Twenty Seven

by Melissa on May 15, 2015

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Sunrise miles with my guy.

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Love & flowers from coworkers and my love.

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Eats specially made for a perfect day to grill.

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Alfresco dining.

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Memories of many the miles from mama. 

One birthday filled with so much love.  :)

“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.”

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The Weekend Wrap Up – May 11

by Melissa on May 11, 2015

What an absolutely beautiful spring weekend.  The weather was perfect each day and we were lucky enough to have time to get out and enjoy it.  The past few months have been so busy for us that even our weekends were a rat race.  Luckily, things are calming down a little and allowing us to enjoy our new homestead and schedule some fun things onto our calendar.

SATURDAY

One thing we love doing on our weekend mornings is getting to the gym or going for a run.  On Saturday, we headed to the gym.  I’ve really been enjoying my strength training sessions and taking a short break from hard core race training.  Sometimes you need to cycle your training plans in order to stay sane.  My Saturday workout:

Warm-up:  5 minutes jump rope plus 5 minutes rowing machine

Strength:

  • 3 sets of 12 reps goblet squats with 30# dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 15 reps upright row into overhead press with 20# bar (kept this lighter)
  • 3 sets of 10 reps each leg curtsey lunge with a 10#  plate in each hand
  • 3 sets of 10 reps tricep extension with 20#
  • 3 sets of 10 reps pushup with side plank (5 each side)
  • 3 sets of 10 reps squats with a 20# dumbbell in each hand

Cardio:

  • 1 mile run at 7.2 – 7.6mph

Cooldown: full body stretch

After our workout, I recovered with a protein smoothie consisting of frozen berries, chocolate protein powder, peanut butter, maca powder, and almond milk.  It was filling!  Definitely recommend this combo.

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Devin and I were getting our engagement photos done on Saturday night, so I walked to get my nails done – the beauty regimen is tough for a lady ;)  I won’t lie, it was definitely nice to do a little pampering!

Afterwards, we enjoyed some lunch on the porch (aka I chowed down on an avocado!) and caught a little sun before getting ready for the photos.

Pic on porch [don’t mind the tabasco ;) ]

We had decided on two different outfits: a casual look at Brookside Gardens and then a more formal look when we got to Georgetown.  In hindsight, I definitely underestimated how hard it would be to change into a dress in the back of my SUV – but I did it!! Dev was a trooper in the process of getting ready, as any girl knows, you either like what you’re wearing or you don’t that day…

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Here is a little sneak peak we got from our photographer Kelci.  I just want to see all of them now!  If you’re in the DC area and looking for a photographer, I highly recommend her.  She made the entire shoot an amazing experience and something we’ll never forget.  The evening became a time we could focus on us for a little bit.

Since we were all fancy, we decided to stay in Georgetown and enjoy a night out on the town.  After a few misses, we finally decided on El Centro and they kindly sat us on the patio outside.  It was a perfect night for it too!  I highly recommend this place, especially for the atmosphere and delicious tableside guacamole.  :)

SUNDAY

Our Saturday evening was so action packed that we slept in on Sunday.  Dev still went to the gym but I decided to take a rest day.  Between the margaritas and a tough week of training, my body was craving it. 

I stayed at home, caught up on some Nashville (anyone else love this show!?), and waited on our grill to arrive.  This was an anniversary gift to ourselves and an item we definitely thought we’d get a lot of use out of!  We love to cook at home and who doesn’t love a good grilled burger in the summer? 

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We made great use of it that night making burgers, grilled chicken for the week, and potatoes and carrots in foil.  Meal prepping is one way we find to take some stress off of us during the week.  We don’t have to eat lunch out as often and there’s always something there if we don’t feel like cooking.

Dev headed to the Nats game, so I decided to go for some therapy – aka a shopping trip to Whole Foods ;) haha!  I also picked up the propane tank and other grill essentials at Lowes.  Does anyone else love the smell of Lowes?  I don’t know what it is, but every Lowes smells the same. 

While he was still at the game,  I decided to give into my sweet tooth and whip up a batch of “healthy” cookies.  I say healthy loosely because I still used A LOT of chocolate and sprinkles in these babies.

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I used this recipe from Cookie and Kate.  I honestly can’t tell that they are supposed to be healthier.  They definitely helped to calm my sweet tooth and since it’s my birthday on Tuesday, I figured why not sprinkles!?

While they baked, I enjoyed some time reading my new book “Me Before You” on the deck. 

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These are the types of weekends that make it hard to go back to work on Monday.  Feeling so thankful for everything right now :)

How was your weekend?

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Who doesn’t wish they could be one of those people logging the miles and sweating it out before most of the world even realizes it’s morning?

I would definitely classify myself as a morning person.  My best work is usually done before lunch.  However, morning workouts are usually tough for me.  I like to think it’s because I see sleep as a high priority for good health, but it’s really that I just love my bed.  In high school it was my dad knocking on my door at 5am asking if I wanted to go for run.  Then I taught 5 and 6am fitness classes and would even meet friends for sunrise runs.  Now Devin’s alarm and eventual “babe are you going to be fitfam with me today?” comment gets my wannabe lazy butt up.  During the initial 5 minutes, I’m silently cursing him and wishing he would fall back asleep.  After that, I’m thankful my workout is done and for the amount of energy I have the rest of the day!

This past month, the majority of my workouts have happened during the early morning hours and I’ve learned quite a lot about what it takes to make this not only successful but enjoyable.  Here are my top 5 ways to enjoy your morning workout routine and make it stick!

successful morning workout routine

#1 Prepare

Get your things out the night before.  The mornings that I’m running up and down the stairs for headphones or my shoes really rubs me the wrong way.  So, set out your clothes, socks, shoes, headphones, jacket, water bottle, whatever you will need!  Get it out and make it easily accessible.  .  It’s one less hurdle you have to jump too.  I even fill my water bottle up the night before so it’s really a get dressed, grab and go kind of routine.  We are typically out the door in less than 15 minutes.

#2  Plan

Know what you’re going to do.  Don’t just tell yourself you’re going to wake up early and workout.  Are you going to run?  If so, where? For how long?  Most of us, if we have to make these decisions in our morning stupor, we will just go back to sleep!  Write yourself a rough schedule at the beginning of the week.

#3 Find a Buddy

Even if it’s just one day per week, having someone counting on you to be there for them can make a difference in you getting out of bed.  Plus, it’s a little social interaction!  If you don’t know anyone personally who wants to brave the early morning hours with you, try a local running group or a fitness class.  You may meet someone who has the same goals as you and if they are choosing an early time frame, they will probably be up for a morning workout with you other days of the week!

#4  Go to Bed

You need 7 – 9 hours of sleep.  If you plan on getting up at 5am, you better be getting your butt to bed at 10pm.  Try bumping up your bedtime by 30 minute increments.  Such as if you’re going to bed at 11pm now, work on going to bed a 10:30pm for a week or two, then keep adjusting until it fits you evening routine and goals for wake up.

#5 Give Yourself a Carrot

Not a literal carrot, but a figurative one.  Meaning, something that entices you to get out of bed in the morning.  Maybe it’s the idea of going to your favorite type of class, running a great new trail, or a new piece of workout gear.  A motivational playlist is also a great option.  I use my phone with Jaybird Sport bluetooth headphones and regularly switch up my Spotify playlist.  My favorite right now?  My “AM Mix” ! 

 

How do you keep your workout routine consistent?

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My Summer of Speed and Strength

by Melissa on May 1, 2015

Since 2008, I have been running long distance and racing distances between the half and full marathon.  Last summer however, I raced two 10Ks and a 5K and realized how much I have been overlooking the value of short races (Lauren Fleshman sums it up here…).  The training for it is a little less time consuming than what you would experience for the half or full marathon and therefore it fits into a busier schedule.

However, training for shorter distances requires a little more attention to speed work and to STRENGTH.  And research supports this!  Runners and cyclists who strength train on average twice per week were able to workout longer and increase leg strength.

 no cheating

There are many ways to get in strength training and it doesn’t have to be in a gym setting.  Body weight exercises such as squats, pushups, crunches, and lunges can be a great addition to any training program.  Utilization of equipment such as the TRX recruits  stabilizing muscles and core strength.  If you’re interested in purchasing or learning more about TRX, follow my link for a special offer!  Also inbox me if you have any questions about the TRX – I’m a little bit of a fanatic (and a certified TRX instructor) 

Since running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler mid April, I’ve started focusing on the shorter distances, planning my summer race schedule, and incorporating three days of strength training into my routine.  Here is my current program:

  • Monday:  Teach Strength Training Class (this is 60 minutes of full body exercises with light weights and high reps)
  • Tuesday:  20 minutes of HIIT Training/Running Intervals + Plyo Circuit (see below!)
  • Wednesday: Rest Day
  • Thursday:  Strength Training focusing on Back, Biceps, Quads, and Hamstrings
  • Friday: 45 minute cycling class or 45 minute run
  • Saturday: Strength Training focusing on Chest, Triceps, Shoulders, and Glutes + 20 minutes of running
  • Sunday: 45 minute cycling or 45 minute run

As you can see, it’s not a lot of running right now.  I’m in a phase where I do have a good base from training for the Philly Half in March and then the 10 miler.  This works with my schedule also!  So consider your commitments and goals when constructing your workout plan!

You may have noticed that I dedicate an entire day  to interval training and and plyometrics. Why?  Well,think of your legs like springs.  Plyometrics helps them become stronger springs with greater force, meaning you get more power to push off with each step.  Want more info about plyo and running?  I’m a fan of this short but sweet article from Runner’s World

Want to try my plyo workout?  You will need a kettlebell, jump rope, step bench, and med ball.

Plyo For Better Running

This can be used as a quick and effective workout when you are short on time, or an addition (like how I use it) with another workout.  If you don’t have a kettlebell, you can always use a dumbbell.  I use a 20# kettlebell for this workout. 

(as always, this is a workout that I enjoy and is safe for my body, always consider past injuries and consult your doctor before beginning any new training program)

And if you’re wondering, I’m the worst jump roper ever, but it’s another one of my goals Smile  I think it fits nicely with my Summer of Speed and Strength. 

Current Summer Race Schedule

Lawyers Have Heart 10K – Georgetown June 13

Autism Speaks 4th of July 5K – Potomac July 4

Rockville Twilighter 8K – Rockville July 18 (TBD)

Trying to find a 5K or 10K in August!  Any suggestions?

What are your training goals this summer?

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The Perfectly Imperfect Race

April 22, 2015

But for real, I miss blogging and sharing all that is happening with you! The past month has been another whirlwind of packing, moving, racing, and hosting.  Although all fun, between the chaos of our personal life, my work life has also been way crazy too.  I’m ready for a weekend of no plans. The […]

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Tapering, Training, and Moving

March 27, 2015

Like whoa! This past month has flown by in the blink of an eye. Actually, it’s just been a whirlwind since the engagement Almost minutes after we got engaged, Devin and I found out our rental application for a townhouse had been accepted. It felt a little surreal to be honest that not only were […]

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To reach the finish line, know your starting line!

March 10, 2015

As a dietitian, I’ve worked with many clients towards weight loss and weight management goals.  To get there, we typically start with a change in their nutrition or fitness routine.  Simple, right? Weight management is easy… eat less and move more.  But, less than what?  And more than what? And let’s be honest, weight management […]

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Love…on the run

February 24, 2015

With a little over a week to absorb all that has happened (read here – changed), I am finally able to write about it! Random thought (still pertinent to the story): One of my favorite songs right now is “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheehan.  Specifically for the lyric: “We found love right where we […]

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Take a Rest Day.

February 11, 2015

Yesterday sucked. And by sucked, I mean I was in the middle of a huge war between going full steam ahead and calling it a day and lying down on the floor at my office. You have days like that – days that seem like they won’t end, and if one more person pulls you […]

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Tuscan White Bean and Crispy Kale Soup

January 29, 2015

This was meant to be a vegetarian recipe. I had full intentions on only adding white beans. Then I tasted it. Ok, it tasted just fine…. But, my little culinary lightbulb went off in my head and said “hey!  you know what would make this taste even better???  Sausage!” hmmmmm…… I had sausage in the […]

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