Best of 2014

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Before I look forward to 2015, I want to reflect on 2014.

….It was one amazing year

It started off with an abundance of movie ticket gift cards from my students before Christmas vacation and then this random cutie agreed to help me get rid of them by going to Anchorman 2 with me…and then he just kind of stuck around. Boy am I thankful that he did ūüėČ

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Okay. Now that the cheesy stuff is out of the way..maybe.¬†We can move on to my¬†first race of 2014. ¬†The Disney Princess Half Marathon! My mom and I started the new year off with a pretty low-key race…yah know, just 24,000 runners running through the beautiful Disney castle. ¬†So casual. ¬†¬†I placed 12th at this race with a time of 1:29. ¬†I was pretty darn surprised because I had not been running much prior to this. ¬†I was focusing on lifting and just went into this race hoping¬†my strength would carry me through. ¬†I guess you could say it did..for a little… the last 3 miles were probably the most painful 3 miles I have ever run. Regardless, it was an amazing trip with my amazing mom. ¬†Oh, and we are¬†doing it again in 7 weeks ūüôā

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The 12th place finish got me back into running mode. ¬†I was super¬†excited to race¬†the local St. Patrick’s Day Road Race. ¬†But 3 days before the race¬†I casually missed a step while sprinting on the stairmaster (Yah. Don’t do that..) and my knees got annihilated by the rotating steps. My running was put to a halt…just when you start getting that racing high excitement.¬†

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BUT. With a positive attitude…and lots of icing.¬†I was able to get back to running and ran the Boston Run to Remember in May. ¬†I PR’ed in the racing department (1:27.00) AND in the fashion department….if that does not scream AMERICA, I don’t know what does.¬†

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Oh, I also caught my first fish this year!!..and then fishing slowly became another addiction. ¬†Until a dry spell comes along and I get frustrated and pull the “ugh, I am DONE for the day AND week”….I still working on dealing with failure.

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I experienced another running setback after the Boston Half Marathon.  My knee was not playing nice but no hard feelings.  With an open summer and an injured knee, I decided to try some new things.  And this is where my passion for Crossfit began!

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In addition to crossfit, I started biking more and completed my first bike race! ¬†My dad and I took part in a 50 mile bike ride.¬†It is safe to say he kicked my sore butt. ¬†The intense biking outfit that he broke out the morning of the race should have given it away…he is going to be taking this very seriously. ¬†I tried not to hold him back so I put up one hell of a fight!

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And yet again, I came back from my injury and took on the San Francisco Half Marathon with little running, lots of crossfit, lots of biking and lots of KT tape. ¬†No PR here but I felt overwhelmingly¬†blessed just to be able to run, let alone RUN ACROSS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE…oh and with my BEST FRIEND at the finish line.

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If you don’t believe me that she is my best friend and that we were in San Francisco then just check out our “Bestie Selfie” snap chat on top of the Full House setting ūüėČ

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With Fall fast approacing…aka HUNTING SEASON. ¬†It was only fitting that I get my first CAMO article of clothing. ¬†It was super essential if I wanted to go out in the woods in Ithaca to help set up for the season. ¬†I blend in so nicely huh?!

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But really, the Fall means RACING SEASON.  I run most of my half marathons in the fall.  Here are the three half marathons I ran.

Hartford Half Marathon

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Newburyport Half Marathon

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Monson Half Marathon

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AND I also competed in my FIRST Crossfit competition. An action shot would have been too intimidating ūüėČ

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Enough about me.  Lets talk about my brother.  My brother ran in the New York City Marathon for the first time and casually placed 22nd! yup, you read that correctly. TWENTY-TWO!!! He is kind of a big deal in the running world.  He was moving a little too fast to snap a picture/I was too busy cheering so this picture will have to do.  But you can check out this article in our local newspaper about him!

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And then Thanksgiving rolled around and I was able to look back on ALL OF THIS and say THANKS! I also got to go for my first snowy run of the year.  10 beautiful miles in Ithaca before a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.

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As I wrap¬†everything up, I find myself asking…how did I get so lucky??

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I could not be more thankful for all the wonderful people in my life that inspire me to better myself each and every day.

Christmas Craziness

Holy Moly. ¬†I can’t believe my last post was Christmas Eve, 5 days ago!

I am pretty sure today was the first day I actually knew what day of the week it was since then. ¬†The holidays were absolutely wonderful but man, I am excited to get back to a normal schedule. ¬†I am still on Christmas break for another week so I guess MY schedule is not normal but I am OK with that. ¬†I can feel routine simply by having other people’s schedule being back to normal. ¬†SO, I thank all of you who are at work because it makes me feel routined ūüėČ

My workouts may have been the only thing that remained normal this past week. ¬†I think I depended on my crossfit WODS and my Hot Yoga sessions to keep me sane..and to work off those holiday indulgences…

Christmas morning looked a little something like this…

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The best thing about running is it is always Open, you don’t have to worry about those limited holiday hours. ¬†My 6am Christmas morning run was especially open, the roads were dead….thank goodness because my outfit was ridiculous. ¬†A winter hat to keep my hair dry from the sprinkling rain, a tank top because it was somewhat warm, and spandex pants. ¬†Yup.¬†I think I was sending a sign to Santa to bring me new workout clothes ūüėČ

Despite the perfect running weather, the run was not all that great. It was the first time running after I decided to take a week off for my tibia tendon pain. It felt fine for the first couple of miles but that did not last long.  After mile 2, it went downhill fast. Mile 5 was a fight against my body and my emotions. It was one of those runs where you are fighting to hit your mile goal even though you know that it is not worth it. But of course, I can type the logical thing to do but in the heat of the moment I wanted the miles. So, although I completed 6 miles before Christmas brunch, I knew that it would be the last run for some time.

On a brighter note, Christmas brunch with my boyfriend’s family was absolutely wonderful. ¬†Eggs, bacon, toast, and a delicious fruit platter. ¬†After breakfast and presents we headed over to my parents house for more presents.

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Speaking of presents, check out this bad boy! A Ninja crock pot from my boyfriend’s parents. ¬†We can’t wait to try this out! I have never really used one but have heard so many great things about them and have come across some really simple and delicious recipes using crock pots. ¬†The idea of being able to start dinner in the morning and have it ready by the time I¬†get home from Crossfit sounds pretty awesome.

How adorable is my mom! ¬†She sewed my boyfriend a stocking that looks just like each of the family member’s stocking so he can “feel included”.

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After some family fun, we were in dire need for a Christmas afternoon, food-induced nap before we were back at it for another family dinner.

One of the many¬†desserts consumed at dinner just happened to be the revealing of the sex of my boyfriend’s sister’s baby!

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IT IS A GIRL!..and a delicious cupcake.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were just filled with morning workouts/yoga, healthy meals throughout the day, lots of naps, and evening celebrations. ¬†Last night I heard the line, “my waist is expanding like the national debt”…well said, ha ha. ¬†I think many of us can relate to this…me included.

Although I am on vacation and allowed to sleep until late in the day, I decided to go to 7am Crossfit this morning. ¬†I didn’t particularly enjoy waking up at 6:15 but I also did not want to have to wait to workout until the next class at 5:30 and it gives me the possibility to go for a walk or bike ride later in the day. YUP, a bike ride! The weather has been oddly warm, I was able to take my bike out for an afternoon ride on Friday! ¬†One ride and my butt was sore..goes to show how biking activates so many different muscles.

However, that is NOT how this afternoon is being¬†spent. ¬†After a WOD that consisted of 100 overhead squats this morning and the realization that I haven’t taken a rest day since last Monday, I think it is time to rest up a bit. ¬†No doubling up today.

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Just one workout and one delicious bowl of oatmeal for me today!

Oh and one large¬†Americano of course….

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A New Outlook on “The 12 Days of Christmas” Song

Merry Christmas Eve!

It was a bit of a rough morning, BUT the Christmas presents are all wrapped, the cookies are in the oven and I am now horizontal on the couch so things are smoothing out!

imageI may have gone a bit far with the bows and ribbons but once I get in an artsy mode, there is not stopping me.

Accompanying me in this afternoon couch party is a pretty great tea combination

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A peppermint tea bag, a sugar cookie tea bag and Holiday Nog almond milk that I discovered at Whole Foods. Perfection

This evening is planned to be a low-key, homemade dinner, Christmas movie and gift exchanging filled night. I don’t see that changing since¬†I am currently car-less. Yup. ¬†Perfect morning for my car’s motor to break off right?¬†I blame it on the craziness of this mornings WOD.

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When I first saw this, I did not know that the movements mirrored the lyrics to the song but I DID know that there had to be a twist because Holiday WODS are never short and sweet.

The ride to Crossfit was nice and smooth, aside from the fact that it was 6:45 am and the first morning of vacation. I guess you could say I wanted to get the pain over with and the next class at 2am was when I planned to be planted on the couch. ¬†The way home was not as smooth. ¬†My car suddenly made an obnoxiously loud sound and vibration when I tried to accelerate. ¬†Thankfully, my auto shop was open and willing to take a look. ¬†The list of things that were wrong with it may have been longer than the list of things working. ¬†The repairs will be made but I think it is time to start looking for something new. ¬†My car, also known as “Pearl” has far too many miles on her but she is also far too good on gas to let her go! ¬†We shall see what is in the future in terms of cars….

Before I grab the cookies out of the oven, I need to share this amazing bowl of oatmeal.  Not that all my other bowls are not amazing. But this. This is so simple and oh so perfect.

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No spices, no extracts, and no other added flavors that taint the wonderful taste of simple oatmeal.  I cooked 1/3 cup of oats and 1 tbsp of Chia Seeds on the stove with 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of  unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a sugar cookie tea bag for about 8 minutes.  When most of the liquid was absorbed (not all), I poured it in a bowl and added a bit more almond milk, almond slivers, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, and goji berries.

Another great combination was this pre workout snack.  Toasted Ezekiel bread, almond butter, sliced banana, chia seeds, and coconut flakes.

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What is NOT such a great snack, and I have been doing a good job not making it a snack, perhaps¬†just a little dessert…

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Bags and bags filled with chocolate! ¬†Yikes. ¬†It is so sweet when my students get me gifts but darn it’s A LOT of chocolate!

But isn’t that one of the best part of Holidays?! Spending time with great friends and family and ¬†¬†some¬†indulging in delicious meals, baked goods and sweets! ūüôā

An Extra Rest Day and an Extra Ugly Sweater

Well hello, lets address some things…

1.  There is 1 day that stands between me and Christmas vacation.

2. I just finished Christmas Shopping

3.  I got to spend Sunday with my parents and relatives while watching my cousin perform in one of the funniest plays I have every seen

…I guess you can say things are going pretty great over here.

Friday’s are usually my rest days, as you can tell from my last post, but sometimes 1 day just is not enough…and the Christmas presents are not going to wrap themselves.

In the last two weeks I do not think there was a day where I wasn’t sore somewhere. ¬†I am all for soreness – I like to associate the soreness with hard work and growth, but it is important to let the soreness alleviate so your muscles have the appropriate amount of time to repair. ¬†Not to mention, you can’t give your workouts 100% if your body is still screaming from your last workout.

Despite the fact that my screaming quads¬†are¬†preventing me from today’s team WOD, I have to say..¬†it was totally¬†worth it. ¬†Saturday’s workout was brutally awesome. 5 rounds: 10 Bodyweight backsquats, ¬†1 rope climb and 10 burpees. ¬†Once I completed that, I did a little mini WOD of 50-40-30-20-10 situps with 10 airsquats between each round. AND when I completed that, I did a little ‘lay on floor for far too long’ WOD

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Oh. the coaches are trying to pack up and go..I guess thats my cue

I was really hoping that this amazing post workout meal would work its magic and quickly repair my legs..

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…no such luck. But it did work its magic on my taste buds. ¬†Nothing like sweet cinnamon and coconut baked chicken, butternut squash and plain broccoli.

I also thought that an early morning 90-minute power hot yoga session would help alleviate the soreness. ¬†Not only was this another “no such luck” response..I think it actually made me more sore. Darn, power yoga is tough. ¬†Every time¬†I am just about to come down from a holding position because my legs or arms are screaming, the yoga instructor¬†spits out a line like, “THE ONLY THING LETTING YOU FAIL IS YOU.“…ugh, stop reading my mind! okay FINE. I’ll stay up and put up the fight. ¬†I want to yell back at him sometimes, but he is so right. ¬†Our minds have¬†a tendency to stop us from pushing further even though our body can handle the fight. ¬†If only we had a travel yoga instructor to carry with us and stop us from letting our mind take over. Oh right, that’s that thing called, willpower.¬† Anyways, it’s a great reminder for any situation. ¬†Our mind and thoughts often try to get the best of us but it is only YOU¬†who can let it previal. ¬†Put up the fight and breakthrough the negativity.

Speaking of willpower… today I fought the urge¬†to say DUH to every person that asked if I was participating in the school’s ugly sweater day..

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Yes. Yes I am.

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Because there¬†is such¬†a¬†resembelence between that¬†and casual Friday’s outfit.. haha

Hope everyone had a great Monday!… and remember WILLPOWER when you are about lose your mind while Christmas shopping ūüėČ There is much more¬†to Christmas than shopping and gifts.

T.G.I.F..and Rest Day

imageThis may not have been my immediate reaction when I rolled out of bed but it is safe to say that by the time I walked out the work doors this afternoon, it went a little something like that.

I am not only happy that it is Friday but I am also very happy that it is rest day. ¬†My body definitely needs it. ¬†My legs are not nearly as sore as last week but my upper body can’t take another push up or push press…hell it hurts just to put my hair up. ha ha

Yesterday was a pretty long and eventful day. ¬†It was one of those days where you just bounce from one thing to the next and eventually just cant wait to get home and go straight to bed. ¬†The track team had a 6:45-9:30 meet. ¬†When I first saw that time on the schedule, my immediate thought was..wait what? ¬†People are still up at that hour..LET ALONE HIGH SCHOOLERS?¬†From 9pm on, I am most likely passed out on the couch with the Big Bang Theory on in the background. ¬†I often wonder if I’ve ever¬†watched a FULL Big Bang Theory episode. haha.

Well the time was no joke.  With a stop at Whole Foods for dinner after Crossfit..

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…..and a Venti Americano on the way to the meet,¬†I managed to stay awake and cheer everyone on! ¬†Yup. I am complaining about having to be awake at such a late hour while the team is not only awake, BUT RACING.¬†The athletes are ALL winners for just being able to do that!

I broke away from my oatmeal this morning because I was craving eggs and fruit.

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Oatmeal is great, but eggs with NuttZo and coconut flakes paired with an apple and cinnamon is just one perfectly, sweet concoction.

With no meat left in the house, we hit up a local farm stand this afternoon and stocked up on eggs and grass-fed beef. ¬†Which obviously meant homemade burgers on Ezekiel toast for dinner…and Friday night wine of course. ¬†No better way to end the work week ūüôā

Speaking of that 9 pm bedtime that I mentioned earlier. ¬†It is currently 8:50 and that time is fast approaching. ¬†Then again, it is Friday, maybe we will live on the wild side and watch a movie. ¬†Gosh, I really make myself sound like such a fun person ūüėČ

Hope you all have a great Friday and enjoy the wonderful weekend!

Running to a Podcast and Some R&R

¬†Hi! ¬†Let me fill you all in on some¬†things that are pretty great right now…

1.  It is almost Thursday therefore the weekend and Christmas break are getting closer! Awesome

2.  This is my current view/situation as I type this. There is something about Christmas lights that make everything better

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What was not as relaxing as this view was¬†listening to a murder story Podcast on my morning run in the 5am darkness…lets just say I was a little jumpy.

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There has been much commotion amoungst¬†my friends about this Serial podcast so I figured I would give it a listen on this morning’s quiet run. ¬†I never listen to anything BUT music and often wonder what it would be like to run to a book or story. ¬†When it comes down to it, I never want to give up my 98 Degrees and NSYNC pandora (yup. ¬†My station of choice) for a boring book so I have never tested out my curiosity. ¬†However, ¬†today I gave it a shot and actually really enjoyed it. ¬†The podcast is suspenseful/engaging,¬†you kind of just drift off into the suspense of the murder story and don’t really focus on the miles…or pace. Whoops. Kinda slow.¬† However, I think I would have enjoyed the run much more if my shin/interior ankle tendon was not hurting…

It is¬†hard to not become immediately frustrated when this ongoing aggrivated ankle tendon¬†just won’t¬†go away. ¬†But of course,¬†¬†I expect it to go away yet¬†decide to run 9 miles onSunday..smart.

I think it is time to do what needs to be done and take a break from running for a good week…

Though my passion for Crossfit, running AND hot power yoga can be challenging to balance, it has also been my savior when it comes to injuries.  It is great to know that when I need to take a break from one thing, I have something else to focus on and help steer me away from dwelling on the rest.  I may not be running this week but you bet I will be working on my strength at crossfit and really connecting my breathing and muscle movement while at Yoga.  Sometimes you need a break from one thing in order to grow at another.

I cannot stress enough how great it has been incorporating power yoga into my weekly exercise. ¬†My muscles are getting the stretch they need/deserve, I have a space to sweat (profusely) the toxins out my body and I have 90-minutes where I can focus on nothing but connecting with my body and mind. On top of all that….IT IS HARD AS HELL. ¬†For a strong individual like myself, there are many moments where it takes¬†every ounce of willpower and fight to stay in a position.

After a week starting with deadlifts, 300 double unders yesterday and this morning’s run…tonight’s yoga really tested my ability to not let my mind pull me out of certain holds. ¬†The pain was there but the perseverance was stronger!

And on an even better note, I had a delicious meal all cooked up when I got home..

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I am a pretty lucky girl.

I guess that is what I get for cooking up a delicious stir-fry last night

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which also served as a wonderful leftover at lunch today. Double win

In case you were all wondering, which you’re probably not…my oatmeal game continues to remain strong.

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Just a lovely Cinnamon Maca Chia oatmeal base boiled/cooked¬†with a Sugar Cookie tea bag to add some flavor. ¬†Topped with whatever I feel like throwing on from my shelf full of superfood toppings…goji berries, unsweetened coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, raw cacao nibs, almond slivers, hemp hearts.

That about sums it all up! ¬†Hope ¬†you all enjoy these last few work days before the Holidays ūüôā

Yoga, Running and A Trip Down Memory Lane

How is it already Sunday?  Where have I been??

I am pretty sure today is the first time I am not sore since Tuesday’s front squat WOD. ¬†I have to attribute some of that¬†ease to¬†today’s 90-minute hot power yoga session. ¬†Man did I need that 90-minutes ¬†for many reasons.¬† 1.) I needed a solid stretch after a week of intense workouts and yesterdays 9 miler. ¬†2.) I needed to sweat out the salt from yesterday’s Mexican date night!image

I figured it was obligatory to walk to the nearest juice bar after yoga and order a beet, kale, carrot, Spirulina, and bee pollen juice.  It was not very delicious but it felt good to get some superfoods in me after a not so healthy dinner.

Lets rewind to Friday. Fridays are my rest days so the extent of my workout was encouraging others to kick butt in THEIR workouts. ¬†The track team that I am helping coach had their first meet on Friday night. ¬†I forgot how long track meets are…especially on a Friday night.¬† Despite the excitement of cheering the team on, I definitely had some emotional moments. ¬†I sometimes miss those high school glory days. ¬†I often wish I could hop in a time machine and go back to my college years and then make a pit stop at my high school years. ¬†My life has been far from perfect but I have a great past to look back on filled with¬†many memorable moments with great people. ¬†BUT the best part of all is being able to sit here today with a great past behind me AND¬†a long road of future accomplishments ahead. ¬†I am stronger, healthier, and faster than ever and this is just the beginning.

Okay that got a little intense.  Time to bring it back down to food and workouts of course.

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Saturday morning was a perfect sun-shining morning with chilly but comfortable running weather. ¬†My right ankle/calf tendon has been acting up a bit so I was not sure how far I would be able to go. ¬†I stopped to massage it a few times on my run which seemed to help eas some discomfort. ¬†I managed to get just over 9 miles done at a decent pace which was more than I expected but boy was my calf sore later in the day…

It may not have been the smartest move but hopefully with some TLC and today’s yoga, it will all be okay.

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Post run was this strange hodgepodge of things…egg omelette, Ezekiel toast with banana and goji berries and¬†cacao nibs sprinkled over it all.

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Can’t help but do a close up on something so delicious

It has been another wonderful weekend and it ended with a perfect family lobster Sunday dinner ūüôā I am ready to take on this work week and then its only two more days until winter vacation!