Thursday, July 20, 2017

OTF Peak Performance Week: 2000 Meter Row

I DREADED this day. I did NOT want to row at all, never-mind row 2000 meters!

Matter of fact, I was going to plan it as my "Rest Day" and nix it altogether.  Nonetheless, the OTF Squad was going and I had to show up.  I chugged a cup of hot coffee and hit the noon session.  Since Tuesday, I've had a slight pain in my groin. I didn't want to overdo the workout today and settled on using the strider again.  Last year, I kept running on my injury and that sustained the injury for months LONGER than I had anticipated.  This year, I've learned from my past mistakes and decided sometimes LESS is MORE.

Since everyone else seem to chickened out, we had a small group in class for the noon time slot.


We were also going to start with the 2000 meter row challenge.  As we herded into the studio, I glanced at the leader board and the current "Woman under 40" was my friend Patty Cambell who rowed a little over 7 minutes.  GREAT JOB GIRLFRIEND!!

My goal was to complete the challenge in 9 minutes!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

OTF Peak Performance Week: Floor Challenge

I went to OTF at noon today for day 3 of the Peak Performance Week.  It was the Floor Challenge, I suck at rowing and I suck at running so I was actually looking forward to it. The hard thing about the challenge is that nothing is measured. It's all about the honor system. There's no treadmill or rower to display distance or time. IOn the floor portion of a workout, I find myself finishing last because I go slower, use heavier weights and work on my from whereas some other people blow right through it.  As Sam would say, "Don't focus on them but just focus on yourself because they are the ones not getting the most of their workout."



Today's challenge consisted of getting as high in the rep as you could doing (4) 1 minute blocks of squats taps, palm released push ups, TRX pull ups and sit ups.  We would have a 2nd chance to beat our previous round.  Our coach Meg, gave us tips on how to succeed with the workout. She told us to find a rhythm and just keep going on the taps and to try to get as most reps as we would.  She also mentioned that it would be easier for shorter people to rack up the reps for the squats.  This hit me right away. I was able to use my vertically challenge body to my advantage.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Orangetheory Peak Performance Week: 24 minute Run for Distance Challenge

What a tough day today! 4.6 miles done!

Today was day 2 of Orangetheory Peak Performance Week. Attendees had to run/walk for distance to see where they would end up in 24 minutes. I had a goal of 2 miles, (12 minute/mile). My goal should have been more than that considering I've run 5K in less than 36 minutes before.

I arrived at the gym with lots of anxiety. I wanted to try to run the whole thing. I've ran a 5K non stop before so I can do this!!!

I started at a 5.5 pace and stuck with it for about 15 minutes before slowing down. I took a quick walking recovery then started to do sprints with walking recovery. When I started walking, my awesome friends Kristin and Simonne started to cheer me on so I picked up the pace.  It was all in my head. Clearly it was anxiety and I should have gone faster and didn't stop. I finished a little over 2 miles. I looked at my performance summary and I didn't even hit any red. I was glad I hit my goal but I should have set a higher one.



Monday, July 17, 2017

Orangetheory Peak Performance Week: 500 Meter row

Week 1 Training Recap:
Run: Estimated 12.5 miles (3 OTF Classes, 1 Bruce Freeman run, 1 Best Fitness Tread Run)
Barre: 4 Times

Yay, Week 1 is over and I actually stuck with the running goal!

The weekend was action packed and we were all over the place. I did so well last week eating/drinking/working out wise but I failed miserably this weekend.  At my cousin's house in New York, I couldn't stop grazing on everything in sight.  I didn't drink all day then finally caved in at midnight at the dinner table when the party died done and the older cousins were hanging out.

The next day we continued to eat and drink our way at another party.  It was never ending.  The finale was eating Chinese late at night and watching the season premier of Game of Thrones.

I didn't have time to food prep so I went to Pressed and picked up overnight oats for breakfast and an eggplant protein bowl for lunch.  My weekly "treat" is becoming expensive as it's been more frequent and not really a treat anymore.


This week at Orangetheory, it's "Peak Performance Week."  The week gives club members the ability to measure their improvement every 6 months.  The workouts include a 500 & 2000 meter row, a 1 mile challenge and a run for stance 24 minute challenge.  I am NOT looking forward to the 2000 meter row.


Today, we had the 500 meter row.  It's not too bad but it's not easy either.  Our coach Chrys encouraged us to try to get around 1 minute 45 secs or under the 2 minute mark. My goal was to hit 1 minute 45 seconds.  I started off strong but by the time I got to 350 meters, I was getting tired.  I was shaking and I could feel and see myself getting much slower.  I finished at 1 minute 41 secs so I got to my goal and beat it! My friend Kristin was rowing next to me and was in the lead for the fastest female row under 40! Kudos Kristin! She kicked ass!

On the floor, we had more rows! We did single arm rows low with the dumbbells and pull ups on the TRX.  The treadmill block consisted of some hills and a few all outs on the hills.  I was so dehydrated and my calves were tingling and cramping up so I had to move to the strider a few times during the last block.

Instead of going to my usual barre stick class, I opted to go food shopping and food prep so I wouldn't eat out again.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Featured Contributor: Ouk on Training for her First Marathon

Hi everyone, my name is Ouk.  I'm Kim's friend (a.k.a. Mami-Eggroll).

Over the years, Kim and I bonded over our love of fitness, especially running.  When the idea came up to become a guest contributor to her blog, I couldn't pass the opportunity to share my thoughts and experience.  If you have any thoughts, please share them below in the comments so we all can learn from one another.



So, it's finally here!  Sunday, July 16, Games of Thrones season 7 premier day!  I've been looking forward to Game of Thrones for months now.  Winter is coming and it's about time!  It's only been 6 seasons since their first episode aptly titled "Winter is coming".  At the end of last season, Cersei of House Lannister is the Queen to the Iron Throne. And then another Dragon Queen, Daenerys, is working her way toward Westeros to claim her rights to that throne.  It's going to be an epic battle!  And I just can't wait to see how this series end.  

Friday, July 14, 2017

100 Class Milestone at Xtend Barre

Today, I went to barre at noon and found out it was my 100th class! I knew it was coming up but I didn't know it was TODAY. I would have made an effort to make myself look more put together! HAHA.  Although I got a few intro classes last year, I didn't really attend consistently until this year. The two challenges definitely help rack up my attendance.

Since joining, my shoulder and hip mobility has improved drastically. My thighs, glues and side seats are slimming down and getting more definition. The classes aren't getting any easier but I understand the basics, lingo and choreography more than I did when I initially started. I've made such great friends from the studio.


Since we are still enjoying the benefits of summer hours, I didn't have a game plan for post work. It was a nice cool cloudy day so I wanted to run outside. I also had a bunch of errands to run before going to New York for the weekend so I wanted to do that before the Asian stores closed.

I ended up doing a liquor store run in New Hampshire. Everything was on sale and so cheap, I wanted to buy everything but I knew that wouldn't help with my attempt to stop drinking.  I came home to let the dogs out and decided to go to Best Fitness in Chelmsford to do my run.  I wanted to run 4-5 miles to prep for the 5K + 10K next weekend in Andover, Ma.  

It was a struggle. I started off decent then the volume on my phone kept muting and I got tired.  After the first 30 minutes, I switched over to a jog/run interval where I jogged 4 minutes and walked super slow for 1 minute to catch my breath. My OTF coaches would have cringed.  Oh well, it was a Friday night, I worked out for an hour and got to 4.5 miles.  I'm not too thrilled or proud of the 13+ minute/mile.  I can't be to hard on myself. I went there, ran and did better than those sitting on a couch ... right?



Oh and for meals, for breakfast, I had half of a Pressed cafe spinach, ham and onion whole wheat wrap. It was actually a burrito because it had delicious homefries.


It was a busy afternoon/evening so we went out for dinner. It's amazing how much cheaper a meal is without drinking booze. We went to sizzling kitchen in Lowell, got two apps and two entrees for under $40.00.  The food was delicious but I was mindful of my eating.  I stopped when I was full and didn't stuff my face.



Day 6
Mixed Emotions, Ups/downs but Yummy in my tummy

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thirsty Thursday Workout

Despite it being "Thursday Thursday", I had no intention going out. I went about my day as usual.

For my noon session, I did an Xtend Barre Stick workout with Chantal.  The workout was great! I pushed through and tried to do as many of the "advanced" portion as possible whether if it was standing on relev├ęs when asked to or just getting some extra cardio steps in there.


For lunch, I ate one of my meal prepped meals that I cooked a few days ago. Chicken breast was on sale at Market basket and I found some asparagus and zucchini in the "reduced" section. 3 huge breasts, 2 bunches of asparagus and 5 zucchinis only cost about $8.00.  I made about 5 meals with it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

5K Challenge at OTF and Bfitt60 Strength workout

I DID NOT want to wake up this morning. I slept 8 hours and I was still groggy and tired. I made it to work on time anyway and I was in for a pleasant treat.  My friend Jill got me one of my favorite "go to" breakfasts from Pressed Cafe in Burlington. I love their overnight oats. Its a cup of oats with milk, peanut butter, homemade blueberry compote, strawberries and ripe bananas. It's definitely a "treat" because the portion is on the larger side and the calories quickly add up with the natural sugar and peanut butter.

Needless to say, my day got better real quick!

Pressed Cafe Overnight Oats

At noon, I hit up OTF for an Endurance workout.  At the beginning of class, Chrys challenged us to get our 5K check off on the OTF Bingo game.  We would have to run a 5K (3.1) during the treadmill portion and she would let us use the "warm up" to add the extra mileage since a typical tread block does not exceed 24 minutes.

I love challenges! I decided to go for it! Instead of walking during warm up, I started to jog at 5.5 before the workout started.  Once we were at a push, I upped it to 6.6 to get going.  When we were at base, I tried not to go lower than 5.5 MPH.  My mind was made up to get to that 5K.  I felt great the first two blocks then started losing steam during the last 2 blocks.  My "all out" wasn't a true all out and my pushes were getting weaker. My heart rate was in the red a few times and hard to get back to green during recovery.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Barre and Bfitt60 in Billerica

Today I made the decision that I'm NOT going to post everyday since the posts will become repetitive.

For breakfast and lunch, I had the exact same thing as yesterday but I did remember to have my post workout protein shake. I'm almost out of my Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Shake that I stocked up on when it was clearance (not expired yet)


At noon, I took an Xtend Barre class with Kristin.  She's so energetic and I love going to her classes. I love them so much that I swapped out some of my noon OTF sessions to go to her noon time slots on Tuesday and Fridays. My schedule is still a work in progress so we will see what will happen.

I made the mistake of getting there late and ended up with a spot on the side mirror. It wasn't bad until the whole class faced the side mirror and I felt like I was being watched (even though I'm sure everyone was focusing on themselves) I still felt put on the spot.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Twice a Day workouts

It's day two and I had two workouts today.  People are sometimes shocked when they hear I sometimes workout twice a day but I don't mind it so much. The first session is usually before work or at noon and the 2nd session is usually after work. 4 hours have elapsed and the workouts are so different; one is high impact and the other is usually lower impact.

I also like working out during my lunch hour because the day goes by faster and I'm not tempted to go out to eat with my work family.

For breakfast, I had a whole wheat English muffin and almond butter.  At lunch, I went to Orangetheory for a noon workout.  I like to consider OTF as my "cross training" despite us running a little.  Today was ESP (Endurance, Strength and Power) day. The workout wasn't too bad, not much  rowing, just quick spurts of 100, 150 and 200 meters.

The floor workout was a good mixture of arms, core and legs.  My favorite was the "Scaption" raises which is almost like lateral raise  that meets a front raise and is off to the corner.
Image via Fitnessprofessionalonline.com


Sunday, July 9, 2017

12 Weeks countdown to Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon

The Road Ahead

Bruce Freeman Bike Trail

Wow, its been almost 5 months since my last post! I've notice that my travel and fitness posts seems to attract more interest than my restaurant reviews so for the next few months, I'll focus on that.

This year, my running has been less consistent and sporadic. I ran a few races but I definitely want to train for the Smuttynose Half Marathon in October and not half ass it which is exactly 12 weeks away from today!

For the next 12 weeks, my overzealous goal is to run consistently (at least 2-3 times a week), eat more mindfully and layoff the booze.  To keep me on track, I'm going to use this blog as a tool to help me towards my goal.  I'd like to build endurance, get faster and lose a few pounds as I train for the big day.

Besides fueling my body with the proper nutrition, the other hard part of my component would be figuring out my training schedule.  Sure, the intention is to follow the Hal Higdon Novice 1 Half Marathon Program but I also want to continue with Orangetheory and Xtend Barre classes.  I also don't want to burn myself out with all of the above so I need to find a nice balance that is challenging but manageable.

With that being said, day 1 of training started off as a failure.

Monday, February 20, 2017

I did 17 Xtend barre classes in 16 days and here's what happened...


Xtend Barre is a newer boutique fitness studio that opened last Fall in the new 3rd Ave area in Burlington. The global brand brings in elements of " Dance, ballet, Pilates, to create an adrenaline fueled workout that strengthens, lengthens and chisels the body."

Currently Xtend Barre Burlington offers a variety of classes to keep the workouts amplified and changing so members have different options to choose from.

There is the signature Xtend Barre class that features an "Elegant yet energetic combination of movements that enhance flexibility, improve balance, and challenge the core."

I love the Xtend Suspend that uses the TRX suspension straps for a great upper and body workout.

I feel accomplished after completing the Xtend Circuit 7, which is a "boot camp" / "Tabata" like high intensity class with plies and burpees all in one class.  Christina F. definitely kicks our a** but makes it fun and go by quick with her high upbeat coaching.

The newly launched Xtend Stick uses a Pilates stick/hand loops/bungee cord to add resistance and different techniques to the barre fusion class.


Since the gym opened, I got my "feet wet" and took a handful of classes last year. I wasn't a regular but just popped in when I got a chance too. In early January, Xtend Barre Burlington offered a special hot promo rate that I couldn't resist.

Xtend Barre Burlington