A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My 2014 Resolution- How did I Do!?

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My 2014 New Year's resolution was to take one rest day per week.

I was quite dramatic in announcing my goal. I even made this ridiculous photograph...

The reason I was so dramatic was because even just a year ago, taking a rest day was a huge deal for me and caused a lot of anxiety.

Things started off well. I purposefully planned and tracked my rest days to make sure I indeed took one once a week. But then I had knee surgery. I took a lot of rest days after that! I of course recovered, and sort of stopped keeping track of rest days. I still took them, but I took them organically, when I felt like I needed one. As the year progressed, my anxiety about rest days diminished. I am now at the point where I take 2 lower body rest days every 9 days. And I don't worry about it- at all.

With all these rest days I didn't get fat. I didn't lose fitness. Nothing bad came from it. I think the best thing that came from it was that slowly but surely, my anxiety about rest days fell by the wayside and I started to look at them as just part of the program. Because, as most people know, rest IS part of the program!

No resolutions for me this year! I already wrote out some of my goals for the next couple months, so that is what I am sticking with for now!
Did you make a resolution? How did you do?

What's your take on rest days? Are you happy for them? Do they cause anxiety?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"Interesting" People At Planet Fitness

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I just want to put a disclaimer on this post... I really DO like all the weird/wacky/crazy/interesting people that make their way into Planet Fitness on any given day. I am sort of making fun of them here, but I genuinely enjoy (for the most part) all the different characters I encounter at the gym.


I was at Planet Fitness on Saturday. It was soooooo crowded- my own fault for going at such a high traffic time. But lots of people means lots of interesting characters for me to tell you about! I love to people watch, especially at the gym. 

This is who I saw on Saturday...

I didn't even know what this guy was wearing until I got home. He was running on the treadmill in some sort of gas mask contraption. Google told me it was the Training Mask 2.0, which is apparently supposed to (according to their website) increase lung capacity, increase anaerobic threshold, increase oxygen capacity, increase energy production, increase mental and physical stamina, and increase mental focus. It basically increases everything... especially the amount of people staring at you.

Winky Guy will find any excuse to interrupt your workout to talk to you. He will also wink as many times as possible during this conversation. You think about asking him if he has something in his eye, but you'd rather just end the annoying interaction as quickly as possible.

This is the guy that places his water bottle and his towel on a machine. Sure, he will get off it between sets, but he stands right there, and has pretty much laid all his worldly possessions on the machine to stake his claim. On Saturday, Hog the Machine Guy also happened to be Winky Guy, so I did not ask to work in...

This woman on the treadmill... She did not have short legs, but she had the smallest stride I ever saw in my life! I know there are all sorts of different strides, and I urge people to just run in a way that feels natural to them. But there was nothing natural about what was going on on that treadmill.

Speaking of interesting strides, there was also a Tippy Toe Runner! There is a Tippy Toe Runner that runs through our neighborhood (Paul calls him The Hopper). But this was a different Tippy Toe Runner. They are OUT there, people!

Are these guys at your gym? There is a pair of them at Planet Fitness. Instead of carrying around a normal water bottle, they carry gallon jugs of water around with them. That's a lot of water to be consuming during a workout. I would think it would be more beneficial to start hydrating before the workout rather than drink it during. But that's just me. And I am not about to give them unsolicited advice.

Which of course brings me to the last person...

This is the one person on my list in which  I cannot find any redeeming qualities. Unsolicited Advice Douche (who I will from now on call UAD) is always a guy. And he's usually giving the UA to a girl. Because, you know, we love when stranger-men talk to us. (Stranger-men term stolen from Ali!)

So here is my story about UAD from Saturday:

I was there to lift back and legs. I was almost done with my workout and was planning to do a couple more assisted pull ups with a different grip. However, the machine was in use, so I went to another area that has a huge contraption that includes lots of bars to do pull ups on. Since I was going to have to do pull ups with NO assistance, I didn't know how it would go. Normally I can bang out 3 at the beginning of a workout. But at this point I was at the end  of my workout...

So I jumped up, grabbed the bars, and proceeded to do three complete unassisted pull ups. I was pretty dang proud of myself and stood there for a few seconds to take a breather and give it another go. Just then, a dude (oops, I mean UAD) was trying to get my attention. I couldn't hear him because I had my headphones on. I paused my podcast and thought to myself, Uh oh, here we go. What the hell does this guy possibly have to say to me?

UAD pointed to a resistance band hanging right next to the spot I was doing my pull ups. "You know, you can hang the resistance band in a certain way so that you can do assisted pull ups," he said.


It took me a second to decide how to respond. I could just smile and say thanks or I could respond in a way that would reflect my annoyance. I chose the latter.

With a deadpan face, I said: "I'm aware."

He shrugged and kind of rolled his eyes in a way that said, "Geez, sorry, I was trying to help".

It annoys me. I don't need his help. This guy doesn't know me at ALL, and he was trying to assist in my workout. WTF????


It's so freaking insulting and I am sick of it. I am sure you can tell from my anger that this isn't the first time something like this happened. I am at the point where if a guy tries to give me gym advice, he will be rewarded with snark.

Oh by the way, I won't let myself off the hook on this one. I'm sure there is crap I do at the gym that makes me an "interesting" person. On Saturday, people were surely calling me...

Look, I don't always have time to shave, okay!!!!????
Tell me about someone "interesting" at your gym!
What would YOUR interesting trait be?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up!

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I was freaking WIPED OUT from all the fun we had on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
This weekend was all about relaxation, ukulele practice, and SLEEP!

On Friday morning, I got to test out one of my Christmas presents from my parents... a "The View" mug circa 2007! (They go flea marketing/antiquing and find the craziest stuff!) The View is one of my favorite shows, so this was a cute gift and a nice surprise!

I swear there are days I don't wear my reindeer pajamas. I do have other pjs, I promise.

I love Barbara and Joy!

I was supposed to lift today, but it was beautiful, so I ran instead. Bad idea. My legs were so tired, and it was clear just a mile into the run why it was supposed to be a lifting day and I should have stuck to my plan.

That afternoon, Paul met his nephews and niece at a nearby park for a Nerf gun battle. He takes these events very seriously...

While he had fun with his family, I headed down to Big Lots to score some 50% off wrapping supplies. I now have enough tissue paper to last the next seven years!

It was a chill night for us. I got Paul Jeopardy for Christmas, so we played that on his Xbox. Then I started watching Twin Peaks, recommended to me by Kristina. What a QUIRKY show. In the first episode I cried three times, laughed about ten times, and wondered, "Do they KNOW they are being over the top!?" every two minutes.

I got in the habit of watching Twin Peaks a lot this weekend. When I watch, I turn the Yule log on the television so it is all cozy. So from now on when I have Yule log/Twin Peaks time, I will indicate it by using this picture:

Saturday morning was UKULELE TIME. Paul tuned it up for me and I managed to learn some strumming and changing from the C chord to F chord. Jelly does not like the uke. He doesn't flip out, but whenever he sees me with it, he just turns around and calmly goes under the bed. Christmas, on the other hand, likes to sniff it.

Then I went to the gym. It was super crowded, and I have lots of stories about my experience... which I will share tomorrow! I did a mish mash of back and legs. It was too crowded to do my normal routine in my normal order, so this is what ended up happening...

The rest of the night consisted of more uke practice, getting my ass kicked in Jeopardy, and this...

Early Sunday morning.... What else!?

We met up with Paul's cousin Allison and her family for breakfast at Panera. We stayed so long that by the time we left, the lunch crowd had come in!

It was quite a warm afternoon, so I ran in shorts! I also lifted chest and shoulders. Just a short little at home workout.

Then for the rest of the night....

Yes, I am addicted.

Do you play a musical instrument?
Have you seen Twin Peaks?
Score any after Christmas deals!?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

"Weekly" Workout Re-Cap

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Hello All! This is the post where I re-cap my workouts from the past 7-9 days (depending on when I remember to post this) and tell you how well or how horrible they went!

This week got alllllll mixed up! As you can see...

12/19- Tempo Run Easy Run- 5 miles. I was supposed to do a tempo run this morning, and even though I was very excited to run, I was very tired. I decided to postpone my tempo run until the next day and do my easy run today. It was also the first time I ran since I stood up to the douchey teenager. I was excited to say hello to him when I ran past his bus stop this morning, but his bus got there before I did. I think I spent too much time that morning on reddit reading crap about Serial and ended up getting a later start...

12/20- Easy Run Tempo Run- My goal was to do two miles at a 7 minute tempo pace. I hit my mark. I always dread the tempo portion, but halfway through I am just on autopilot and feel like I could do another 1-2 miles at tempo pace easily.

12/21- Lifting Back/Legs Easy Run- As you can see, I keep switching things up this week! Due to being at my in-laws all day, I ran from their house instead of going to the gym. It was a gorgeous run!

12/22 - Lifting Back/Chest- Since I was off track from switching up workouts, I did chest/back at Planet Fitness. No legs. I was still scared to due to the horrible pain I was in after my last lower body lifting session! I am very excited because I could do a couple sets of chest press with 30lbs! I really think I could have done 32.5lbs but unfortunately we don't have those at my gym. The next weight up is 35lbs and I would never do that without a spotter!

The chest press @ 30lbs was a PR for me!!!

12/23 - Speed work- 5 miles total. I almost chickened out of this run because I was really tired. But once I got going, all was good! Here is how it went:

2 mile warm up
1/4 mile sprint
1/4 mile easy
1/2 mile sprint
1/2 mile easy
1/4 mile sprint
1/4 mile easy
1/4 mile sprint
3/4 mile cool down

12/24 - 8 easy miles- It rained/sprinkled the whole run. Luckily, it wasn't freezing out and it was quite an enjoyable run! I finished up before the sun came up.

 12/25 - 5 miles- These miles were supposed to be easy, but my mp3 player froze, so I couldn't listen to my podcasts! I ended up pushing myself to get the run done. I developed a headache not too far into the run because I was overdressed. I was not aware it was going to be about 50 degrees at six in the morning!

12/26 - 6 miles- I was supposed to lift today, but it was GORGEOUS outside. Also, I was a little blue that Christmas was over. I wanted to go for an AWESOME run and make all my cares go away. Well, it wasn't an awesome run. My legs were really tired and I was still blue when I was done. I should have just lifted like I was supposed to.

12/27 - Lifting Back/Legs- The gym was a SHIT SHOW. Very crowded. That's what I get for going on a Saturday morning! I did back and legs, but I was all over the place and out of my normal routine, so I really couldn't tell you the sets/reps I did... just a list of exercises!

I know I should give myself a pass for getting off schedule and not lifting enough this week. I mean, it was the holidays! I do plan on doing chest and shoulders tomorrow. Hopefully I can get back on track with my commitment to lifting lower body. It just aggravates my IT band so I am just trying to discern which exercises to avoid. You will notice there are no SQUATS in there, as they really hurt me last week. 
Did your weekly workouts get mixed up due to the holiday or were you able to stay on track?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Our Christmas in Pictures

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We were quite busy over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as I'm sure most of you were!

Here is our Christmas in pictures! I hope these shots convey to you how much fun we had! I seriously just belly laughed for two days straight. I love our families!

My brother Tyler and his daughter Clementine.
That's Paul being silly!

And that's Grandma being silly!

Me and my main squeeze!

My brother and his girls!

Mom and Dad

We are a talented family. My sister-in-law wows Zay by balancing
a clementine on her head.

Then Zay wows Rachel, right back!

Uncle Paul doesn't know what is going on, other than there
is some inside joke with the clementine...

My parents put up a dead Christmas tree.

My niece Ellie asked Santa for a green ghost and that's what she got!

My dad with his granddaughter Clementine.

Paul got Madden! He is so happy! And I'll never see him again.

I got a ukulele from my parents! I'm so excited to learn!
Now Paul calls me his Hawaiian Princess!

We got my brother Tyler a name plate for his desk at work 
so that everyone knows who the boss is...

Darling Clementine!

Ellie saw her Auntie Megan foam rolling and decided she wanted to give it a shot.

My mom gave me this stone decoration that was at my Grandma and Grandpa's house.
You can't tell, but all the grand kids' names are written on the snowmen.
It's a memory from their house!

We got our nephew Zay got SPY GEAR and he is a little excited about it.

Uncle Paul gave Violet a PINK AND PURPLE nerf gun.
Now she can play with the boys!

The dudes being silly!

Look at the old picture of Paul that is hanging in his mom's dining room.

Christmas dinner was burgers on the grill and Grandma Utz's potato chips!

Paul got me this wall hanging for Christmas. It's a little inside joke.
He always tells me he loves me and I always say, "Love you more!"

I gave Paul this charcoal drawing of Christmas. He loved it!

Paul's parents got me a pull up bar for at home!
Between this and all the ukulele playing I'm going to be doing,

I hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Do you have multiple places to go on Christmas Eve and Christmas?
What was a favorite gift you gave and a favorite gift you got?