Monday, May 23, 2011

Spartan vs Warrior

On April 30 I endured through the Spartan Race in Conyers, GA, and
when I say endured I mean I barely made it out alive. There were
moments of weakness, pain, exhaustion and several times when I thought
to myself, "I just cannot do this." But somehow I pulled my leg over
the wall, I dragged my body through the mud and I ran up and down the
hills through the woods.

After becoming a Spartan I thought I would challenge myself to the
"Craziest Frickin' Day of Your Life" and enter the Warrior Dash. The
obstacles were available for preview online and I had several friends
who had "dashed" the year before, all saying it was "a joke" of a
course, so I wasn't too scared. Any race that involves mud and hills
is going to be difficult no matter what your physical capability is,
it was just a matter of how hard in comparison to Spartan Race would
it be? Would I end up in the hospital like I did at the Spartan Race?
Would I still be covered in bruises and scratches two weeks after the
race? I wondered if my body could physically handle both of these
races in less than 15 days. Could I be a Spartan and a Warrior? Which
title did I have to work harder for?

On May 14 I got my answer: Spartans are way more bad ass than Warriors.

Yes, both Warrior Dash and Spartan Race involved hills, and mud, and
wading through water, and cargo nets and climbing over walls. However,
there was something about the two courses that differed so drastically
in physical and mental toughness that made Warriors look like pussies
and Spartans look like Gods.

First of all, there's no way Warrior Dash was "3.1 miles" because
people finished in under 25 minutes. Either they are sprinters and
avoided all of the obstacles, or the race was really only a couple of
miles long. I have a feeling Spartan Race was more at 4 miles than 3
miles as well because it took me more than 1:30 to get through the
race and I ran a majority of the course (don't judge me for walking,
those hills sucked). Also, the hills and trails were covered in mud to
a degree that you were completely unable to run on a majority of the
terrain. It wasn't just a little bit wet or a little bit muddy, it was
completely "lose your shoe in the mud" thick and at times I slipped
just walking along the edge. What was the point? I thought this was a
DASH, not a "take your time" kind of race.

I guess the true "First of All" would be the race came to a standstill
in the first 100 feet when all of the racers had to squeeze on to a
sidewalk to begin the course. People yelled in mockery, "Yay I did
it!" or "Wow that was so hard!" after running a few seconds before
coming to a standstill and waiting their turn to walk. If the racer in
front of you decided to start walking, you were subsequently forced to
start walking until the opportunity arose that you could pass them.
Back-ups occurred frequently during the course and at certain

I'll give Warrior Dash the water element: you had to swim across a
lake to get to your next obstacle. During Spartan Race you were maybe
50 percent wet during the hose-off, the mud crawl (if you chose the
wet side) and wading through the water. During Warrior Dash you had no
other choice than to get your whole body soaked as you doggy-paddled
across. Why doggy-paddle? There are people all around you so you can't
necessarily butterfly or breaststroke your way across the lake.

Climbing over abandoned cars was kind of cool as well, except you also
had the option to crawl across the front seat and not have to climb on
top of anything. Did the Spartan Race offer an "easier" way to do
something? Nope. Unless you count the really hot guy who boosted me up
the 8-foot wall, but that was more embarrassing than "taking the easy
way out."

I don't want to hate all over Warrior Dash just because it is
physically subservient to Spartan Race (even though it really is).
There is one element to Warrior Dash that I admire, and that's making
the course easy and fun so anyone can enjoy racing. I saw old men in
tutus climbing up the cargo net, I saw gaggles of overweight women
maneuvering through the bungee-cord maze and I saw children racing
alongside their parents. Most people were in a jovial mood and weren't
taking the race too seriously. Some people even began the race with a
beer in their hand. Costumes were more plentiful and more elaborate,
including the group of men in bridal gowns... with trains and veils
and everything. For a majority of the racers the event was more about
having fun with your friends than getting your ass handed to you by
Mother Nature. Enjoy the food, the booze, the live music and
everything else involved with the festival instead of being concerned
with your shin splints and bleeding all over your clothes.

In summary: the Spartan Race tests you - mentally and physically. The
course will break you down, scratch you up and spit you out. You're
going to prove to yourself that you can get over that wall no matter
how hard you think you can't and you come out of the race with a smile
on your face and bragging rights in your heart. After the Warrior
Dash? It just gets you ready for your Turkey Leg and a shower.

Will I do Warrior Dash again? Yeah probably. Will I do Spartan Race
again? Abso-f'ing-lutely.Only I hope next time to make Conyers, GA my

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"I'm sorry it took me so long..."

Sorry for the elusive Title for the blog, I've been listening to Taking Back Sunday all day today and their lyrics bring out the best and most random in me.

Have you ever had a day when you're looking back at your life, or at least at the last week of your life, and realized that you're doing pretty damn good, but not good enough? You're not in a bad mood, you're actually content bordering on happy, maybe full of too much caffeine, and excited about what's ahead? That's me today and why this blog is chock-full of hopeful goals.

The gym is having a "spring cleaning" theme this month for everyone to purge themselves of bad habits, whether they're dietary, lazy or just trying to improve themselves. What are my goals? I'm glad you asked!

1.) Eat Paleo/Primal.
2.) Don't drink.
3.) Start going to church again.
4.) WOD in the morning and run at night.
5.) Spend less money!
6.) Start practicing the drums again.
7.) Making Spanish and Italian flash cards.

It's definitely a very random list of things to keep up with and if you've been following the blog it's actually a little redundant from my original goals. Forgive me for falling off the wagon, I have been going through a lot!! But now I feel like good things are on the horizon and I'm ready to take a new step forward.

The biggest step will be getting me back in to my Size 8 Citizen Jeans and Lacoste polos...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Am Sparta

On Sunday afternoon I was standing at the registration table for a Bert's Big Adventure fundraiser and my co-pilot and I were discussing what we had done that weekend, particularly my race through the woods the day before. We'd only been speaking for five minutes and he goes, "I didn't peg you for an outdoors girl."

A year ago, a week ago or even a day ago, no one would have pegged me for an "outdoors girl" and hell neither would I! I greatly dislike being outdoors, especially when it's hot, sunny, buggy, dirty and anything else that doesn't really translate to indoors or a restaurant patio. Yet here I was at 12:45PM on Saturday April 30 climbing over a wall, splashing in to the mud, being doused with water and looking ahead of me to the entrance of my 3.5-4 mile run through the woods. And by woods, I mean hilly, barely marked trails and being whipped in the face by branches.

Months ago Becka asked me to volunteer for the Spartan Race, an outdoor obstacle course for the "elite" athletes in the woods of Conyers, GA. I would get $50 for my work and a free race ticket. I was more excited about the money and t-shirt and staring at cute boys all day long, not the free race entry. However, against all odds I decided I would actually participate in the race. I had big ambitions to start training through running and WODing to make sure I could get over that 8-foot wall all by myself. Then life happened, I got this internship, and I haven't run since it was still cold outside and I did less than 10 WOD's in a month. As race day approached I realized I didn't have a chance in Hell to complete this race and would probably end up crying in a creekbed somewhere along the race course.

The day before the volunteers headed out to the horse park to learn more about the course. I only got a glimpse of a few of the obstacles and already I was scared. We were stuck in the back end of the woods with lots of mosquitos and what looked like the scene to a straight-to-DVD horror flick. I made jokes the whole time to cover up how nervous and honestly scared-sh*tless I was.

The next day I woke up and headed back to Conyers. Luckily I woke up an hour late so I didn't have a chance to really think about what I was getting in to on the way down the road; I was more focused on staying above 75mph. My dreams came true and I did spend the morning staring at the studly Spartan men as they attempted to run across the balance beams or had to stick their butts in the air for the modified burpees, much to my delight.

Finally after a three hour work shift we were picked up and taken to the starting line to prepare for our race. It wasn't until I got back to base camp did the horror sink in and I couldn't focus. I lost my race ticket, I lost my meal ticket, I couldn't find anything that I needed, I was a wreck. A group of girls during my heat gathered to discuss the upcoming race and we headed to the starting line. There were only 88 in our wave, the final one for the day and of course the smallest. I made idle chit chat and really went back and forth between the Fight or Flight feelings and sadly Flight was winning the battle. Before I had a chance to actually step away they started announcing it was time for us to begin. Everyone cheered in excitement and anticipation, I tried not to pee my pants.

Finally they released us and we raced through a cloud of smoke...

Our first obstacle approached quickly and wasn't hard at all. Climb over a few 3-foot tall walls. Oh but jump down in to mud pits and be doused with a fire hose. No better way to start a 4-mile jog through the woods than soaking wet and your shoes are already sticky. Terrifico.

The rest is somewhat of a blur, from exhaustion, pain or just mentally checking out. I climbed through a mud pit while dodging barbed wire, I climbed over walls and cargo nets, dragged cinder blocks, did burpees, waded through water and ran a lot. I fell twice: once when climbing an especially muddy hill and slid back down in to the creek. The other I tripped over a tree root and landed awkwardly on my shoulder.

The highlights of the event include being boosted in the air by an attractive man, which sucked because he basically had to push press my 175lb ass in to the air and get me up over the wall. Luckily he ran to the other side and caught me or I would have landed ass-first on to the ground below. I also suffered the bite of an insufferable insect, likely a spider, that caused an emergency doctor's appointment yesterday and a shot in the ass plus a week's worth of steroids and antibiotics. Thanks Mother Nature!

The part I think I will always remember was the last obstacle: the slippery wall. Run as fast as you can about two feet up the wall, grab the rope and pull yourself to the top and scale down the ladder on the other side. It was the last obstacle. I was exhausted. I had just run 4 miles, climbed through the second mud pit that was really horse manure not mud and done 60 burpees because I couldn't throw a spear or traverse a rock wall. I fell during the first attempt and had to try again. I grabbed the rope and pulled myself to the top, and was mentally stuck. I didn't know how to maneuver my body to get over the lip of the wall. If I let go, I'd slide down the rugged black wall and have to try again, and be possibly the only athlete who fell off the stupid thing.

I lay flat on the wall and tried to swing my right leg over to the other side. I got my toes over and could not find the strength to get my knee over the wall. I was as stuck as you could be. Hands on the rope, ass in the air, foot over the rail and the other leg laying idly by, waiting to get its turn over the wall. I screamed for the volunteer to help me and he proved useless and not encouraging. As he stood there and said in a limp attempt, "you can do it" I managed to shimmy my foot over the wall, giving me enough strength and grace to finally get to an upright position and down the ladder. I trudged haphazardly toward the "spartan" guards who tapped me with their American Gladiators jousts and limped across the finish line. I was covered in mud, I was hungry, thirsty, bloody and fucking excited.

In 1:35:52 I became a Spartan.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5:45am is way too early for working out

Before I got in to the world of public relations, no one cared to inform me that my hours of operation were going to change a little bit and I'd be starting work at 7:00am sometimes or leaving the office at 9:30pm on a Friday night. Not that having a long day or late hours was new to me: I'm used to working and then socializing until twilight hours and running on about 6 hours of sleep. However, those were my social events that started at 7pm, not leaving the office AT 7pm. Besides, I never had a job that challenged me or motivated me as much as this does so the hours really aren't bugging me in the regards that I hate working, it's that I hate what it's done to my dayplanner.

Because of this drastic change in scheduling a few things happened:
1.) I've been eating dinner later which I do not like.
2.) I've had to cut way, way down on my participation in social activities.

The biggest social activity I had to cut down on and basically eliminate is my night time CrossFit workout. I'm especially disheartened by this because I miss seeing everyone in the gym and as a direct result of my sweaty face not being there I'm "accidentally" left off of event invites. The one time I did get an invitation for a birthday party I was stuck working until 9pm and missed the entire thing anyway... Woe is me.

In order to achieve my goal of keeping up with CrossFit and getting all $180 worth a month (unemployment benefits don't cover as much as you'd think) I've been attempting the 6am Dawn Patrol WOD.

Week One: made it to ONE workout.
Week Two: Made it to ZERO workouts.
Week Three: So far I've made it to two and I plan on going again tomorrow.

Desperate times/desperate measures left me giving the trainer my cell phone number and my schedule so if my grumpy ass isn't outside the gym by 6am I'll get a comforting and soothing phone call from her.

For right now I'm proud of myself for giving it another-go, but my REM cycle is not too pleased.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Wagon: I fell off it and now I'm back on it

I didn't realize it's been a full month since I last updated the blog, but with everything going on in my life I guess it really has been that long. I'm a fulltime intern with Company A and part time intern with Company B, plus I'm doing my best to XFit as often as possible. Add on top of that it's kickball season, the NHL playoffs start tomorrow (GO SABRES!), I've been babysitting and I'm still trying to keep up with social life, sleep, cleaning, and reading. Ya know, doing everything.

How am I doing on my path to being the best I can be? I guess I'm doing alright. I've been eating Paleo at a pretty consistent rate and I'm down a belt notch. I'm doing okay on my finances, but not as good as I should be at all! I put my entire tax return toward my credit card debt (score) and then decided it would be okay to re-charge a good chunk of it on clothes and accessories for the new job. It's an investment, right??

With everything I have on my plate right now I am trying to keep up with everything the best that I can. You can only focus on kicking ass at so many things before you are burnt out, over-extended, or half-assing. At the moment my primary focus is working and sleeping with a side of CrossFit.

Hey, I've started working out at 6am which is definitely something to be proud of!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Well, CrossFit is officially addicting

T-minus 4 days until my very first CrossFit competition and I've already registered for my second. I guess I'm a little over-zealous?

Every year CrossFitters across the United States begin to train and compete for the national games, and just like any sport they have to work their way up through victories. Starting tomorrow we will all compete in Sectionals in hopes of doing well enough to get to Regionals. I have a better chance of sleeping with Ryan Reynolds than I do of getting on our Regionals team! Yet I can't turn down the opportunity to compete with the other Elite athletes and try and prove myself. Maybe even get stronger? Better? Faster? The whole point behind CrossFit was to excel and dammit I will.

On a happy note... I am now acquainted with the blue band for my pullups. Boom.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bye Social Life, It Was Nice Knowing You

Sometimes to take a big step forward you have to take a big step back to brace yourself for the leap and the landing. That's exactly what I'm doing with my life right now by taking an unpaid internship to gain the valuable skills needed to continue with my career in public relations.

Yesterday I had an interview with a second internship and against all luck, I got it. I actually rocked it so hard they said I'm "too talented" for the actual internship and they're going to create a specific task and title for me. Also, this company is my DREAM company so yesterday was a great big ego boost and success.

However, that now means I will be handling two internships at once. After my interview with Dream Company I came in to the office for my primary internship and my boss informed me we have about four major events coming up in the next two months we need to start planning for.

How will I balance both? I have no clue, but I'm going to have to do it.

Let's not forget I also CrossFit pretty regularly for a few hours a day so my life will basically revolve around busting my ass, in a literal and figurative way. This is good though because my ass needs to go down in shape anyway...

Hopefully I can balance it all and gain some great experience to make me a contender for a full-time position somewhere?

In the meantime I guess it's safe to say my social life is going to disappear in a few weeks... it was nice knowing you.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


I officially began training for Three's Company last week and all I can say is... I'm tired. Working out twice in the evening is definitely a bit exhausting, but in a good way. I was working on movements I'm unfamiliar with and getting more flexible.

As an added bonus I was able to get three months of unlimited yoga and pilates (free!) to help me work on my core and flexibility. Day 1 of Pilates was definitely a butt kicking and I had no idea just how out of shape my abs are. However, now I can alternate yoga and pilates daily plus running and CrossFit to ensure I'll be in top shape for the competition.

To go along with this intense work out regime I will be eating a lot, drinking a lot of water and sleeping like there's no tomorrow.

Attention world: I will be out of commission for the next three weeks until the competition is over.

Tomorrow will be a far better update, I swear... Sunday Funday got the best of me and I have an Entourage marathon calling my name.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

113 Days

On I Used to Be Fat the teens have roughly 110 days to lose X amount of weight before a big life-changing event, specifically going away to college. That's three months to dedicate your life to fitness and healthy-eating habits to transform yourself in to who you want to be and what you want to look like.

Attached is a picture of me when I was 19-years old at an Auburn football tailgate. I was skinny, but skinny fat, meaning I wasn't working out at all, I just had lucky genes to carry me through the beer and fast food. However, that luck ran out during my junior year and I proceeded to go from 140lb and a Size 4 to 180lb and a Size 12 when I graduated college.

I want to look like that again. I want to fit in to the gameday dresses, designer jeans and other cute clothes I bought when I was skinny. I don't want to be self-conscious about my body and refuse to wear skins and shorts, tank tops, tighter shirts, anything. No more hiding in jeans and baggy t-shirts!

It is 113 days until June 1, the peak time for everyone to be in bathing suits and preparing for summertime festivities. If I dedicate myself to 113 days of focusing even harder on working out and eating right, maybe I'll get back to that size or will be the best size for my age. I know I may not be exactly the same size because my body has changed in the last six years and I will be gaining muscle with CrossFit.

I will not say I'm going strict paleo or giving up drinking until that day because I know I won't. Why set a goal you know you cannot obtain? In March I begin kickball season, beer festivals, St. Patty's Day and much more. I will be drinking and I don't want to set myself up to fail and feel guilty about it several times out of the month because I had something to drink. Life is short so enjoy it, but there is a fine balance too.

What can I do to battle the cravings and stick to the plan? Well, work out more and harder. I officially decided I am going to compete in "Three's Company" next month and I need to start training. I also want to run a 5k next month without stopping to catch my breath or walk a little bit. These are small goals, but goals! Great goals!

Also, I can continue to make smart decisions about drinking. Not drinking on weeknights is a lot easier than I thought it would be and as long as I'm surrounded by supportive friends it's easy. I won't drink during the week except for Kickball Thursday and if it's a big social event on the weekend. I have training to do on the weekends and if I get hammered on Friday I won't make it to the run or early morning WOD.

So here is my pledge... in 113 I will be a different girl. I will have sexytime thighs, hopefully a hint of some abs and I won't have fat face anymore. How will I achieve these goals? Sticking to the plan and putting everything I have in to it.

Or Jasmine, Lis and Kristen will kick my butt in to the ground.

Shout out to Becky for being an ever present motivator. Thank you for being such a great friend. The next 10lb are for you!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Feb. 15, 2011 - You Suck

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and it should have been the day that emotionally embodies all of my frustration, fears and pissiness because I'm single. Valentine's Day is the one day a year (if you're single) that you look at your life and go, "Crap, I need to get it together!" You weigh your successes in life against your ability to maintain a man's attention. If you don't have a boyfriend on V-Day you might as well be a cast member of Maury with an additional 100lb and a worse skin complexion. So to make yourself feel better you make terrible food decisions (my personal favorite is fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and ice cream) and you booze it up either by yourself with Bridget Jones' Diary or with a bunch of girlfriends who are bawling in to Kleenex just as much as you are.

But what did I do? I went and worked out and ate a Paleo-friendly dinner. Valentine's Day went without any crying, screaming or self-loathing. I smashed my scale in with a sledge hammer and I watched Gossip Girl. I defeated the dreaded Valentine's Day and I smashed it in to the ground.

But today...

It's bad enough I'm sitting in awkward and painful anticipation of two internships that I recently interviewed with and I haven't heard a peep from since. It's bad enough I spent another day sitting around in my pajamas and not showering until normal people were leaving work for the day. It's bad enough I'm eating Paleo and I haven't had carbs since January!

But today...

The Things That Made Me Want To Scream (in chronological order):
1.) I was denied food stamps. I actually applied for food stamps as a 25-year old college educated American. And I was DENIED. Why??? Because I have bad timing. If I had applied for food stamps two weeks ago before my unemployment benefits were approved I would have gotten food stamps, no matter what happened with unemployment benefits, for six months. I would have gotten roughly $150 a month for groceries. But because I decided to wait and be a normal human being and not work the system until my dad finally pressured me in to it, I was denied.

2.) I have unemployment insurance through my auto loan and thank goodness I was smart enough to add it to my policy last year. Well, Mr. Insurance failed to inform me when I sent in my paperwork that there was an error and it needed to be corrected before they could stop my automatic payments. I didn't find this out until I called them to make sure everything was fine and the guy said I just need to fax over a new form and it should be processed in 10 business days. Now I get to pay roughly two more car payments aka $350 before my insurance kicks in.

3.) My favorite magazine came in the mail today. Funny enough I actually got two copies of the magazine which is peculiar. I mean, why would a magazine send me two copies?? But somebody was playing a cruel joke on me... Guess what the featured food on the cover for this month is? MACARONI AND CHEESE! My favorite food on the entire planet. The reason I have thunder thighs. The reason I get out of bed sometimes. Macaroni and f'ing Cheese. And they had the audacity to put, "Hands Down, The Tastiest Version We've Ever Made and other sumptuous baked pastas." Bon Appetit is getting some fan mail this month from a disgruntled and famished reader living in Atlanta, GA...

4.) I randomly decided to open my cell phone bill that came in the mail. I am always the same amount every month and I was under the impression I have unlimited everything so I don't have to worry about surprising fees. HA! I guess I was a sucker for that one because guess who went 810 text messages over this month? Yes, 810. How in the world did I text 810 messages more than I do any other month? So now I get to pay $81 extra on this month's cell phone bill. For those who haven't been keeping up with my current events, I Am Unemployed and I Do Not Have Income.

5.) To make everything so much better... I am not allowed to drink alcohol. That's just another recap for my close friends and family.

Whoever has the Tori Allen voodoo doll, I'm begging you to please stop and leave me alone for the rest of February. I need to finish the Paleo challenge...

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's All Mental

You need to have a lot of strength and endurance to succeed in CrossFit, or to at least survive the WOD's that are scrawled on the whiteboard. You don't have to be Level 1 Certified to get through it, but you need to be physically able to endure the pain.

You also need to have the mental capability to take the WOD down as well. Today I did not have the mental strength to defeat Dead Cindy. I didn't even have the mental strength to sorta kick its ass because it kicked mine.

Today really was like any other day heading in to the gym and I even had the Scale Smash 2011 to look forward to at the end of the workout. However the minute I attempted the first deadlift I knew I was in for trouble. Everything went downhill from there with every deadlift or air squat.

I guess I let my personal struggles affect the way I was performing today. Every time I threw the 125lb of deadlift to the floor I said to the coach, "I'm just not feeling it today." With every failed attempt to lift the weight I thought about my "failed" attempts and struggles with life recently. Every airsquat I thought to myself, "you're unemployed" or "you cheated on your paleo diet" or something to the negative nature. I let myself beat myself up, Dead Cindy didn't even have to lift a finger.

Going forward I need to remember that I'm not always going to be on fire and I'm not always going to be a winner that day. Today should have been an extremely positive day for me because I have a good chance at an opportunity and I can finally begin my career. It's not exactly what I wanted, but when in life do you ever get exactly what you wanted? With every deadlift I should have remembered that statement and made that my personal mantra for the day. I need to stop beating myself up at every turn because I am kicking ass at life, no matter what the whiteboard or resume says. I guess sometimes I need to get my butt handed to me to remember that.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I'm passionate, driven, goal-oriented and usually quite motivated.

I am also extremely impatient which tends to negate my above listed qualities. Why? Because I want success immediately. Life is too short to sit around and wait for your dreams to come true or take a big leap toward what you want in life. This is usually my life philosophy when it comes to boys, but right now I have put dating on the back burner and I'm focusing on my fitness. So this impatience is translating in to my frustration that I'm not looking the way I want to look. Yet.

After my WW expedition I weighed 150lb, a super skinny size for me and I was healthy, or so I thought. Right now I'm more at the 170lb weight and though I've got more muscle than I ever have, I'm not happy with the way that I look or what the scale tells me.

I KNOW, I KNOW, DO NOT look at the scale, I get it CrossFit, but I'm a girl and I do that. Since I started February Paleo I have lost 8lb in 10 days, but it's not enough for me. I'm still not fitting in to my Size 6 jeans and my thighs are still way too big for my liking. Khaki told me yesterday my face looks thinner, Meghan told me last week I'm thinning out on the sides and I have knocked down two notches on my belt in 10 days, but dammit I want more!

Every day is a battle to remember that it is going to be a slow process to get to my fitness peak, finally realize that I'm going to be a curvy girl and that's okay. I just don't want a Muffin Top anymore, is that so hard?

So I need someone to please talk to me, calm me down that although the results aren't immediately there, the results are coming slowly but surely.

Please tell me one day I'm going to be fit and sexy. Please?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Right Foot Forward

They say when you're working toward a healthy lifestyle you need to give yourself everything you need to succeed. That usually means buying the correct foods to eat - which I have been doing - but today I treated myself to two new pairs of shoes to help me become a better athlete. Or at least help me look the part.

When I was in high school I ran Cross Country for one year before I moved to New Jersey. It sucked and I sucked, but I did it and I actually got to the point that I could run for more than 45 minutes on hills and terrain without stopping. (Not too bad for a couch potato with a career record of 15 years being idle.) However, I was always brought down by an incessant obstacle: my feet would become numb when I was running. That similar feeling when you cut off the circulation and your feet "fall asleep."

My entire running career revolved around my feet falling asleep at about the second mile in to the workout. It affected every time I tried to run for distance because it was either uncomfortable or I'd have to take my shoes off to let my feet "breathe" and return to normal. In short, it was a pain in the ass.

Finally, FINALLY, I went today to get a new pair of running shoes and a pair of shoes for CrossFit (they're Inov8's and they're amazing). I felt silly explaining to "Megan - The Sales Girl" that my feet fall asleep and thankfully she understood what I was saying and had a solution: I had wide feet and my shoes weren't fitting correctly.

After trying on a few pairs I found my favorite: they feel like I'm walking on Fluffernutter. They're light weight, comfortable and the best part is they don't feel tight. Hallelujah!

Tomorrow is the first tryout for the shoes so wish them luck. I've always wanted to say "I'm a runner" and really mean it. Perhaps buying myself a new pair of kicks will be the gateway to reaching my second fitness goal of running a half-marathon in the next year or so.

To Be Continued...

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Positive and The Negative

I have zero self control. I hit the snooze button so many times that I do it in my sleep and I wake up two hours after my alarm went off. I sit around and watch TV until the last possible minute to get to the gym for a run or a WOD. I will sit on dirty laundry for a week and then spend an entire day doing two week's worth of laundry. If it's not a pressing matter apparently I just don't do it.

And the self control holds true when it comes to my social life.

Perhaps I should be more specific and clarify that in the last seven days of my challenge I was in two separate social situations to eat bad food and drink beer. I avoided both, stood my ground and proved a point to myself and other people that I can do it. I felt proud, I felt like I was in control and I felt like I could do it.

However I was brought down by a close friend because of peer pressure. I went to her Super Bowl party and I was sticking to my plan of not eating carbs and not drinking beer. I ate the sandwiches sans bread, I had someone prepare pigs in a blanket sans blankets and I played beer pong with water.

But then my friend started Flip Cup. She was resilient that I play with water. She teased me, she said we only live once, she said it could be my one cheat day for the month, she said everything that eventually brought me down. And I did it. I drank beer. I played Flip Cup. Granted I kicked ass at it and showed everyone up, but I did the ONE thing I did not want to do. Drink Beer. I could have had tequila and been okay. I could have had some carbs and been fine. But I drank beer.

I know I can't let this kill my spirit nor should it make me feel guilty because that's not what challenges and Paleo are all about. We all make mistakes and the important part is to transition back to the good side and start over again. Remember your mistakes and use them to make you stronger.

It's time to remember my positive friends and my positive influences. This weekend I saw hundreds of like-minded competitors who every day fight the good fight against carbs, booze and being idle. We all get up and we are good to our bodies, we constantly push the envelope and we do it because we love it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Day of Rest

Not to sound like a big ol' baby, but my legs hurt, my arms hurt and I am tuckered out from this week's workouts. I don't know why I am so exhausted, but after three days of WODs and one epic run I am happy to say I am taking the day off.

Well, not really...

I realized I needed to take a day off of WODing when I was running on the treadmill and my shins felt like they were about to split open. I ran a mile and switched over to the ultra feminine and non-challenging elliptical machine and the pain didn't stop but became manageable. I moved back over to the treadmill and only made it a quarter mile before I wanted to cry "Uncle!"

When I returned home I took a bit of a breather, stalked on Facebook and decided it was gametime to head over to CFPT for a fun-filled 10 minutes of burpees and KB Swings. I debated the idea for a little bit then decided to give my 11 burpees (100 Burpee Challenge) a shot and see how I felt. At Burpee #6 I would have punched my future first born child to not have to do 7 through 11. It was at this point that I decided... Maybe I'll take a day off?

Join me tomorrow as I attempt my first noon WOD in months and head off to watch my personal SuperHeroes in the Team Challenge of the Garage Games conquer feats I will never ever attempt.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Khaki Was Right

I wasn't a super hero today and that's okay. Not every WOD is going to be the WOD when I Rx and get a new PR or any other abbreviated term you can think of in the gym. Sometimes I have to face the trickier movements and settle for doing them correctly with little to no weight than doing them wrong with a lot of weight. I'm not impressing anybody by doing that especially if Ray is running around the gym.

Squats have always been my weakness despite having an awesome set of legs. Whenever those squat WOD's pop up I know it's going to be a disastrous and frustrating day. I'll be doing OHS with a 25lb bar or I'll have to set a ball on the ground to make sure I get low enough on the wall balls. Today I had to go down in weight from 65lb to the 35lb bar on my squat cleans because I wasn't doing them right.

I remembered what Khaki told me yesterday and I thought about the blog posting on CFPT today and I said to myself, "Do It Right." So I did. It may have been a low weight, but I started doing them correctly and I figured out the proper movement with the bar.

It wasn't a victory on the white board, but it certainly was one for a life lesson.

For a little bit of encouragement and praise I will say that I kicked butt on the pull-ups because I didn't have to take a break in between them at all or get back on the box to re-position. I busted them out like I've been doing them my entire life. The callouses are coming along nicely, too.

It's Magically Delicious

When I inform non-Crossfit people that I've made the decision to eat Paleo they definitely have a look of shock and appall on their faces. Sometimes it's mixed with confusion and I have to explain the whole diet to them. (I normally lose their interest after "no booze or Diet Coke.") To be honest the idea of just meat and veggies is quite unappealing and especially limiting. How often can you eat plain ol' chicken and green beans? There's a reason evolution happened and the advancement of the culinary industry. And it has nothing to do with Pork: The Other White Meat.

However once you allow yourself to look around the farmer's market and you talk to fellow Paleo-gluttons you'll learn that it can be quite delicious and sometimes creative.

To prove my point here is my menu for this week that is both delicious and "I'm getting abs if it kills me" Paleo-friendly.

Bacon and Eggs

Baba Ghanoush and fresh veggies

Pot Roast and Veggies with a salad

Protein Shake

Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Red Sauce and a spinach salad

Knowing that I'm getting healthy

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Frenemy

Today I was my own worst enemy at the gym and double unders were definitely The Frenemy of the night. Two vehement enemies that I hope do not cross my path again soon.

I had confidence that I was going to show those double unders who was boss and walk away with a 10 minute amrap during today's WOD. Boy was I wrong... I don't even know what time I ended exactly, but I know it was in the middle-to-high teens because I wanted to quit when I saw the clock at 14:44. Some people had already cleaned up their station and left when I entered on to my last round. Nothing gets you motivated but also deflates your confidence when people are drinking their protein shake and staring at you while you finish.

One thing I need to remember about CrossFit is that I'm not working out against anyone or anything, only myself and the goal I set entering in to the workout. All of this came right back to me when Khaki saw how upset I was and wanted to make sure I was okay. She reminded me that I'm still a CrossFit newbie and I am not going to defeat everything this early in the game. I need to stop focusing on the clock, just focus on busting my ass and getting through it, even if it takes 30 minutes to do. I'm not in a real competition so there's no reason to treat it like a race.

And most of all she reminded me that I Rx'd it. I didn't go easy on myself, I didn't take the easy way out, I didn't cheat. I have an Rx next to my name on the white board for everyone to see.

Though my Frenemy got the best of me today by taking down my spirits and kicking my butt in the workout, I know the next time it rears its ugly face I'm going to be there to tell it to suck it. If it takes me one minute for each double under I am going to do it with a great big smile on my face. As for my own worst enemy? She's grounded and won't return until I tell her she can come back out and wreak havoc again, which probably won't ever happen.

Note -- I ate all Paleo today and went for a run in the rain.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Hardest Thing

When I started writing this blog I wanted to purge my life of bad habits that effected me in a healthy capacity. I wanted to keep my apartment clean and be skinny and pay my bills on time.

Tonight I realized that there was one last bad habit I didn't shake and as of 10 minutes ago that habit is no longer in my life. But the habit is something much deeper than my passion for leaving laundry on my dining room table; that habit was a person and someone I'm really going to miss.

We always knew we were bad for each other. Several times during our two year "whatever" we'd both see the light and decide it was time to end things. A week, a month, however much time would go by and we'd fall back in to our old pattern of being bad.

I'll never say that I have it all together when it comes to boys and relationships. I have the unfortunate habit of sometimes getting drunk and crying about a boy whether it's at home or embarrassingly enough in a bar. I'll even step it up a notch and make a scene about it to the boy in a public arena. I know it's not an attractive quality, but I'm a passionate girl and these tirades are a good way for me to tell people how I feel. Or show myself what I really feel, not just what I tell myself during daylight hours. You need to know where you stand in life before you can get out the compass and find a new way.

Perhaps ditching a bad habit will rid myself of the other bad habits associated with him? Maybe I'll stop being sad in the bar when I've had a few too many SoCo lime shots and he hasn't responded to my text? Maybe I'll take up a new hobby to distract myself whenever I miss him? Maybe I won't settle for a "whatever" ever again?

There's so much change going on in my life that it's a good thing I am moving on. I'm not just starting a new chapter, I'm starting a new book series after the number of changes ahead of and behind me.

So it's with sadness in my heart - not pride - that I have gotten rid of the perpetual bad habit. I will definitely miss it more than the other bad habits, but it had to be.

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

They always say your body can do things you don't think it is capable of doing. The moms picking up cars to retrieve their dying child. Barney on How I Met Your Mother running the NYC marathon. (Sorry I ran out of ideas after the mom example...)

Today I defied myself and I ran 3.1 miles without stopping or slowing down. I know for a lot of people that is not a daunting distance and it really shouldn't be for any athlete. However, I haven't run more than a mile straight since the WOD that started this blog and even then I had breaks in between each round. The last time I ran that far without stopping was when I was training for a half-marathon more than a year and a half ago.

I haven't been building up my running endurance and I even just got over a cold and a hangover. I just got on the treadmill and like Forrest Gump I just started running and I didn't stop.

At first I wanted to run a mile straight. I did that and I wasn't even breathing heavy so I decided to run 1.25 miles then take a break and walk a quarter mile. I ran 1.25 and I decided to go all the way to 2 miles, not thinking I could do it.

But I did.

I made tiny milestones for myself to keep going like "run until this minute is over" and then "run another .1 miles" and it just kept going from there. Even after I ran the 3.1 I wasn't settled until I burned 500 calories according to the treadmill.

In total I ran 3.1 miles and walked .78 miles for 41 minutes and burned 500 calories.

For a normal runner that isn't something to be proud of, but today I am DAMN proud of myself.

Oh and I also ate Paleo all day and did CrossFit. It looks like I'm back on track for what this blog is all about...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What I'm Thankful For

It's easy to say I'm having a tough time right now. Ask anyone who is or has been unemployed and they'll tell you it's the worst thing to go through, not only because of the lack of income but because it kills your self-esteem. When you pride yourself on your hard work and how your resume looks it's difficult to sit back and know HR people are scanning your resume and tossing it in to their Delete folder in less time than it takes to sneeze. The girl who wrote "Bitter Is the New Black" has a book deal because of her misery of being unemployed.

It's easy to say you've got it rough and it's unfair when you're unemployed because honestly it is.

But on Monday my mom had a double mastectomy. She lost her boobs. For most girls our boobs symbolize how much of a woman we are because it's the most visible part of our body that projects that are are female. We perk them up, we tie them down, we push them together, we dress them up. They get their own special apparel and a billion-dollar corporation built around selling bras.

She handled it like a trooper and I couldn't be more proud of how she's handling if. If anything she's excited because she lost 45 pounds of fat, 5 pounds of boob and when she has her reconstruction they are making new boobs out of her stomach fat. Boob job and a tummy tuck in the same operation.

So now I am taking a step back and reflecting on everything that life is giving me at the moment:
- An amazing and beyond words supportive family
- Great friends who are there to listen to me whenever I need to complain
- An apartment that I get to live in by myself
- The opportunity to get in shape with Crossfit and running
- Every silly and tangible thing I have had the pleasure to own

If you read this blog I hope that you take a couple of minutes to reflect on how much you really do have in life. Or at least feel yourself or someone else up for my mom's sake.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rx #1

Dear Double Unders,

You are no longer a match for me. You think you can challenge me with a daunting 150 DU's for time? I guess you thought you could and I showed you that you can't anymore. Better luck next time.


(Sometimes there are blog posts that should be succinct. Today is that day.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Am What I Eat

Anyone who knows me well enough is aware that I love food. Not love like "ooo it's delicious", but "oooo I need to make everything in this month's Bon Appetit" LOVE food. I subscribe to four -yes four - food magazines ranging from Cooking Light to Cuisine At Home and I plow through them like a coked up model sifts through Vogue.

My dream job is to work for an organization that represents food and the culinary world. Whether it's a public relations firm that focuses on restaurants, a food magazine, the food section of a newspaper, I don't care. I want to have my career focus on food. My personal life already does so why not my career?

My super dream job (and when I marry well and can afford to do it) is open a restaurant called The Supper Table. It'll be open for dinners every night and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The menu changes every day like the average America supper table with everything from meatloaf and mashes potatoes to Italian night out to stir fry. Of course there will be consistent items on the menu for the picky eaters...

Though you can come in and dine, the primary focus will be take home food for families "on the go" with meals that are homemade, healthy and economical. Don't waste your time and energy opening a jar of Prego and calling it "spaghetti." Let me make your family homemade spaghetti sauce (squeezing the tomatoes by hand and everything) with fresh pasta. Meals will be purchased per serving and sent home in nifty to go boxes that will make Chinese restaurants jealous of their durability and shape.

To go along with this restaurant I of course need to learn to create desserts. AFter spending an unfortunate amount of time thumbing through cookbooks at the bookstore I made it a personal goal to learn how to bake. For those of you who are naive about the culinary world or you think Duncan Hines is baking enough you are very, very, very inaccurate.

I've been crawling my way up the baking ladder starting with simple chocolate chip cookies on up to macaroons. All were delicious - sometimes the batter more than the cookies - but they weren't perfect.

But today my friends I baked the perfect dessert. I made brownies. And They.Are.Perfect. Moist, chocolaty, sinfully un-Paleo friendly, perfect.

Though they aren't what I should be eating, I am proud to say to my audience that I accomplished a goal today and it feels and tastes damn good.

Monday, January 17, 2011

"I Used to Be Fat"

I'm sitting here watching "I Used to Be Fat" on MTV, post CrossFit workout and after making myself dinner.

The girl that is on this episode is out of control and I really hope during my first WOD with Ray I didn't act like this girl did during her first workout. I've cried three times total at CrossFit since August and all three were out of frustration that I wasn't performing or I hurt my back and had to stop (I'll get you deadlift and pushups). This girl cried because she had to run on a treadmill and had to do 5 burpees. Ummm? Really????? I hope the next time I want to b**** out of a workout I need to channel Marci and Man Up.

However, over the last few weeks I ate and drank my way through life and I'm paying those consequences now. I guess I had my fun and it definitely was worth the extra love handles (Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and WAR EAGLE) but now it's gametime. It's find a new job time. It's find a boyfriend time. It's be the cutest I can be time.

No more "oh I'll just drink beer this time" or "oh but I worked out today so it's okay."

I've learned that eating strict paleo all day, every day isn't what I'm cut out for because I'm a gigantic foodie! However, if I channel my old WW days I know I can just do portion control, use small plates, only eat carbs at one meal and it's the smallest thing on the plate. So what did I do?

I had eggs and bacon for breakfast, then vegetable soup for lunch, a yogurt pre-WOD and for dinner I had fresh whole wheat pasta, homemade mushroom sauce, chicken and asparagus.

AND I had PR'd on Push Presses.

Take that Marci...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bitter Is The New Black

Long time, no post. Why, you ask?

Well life threw me a gigantic curve ball that I'm still trying to figure out how to hit. After 9 months at Company A I was let go. I'll be blunt: Fired. I never imagined myself to be fired from something, especially something that I put in countless hours, 7-days a week, relentlessness only to be taken down by something as silly as Typos. But everything happens for a reason?

After being voted off the island I went home for an extended Christmas Break (thanks NJ blizzard!) and had a lot of time to look at my life: where I've been, where I want to go and where can I really go?

This isn't about focusing on my health, fitness or cleanliness anymore, this is about my future. The world is my oyster right now and with my parents' blessing I get to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and go do it, no matter what. However, I'm terrified. Everyone who knows me knows that I fight hard for something when I want it, I follow my heart no matter what kind of dead end it leads me to and I never, ever give up. But what if the world isn't ready for me? What if I'm not good enough? What if all that hard work didn't pay off?

After some soul searching and determining the likelihood of a career path I am going to pursue public relations and event coordination. I have the experience, I have the passion, I have the love of AP Style, I have the guts and with another few months at Crossfit I'll have the look ;)

All I need is for a company to give me a chance. Life threw me a couple curve balls earlier in my career when CNN went on a hiring freeze and I had to take what I could while constantly networking and trying to find a company to take me in. I worked my hiney off to get those internships at CNN and I do not want them to be a waste.

Public relations companies if you're reading this - and you should be because blogging is so big right now - Give Me a Chance. I'm passionate, dedicated, ruthless and I will appreciate the opportunity more than any other candidate. Guaranteed.