More like vacation at Cape Cod, MA but I like "life on the Cape" more for a blog post title! Back about a month ago already I took a week off and headed up to Cape Cod with Kyle for a much needed vacation. It is gorgeous up there and the perfect balance of activities, relaxing, ocean time, and sea food.
Here are my favorite things we did on vacation: kayaking through the Nauset Marsh. Beach time at the National Seashore - especially seeing all the seals! Yoga with one of my favorite teachers who used to teach at Tranquil Space. Day at Truro Vineyards and South Hollow Spirits.
Pretty safe to say this was a great vacation spot and the weather was perfect, we would definitely come back and have already talked about other things we would want to check out like whale watching and walking through the dunes. Plus I just love the ocean and will never say no to a vacation that includes the beach!
Some other random things from vacation that I should definitely mention: BEST. BREAKFAST. SANDWICH. EVER. from Mike and Patty's in Boston (seriously I would go back to Boston just for this sandwich). Ran the Cape Cod Canal 10k, Kyle checked Massachusetts off his list. Used AirBnB for all lodging and worked out great for us. Ate my first lobster roll, was good but not sure worth the market cost of lobsters.
It's still a little hard for me to believe that I run occasionally for fun. I haven't done a ton of races and I'm not always the most consistent with running on my own but I still enjoy it and have been a runner off and on for almost 3 years. I purchased my first pair of real running shoes April 2012 (which I still use) so I'm thinking it's definitely time to get a new pair asap! Over the past 2+ years I've done a few races which I've mentioned in past posts but I just want to list all the ones so far. It really helps having a bf who is running a race in every state to bump up the number of races I've done so far. I haven't done everyone Kyle has but I do like signing up for the vacation races as a fun way to include some exercise into a trip.
Race 1: Cleveland 10k 58:07, 9:21/mile
Race 2: Columbus Color Run 5k untimed
Race 3: North Carolina Mountain Run 3.6 miles can't find time
Race 4: Portage Lakes Duathlon
Race 5: Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 miles 51:58, 10:24/mile
Race 6: Savannah Bridge Run 5k 31:50, 10:14/mile
Race 7: Fingerlakes Glassfest 8k 50:10, 10:05/mile
Race 8: Cape Cod Canal 10k 1:11:00, 11:25/mile
Up next repeating the Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 miler. It's such a great way to start Thanksgiving and that means I can eat more pie...I mean turkey! We'll see if I can beat last years time, although I'm pretty inconsistent on my mile pace and I was definitely the fastest my first race a few years ago *side note I actually trained consistently for 2 months for that race.
a few faves: PODCASTS
1. Starr Struck Radio:
Official description - A weekly podcast focused on living a creative and inspired life. Mary Catherine Starr and her sidekick (and husband!), Ben, discuss all things related to navigating the world as an adult and finding joy in the everyday.
My thoughts - This show just started this year and I am loving it, I found out about this podcast since I used to take Mary Catherine's yoga classes when she taught in DC and she had a yoga/creative/inspired life blog that I read. It's an entertaining dynamic between her and her husband Ben as they tackle a lot of fun topics and are very candid and real.
2. The Jillian Michaels Show:
Official description - Jillian Michaels, America's Health and Wellness guru, brings you the Jillian Michaels Show. An entertaining, inspirational, informative show that gives you tools to find health and happiness in all areas of your life.
My thoughts - I have been listening to Jillian's show forever, probably one of my first podcast obsessions and I just can't get enough of the episodes (I'm noticing a Jillian Michaels trend on my blog...). She not only covers fitness but everything healthy related along with hot topics and personal stories.
3. Balanced Bites:
Official description - Diane is the New York Times bestselling author of "Practical Paleo" and "The 21-Day Sugar Detox" and is a Certified Nutrition Consultant. Liz is the bestselling author of "Eat the Yolks" and "The Purely Primal Skincare Guide" and a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Each week, Diane and Liz dish on current topics in health, nutrition, and the Paleosphere as well as provide insights in response to listener questions - all with their signature wit and a healthy dose of joking around that'll make you feel like you're spending an hour with two of your best girlfriends each week.
My thoughts - This podcast and the co-hosts are where I get a lot of my nutrition/health facts from. They follow a mostly paleo lifestyle but are not super strict and go more by "whatever works for you" as long as you feel good and are healthy! Which I LOVE! and while I don't follow paleo that close I do agree with a lot of the concepts in that lifestyle and the show has so much good information plus they are super entertaining. The show has been around for a few years and is new religiously every week so the archives are always fun to listen to if I have nothing new on my playlist.
4. Sleeping With The Boss:
Official description - Sleeping With The Boss is a weekly show about relationships, work life balance, and entrepreneurship. Hosted by a couple that live, work, and sleep together - Jason Zook and Caroline Winegeart.
My thoughts - This is a pretty new show that started out as a couple's experiment to do a podcast daily for a whole month and then they loved it so much they kept it going as a weekly show. I found this show through Caroline's website MadeVibrant which is who I took the Better Hand Lettering course through! The show is short and entertaining and just about 2 creatives who live/work/sleep together (don't worry it's PG) and it's fun hearing their perspective on a lot of things considering I'm kind of a creative person too.
5. The Chalene Show:
Official description - Tips, resources, interviews and practical steps to help you improve energy, balance, organization, health, fitness, relationships, focus, faith and happiness. Each episode is designed to give you strategies and simple steps you can implement today to become a better, more balanced, happier version of yourself. This podcast will feel like you're sitting down to chat with someone who believes in you, adores you and only wants the best for you! The Chalene Show is fit life coaching, personal development, personal growth, priorities, productivity. faith, family, fashion and humor all rolled into one.
My thoughts - The past year I tried out the PiYo workout and really liked Chalene and then found out she had a podcast so I downloaded it and have been hooked. She covers a broad range of topics too, not just fitness. You can tell she really has a passion for helping people and just getting information out there, she's just so real and I love that. She also puts out a lot of episodes ranging in length so I can usually pick and choose depending on how much time I have.
6. The Lively Show:
Official description - The Lively show is a weekly podcast designed to add a little extra intention to your everyday. Episodes will touch on various aspects of our lives including possessions, personal habits, relationships, and career. Entrepreneurship and online business also appear from time to time. There is a special emphasis on the blogging world and each episode is designed to uplift, inform, and inspire.
My thoughts - This is another new to me show I've become hooked on. Blake Lively interviews a different person each week and is very focused on living life with intention which I want to try to instill in my life more. It's invigorating hearing all these people's stories and I look forward to each episode which is weekly and usually around an hour.
There are my favorite podcasts, I listen to a few others but these ones I'm waiting each week for the newest episode. I'm always on the lookout for more favorites if anyone has suggestions!
I've seriously been missing/craving yoga recently. I completed PiYo which was a pilates & yoga fusion workout so that was good but not the same. I also had been taking advantage of LuluLemon's free yoga classes and some groupon deals but neither of those led to consistency like I used to have in doing yoga and paying for every drop in to different studios really adds up fast being anywhere from $15-$20 per class! So I'm excited to be a member at Tranquil Space again!!!! I love that studio and it's where I first became hooked on yoga and I had a membership there for over a year but then with my work schedules changing I wasn't able to be consistent and decided to change up my routine. Now that I'm seriously missing yoga and on a somewhat stable schedule I'm hoping to really dive back into yoga and go at least 3-4 times a week and I'm really excited about that. I joined back up Wednesday and it was great going back to the studio and so awesome to see all the great teachers and loving the fact that they remember me, it's such a great place! I'm going strong and have taken 11 classes in the past 2 weeks and loving it! Can't wait to see where it takes me this time mentally and physically!
So I am not doing a "program" right now and I don't have a membership to any gyms or studios I'm having to improv my workouts and try to figure out what works best for me. I'm really liking this freedom of chosing my workouts each day and trying to create my own balance throughout the week. I also like trying new things so not being on a set plan is great for this. I'm having lots of fun trying new classes while not breaking the bank thanks to groupon/living social deals, free classes offered by Lululemon and Athleta, and new yoga studios during DC yoga week! So here is what my workouts looked like this past week as an idea of what I'm doing:
Sunday - Gentle yoga at Mind the Mat in Clarendon, perfect way to start the week off
Monday - P90X3 Accelerator CARDIO! I'm sometimes not the best at fitting in cardio so really working on that and making sure it's part of my weekly workouts
Tuesday - Jillian Michael's Body Revolution (JMBR) video #11 which is a strength workout (odd numbers are half the body and even numbers are the other half so like yin and yang!)
Wednesday - Hot yinyasa at Mind Your Body Oasis in Crystal City
Thursday - P90X3 MMX, another cardio and then yoga at Tranquil Space
Friday - JMBR #12
Saturday - Pilates at Athleta
The final block used all the same videos except one from the previous two just in a different rotation, and I still didn't get bored.
Decelerator - Pretty much a full body workout that does focus on your deceleration/landing some of the moves with control. Squats, pullups, pushups, jumping, balancing, burpees, etc.
It took me one extra week since I went on vacation the beginning of April and didn't take the workouts with me (but I did workout while away so not a completely off week.) I am happy that I finally finished it, but still love the workouts and never really dreaded them or wished it was over. The hardest video for me was actually the Pilates one. I still am not the best at it yet, but a work in progress and I like it a little better each time since I actually see improvements in how I do the moves.
The last week of the program was a "victory week" and then ended with a final fitness test repeated repeated from the start. I did improve pretty much on everything, but not a ton. It consisted of curls, pushups, vertical jump, wall squats, and a few other things. One was pull ups but I still can't do one so I will continue to try and work on that. The most noticeable improvement in the final fit test was actually my heart rate. It involved doing jumping jacks for 2 minutes (intense the last :30 seconds) and then taking heart rate right after and then every minute for the next four. My heart rate did not get as high and dropped to normal a lot quicker than it did 90 days ago! I was really happy with this.
As far as body, not much overall change but that's from my food eating habits for sure, never got super strict and went back and forth a lot between a healthy balance and then not so healthy! I will always be working on that balance since I do like to indulge but definitely feel better overall when eating my veggies and fruits!
So I'm not doing the program again, at least not right away but I will be incorporating the videos into my workouts. For now I'm going to try and plan my workouts with a good balance of strength, cardio, and yoga. If I have trouble with the variety or sticking to it on my own then maybe I'll just start the program over again, but as of now I'm doing good. I would definitely recommend this program and I loved that it had a lot of variety and focus on strength!
I took a quick hiatus since the end of March and went a on a fun vacation in North Carolina. Needed some fresh air and a spring reboot! I will have some more posts coming soon, I am switching up things with my hours so will be adjusting to new routines and all but hopefully that means consistent posts. Including some from my vacation, but here's a quick bit on it. The vacation actually ended by doing a 3.6 mile race which included running up a hill. (Actually felt/looked more like a mountain and increased 1,000 feet in elevation!) It was super tough and I definitely had to run/walk parts since it was steep and I didn't prepare much, but it was beautiful and fun to do, good end to a trip that included a lot a lot of food. My time was around 43 minutes, so not super fast but the inclines were killer so I'm happy. And Kyle finished at around 32 minutes so he kicked my butt! Here's just a few pics from the race but more to come from Asheville, NC.
sick of this snowy weather especially now that it's March (even if it does look pretty)
want to retire my winter coat and hat for a few or more months please!
loving creamer again and impulsively bought some candy flavored creamer, almost makes the long winter bearable sipping hot coffee that tastes like an almond joy
doubling up my workouts a few days and love feeling the calorie burn #summeriscoming
had an iced latte when it felt like spring the other day (such a tease!)
dreaming of vacation but a little worried it won't be warm
So I've (almost) made it through the second block and am looking at buying a new pair of fun tights since I have decided that's my reward for finishing the program! I am actually in the transition week but thought I would share my views on the new videos I did this month. Overall still loving them and definitely feeling stronger overall. I need to find a pull up bar soon so I can gauge how close I am to being able to do one. I'm looking forward to finishing strong and maybe accomplishing that goal!
1) Eccentric Upper - Completely upper body and that's all that's focused on in this video. It starts with very similar moves from the Challenge but everything is done with a slow 3 count eccentric move then explode to start for example slooooow lower pushup and then quick back to starting, repeat, repeat, repeat. Did I mention it's only upper body? So lots of push ups, pulls ups (modified with bands for me), and presses curls with free weights. Definitely good muscle burn with this video!
2) Triometrics - Each move has three levels that you do for 20 seconds each for a total of a minute and it burns burns burns. It's pretty much all legs, lots of squats, lunges, etc. Ever tried doing squats while in Warrior 3....it's fun haha. There's some plyo elements too and it's a good paced workout definitely feeling it in the legs after.
3) X3 Yoga - repeat
4) Eccentric Lower - Same as the eccentric upper but focuses on the lower body (who would've guessed that?) Another awesome leg burning workout, not sure which leg day I like more.
5) Incinerator - Back to arms, back, and just upper body focus. Similar moves from the other arm workouts but less focus on pull ups. Arms definitely like jello at the end of this one, I think it might be the toughest arm one so far.
6) MMX - So so so good, loved this mixed martial arts workout! I already knew I loved workouts with punching and kicking so I was really excited for this one and it didn't disappoint. It goes through a lot of variations and never repeats the same combo and by the burnout at the end I was BEAT! Can't wait to do this one again!
7) Dynamix - repeat (stretch stretch stretch)
Week 8 // Transition
The transition is the same video line up from the first transition week, prepping the body for the final block I can't wait to finish super strong!!!
Image credit: Athleta