Category Archives: Fitness

The Worst Race

Splash N Dash 5k: 3     Heather: 0

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Yesterday I ran the Splash N Dash 5k and it was my worst run to date. Terrible. I have officially been defeated by the Splash N Dash three times. It wasn’t my worst time-wise but it was the most pain I’ve ever been in while running.

Before the race:

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The course was through the forest preserve on limestone. There was small hills, bumpy terrain, and brides to run over. The first mile started out okay but by the second mile, I was in pain. Although my calves have been okay lately, I wore my calves sleeves in case. I have compartment syndrome so my calves are always tight.

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By the second mile, my calves were rock hard, my ankle hurt, and my quad was very painful. However, I had a brand-new pain this time – my shins. Damn. Really?! I really wanted to give up and walk. My goal for this race was to run the whole thing without having to walk like I did the previous year I ran it. I was able to run the whole entire thing even if that meant an incredibly slow jog at times. At least there’s that.

I couldn’t believe how much pain I was in running. I was able to finish the race and the photographer was there to capture all the pain showing in my face.

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It was a terrible race and I refused to let Danny take my picture after the race. I was frustrated with myself and with my body for not being able to run something as short as three miles.

The whole day after the race was terrible – my calves stayed tight, my quad was on fire, and my shins killed. I couldn’t walk up and down the stairs without a lot of pain. I finally came to the realization that I have shin splints. I have never had shin splints before and I can’t believe how uncomfortable and painful they are.

After researching a little bit about shin splints, I am actually surprised that I haven’t had them sooner. They often happen with compartment syndrome and hip issues. Yup, that’s me.

So, I spent the day icing and elevating my shins/ankles and taking ibuprofen. I think it was the uneven running terrain that left me in so much pain. My final time for the 5k was 32:55.

This morning, they still hurt a lot. And I can’t even talk about my quad pain without wanting to rip my leg off. I went to the gym this morning to foam roll and stretch. I worked on upper body – biceps and back. Then I foam rolled and stretched some more.

And of course, I have another 5k this weekend. I know, I know. You’re probably thinking I’m crazy. But I already committed to running the upcoming race as a FitFluential Ambassador. It’s the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series in Chicago. Luckily, I am only running the shortest distance, the 5k. Hopefully, the course is a little flatter, and Danny will be running it with me to make sure I’m okay and don’t overdo it. After that, I think I’ll take a nice break from running. :)

I plan on taking it easy this week, focusing on upper body workouts and the stationary bike, and foam rolling and stretching. We’ll see how Saturday goes!

Have a great day!

  • Have you ever had shin splints?

 

 

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My Legs Are Tired

Good morning! Happy Saturday!

Workouts

On Wednesday, I worked on legs and glutes at the gym. Thursday  morning, I ran sprints on the treadmill and went to CrossFit that night. That probably wasn’t the best idea because that was the hardest CrossFit workout of the day yet. My legs were just so tired!

There was a lot of us in class so the instructor said we could row 1000 meters or run a mile. Only one person volunteered to run the mile so of course the instructor asked me if I want to run the mile. I had to politely decline because my legs were sore and I wanted them (and my hip/quad!!) to have time to recover for tomorrow’s 5k. So, I rowed the 1000 meters instead and let me tell you, that’s no picnic either.

On Friday morning, I went to the gym and worked on delts with a little bit of ab work. I only did upper body so my legs could take a little rest.

I also made sure to stretch and foam roll. Post workout, I had my favorite Premier Protein shake – 30 grams of protein!

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Yesterday

After the gym yesterday, Jaden had a check-up for his ear tubes. And I actually wore real clothes for once. :)

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The doctor said the tubes looks excellent. They gave him a hearing test and said his hearing is perfect. Yay!

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He was really excited for the hearing test because they gave him a button to push. Kids love buttons.

After the doctor, we stopped and picked up my race packet for tomorrow.

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As I mentioned, I have run this race twice before and wasn’t happy with my performance either time. Of course, tomorrow is supposed to be hot with 93% humidity and possible thunderstorms. Great.

My plan for today is just to take it easy, stretch, foam roll, and drink lots of water! Danny has a 12 mile run this morning for his marathon training and then we’re going to Dick’s Sporting Goods so he can look for some new running shoes!

  • What are your plans for today?
  • Marathon runners: any tips for hydrating on long runs? Do you carry water?

 

 

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Eating and Working Out

Good morning!

Breakfast

I recently bought these Better Oats and I love them!

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They only have 100 calories per packet and I love to top them with about a half tablespoon of peanut butter. Peanut butter makes everything better.

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Workout

This morning at the gym I did a glute/leg workout which included:

  • squats
  • barbell step-ups
  • barbell hip thrusts
  • deadlifts
  • split squats
  • weight hip bridges
  • single leg hip bridges

I just realized that I forgot to add donkey kicks to my workout this morning! I’ll have to add them next time.

I also foam rolled and stretched for 20 minutes.

I decided to sign up for another 5k this weekend. I wasn’t planning on doing it since I just ran a 5k last weekend but I really want to run this race. The race is the Dash ‘n Splash 5k and it’s literally three minutes from my house.

I have run this small race twice – in 2012 and 2013. (I didn’t run last year because of my hip surgery.) This is the race that always defeats me. The first year I ran it, my time was a lot longer than I wanted it to be. The next year I ran it, the weather was incredibly hot and humid. I had to take walk breaks the last mile and I just wasn’t happy with that.

So this will be my third year running it and I am determined to run the whole race and get a decent time. And of course it’s supposed to be 90 degrees and humid on Sunday. Great.

I’m making to stretch, foam roll, and drink lots of water this week so I can be okay for the 5k on Sunday. We’ll see how it goes!

Post workout selfie because why not?! :)

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Lunch

Lunch today was the same thing that I had for dinner a couple of nights ago.

I made a salad with a summer chopped salad mix, grilled chicken, and tortilla strips. I topped it with Bolthouse Farms salsa ranch dressing. I seriously love all of the Bolthouse Farms yogurt dressings!

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This afternoon, I’m donating blood for a blood drive at the gym and then I’ll just be doing some stuff around the house.

Have a great day!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Favorite salad dressing?
  • Favorite breakfast?

 

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Lunch, Running, Working Out

Fourth of July Weekend!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday

We went to my grandparent’s house on Saturday for a cookout.

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I made orzo spinach salad.

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I haven’t made this in a long time and I’m so glad I did because it was delicious!

My grandma made a really cool patriotic cake.

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We ate and visited with my family. The kids had fun playing and lounging on the hammock.

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My grandma bought ribbon things for the kids to play with but I think the adults had more fun playing with them. :)

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In the evening, we headed to a nearby town to watch the firework show.

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Sunday

On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to the gym together. We haven’t been to the gym together in awhile because our weekends have been so busy and Danny’s been marathon training.

We did some back exercises including inverted rows on the Smith machine.

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These inverted rows are hard!

After the gym, we took the kids to a local pool to swim.

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We finally had some nice and sunny weather! They rest of the day was spent getting some things done around the house and relaxing!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?

 

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Recipes, Working Out

Weekend Recap and Ear Tube Surgery

Good morning! I feel like I haven’t around in forever! It’s been a very busy past few days.

Let’s start with the weekend.

Saturday

For the past 12 weeks, I have been training a group of ten wonderful people for a Biggest Loser competition at my gym. The program concluded Saturday morning with a final weigh-in, measurements, and a 5k. My team was the early morning 5:45 am team and I think getting their workout in and done so early helped keep them so motivated. They did amazing!

Out of three teams, my team came in first as the team with the most body fat percentage lost. Out of thirty people, I had the second and third place individuals with the most body fat lost on my team. I also had the first and second place 5k winners on my team. I was so proud of my team and how dedicated and hard-working they were.

They also met with a nutritionist once a week and that’s the part that’s really important. You can work out in the gym all day but if you’re eating like crap, you’re not going to lose any weight. My team had a great nutritionist to educate and help them.

My team’s nutritionist and I ran the 5k together to help keep everyone encouraged and motivated. I haven’t ran a 5k in awhile so it was quite difficult for me. I can lift weights all day at the gym but running will always be my weakness.

Afterwards, I picked up Jaden from my mom’s house and we went to Whole Foods for some sushi.

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I also found this zero-calorie lemonade which was amazing. As much as I like water, sometimes I like to change it up!

On Saturday night, Danny and Jacob came home from Canada after being gone for eight days!  They were fishing with my dad, brother, and grandpa. Jaden and I were sooo happy to have them home!

Fishing in Canada:

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Saturday night, we just hung out at home, listening to stories about their week in Canada.

Sunday

Since Danny was in Canada for Father’s Day, we decided to have Father’s Day again on Sunday. Jaden and I made French toast, eggs, hash browns, and bacon for breakfast. Then we all went mini golfing.

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The weather was finally beautiful for a change.

Danny also was so sweet and surprised me with a pair of Victoria’s Secret sweatpants that I have been in love with. And suckers. I have an intense love for suckers.

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I’ll take workout clothes and sweatpants over flowers any day. :)

Monday

Yesterday, Jaden was scheduled for surgery to get tubes in his ears and to get his adenoids rechecked. He had his tonsils and adenoids out about four years ago but the doctor thought maybe his adenoids grew back. I didn’t even realize this was possible but I guess it is.

Jaden was the fourth surgery of the day and we got to the hospital around 9 am. Luckily, the doctor was running ahead of schedule and Jaden had his surgery earlier than planned.

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The tube surgery is very routine and fast. But since they were also checking his adenoids, there was a possibility that he would need an IV and a longer surgery. We wouldn’t know until the doctor used a scope to check them.

Jaden did so amazing. He wasn’t really scared and I think it’s because he’s so sick of ear pain and was just ready to have the surgery done. They gave him some medicine to help him relax and then they took him back to surgery.

We were in the waiting room for literally 15 minutes when the doctor came out. I initially thought something was wrong but they doctor said the surgery was complete. I couldn’t believe how fast it was! They checked his adenoids and said there was a tiny bit a growth but not enough to make a difference if they were removed so he only needed the tube surgery.

We waited another few minutes and the nurse came out and said Jaden was in recovery and he was awake and eating a popsicle. She said they would wheel him into a room in about 10-15 minutes and then we could go back and see him.

After about ten minutes we were able to go see him and he was doing great! Luckily, Jaden has never had a problem with anesthesia.

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He did tell the nurse that his ears hurt a little when he woke up so they gave him some Tylenol. I gave him a big hug and then all he wanted to do was eat. He ate pudding, cookies, and apple juice. He was a little out of it from being under anesthesia and it was kind of funny. He kept trying to take his own blood pressure and was saying funny things.

After about a half an hour, we were able to take him home. They said he should just take it easy and relax the rest of the day even if he felt fine. We got home and a couple of hours later, he was totally fine. He wanted to go jump on the trampoline and was mad that we told him he had to stay inside and relax.

At one point, he looked at me and said, “Mommy, I can hear you now.” It made me feel so sad that he went so long with ear problems. I brought him to the doctor every single time he had an ear infection and got him antibiotics. He had multiple hearing tests done which all came back fine. The doctor always told me that he was okay and they usually gave tubes to younger kids since ear infections could affect their speech.

I am so glad that we took him to an ENT and they were able to get him into surgery within a few weeks. Lesson is always trust your gut instinct, no matter what the doctor says.

Workouts

I also managed to fit in some workouts over the past few days! I did a 50 minutes session on the Stairmaster that left me tired and sweaty!

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I’m telling you, if you want to sweat, get on the Stairmaster!! I usually alternate between fast and slow for 20-45 minutes depending on how my hip feels. I also did a few planks and foam rolled.

Today

Life is back to normal today. Jaden is doing great. Danny is back to work. And I am teaching Women on Weights later this afternoon and then going to CrossFit tonight.

Have a wonderful day!

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Foam Rolling

Good morning!

Yesterday morning, I had my normal oats for breakfast but I put them in an almost empty peanut butter jar to eat. The jar had about half a tablespoon or so of peanut butter left in it so I just cooked the oats in the microwave and then added them to the peanut butter jar.

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Oatmeal with peanut butter is amazing. Actually peanut butter makes most things better – french toast, apples, crackers, chocolate, pretzels. :)

Since I went to CrossFit on Tuesday night, I just decided to stick to cardio at the gym on Wednesday morning.

I ran/walked 3.5 miles on the treadmill. I haven’t gone that far in a long time! Unfortunately, my Achilles tendon still bothers me when I run so I’m glad that I cut back on running lately but I still like to run shorter distances sometimes.

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I make sure to foam roll almost every time I go to the gym. My calves are always tight, my quads are usually sore, and my glutes get sore, so I really focus on foam rolling those three areas.

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If you’ve never used a foam roller before it’s a great way to loosen muscle knots. Foam rolling is also called myofascial release and when you use a foam roller to apply force to a muscle knot, the muscle fibers go from a bundled position into a straighter alignment.

When you apply pressure to a muscle that is sore or tight, you stimulate the Golgi tendon organ and create autogenic inhibition. This decreases the excitment in the muscle spindle, releasing the tension in the muscle. Basically, foam rolling helps break up knots in the muscle.

I usually start rolling back on forth on my calves until I find a spot that is really sore or tight. Then I apply pressure to this spot for at least 30 seconds. It takes at least 30 seconds for autogenic inhibition to kick in. The same goes for stretching -hold stretches for at least 30 seconds.

I usually foam roll all the tight spots on my calves, quads, and sometimes glutes, then I stretch. I break up the knots first with the foam roller and then I make sure to stretch them out.

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I also have a foam roller at home to use! You can find them for less than $20.

Foam rolling doesn’t always feel the greatest. It might hurt slightly depending on the muscle knots but it will really help later so stick with it! You can also use other object like a tennis ball to help break up knots.

When I was running and foam rolling at the gym, Jaden was taking a cooking class downstairs. My gym is also a park district so it worked out that his cooking classes were in the same building!

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Jaden loves to cook. He went to a breakfast and lunch cooking class and today he’ll be taking a dinner cooking class.

Last night, we went to my mom’s house and out to dinner with her to celebrate her birthday!

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We’re off to Jaden’s last cooking class. Have a great day and don’t forget to foam roll! :)

  • Do you foam roll or stretch?
  • Favorite thing to put peanut butter on?

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

Friday Favorites

Good morning! We finally have some sunshine here in Chicagoland! I hope it stays around.

Let’s talk about today’s favorites!

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This recipe is so cute and perfect for Father’s Day, not to mention protein pancakes are delicious!

Ingredients:

  • Premier Protein vanilla shake
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Directions:

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Make a well in the center and add the shake, milk, egg, and melted butter. Mix until smooth.

Heat lightly oiled griddle over medium-high heat. Put batter into a Ziploc bag and cut off the corner. Create a tie shape on the griddle. Brown lightly on both sides. If needed, use kitchen scissors to clean up the tie shape. Spread a thin layer of honey on the tie and decorate with blueberries and raspberries!

How cute is that?! And perfect for Father’s Day!

I am a Premier Protein ambassador but I do not receive any compensation on links. I just had to share these amazing pancakes. :) 

  • Pretty Little Liars

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I love this show. I don’t even care that it’s geared towards high school teen girls. I love it.

  • My New Reebok Nano 4.0s

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I got new shoes! Since I went ahead and joined CrossFit, I decided to invest in a pair of CrossFit shoes. I was finally able to find a size 11 online! I did find one pair of size 11 at Dick’s Sporting Goods but they were red and I didn’t like the color at all. The color choices are very limited in a size 11 but I did manage to find this pair!

I’ve only wore them a couple of times but so far I love them.

  •  The Stairmaster

I have been trying to add more cardio into my workout routine and lately I have been loving the Stairmaster.

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It can be a seriously hard workout. I usually do a HIIT workout on the treadmill for about 20-20 minutes. I climb at between level 5-6 for a minute and then I climb between level 15-18 for a minute. I repeat this for the entire workout.

Those are my favorites for today! I hope you all have a great weekend!!

  • What are your favorites today?
  • Favorite TV shows? Any Pretty Little Liar fans out there?!

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

I hope you all have been having a great week and are looking forward to the weekend. I know I am!

Let’s get right into today favorites!

  • FitRadio App

I usually listen to my iPod at the gym but I’m not really good about changing up the music so I tend to listen to the same playlist for months and months. I recently discovered the FitRadio app and I love it! I think it’s available on both Android and iPhone.

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It’s great for working out or for instructors teaching a group fitness classes. You can pick a genre of music or create stations. They have a genre or station for everything! And a lot of the stations gives you the beats per minute for specific exercises like spin, zumba, tabata, running, crossfit and more!

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I have the free version which mean there a few ads but they’re really short so they don’t usually bother me and you can turn on the feature to give you motivational quotes while you’re exercising.

  • Tabata HIIT Timer App

I don’t think I’ve ever had an app in my Friday Favorites and now I have two! I use this tabata/HIIT timer all the time.

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All you do it set the amount of time you want to work and the amount of time you want to recover and the app displays the number of seconds left on the screen and beeps when it’s time to stop or start.

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You can set the time and amount of rounds depending on what you’re doing.

  • Broccoli Slaw

Most night for dinner, I make chicken and brown rice but sometimes I get bored eating that all the time. Instead, I’ll use broccoli slaw which I love. It’s shredded broccoli, carrots, and cabbage. You can eat a large amount for little calories which is always good.

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I usually saute the broccoli slaw in a pan with some garlic and then I add the pre-cooked chicken to warm it up. I add in one tablespoon of lite soy sauce and yesterday I added some leftover green beans that I had in the fridge.

It’s a nice change from my normal chicken and rice.

  • Double Under Wonder Jump Rope

I have been loving my jump rope lately!

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I have been keeping it in my gym bag so I can practice double unders after my workout. I’m getting better but still working on them. I think it helps me to rest a day in between practicing because my calves get really tight which makes jumping hard. But I’m still going!

  • Chips and Salsa

I love Mexican food and I really love chips and salsa! I recently tried out these Way Better Snacks sprouted blue corn tortilla chips.

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They are awesome with Mrs. Renfro’s peach salsa – yum!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

  • What are some of your favorite things today?

 

 

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Glutes, Abs, and a Birthday

Good afternoon!

Yesterday

Now that school is out, I can get to the gym a little bit earlier than usual which means I get on with the rest of my day sooner! Before my workout yesterday, I had some of the Cellucor C4 pre-workout in pink lemonade.

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The icy blue razz and pink lemonade are my two favorite flavors!

At the gym, I focused mostly on working my glutes. I did a bunch of different exercises including: deadlifts, barbell step-ups with a kickback, barbell step-up to a knee raise, barbell hip thrusters, and split squats.

I didn’t do any regular squats or lunges because my quad was really bothering me yesterday but normally I’ll add those in to my routine too.

The weather was very sunny and very hot yesterday – around 95 degrees (today it’s rainy and about 20 degrees cooler – Chicago weather!) so the kids and I headed to Starbucks for some refreshing, cold drinks.

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Drinking outside at Starbucks.

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Jacob was there too but he hates when I take his picture :)

Today

This morning at the gym, I did an ab pyramid circuit workout that left me tired and sweaty!

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(Yes, my hair is always crazy. Always.)

I started with 10 reps of each exercise, completing all the exercises back to back. When I was done, I rested about a minute and then did all the exercises nine times each. I rested and then did them all eight times each. I only made it down to six reps of each exercises before I had to go get Jaden out of the kid’s room at the gym.

Next time, I’m going to try and make it all the way down to one rep, it’s just a little time consuming!

Happy Birthday

Today is my brother, Paul’s, 30th birthday!

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Welcome to Club 30, Paul!! :) Happy Happy birthday from your older sister. :)

Have a great day!

  • Favorite core exercise?
  • Favorite Starbucks drink?
  • How did you feel about turning 30?

 

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Double Under Wonder – Jump Roping

Disclaimer: Double Under Wonder sent me a jump rope to review at no cost to me. All opinions and hard work practicing are my own.

I am loving CrossFit so far because it has been challenging me and giving me goals to work towards. One of those goals is perfecting the double unders (which is passing the jump rope under your feet twice on one turn of the rope).

Ever since I first tried the double unders at CrossFit with their speed ropes, I knew I had to get a speed rope of my own to practice. I looked at a couple different stores but couldn’t find a speed rope that I liked or one thin enough.

Then I came across the Double Under Wonder jump rope website. I was so super excited to find this website because you can customize your own jump rope! Who doesn’t love customizing things?!

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(Source)

I had way too much fun on this website coming up with different combinations of jump ropes. You can pick out each handle color, the design on each handle (chevron, polka dots, or no design), and the color of the jump rope. There were so many awesome color combinations that it was hard to just pick one!

In the end, I decided on pink handles with chevron print and a black rope. I love how it turned out!

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I also love that it came with a carrying case so it’s easy to throw in my gym bag. And the shipping was super fast which I always appreciate because I tend to be a slightly impatient person. I customized my rope online and it showed up in my mailbox a few days later!

I immediately tried it out in my front yard which brought every neighborhood kid within a mile radius running over to try out my new jump rope.

I was looking behind me to find one of the neighborhood kids because he totally showed me up with his jump roping skills and I wanted to show him that I could in fact jump rope even though I kept tripping repeatedly.

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Of course, Jaden loved the jump rope.

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The jump rope is adjustable so once I had it adjusted to a comfortable length I was able to jump easier.

I took my Double Under Wonder rope to the gym to practice. Doing double unders in a little bit different than regular jumping roping. On the Double Under Wonder website you can sign up for free workout demo emails and I did a little research on how to do the perfect double under.

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First, your elbows need to stay close to your body. The turning of the rope should come from the wrist not from the shoulders. It’s small wrist circles rather than large shoulder circles.

Next, you need to jump a little higher and a little slower than normal. I began just by practicing slow and high jumps. I picked one spot to stare at so I wouldn’t move all around while jumping. Also, make sure to jump straight up rather than piking your body.

After I got the single jump down, I started trying to add double unders. I am still a work in progress and need a lot of practice. Every time I was able to do one, I would get too excited and speed up the rope which just ended up with the rope smacking me.

So far I am only able to get five double unders in a row but the day before I could only do three. With a little bit of practice every day or so, I know I will soon  master the double under!

The downside to the thin speed ropes is if you mess up they smack your body like a whip leaving red slashes on your wrists and maybe ankles and butt. I also managed to slash my back and that one hurt.

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I am loving my Double Under Wonder jump rope and enjoy practicing with it. I can’t wait until I’m able to do lots of double unders in a row!

Check out the Double Under Wonder website to order your own customizable  jump rope! You can also check them out on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Have you ever tried a double under?
  • When was the last time your jump roped?

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