News, Updates, and New Services

Wow… what do we have here? News? Updates?

AND new services? Things are just getting wild.

Seriously though, I have a lot to tell you guys and I figured the best way would be to get everything out there in one post! So here we go. There are lots of things going on around here, such as…

Group Fitness.

The Group Fitness Page has been updated, and on it you’ll see that we are starting up with bootcamp in just a couple of weeks! The week of May 15th will be our starting date, which means that Tuesday May 17 will be our first class. If you’re new around here, I run group fitness classes here in the Jamaica Plain/Roslindale area of Boston on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 6:30 -7:30 am. Check out the group fitness page for more details, and come check us out! We have a great time, and I always love seeing new faces.

My main philosophy for these group fitness sessions is that it should be a positive experience for everyone. I will not get in your face and scream, nor will I run you into the ground just to say that I could. I will provide well thought out, challenging, but fun workouts for participants, and my only request is that you give everything your best shot. Can’t do a full push up (yet)? That’s okay! Everything we do can be modified to any level and is done so without judgement. 

group fitness 1

This year, classes will be moved to Fallon Field in Roslindale. It’s a great park with plenty of parking surrounding it, a couple of killer hills, some stairs to work that booty with, and a playground to get a little bit creative with our workouts. We’ll bring the same quality content that we had last year, in a new, improved (in my opinion) location. Anyone and everyone is welcome — women, men, bring a friend! Can’t wait to see some of you there!

group fitness 2

We will also be starting a new Facebook Group this year for group fitness, as a place where we can build a little bit of community for those who join class. Support, pictures, announcements — it will all be there. Don’t miss out!

RondeauGroupFitness

New Services Coming (Very) Soon:

Starting on June 1, the following will be available here at I Train Therefore I Eat:

1. Online Custom Fitness Programs.

Accepting a certain number of clients per month, I’ll be offering fully customized 12 week workout programs here on the website. It will start with a questionnaire all about you and your activity level/lifestyle/goals, and then I’ll develop a plan that is specific to you. There will be a few different options for this that will include more/less features, so stay tuned for a new page that will break all of these down for you individually! These will include feedback about workouts/form, Skype sessions, email access for questions, and much more. Get the personalized touch without having to shell out hundreds per session at your local gym.

2. 8 Week Fitness Programs For All.

In addition to custom workout programs, I will also be offering a couple of different 8 week workout programs that you can purchase here with just one click! I understand that some people just can’t afford a custom plan or personal training, but still would appreciate a little bit of structure in their workouts. There will be a few different “tracks” to follow, depending on where you work out — in the gym or at home. These will not be customized person to person, but will be offered at a fraction of the price.

3. In Home Personal Training (local to Boston).

On a limited schedule, I will be offering in-home personal training to those local to the Boston area. Have a home gym but you’re not sure what to do with it? Don’t have a home gym but also don’t have time to leave due to having kids at home, working from home, etc? I’m your girl.

4. Outdoor Personal Training (local to Boston).

Again, for those who are looking for some personalized training outside of their normal gym or outside of the home, along with bootcamp sessions I will be available on a limited basis to train locally outdoors. There’s almost nothing better than a great workout outside on a beautiful day, and the possibilities are endless. Let’s get moving!

New Services Also Coming Soon:

Later on this summer, the following services will also be offered here at I Train Therefore I Eat:

1. Personal Health Coaching.

I will be completing my health coach certification early this summer, and soon after that will start accepting new clients who are looking to make improvements to their quality of life. From fitness to nutrition, to making decisions that impact your life in a positive way, this will be a great service for anyone who feels “stuck in a rut”, but can’t seem to figure out how to make those changes. This will be offered both locally and with distance coaching (online), and I couldn’t be more excited to begin to offer this to all of you.

2. “Healthy At Home” web/in person services.

There will also be some additional services offered with health coaching, such as “pantry clean outs”, grocery shopping 101 trips, webinars, etc. Webinars will be available to all near and far, and the others will be offered on a local case by case basis. These will be part of health coaching programs, and will serve to offer you the very best in healthy living.

So that’s it! Big news, more services, and I couldn’t be more excited for this summer to hit. I hope you all will join me in some of these endeavors, and also that you will spread the word to friends who you think may be interested. I couldn’t offer any of this without my faithful readers, so hopefully you’re as excited about this journey as I am!

 

 

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

I don’t know about you, but I’m a snack-a-holic.

I’m one of those people who has to have snacks on hand — in the purse, in my desk at work,etc — because if emergency hits, snacks are essential. And by emergency, I mean it’s been more than 2 hours since I’ve eaten. 

I kid, I kid.

But I do keep snacks on hand because while I can go more than 2 hours without eating, when the hunger monster does strike it’s really not pretty. Plus, without healthy snacks at the ready, being hangry can do some crazy things to the brain, such as forcing you to down an entire bag of Goldfish crackers without stopping to breathe. Not that I know from personal experience.

On this token though, keeping healthy snacks on hand can be a challenge in and of itself! Many prepackaged bars and other convenience foods, whether labeled “healthy” or not, often include tons of sugar, preservatives, or ingredients that just don’t belong in my body on a daily basis. While there are a handful of bars and pre made snacks out there that I have come to love due to their short, natural ingredient lists, sometimes it’s nice to make your own. Am I right?

Today’s recipe can be thrown together in about 15 minutes, and will give you enough energy bites to last the week. Unless you fall so in love with them that you down them by the handful. Be careful — you’ve been warned!

I made these last week on a whim–  I just threw a bunch of ingredients together in my kitchen and ended up loving the flavor combination. Not only did I love them, but so did Will, and trust me when I say that he’s the biggest critic of bars/snacks/etc.

And because of this, I decided to throw them together again this weekend, only this time I actually measured everything so that I could share them with all of you!

cranberry almond bites 2

Cranberry Almond

cranberry almond bites 4

As the recipe states, these will make about 16-18 bites. Due to the combination of ground almonds (I just pulsed mine in my Vitamix about 6-10 times) and peanut butter, these are calorie and energy dense!! Just 2 make a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, or as a pick me up before a workout. A great mix of protein, healthy fats, and a small amount of carbohydrates, these are sure to give you just the energy boost you need when hunger strikes.

cranberry almond bites 5

*Note: I use crunch peanut butter because that’s my preference — I’m a texture gal! Of course you could substitute creamy here. Also, if you are using unsalted peanut butter, I would add a pinch of salt to really bring out all of the flavors.

Enjoy!

Workout Wednesday: Full Body Lift for Beginners

Years ago, when I first got into weight lifting, I remember how aimlessly I would wander around the gym trying to figure out what the heck I should be doing. I knew I wanted to get stronger, and I had a great working knowledge of most of the equipment, but it was putting it all together that was giving me the most trouble. I found myself just doing things haphazardly — a few bicep curls here, some walking lunges there, and then calling it a day.

Sure, I was beginning my journey of building muscle and getting stronger, but I definitely wasn’t maximizing my time in the gym. And I certainly wasn’t getting the most out of my fitness experience that I could have.

Since then, I find that this is true for many people who are just starting to explore the world of strength training. Maybe they have been shown how to do a few lifts with good form, but without a program, what does that matter? Many women, especially, who are new to the weight room might be scared off because of this (maybe leading to the lack of women in the weights area, as discussed in this recent post). Even if they’re not totally scared off though, they  might just do a couple of things and then go back to what they are used to. A few exercises are better than none, but what would be even better would be to go in there with a plan, lift like a boss, and know that you’re getting the best work in.

Today’s full body lift is for the person (man or woman) who has a basic understanding of movement patterns but isn’t quite sure yet what to do with them. As I’m a believer that beginners should start with full body days before moving on to upper/lower body splits, this will target the whole body and hit the major movement patterns that form the base for all of our daily movements.

Full Body Lift

One important thing to remember is that this shouldn’t take you very long! When I first gave one of my clients her first program, one of her early questions was “These workouts are only taking me about 45 minutes, shouldn’t I be doing more?” And the answer is no! At least at the beginning, many highly effective workouts can be done in an hour or less. There is no need for everyone to be spending two hours in the gym every day, and frankly many of us just don’t have time for that. As long as you’re working hard and doing the work you need to do, the time is really the least of your concerns.

Goblet Squat – Hold a dumbbell, upright, at your chest. It should be right against your chest, not out in front of you which can strain your shoulders and upper back. Starting with your legs at about shoulder width apart, sit your hips back into your squat, imagining that you’re squatting between your hips — not pushing your knees forward like many people want to do. Keep your core engaged and back flat during the entire movement.

DB Bench Press – DB = Dumbbell. Choose two dumbbells that you know you can lift. Start out on the lighter side for your first set to get the movement down and to warm your shoulders up a little bit. After this warm up set, then go into your 3 work sets. Lying flat on your back, feet flat on the floor, engage your core and squeeze your glutes. Begin with dumbbells at chest height with palms facing in front of you. Raise up over your chest at an even pace, then lower carefully just to chest height — not below.

DB Romanian Deadlift – Again, this is for someone who has been shown the proper movement patterns, i.e. hip hinging. If this is not familiar to you, work with someone to practice this movement before trying to load it with weight. Standing with feet hip width apart and “soft” knees (not bent but not locked), hold 2 dumbbells in front of your thighs. Keeping your core engaged and shoulders pulled back (lats turned “on”), push your hips back until your torso bends forward. Dumbbells should be traveling right along your thighs, not farther out in front of you.  Keep pushing hips back until your dumbbells reach about knee level or you feel a tightness in your hamstrings. Allow your knees to bend slightly with this motion. Squeeze your glutes and return to the top position, being careful to not over arch your back at the top.

Bent Over Single Arm Row – For this you will be at a bench with one knee and corresponding hand resting on the bench. The other leg will have your foot on the floor, and you will be holding the dumbbell at that side. Bend so that your back is flat, and DB is down by the side of your down foot. Keeping palm facing in and elbow tucked towards your body, raise elbow so that dumbbell ends up next to your side. Squeeze your back muscles between your shoulder blades, then return to bottom position. It is extremely important to keep your back flat during this entire exercise.

Dumbbell Rear Lunge – Holding a dumbbell in each hand, step one foot back into a lunge. Make sure that you step back and then straight down, instead of letting your front knee fall forward over your foot. Alternate feet to complete set.

Standing Cable Row – Set the cable machine so that it is at about waist height. Holding the handles so that your palms are facing each other, stand with your core braced and knees slightly bent. Squeezing those back muscles between your shoulder blades, pull arms back, elbows bent, until hands are about at your sides. Slowly return to start.

Standing Pallof Press – Check out this post for explanation if you missed it!

Side Plank –Pretty self explanatory, no? For more of a challenge with this, stack your feet one on top of the other. For a little bit of an easier exercise, stagger your feet one in front of the other.

Key Points:

  • Know your abilities. If any of these are foreign to you, consider working with a professional in person to learn the specific movement patterns of the squat, hip hinge, push and pull.
  • Always begin with a dynamic warmup to get your body  moving properly before you load any movements. This is not optional! For a dynamic warmup, click here.
  • When working with weights, be conscious of form at all times. Yes, this includes when you’re picking up your weights from the floor — never let that back round out, especially when there is weight on the other end.
  • Take your time! Don’t rush through these. Make each movement slow, deliberate, and take care of your form. Rest in between sets and in between exercises.
  • Challenge yourself! If you go through this and don’t feel like you did a whole heck of a lot, that means you need heavier weight. Don’t go too far too soon, but use weights that are challenging, that you can’t just fly through each exercise without thinking about it.
  • Enjoy! You’re getting stronger today! 

Workout Wednesday: Train Your Core Without Crunches (Or Planks!)

Ah, core exercises.

What comes to mind when someone says “ab workout?”

Is it the sit up test that you did in the 5th grade gym class Presidential Challenge? (God, I hated that).

Is it planks for minutes upon grueling minutes?

Unfortunately, core workout for many people falls into those two categories, or at least variations of those two things. The good news, though, is that there are far more (and better) exercises that you can do to train your core without having to suffer through either of these.

Not to mention, being pregnant, there are certain exercises that I now have to avoid, such as crunches, for various reasons. A)Laying on my back is a no-no, as it can occlude blood flow to the baby. B) Diastasis recti is a thing. A thing I don’t want.

But, BUT! This is not just a pregnancy post. Truth be told, crunches are not in my repertoire of core exercises anyway, and they haven’t been for quite some time due to many theories about repetitive spinal flexion, and the fact that I really don’t think they do much of anything, anyway. Planks are something I do, but I don’t utilize them as a training staple — and I certainly don’t believe in super long held planks as something that is necessary or functional for real life. Why not train our core in a way that we may be using it in our daily lives?

The main purpose of our core is to stabilize the rest of our body, correct? To provide a strong base from which our limbs move, while at the same time protecting our spine from unhealthy movements. So unless someone can tell me why they think sit ups and crunches are the best way to do that, we’re going to move on to some much better, and more effective core exercises.

And the bonus is that these are safe for the mama’s-to-be as well! Keep in mind that these are my favorites — of course there are more out there. But try to swap out your planks or crunches for some of these full-body core activation exercises, and see if you can feel the difference !

Carries –  These are great because they can be done anywhere — at home or in the gym. All you need is a dumbbell or kettle bell, and a little bit of space to walk. Carries are a great way to engage your core while moving other parts of your body, which is extremely functional for real life (carrying a heavy bag of groceries or a heavy suitcase/duffel comes to mind!)

There are 3 different positions you can utilize for carries. From most advanced to most beginner-friendly, try one of these soon:

Overhead Carry: Make sure that your arm holding the weight remains completely straight, with elbow right next to your ear (not translating in front of or behind your head). Grip the weight tightly, be conscious to not let your shoulders creep up by your ears (pull your shoulder blades back and down). Keeping your core engaged, walk slowly for a predetermined distance — usually 10-20 yards to start, but this will depend on your level. And you can always turn and walk “laps” if you don’t have that much space. 

OH carry KB

Rack Position Carry: Carry the weight at your chest, with elbow bent and palm facing your body. Your knuckles will be just about resting on your collar bone. The most important things here are to make sure your wrist is strong and straight, not bending under the weight, and also to keep shoulders tightly down. Keep your elbow in by your side, brace your core, and walk. 

rack position carry KB

Farmers Carry: These will be done with the weight down by your side, and are the most beginner friendly of the carries. These can usually be done with a heavier weight, which will benefit your grip strength as well. Keeping your torso upright (not bending towards or away from the weight), keep your core engaged and walk straight ahead. Make sure to keep your shoulders tucked down — again not letting that shoulder on your weighted side creep up by your ears. 

farmers carry KB

With carries, I generally will do 2-3 reps of overhead or rack position carries a couple of times per week, transitioning from overhead to rack position when I become fatigued and can’t hold a proper position anymore. Remember, proper form is much more important than doing one of these for a long distance!

Pallof Press – Pallof Press is another amazing core exercise, one that I utilize with almost all of my rehab patients as well as my personal training/group fitness clients. I learned this one from one of the greats — Tony Gentilcore (if you don’t read his blog, you’re missing out BIG time). Again, it engages your core in a very functional way, allowing you to brace and stabilize your core while moving your upper body limbs.

standing pallof press

To start, stand next to a cable machine or resistance band that is about at chest height. The band/cable should be at your side. Grasp the band, standing with core braced and knees slightly bent, an “athletic position”. Bring the band to your chest, and then straight out in front of you until arms are straight. You will be using your core to avoid letting it twist you back towards the cable or band attachment. Remember to breathe! 

kneeling pallof press

An alternate position here is a half kneeling position, where your “down” leg is the one that is closest to the band attachment/cable machine. The arm positioning and core bracing cues will be the same. 

Wood choppers- Similar to the Pallof Press, wood choppers can be done with either a cable machine at the gym or resistance bands, that are attached at a height that is a little bit taller than you, or at least at shoulder height. Standing with your core engaged and knees slightly bent, begin the movement holding the band high up on the side that it is attached. Keeping your arms straight, bring the band/cable down in a diagonal pattern across your body, ending low on the opposite side. Complete reps on one side before turning and completing on the opposite side.

Standing wood chopper abs

Similar to Pallof Press, these can also be done in a 1/2 kneeling position to increase the challenge a little bit. 

kneeling woodchopper abs

I’m not sure why I look so sad here..I promise I wasn’t! :) 

Land Mines- Land mines are one of my favorite core exercises, but they do require a barbell so they may need to be done at the gym, unless you have a very impressive home gym! If you don’t have a “Land Mine” attachment for the barbell — essentially a set up that attaches at one end to let it pivot, these can still be done easily, all you’ll need is a corner of the room. Place one end of the barbell in a corner to keep it from rolling around. Pick up the other end, and hold it at chest height — you may have to play around a little bit with hand positioning to find the right fit for you. I tend to hold with my Left hand above my Right hand on the base of the barbell, just because that is more comfortable for me.

Bring the barbell straight out in front of you, then slowly and with control, bring it down by your right side, keeping your left arm straight. Use your core to then swing the barbell back up and down to the left side, this time keeping your right arm straight. As you are moving the barbell from side to side, your goal is to keep your torso completely still, not letting it rotate with the weight of the barbell.

landmine 2

Landmine 1

These are pretty advanced and I wouldn’t start with any weight on the barbell at first — just those 45 pounds goes a long way!

Readers: Do you utilize any of these in your training? What are your favorite core exercises? 

 

Where Are All The Ladies?

On Saturday I tried out a new gym, just for the fun of it. I was able to get in a good workout, spending about 35 minutes on a spin bike and also getting in a good upper body lift.

Let me tell you — working out at my gym at work, I’ve forgotten what it was like to train in a public gym.

Lots of big, sweaty dudes crowding the weight area like it’s their job to just take up space, strategically maneuvering to use the equipment I need, and generally just feeling like the idea of personal space in the weight room is not possible.

liftthingsup

Maybe it’s for those reasons that my next observation comes into play: I was the only woman in the free weight section. Yes, in a crowded gym on a Saturday morning, there was not one other woman lifting weights. Don’t get me wrong, there were tons of women in the gym at that time — I could see them! I know they were there!

But for some reason, it was like there was a bubble around the free weight area, and I was the only one who had been able to cross to the other side. I honestly didn’t even notice it at the time, and it wasn’t until a friend (who was there) was joking later that I was in the “guys section”, that I noticed that I really was the only female in the vicinity of the weights. All of the treadmills and ellipticals had been full, I had noticed at one moment while scanning the crowd. There were people waiting on cardio equipment like vultures. And there I was, little old me, alone in the middle of the sweaty, grunting, men.

Steph Deadlift

This was not Saturday. This was me recently in my current gym, feeling at home among the power racks and the pretty even mix of males and females who frequent the weight room. 

I’ll be honest, I’m totally at ease in the weight room. Put me in the middle of a squat rack, a bench, and some dumbbells, and I could stay all day. Throw some extra barbells and specialty equipment in there and I’d be happy as pie. So yes, that does give me a little bit of a leg up when it comes to braving the “guys section”*.

*Yes, please know that every time I type that, my eyes roll so far in my head I’m at risk of going blind.

But I couldn’t help thinking about this afterward. Where were all the ladies? Why, in hundreds of people working out, were there absolutely no other females in the weight section? Over the past few years, I’ve been so happy to see a huge increase in pop culture writing about women and weight lifting. From popular women’s magazines, to celebrity workout features, to the insane popularity of the CrossFit games, we’ve seen women slinging iron at a much higher rate.  So while I’ve been sheltered and spoiled at my gym/weight room at work, I’ve watched more and more females enter the weight room, and yes, they even frequent the power racks and barbells. Winning!

But stepping back into the real world of public gyms and catching a glimpse of what I thought was a thing of the past makes me wonder: are we really coming as far with women and weight lifting as I thought we were? Has it really translated into the real world or do strength training women really only exist on the web, in the blogoshpere, and in your women’s magazines?

Of course, it was just one day, one small slice of time. Hardly a reliable sample size for any study. But I wonder if I kept going back to this gym, would I see the same thing day in and day out — women on machines and in group classes, and men wherever the heck they please? The only thing that I can think that it really came down to is comfort. Comfort in doing what you already know, and the possibility of serious discomfort when entering the “guys area” (or maybe just in trying something new).

Many women are probably very uncomfortable in entering the free weight area, especially if it’s in a separate room than the rest of the equipment. True, there are a lot of big, sweaty men in there, but truth be told, most of them couldn’t care less about who else enters the weight room. Sure, there may be some jerks who think that “women don’t belong” (it pains me to write that, but it’s true), but you’ll find a select few jerks in every walk of life, and we can’t be avoiding all new places just because of the unfortunate few.

So today is a call to women everywhere. Pick up those weights, use that bench, pick up a barbell to feel the weight of it in your hands (it’s powerful, trust me). Let everyone know that the weight room is not the “guys area”, it’s the weight room, plain and simple. We all belong, we all have a place in there, and we all have the right to better ourselves through strength. And if there is some jerk who makes you feel small for entering “his” area of the gym, pay him no mind. He is not worth your time, and your energy is better spent on the barbell, anyway.

 

 

 

(Tiny) Bumpdate: Training and Changes in the First Trimester

Now that I’m 15 weeks (with a tiny bump that looks more like I ate one too many burritos), I’m officially a wee bit into my second trimester. They say that between 13-14 weeks is when you officially hit the second tri, which differs from the 12 weeks that many people think of being 3 months.

14 week bump

Taken last weekend… the bump has definitely grown since then! 

Anyway, the first trimester is full of many different emotions, symptoms, feelings, and experiences — none of which I was really prepared for as this is my first pregnancy. Sure, I’ve heard about morning sickness and first trimester exhaustion, but it’s difficult to really imagine these things until you’ve been through them!

Today I want to talk a little bit about how I felt overall throughout my first tri, how my training was affected, how my nutrition changed, etc. Enjoy!

Symptoms

I want to start off by saying that I feel very lucky with the relatively mild symptoms that I had during the first tri. I know for many women, this is a time of severe nausea, vomiting, food aversions, etc. but for me it was just kind of uncomfortable for the most part. I did have nausea, but it mostly came in waves and usually in the evening, which meant that I could get through my workday pretty easily most days. There were certainly some days that were much worse than others, but I think I got off pretty easy on this front compared to some.

What did hit me hard was (and still is) the exhaustion/fatigue. It has certainly gotten better over the past week or so, but for a while there I was hardly able to keep my eyes open past 8 pm most nights — which can be an issue when I regularly work until 8 or 9! Thankfully this has eased up a little bit, and as long as I’m careful to get enough sleep I’m feeling pretty good with a decent amount of energy.

Cravings

I haven’t had any crazy cravings or food aversions yet, which probably goes along with the relatively mild nausea. I have constantly been wanting oranges and green grapes, but other than that my food tastes have stayed pretty much the same so far! Here’s hoping I don’t start craving crazy things like pickles dipped in ice cream, but I guess you never know. For now I’ll appreciate my healthy fruit cravings and hope for the best moving forward.

Training

Training has probably been the biggest (and most frustrating) change for me. I’m someone who is used to training hard 4-5 days per week, sometimes 6. I’m used to pushing my limits, not letting up, and really working to make myself better, but that has all taken a back seat since becoming pregnant. My cardiovascular capacity is way down, which means that frequent breaks are needed while running. That, combined with the fact that I’m supposed to keep myself at a “conversational” level while working out means that I really have to pay attention to my body and give myself plenty of recovery intervals when necessary.

This became extremely apparent while I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago. I got up early almost every day to run, but even in those early morning hours the humidity was more than I’m used to. I had to take a short break about every 1/2 mile during my 3 mile runs, which is both humbling and frustrating to someone who hasn’t had to take breaks like that before.

As far as lifting goes, I am still lifting heavy weights, just not quite as heavy as before. I think of myself right now as lifting to maintain strength rather than to build it, which means I haven’t even come close to maxing out during the past few months. I have continued with my big lifts, including dead lifting, just at a lower intensity than before.

For instance, instead of training at around 190-205 lb for a normal DL day, I’ll now lift around 155 lb for a few more reps. I’m maintaining strength (although probably losing a little bit), but also maintaining a base of movement patterns and for my muscles without pushing too hard. If you go online you’ll find some old fashioned advice that women shouldn’t lift more than 30 pounds when pregnant, but I personally think that’s bull shit. Especially when you consider that many pregnant women have toddlers running around who weigh more than that and they need to be picked up regularly!

I’m of the strong belief (and so is my doctor) that you can safely continue doing whatever physical activity you were doing before pregnancy, whether it be running, weight training, cycling etc. Avoiding contact sports and avoiding pushing your body too hard are musts, but other than that I’m not the fragile flower that some people seem to think I am!

My main goals right now are to maintain a strength base to keep my body nice and strong when it comes to delivery time. I listen to my body and take rest breaks/rest days when I need them, and make sure to stay hydrated as well. For the past few weeks, a typical training week has looked something like the following:

Monday – Spin workout + KB swings and core work

Tuesday – Full body lift (heavier)

Wednesday – Off/rest

Thursday – Spin workout or run + core work

Friday – Full Body Lift (lighter)

Saturday/Sunday – Off and/or active rest such as long walks, hill walks, or yoga.

 

Does anyone have any questions for me? Any details about training changes that you would like to know? 

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Monday Musings {Big News!}

Well it’s time for another round of Monday Musings! Steph’s brain on a page, if you will.

Monday

We’re going to muse today in list form, because I’ve loved lists ever since I was a child. True story: my family still makes fun of me because I used to use up just about every piece of scrap paper I could find by writing lists on them, and they would always, always be titled “List of _____ that I know”.

List of animals that I know.

List of colors that I know.

List of people that I know.

I’m not sure why I did this, maybe I just really wanted people to see the things that I knew? Maybe I was really adamant that people knew I wasn’t just making things up on these lists? Who knows, but man, I wish I had a book of them today. There would probably be some gems in there.

So today’s post is going to be a list, because doing things for old time’s sake is always fun. And so we have….

List of the top 10 things on my mind (that I know..)

10. I’ve kind of become a tea fiend.

Hot tea, iced tea, green tea, black tea, that’s what’s been in my mug lately. I’ve kind of fallen off my coffee game but I’m surprisingly enjoying this whole tea phase, it’s refreshing! Not to mention that my office is ridiculously hot most days, so a nice cold iced tea takes the edge off way better than a coffee ever could.

9. What is wrong with you?

It’s too bad that patience is a virtue, because I’ve had none of it lately. Not very virtuous, I guess. Although it’s not patience in the general sense of the word, it’s really just patience for petty drama and things that I’ve realized really don’t matter. Let’s all just breathe and move on, please!

8. Easter came at just the right time.

No, I don’t celebrate Easter as the holiday itself, I’m not a religious person. But although I don’t realize how Easter transformed into chocolate and bunnies (thanks, Hallmark?), I do appreciate the time of year when my favorite chocolates are lining the shelves in every single store. Cadbury Creme Eggs, while probably made with nuclear waste or something just as toxic, will forever be my weakness. You better believe I indulged in a few this year!

7. Where is the warm weather?

I know, I know, it’s only April. But I’m ready to move out of warm pants and sweaters and into some light, comfy flowy dresses. My summer uniform = comfort all the way.

6. Give me all the oranges.

And grapes. I can not get enough of these two things, and eat one (or both) of them sometimes multiple times per day. I’m salivating just thinking about green grapes right now. Is that weird?

5. Oh these tears? Just ignore them

I’m a cryer. I’ve always been a cryer (I blame my mom for the overactive tear duct genes). But lately the tears have been a little out of control. I may or may not have cried when my favorite got voted off of American Idol last week. Am I embarrassed that I’m 33 and crying over American Idol? You better believe it, but I can’t help it. It is what it is.

4. Just let me breathe.

Besides the tears lately, my lungs have been a little bit wonky. I would say that their capacity has diminished by about 50%, which means that I’m a heavy breather right out of the gate some days. All this means is a few rest breaks during runs is a necessity, and sometimes I just need to listen to my body when it tells me to slow down a bit. My workouts are still killer, fear not, but I’ve come to appreciate rest intervals a little bit more!

3. Wine tasting, anyone?

I haven’t had a good glass of wine in a while. No ‘Rose All Day’ for this gal! And you know what else I haven’t had in quite some time now? My favorite, a Boston local, Bantam Cider. Damn, that stuff is good.

2. Excuse me while I…. Zzzzzzzzz…..

Sorry, nap time is calling my name..

1. If you haven’t figured it out by now…

If the lack of coffee and wine didn’t give it away, add in the exhaustion and crazy tear inducing hormones and yep… We’re having a baby!!! 

Announcement

I’m currently just over 14 weeks along, and Baby R will be due in the end of September. We are over the moon excited for our first little one, and I cannot wait to keep you all updated on the progress. I have another post coming soon talking about the first trimester and how this has changed my life so far (spoiler alert: things are changing pretty fast!), so stay tuned for that. For now, I’m off for a quick workout (yes, with a few more breaks than I am used to taking). Have a great Monday everyone!

For all of my readers, please know that I realize that you signed up to follow this blog for certain content, and throughout this pregnancy and beyond I intend to keep up with that content! There will be talk of pregnancy and babies, no doubt, but this will not become a mommy blog — as, you know, I know absolutely nothing about being a mommy! I’ll just be figuring it out as I go along. So please stick with me here, and if you don’t want to read about the baby stuff, just skip over those posts. I promise to keep up with fitness, bad ass strong women, and smiles, just with a little bit of real life sprinkled in.