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What I Ate Wednesday

Ok, round two. I just had a whole post almost complete and it somehow just vanished. Note to self, save draft!!!!! Welcome to my second What I Ate Wednesday post of the new year. If anything at all I can commit to getting these posts done, because I love Wednesdays and I love linking up with Jenn over at Peas & Crayons for this weekly eats link up.

This Monday my company started a Biggest Loser Challenge that runs for 8 weeks. I promised the girls I would bring in a big batch of green smoothies to kick-start the challenge. I bought so much baby spinach, I have ended up having this peachy green smoothie everyday. I do love a good tasting green smoothie. On the plus side, I have converted four new people over to the green drink side! Winning! I love introducing new foods to people! It’s very rewarding.

So Green Drink it is – everyday – for breakfast!

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Because the challenge started Monday, I also did some major food prep on Sunday. I stocked my fridge with freshly made grab-n-go salads, lean protein, and tons and tons of fresh veggies.

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This was one of my grab-n-go salads topped with albacore tuna and a Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Served in my favorite *NEW purple bowl from IKEA!

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I posted my pic on Instagram last night of my yummy fish taco dinner. I have been addicted to these bad boys for a few weeks now. I originally made these tacos for girls night the other day and I have been hooked and craving them ever since. Since I started the challenge on Monday, I opted to have my fish tacos, taco-less. (Smile!) I topped this crunchy purple cabbage slaw with a perfectly baked piece of mahi-mahi slightly over seasoned with cayenne. Made my lips tingle a little too much. On the side was a tiny bit of corn and eggplant salsa and topped with some crunchy corn tortillas and cilantro! It was amazing and fresh and light. A perfect change to heavy winter meals.

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I ended my night with a glass of Trader Joes Strawberry Kefir! Adding fermented foods to my diet is my food goal for 2014! So far I am loving the way my body is reacting to the kefir!

 

 

 

 

 

Fitness Friday: Life Lately

Did you miss me? Well I’ve certainly missed you guys! I have so much catching up to do on blog reading this morning my bloglovin’ feed says 455 unread posts! Geesh!

Things have been so crazy over the last couple of weeks, but I think I’m settled in and we are getting used to our new back to school schedule. I’m hoping anyway.

So what have I been up to, you ask?  Well first I’ve been going crazy with Pinterest Projects…….the most dramatic was this Chevron Wall.  I love my new kitchen wall!  Dramatic statement, Right?

Chevron Wall

Also my little baby boy is now an official adult! He turned 18 and it makes me teary eyed and nostalgic to say the very least. Number one I cannot believe I am old enough to have an adult child and number two….where did the time go! 

Happy Birthday Josh!  Love you boy! 

We celebrated this past weekend with a family party!

 
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View the entire collection of cards.
 
 

We had a really great time eating drinking and visiting with family. I got to meet some new additions to the family (Baby Abigal) and visit with relatives that I haven’t seen in quite a while. It was a perfect day!

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Another Pinterest Project was this cheese plate!  Isn’t it just beautiful. 

Cheese Plate

If you  follow me on Pinterest (and if you don’t you should)  you know I  have a board called Things I’ve Tried From Pinterest!  Its fun looking back at some of the projects I’ve tried so far!  I added these two projects just this month! 

And finally, we scored a 1/2 bushel of Honey Crisp Apples from one of our customers yesterday, and I wasted no time coring, peeling and slicing them up for a batch of Crock Pot Apple Butter.  Hopefully it turns out so it can turn into a blog worthy post!  If nothing else, my house smells fabulous right now!

Apple Butter

This is about the extent of what I’ve been creatively cooking in the kitchen these days.  Oh and last but not least:

I am now a Sweat Pink Ambassador!  So exciting to join this community of fitness and nutritionally smart women!  I feel honored that they welcomed me into their group! 

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Other than that bloggies I have nothing else to share except that I am still running and am signed up for my third 5K on Sunday morning. I am making great progress and hopefully can take some more time off my pace. I will hopefully be shopping for some really good running shoes here soon because I’ve been having some pain in my calves that I am thinking is from not stretching properly. I’m back to incorporating Yoga into my routine so hopefully that will get my legs in a little better place to handle all this pavement pounding.

Now I’m off to catch up on the 455 posts that I’ve missed over the last few weeks!

Fitness Friday: Running Update

Its Friday ALREADY! This week just flew by, not sure where the days went, but when I woke up this morning and realized it was already Friday again, I was like what the heck!

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I have recently started concentrating on building up my running skills. I’ve been running at the gym on the treadmill for a few years, but only as a last resort to get some added cardio into my schedule. About two months ago, I decided that I wanted to really amp up my running and see if I could actually finish a 5K race.

I downloaded a running app on my phone to track progress and back on August 31st wrote a post about my progress. A few days after that I was signed up to do a 5K at the Wilmington Waterfront in Delaware. It’s a perfect course for beginners as it is mainly flat and on the water so the sights are great which makes running more pleasurable (for me anyway).

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I committed early that week to running the race (not walking) and geared up both mentally and physically. My goal was to finish the race in 40 minutes. Up to this point I hadn’t run a complete 3 miles on the road yet and was a little nervous, but knew I could walk when I needed a break.

I arrived 30 minutes early picked up my registration packet, pinned on my bib, and did a little stretching. Prepped my mappy thing so I could time each mile as I went so that I could look back afterwards to gauge my progress. The BF also came down to watch and support me, which meant the world to me. He encourages me in everything I do, and always says he knows I will do whatever I put my mind to. It was important to me that he be there at the finish line when I crossed. He was. And it made my night.

The gun went off and we headed through the gate and over the timer mat. I took off quickly passing people right out of the gate. I don’t know if it was the adrenaline or what, but I completed my first mile in 10:49. That was the fastest pace I had ever done. Dont’ really know how that happened but it was a cool feeling when the voice in my headphones said “split pace 10:49.” I was like yeah girl you go (in my head of course).

The second mile was not as good as the first, my breathing was crazy out of whack and I started walking/running/walking/running. I finally got my breathing in check and found a good pace after the second mile and found myself next to a younger girl and we were in synch the rest of the way to the finish line. Thinking back that helped me out tremendously getting through the third and last mile.

When I realized the end was coming up and I rounded the corner, I took off for the finish line. There were two older women in front of me the entire time, and I was like “no way I’m coming in behind these two” so I picked up my pace, passed them on the right, rounded the corner to the finish line and crossed with a time of 37:44. Whew!

I beat my 40 minute goal by 2 1/2 minutes. I was exhausted, proud, and really really sweaty.

That was Sept 4th.

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Last night my co-worker and I competed in a second 5K on the same course. This time I ran the entire time only walking to grab water at the water station. My goal for this week was to run from beginning to end without walking and hopefully dropping my time a bit.

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I was late getting there, quickly grabbed my bib and lined up just in time. They decided to start the race 10 minutes earlier because a severe thunderstorm was in our near future. We lined up, listened to the National Anthem, the gun went off and out we went. I felt good even though I hadn’t had a run in a few days.

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First mile pace was 10:17. Slightly better than last weeks race even though the sky opened up and it downpoured on us for the entire first mile and a half. I was concentrating so hard last night to keep my breathing under control because I knew if I was going to run the way, I needed to keep that in check.

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Second mile pace ended up being 12:21 not sure why except maybe that I was just over thinking everything at this point and just kept telling myself “don’t stop running”. I crossed the half way point and grabbed a water took a few walking steps and finished the cup of water and got right back to running. By this time i felt good, my feet were moving at an even pace, my breathing was no erratic (like last week) and I found a good pace that carried me all the way to the end.

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I finished this weeks race (without walking) in 36:36 with an average pace of 11:48. My best time yet!

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I am loving this process. I am thankful that my body can handle what my mind wants it to do. I can’t wait to get better, faster and more efficient in my running. I find it very impressive when they announce at the end of the race the top 70-75 age bracket winners. I want to be one of those women at age 75 still running races. I love that! So encouraging.

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Fitness Friday: Running

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I am not one of those people who love running.  I’m learning to “like” running, but I am not at the point where I can say I look to running as my me time.  Katie from Blonde Ambition Blog talked about how she looks at running as a challenge.  I totally connected with that statement.

I look at it as a challenge, too.  It is sort of is how I look at everything in my life.  I have always said that if you say I can’t do it ~ I will make it happen. Kinda bratty of me I know, but that mentality has gotten me some pretty sweet memory’s.

Anyway back to running.  So I started running a few years back on the treadmill at my local gym.  At first, I couldn’t even muster up enough breath to complete 10 minutes at 4.0 treadmill speed.  When I think about it, it kinda makes me laugh.  That’s like turtle speed.  🙂

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By the end of my 3 month training session I was up to a 5.5 speed on the treadmill (that’s pretty good for my little legs) and I could hang tight for a full hour at that speed.

Then I figured I wanted to try to do a 5K.  Which brought me to running outside.  Let me tell you, for me, running outside is a beast.  Nothing like running on a treadmill.

I have had people tell me running outside is harder, running outside is easier, running outside is the same but different (??) I’ve heard it all.  But for me, running outside on the pavement, propelling my full body weight forward is HARD!!!!

It might be mental.  It might not be any different from running on the treadmill in the gym with a consistent temperature and a giant fan blowing on you, but I tend to disagree.  It is hard to run against the wind, up a slight hill and keep up a pace that you think is acceptable.

But I am trying.  I am trying because I see how enjoyable it CAN be.  I am trying because I love reading about everyone else’s goals of 5k’s, halfs and full’s.  It is something that motivates me.  Everyday.  It pushes me to be better.

I am trying because by the end of the year I WILL RUN (from beginning to end) a full 5K no matter the course difficulty.  It’s just what I want to do.  It’s my next challenge.

At this point, I am up to running consistently 2.25 miles at a dreadfully slow pace of a 12 minute mile.  My goal is to get to the full 3.1 miles at whatever pace gets me there.  I am learning not to compare myself to others because for me, just running outside on the pavement for 3 full miles without stopping will be an accomplishment in itself. I have started and stopped many of the running training schedules online only to stop half way through because it just gets to be to much to fast.  I am hoping this time will be different.

So this is my 30 day progress:

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The first workout was on 7/31.  I think I walked most of the way and only ran a portion of the flats.  This route is from my sons work to my house.  I normally drop the truck off to him and walk/run home.  This has been my normal route and I have done it both to and from is work to home.  It is an easy route but has tons of traffic, so not so safe.

The second workout was done on Monday 8/26.  It’s a nicer route through a local housing development and includes two nice hills.  I pretty much ran (or jogged) the entire time except for a few times to get my breathing in check.  I for sure feel better on the second mile as I think by then I am warmed up and not feeling like a log.  I’m a little lighter on my feet and feel I move a little faster.  I just need to work on my breathing. Nonetheless, its progress.  Right?

I really, really, really want to do a mud run.

My goal is to do the Dirty Girl Mud Run that is slotted for Philly on June 21st!

Picture Source:run-like-a-girl

2013 Bucket List Update

I cannot believe it is August already.  It seems like it was just January and I was working on getting this blog up and running.  Now 6 full months have gone by so I wanted to do an update on my bucket list items for this year, make some changes and add some new items.  Here is my original 2013 Bucket List.

I had an extensive list started at the beginning of the year but feel very good about myself for completing almost everything on my list up to July except for signing up for Crossfit. 

January:  Getting my blog up and running and posting regularly!  ~ COMPLETE

This goal for January has been the one that I am most proud of myself for completing.  My blog has opened up so many opportunities for me and I have met some really inspiring, motivating and fun-loving people through the blogging community. I was worried that I might run out of things to say, or write about, but that is just not the case.  Maybe its the Italian in me…..  who knows.  🙂

February:  Signed up for my first 5KThe Philadelphia Color Run slotted for July 14th & took my annual weekend ski trip the BF-COMPLETE

Team Lean Mean & Eat Clean

We took our annual ski trip this year and it was a blast.  Every year we continue to hone our downhill skills moving to bigger and better mountains.  I am hoping that this upcoming ski season leads us to new mountain terrain.  I would love to start checking out some of the other ski resorts that PA has to offer!

The Philadelphia Color Run was soooooo much fun.  You can read my re-cap about it here.  Although planning the arrival was very underestimated on my part the day ended up being so much fun.  I was able to meet up with some new friends that I met through my Facebook Group as well as complete my goal of signing up for my first 5K! 

Tomorrow I will partake in my second 5K this year “The Don’t Just Stand There 5K” hosted by Races2Run which will benefit Stand Up 2 Cancer, Cancer Care Connection and the Gift of Life Organ and Tissue Donor program. 

I’m excited to meet up again with Karen and her daughter (which I met for the first time during The Color Run) and my dear friend Cathy who has recently taken on a new healthy lifestyle by adding regular fitness and changing some eating habits for the better.  I’m so proud of her for taking a step out of her comfort zone.

I am also planning on participating (if I can pull off enough training prep) the Spartan Sprint that is being held here in Philadelphia on Sept 28th!  You can take part in it too (or any open Spartan Race across the US) by entering my giveaway for a FREE race entry by this Friday at midnight! 

Go here to enter my Rafflecopter Giveaway

March:  Start round two of P90X to prepare for Crossfit –STARTED

Kenpo-X

I did start round two of P90X, but haven;t stuck to the 6 day a week program faithfully.  I’ve been mixing up my workouts between P90X, insanity, Turbo Fire and running.  Although I have been pretty  consistent with my training I am just not where I want to be in order to sign up for Crossfit.  So this goal has been side-lined for the time being.  Maybe once school is back in session, I can make a little more progress with strength training. 

April:  Learn to Ride – Complete

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What a freeing experience this was.  I signed up for the PA Learn to Ride class that is offered free to PA residents that want to learn to ride a motorcycle.  It consisted of two in class sessions and two on course sessions.  Within an hour n half I was literally riding a motorcycle.  The instructors did a wonderful job explaining every detail and every skill needed to be successful in this course.  I’m still looking for the perfect bike for me, but I know its out there and will find it soon enough. 

May:  Attend Blend Retreat in Utah (this will contribute to checking of one more of the 50 states on my Ultimate Bucket List)- Complete!

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This was by far the best experience of my life.  I was nervous to go, didn’t know a soul there but pushed myself completely out of my comfort zone and jumped in with two feet.  WOW!  Not only did I have the time of my life, get to visit Utah and attend a wonderful blogging conference, but I’ve made some truly life changing connections.  I’ve continued to stay in touch with many of the gals I met at Blend.  They inspire me everyday to be a better athlete and they MOST definitely push me to try new and interesting food stuffs!  Like Kombucha!  I watched plenty of Blend chicks suck down this drink like it was life-sustaining tonic water.  Not until I returned from Blend did I attempt to taste Kombucha.  Now not only am I drinking Kombucha regularly ~ I am home brewing my own!  Sweet! 

June:  Sign up for Crossfit ~ Sidelined

(see goal for March)

July: Complete my first 5K run  – COMPLETE!

(see February goal The Color Run)

August: All you can eat crab fest w/family and friends – COMPLETE!

Hilltop Crab House

This brings us to the current month of August.  Although my only goal for August was to go for an All U Can Eat Crabfest to round out the summer months (which I already indulged in during the 4th of July holiday weekend) I have actually added some new more inspiring fitness goals. 

I will be running my second 5K and working on increasing my running speed and HOPEFULLY making a commitment to do the Spartan Sprint!  (I’m a little nervous about this one too )~ but heck! YOLO right?  Whats the worst that can happen I end up at the end of the day doing somewhere close to 350 burpees! 


 That’s not so bad 🙂

I am also looking to add a few more 5K’s to my fall schedule just to keep the flame alive! 

I feel good about my training schedule and that it has rounded out with more balance workouts that hit on endurance as well as strength.  I feel good about the goals I have accomplished so far this year and I feel good about the upcoming months and the short-term goals that I have set for myself. 

What yearly goals have you set for yourself and have you checked-in with them lately to see if you are on target?

Fitness Friday: P90X Kenpo Review

FRIDAY! It’s Friday already……this week went super fast.  The weather finally broke here and last night it actually dipped into the low 60’s.  Much needed relief, but I don’t think it will last.  If you are doing any running outstide, the last two days have been impecable for outdoor fitness activities!  Enjoy it while you can!

Kenpo-X

For today’s Fitness Friday I am picking back up and doing the final Phase I P90X DVD review.  Kenpo-X.

P90X Kenpo-X

This routine amoungst all the others is by far my favorite.  Not so much that it gives you a good muscle burn or gets your heart pumping, but more on the lines of empowering.  As a woman, I love the fact that I can punch, kick and chop with the best of them.  Everytime I complete Kenpo-X I want to run right out and sign up for martial arts, kickboxing or some sort of self defense class!  I just love it.

As far as routine wise, it is easy to follow along because the moves continue and are repeated several times before moving onto the next move.  There is not much you can do to intensify your workout during some of the moves except maybe add some weighted gloves for added resistence.  Most I discuss this routine with find it boring and not much help as far as cardio or strenth, but I find it a welcome break from the powerhouse routines during the other 5 days of the week.

Tony starts you out with a warm-up as always, which is a much longer warm-up than most of the others clocking in at almost 11+ minutes.  Tony provides a much needed and very extensive stretching warm-up.  Starting with a series of back stretches and moving all the way down to the legs.  Stretches like, deep runners pose and sideways lunges, cresent pose and prayer twist really stretch you out so that you are good to go during the intense core workout that you are about to embark on.

Moving onto the workout Tony starts out with the punching series which includes Twist and Pivot, Twist Pivot Hook Uppercut, Jabs, Jab Cross Hook and finally Jab Cross Hook Uppercut which is a combination of all the moves learned in this series.

P90X X-Time

Water break {1.30} I know your saying a minute and 30 seconds is a bit long for a break, but it’s really NOT a break.  It X Time!  Tony has you sipping on water, and moving quickly into running, jumping jacks and X-time jumping jacks.  This is the part that really gets your heart-rate up and makes this routine a good cardio workout.

Next is a set of harder moving building again on what you previously did in the punching sequence.  Step Drag Punch, Jab Cross Switch, Hook, Uppercut Switch, Knee Kicks, Ball Kicks, and finishing out with Side Kicks

Water break &  2nd X Time {1.40} 

At each sequence you build on prior moves, this sequence consists of Back Kicks, Side, Angle & Front Kicks, High Sword/Low Hammer, Step Drag Claw Low Punch.

Water break & 3rd X-Time {1.50}  By this time your heart-rate should be through the roof, if it is not, then you are slacking!  Usually by this time, I cannot complete the third round of X-time and I just continue to do jumping jacks.  I’m pretty wiped out by now and it takes all I’ve got and a complete second wind to get through the remaining sequence.

The final sequence of moves consist of High/Block – Low Punch, Knee/Back Kick, Back Knuckle/Ball Kick/Back Kick, Hook/Uppercut/Low Side Kick, Elbow Series, and finally my favorite part of the whole routine, Vertical Punches.  If you haven’t been giving it your all up to this point, this is where you need to leave it on the mat and go as hard as you can before the cool down.

One key point in getting this to be an effective and susbstantial cardio workout is making sure you are not loosey goosey with your punches and kicks.  Maintain and engage your core muscles in everymove.  By swinging from your hips and back you get an effective punch instead of a week flimsy one which provides a great core workout.  If you don’t engage your core you are practically just going through the moves with no promise of cause/effect. 

Tony’s Tip of the Day:  Don’t bang your joints. Extend your limbs, but don’t bang your joint.

Reader Question:  What workouts leave you feeling empowered?

Fitness Friday: HIIT Workouts

Hey guys Happy Friday!  Hope all you East Coast peeps are staying cool ~ with the temperature rising into the “feels like” 105’s its important to remember to hydrate and stay cool.  Hopefully this weather will break soon enough and we can get our workouts back outside in the fresh open air.

But until then, I’ve been getting my sweat on with HIITs!  Who doesn’t love a sweaty workout!  What’s a HIIT you ask? No it’s not when you turn to your workout partner and hit him with a quick shot to the larynx ~ it stands for High Intensity Interval Training.

It gets the blood pumping, the adrenaline flowing, and makes ME all around just ~ happy!

HIITs  are short burst of high energy training with periods of rest between each set.  So basically you work your butt off for lets say 20 seconds, then rest for 10 and continue to repeat this for a full 12-25 minutes.  

In order for a HIIT to be successful and work like it should you need to give 110%.  Because you are only working for a short amount of time, its super important to leave everything you have on the workout mat!

  Of course, you could just meander your way through a HIIT, but why do that…..that sort of reminds me of the people you see at the gym, walking on the treadmill, reading a book!  People!!!!  How can you get in a good sweaty workout reading a book!  YOU CANT!  Go HARD or GO HOME!

Try this HIIT workout that I’m loving right now:

HIIT

This HIIT lets me get in my workout when I’m short on time, but gives me an awesome calorie burn that lasts for hours after I’m done.

It has actually helped me break my most recent plateau!  Give it a try.

What type of HIITs do you like to do?

P90X Legs & Back Review

Since I totally blew off last Friday and the Friday before because of the long holiday weekend, we are a little behind in P90X DVD reviews.  But hey ~ better late than never right?

P90X Legs & Back

P90X Legs & Back

Tony says:Legs and back routine exists because I wanted to work on the two parts that I use the most. I love to climb ropes and I love doing pull-ups and I love that kind of acrobatic stuff. I’m also a skier, so I know the benefits of the leg routine, so people say to me, my god, how do you get legs like that and how do you do so many pull-ups? Because I do legs and back, I do them together on the same day. So I thought it would be silly to not provide that lovely little package for everybody who’s doing P90X.”

Last of the three strength training workouts in the first phase this one is unlike the other two upper body workouts and it will continue to be in the workout rotation throughout the entire 90 days.

This is a killer leg workout.  Each leg exercise does not repeat where as the pull-up exercises are repeated once.  Leg exercises start of with balance lunges. 

P90X Balance Lunges

I’m having a harder time with these balance moves the second time around.  I’m not exactly sure why, but it seems I’m falling all over the place a lot more than I was the first round.  Maybe I’m just not concentrating enough. 

Some of the leg moves are calf raise squats, step back lunges, dead lift squats, chair salutations and speed skaters (one of my favorite moves).  Basically the workout is leg-leg-back, leg-leg-back repeated throughout the entire 60 minutes.  I do not find any of these moves entirely difficult to the point I cannot complete, but the single leg wall squats are a killer.  I have yet to complete them to the end. 

Continuing on, there are three-way lunges (not a fan of these), Sneaky Lunges (these make up for the three-way lunges), Toe Iso Lunges, and the Groucho Walk. 

Groucho Walk P90X

For me this DVD goes rather quickly.  I have very strong legs and none of the moves are rather difficult for me.  I enjoy this workout so its nice that it is a part of every week until the end.

The Philadelphia Color Run Race Recap

Check In

If you have never participated in a Color Run, I highly recommend you find one in your area and sign up immediately.  This race is by-far one of the most fun things I’ve done in a long time.

The Color Run ~ Philly

While the logistics didn’t really pan out very well in terms of traffic and actually completing the full 5K due to said traffic (3 hours worth sitting on Rt 76 at a complete stand-still) we still had a blast. 

Clean Team Pic

We had planned on arriving at the Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park at 6:15 am.  Philadelphia has a terrible reputation for traffic nightmares, and this was no different.  With three different racing events happening in the city all at one time, we were in grid-lock for over 2.5 hours stuck between the Girard & Montgomery Ave exits not moving an inch.  Our glimmer of hope in reaching the Girard exit was quickly diminished once the police car raced around us only to block off the exit, extending our grid-locked car for another hour!!!!!  It was brutal.  Our excitement for the #Happiest5K quickly diminished into stress/frustration. 

When we finally reached the parking lot, tons and tons of color runners were already heading back to their cars, doused in color and sweat!  Us ~ well we were still stark white in our clean T’s and brightly colored socks!  But we pressed on.

Pink Gate

We made it to the starting gate, but had heard that not only did they shorten the race route, but two of the five color stations were already closed down.  Bummer! Pink was our first gate!  The workers were still thrilled to douse us in pink powder even though they had been there for more than 4 hours now. We quickly made our way around to Blue, and then Orange.  Since we all were given packets, we decided not to save them for the end, but to use them on each other so that we would thoroughly look like a rainbow crossing the finish line. 

After Party

The after party was still going on, they were handing out more color packets, giving out Color Run Swag and we were able to meet up with the rest of my Color Run Team for a group shot. 

Team Lean Mean & Eat Clean

We were missing a few girls but I was really excited to be meeting some of them for the first time, since we have been only involved with each other online.  My group of girls is the BEST!  Everyone had high spirits, had a great time, and stuck around until the end so we could make our group shot happen!

Goals for next years Color Run:

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First and foremost :  Buy Tu-Tu’s for everyone ~ we decided that you are never to old to wear a Tu-Tu at The Color Run!

Second:  Be at the running grounds before everyone else wakes up! Especially if you are running in Philly!  Next year my butt will be there at 4:30AM!  No questions asked!

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Third:  Everyone will be running by next year! 

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All in all, in spite of the traffic, we had a great time, have some great pics to prove it and I got to meet some of my fabulous ladies from my online fitness group! Plus there was not one inch of me that was not colored in rainbow powder!  How fun is that?

It was a great way to spend a Sunday morning!

Fitness Friday: P90X {Yoga-X} Review

 P90X Yoga  Yay!  I love Fitness Friday’s.  So were did we leave off last week, oh that’s right Day 4!  Yoga-X. 

I have talked about taking a yoga class for nearly a year and half now;  even to this day, after completing P90X,  I have yet to drum up the courage to actually step into a yoga studio and take and official yoga class.  However, I was super excited to see that yoga was part of the P90X program when I first prepared myself for doing the P90X program.

I was excited to learn the moves and build the strength it takes to be efficient at yoga.  That’s exactly what happened.  It was so hard at first, my balance was way off, I was very weak in my upper body so holding poses was difficult, and my flexibility ~ well that’s a whole other story.

Yoga-X is the longest of the series with a hour and half session broken down into 5 sections: Moving Asanas, Balance Postures, Floor Work, Toga Belly, and finally the cool down.

The video begins with what is called the “vinyasa flow” which typically are movements sychronized with the breath.  Vinyasa which is the Sanskrit term for “connection” can be translated to yoga by the flowing connection of one move to the next.

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The P90X version starts with Sun Salutation with a deep breath and moves quickly into plank, chaturanga, upward dog and downward dog.  The flow is repeated over and over adding move moves to the end of the flow each round.  Moves that are added on include Runners Pose, Warrior 1, Warrior 2 and Warrior 3, Reverse Warrior, Prayer Twist, Twisting Triagle and Half Moon. 

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In the beginning Runners Pose and all three warrior poses gave me the most difficult through this flow because of the strength needed in your legs and core to hold the position.  I found that I was frequently coming out of the pose giving my thighs and hips some relief.  As the weeks moved on, I became stronger and stronger and was able to move through the entire vinyasa flow with no problem.  Twisting Triangle still by the end gave me some trouble as I just couldn’t get into the reverse twisting positition.  I came close with the help of a yoga block, but by the end I was still not as flexible as some on the video. 

After the moving asanas portion, you move directly into balance posture moves.  For me, this one I couldn’t get through as it seemed to drag on forever.  Balance posture moves include Tree, Crane, Royal Dancer and Standing Leg Extension. 

Next you have floor work, rarely did I make it to this part of the video as it lost my attention after the first hour was almost up.  But to be complete in my review I must include it as I did complete the video in its entirety a few times.  Floor work includes holding stretching poses for a specific amount of time.  The stretches are not easy moves and Tony warns you if it is an advanced move that you might not be able to do, but to work towards it as an end goal.  Some poses that might offer some nice stretching and relief are Cat and Frog.  Some more difficult poses are Table, Wheel and Bridge.

And finally the last portion of the 1.5 long video is Yoga Belly.  Yoga Belly is comprised of static poses aimed at strengthening your core just like the wicked-hard Ab Ripper X.  Poses that complete this portion are Touch the Sky, Boat, Half Boat, Scissor and Torso Half Twist and Hold.

By this time, your body is completely stretched out, limber and you feel the pump of using every single one of the muscles in your body including your brain!!!!

Time for the cool down.  Bring on Happy Baby and Childs Pose and then most appropriately Corpse pose and the creepy “ohms”. 

I’ve done this dvd several times late at night and worked up a nice sweat but at the same time relaxes me in ways nothing else does.  Overall, its a very long exercise session, but is strategically very necessary in your overall workout program.  I think that although it works every muscle group, it ultimately helps with soreness on the other days providing the much needed flexibility and stretching to aid in healing and building muscle. 

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I would definately recommend this as a good beginner yoga dvd ~ whether your doing the full P90X program or you are just looking to get started doing yoga on a daily basis.  It provides multiple levels of fitness techniques and will properly train you to enjoy your first yoga session in a yoga studio without feeling self conscious.

Namaste.

See these other P90X related review posts:

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