Sunny Long Run, Deck of Hell and First Fishing Trip of the Season

Happy Tuesday!

I definitely just changed that from Happy Monday to Happy Tuesday because my intentions for posting this yesterday fell through…

That weekend flew by but it was awesome!  My team had a night game on Friday and the team had a  beautiful turf field with music blasting.  It definitely brought back memories of my college games with such a professional and amped up atmosphere.  I will forever miss my lacrosse days.  There is nothing more special than game day and the opportunity to play your favorite sport with your best friends.  Ahh memory lane. Always sad that it’s over but forever grateful that it happened!

Enough with the sappy lines, moving on!   Saturday was an eventful and exhausting day starting with an awesome crossfit workout.  We all decided to ditch the workouts we had planned and did a workout called the “Deck of Hell”.  Our coach had a deck of cards and assigned a move to each suite. Our four movements were burpees, pull ups, med ball cleans and weighted sit-ups.  Every time a card was flipped we had to do the move as many times as the number on the card and Jokers were 200m sprints.  It didn’t sound too tough of a WOD when we started but when the face cards keep popping up meaning 11 burpees or 11 pull-ups, it became clear how the workout got it’s name!

With a great WOD done and the sun shinning, it was time to dust off the fishing poles and kayaks for our first fishing adventure of the season.  It was more of tanning session with the lack of bites BUT I did catch 3!

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The ‘Deck of Hell’ and a few fish later, we were definitely due for a big ol’ burger and nachos and that is exactly what went down after a quick nap.

After checking the weather for my long run on Sunday, I decided that an early morning wake-up was essential if I wanted to beat the heat and spare myself from a brutal run in the sun.  However, my body and phone had other plans.  My alarm never went off, which is how Sundays should be, so at 9am I flew out of bed, laced up and headed out as fast as I could. Despite the effort, I definitely did not beat the heat and probably did not hydrate as well as I should have because it was a hot one!

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Any runner can attest that stopping just short of an even mile is just not something you do.  Even if you have to run up and down your driveway until you get that even mile, you WILL do it. But unfortunately, I was way too thirsty to check where I was at.  I knew I was well past 10 miles and that was enough for me to call it quits.

The last 5 miles was spent dreaming of this…

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Yup.  There is nothing better than that feeling of being done, kicking back and chugging ice water after.  This position did not last long because I had to coach at noon, but it was glorious while it lasted.

We ended the weekend on a great note with some amazing homemade shrimp tacos!

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Picked up some peeled and deveined organic shrimp cooked with Flavor God seasoning, broiled cabbage for some crunch, and homemade paleo tortillas taken from Stupid Easy Paleo.  These new tortillas are perfect!  They cook in 2 minutes, the size can be adjusted based on the frying pan diameter and they fold without breaking!  My next plan is to buy those egg yolk circles to make small, round tortillas as buns for my homemade burgers.

Another perfect meal from the week was a big salad, grilled steak with grilled carrots, sweet potato fries and onions.

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I was debating whether I should order red compression socks for this weekend’s Boston Run to Remember Half marathon..then I saw this amazing email!

imageHoly Smokes! What a deal.

I probably do not need any more compression socks and may not even get the red color, but for $39,I am willing to test my luck.  Nothing like a good surprise to add an element of excitement to the work week.  I will keep you all posted on what my Grab Bag has!

Oh and Mei would also like to say hi to you all.  There is nothing better than coming home to this cutie after a long day!

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I definitely needed to see this face after a pretty rough day.  I also needed a little extra miles to clear my head so I set out for a slow 4 miler before dinner.  Despite the 50 pistol squats from this morning’s WOD, it wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be.

Speaking of dinner, we have a pretty classy set up for blocking the sun..

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Rumor has it, it’s not permanent but I am not sold on that 😉 Permanent or not, I’m just grateful and happy to have a delicious grilled dinner outside with a beautiful sunset.

Have a great week! Only 4 more days until a nice little racecation with my Mom 🙂

A Long Overdue Check-In and a Killer Smoothie Bowl

Wow.  It is safe to say that my blogging activity will hit an all time low this Spring.  I am three weeks into coaching Varsity lacrosse and despite how much fun it is to watch the team grow each day, my stress level is in overdrive which has not been very helpful when trying to kick this cold that has been lingering for the past 2 weeks.

But here I am – a little less stressed now that I am adjusting to my busy schedule, my cold seems to be just about gone, and the weather is looking a bit more like spring which is enough to put a smile on my face.

Since my last recap/half marathon post (3 weeks ago, WHAT?!), I have done a good amount of resting.  My body and mind needed it.

Two weekends ago (week after my half marathon), I had a St. Patrick’s Day 10k.  Despite the brutal beating my body took during the last half marathon, I didn’t want to take the ENTIRE week off after the half and show up to the 10k out of it, so I did some workouts here and there.  In hindsight, I was probably better off just taking the week completely off because every workout I squeezed in just hurt.  It was my first week of coaching lacrosse, every muscle in my body was still sore from the race, and my cold was coming in strong…let’s just say it was a tough week.

If there is one thing I have learned over the past couple of weeks, it is the amount of training you do and how hard you push becomes completely meaningless if you are not taking care of your body.  I pushed through the half marathon on little rest after a brutal workout which resulted in a terrible race.  In the midst of trying to recover from that race, I tried to squeeze in more workouts to prepare for my 10k, hence little recovery.  What do you think happened at THAT race? Another poor and painful performance. My time was 42:20 and I placed 20th female.  I hate to complain and say “ugh I did so bad” because to someone reading this, it could be a phenomenal time.  So I guess I will go with this…I am grateful to have been able to run a 42:20 and I am proud that I pushed through some pretty painful miles, but this was about 2 minutes slower than the 10k I ran in Disney and I am pretty sure it had nothing to do with my training and more on my inability to pay attention and listen to what my body needed. REST.

After the 10k, I did have one more thing I had to take care of… Crossfit Open Workout 15.4.

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I promised myself on Sunday morning after the rough 15.4 open and a day after my 10k that I would take 3 complete days off.  Those three days were just what I needed.  I just needed to get home after practice with not a care in the world about getting a workout in.  I just needed to be home before 6 to enjoy down time.  I just needed to get to bed early and kick the cold.  It was a perfect few days of rest.  I did have that itch to get back into it so on Thursday I was ready to get in a 5am crossfit WOD.

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It wasn’t my favorite thing to set this alarm..but once I was up and had the music blasting with a cup a coffee on my ride over, I was ready to take on the Hero WOD.

imageOh man.  What a workout to come back to. It hurt.  But finally a good hurt. One great thing about WODing in the morning is the great stretch you get before the day has even started.  Despite the sore legs, the rest of your body feels so lose.

Another great thing about Thursday morning was the start of a delicious smoothie bowl kick that I have been.

imageQuick, delicious, nutritious and doesn’t leave the full/bloated feeling that I sometimes experience after eggs.  I used my new Ninja food processor to blend up 1/3 cup of rolled oats, 1 scoop Vega Sport protein powder, spinach, mixed frozen berries and almond milk.  The mixed nuts and cacao nibs add the perfect crunch!  It is safe to say that this has been my breakfast for the last 2 weeks and I not sure if that is going to change anytime soon.

Another wonderful meal was our Sunday evening homemade burger night..

imageTrader Joe’s 90/10 ground beef cooked on the grill, chopped and broiled sweet potato fries and homemade tortilla chips with melted cheese.  It was perfect.  

imageThe homemade tortilla chips are something I have been meaning to try but never got around to it.  I guess I didn’t realize just how simple they are.  Sliced Ezekiel tortilla sprayed with coconut oil and sprinkled with Himalayan seat salt, garlic powder and curry powder – baked @ 350 for 8-10 min.

Another great meal was chicken cooked with curry sauce topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions, broiled Brussel sprouts and broiled sweet potato fries.  I am convinced that any meal can be made delicious by adding broiled sweet potato fries and covering everything in mushrooms and onions…

imageOn a less attractive note is this wonderful battle wound from another 5am WOD with burpees….

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At least I had a cute little pup to serve me a post-workout smoothie bowl at 7am as I rushed to work..

imageI think I have hit the point where this post is getting obnoxiously long so I will leave you with a couple great pictures.

imageMy Disney Princess Challenge prizes came in!

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..and my babies are enjoying the warm temps just as much as I am! 🙂

Impressive Omelettes and an Inspiring New Book

It’s amazing how a long weekend can be so relaxing AND cause the following week to fly by. Mondays need to be a holiday more often…

I never ended up posting this epic crock pot creation from Monday night so before I forget, here it is…

imageFirst time ever cooking with plantains and after this meal, it certainly won’t be my last.  Though this Indian inspired Paleo dinner was delicious, I think it would be better if it was cooked stove top rather than in the crock pot.  I placed a layer of onions on the bottom, then 3 chicken breasts, poured the sauce (mixture of 1/2 cup coconut milk, curry powder, garlic, ground ginger and cumin) over the chicken and then topped with 2 sliced plantains.  The coconut milk and curry mixture tasted amazing before going into the crock pot so I have a feeling the moisture from the slow cooker caused the sauce to lose some flavor.  I will try it stove top and report back because this has potential to be a phenomenal dinner.

I am happy to report that I was able to get through a 6 mile speed workout yesterday, but I am not happy to report what I did to motivate myself for this run. Despite my new and wonderful treadmill that my awesome parents gave to me me for my birthday….I paid to go to my old gym just because I needed some extra motivation to get the speed work done. I needed that gym vibe to tackle this workout…don’t worry mom, I won’t do it again! However, it did allow me to add in some box jumps and rows after my run so we can pretend I went to the gym for the rowing machine 😉

I am also happy to report that my morning omelette have been getting pretty darn impressive.  I may only use 3 egg whites and 1 egg but after the variety of veggies I throw in, it can get pretty big…

imageI don’t know if I’m being creative or it’s just too early to think about the flavor combinations…regardless, it was delicious.  Here we have some mushrooms, onions, celery, butternut squash and baked plantains

I will wrap this post up with a couple of pages from the new book I am reading.  The book is called Power Speed Endurance by Brian Mackenzie and Glen Cordova.  This book immediately had me hooked when it started off about a runner that used to think the only way to improve his marathon time was by logging more miles…well with many injuries later, he tried a different approach to training and found significant improvement.  His change of training was in the direction of Crossfit 🙂

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Essentially, Crossfit builds athletes to not only be strong but to be powerful, agile, coordinated, fast and flexible.  I can truly say the combination of all these physical skills has greatly improved my running and has allowed to me improve my times without spending hours running and feeling the need to log high mileage. With the ability to mix up my training and do a variety of things whether it be crossfit, yoga or hitting the road for a nice run, I am never bored with my training. I can honestly say I am usually always excited to get my workouts in.  This excitement is key to making the best out of each minute of training.

Dealing with Stress 101: Crossfit/Running, NyQuil and Pray for a Snowday

Transitioning back to work after a long vacation is always hard but this week was MUCH more difficult than usual.  And I am to blame for this terrible transititon because I didn’t really make a dent in my massive workload that I planned to tackle over vacation.  I have a pretty large, and important portfolio due tomorrow and it was REALLY stressing me out earlier on the week.  I tried to remind myself that IT WILL GET DONE.  It may mean pulling an all nighter on Thursday or skipping crossfit for a couple days but I am the type of person that will find a way to get things done.  Isn’t that what I went to college for??? Learning to procrastinate and then learning to get out of that hole you dug…yup that was what my $45,00 tuition got me  But no matter how many times I reminded myself of that, I just couldn’t shake off the stress.

That is where running and crossfit come in.  The second I walk into Crossfit or head out for a run, my stress just seeems to dissipate.  At Crossfit, I have 60 minutes where my energy is focused solely on my lifts and my mind is in completely in the zone.  When I am running, I don’t necessarily tune out the stressor but I start to think about it with endorphins running through my body and I can think clearly about how I will tackle the problem.  That is why I love being both a runner and a crossfitter.  Running is what helps me sift through my thoughts and find answers to problems and crossfit allows me to just break free from the thought in general and focus my stress and anger on a great lift.  Oh, and then their is yoga where all thoughts just disappear because I am just trying to breathe/survive in the high temperature

So Tuesday morning when I was wide awake at 4:30 am because the stress was keeping me awake, I just laced up and layered up, and head out for a couple morning miles to clear my head.

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Maybe my brain was just frozen, but it certainly felt like it helped with clearing my thoughts.

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I also could not believe that my ‘throw on as many layers as possible in the dark’ outfit somehow managed to match.  That’s a first.

And this oatmeal bowl also contributed to my positive vibes.  How can frozen bananas, cacoa nibs, and coconut on top of warm oatmeal not induce instant happiness?

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After an evening crossfit session, I was able to make a pretty big dent in my workload.  I rewarded myself with a giant sip of Nyquil and an 8:30 pm bedtime.  9 hours of sleep never felt so good.

Another great way to manage stress is to pray for a school cancellation.  I can’t guarantee it will work all the time (perks of being a teacher) but I am pretty thankful and lucky that it worked for me today.

After yesterday’s crossfit session , I quickly whipped up my favorite dinner before another night of shipping away at my work…

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This dinner was great for two reasons.  1.) It was my first time baking cabbage which is now a newfound love.  2.) While consuming this meal the news added my school to the list of cancellations.  The thought of having ALL day to work on my portfolio had me smiling from ear to ear.

However, I can’t say I had that same ear to ear smile when reading today’s WOD at 5:30 am…

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Even with work cancelled, I figured it was best to get up for 6am crossfit for 2 reasons.  1.) I wanted the entire day revolved around my work. 2.) All those burpees hanging over my head until the evening classes would have just added to my stress. ha ha.

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And of course, another post workout oatmeal breakfast bowl.  For those of you who are sick of my constant oatmeal posts, you are in luck!!  On Monday I will be starting a 6 week Paleo Challenge that my crossfit box is putting on.  No oatmeal for 6 weeks! I am thinking some savory sweet potatoe omlettes, maybe banana pancakes!

Time to wrap up this post because I have a massage to get to. Yup, that is the reward I am giving myself for (almost) surviving the week and for completing my portfolio.  Putting that college tuition to use..

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Oh Man.  This vacation was wonderful.. fast… but wonderful.

But just like the title says, all great things must come to an end.

I think I also said that line after we polished off our wonderful plate(s) of Indian and then again after my final spoonful of froyo last night…what can I say, it is a great phrase.

While I am on the Froyo topic, it was a sad day yesterday.  Our favorite Froyo place that we go to every Saturday night went out of business on Friday.  Another sad moment was when we found out that they were giving out free Froyo on Friday and we missed it.  Actually that is probably for the better.  Free froyo is code for a massive bowl and massive stomach ache.

And because I promise I don’t eat Froyo and Indian every day…I will move on to today’s post Power Yoga breakfast. Oatmeal cooked stove top with Maca powder and almond milk and topped with pumpkin seeds, frozen berries, goji berries and shredded coconut flakes.

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Power Yoga was rough today.  I just did not feel fluid, flexible and focused.  I am not sure if it was a result of all the overindulgence over vacation/holidays or because of the “Cindy” WOD yesterday.  A whopping 140 push ups, 70 pull-ups, and 210 squats will not make any activity the following day easy.

As for the overindulgence, the nightly glass of wine with dinner will come to an end as soon as vacation is over.  And that is not until tomorrow 😉 so tonight’s first crock pot chicken meal will certainly be accompanied by some Apothic Red.

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This is also much-needed after sitting at Barnes and Noble for 6 hours doing work that has been procrastinated over vacation.  And the Fajita Crockpot chicken was much-needed after two meals that looked like this…

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They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. What about two apples?  Because this is pretty much what my day looked like (TWICE) since my oatmeal.

I need to elaborate more on this Fajita Crock pot Chicken because it was amazing, easy, AND the first time I used a crock pot.  It was a big day for me.  

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Before I left to conquer my pile of work, I quickly chopped up 1 yellow pepper, 1 red pepper, 1 red onion, cilantro and 3 gloves of garlic.  I poured 1 cup of Salsa in the crock pot (look at the labels on the salsas in your grocery story and find the one with the least amount of salt..I use Green Mountain), placed 3 chicken breasts on top of the salsa, added the veggies, and added a variety of fajita seasonings.  (Chili power, onion powder, cumin, turmeric, red pepper flakes, Himalayan pink salt, black pepper) Then you just cover, set the crock pot to Slow Cook on low for 6-8 hours and take on your day!

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Let me tell yah…it was fabulous not having to come home and cook dinner after a long day! Oh, and it was delicious. On top of a bed of brown rice..perfection.

As much as I love blogging, I want to embrace every last minute of this vacation so it is time to wrap this all up!  Have a great Sunday!

Happy New Year!

Hello 2015 🙂

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Happy New Years!

I could start this post with the whole, “New Year, New You”, “Time to get your life together and set goals”.. but to be honest, that is not really how I view New Years.  Was 2014 perfect? No. But was 2014 one awesome journey? Absolutely.  Do I hope to grow in 2015? Absolutely. Not because it’s a new year, but because every day I hope to get a little bit stronger, a little bit faster, a little bit nicer, a little bit more confident…I just want to be a little bit better than the day before.  Sometimes I have to move backward or fall down in order to move forward, but that is all part of the ride.  There are plenty of days where I can say, well I was a selfish, rude, or lazy person today. I am not proud of those days but I am proud I can be honest with myself and those around me and admit when I wasn’t acting like the person I want to be.

Another reason I am not a huge fan of the whole ‘New Year need to create resolutions’ is because of this little thing called REALITY.  You can set yourself up for great health and success but you can’t promise everything will be perfect.  2014 had a fair share of unexpected injuries but it also had its fair share of new experiences and some new PRs.  At the start of 2014, I had no idea that I would discover crossfit, and the wonderful guy that introduced me to it.  No where in my New Year’s Instagram post from 2014 did I say anything about Crossfit.  Instead I talked about my desire to compete in a figure competition.  Ha Ha. Well.  I didn’t do that whatsoever.  Does that mean I failed? No way.  Deciding not to compete was the healthiest thing I could have done in 2014.  Tracking everything you eat, training for the sole purpose of being lean and muscular and revolving your life around strutting a lean package on a stage while covered in self-tanner and lots of make-up while someone sits and judges you is a recipe for body issues, eating disorders and STRESS. Yah, no thanks.

So, I guess what I am getting at is…everyday you learn something about yourself.  You learn what works for you and what doesn.’t.  New Year resolutions and the desire to revamp your lifestyle at the beginning of the year can be great but I believe that if you wake up every morning grateful for the things around you, excited to work hard on the tasks you have and take time to enjoy the lazy moments with the people around you…you will have a great year.  Perfect year? No. But a good one.

I have no idea what to expect in 2015 but I can certainly say I started it off doing the things I love.

I was able to run 3 pain-free miles this morning.  I felt some pain as I was finishing up the 3 miles so I am still in the healing process BUT I am thankful to get out for even just a couple of miles.

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I then purchased a new Honda CRV 2015!!! (I have been shopping around for a while, this wasn’t a random event)  Deciding the color was the hardest part! I chose black but as I walked out after putting in the order, I was still worried I made the wrong choice.  Thankfully I had to rush to Crossfit where I had the opportunity to tune out all the indecisiveness and worry for a whole hour.  Man I love how working out just lets you tune out the stress in your life and allows you to come back with a clear mind.

I wish everyone a wonderful 2015! Work hard, stress less and embrace the adventure!

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 😉

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 😉

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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