strength training

Head vs. Heart

Happy Hump Day, or, as it is known in my neck of the woods, middle of Hellth Week. 3 days of GPP’s Hellth Week down, 3 to go!


The first few days of Hellth Week were extremely cold, but nevertheless I’ve been trucking on.

What’s Hellth week? Hellth Week is a week-long challenge where GPP throws its roughest, toughest workouts at you. There’s generally no programming behind this week, unlike normal GPP workouts. Hellth Week is designed to push you hard and help you tighten up ship on any bad habits that have slipped into your routine—we’re specifically targeting added sugar this go around.

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Hellth week (my second) has been tough for me. I took a workout break for a few weeks around the Holidays and just really got back into the swing of things last week. To jump head first into this challenge has, of course, been physically taxing. My legs are so sore.

But I’m surprised by how mentally challenging I’ve found the week to be. It’s me vs. me as my heart and head battle it out. My heart wants to persevere and stand strong. My head wants to quit. The two have been fighting it out during every single workout this week, with today’s being the worst.

Two rounds into today’s 10 round workout I wanted nothing more than to turn around and run (okay, maybe more like slow walk) home. But I kept moving by letting my head talk me into just completing 8 rounds. “That will be good enough,” my head told my heart. I completed all 10 rounds and let my heart give a nice, big “F You!” to my head.

You know what’s good enough? My best. And nothing less.

Truthfully I’ve been pretty afraid throughout Hellth Week, so far. Afraid of failing. Afraid of being the  slowest. Afraid of working out in the cold.


My good friend Annie has taken to using this saying a lot lately. I didn’t think about it too much until this week, but it’s really been resonating with my soul as my head and heart collide.

Afraid to fail? How about getting out of the way of succeeding. Afraid of being the slowest? Applaud yourself for completing what you set out to do, no matter how long it took you. Afraid of the cold? Warm your muscles up before starting the workout to prevent injury and count your blessings you have the space to workout.


Assume the best and only the best for yourself. Why automatically fear the negatives? All that negativity and fear do not put you in a place of success and motivation—they just drag you down. Choose to meditate on thoughts that will lift you up, even when you feel like the challenge ahead of you is impossible.

My goal for the second half of Hellth Week is to stay positive and assume the best. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m up for the challenge.

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I’ve also been working on foam rolling and stretching every day. Flexibility, in general, is one area of physical fitness that I am weak. I don’t have a lot of patience to sit around and stretch. I’ve been doing it before bed each night and I think it’s made a big difference in keeping the soreness level lower than it otherwise would be.

I’ll check in at the end of the week and let you know how it all panned out.


No time for fun

My life is so out of balance right now, but luckily it’s only temporary. That’s the price to pay for starting a new job and getting set up as a personal trainer, too. Lots of long days and some missed meals. The good news is that I’m just about back on a normal schedule—hopefully no more 12 hour days.

Unfortunately I didn’t make my goal of posting workouts and meals this week, but I am going to start IN THE MORNING. I want this blog/website to be not only an outlet for me, but a resource my clients can look to as an example (“Oh… that’s what a healthy lunch looks like!”).

I’ve been in the gym big time this week:

MONDAY: circuit workout
WEDNESDAY: short run and boxing
THURSDAY: back/arms strength training
FRIDAY: leg strength training

My eating hasn’t been as on-point as I would like (generally I try to eat clean during the week and relax a little on the weekend), but I am feeling good for the most part and enjoying this new journey.

I hope you’ll all continue to read, comment, and interact with me at I’ll be posting some information about my personal training and custom workout packages soon!

Time for sleep—I’m hitting up an early AM spin class in the morning.

I’m going to bootcamp!

Just another quick post tonight:



The last time Tina hosted her Best Body Bootcamp, I was dealing with some foot pain and couldn’t participate. This time around, however, I really wanted to jump in and see what all the fuss was about—I’d heard so many good reviews about the first one! Luckily, I registered tonight… just in time, too. Bootcamp registration closes tomorrow!

I can’t wait to see the workouts and also let you guys know what I think. I’m hoping it will be a great companion to marathon training.

I’ve still got it + Playlist

10 miles this morning. Done. Boom!


Looks like I’ve still got it, friends.

My training plan called for 10 miles—my first double-digit run since the marathon last November—and I’m super happy with how the run went.

I slept in (the weather forecasted nasty weather all day, so I figured why wake up early) and got myself fed, dressed, and out the door by 9.

Though not beautiful at all, I couldn’t have asked for better long run weather—just the right temperature, not too humid, and not rainy. Perfect.

I enjoyed everything about this run. Some weeks the stars align just right and today definitely was an awesome reminder of why I love running long distances.


Those last few miles I felt like I was just effortlessly flying…possibly my favorite feeling in the whole world. I ended up with a 10:13 overall pace for the run, which pleased me just fine.

I looked up my first 10-miler from my first cycle of marathon training and realized I kicked that run’s ass today!

8/28/2011 10 miles 1:48:54 10:53
7/7/2012 10 miles 1:42:05 10:12

Though the speed is nice, the best difference between those two runs is the way I felt afterwards. I remember feeling like that first 10-miler was never going to end and my legs were DEAD when I finished. Today, I was glad to be done, but I wasn’t watching the tenths of a mile pass by on my Garmin… and I could have kept going—my legs felt tired, but strong.


What a difference a year (and regular strength training) makes!

That’s all the motivation I need to keep up my ST during this training cycle. I want to be strong and ready to conquer—not soft and nervous.

In case you’re wondering, here’s today’s playlist:


It was a good one. (I’ve been obsessed with Of Monsters and Men’s Little Talks this week!)



See you tomorrow for Week 6’s recap!

DetroitFP Marathon Training: Week 0

Wanna know what got me out the door for my workout this evening?

I didn’t want a big X on my training plan the very first week. Kind of silly, but it worked!

Today’s GPP workout was Lil Kate:


(Click on the above photo to see the workout on GPP’s site!)

My metric to miles conversions aren’t so great, so I had no idea that I’d be running 2.5 miles before this workout was over. And because I did this workout right in front of my apartment, I was running the second half of those 400s uphill. What. A. Workout.

And damn those burpees. (I WILL learn to like them one day, right?)

Head over to the Lil Kate post to see my time and other thoughts.

Let’s just say I felt like this afterward:

May 2012

It’s the workouts you don’t want to do that matter most.

Onto this week’s marathon training.

This was what I’m calling “Week 0.” The week before real training begins to give me a chance to feel everything out and see how my body is feeling.


(Click the above image to make it larger.)


  • runs: 4
  • miles: 9
  • GPP workouts: 5
  • tears: 0 (so far)

Time for dinner! My tummy’s growling and ready to be filled.

(No weigh-in video this week, by the way. I just didn’t feel like filming one. I was down another half pound, though.)

Badass, Crazy, or Both?

Hey guys. I have a few minutes to write a post before we head out for dinner.

The last few weekends have been SO busy and this weekend was no different. Saturday was spent running errands and yesterday was a mixture of fun (early AM hiking with Marc) and work (office BBQ). All-in-all I am spent and ready for a weekend at home soon. No matter how much fun I am having, being out and about all day totally wears my body out.


I was up and at ‘em at 4:30 yesterday morning (couldn’t fall back asleep) and met Marc at 6 to climb Jyouyama again. This time I climbed in my Vibrams and it was so fun to feel the rocks under my feet. They also made it way easier to grip as I was climbing up.

We were up and back down before the supermarkets were even open, which is pretty cool.


We saw this little Fiddler Crab on the way back down. How cute is he? He was ready to take a bite outta Marc, but couldn’t quite get to him.


I started this morning with a 1.5 mile run in my Nike Free Run 3s. So far, I REALLY love running in these. I sincerely hope things don’t go South with these shoes because my feet seem to be very happy and pain-free. Let’s not talk about it because I don’t want to jinx it.

This is the longest I have ran in well over a month. It was a little tough because of the humidity, but my legs were actually feeling good. Thanks GPP.

I mentioned in a previous post that I am registered for the Detroit Free Press Marathon (October 21). Since my stress fracture popped up—which now seems to be healed—I was pretty sure I would not be training for/running the full marathon. However, I still think it might be possible.

I’ve modified my original training plan to include more weeks of training at lower mileage. I’m going to just go with it and train as long as I have no injuries. I’m not training for time—I’d just like to enjoy the process and complete my second marathon. I’m also curious to see how routinely strength training with GPP affects my running.

For the record, J is totally against me running the full at this point and thinks I am crazy. I realize he is probably right, but I can’t help but wonder, “What if I can?” Runners are insane people and I DO NOT recommend anyone else doing this or following my example. Please be smart and ready before beginning a marathon training plan. If this were my first marathon I wouldn’t even consider it. If at any time training becomes a danger to my health I will stop without question—running is fun, but there’s more to life than running.

So you tell me: attempting this marathon—badass, crazy, or both? I’m going to go with both.

Burpee hate and progress photos

I think Neil is trying to kill me.

This is how my morning started:


When I saw the workout posted last night I thought, “This is going to suck, but I can do it…”  I also kept reminding myself that you don’t get results by doing the same stuff you’ve always done. So this morning I burpee-d.

It was hard! SO HARD! I actually could not finish this workout. It’s the first workout I’ve quit in a long time and at first I was disappointed in myself for not being able to physically finish it out—asthma started kicking it after finishing 15 burpees+sprint. But then I quickly reminded myself that there was NO reason for disappointment. Hell, I’d just finished 105 burpees in less than 12 minutes. That’s not the full workout, but it sure is something to be DAMN PROUD of.

And then I went and swam laps for 20 minutes, which was tough, too, since I’ve not swam in a few months.

Overall, I’d call today’s workout(s) a learning success. I’m just glad tomorrow’s GPP workout does not include Burpee Demons. I hate them—but I only hate them because they are hard, which means I should learn to love them.

Okay, progress pics time. I went ahead and took these today since I was already in a swimsuit.


Photos in the purple sports bra were taken ONE MONTH ago. Photos in the bikini were taken this morning. No touchups or photoshopping—just results! :)

This has all come from weight lifting and not a lot of cardio because of my stress fracture (which I think is now healed). Don’t be afraid to lift!