Sunday, September 29, 2013

AFSP Community Walk - Washington, DC

Saturday morning started bright and early for me (which is easy to do when you're in bed by 9:00 on a Friday night.) While the house was still sleeping I snuck off to the gym.
1 mile WU @ 6 MPH
Intervals for 10 minutes (1 minute at 6MPH, 1 minute at 9 MPH)
Back Extension
Ball Crunch
Single Leg Squat Touchdown
Step up to Balance - Frontal Plane
Box Jumps
Power Step Ups
I did 3 sets of 12 reps of the weights, 10 reps of the plyometrics.
Ever done power step ups? The box was decently high and those were TOUGH.
After my workout and baby girl's soccer game we headed to D.C.
Baby girl's first time on the metro.
We went to support a cause close to us. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Community Walk.
A year and a half ago my Brother in Law took his own life. He was a wonderful, caring man. I firmly believe that if he had just gotten the help he needed, he'd still be with us today.
You probably can't tell from the picture but my daughter and my BIL look quite a bit alike (it's probably the crazy, curly, firey red hair).
"90% of people who commit suicide have a treatable mental disease". They need our help.
The walk itself was beautiful! The weather couldn't have been better. It was a 4 mile walk that took us along the perimeter of the National Mall during sunset.

The AFSP holds events in many different locations. If you're interested in participating and/or donating you can visit here.

Friday, September 27, 2013


The last time I posted I was just about to begin Phase 2 of my workout program, based on the OPT Model. I was SUPER excited to begin this phase. I knew that it was going to be extremely challenging, and I was ready for that. Unfortunately, the gym at my work was closed indefinitely.

**I work at the Washington Navy Yard. As I'm sure most of you know, my work was attacked last Monday. I started posts about it, planned them out in my head, but nothing seemed to do the situation justice. Nothing seemed to come out right. I am extremely thankful to be here today. I am thankful for to the emergency personnel and my gracious coworkers who threw themselves into the situation to assist those in need. I am sorry for the loss that has been suffered by the families of the victims, by NAVSEA, and by the nation as a whole. **

Due to the closure of the gym, I've been forced to be resourceful, and take my workouts elsewhere. As I do in most situations when I don't have gym access, I ran. Probably more than I should have to be honest, but it's how I distress so I went with it.

I ran on pavement.

I ran on dirt.

I enjoyed the wonderful 50-60 degree temperature, blasted my music and took off. But my achy foot brought me back to reality. I can't run 5 days a week at this point in my life.

So yesterday I took it back to the weight room. On the agenda:

Front Squats - 40 lbs
Bent over row - 20 lbs
Lunges - 40 lbs (each side)
Shoulder Presses - 15 lbs
In & Outs - 15 (slow)
Single Arm Bicep Curl - 15 lbs
Single Arm Tricep Extensions - 12 lbs

I did 12 reps and 3 sets and BOY did I feel it when I woke up this morning!

After my workout, I was discussing the "front squat" with my coworker. I choose to do the front squat yesterday because I didn't have access to a rack. I really enjoyed the front squat. It allowed me to sink deeper into my squat, and I felt like my upper body wasn't falling forward at all (I usually feel like it is).  However, if it's easier to do, is it really working me as much as I need?

I took to the internet. (Obviously, all of the references here are entirely credible.) Sure enough, the front squat does isn't really what I want to focus on. It targets quadriceps more than anything, when that big old gluteus maximus is what I really need to be working on:-D

I feel like there is SO much information when it comes to working out. So many variations, so many different philosophies. I'm anxious to learn more about it and keep expanding my knowledge.

And to get a rack and get some real squats done!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Jam Packed Weekend

PHEW! What a weekend it was. The boy was in Ocean City for Bike Week so Baby Girl and I hit the road and headed to VA for some quality time with our family.
First stop was my moms, where my starving ass was greeted with this awesome plate!
That egg muffin was amazing!! It was full of mushrooms and Italian sausage. That muffin on the side was a cranberry coffee cake muffin. My mom is a really good cook:-)
After a few hours with her, we went and meet up with my twin sister and one of our best friends for her birthday lunch. We headed to Uncle Julios......really mediocre. Good thing I wasn't that hungry since I had just eaten a few hours earlier. I swear, all chain restaurants are pretty crappy.......
After lunch I shopped for a couple of hours (Hello gorgeous Ralph Lauren Pumps) before heading to visit my father for a bit, then meet up with my brother and his family.
By the time we hit the couch at my sister's it was 10:00 PM and we were exhausted! 12 straight hours of visiting is A LOT of fun, but it's also a lot of work.
Sunday morning we were up bright and early in order to get to the Race For Grace on time.
My twin ran the 5K and did really well! (I am so proud of how dedicated and motivated she's been with her running recently).
I'm in the pink, baby girl is in the middle, my twin is in the purple.
Baby girl ran the 1 miler! I was SO proud of how hard she pushed herself. She's even excited to start practicing and wants to do another run in a couple of months:-)
While I didn't get to run (my foot just isn't there yet and I couldn't because nobody would have been there to watch my daughter) I did end up winning in the end...
I won a GoPED from a raffle ticket I bought. A motorized scooter! How cool is that?!? I've never won anything in my life. We had a great time on it tonight. That little thing goes pretty damn fast.
By the time I got back to MD, got my Sunday prepping and dinner done, it was getting too late for the run that I wanted to take tonight.
Instead I did 2 all-out sprints down the street while my daughter biked next to me, then I grabbed a jump rope and did 25 fast jumps and 10 push ups, 4 times each.
Holy crap was I huffing by the end of it. Not the longest workout ever, but sometimes the best are short and sweet and get you out of your comfort zone.
We finished the night with one of these bad boys.
Pistachio cake and cream cheese frosting:-)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Phase 1: Stabilization - Check!

Hello there! Hope that your Friday is going well. Mine was looooong. I worked from home today, and it always seems like I have SO much more to do when I'm at home. Then I had to go sit at the MVA and pay them over $800 just to get a title and tags for my car?? Highway robbery.
Anyways, I took today as a rest day since I've had some serious workouts the past four days. As I mentioned, I finished Phase 1: Stabilization of my new workout routine this week and thought I'd let you know a little about that.
The main focus of Phase 1 is to work on your balance and stabilization. Every move you do is on a box, one leg, or a stability ball! I have absolutely ZERO balance so this was pretty tough for me.
I have 2 days with 30 minutes of cardio in zone 1 and my core/stability/plyo workout, 2 days of cardio intervals and weights, and 2 days of yoga.
My core/stability workout is as follows:
Ball Bridges - 20
Quadrup Opposite Leg/Arm - 20
Single Leg Hip Rotation on a half foam roll - 20
Single Leg Lift and Chop (with a 6.6lb medicine ball) - 20
Tube Walking
Box Jump Up and Down with Stabilization - 8
Jump Squats with Stabilization - 8
I do 3 sets of each exercise. This workout is not necessarily challenging, but I have really felt the difference in my balance and my core. Who doesn't love that??
The interval and weight workout though, now that gets me sweaty!
Step up, Curl to Press (Frontal Plane w/10 lbs) - 20
Single Leg Hammer Curl - 20
Ball Combo (Shoulder/Back) - 12
Hamstring Curls on Stability Ball - 12
Stability Ball Tricep Extension - 20
Stability Ball Single Arm Chest Press - 20
Again, 3 sets of each move.
Since I've started this routine, these have made a daily appearance.

The foam roller is my new best friend. I do it faithfully (combined with static stretching) before and after every workout. Boy oh Boy do I feel it in my quads, IT Band/TFL, and adductors....for some reason I get NO feeling doing it in my hamstrings or calfs. Does anybody else experience this?? I KNOW that they are tight though, because when I hit them with "The Stick" it's serious business.
As you can see, this phase is not about high weights, building muscle, etc. The purpose of it is to focus on correcting your muscular imbalances, strengthening your core and improving your balance/stability.
and hopefully, to avoid all these pesky injuries I seem to keep accumulating.

Monday, September 9, 2013


To say it's been a while would definitely be an understatement. I had a lot of things going on in my life, and running wasn't happening all that much, so I took a step back.

Most of my time for the past couple of months was dedicated to studying for my Personal Trainer Certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Let me be the first to say that this course was no walk in the park. It was hard, intense, and there is a ton of information to learn. Isn't that the point though? I'm glad that I picked NASM to get my certification through, because fitness is something that I really want to know. Not just cram for a test, do really well, and forget all of the information I've learned.

Since I received my certification I have revamped my own workout plan a lot. I basically started from scratch, which I really feel I needed to do. The first phase ends next Thursday. I have spent the past 5 weeks realllllly focusing on my core, stabilization, and balance. I feel like I've made huge improvements and I'm ready to move on to Phase 2: Strength Endurance. I'm really anxious because I have never put the focus more on weights/core. I've always been a cardio junkie......but it's time for a change!

I've also moved! After 26 years, perfectly happy and in love with Northern Virginia, I decided to make the move (with my daughter of course) to Southern Maryland. What could possibly be my reason for leaving the only place I've ever known and called home? It might just be this country boy that my daughter and I are pretty damn fond of.

Baby girl also started soccer when we moved (plus a new school)! What a commitment that was, for all of us! We have been going to practices a couple of times a week and practicing in the back yard almost every night. What a great way to still get in a bit of cardio since it's recently taken a back seat in the gym.

As you can gather, the break wasn't for negative reasons. Everything is changing and exciting and I wanted to be able to give it my full attention.