Category Archives: Weight lifting

April Randomness

Well the calendar has turned to the month of April.


Who is that cute dog?  Smile with tongue out

I’ve been doing the 30 Day Shred, however it hasn’t been so easy to find 20 minutes in the evening.  Last week I worked really late several days, and didn’t want to work out at 10pm, even if it was for 20 minutes.  So this week, I’m challenging myself to get up and do it in the morning.  (Confession: tonight I did it while I dinner was in the oven and not in the morning).

So how is it going?  CHALLENGING!  The workout is made up of (3) 6 minute circuits, with 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs.  For me, the first circuit kicks my butt!  It’s 30 seconds of push-ups and then 1 minute of squat and presses, then repeat.  The combination of those two make my arms jell-o by the second round of pushups.  I used to be so good at pushups; I don’t know what happened.  Oh wait, I trained for a half marathon and stopped doing strength training.  The other part that kills me in the first circuit is the cardio.  It’s not that I get tired.  It’s that my feet hurt.  Constantly jumping really hurts the bottom of my feet.  This is something that’s always happened to me.  I even made sure to buy cross-training shoes, and they still hurt.  Anyone else have this issue?  Since they really hurt today, I’m wondering if it’s the heels that I wear all the time.  Hmmmmmm . . . .

In other news, here’s to making food at home this week!  We went to the grocery last night (which apparently were almost all closed early due to the holiday.  The third one we tried at 8:30pm was only open for more minutes.  UGH!).  Tonight’s dinner was a pasta bake based on this recipe:


I used whole wheat penne and ground turkey and added a random can of olives.  It was pretty darn tasty. 

Anybody else get their butt kicked with 30 Day Shred?  What’s on your weekly menu?  Don’t you hate when you live in New England and grocery stores aren’t 24 hours!?!

Let’s Get Physical


HA!  Okay, seriously.  Until tonight I hadn’t done anything more physical than walk the dog (oh there was that tap class and recital) since the Mini Heart 15K a week and a half ago.  I’ve been trying to brainstorm what to do with running and other ways of physical activities.  See, I want to run another half marathon, but the timing doesn’t work out until the fall.  That gives me about 5-6 months to “train”.  I have been corresponding with my friend (and sorority big sister), Marnie, who’s a professional runner!  Well not really, but she runs marathons and is pregnant with her third kid, so she must have some clue about where to go.  She sent me a novel about running bunch of suggestions, especially talking about speedwork to get faster!



( Insert incriminating picture of Marnie from college.  Maybe it’s good that digital cameras weren’t so prevalent when we lived together in 2001.  Let’s just say Marnie couldn’t sit on chairs without arms!)

Finally today I sat down with the internet and came across the Smart Coach on Runners World.  I put in my current half marathon pace (2:40) and how many miles I wanted to run and the intensity, and it spit out a training schedule for 24 weeks.  The schedule is full of tempo runs, speed runs, easy runs, and long runs.  Here’s my week 1:


Tonight I was supposed to do a 5 mile run with 3 miles @ 11:57 min/mile tempo.  Well, apparently a big bowl of pasta with Cincinnati chili and beans (aka a version of a “three-way”) is not the right thing to eat.  I did do the 3 miles @ tempo, but I didn’t do the warm up and cool down.

Has anyone ever used Smart Coach?  I find it very strange that it asks us to run at such a slow pace.   I mean, 13:36 min/mile is 4.4 mph??  What if I run faster than that?  It felt strange putting the treadmill on 5.0 mph.  I felt like a turtle.  It was not “easy”, but I wasn’t pushing myself.  In looking at the weeks, many, many weeks to come, these times do decrease, but it feels strange at first.

Advice on Smart Coach?

In other news . . . I’m also adding a fun “strength training / cardio” workout!  Inspired by my wedding planner who just did Jillian’s 30 Day Shred, I downloaded it to my Tivo ($5 on Amazon for a direct download!)  I downloaded it about a week ago, but I didn’t have any hand weights.  Finally made it to Target tonight!  So starting tomorrow and continuing for 30 days (perhaps with two days off when I go to Vegas) I’ll be spending quality 20 minutes with Jillian Michaels!


So there are my plans for staying physical!  Are you embarking on any new exercise plans?  Completed anything that you loved?

Kettlebell Pinterest

Oh, Pinterest.  It’s an incredible resource.  Men just don’t understand.

A few weeks ago I went searching for some more kettlebell workouts.  I’ve been really good at continuing my “ritual” of doing some kettlebells while watching “The Biggest Loser”.   I mean, I see them working out, why should I do it, too?  So I went to my fitness board on Pinterest to switch things up.

4 Kettlebell Full Body Moves from Women’s Health Magazine

Phew!  I was sweating by the end.  I topped it off with 3 one minute planks.  Gotta get those abs back in shape!

On another note, let’s talk about one of my favorite activities: SLEEPING!

So, a friend of mine recommended the app called “Sleep Cycle”.  You place your iPhone on your bed near your pillow, and the accelerometer in the phone tracks motion.  The less you move, the more likely that you are in deep sleep.  You can either just use it for statistics, or use it as an alarm.  You give it a window of when you’d like to wake up, and it waits until you’re lightly sleeping to wake up.  I tried to do that last night, but it might not have worked.  I’ll try again tonight.

What did my phone capture?  My Yeti nightmare!  I had a dream that I was on the phone with someone, when they screamed “OH NO! HERE COMES A YETI!”  Then all I heard was growling noises, and I knew that my friend had been eaten.  I woke up, but the growling noise wouldn’t stop.  I was scared until I realized that the “growling” was actually Matt (who has a cold) snoring.  I pushed him to make him shift and stop snoring.

Anyway, here’s my stats from sleeping last night:


You can see my Yeti dream waking me up at 6am.  I’m interested to see how it works tonight!

Do you remember your dreams?  Any fun kettlebell workouts?  Are you also obsessed with Pinterest?  Follow me and I’ll follow you!

Kettlebells at Home!

Two months ago, I bought a set of kettlebells through Joss and Main (<—awesome site for home stuff!)


I figured that having a set at home opened up my options to do a quick strength work out.  Plus I love kettlebells and I’m not allowed to use the set at the gym (bitter, party of 1).

I’ve done it a few times, and tonight, I peeled myself off of the couch to go another round.  Per my half-marathon training plan, I need to do a day of stretching and strengthening.  Tonight I decided to do that while I watched the Biggest Loser.  It should probably become a weekly thing.  They’re all working out hard, why shouldn’t I join them?  And it beats eating junk food while watching Biggest Loser (oh the irony).

The only weird issue with working out at home is that when I get on the floor to do sit ups, a certain little doggy likes to come over and say hi and tries to wrestle.


Oh, silly, April.

Anyway, I love being able to work out at home and then pulling out my yoga mat for stretching.  It feels so good!!  Open-mouthed smile

Do you work out at home?  Does your pet attack you?

Darn You, Kettlebells!

Yeah, so, it’s pretty quiet on the wedding front, which can be a bit disconcerting considering it’s like 6 weeks away!

So how about a nice kettlebell workout?  But first a kettlebell story:

At my gym, they started a cross-fit area (formerly known as the personal trainer area).  This means that I have to be out in the gym with my trainer, which can be difficult when the gym is full.  Anyway, there’s a bunch of great equipment in the cross-fit area, such as the kettlebells.  Now when I’m with my trainer, she just asks to borrow them, and they say sure.  When I’m by myself, I definitely try to keep it on the DL that I’m stealing them.  I figured 6:30am, not many people, okay, I can just sneak in and do my workout.  SUCCESS!  No one saw me do it.  Putting them back on the other hand . . . umm . . . yeah, I got caught.  And not only was I asked not to take them, the woman also commented “There are plenty of other dumbbells and weights in the gym.  You don’t need to use these.”  Snark much?  By the way, there are many things that you CAN’T do with dumbbells that I love kettlebells for.  GRR!!  I put a suggestion in the box about having kettlebells available to everyone.  And don’t I at least get credit for facing the music and putting them back?  See?  I’m responsible!

Anyway, how about a kettlebell workout?

Now if you are looking for a new challenging move, try the windmills (you could probably do it with a dumbbell, too).


They look deceivingly easy.  Plus, I figured that I have pretty good flexibility.  Piece of cake, right? (mmmm cake!)  No seriously, I could barely get my bottom hand to my knee.  Incredibly tricky move!  Give it a try!

Pushing Your Limits

Two stories about pushing your limits (at the gym):

A few weeks ago, my trainer had me do bicep curls on a declined (or inclined, pessimist vs. optimist) bench, like so:


I was using 12lb dumbbells and it was hard!  My right arm was doing okay, but my left arm, not so much.  I had to do 12 curls, and by the 6th one, my arm was having problems.  I struggled so much with the last three it was ridiculous!  So on Wednesday, she had me do them again.  And you know what, I didn’t struggle hardly at all!  Isn’t it amazing how quickly your muscles can adapt to new exercises?!  CRAZY!

On Tuesday I was all excited to start the C25K running at 6.2mph (the pace I’d need for a 30 minute 5K).  Well, on Wednesday with my trainer, after our two rounds of the weight lifting circuit, she said “Let’s go run.  How about a quarter mile at 6.5?”  Say wha?  That’s like almost 2.5 minutes running at a faster pace that I was used to.  And you know what?  I DID IT!  THREE TIMES!!  Needless to say, when I went to go run this morning (yup that’s twice this week!), I opted to go to week 3 of the C25K:

  • Jog at 6.2mph for 0.13 miles
  • Walk at 3.8mph for 0.12 miles
  • Jog at 6.2 for 0.25 miles
  • Walk at 3.8 for 0.25 miles.
  • Repeat

HOORAY!  Best part was that it only takes 25 minutes (including the warm up!)  OH YEAH!

Have you pushed yourself further recently?  Did you surprise yourself?

Triceps Galore!

Gonna make this short and sweet.  Leaving for Cincinnati in less than 18 hours!  AHHH!!

Tonight I had a fairly light on cardio, but heavy on the triceps workout with the trainer: (FYI, when I say medicine ball, I mean the black ones with handles, like so)


Yeah, my arms are already sore!  If you’re looking for a great tricep workout, see above!  Especially those of you who want to wear a pretty white dress in the next few months.

Be sure to check out my latest contribution to Wedloft about “getting into bridal shape”.  Now if only I can follow my own advice!

Three Months To Go

Are you freaking kidding me?  Three months left?  This is getting SERIOUS! 

So I made my first dress fitting appointment today for March 12.  I had thought that it would be 6 weeks before, but it’s actually 10 weeks before.  That means that I have just under three weeks until my dress fitting!! AHHH!  I jokingly said on Facebook that I can not eat for three weeks.  But seriously . . .  the weight loss has slowed as of late, however I was admiring myself in the mirror at the gym today.  I’ve definitely worked a lot on my upper body, and even lost another inch around my middle!  That’s huge for me (literally), since my waist is where those last few pounds like to linger.

After my trip to the gym (workout found here), I took April on a nice long walk (yes, I had President’s Day off).  Then I came home to finally make some mini quiche lorraines.   Here’s my healthy, protein-packed, late lunch:


Three little mini quiches (2 WW PointsPlus each), and some tasty green giant veggies (blackbeans, carrots, and edamame).  Don’t you love the monkey cupcake foils?  OH YEAH!  I ran out of plain ones.  Next time I make these though, note to self, use Pam on the inside of the foils.  Also, note to self, go buy Pam; you are out!

So that’s day #1 before my dress fitting.  Only 18 days left!  More lifting, running, veggies, and water in my future (should be there anyway, right?)

Success Begets Success

Recently, I’ve been suffering from “Bridal Brain”.  You know how expectant mothers suffer from “Pregnancy Brain” where they become distracted and forgetful.  Yeah, it’s like that but with wedding stuff.  But today, I decided NO MORE!

When I got into work, I made a list of things to accomplish for the day.  It felt so good to cross off 3/5 things.

Then after work I went to the gym and had a great workout with the trainer:

  • Chest presses, 12 lbs
  • Jumping lunges
  • Jumping jacks
  • Single arm bent over rows, 10 lbs
  • Leg raises
  • Bicep curl into overhead presses, 12 lbs
  • Toe taps on medicine ball
  • Jumping squats
  • Tricep dips
  • Tabletop sit ups
  • Repeat each exercise for 40 seconds on, 20 seconds rest
  • Repeat entire circuit a total of 3X

Whoa, this got me in the cardio department.  And my feet.  Seriously they really hurt from all of the jumping.  In the last round, I took all of the jumping out.  Any idea what I’m doing wrong?  While I’m doing it my feet just start burning, and then afterward the outside of my foot hurt (towards the back).  And don’t tell me it’s a lack of potassium.  This has been going on for years, and I can eat at least 2 bananas/day sometimes.  I actually think that is has to do with the fact that I jump on my toes and don’t put my heels down.

Anyway, after the gym, I headed next door to stock up on some healthy foods.  There’s been a serious lack of them in our house.  I picked up the BOGO boneless, skinless chicken breasts (SCORE!) and a few other new things to try.  Including miniature drumsticks:

Only 3 WW PointsPlus!  And pretty good!  (You bet your butt we were watching Jeopardy!  I didn’t get Final Jeopardy right today, like I did yesterday though.  But come on, Watson, Toronto is NOT a US City!)

Anyway, a rather accomplished day.  Here’s to another good one tomorrow.  Success begets SUCCESS!!

Busy Weekend

Wow, I feel I did nothing all weekend, but yet accomplished quite a bit.

Saturday we had a self-imposed premarital counseling lock-in.  We have a workbook, that we needed to get through before meeting with the pastor in two weeks.  Of course, any lock-in needs fuel:

Somehow this 2lb bag of peanut m&m’s was eaten in the course of four days.  Yes, I admit; I ate 20 points worth of peanut m&ms.

We took a break for a 3.5 mile walk with the dog.  It was 35 degrees, and we debated going outside without *gasp* hats!  But we are glad that we didn’t.  I also took a trip to the gym while Matt got his hair cut.  Here’s my circuit that I did 3X.  It’s not too hard, but still challenging.

  • Calf raises with 12 lb weights (15x, although I ended up doing 30x since 15 wasn’t doing much for me)
  • Leg/butt raises on ground (20x)
  • Single leg balancing dead lifts (12x each leg)
  • Seated on incline bicep curls 12 lbs (12x each arm)
  • Skaters (1 minute)
  • Plank (1 minute)
  • Wall sit (1 minute)
  • Bent over lateral raises with cable, 7.5 lbs (12x each side)
  • Jumping jacks (1 minute)

Today my mom and stepdad came over to go over some wedding stuff.  My mom is working on my veil and brought some prototypes.  Obviously, I won’t show you until the wedding, but I think we’ve made progress.

I also glued together 175 invitations and put stamps on 150 rsvp envelopes.  Now it’s time to go address some more invitations envelopes.



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