Tag Archives: work out

STARmazing Race

9 May

Lucky13’ers, I want to tell you about an amazing….no, a STARmazing…event that is coming up in the Boston area that benefits a GREAT organization called the Starlight Foundation of New England.

Starlight Foundation provides entertainment and education activities for kids and families in the hospital and in the community to help ease their pain and take their mind off of what they go through each day because of their illness.  While doctors work to treat the kids, the folks at Starlight work to lift their spirits and help them have fun and just “be kids.” 🙂  They give kids struggling with serious illness experiences such as a first Red Sox game, a live musical, going to a rodeo, or even the prom!  Services are 100% made possible by donor and community support, which is why events are so important to the organization.  The STARmazing Race is also HUGE for Starlight because all of the proceeds directly benefit children struggling with chronic and life-threatening illness right here in the Boston area!

The STARmazing Race is on Saturday, June 16, 2012 from 11:30a.m. – 3:30p.m.  It is an urban scavenger hunt that sends racers on an adventure throughout Boston, following clues and completing crazy challenges!  [get your FITNESS on while supporting a great cause and having fun with friends!!!]  I hope you’ll join me in this race and invite your friends to do the same!!!

It is $50 per racer and you can race in teams of 2, 3, or 4. Registration gets you entry into the event, a swag bag, breakfast at the start line, and food at the finish line celebration at Game On! Fenway. We award prizes for the top three finishers and other silly prizes for best dressed, most team spirit, and more 🙂

Here are some important links:

https://www.facebook.com/events/346792218711911/ (Facebook event)

http://tinyurl.com/75szee4 (event registration is OPEN and people can register anytime!)

I can’t think of a better way to spend a SUMMER SATURDAY morning!!!!  Urban race, friends, fun, FOOD, and freebies!!!!!  You’ve got the details, now go and REGISTER!!!

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Things to keep in mind…

21 Apr

Once you’ve established a goal- of any kind- your job is to STICK to it, no matter what.  At the start, the goal (as well as the process getting there) always seems new, sexy, and exciting.  However, after things stop being easy, and you are forced outside your comfort zone, many people start to second guess whether or not the goal is worth it.  When it STOPS being easy & it starts being WORK; that’s when results happen; that’s when transformation begins; that’s when faith, patience, trust & commitment are tested.

So read these wise words over and over…. at the start, when it gets a little tougher & most importantly- when you don’t think you can go on any longer.  Read these words and push through!!

 

inspiration

MONSTER Monday, Music, & Makeover

13 Dec

Howdy Everyone!  I have 3 topics I’d like to cover today!

exercise music

***1)*** First things first… I had a fabulous MONSTER Monday workout yesterday!  It was a solo workout but what I lacked in motivation from my workout pal, I made up for in some kick-ass tunes!!! (more about this below)  My workout consisted of the following:

Dynamic warmup & 20 mins on ARC trainer to start

– 20 box jumps

– 55lb overhead barbell carry

– Reverse lunges on Airex pad carrying 25lbs  x12/leg

– Bent over rows using 25lb plates  x10

– Single arm chest press using 25lb DB  x10/side

– Rotational chops w/tubing  x10/side

I originally was going for 5 rounds, but decided to give it a little extra push and did 6 rounds.  All in all, it took me a little over an hour.  My heart rate monitor clocked me burning around 1,000 calories.  I use that as a ballpark estimate [it’s never 100% accurate], but regardless of what it said I KNOW I got a kick-ass workout!  It felt great to start the week off on a positive note!!

 

 

exercise motivation

***2)*** As I mentioned above, I had a FABULOUS music selection for my workout yesterday.  And it absolutely made all the difference.  I got the new Mary J Blige “My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1)” CD and there are some songs with GREAT beats.  My favorite 2 tracks are Feel Inside feat. NAS & a remake of an oldie but goodie, Ain’t Nobody.  I put the CD on in the car on my way to the gym, and with each beat of the bass I got more and more pumped up.  It reminded me just how important good music is when I work out. 

When your energy is lacking & you just don’t feel like truckin’ it to the gym to work out, put on your favorite jam and let the music move you!  It is always just a bit easier to work out when you’ve got a good soundtrack.  You will push yourself to work faster, harder & stronger.  So if you’ve been working with the same ol’ stale playlist, go download some new tunes and SWEAT!!!!

 

***3)***  I have developed a new initiative for Lucky13’ers called “Monday Makeover”.  This is not a makeover in the traditional sense, but a “Makeover” of one small & achievable goal toward being the BEST version of you!  The Monday Makeover goal can be on any topic: fitness, nutrition, health, finances, friendships, etc. 

 I have always considered Monday to be the beginning of a fresh start and clean slate.  It is a new opportunity for improvement and reaching goals.  Last week I decided to start my week with a small yet important goal.  Beginning on Monday, I aimed to get to bed earlier and sleep for 7.5-8hrs per night.  It took a lot of planning, but I did it!  This week, I incorporated a new goal: drink 1 gallon of water each day.  So far, so good.  Next week, it’ll be something else small yet achievable.  Each week building upon the previous week.  At the end of a month, I’ll have made 4 positive, healthy changes.  Over time, this can add up to some serious transformation!  The key is to keep the goals achievable & sustainable [refer to SMART goals picture above].

I encourage each of you to bring positive and healthy change to your lives by starting Monday Makeover!  Start thinking of goals of your own, and prepare yourself.  And when next Monday comes, BRING IT!!!   Share your goal with a friend, workout pal, or on the Lucky13Fitness Facebook page.  Having the support of others will encourage you even more & hold you accountable!

 

Mediocre MONSTER Monday

29 Nov

I’m back!! It sure has been a while, huh?  I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus due to my recent vacation to Las Vegas [AWESOME trip…I had a fantastic time] & the long Thanksgiving weekend.  Truth be told, blogging wasn’t the only thing from which I took a week-long break; I didn’t do any formal “in the gym” exercise AND I deviated from my normal clean, natural, organic food intake.  Basically, aside from one yoga class at the Bellagio & lots of walking in Vegas, I took a complete “vacation” from my normal way of living.  It was…..interesting.

The first day I found it very difficult to break away from my normal eating habits and workout routine.  My body craved salad, grilled chicken, water, and a challenging workout.  But after a day or two, I was alright with having a less-than-ideal meal, a few cocktails, and a 2 mile walk workout.  Throughout my vacation and long Thanksgiving weekend, I was well aware that I was taking an extended leave of absence from my normal daily routine; in fact, I can not recall the last time I went more than a few days without exercise.  I was glad that I took a few days to relax and let myself indulge and enjoy while on vacation, but having that directly segue into Thanksgiving was a little excessive.  By Sunday evening, my body was begging for exercise.  I was SOOOO excited to get back into my routine & kick it off with a MONSTER Monday workout. 

I knew my workout pal wasn’t going to be able to make it, but I thought I’d power through and do one of our Crossfit Inspired crazy workouts.  I don’t know what planet I thought I was from, because I half expected myself to be performing with the same level of intensity as before my vacation.  Boy was I WRONG!!!!  Here’s what I mapped out for myself

5 Deadlift/Pushup combo (95lbs)

5 Pullups

20 Box Jumps

25 BOSU Ball crunchs

10 Burpees

5 rounds for time.

The first round was okay but I started to feel fatigued pretty quickly after that.  I definitely didn’t have the endurance I had before my vacation.  I powered through as best I could, recording an unimpressive 38min 17sec time.   I attribute this mostly to my lack of exercise and less-than-ideal eating habits, but also to the fact that I did this MONSTER Monday workout alone.  Having a workout pal there next to me, cheering me on & toughing it out right alongside me TOTALLY helps.  I sure as hell missed her on Monday!  When I was done with my circuit I finished up the workout with 30 minutes of hill intervals on the ARC trainer.  I managed to get in a good sweat & a mediocre workout; I was just happy to be back in the swing of things!

If nothing else, this Mediocre MONSTER Monday workout reminded me that while a few days off & a little indulgence every once in a while is much-needed, too much is just that- TOO MUCH.  Next time, I’ll definitely be incorporating more activity into my vacation and will plan it so that it does not come immediately before or after a major holiday.

How about you? Did you deviate from the norm this Thanksgiving? Did you get back on track??

the moral of this MONSTER Monday mishap

16 Nov

Yesterday’s MONSTER Monday workout started off much like any other.  My lifting pal and I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and do our workout in the park.  We did a bit of TRX, some body weight training, tossed a football and included some hill sprints; it was all so far, so good.  Next, my lifting pal suggested, we would run up the stairs and at the landing do a lateral shuffle and chest pass back and forth with a soccer ball, then continue running up the stairs to the top.  Same story on the way down.  Going to the top was just grand, however on the way back down I managed to step into a deep sinkhole as I caught the ball on the last chest pass.  As is the case with most falls/injuries, I could see it happening all in slow motion and the thought going through my head was “Oh S***!!! I am going to smash my face into these stairs!!!”  Without even thinking about what to do, my body automatically reacted; I let the ball go and somehow managed to put my arms out to catch my fall, my face landing a mere 3 inches away from the cold concrete steps.  It was SCARY.

monster monday mishap

Ok Here’s a glimpse at the damage.  [I opted to include a link to another post, rather than just put a big ol’ picture of my bloody leg up here, just in case anyone gets queasy easily! 🙂 ]

After checking to make sure I was okay, my lifting pal (and I) burst into a roar of laughter.  Together we sat on the stairs for well over a few minutes laughing like a couple of hyenas.  She gave me her best reenactment of what she saw in slow motion, and I recounted mine.  We both could not believe that in the split second of my misstep, I managed to catch myself from totally falling and getting VERY hurt.

Here’s where the moral of MONSTER Monday comes in….We decided that it was thanks to lots of functional training that I was able to do so.

[Functional Training, in one description, is “Multi-joint, multi-planar, proprioceptively-enriched activity that involves deceleration (force reduction), acceleration (force production) and stabilization; controlled amounts of instability; and management of gravity, ground reaction forces and momentum.”  

In plain English, “Functional training involves movements that are specific — in terms of mechanics, coordination and/or energetics — to one’s activities of daily living (ADLs).]  **source**

I have read myriad articles outlining and explaining in detail the many benefits of functional training.  I have heard well-known and respected fitness professionals advocate for this modality of training over others because of its benefits in everyday life.  I, myself, have explained to clients how and why functional training is superior to many other modalities.  Training in planes of motion & training the body to work in a cohesive manner through movement patterns simulates real life actions.  In other words, training the upper body, lower body, and core to work in unison while IN the gym will automatically improve mobility outside the gym, doing everyday things.  In addition, working in this fashion is more efficient and effective in terms of reaching fitness goals.  Conversely, training a single muscle in isolation while the rest of the body is immobilized is not realistic in nature [think using a bicep curl or leg extension machine].  It is also a much less efficient way of working out, given the goals of most individuals.  Some people buy my explanation, and others don’t.  Bottom line, without functional training, I probably would’ve ended up with a broken nose, some missing teeth, or worse.  I was quite happy to walk away from the “scene of the crime” on my own two feet with a few cuts and scrapes.

I now have a new (and favorite, #1) reason in support of functional training: IT LITERALLY SAVES FACE!

i love my MONSTER Mondays

8 Nov

It’s no secret that  Monday is the most dreaded day of the week.  It’s the start of another grinding work week for most people, and has even been given a slogan- “case of the Mondays”- that sums up the dreaded feeling of all that the day brings.  The day starts waaaay too early with an alarm ringing at an ungodly hour, and seems to go on forever until work finally ends and the rest of life has to be dealt with.  Cooking dinner, cleaning the house, picking up kids from school/sports practice, catching up with family/friends, starting to shop for holiday gifts, running errands; you name it, it’s all there waiting for us on Monday.  For most people, Monday is a day that looks best when it’s over.

Up until recently, Monday was not high on the list of things I look forward to.  But this all changed when I started my MONSTER Monday Workout Challenges.  MONSTER Mondays started when my lifting pal sent me the plan for one of our lifting sessions, which happen to be on Monday mornings.  It was a workout developed by Crossfit, and after taking one look at the plan I decided that the workout was going to be a MONSTER.  I blogged about it both before and after and the MONSTER Monday name stuck.  It was an absolutely intense sweatfest that wouldn’t have been possible without the support and motivation of a lifting buddy.  We both loved the workout so much that we couldn’t wait to do something similar again.  We have transformed our Monday morning lifting sessions into intense sweatfest challenges that push each of us to work harder and faster each time.

After a few weeks of MONSTER Monday workouts, I found myself actually looking forward to Monday mornings.  I know, I know, this sounds ridiculous- who actually gets excited for Monday?!  And that’s precisely my point: planting what is undoubtedly my hardest and BEST workout of the week smack in the middle of Monday mornings changed my outlook completely.  Now, instead of dreading the start to the week and the drag of the day, I get really excited to lift with a friend, give 150%, work HARD, get really sweaty, and end the session with a sense of earned pride. 

MONSTER Mondays have become more than just another workout.  They give a jumpstart to my entire week & remind me that if I can handle deadlifting 135lbs for 25 reps or walking up and down 2 flights of stairs x10 carrying 100lbs in extra weight, I can handle ANYTHING.  I have noticed an extra boost in my motivation to continue exercising hard for the rest of the week, as well as complimenting my efforts in the gym with healthy food choices.  My mood is at its best when I’m walking out the door after having completed another great challenge, proving to myself that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

I challenge you to try to bring something similar into your Monday (or any day that is particularly difficult for you).  Instead of dreading a part of each week that you KNOW you can’t bypass, bring a new positive energy to it and drown out the dread!  Transform the worst part of your week into the most anticipated by adding in something that makes you shine.  When the worst becomes better, the good becomes great!!! 

Half Marathon Training: week 4 recap

29 Aug

This week of training was a mental challenge (hey, aren’t they all).  What I learned over the course of the week can be summed up into one phrase “bend, don’t break.” 

A few hiccups occurred this week which caused me to edit and switch around days of my training program.  On Wednesday I noticed that my left hamstring was feeling a bit tight, and I immediately became nervous.  Pain in general is a warning, but for me left hamstring pain usually is an indicator that the chronic tendonitis in my left ankle is getting worse.  I met with my massage therapist on Thursday morning and it took her no time at all to find the big knot in my hamstring.  She gave it a quick treatment and suggested that I not run my scheduled 4.5 miles that day, and instead put heat on it & give it some rest. 

I was so disheartened.  I didn’t want to deviate from my training program [I had already done so much of that while traveling] and I was certain that this was a preview of coming attractions…. and it didn’t look good.  I took her advice, though, and it made such a difference on my next run.  I was very nervous that by the end of the 4.5 miles, I’d be even more sore and in pain but I wasn’t.  Its amazing what a day of rest and a good warmup will do!

No sooner was I back on track than Hurricane Irene reared her ugly head this past weekend.  Sunday was my day to hit the street for 7 miles, but there was no way that was gonna happen with all the rain and wind going on.  I could’ve braved it into work and done my 7 miles on the treadmill but I was stubborn and didn’t want to log that many miles inside.  I, once again, decided to “bend” with my program and pushed my long run back to Monday (today).  Again, a little extra rest and a great warmup paid off.  I also tried the Powerbar Energy Gel (vanilla flavor) when I made my brief water stop at mile 4.5.  This stuff really works- my body had the energy to finish up the run and I could’ve even gone a few more miles at the end.  It was the BEST run I’ve had yet in this training, hands DOWN!!

Yummy fuel for my workout!

Both of the hiccups this past week reminded me that I need to Bend, not break.  The training program is a guide and it can be changed, edited, switched up.  Making sure I’m running with a healthy, injury free body is my FIRST priority and as long as that happens I’m gonna have a GREAT half marathon!