A Good End to a Bad Day

Yesterday was a killer of a day at work. As some of you may know, I am currently in the middle of planning a big event that will happen in the middle of September. Well, yesterday, THREE separate times it looked like we were going to have to move up the date of the event a week earlier. If you’ve ever tried to plan a large-scale event before you might know that changing 3 weeks left to plan to two weeks left to plan is a crazy jump to make! Long story short, we don’t have to move the date of the event, but I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster all day.

When I got home I was hungry and physically and emotionally tired. The last thing I wanted to do was workout. I really thought about just getting a lamb salad from the halal food cart on the way home and just curl up and watch Netflix, but I knew we had lots of good, healthy food to eat at home, and I think a part of me knew that I needed some good healthy food and a good workout in order to feel better. And guess what, it worked.

To curb my hunger I ate a cold Trader Joe’s Meatless Italian Sausage Link. Go ahead, judge away; it hit the spot. Since I opened the italian sausage package, I decided to make whole wheat pasta with zoodles mixed in for dinner. We didn’t have any pasta sauce, so I used a can of crushed tomatoes and added some chicken broth, white wine, balsamic vinegar, and garlic salt and let it simmer while I worked out.

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For my workout I did a bunch of different Tone It Up videos. I was feeling really low energy so I didn’t attempt anything with crazy cardio, and a lot of these moves were harder than usual for me, but I kept telling myself to push through. Here was my workout:

Beach Barre Workout x2

I actually own the Tone It Up Beach Babe 2 DVD which has a 30 minute beach barre routine on it. Since that’s not available on Youtube, I’m linking to Tone It Up’s beach barre workout that they did with Livestrong Women. Do it twice!

Love Your Arms and Abs x2

I did this video twice and my arms were shaking by the end! I love all the back/shoulder work in the beginning.

MaliBooty Workout

This was on the Tone It Up workout schedule for today, so I had to do it at least one time through! I love how much this works my hamstrings.

Inner & Outer Thighs Routine

I feel like my inner thighs could definitely use some extra toning so I threw this workout in there at the end. I love that it works your abs so much too!

I found that my mood was much better once I finished my workout (surprise, surprise)

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Me after my workout

Pro Tip: Mix your zoodles with wheat pasta to get a good mixture of veggies + staying power!

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One last thing, we got the footage back from a filming session we did for the event I’m planning. So currently, my job includes watching videos of me. #bestjobever duh

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What are some of your at-home workout routines? Netflix vs. workout, which usually wins at the end of a long day?

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I Tried It: The November Project

If you’re unfamiliar with the November Project, it’s a pretty cool concept. Two dudes in Boston wanted to make sure they stayed motivated to exercise through the cold and bleary winter, so they challenged each other to workout together throughout the whole month of November. Hence the name November Project!

Of the many pictures that were taken, I magically avoided all of them. Kinda bummed about that!

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“November Project™ is a FREE fitness movement that was born in Boston as a way to stay in shape during cold New England months. Now present in multiple cities in across four time zones in North America, the movement is using a simple sense of accountability (verbal) to motivate and encourage people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving.” -from november-project.com

This movement has now come to many cities from Baltimore to Sacramento. You can check the website to see if the November Project is in your city yet!

I went with my boyfriend this past Wednesday (one of the two days the Philly NP meets) to see what it was all about. He’s been loving the NP so I needed to see what was taking his love away from me 😉

When I got there (Philly Art Museum at 6:25 AM) I was greeted by a LARGE group of fit-lookin, neon-wearin, smilin and huggin young people (and some older ones too!)

If you look allllll the way in the back you can see my tiny face sticking out between two people. #shortpeopleintheback

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Everyone kinda hangs around before the workout and it’s obvious that a lot of the members know each other. There is so much ENTHUSIASM. If you are easily irked by happy morning people, this might not be the group for you.

We started with a call and response of “good morning” and “how are you feeling?” I forget the response we were supposed to say, but it was something along the lines of “fucking great” or something like that.

Next we were told to hug 10 strangers and tell them that we’re happy they came.

You all should know how I feel about hugging people.

But the November Project could warm even my cold, bitter heart, and soon I was exchanging smiles and hugs with strangers.

Next, we got the low down on the workout for the day. We ran a figure 8 loop that took us up a hill and down the hill then up the hill then down the hill (2 hill climbs per circuit) with a short run back to where we started, 6 burpees, and then back to the hills. We were told to complete this either 7 times or 10 times.

This workout was brutal. I like to think that I am in pretty good shape, and the 1000s of lunges I do make me think that my legs are awesome, but damn, those hills were HARD. I completed 7 circuits (gooooo me!) but it was TOUGH. November Project does NOT PLAY AROUND.

We started the workout in waves of roughly 10, but kinda all got mixed together as the workout continued and people sped up or slowed down depending on their fitness level.

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The whole time people were slappin five, encouraging others, and chanting “Hills for Thrills” and other catchy phrases. I think to really get the most out of NP you have to commit yourself to joining in on their positive, enthusiastic ways. I was a little taken aback by it all, since it was my first time, and I was huffing and puffing up hills, so I was more of a silent observer for that part…this time.

After everyone was finished, we snapped a couple pictures (there was also someone taking pictures the whole time we were working out too) and then they presented the “encouragement award” (or something like that). It’s a hard hat with “November Project” printed on it and it gets passed from person to person each week. Whoever has it passes it on to someone who motivated them during their workout that morning.

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I was kinda expecting to not like the November Project. I don’t like working out in big groups, especially when they are athletically talented and REALLY enthusiastic, but I actually REALLY liked going.

I can definitely see myself going next Wednesday if it fits into my schedule, and it could be a great way to motivate me through the cold months and help with my winter training. Also, doing something like stairs or hill repeats is better when done in a group. You all suffer together!

My bottom line: If a lovable curmudgeon like me can like it, then there’s a pretty good chance you can too. Check it out.

Have you heard of the November Project before? Have you gone? Do you belong to any fitness groups?

My Race Sign-Up Checklist and Dealbreakers

Is there anything better than the feeling of signing up for a race? I get a rush of excitement, anxiety, commitment, and pride when I take the plunge and hit “register.”

Like with pretty much anything in my life, I go through these times of race obsession. I’ll check runningintheUSA.com like 8 times a day, checking to see if they’ve updated with any new races. Unfortunately, I have a lot of things to consider before I sign up for a race. Some of them are:

  • Location
  • Route
  • Cause/Theme
  • Price
  • Date
  • Distance

I pretty much only sign up for races in Philly since I don’t have the means to travel that far, and I look for races that will either take me through a park, boathouse row, or some other interesting part of Philly. I’m pretty open to it, as long as it’s not in a parking lot (Ahem, Flyers 5k).

Next, is the cause or theme. This will be my second year doing the Rescue Run 5k because there are ADOPTABLE DOGS EVERYWHERE! I ran the See Chicks Run 10K because it was an ALL GIRL 10K, pretty cool! If it has a great cause or a theme that isn’t too gimmicky (looking at you, Pretty Fly for a 5K) then I’m down!

Next, an important one, PRICE. I like to pay somewhere between $20-35 for my 5Ks and 10Ks and somewhere around $60-100 for half marathons. I’d love to do the Hot Chocolate 15K but every time I see it’s $54 I ROFL until I click off the page.

The last two are Date and Distance. Obviously when signing up for a race I need one that doesn’t interfere with a training schedule that I am already on. I like to do a mixture of distances, between 5K to Half, obviously with the Half being a distance that I REALLY need to prepare for, and 5Ks being more of a whim/fun decision. I’m not looking to do any marathons yet, and definitely not any ultras lolololololol

Here are some of the races that I am seriously considering signing up for right now:

October 11- The Great Eastern State Penitentiary Breakout 5k

  • Prison-themed 5k? YES!

October 18- Kids’ Chance of PA 10K

  • I want to do another 10K in October and this is the one that would work for me!

October 18- Bobtoberfest 4 Miler

  • BOBtoberfest. German-themed 4 miler along Boathouse Row

December 13- Ugly Sweater Run 5k

  • Kinda gimmicky but they offer free beer/cider at the end, free hot chocolate, and a vintage knitted cap instead of t-shirt.

March 1, 2015- Northeast Roadrunner’s Winter 10K

  • I just really want to do more 10Ks and winter races in general. I’m waiting for it to be closer to the event so I can get some more information on this one.

I think the Ugly Sweater Run will definitely happen (as long as a friend will do it with me) and I’m I’m hoping to sign up for one or two of the other ones!

What are your deal breakers? Are you considering any races right now? What are they?