "Hey, hear me out. Or are you too chicken to do it?" ...if you know me, you know those were the magic words. I turned around on a dime and in about a month, I had about a half team and signed us up. I am ever grateful to whoever it was who shouted me down at the Cherry Blossom expo.

Of the three Ragnars I've done, I've captained two of them. Of the remainder, my co-captain and I have agreed to co-captain all of them. That's another blog post for another day, but, lesson one:

How to Form a Team
The scariest part of being a captain is plunking down your credit card to pay for a team before you have 11 other people to run with you. In reality, it's actually the easiest part.

Ragnar 1 (DC):
I sent out an email to about 20 people, praying that half of them would say yes. Instead, I had 3. I almost called it off. I waited for a week or two, emailed out a few more times, twittered, begged, but no one wanted to take the challenge. I am forever grateful to FJ, Pete, and Katie for taking the chance and saying yes up front.

But don't worry. That happens to everyone. The next step was using the Ragnar Facebook Page. Since my DC race, they've added discussion boards per race where you can search for runners. I found my co-captain, Brannon, and Kevan, Sandeep, Rachel, and her friends there. A friend I had originally emailed also sent my email on to a friend of his who joined our team. Jason is an accomplished cyclist and runner and we were so fortunate to add him to our team. Just keep asking people to ask their friends.

There's another resource for teams--when you form your team, you can check a box on the Ragnar team page that says you are looking for runners. That actually may have been how we found Rachel. Anyone looking to join a team is given a link to contact the captain about a place on the team.

Keys:
By the time Brannon and I had finished DC, we'd heard from a number of our friends that they were really interested in joining our team. Most people are worried about that first time (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID...sorry) but when you do it once, people suddenly realize that what seems impossible is actually quite possible. Our little PSA Ragnar video (made by Bran) didn't hurt either:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSJvzoOD50A

Brannon captained our Keys team and filled it pretty quickly with her friends. People had heard the good word and were 100% in.

New England:
We sent out emails again and within 2 weeks, we'd filled a team. This time, we both took over a van. Filling my van was pretty easy. A mutual friend of Katie and mine (Sarah) had seen us run two and wanted in. One of her friends from Boston (where she grew up) joined us (Kristen), then one of the other Brigade members (and one of my newest dear friends) Justin opted in when I posted on the Brigade facebook page and brought one of his DC teammates (Ayla) into our race. Our Iron Man/Gazelle/Bambino, FJ, has promised to be with me for every race (and for this we are all so grateful). My van was full within days, Brannon's van was full almost as fast.

Pennsylvania:
My New England van immediately re-signed (you guys are my Seal Team Six) and over the past two weeks, people I've reached out to over the past few races have started asking. Seems like 4th time is a charm. We'll likely be experimenting with the feasibility of a dual team--signing two teams with four vans and doing a _____ vs ______ theme (my current favorite is pirates v. ninjas)

Logistics:
- Build 1 email you can forward again and again and again with the following information:

  • What is a Ragnar
  • When and where is the Ragnar
  • How a Ragnar works
  • How much the registration fee is and a rough estimate of other costs (between 130-250 pending on if you travel to the race and how much stuff you have lying around...if you have a 12 passenger van, you are waaaay ahead of the game)
  • When you need to know if they are in or out (ask for a definite "no", too)
  • Ask them to invite friends
- Build a second email for people who have said yes. When you're ready to pull the trigger, you can do one of two things:

  • Pre-collect money (we suggest paypal!) from all your participants so you can immediately wipe the transaction off of your credit card
OR
  • Pay then collect monies via PayPal (this works best when you register without a full team)
To determine who gets on the team and what spot, we've done the "first paid, first pick" method. Brannon and I believe in taking the legs that no one else wants. We typically split up one of us in each van, usually with people who have said "I'm scared, but I love you, I need to be in your van." And then we take the 6th spot. This has lead to some intense pain and many miles, but if you're not willing to take the worst leg of the bunch, then I don't suggest you captain a Ragnar team.

The second email you send to people who have paid should give them an outline of info you'll need:
- What position they'd like to have or if they're more concerned about who they're with (van selection)
- What their t-shirt size is
- Cell phone number
- Travel arrangements (if necessary)
- If they have any sweet hook-ups (AAA, costco, status with a car rental company, etc.)
- Their pace (if you care)

Your email should also tell them how to log-on, accept the invitation, and SIGN THE WAIVER. It'll make your life much easier if you're not running around trying to track down people who have paid, but haven't accepted their invitation.

I recommend starting a shared google document for this (excel) and keeping track.

Next post on dock:
Logistics, Part II: Travel, major expenses, major responsibility.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Beauty of Muscle Control

In other news, how beautiful is the human body?

http://thechive.com/2011/06/01/dont-adjust-your-volume-insane-dubstep-dancing-trio-video/

I would love muscular control like that. I want to learn how to do that.

How It All Fits

Originally, I was going to write a Ragnar post, and I probably will this weekend, but a conversation I've been having with Chadd got the better of me and I need to spill.

This post is all about body image. I'm going to go ahead and throw a disclaimer out there. I'm going to use a lot of inclusive terms like "every woman" and "all women." If you are one of those women who does not feel this way, awesome! I wish to bottle your essence and sell it.

I know a few women who have dated men who have suggested to them that they lose weight. I can count at least 5 without really thinking too hard. And almost always in a terrible way. I have had many a glass of wine with friends who have gushed about a boy for weeks, gone on a few dates, become official, then, the dude goes and "hey, you know, I was thinking *grab* what if we hit the gym together?"

Gentlemen. I don't know how to tell you how stupid this is. Any woman who stays with you after that is very tolerant or you're Bradley Cooper. If I could wake up with Bradley Cooper every morning and the first words out of his mouth were "hit the gym, fatty." I'd giggle, put on my gym shorts, and off I'd go. But that isn't happening in this life time.

There is no way to say "hit the gym" to the woman you love without inflicting some pain. I won't even offer you advice, but I want to show you the conversation I had with Chadd. This conversation was spawned from me watching Say Yes to the Dress Big Bliss. I told Chadd I was copy pasting our conversation to save me the time.



Chadd: girls are so sensitive about that stuff
me: well, because it says "you're not beautiful, change and I'll think you're more beautiful."
Chadd: but it becomes this incredible taboo; is that not true about everything else in life though or is this category somehow more sacred because it's a core category to a woman
me: it's because it's something that is SO important to the image of women; it's an ISSUE because what we're told is beautiful is basically unobtainable. For example. I wear a size 4 or 6 depending on the cut and a small and in the back of my mind, I constantly hear "You are so fat. How can you call yourself a runner? You're huge." I don't know one woman who doesn't hear that voice and the thing is, we know we're crazy, so we try to ignore it, but when someone we try so hard to impress someone and want to be beautiful for and hear "you need to workout," our worst fears are realized--that voice is right.
Me: you know what it would be like for men? If the first time you slept with someone, she said "we need to do something about…you know. I hear there are some great supplements."
Chadd: I think that's slightly overstating it, although the point is taken
me: no, I think it's pretty similar; we're that sensitive about our weight
Chadd: no it really isn't it's similar in that it's sensitive, and that is true. It's not similar in that one can to a degree be more easily rectified than the other
Me: and I didn't say easily rectified; I'm talking about how the comment feels
Chadd: ah well...
Me: men don't contract mental illnesses over their YA KNOW. women starve themselves to death. literally.
Chadd: true

But here's the secret.

Ladies. The reality is that we're lovely, no matter how we "look" because we possess the charm of a woman. If a woman walks into a bar and reeks of being down on herself, she'll look like it--even if she's stunning. 

You can leave the gym, sweaty, leftover make up running all over your face, and if you tell yourself "damn I look good" and believe it, men see that more than they see anything else.

And now, back to Big Bliss.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

National Running Day

Happy National Running Day!


Runner's World weighs in: http://tinyurl.com/3v822ww

I kicked off running day by jumping out of bed bright and early and going for a 5k!

Before you throw running shoes in my direction, here's what really happened:
- my alarm went off at 5:45am
- I reset until 6:15
- I hit snooze until 6:20
- I responded to a gym buddy's text somewhere in this timeframe with "woot"
- I dragged my butt out of bed at 6:47
- Arrived at gym at 7:11 and threw down a painful fartlek-esque workout.

I must not be a serious runner, because I still cannot say "fartlek" without cracking up.

In case you didn't know:
Fartlek, which means "speed play" in Swedish, is a form of interval training which puts stress on the whole aerobic energy system due to the continuous nature of the exercise. The difference between this type of training and continuous training is that the intensity or speed of the exercise varies, meaning that aerobic and anaerobic systems can be put under stress. It differs from traditional interval training in that it is unstructured; intensity and/or speed can be varied whenever the athlete wishes. Most fartlek sessions last a minimum of 45 minutes and can vary from aerobic walking to anaerobic sprinting. Fartlek training is generally associated with running, but can include almost any kind of exercise.

You can read more on wikipedia, any serious running blog, Runners World, etc.

My fartlek (hehee) went like this:
- 1 minute walking warm up
- 2 minute easy jog (6.5)
- 5 minute tempo run (7.0)
- 2 minute above tempo (7.5-8.0)
- 2 minute walk
- 5 minute tempo (7.0)
- 3 minute above tempo (7.5-8.0)
- 3 minute walk
- 1 to 1 minute tempo to above tempo (7.0 to 8.0) for 10 minutes)
- 5 minute walk

I'm telling myself I'll go lift tonight, but what's more than likely to happen is that I'll work late, go home, maybe go see Hangover II with Chadd, then pass out before my early workout with Sarah and Klo.

Go for a run and celebrate Running Day!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gym Schedule

Before the week gets too hectic (too late!) I'm posting a gym schedule so that I don't cop out.

Tuesday - Off
Wednesday - Morning weights, evening run
Thursday - Morning Run, Evening Spin
Friday - Morning weights
Saturday - Off
Sunday - 20-20-20 AND Spin (double gym day! holla!)

The hardest part is going to be getting my butt out of bed for the rest of the week. Telling myself that I'm going home after the ball game and going straight to sleep.

3 weeks til the beach...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Secrets to Health

I don't have a lot of health secrets--I think the majority of what I have to say and what works is what everyone just chooses to avoid: it's a lot of honestly, discipline, and work. Calories in, calories out.

But everyone has tips and tricks for how to deal with poofy under eye circles or how to cure the common cold. Here are mine that I just drummed up (none of them did I learn on my own, various people over the years passed on this amazing knowledge)...

1) How to stop a cold from becoming a sinus infection:
- Sleep.
- Drink water--lots of water.
- Sleep.
- When you must be awake, drop an Emergencee in OJ.
- Use a netti pot at least twice a day, Afrin 1x a day (careful you don't get addicted).
- Sudafed every 4 hours.
- Sleep.

2) How to brush your teeth. I actually have an amazing dentist who retaught me all I know.
- Start with flossing and don't jam the floss up your gums--C shape around each tooth and scrape.
- Brush with the softest brush in existence (or use an electric brush), work gums to teeth. Go in circles. Pull out each cheek and brush the insides of your cheeks. Same with lips. Don't mash the brush down--bristles should always be straight.
- Brush your tongue (if you breath out of your nose, you won't gag).
- Pop a bit of toothpaste on the back half of your tongue and rub it against the back roof of your mouth. (This and your tongue are what cause bad breath).
- Gargle with scope or some such.

3) How to avoid sun damage: sunscreen 20 minutes before you're outside (give it time to sink in), and always use at least an spf 30. Reapply every hour.

4) Poofy under eye circles: everyone has something different that works for them, but my trick is R+F eye cream, twice a day. Also, tons of water.

5) Back pain
- Immediate relief: hang your heels off of a step, curb, anything. It's more than likely if you stretch out your hams and glutes, you'll have some relief.
- Long term strategy: at least once a day, do 3 minutes+ (it can be in sets if you life) of glute lifts. Lay on the ground, feet on the ground, squeeze your butt and raise your hips towards the ceiling. Hold. You'll strengthen your back, improve your posture, and reduce back pain.
- Oh. Stop slouching.

6) Tame Grandmother guilt:
- Have her address readily handy.
- Buy stationary you love, a funny post card, anything.
- Once a week, jot down a note in 5 minutes. Know that monday morning status meeting that sucks so badly? There's your writing time.
- Topic? 2 events from the week, 2 events upcoming, ask about her plans, one friend, and mention a memory you have of you two when you were growing up.
- Always have stamps handy (wallet), or pre-stamp and address a bunch of note cards for quick sending.

7) Drink enough water. This one is easy. Buy a water bottle you love. I don't care if you spend 40 dollars on it. Find the perfect one (my boss has taken almost a year to find one, no joke). Double points if you get one that has a clip (mine can ride along with me on my purse, gym bag, etc.).

What are your tips and tricks?

Ps. Just took nyquil and it's kicking in. Excuse all typos.

Sick!

Well. I finally did it.

I'm sick.

This happens about once a year where I over dedicate, under sleep, and boom, I get that weird scratchy thing at the back of my throat, try to blame allergies, and then have to give up and admit that I've got a cold.

I'll talk more about Ragnar New England later (but I'll just let you know now that it was AWESOME), but now, I'm posting a promise to myself so you guys can hold me accountable.

I will rest. I will relax. I will take care of myself.

This means:
- I will eat 3 meals a day (at least)
- I will drink my 3 bottles of water a day (at least)
- I will get 8 hours of sleep a day (at least)

Those demands aren't really all that hard, are they. And I bet if I'd done those for the past couple of months instead of running on fumes, snack food, and coffee, I'd not be sick right now.

Time for another round of emergencee and another bottle of water...

As a result, I won't be able to teach my running group tonight. But since I have to go, I figured I'll just make them do hill repeats while I sit at the bottom of 16th street and giggle. Have fun!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

80's Spin for the Win

I promise I'll be short, but this is the most awesome playlist I've ever made for spin. I was really fortunate that I had the boys club come to my class (a bunch of random dudes in town for business in their 40's) and they took my karaoke request VERY seriously. Guys...I made an 80's spin class. I wore a side pony tail and it was awesome enough for Aria to join me (come take her class before mine at 6pm on Tuesdays!)

Awesome 80's Spin:
Warm Up: Still Alive (Theme from Mirror's Edge)
Warm Up/Transition to working flat: Open Your Eyes/United States of Electronica
Running: Love is a Battlefield/Pat Benatar
Jumps: Sweet Dreams/Eurythmics
Seated Incline: Rock You Like a Hurricane/Scorpions
Standing Incline: You Give Love a Bad Name/Bon Jovi
Working Flat: Stay Up Late/Talking Heads
Seated Incline: Photograph/Def Leppard
Running with resistance: Sweet Child O'Mine/Guns N' Roses
Increasing Incline: I Hate Myself for Loving You/Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Jumps on an Incline: Down Under/Men at Work
Seated Incline: Hit Me With Your Best Shot/Pat Benatar
Standing Incline to Burnout: The Final Countdown/Europe
Cool Down: Your Love (cover)/Midtown
Cool Down/Stretch: Your Long Journey/Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Mothers Day and Moving On

 As I write this, I’m making two glorious mistakes: I’m writing while listening to sad music (cue Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, a heartbreakingly beautiful combination) and drinking. While flying in turbulence. I’d count that as three mistakes if I was in charge of the third problem, which I am clearly not.

-->

I had intended to write the first part of this post Sunday, but decided the time was better spent with my mom, poolside, enjoying a glass of homebrew after a long run. Life was pretty rough in Florida, let me tell you.

Part 1: My Mom, My Role Model.

My mom is totally awesome. Aside from how creative she is (If you haven’t seen her work, shameless plug, go check it out here: www.niftyartgirl.com), she’s an incredible mom. It’s not uncommon for me to prefer spending Friday night drinking a glass of wine and talking to her on the phone. I do this to Katie, too. Basically, my mom is one of my best friends. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and we’ve shared our thoughts and feelings as only you can do with your mom. I remember spending hours at night walking with her (to wring out our little dog’s bladder…RIP Queenie) and talking my mouth off. From having my heart broken by my first real boyfriend to concerns about college, internships, my first period, my first kiss, all that. We’d walk and I’d spill. I’m sure she knew that “Mom, Can we go for a walk?” really meant “Mom, I gotta talk to you.”

My mom often sends up a box (without telling me) filled with post-race goodies from bath salts to chocolates and fuzzy socks. Nothing better than coming home from a marathon or Ragnar to a box, addressed to me, with that familiar handwriting. I learned how to anticipate people’s needs from my mom.

I could fill an entire blog with how awesome my mom is, but what I really wanted to talk about how I got into aerobics and how my mom was a big part of that. I grew up in San Antonio and remember many mornings, afternoons, evenings, spent in a little nursery/play area with my best friend, playing with dolls and trains and whatever else was around, and occasionally, getting lucky enough to have the woman who watched us lift me up to watch my mom through a window while she did honest-to-God 80’s/Early 90’s aerobics. You guys, this stuff is the aerobics of my dreams. Leotards, tights, leg warmers….it was epic. And I remember thinking how cool it was that my mom could do that.

I had an aerobics birthday party for my (6th?) birthday. I HAD A LEOTARD, Y’ALL.

People ask me every now and then how I became an instructor. I can tell you how I did it (a course at GW taught by the very talented J. Skarka), but the real reason is why: aerobics and fitness was in my life from a very early age. My mom has always told me how important it was and how good it felt to work out and be active. So, thanks, Mom!

Part 2: Leaving Home (Dear Mom, please don’t read this. I am excited about the move to Atlanta).
I know they say you can’t go home again. I just had to come back one last time. Ma’am I know you don’t know me from Adam, but these handprints on the front steps are mine. Up those stairs, in that little back bedroom is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar. And I bet you didn’t know, under that live oak, my favorite dog is buried in the yard.

Whew. More stupid songs to play on the plane.

We moved to Florida right before my 8th grade year. What I remember the most about that move was how little I cared that I was leaving Texas. I don’t think anyone believes me when I say I quite literally cried once: when I realized I would never ride my favorite horse regularly again (I was lucky enough to go back once and ride). Truly, I loved Florida. I loved my new school, my new friends, my growing-up-ness. I had a wonderful high school experience growing up in Florida. Going home for the summers in college, while maybe not the highlight of activity, was still a very peaceful and happy time for me.

When my parents called last fall with the news that they were moving to Atlanta for my dad’s job, the information took a while to wash over me while I sat in the Boston airport.

I cried when I got home to DC, my head in Chadd’s lap. This is increasingly a unique activity for me. My emotions seem to be pretty tapped out by the time I get home from work and teaching.  Event by event of my life came up in my mind over the coming weeks:
-       My first day at Trinity
-       My birthday party at the Red Bug Lake park where we played football for hours
-       The pool parties we had that summer (there must be pictures, but I refuse to try and find them…I thought board shorts were a good idea at the time)
-       Long walks with mom and the dog
-       My parents hosting a homecoming dinner for all of us in 9th grade
-       Re-doing the kitchen and burning a cake in the oven the first chance I got to use it
-       Slumber parties with Lily and Jessie, my high school best friends
-       Throwing my AP US book across the living room at 2 in the morning because I’d had enough
-       The first time Chadd picked me up for a date and how I made my dad open the door for him
-       Christmas every year in the living room
-       Running errands for Kimberly my senior year
-       Packing for college after the hurricanes knocked out our power
-       Painting my room during college with Chadd to feel more “grown up” and crying a little when I painted over the lyrics I’d written in pencil on my wall
-       Training for my first marathon
-       Staying up till all hours with Will during vacations

The list quite literally could take hours and hours to write. That’s 12 years of memories to record.

But as sad as it made me, the economy in Florida has been pretty crappy and the housing market is even worse. I was able to pretend for another holiday season that my parents weren’t moving, that nothing would ever change, and I could revisit my childhood whenever life got to be too much.

The news came early last month: there was an offer on the house. I told Chadd this and he said “well, when are you going to go back?”

Naively, I believed I could avoid the topic all together. Almost every weekend in the coming two months was booked, except for the weekend before they intended to move. “We have professional packers and movers, you don’t need to come home to help,” Mom said, “we’ll just have them pack everything and you can go through it later.” This was a very tempting proposition, not because I didn’t want to see my folks, but because I am terrible with goodbyes. You can ask Chadd. I used to lose my mind the day before he’d go back to college or when he’d go back to Americorps. I was in no mood to say goodbye to 12 years of what I’d called home.

But, as is usual in our house, Chadd was right, “You know you’ll regret not going back one last time,” he said, “Remember, I didn’t get a chance to do that with the apartment I grew up in; I suggest you make some time.”

My bosses are good about letting me work remotely, so last Friday morning, I got to the airport at the ungodly hour of 5:45am and flew home.

I tried to relive every moment of Florida.

I took the afternoon to run to my old high school. I walked around campus and saw all the changes and it was just like reading a much-loved book you haven’t read in a long time. You know how it all goes, but you love it, even though it will never be new—but it’s never quite the same as it was. Like a different life that you once knew.

I came home on the same training route I used when I first learned to run.  I still remember running 9 miles for the first time. In totally inappropriate running gear (in case you didn’t know, Victoria’s Secret shorts = chafe city. Bad news), in the pouring rain, I finished my 9 miles and felt total victory. I hurt like hell the next day.

I sat at the kitchen table with my family most of the time, or lazed about outside (something I should have done a lot more of).

I went to the place where we buried my two childhood cats.
I walked through every room time and time again and did what I hate to do: say goodbye. I always have to remind myself that goodbye hurts in the moment, but I usually bounce back pretty quickly afterwards.

I got to DC where Chadd picked me up, drove me home and made me dinner. The house was clean, the cats wrinkled their noses at the smell of Harold then promptly demanded my attention. I fell asleep with my head on Chadd’s chest as he played video games and the cats slept at our feet.

I realized that the things I loved about Florida have never really gone anywhere. The items that trigger memories, sure, the house held many of them, but where that was, a new house will be with new memories. My family, my friends, my boy, they’re not gone.

And I hear Atlanta is pretty cool anyway.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Real Health

For the first time in a long time, I finally had a full thought. Not like--I finished a sentence or completed work...I just finally had a clear head this morning while on the plane. Things felt manageable. I know that sounds almost impossible to comprehend, but I've been doing myself a disservice. I've been running myself ragged.

I fall asleep in less than 5 minutes every night, always feel hungover when I wake up (booze or not), and I can't remember the last time I relied on my water bottle as much as I do my cell phone.

In short: I've taken a pretty serious fall from health.

Part of the problem is that I've put it in last place--I work out a lot, but it's a lot easier to pick up crappy food for lunch, or swing by BGR with Chadd at night.

But for the next three days, I'm at home in Orlando with my folks and while I had to work most of the day, this afternoon is the picture of exactly what I need:

After I finished up work, I threw on my running shorts, and headed out with the intention of 4 miles...which turned into 6 after I realized I was really here to relive my time in Orlando since my parents are moving. So, I ran down to my high school and back (which, apparently, is 6 miles), I came home with the dream of jumping in the pool, but because it was freezing, I wound up reading on a deck chair in the sun.

When I trained for the marine corps marathon the first time around, I worked here over the summer and between the law firm and O'boys BBQ, I would run to Trinity and back. What a surreal feeling--I saw the benches where Chadd and I used to sit, the classrooms I used to go to, the giant rock in campus, etc. It's like revisiting a much loved book, but not at all like I used to be a chubby yearbook editor who ran her fastest mile (without stopping!!) in 15 minutes. To put that in perspective, at the four courts four, I did my 2 mile split in 7:28.

Mom, Dad, and I sat outside after I showered and had wine, ate cheese and crackers, and unwound.

One of the biggest parts of health (aside from nutrition) that I have been ignoring is my mental health. I'm overwhelmed, over committed, and over stressed. I've had a number of friends tell me lately that I need to learn to say no to activities and find a way to enjoy doing nothing.

It's not been in my nature to not do something/be fully committed. I'm OCD to the max in many ways; I need to switch focus when I get bored (which I do easily). It's why I like my job; if I hate what I'm doing, I can switch to a different client project then go back when I'm not tired of it.

But I need to learn to relax because otherwise, I will implode. Chadd will tell you that the warning signs are there; I've been short on temper, moody, depressed, and prone to forgetting things more than usual.

So. Here's the taking care of yourself. Trying to go back to four bottles of water a day, and thinking before I eat.

And by the way--how do I manage to hit the gym as often as I do? Make yourself your own client. Would you break an appointment with a client? Nope.

My gym schedule:
Monday: Running Group
Tuesday: Teach Spin
Wednesday: Morning gym
Thursday: Off
Friday: Off
Saturday: Run
Sunday: 20-20-20

I get into trouble Wednesday through Saturday because Im not required to be anywhere. Everything else, I'm paid to do or I do with friends. I suppose that's the real trick. Having outside non-negotiable responsibility.

It also never hurts to have a billion-ty races scheduled...one of them being Ragnar New England, which I am so stoked about. Boston, here we come.

So, back to the bottom line...I need your advice. How do I make myself take time off? Suggestions needed.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quick Schedule (with HR Targets!)

Busy day is busy...much to say, but here's the quick gym schedule of the week (reduced b/c of something I learned this weekend in cycle cert, more later...)

Monday: Running Group (heart rate max at 75%)
Tuesday: Cycle (heart rate between 65-80% 95% of time, then a push to 85% at the end)
Wednesday: Running Group (heart rate max at 75%)
Thursday: AM Weights
Friday: Off -- yaay birthday!
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 5k

Friday, February 4, 2011

Always Over Plan

When I give my schedule for workouts of the week, I'm not entirely honest.

I'm well intentioned, but I also know that there's a snowball's chance in hell that I'm going to make all of them. This week, the big loser was Tuesday morning's workout.

This week is, however, shaping up better than THUNDERSNOW week:

Monday: running group
Tuesday: Cycle
Wednesday: running group
Thursday: AM weights
Friday: AM cycle
Saturday: off
Sunday: Spin Cert (though, we're doing 2 workouts, so can this count as my missed Tuesday morning?)

Along the line of gadgets, I got a heart rate monitor from Ragnar for captaining, so I need to get it out and actually use it.

Any recommendations on when/how to best use one for training? I know it's important in cycle (just like spd shoes!) but it's one of those things I just hadn't invested in (...just like spd shoes!)

Discuss.

Monday, January 31, 2011

THUNDERSNOW

I don't have to tell you what happens when THUNDERSNOW attacks a city.

But in case you don't know: workouts stop.

THUNDERSNOW began midday on Wednesday. I skipped my Wednesday workout because I was enjoying getting an absurd amount of sleep every night (between 7-9 hours) and figured, no big deal, I'd do my running group Wednesday night.

I left my office at 4:15 and was home by 5:15 and very glad to be off the roads. Running group was clearly not happening considering I almost broke myself just walking a block to the liquor store (THUNDERSNOW calls for beer).

Chadd and I did go down to the Dupont Snowball fight:
video
Unfortunately, Chadd got slammed in the face with a big snowball and got what would be a black eye if he bruised. He just wound up with a puffy face and a red eyeball for a bit. Battle scars, man.

This meant that Thursday morning, I was in no mood to get up (especially since I was going to sleep in a bit to go to a client meeting, but when the client cancelled due to the roads, I decided to work from home. Which meant there was no way in hell I was going to go to the gym when I could sit around in sweatpants.

Friday, I was feeling very Friday-esque and didn't do anything.

Saturday, I did bite the bullet and head out at 10 to the Georgetown City Sports running group. Nike was there doing a give-away. I got a free city sports running shirt (yaay technical!) and won a draw string bag, which is always nice--especially since I need something for my cycle shoes.

The run was great, save the parts where I had to navigate across ice/snow/whatever that people hadn't shoveled yet (shame on you), but man did I feel out of shape. I was EXHAUSTED after the 5k and could have gone for a nap. What a difference a few days makes...

I will say, I have found the ideal combination for winter running: running tights under pair of shorts, tank top, long sleeves, zip up, skull cap, gloves.

I taught 20-20-20 on Sunday morning, as usual, and combined my 1 minute efforts for both upper and lower body.  For example: right leg piston squats with a left arm raise for 1 minute.

My shoulder are not exactly happy this morning. But now that my gym buddies are back in town, I don't have an excuse to not get to it. We've agreed that Monday mornings basically never happen, so here's the schedule this week:

Monday: YMCA running group (7pm)
Tuesday: AM: Light Run/Leg Weights, PM: teach cycle (7pm)
Wednesday: PM: Fleet Feet Running Group (hopefully Tuesdays' "wintery mix" won't get in the way)
Thursday: AM: Light Run/Arm weights
Friday: AM Cycle
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Cycle Certifications

Clocking in with a grand total of 7 workouts.

By the way, tried out my new cycle shoes--my butt killed for a few days. They really do help with the stabilization and isolation of muscles. Can't rely very much on gravity anymore. Definitely worth the switch.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Schedules, arms, shoes and other things

My abs are burning as I write this.

So far, my "back to normal" routine has been going pretty well.  I'm not as tired as I was in the beginning stages of recovery and my strength hasn't disappeared too much.  Last week:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: A.M. Cardio and Weights
Wednesday: Fleet Feet running group (see below)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: A.M. Spinning
Sunday: 20-20-20

This week/Accomplished and Planned:
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: A.M. Cardio/Weights, P.M. Cycle
Wednesday: A.M. Cardio
Thursday: A.M. Cardio/Weights
Friday: A.M. Spinning
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 20-20-20

And I just sneezed and it burned.  Clearly, I got a good workout on Sunday.

Teaching again is really great--a lot of my regulars were there and were clearly happy to see me (even though I had awesome subs).  I had a great time and made a special effort to make sure everyone is in just as much pain as I am...

(one week later)...

I need to get better about hitting "publish post"...because this has clearly been sitting around for a bit since I wrote it.

Continuing the workout trend has been good--I took Wednesday and Thursday off because I was lazy and slept in, and had Restaurant Week dinners both nights, but I made up for it by working out on Friday morning (am cycle) and skipping out a bit early on work and hitting the gym before date night with Chadd.

This morning I taught 20-20-20 again, which was awesome.  This week we did an arm burn out, which is my new favorite workout method:

10 exercises, 1 minute each.
Arms:
- bicep curls/hammer curls
- upright rows
- shoulder press
- triceps kickbacks
- deadlifts
- pull over (lie with shoulders on ball, squeezing glutes, holding weights above chest, then over head, then back to over chest)
- bear hugs on ball (shoulder still on ball, arms out with weights, to center, back out, repeat)
- pushups (can be substituted for "pyramid" pushups--10 basic, 10 with one hand on top of step, 10 straddling bench, 10 with other hand on bench, 10 basic)
- weighted jumping rope (act like you're jumping rope weights in hand)
- triceps dips

Do that 2x through, broken up with 10 minutes (or more) of cardio (Good time for speed work on the treadmill, to be honest) and the finish up with the 10 minute ab routine that will slice you up:

1 minute each:
- basic crunches (no cheating)
- leg lifts (don't swing the legs, even foot prints towards the ceiling)
- rope climbers
- leg scoops
- bridge
- side shoelace grabs
- double crunch
- the "row" (sit on tailbone, feet off ground, holding a weight, scoop from side to side, fully rotating body)
- low plank
- high plank

voila.

Now, I need to get around to creating a lower body workout that will be just as painful and effective.

Gym routine this week looks like:
- Monday: Evening group run with Y (likely to be a minor workout for me)
- Tuesday: Morning leg routine, evening cycle
- Wednesday: Morning Cardio, evening running group with Fleet Feet
- Thursday: Morning upper body routine
- Friday: Morning cycle
- Saturday: Rest
- Sunday: 20-20-20

Changing gears, fun new subject: Shoes!

I am sad to announce that I've decided to break my many year streak of wearing Nike Max Motos.  I love those shoes and strongly recommend them to anyone looking for a good, light weight, neutral running shoe.  However, after roughly 4 years (probably more) of only using motos, I've decided to try something a bit different.  I will likely keep purchasing the motos to teach in, but since I've vowed to take running seriously this year (something that people think I'm kidding about because how can one not be "serious" about running when training for a marathon), I've decided to get a pair of shoes dedicated to running only.

When I was at Fleet Feet the other week, I had some time to kill before the running group.  I met Phil, one of the guys who works there, who talked to me about shoes. I thought I knew about shoes, and boy was I wrong. Phil knows shoes. If you're looking for someone to tell you about running shoes and what you need, ask Phil at Fleet Feet, though I'm sure they all know their stuff. Bottom line, we decided that if my then-current shoes (motos) were on the scale of Good to Best, mine were somewhere between the line of good to better. Looking to work with a shoe dedicated only for running, he let me try on about 7 different pairs of shoes. I took 2-3 of them out of a test jog up and down the block. I tried everything from Nikes to Brooks to Sauconys to Asics, and there I found, in the last pair of shoes, something miraculous: Ascis Gel Nimbus 12. Yes. Please.

I've been running with Nikes that use air technology (which keeps the shoe very lights) and since I wear orthodics in my shoes, the lighter the better. However, they cushion just a little less. I really have liked the gel nimbus in the week or so that I've had them. I can definitely tell the difference with the gel (better shock absorber), and the fit is just a bit more suited for stability. On top of that, the shoe laces come around on a slight "s" curve to better bind the shoe to your foot.  Better yet, Phil taught me how to tie my shoes just a little differently so that the shoe better connects with my heel.

I've been cautions since I haven't run out of a moto in so long (basically my entire running career), but so far, just doing 3-4 miles, we're off on a good start.

Also related to shoes:
Last tuesday at my first cycle class in quite some time, I realized that the instructor bike at the Y only accommodates clips (yikes). The instructor before me kindly help me take the bike off the stage and change it for a bike with cages. Then, someone in the class asked me why their clips weren't fitting in our bikes (???). She said she had "egg beaters" (over my head like a flock of geese) and thankfully someone stepped up and said "oh, those are the types our bikes don't handle, they're really only made for mountain bikes."

I don't mind being ignorant about something fitness related, God knows there is more to that subject that I'll ever have a handle on, but something that is pretty basic to what I'm teaching...I can't ignore it much longer. I haven't ever invested in a pair of clips, simply because it's just that: an investment.

Chadd and I went over to City Sports in Georgetown (which is launching a running club that I am seriously stoked about) and I talked to one of the guys and basically owned up to the fact that I am a clip-ignorant cycle instructor.

They only carry two pairs (both Shimano). He grabbed each for me and I tried them on. It's tough to say "wow, that's a comfortable shoe!" when trying on clips. Clips are essentially made to be supportive (read: stiff) along the bottom of the shoe to act as an extended pedal. You clip into the pedal, making your foot much less likely to slide off/out of the pedal.

They didn't have my size in the older version (read: cheaper) and since the difference was only $10, I figured what the heck, and grabbed the newer version: http://www.bicyclebuys.com/shoes/ShoeMTB/SHWM61PART

Pretty slick.

Report to come on how those work out on Tuesday, though you should have seen me this morning. After teaching 20-20-20, I figured I better try them out before I taught with them. I found a bike on one of the floors that was a spinning bike and clipped in. Ok. Not too bad. Pedal pedal pedal, awesome, we're good. Now to dismount.

Oops? I finally gave up (I was feeling fuzzy after a lack of food and teaching) and took my shoes off while still attached to the bike. Note to self: release by moving heel to the side and then release.

Also this week: aiming to get 8 hours of sleep a night--no more, no less. Which means, in order to be up at 7:15, I need to jump in bed.

Btw, stick to your resolutions and outlast that dude at the gym who doesn't know the unspoken rules. You're better than that.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Post about Many Things

So you know what happens when you wait to register for races?

They fill up.

As a result, the two half marathons that I'd planned to run this year have filled up (Virginia Wine Country and the Colorado Half).

Right now, I'm on the wait list for Virginia Wine and am scrambling for a replacement for the Colorado.  The trick in this equation is that Will leaves in May to go home for a bit, then comes back to Colorado.  I was thinking of the Horsetooth Half (mid-April), but Mom and my cousin (who lives out there) have suggested maybe a fall race...better weather!  Roze says that the Crosswinds race is less punishing (course profile says flat and fast) and, again, better weather.

So, to avoid this issue in the future, here's my calendar:

Jan: Ragnar Miami (just got back last night!)
Feb: Love the Run You're With (http://www.pacersevents.com/lovetherun/index.html)
March: B and A Half, Four Courts Four
April: Cherry Blossom 10, Nashville Rock and Roll Half
May: Marine Corps Half (maybe) or maybe New England Ragnar

Ragnar.

Ragnar was incredible.  I had a great time down in the Keys--we got to DC on Wednesday night, got Brannon, and headed to the house where we passed out after a glass of wine and some nachos.  Thursday we celebrated Chadd's birthday with breakfast at Briar Patch in Winter Park, then got ready to head down to Miami.

Chadd and I picked up K-lo in Boca Raton, then met up with everyone in Miami.  Friday morning, we decorated the vans (which looked so awesome...they had grass skirts with hibiscus flowers around them and margarita lights around the front windshield) then headed to the start line.

The only thing I'd change about this Ragnar experience would be our start time.  We got a 1pm start time and wound up getting stuck with fast teams, so we were often alone at exchange points and missing the real "Ragnar experience."  However, Ragnar was totally awesome and let us run simultaneously--Van 1 was still running their third leg while van 2 began theirs as well.  Instead of finishing after the finish line would have been closed (we'd have gotten in around 8:30), we wound up finishing around quarter of 5.

Margaritas, beer, pina coladas, all out on the Southernmost Point beach (I managed to walk into the water to about my knees in lieu of an ice bath).  The after party was INCREDIBLE.  Live music, great vendors, tons of people...it was really paradise.  The race itself was a blast, I had great people in my van and we spent a good deal of time basically rushing through the Keys (our legs were a lot shorter this time, it seemed, and traffic destroyed our ability to easily get around).  There was nothing like running over the water on the fishing bridges, or talking with the wonderful people in Homestead who thought we were crazy.  Van 1 saw a Key Deer while we saw Iguanas....there were a few legs that required runners to sign a waiver about "potentially aggressive wildlife" spawning the joke in the RagMag (ragnar magazine) with a giant fake gator saying "Imma Eat Choo"....

The whole experience was just as wonderful, but totally different than the first.  That's the beauty of Ragnar--it might be the same structure, 36 hour 200 mile relay race, but it's always new.

I'm already planning the next Ragnar, so if you want in, let me know.

On the Ragnar note...the Hood to Coast documentary is being shown for one night only in theaters tomorrow night.  If you live in the Alexandria area (Eisenhower, Hoffman Center), come see me other Brigade members, and Pacers at the theater for a reg code with a good deal and talk to me about Ragnar in person (please allow for at least 30 minutes as I can talk your ear off about how much I love it).

In final news, I'm filling out my workout schedule, which will look vaguely like this:

Monday: Rest OR Pacers evening Fun Run (Alexandria)
Tuesday: AM workout (weights) AND Teaching evening cycle (7pm Nat. Cap YMCA - starting next week)
Wednesday: AM workout  And/Or Fleet Feet Women's Running Group (6:30PM AdMo)
Thursday: AM weights workout And/Or Pacers Running Group (Logan Circle)
Friday: AM cycle or AM Cardio and Weights
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Teach 20-20-20 (10am Nat. Cap YMCA)

This fulfills my requirements for two running clubs, brings me back to teaching 2 classes a week, and gives me two rest days.  I prefer doubling up on days to workout simply because it gives me flexibility if I don't want to hit a night workout.

Ideally, I'll be able to cycle through the three running clubs--do Monday night when I can't make a Wednesday or Thursday.  If there are 4 weeks in a month (roughly), I'd ideally like to make it to a running group 6 times.  That gives me two weeks where I can only make it once or one week where I can't at all.

In final news, (too lazy to go back and correct previously written stuff on this page), I will be captaining a team for Ragnar New England, May 20-21.  Prepare.  Now...to find a good team name....