Fitness Check-In

Last week I mentioned that I was going to a training schedule as if I was going to run a half-marathon. Today, I am happy to say that I am on track. This is the re-cap of week one, which ran from March 16 – March 22.

**Different Kind of Post Than Usual Alert**

Day 1
Day one is strength and stretch. The easiest thing for me was to just take a weight class. I’ve already talked about this a little bit in the previous post, but it went well. BodyPump is a variety of weight lifting that’s choreographed to music (Sia, Fall Out Boy, etc).

Day 2
Woke up in the exact same position that I went to sleep. When I moved to shut off my alarm, I realized exactly why that was. BodyPump kicked my butt, and it progressively got worse as the day went on. I went to work (both jobs), as usual, and headed to the gym. Today it says I’m supposed to run three miles, but since I can’t read (or can’t remember the days of the week) I ran two miles. It was easy peasy. Even being sore, it wasn’t the worst thing I could possibly do. This wasn’t so bad!

Day 3
Waking up was about the same as day 2. BodyPump still kicking my butt. After working two jobs, (a full-time and a part-time) I headed over to the ol’ gym once again. Because I messed up yesterday, I ran three miles. At least, I planned on running three miles. My shoes were really fighting with my feet and starting to hurt them. I definitely ran more than yesterday, but not the full three miles. I just couldn’t. The shoes I was wearing were old, and I could certainly tell. I wanted to stop all together, but I walked the remaining of the three miles. Soooo, that’s something, right?!

Day 4
This is the first day where I didn’t wake up sore! The schedule has me running three miles, but I didn’t because life gets in the way. My work ran later than usual, and I had a ton of stuff that I had to get done today. (I.E. homework for online classes. Yes, I work two jobs and am going back to school, because I’m just not busy enough.) I made today my rest day and promised myself that I would run three miles tomorrow.

Day 5
Woke up. Both works. And this time, I actually ran all three miles! I was so happy. I changed the shoes I was wearing and really pushed through. It’s amazing the difference a pair of shoes can make. I was content. When I went home, I found three blisters on one toe. Does this mean I’m a runner now?!

Day 6
Saturday! I had every intention on getting up early and heading over to try a Spin class for the first time. I told so many people that this is what I was going to do as sort of a way to keep myself accountable. However, when the alarm went off, my body decided it wanted sleep rather than a 7AM Spin class. After slowly waking up, I went on a 2+ mile walk instead. Later that night, I did Saturday night things that a twenty-something does. With very little concern over whether or not I would be sorry in the morning.

Day 7
No side effects from the previous night. Just very tired. Today is the day that I run four miles! And I did. This is the most I’ve ever run in one go. I was so proud of myself. I even sprinted the last half mile. I am a beast. (I, in fact, texted several people this.) Blisters everywhere, and I’m not even upset. I’m excited!

Overall, it was a great first week. Hidgon says that minor changes in the schedule to accommodate your life and your schedule is A-OK. The next week is the same as the first week. Just the fact that I got through it once means I know I can do it again.

What are you training for? What have you done this week that’s got you proud of yourself? Let me know in the comments below! Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my fitness beasties!

Hal Higdon Hurrah!

Photo Cred: pinterest.com
I’m not a big runner.

I never have been. In gym class I walked the mile run.

In the past year I’ve done three 5ks and registered for a 5-mile race for this May (Cinco de Miler). I’ve started living with the super-skinn-vegan-runs-for-fun-roommate, and I’ve been going to the gym on a regular basis (back to like when I was in college).

I’ve been leaning more and more toward being a strong, healthier person. Getting good habits early on, so it won’t be horrible later in life.

I’ve got five words for you: Hal Higdon’s Half-Marathon Training Guide. No, I haven’t signed up for a half marathon. So why am I doing this? I’ve always been one to push myself and seek the next step. I don’t settle for where I am, and am constantly looking for how I can improve and where I want to go from here.

Now, I’ve only done day one (today is day two). But I’m feeling pretty great about this. Yes, you’re supposed to work out 6/7 days of the week, but you can also move days around to fit your schedule. You’ll make time for things that truly matter to you, even if that something is simple as watching TV. I’ll be doing updates on how this is going. It’s a 16-week program, and I know it’s going to be hard. If you’re doing in the midst of training, don’t be shy. Drop a line and let me know what’s going on with you!

Day one is stretch and strengthen. I took a BodyPump class and let me tell you: it was hard. I don’t have a whole lot of experience with lifting weights or using any sort of upper body strength, so it was definitely a struggle. However, the instructor was active and yelling (happy yelps, not drill sergeant hollers), and overall made it not as horrible as it could have been. The music was constantly changing and the routines were easy to pick up. I talked to the instructor a bit before the class and she told me not to judge how much weight I use based on others around me, but she would say about how much weight I would need before each song.

So far, at 7:30am on day two, I’m feeling pretty great. I didn’t over do it with the amount of weight I used. I’ve definitely done that before – let’s be honest: we’ve all done that before. And right now I feel pretty great, and after the class I felt like I could take on the world!

Let me know what your schedule is today or yesterday and the best way for you to cool off after a work out! What do you eat post-workout? Tell me what you’re training for, if anything specific or if you’re just training for life! Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my fellow beasties!

P.S. As of today, I’ve been on WordPress for two years! Happy blogg-versary!

What’s Your Excuse?

I took an accidental vacation from my blog the past week. I would like to say it was because I was out doing extraordinary things, but I was more than likely just sitting on the couch doing nothing. I was thinking about what I would tell you, as to why I’ve been absent. I came up with a ton of excuses. Excuses! These are something that I’m really good at, especially when it comes to the gym. And I’ve got some pretty ridiculous ones.

My workout buddy isn’t going to be able to work out with me. Guess I shouldn’t work out either.

I only have three hours of free time until I’m supposed to be somewhere; I just don’t have enough time.

I don’t have a gym bag! How am I expected to go to the gym without a gym bag!?

I don’t feel like it.

I feel too fat to go work out.

I didn’t drink enough water today. I could pass out.

I didn’t eat enough food today. I could pass out.

I got home and sat down. Do I really want to get up again?

I have homework due in a week; I just don’t have time to go right now.

I’m behind on my TV shows.

I have to do the dishes (which I usually don’t end up doing).

My shoes aren’t where they’re supposed to be. They aren’t by my yoga mat. I can’t go.

I went yesterday. That’s good enough, right?

I ate pretty well today. No need to work out.

My kale is getting gross. How am I supposed to make a shake for after my work out when I don’t have any kale!?

I can’t find my favorite workout shirt.

I already took a shower today.

Yup. They’re pretty ridiculous and those are just the tip of the iceberg. How do I combat these? I reason them out. EX: I don’t have a gym bag, but my mom gave me hers.

No more excuses!

Do you see any excuses you use? Are there others you’ve come up with? Let me know in the comments below. Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my fellow beasties.

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

If you’re anything like me, you’ve become obsessed with the Sia music videos. Elastic Heart and Chandelier are absolutely powerful, amazing, and full of grace. I have absolutely so many words to describe the dancing and I’m very proud to have grown up in the dance world.

However, I’ve read an article by the Huffington Post about this mighty dancer, Maddie Ziegler, and I was less than impressed.

Ziegler is ridiculous as a dancer. There’s no question about that. When HuffPo decides to comment on dance as a society and what it’s been doing for the last decades, they need to take a giant step back and shut up about what they don’t know. I actually have a lot to say about this article, but I’ll focus on one comment made.

Replacing these are the millennials, an especially lazy and self-indulgent lot when it comes to performance. They lust to be stars without putting in the work to deserve the title.

This was said after establishing all the accomplishments by iconic dancers in previous decades (ie. Martha Graham, Julie Kent, etc, etc). To this I respond with videos and images. Sorry, HuffPo. You need to shove it.


Maybe you’ve seen this amazing Russian ballet dancer dance to Take Me to Church. It makes me almost cry every time I see it. Perfect lines. Grace. Power. Control, yet still having abandonment. I’ve been trying to find words for this choreography and performance for awhile now and still come up short. There’s just no words that can describe what’s going on on the inside right now.


There are shows that include dancing and have become more and more popular over the years. Allowing amateur dancers the chance at making it big. Regardless of training, their passion is unmatched by anyone.


This movie has struck a chord, with subsequent Step Up movies that followed.

Perhaps, HuffPo is thinking more along the lines of performance rather than mainstream entertainment.


Takes my breath away every time I watch this. The Giordano Dance Chicago company is truly something amazing.


This. Thank you to Hubbard Street Dance for perpetuating the beauty and power of dance.

HuffPo. I’m glad you’re talking more about the dance world, but before you speak make sure you know what you’re talking about. As a millennial who was injured and can no longer pursue her dance career, I’m offended that you call a whole generation lazy. High schools, colleges, park districts, gyms, companies, studios are all teeming with millennial and others eager to grasp their goals as a dancer. The dancer’s life is very short-lived.

To all those who are dancers that are reading this: Keep on keepin’ on. For those who don’t train, but love to move: dance like no one’s watching; your pure joy and passion are enough.

All right readers. While I get off my podium, I want to know your thoughts. What’s your take on the HuffPo article? What do you think of the stereotypes of the millennial generation? Am I just completely wrong and in a minority? Let me know in the comments below! Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my fellow beasties!

That One Time On The Treadmill

This is an absolutely true story, with some embellishments, about that one time I was at the gym. Learn from my mistakes.

I went to the gym without my super-skinny-runs-for-fun-vegan-roommate and I felt pretty good about going late at night, and not having to be dragged. I was wearing some new running pants, not that it really matters, and a black razor back. Typical gym clothes. But! I had this wicked Under Armour Wonder Woman head band.

So I get there, and it’s pretty empty. I guess that’s what happens when you come with less than two hours left of open gym. I decide that today’s the day I try my hand (or feet) at the treadmill. Grabbed one right in the front, right by the mirrors. I looked all professional walking on up and doing some stretches. NBD guys, I got this. I start my warm up and do a few arm stretches, mostly to look cool and like I know what I’m doing.

I start to run and I realize something. Right in front of the mirror is a horrible place to run. You notice things that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. My cheeks move. Yes, this is natural to happen when you run, but I’ve never seen this before. I became transfixed! Can other people see this? Do other people’s cheeks move like this? I tried to catch a peek at the person a couple treadmills down from me, couldn’t notice.

Right when I’m starting to sweat, this older woman saunters right next to me. Why? Why pick the one right next to someone else? It was pretty much like sitting next to the only person on the beach. There were millions (like, literally guys – because the gym was big enough to hold millions) of other treadmill options. In all the treadmills in all the world… Ok. Fine. I’m over it. I’ll just go back to looking in the mirror.

Right about now, you might be thinking that I have that TV on my treadmill to watch. No. Well, yes, I do, but I don’t like it. It’s not that I don’t know how to work it. I don’t watch TV enough to know what’s going to be on. I have no idea what channel things are on, and it’s a whole thing that I really didn’t want to deal with.

Back to staring at my reddening, sweaty-ing, face. Hmmm.. maybe I should have washed all my eye makeup off first. Although I kind of look like a dark, gothic fan of Wonder Woman.

I feel like I’ve ran at least 3 miles only to find out that I’ve run .75. Not even a mile! There HAS to be treadmill madness that just freezes time and makes you go a whole lot slower than what you’re really doing. I’m sure I ran 3 miles. I’m almost positive. There’s obviously something wrong with this treadmonster.

Right about now is when a guy walks up and takes the treadmonster on the other side of me. What is this!? Is my sweaty aroma attracting everyone to come and run next to me. Do my bouncing cheeks give a Come on over vibe? Are people thinking that since I’m donning Wonder Woman that I’m secretly Amazonian and they want to get on my good side? Perhaps they just like the way my face is redder, and sweatier, than anyone around me.

When I’m cooling off, I look over at the guy next to me. He has decided stretching beforehand is a good idea. Probably doing it to look like he knows what he’s doing. Dammit! We awkwardly made eye contact. Touche, mirror. I get off the treadmonster and do the whole thing where it still feels like you’re on the rolling treads, but you’re still trying to play it off like you know what you’re doing. It doesn’t go so well. My knees locked a couple times and I’m sure at least one person saw me almost wipe out walking past a bike.

What did I learn from this experience?! My running musk attracts people. The mirror makes you look silly. The mirror makes you make awkward eye contact with people. The treadmonster is a liar. Wonder Woman headband was the source of all my power.

Until next time my fellow gym beasties.

Fitness Resolutions – Tips of the Trade

Photo Cred: crossfit8541.com
With the beginning of the year comes the ever-looming fitness resolutions. “I’m going to get up early 5 days a week and do a spin class.” “I’m going to run a marathon in June.” “I’m going to change everything I eat to conform to the ideal ‘healthy’ foods.” “I’m going to do ALL THE THINGS.”

Here’s a few tips to keep your work out resolution:

  1. Keep them obtainable. Don’t try to change everything at once. If you don’t get up early on a regular basis, don’t say you’re going to get up early to do something you already don’t. This gives you an out. Whelp, I didn’t get up at the butt-crack of dawn, so now I can’t work out today. Instead: Find time in your schedule that you already have open. If you have time open from 4-6pm, this is when you should work out. Your open time may be different from day-to-day and this is totally ok.
  2. Too much too soon. This is one that I’m definitely guilty of. I think I’m invincible or trying to make up for lost time, so I spend waaay to much time at the gym and do waay too much work and add waay too much weight. All this is going to do is hurt you. You could seriously injure yourself. The next day you’ll be all sore and think Whelp, that was painful and I’m never doing that again. so you stop. Instead: if you don’t know what you’re doing, ask someone. There’s probably trainers walking around willing to help – it’s their job. Scared of trainers? Ask someone using the machine. I’ve met several people by asking how to do whatever or being asked how to do a certain stretch.
  3. Mix it up. If you don’t mix it up, you’re going to get bored and not want to go anymore. Take a fun class. Run on the elliptical. Lift some weights. Have fun! Get creative!
  4. Find a friend. I’m sure this has been said many times in many different ways, but it really does help. My ultra-skinny-vegan-runs-for-fun friend/roommate and I make each other go. If we’re both home and the one is going to the gym, the other goes too. This pushes you to go – no excuses – and it eases your anxiety (my anxiety) about going to the gym.
  5. Find a gym that fits what you want. If you have a bad knee or bad back, but still want to get fit, maybe find a gym that has a pool. If you are only interested in running, find a gym with a track. If you want to work out right before work, find a gym with a shower. Find one that fits your needs.

Here’s a few tips to keep your eating right resolution:

  1. If you don’t like kale, don’t eat kale. Just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean you HAVE to eat it. If you don’t like something, don’t force yourself to eat it. Cuz you won’t. You’ll cheat. Your resolution will be broken
  2. Find recipes that sound delish. (I only use ones that have pictures… Pictures worth a thousand words… and tastebuds.) There are a TON of food blogs, recipe books, and friends willing to share out there in the world. Poke around. Incorporate your favorite foods into a new, healthy lifestyle.
  3. Don’t get bogged down by people’s comments. Rabbit food. This would be great if it had more cheese. This would be great if it was ground beef and not turkey. This isn’t for them, this is for you. You’re not eating better for them; you’re eating better for you. There’s a huge community that’s willing to cheer you on.
  4. Connect with others that have the same goal as you. (See the previous tips.)
  5. Don’t try to change everything at once. If you’re used to drinking three Cokes a day, you can’t stop it cold turkey. Couple reasons (speaking from experience): You’ll have a caffeine withdrawal – not fun. You’ll crave it. Instead: Replace one a day, with a bottle of water. Just one change will make a huge result.
  6. Moderation. Everything in moderation – including moderation. Some people have cheat meals and some people have cheat days. They aren’t really cheating, they’re treating. You can have pizza and a burger and fries. You just can’t do it for every meal. Much fair. Much easy.

These are just a few tips on how to keep your goals going. There are soooo many out there. Some will work for you and some won’t.

Let me know in the comments if you have any tips that have absolutely worked for you (new or in this list). What are some that didn’t work for you?

Little bit of a different kind of post today. Hope you enjoyed and I really hope this helped you!

Until next time! Turn on your beastie mode!

PS. If you’ve already “broken” your resolution, you can start over. The whole year isn’t wasted. Think of them as goals, not resolutions. You got this! This is your year. ❤

My Year In Books: Running Like A Girl Notes On Learning To Run – Book #28

Photo Cred: goodreads
Title: Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run
Author: Alexandra Heminsley
Series: N/A
Publisher: Scribner
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Medium: Hardcover
Finished Reading: June 19, 2014

About: “In her twenties, Alexandra Heminsley spent more time at the bar than she did in pursuit of athletic excellence. When she decided to take up running in her thirties, she had grand hopes for a blissful runner’s high and immediate physical transformation. After eating three slices of toast with honey and spending ninety minutes on iTunes creating the perfect playlist, she hit the streets – and failed miserably. The stories of her first runs turn the common notion that we are all ‘born to run’ on its head – and expose the truth about starting to run: it can be brutal.
Running Like a Girl tells the story of how Alexandra gets beyond the brutal part, makes running a part of her life, and reaps the rewards: not just the obvious things, like weight loss, health, and glowing skin, but self-confidence and immeasurable daily pleasure, along with a new closeness to her father – a marathon runner – and her brother, with whom she ultimately runs her first marathon.
But before that, she has to figure out the logistics of running: the intimidating questions from a young and arrogant sales assistant when she goes to buy her first running shoes, where to get decent bras for her larger bust, how not to freeze or get sunstroke, and what (and when) to eat before a run. She’s figured out what’s important (pockets) and what isn’t (appearance), and more.
For any woman who has ever run, wanted to run, tried to run, or failed to run (even if just around the block), Heminsley’s funny, warm, and motivational personal journey from nonathlete extraordinaire to someone who has completed five marathons is inspiring, entertaining, practical and fun.”

As mentioned in Kicking Ass and Taking Names, I am not a runner. I don’t like to run and I really only run if I’m being chased by a tiger, which doesn’t happen all that often. That being said, I signed up for two 5K runs. Pretty Muddy was in August, 2014. This is a 5K mud run with obstacles throughout the course. Foam Glow 5K was in September, 2014. This was a 5K run at night with black light and glow-in-the-dark paint. They both sounded fun and I want to start pushing myself physically. I figured I should know a thing or two about running. So, I picked up this book. It was recommended to me by my best friend, who is a vegan runner currently training for a half-marathon.

Pros:

  • Great non-technical running book. Being my first book dealing with the dreaded physical activity, I’m ultra-glad it wasn’t hardcore in the stats and mechanics of running.
  • Anecdotal. This book is filled with pages and pages of funny anecdotes of Heminsley and her journey to be coming a multi-marathon runner. It’s light and definitely covers some of my fears of starting to run (ie. WHAT IF I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM ON MY RUN??).
  • Caters to women. Being called Running Like a Girl, you’d think it’s geared toward women, and it definitely is. Dealing with issues about what sports bra to get and fears of menstration while running and being unprepared make this book an awesome girl-running-talk book.
  • Great for all stages of running. Whether you’re running for the first time or have been running for years, this book tackles anecdotes, fears, and triumphs that all runners encounter.
  • There’s a humanistic touch. Heminsley gives us guidelines and tips that she has discovered while on her trek. However, she also includes how long she ignored these tips, which is great! She doesn’t expect us to take everything she says to heart and knows that we will need to find out for ourselves how useful the tips really are.
    • Cons:

      • TYPO. Heminsley is a writer. She is an established article writer for BBC. So, why is there a typo on the first page – even before the first chapter? “…cripple you with panic and. overwhelm you with self consciousness.” What is that period doing just hanging out in the middle of the sentence?? Having just finished Invisible City, which was littered with typos, I was definitely worried about the integrity of the rest of the book. Luckily, there was just this one.

      This book is divided into two parts. The first part is more about her personal journey to becoming a “runner”. The second part is dedicated to cheats, guidelines, and tips she found along the way that could help other runners.

      My rating and why: Three stars. I enjoyed this book. It was really helpful knowing that other people weren’t born to run and that someone else has gone through the same struggles that I’m going through. While reading the book, it made me want to get up and just run, much like Forest Gump. (Run Megan Run!!) This is crazy huge coming from someone who has to force herself to get up in the morning and run, trying to think of all the reasons why she is running.

      Let’s keep the conversation going! Are you a runner? Do you like to run or do some other cool activity like dance, yoga, boxing….? Are you going to add this to your “to-read” shelf? Let me know in the comments below. Like, comment, and follow.

      New book review to come out Friday.

      Until next time my fellow bibliophiles!