My Five Favorite Indoor Workouts!

I’m teaming up yet again with Courtney, Cynthia and Mar for the Friday Five! I’ve had so much fun the past couple weeks.

When I saw this week’s Friday Five, I had to laugh. Favorite indoor workouts, for one I generally don’t enjoy working out indoors, and I can’t do anything right now as my ankle is still hurting me if I stand on it for any extended period time, much less do any sort of activity.

I considered picking a new topic but decided to stick with the theme so I can think positively about indoor workouts, something necessitated by the cold winter weather.

1. Body Pump: I did Body Pump quite regularly about three or four years ago. I can’t say I’m a Body Pump regular right now as I only managed to make it to two classes before my sprained ankle. But I loved both of those classes and I’m 100% confident I’ll be making it a part of my weekly routine once I’m back to working out.

2. Treadmill: I have a love hate relationship with the treadmill. I try to avoid it so much, but I hate the cold weather much more than I hate the treadmill. So, invariably, despite my best intentions, and hard earned money spent on cold weather gear so I can run outside in the winter I always find my way inside on the treadmill once I can start seeing my breath. I’m pretty boring with my treadmill workouts, I just run and speed up and slow down as I feel I can take it or as I get tired. I usually put a towel or sweatshirt on the display to prevent me from looking at the screen every 5 minutes, and I’ve started listening to podcasts while I run.

3. Jillian Michaels Thirty Day shred or No More Trouble Zones: I bought these DVDs a few years ago and at the time, combined with body pump, they were my fitness routine. I don’t do them often anymore, but I love that the Thirty Day Shred is only about 30 minutes and if I’m running low on time it’s something I can pop in and do if I’m pressed for time. I’ll confess I hate her cheesy commentary during the DVD but they definitely get my heart rate up and I remedy that by muting the DVD and playing music in the background.

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4. Cycling: I took a few spin classes years ago and while definitely not my favorite form of exercise they were a nice change of pace. They’re a great way to get your heart racing and they’ll always kick your butt.

5. Yoga: If you’ll recall I took a couple free yoga classes this past year. I really enjoyed them and think it’s something I need to incorporate into my fitness routine this year. My gym offers a few yoga classes that I’m interested in trying out soon.

Have you ever tried a work out DVD? Do you hate Jillian Michaels’ cheesy commentary as much as I do?

My Weekend Update!

I have been having technical difficulties this week. On Saturday my computer decided that it was going to stop working. According to my boyfriend the hard disk is malfunctioning so I have to figure out what to do to fix that, so I’ve been dealing with no computer except when I’m at work.

This means writing blog posts has been a bit of a challenge for now. I haven’t been able to find time to stay late at work to knock a couple out and I had a moment where I considered writing them on my phone, but I gave that up really quickly.

Despite my computer being on the fritz I still had a great weekend! I spent the weekend in Pittsburgh visiting my sister. There was some question about whether I’d be able to make it seeing as the ankle I sprained is attached to the foot I drive with. But by Friday I decided that with cruise control I could handle the four hour drive.

Unfortunately, many of the plans my sister had for us involved walking, lots of it. So we had to cancel all of that, which meant we had a relaxing weekend.

Saturday morning we got brunch at a place called Dor-Stop. They were featured on Diners, Drive ins, and Dives and was claimed to have the best pancakes. Now, I love pancakes but to me a pancake is a pancake is a pancake, still I was curious. But I was more curious about the raspberry french toast that everyone raved about.

In the end my sister and I decided to try a little bit of everything, we ordered the french toast, apple cinnamon pancakes and an omelet (because something needed to be healthy) and just shared it all.

Everything was amazing! And the reviews weren’t lying when they said it was the best pancakes ever. My sister and I took one bite and both decided that we had never had better pancakes. We ate them without syrup, they didn’t need it. The french toast was great as well, it was coated in cornflakes which gave it a crunchy texture, and the omelet was the perfect amount of savory we needed.

Of course, my horrible picture taking continues, I was so hungry I forgot to snap a picture of our food until we were done! But you can go to their website and see pictures of their delicious pancakes!

After brunch we did a little bit of shopping along the Strip in Pittsburgh and then spent some quiet time allowing for my ankle to rest back at her apartment.

That night we went to the Incline to see the Pittsburgh skyline, which was absolutely beautiful! We hadn’t been able to fit this in the last time we were there so I was excited to see it.

Excuse the poor picture quality it's hard to get a good picture in the night on your smartphone....Still beautiful
Excuse the poor picture quality it’s hard to get a good picture in the night on your smartphone….Still beautiful
Cool statue called Point of View showing George Washington and Seneca Leader Guyasuta. I learned this from wikipedia!
Cool statue on the incline called Point of View showing George Washington and Seneca Leader Guyasuta. I learned this from wikipedia!

The day ended with a great dinner at Shiloh’s grill and hanging out at the bar, and then Sunday I made the return drive home to Maryland.

Have you ever been to Pittsburgh? Don’t you want to try those pancakes now?

Friday Five: All About Me!

I’m linking up again with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for the Friday Five! Last week’s was so fun, I knew I had to do it again. I can’t wait to read everyone’s posts!

This week’s theme is Five Things About Me so I guess you’re going to get to learn some fun things about Moi! Enjoy!

Silly selfie, because why not?
Silly selfie, because why not?

1. I am currently getting my master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Last semester I was only taking one class to ease myself into working full time and going to school part time. This semester I’m taking two classes, one of which will be held on Saturday morning, which sucks, but I’m also excited about the class. Plus it doesn’t start until 10am so I have a little time to sleep in! I’m nervous, but also excited.

2. I have never been, nor do I believe I ever will be graceful. I am one of the clumsiest people I know. Apparently, I also felt the need to prove this fact this week as evidenced by my sprain! I am always finding new bruises on my legs and arms, and I have been known to trip over my own feet when I am just standing still, it’s a talent. My friends soon learn to ignore my random yells of “Ouch!” unless I start screaming in obvious pain.

3. Pandas are my favorite animal. Always have been. I used to go to the National Zoo every summer to see the pandas, and whenever there’s a new baby panda I HAVE to make a visit to see it. I have so many pictures of the pandas it’s ridiculous, and my collection of panda merchandise is a little crazy, lots of panda stuffed animals, and my favorite? A panda necklace my boyfriend got me for Christmas.

See, lots of panda pictures!
See, lots of panda pictures!

4. I’m crafty! Mainly crochet or jewelry making. Unfortunately, as my schedule has gotten busier I have had less and less time to spend actually doing this but it’s something that I find very relaxing when I get the opportunity. Half of my walk in closet is serves as storage space for my yarn and bead collection, which doesn’t usually stop me from buying more.

(insert picture of my yarn stash that I 100% forgot to take, whoops!)

5. I am a pretty adventurous eater but I absolutely HATE chickpeas and okra. The smell of either makes me gag and if I end up having to eat either I end up feeling nauseous. The few times I have ordered a dish that involved either of those two items I have turned from a normally well adjusted adult to a toddler who freaks out when she finds her food has been consorting with the enemy. One of these experiences is how I found out chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans. Funnily enough though, I will eat hummus as long as it’s flavored and doesn’t actually taste like chickpeas.

Well that’s all there is. Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

This Is Why I Shouldn’t Use Stairs…

Well, let it be known that I never do anything half way! I had a fun and relaxing weekend that ended with me laying in bed nursing a cold on MLK day. No big deal though, I have plenty of sick time, nothing pressing needed to be done on Tuesday at work anyways, so I took a sick day. Then Tuesday night, I decided, “I’m feeling a little better. Perfect time to do some laundry!”

Proceed to walk down the stairs with my overflowing laundry basket, miss the last step, land on my right ankle, (not my foot, my ankle. I fell on my ankle)  and crumple to the floor yelling in pain. My roommate comes running out to find out what happened, and after two phone calls, my boyfriend and mother drive to my place to help me.

The good news? A quick trip to the urgent care down the road (seriously, I was in and out in an hour) and three x-rays later, my ankle is not broken. It is, however, sprained, badly. I’ve been hobbling around on crutches ever since.

Doctor’s orders are 2-3 weeks of rest, i.e. no running, and I would assume no Body Pump. Followed by light bicycling if I decide my ankle can handle it. Then in 6 weeks I can start running, and lightly jogging should I feel so inclined. Splendid.

Could you hear the sarcasm? It was definitely there.

In the meantime it’s lots of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). I’ve spent the majority of the past three days in my bed, watching TV and eating, because apparently when I get bored, I eat. On the plus side, it’s been (mostly) healthy things I’m eating. So it’s probably not as bad as it feels like it is.

Lots of this in my future...Notice the monkey angel socks, I think they're definitely helping the pain.
Lots of this in my future…Notice the monkey angel socks, I think they’re definitely helping the pain.

I’m disappointed, but I’ve been trying really hard not to let it get me down. In the immediate future, I’ve been planning for a couple months to drive up to Pittsburgh this weekend to see my sister. I’ve been so excited for the girl’s weekend we had planned, but it’s a 4-5 hour drive and if my ankle feels like it does today, I can’t make that drive by myself. I’m currently waiting until Friday to decide if I want to make the drive, and on the plus side if I don’t go there, she may be able to come down to Maryland and the girl’s weekend will still happen.

In the more distant future, running a half marathon in the spring may have to be pushed back. Six weeks from now puts me at March 3rd, which would be enough time to train for the Zooma Half Marathon, if my ankle feels up to it. I’ve sprained my ankle before and then been able to jump back into running after it’s healed relatively quickly, but this feels worse than the other times and I’m worried it may be more walking and less running for a little while. I’m trying to stay positive, there will definitely be plenty of time to make that decision later, and if I can’t do that Half Marathon, I’ll be able to do the Baltimore Half in the fall.

There is a bright side to all of this (see, I am trying to stay positive!). Once I can run again this cold weather will be mostly over and I’ll be able to do everything outside instead of on the dreadmill! I am so over this weather, so that’s something I’m definitely looking forward to.

So, while I hate the cold it does make for some beautiful pictures.
So, while I hate the cold it does make for some beautiful pictures.

In the meantime I’m going to try to remain healthy and positive, and not have any more mishaps.Oh, and hope that next week is better than the one this turned out to be.

How do you stay positive when things don’t go your way?

Friday Five: What’s In My Gym Bag?

This Friday I’ll be joining Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for the Friday Five. I saw the topic for this Friday is five things in your gym bag and thought it was perfect timing as this was my first week back to a traditional gym in quite some time.

Having said that even though I wasn’t attending a traditional gym I still kept a gym bag for quick changes after work before my runs.

So without further ado, the five things you can (hopefully) find in my purple gym bag.

Figured this was the perfect excuse to post yet another picture of my gym bag, which I love!
Figured this was the perfect excuse to post yet another picture of my gym bag, which I love!

1. Work out clothes: Can’t forget the essentials. As I usually am changing for the gym at work or the gym these are a must. Now whether ALL my workout clothes are there is another story, sometimes I like to forget things like my sports bra. I need to keep things interesting somehow!

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2. Hairbrush, bobby pins, hair ties: I usually wear my hair down at work, so I need to be able to pull it back at the gym or before my runs.

3. Yurbuds: These are a must if I’m going to be running on the boring boring treadmill in the winter. (I run without music if I’m outside). I sometimes listen to music while running, but I’ve recently taken to listening to podcasts, most recently, Gilmore Guys, which is hilarious and everyone should listen to it!

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As you can see I only have one cover on my yurbuds. This is the result of an unfortunate clumsy moment on the treadmill where the rogue cover went flying to heaven only knows what corner of the gym. After crawling around on my hands and knees, using the flashlight app on my phone to look under treadmills, and eliciting what I’m sure were very concerned stares about my sanity from the other gym members I finally gave up and accepted it was lost. My replacement covers will be, hopefully, delivered to me soon.

4. Running shoes: I need something to wear on my feet when I’m running!

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5. A lock: This is a recent addition. I dug out my lock from middle school (I do indeed still have it) and am now using it to secure everything in the locker room.

What do you keep in your gym bag?

 

Body Pumpin’!

I went to my first Body Pump class at my new gym this week and I’m going to my second tonight! If you couldn’t already tell, I loved it!

To say I was a little nervous to go back after so many years, was an understatement. Still after a minor snafu in my original plans to go on Saturday morning, I swallowed my nerves, and got my butt to the gym on Monday evening after work.

Despite having done Body Pump for a while I was a little rusty on what equipment I needed to pick up at the beginning of class. I had also convinced myself that it would have probably changed so much that what I remembered would be completely inaccurate (rational thoughts for the win!). Luckily while waiting in line before class I was in front of a very nice lady who immediately took me under her wing. In addition to making sure I got all the right equipment, she also let me know all the classes she enjoys taking and which instructors are her favorite. I now have a list of other classes I want to fit into my already busy schedule! With running, body pump, and adding my grad school classes soon, we’ll see how that goes.

Well, surprise, surprise!  Body pump hasn’t changed much from when I last went. I grabbed a bar with weights, some free weights, a mat, risers and a step. When I last took the class I had worked my way up to being able to do the routines with a max of 15 pounds on each side of the bar. I knew, however, that was not going to be realistic for my first time back in a long time, and I remembered how hard the class can be even if you have very light weights on. I stuck with five pounds on each side for the entire class.

I am so glad I did! Even with the five pounders it was tough, I’m still sore two days later! For those who don’t know body pump is a group fitness class that uses light to moderate weights with lots of repetitions. Each workout is about an hour long and is set to a playlist of music. Each track focuses on either the warm up, cool down or a specific body part.

Like I said at the beginning I loved the class, and this is definitely going to help with my cross training. Now I just need to incorporate some sort of Pilates or yoga into my schedule and I’ll be set!

I Joined a Gym!

It’s been years since I joined a gym that I have to pay for so it’s a big deal for me that I took this step, plus it’s also exciting that I’m finally able to justify the cost of a gym!

I was thinking about my goals for 2015 and how strength training/cross training is a big one for me. I know there are lots of things I could do at home and the gym at my work/school has equipment I could use so it’s not like I lack options for strength training.

Let’s be honest though, I’ve said it before strength training bores me! The thought of going to the gym and doing an hour of strength training sounds mind numbing and boring. I have tried listening to music or podcasts while doing it, but inevitably my headphone cord gets wrapped up in the equipment and there’s probably a very real risk of me choking myself (I’m pretty sure I’m the only person with that problem…).

I have tried switching up my routine so I’m not doing the same thing, but to me doing a different version of the same thing every time is just a different brand of boring.

I have tried doing home workouts and which produce great results for some people! However, when I try I end up not putting in 100% and ultimately choose food, tv, reading, sleep, over squeezing in a quick workout. I need to get out of the house in order to feel motivated!

I even got a personal trainer for a stint a couple years ago. The trainer did motivate me to start running regularly and keep it up after I stopped seeing him. However, I was not motivated to continue to strength train. Once the personal training ended so did the strength training.

Despite all this I know, especially for accident prone me, strength training is an important aspect to any fitness routine. So when trying to think of ways to keep me motivated in that department I remembered when I was a paying member of a gym years ago, my gym offered group fitness classes including body pump, which I loved!

Even when I got lazy with my gym schedule, which at the time happened very easily, I still made sure that I made it to body pump every week. I loved how fun the classes were and how I felt after the class, plus I got strong as a result of the class.

Well I found a gym that offers body pump, as well as a number of other classes, at a price that I can totally afford! I was excited and jumped at the chance. As a plus there is a gym near my boyfriend’s new house so I can go when I’m at his house as well.

I’m hoping to go to my first body pump class in three years tomorrow morning! Hopefully I love it as much as I did before, and this motivates another positive change in 2015!

Happy 2015

I had a week and a half off work during the holidays, which I ended up taking full advantage of to sleep, rest and just relax. It was definitely needed, I didn’t realize how overdue I was for a vacation. Still it was far too short and the last thing I wanted to do this morning was go to work!

I had a great break and a lot of fun over the holidays. Now that it’s the new year I was being cliché and reflecting on the past year and thinking about what 2015 would bring. I’m not usually one for making new year’s resolutions, so I won’t. Let’s call them my 2015 goals:

  1. Become a morning runner – I’m already well on my way to achieving this goal. The move to Rockville, gives me an extra hour in the morning, meaning waking up earlier before work isn’t such a burden.
  2. Run a half marathon this spring – I have yet to decide which marathon to choose, but I want to run a half by the spring, in addition to the Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon. I think this is totally possible, it’s just going to require some dedication on my part.
  3. Continue my healthy eating – I have done so well with making my own meals and indulging only on special occasions. That isn’t to say that I didn’t throw caution to the wind and eat whatever the hell I wanted over my time off during the holidays (because cookies! So many cookies were consumed in a week and a half!). It does, however, mean that I have more confidence I can get back on track and continue with my healthy habits that I started last year.
  4. Make strength training funI said earlier that I want to introduce strength training into my fitness routine, and I did, but to be honest I didn’t do a great job of keeping up with it. I find strength training so boring, so I’ll always find an excuse to do something else. Therefore, instead of making a goal of doing more strength training, I’m going to try to make it fun, so that I’ll be motivated to do it more often.
  5. Read – I know this isn’t fitness related, but it’s something I think I need to do more of. I used to read voraciously, but I stopped a while ago. For Christmas my boyfriend got me the Kindle Voyage, which in my opinion is the perfect excuse to read more books this year! My ambitious goal is 20 books in 2015, but honestly, I’d be happy with 15.

Well, that’s it for my resolutions. Comment below and tell me what your resolutions for 2015 are!