Tag Archives: workout

Only Five More Days


We are counting down the days until the Chicago Marathon this Sunday! Danny will be running the marathon on Sunday and the kids and I will be there to cheer him on! I can’t believe it’s almost here. Danny has been training for about 12 weeks and finished his last long run of 8 miles last Sunday. I am so proud of him. :)



I woke up yesterday about 3:30 am feeling terrible. I felt fine when I went to bed Sunday night but overnight I was hit with a terrible cold. I feel a little bit better today but my nose is still stuffy and I feel so tired.

I spent most of the day sleeping and resting yesterday although I did venture out to get some groceries.

This morning, I was up for work at 4:50 am and then taught my Women on Weights class in the late morning. Even though I don’t feel the greatest, it feels good to get back on schedule.

I started out my morning with my normal breakfast – plain Greek yogurt mixed with one stevia packet, raspberries, and Special K protein cereal. I also had some egg whites and coffee.


I worked on back and biceps at the gym this morning before teaching my class. Some of the exercises I did included:

  • seated rows
  • barbell 21s
  • pull-ups on the Smith machine
  • alternating bicep curls
  • one arm rows
  • bicep curl machine

Although I still don’t feel great, I felt better after my workout.

After the gym, I stopped at the store to pick up a few items that I need for my Halloween costume.


It’s a secret for now….shhhhhh. I needed a pair of cheap sunglasses and luckily I found this pair at Kohl’s for only $2!

We have a Halloween party every year and this year it’s a little earlier than normal on Oct. 17th so I have less time to work on my costume!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you workout today? 
  • When was the last time you were sick?


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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

October 1st!

Good afternoon! Happy first day of October!!

Here are a few of my favorite posts from past Octobers:



Fall weather has officially arrived here in Chicagoland and it has been chilly the past couple of days! I love fall but I do miss the heat of the summer.

I started out my morning with some warm oatmeal on this chilly day.


I love topping my oatmeal with just a little bit of peanut butter – it makes it tastes so much better.

After breakfast, I went to the gym and did a really good workout that I adapted from a workout I saw on the NASM Facebook page.

I did each superset four times, resting 1-2 minutes in between supersets.

Superset #1

  • Chest press x5
  • Push-ups x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of 4 times)

Superset #2:

  • Assisted pull-up machine x5
  • Medicine ball slams x 10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #3:

  • Dumbbell front squats x5
  • Jump squats x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #4:

  • Dumbbell push presses x5
  • Single are clean and presses x8 each arm

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

It was a great workout that kept my heart rate up! I finished my workout with 2.1 miles on the treadmill.


During October, my gym has a pink treadmill and for every mile you walk or run, they will donate 10 cents to breast cancer awareness research.


On Tuesday, Jacob and I went on our weekly Starbucks trip and I was excited to try out the new toasted graham latte.


My local Starbucks had actually just gotten it’s first shipment of it on that day so I went on the right day!


I really liked it and loved that it had a lighter flavor and wasn’t too overpowering. It’s definitely worth getting again. I get mine short, non-fat, and no whip. :)

My family is coming over for dinner and a bonfire tomorrow so today, I’ll just be running errands and getting things ready and then I work tomorrow.

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite thing about October?
  • How’s your weather? Chilly yet?!
  • Favorite Starbucks drink? Or favorite seasonal drink?




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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Halloween, Recipes

Food, Workouts, and Parties

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

On Friday night, we went out to dinner with my family.


I had a delicious gorgonzola pear salad with pecan crusted chicken. It was amazing!


On Saturday morning, Danny went out to run 14 miles. It’s his longest run so far for his marathon training. His average pace per mile was 8:17. He is fast – I don’t think I’ve ever run even one mile at an 8:14 pace, let alone 14 miles!

While Danny was running, I went to CrossFit.


The workout was awesome and included lots of ring rows, push-ups, and goblet squats.

On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to the gym together and worked on legs and glutes. We started out our workout with a few minutes on the arc trainer. We tried to see how long we could go at level 100.


That only lasted a few minutes.

Danny also threw some weighted push-ups in there. :)


We did leg presses, calf raises on the Smith machine, squats with an overhead plate press, weighted step-ups, hip thrusters, jump squats onto the bench, and a few core exercises. Another great workout!

On Sunday afternoon, we went to a family party for my nephew because he’s home from the Navy for a few more days and then will be leaving.

The desserts were so creative. There was US Navy and American flag jello and the cupcakes were in the shape of an anchor.



My nephews:


We visited for most of the afternoon and evening and then headed home.

Today, I have some errands to run and will try to get to the gym late morning.

Have a great day!!

  • How was your weekend?


Filed under CrossFit, Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Running

Climbing the Wall

Happy Friday! I’m so happy that it’s almost the weekend! :)

Yesterday, I went to CrossFit. For a warm-up, we were doing weighted sled pulls outside and the instructor said that we could try climbing the wall if we wanted. I wasn’t planning on trying it at first because your basically climbing straight up a wall and then throwing your leg over the top and I wasn’t sure if my hip could handle it.

Then two other girls tried it so I figured I’d try it too. I didn’t think it would be too hard but I was wrong. It was very hard especially since there’s nothing for your feet to grip to or stand on. The first two times I took a running start  but couldn’t get enough power to boost myself up to throw my leg over the wall. It takes a lot of upper body strength too.


On the third try, I got it! I took a running start and climbed the small wall and barely managed to get my leg on top of the wall. I got it up and I went over the wall! Yay! I was so proud of myself! That shorter wall was so tough, I can’t even imagine going up the big wall!


It’s nice to be able to accomplish something and feel proud of myself in a non-running activity. :)

After the warm-up, we did the workout of the day. It was tough especially those box jumps. I think my time ended up being 11 minutes and 30 seconds.



I went to the gym this morning and worked on back, core, and a little bit of cardio.

For abs, I did some leg raises.


I try to do as many as I can with straight legs but it starts to bother my hip after awhile so I have to switch to bent leg raises.

After the gym, the kids and I went to Goodwill to get some books.


I’m lucky that my kids share my love for reading. Jacob will pretty much read anything that he can and Jaden just started reading chapter books by himself. And yes, I got a Nancy Drew book to read. Who doesn’t love Nancy Drew?!

Tonight, we’re going out to dinner with my family. My aunt and uncle are in town from California and they go back next week so we’re getting together for a family dinner!

Have a great Friday!

  • What are your plans for the weekend?
  • What’s the last book you read? What’s your favorite book?




Filed under CrossFit, Fitness, Working Out

Parties, Cupcakes, and Workouts

Good morning! Happy Monday!


On Saturday morning, Danny and I ran the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago 5k. Check back for a post on the race tomorrow!


On Saturday afternoon, we went to my niece’s 4th birthday party.


She had a princess super hero party and my grandma made the cutest cupcakes for the party.


Super hero and princess cupcakes. They were delicious!


She even Baymax cupcakes because my niece loves Big Hero 6.


On Sunday morning, I went grocery shopping but first I stopped at Starbucks to try out their cold brewed coffee.


I got it with non-fat milk and one splenda. I’m not usually a huge fan of Starbucks regular brewed coffee but I loved the cold brewed coffee. I stopped and got another after the gym this morning but I got it with only Splenda and I prefered it with just the Splenda and no milk.


On Sunday afternoon, we went to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s new house to visit with our nephew who is home from the Navy for two weeks.


We cooked out and the kids had fun swimming.


They just adopted a new dog and Danny had fun hanging out with him.


Jaden and I made cupcakes to bring with.


Betty Crocker recently brought back the rainbow chip frosting which is my all time favorite frosting so I had to buy a tub of it! It is so good.


Good thing we made cupcakes or I would have eaten it all myself! :)


With all the parties and food this weekend, I ate a lot. Way too much. Today, I’m back on track and trying to eat good all week because we have another party to go to this weekend.

I went to the gym and did a few shoulder exercises. Then I did intervals on the Stairmaster.


For 30 minutes, I alternated between one minute at level 5 and one minute at level 16. I did a couple of ab exercises and then foam rolled for a few minutes. I ended up burning 560 calories.


Today, I have a few errands to do and a few workouts to plan! Have a great Monday!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Do you prefer cold or hot coffee?

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Running, Working Out

My Legs Are Tired

Good morning! Happy Saturday!


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!



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


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


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.


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?




Filed under Fitness, Running, Working Out

Eating and Working Out

Good morning!


I recently bought these Better Oats and I love them!


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.



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?! :)



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!


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?




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

Glutes, Abs, and a Birthday

Good afternoon!


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.


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.


Drinking outside at Starbucks.


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


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



(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!



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?



Filed under Fitness, Working Out

Graduation Party

Good afternoon – I hope you all had a great weekend!

On Saturday, we had an 8th grade graduation party for Jacob. I can’t believe that once summer is over, he’ll be in high school!


I actually bought a new dress to wear to the party but Jaden and I stopped at the store to pick up the food for the party and a small disaster occurred. I was in the alcohol aisle and somehow my purse or cart bumped a giant bottle of what must have been beer. The bottle fell off the shelf, exploded on the ground, and then splashed all over my new dress covering me in alcohol. As I was trying to pick up the bottle, I almost knocked over another bottle. It was quite a diaster that was witnessed by three guys who just stood there staring at me. Fun times.


So, we had to leave the store so I could go home, rinse off, and then change my dress. I still had to go back to the store and pick up the food.

Luckily, the party ended up being a lot of fun and the weather was gorgeous so we were able to stay outside most of the day.


We got chicken and sandwiches catered from a local grocery store, but I made tons of cookies.


I used my favorite cookie recipes from Sally’s Baking Addiction – chocolate chip M&M cookies and butterscotch Reese’s Pieces cookies.


Thank you to our family and friends for celebrating with us!


On Sunday, Danny and I went to the gym.


We haven’t gone to the gym together in so long because we have been so busy with baseball and different things going on during the weekends. Danny just started training for the Chicago Marathon so he just did some cross training. I am trying to add a little more cardio into my routine so I did a 45 minute HIIT workout on the stairmaster.

I was dead by the time I was done – that stairmaster is no joke!

Today is the kids first day off of school for the summer and tonight is Jacob’s actual graduation ceremony!

Have a great day!

  • Favorite cookie?
  • What are you looking forward to this summer?


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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out


Okay, I have a confession to make…I’ve been going to CrossFit. For a month.


Bur first, a long back story:

I have been running since 2008. My grandma was always a runner and in 2008 she was doing a race called the Muddy Buddy and asked me to do it with her. The race is between 6-7 miles long and alternates between running and biking with your partner. One person starts out biking and drops the bike at the designated spot. The other person starts out running and grabs the bike. This continues the whole race with about 6 obstacles along the way.

At the end of the race, you must climb through a giant mud pit to cross the finish line.


Anyway, this was my first experience with running. I remember practicing and practicing and being so excited I was finally able to run a mile without stopping. After that race, I continued running. I run tons of 5ks, a 10k, and a 15k.


However, I have never been a strong runner. At first my goal was never to train for a half marathon or marathon. I just ran because it was a challenge and made me feel accomplished. I liked running races with my family.

I was always a slow runner. Like I said, it was hard work for me. I couldn’t quite master the breathing and I always seemed to have some kind of injury. But I kept up with it and my race times went from 36 minutes to 30 minutes.


Some people are natural runners. They can run fast, they can run far, they can run without injury. This is not me. Running is extremely hard on my body and as a result, I have suffered many minor injuries.

I’ve had hip bursitis and had to get cortisone shots. I’ve had torn rib cartilage – so painful! I’ve also had plantar fasciitis.

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome, which basically means that my calves muscles are too tight in their sheaths. This is something that can only be fixed with surgery which I decided not to do. This also means that my calves get rock hard and painful whether I’m running one mile or ten. I usually wear compression sleeves when I run even short distances. After a race, my calves stay hard and tight for up to three days. I did physical therapy for weeks but it never really helped. It’s not super terrible pain, I just make sure that I stretch and foam roll a lot.

As you can see, running causes me lots of problems. But the biggest problem I’ve faced was femoroacetabular hip impingement and had to get hip surgery last summer.


At the time, I was teaching BodyPump and training for my first half marathon. It was just too much for my body to handle. I had a small abnormal growth on my hip bone and the repetitive movement caused the growth to tear my labrum in two places. This left me in constant pain especially in my quad. This was something that needed surgery to be fixed.

So, last July I had hip surgery to shave down my hip bone and repair the tears in the labrum. I spent one month in a hip brace and on crutches. I spent six months in physical therapy. Even today, I am not 100%. My hip gets sore very quickly and my quad still bothers me. Of course, it feels so much better than it used to but the recovery process is long.

As you might know, I’ve always wanted to run a half marathon. To me, that seemed like the ultimate goal.

But lately, my thoughts have shifted.

I honestly don’t believe that my body was meant for running. I have suffered from numerous injuries. And I still have calf, hip, and quad pain when I run. It seems like the more running I do, the more pain I cause my body. So why do I continue to do it?

Why do I feel the need to run when it hurts? Why do I feel the need to run when it causes me injuries? Why do I feel the need to run when it’s obvious my body doesn’t like it? I don’t know. I guess running made me feel like I had a goal. Running made me feel like I was accomplishing something. I could say, “I’m a runner.” I come from a family of runners so it seemed like the natural thing to do.

My stepmom is a fast runner. My grandma has run a marathon, half marathons, triathlons, and plenty of other races. My sister-in-law ran a half marathon and a full marathon in two days. My husband is training for the Chicago marathon.

I cannot do any of these things. And trust me, it’s not for lack of trying. My family is extremely supportive of one another and have always supported me in what I’ve done but I felt the need to do what they could do. If they can all run, why can’t I?

I’ll tell you why – because my body was not made for running. Sure I can run a 5k. I’ve even run a 15k and 10 miles on the treadmill. But the more I do it, the more it hurts, and the more I push my self, I’ve come to realize that I don’t enjoy it.

Yes, I feel accomplished every time I cross that finish line but I also think why couldn’t I have been faster? Why does my leg have to hurt so much? Why do my calves always have to be tight?

I’ve come to the realization that maybe running a half marathon isn’t my dream anymore. Maybe I should focus on other goals. Goals that make me happy. Goals that make me feel accomplished. Goals that I enjoy.

And that brings us to why I have been doing CrossFit. Instead of running, I am focusing on a new activity.

If you aren’t quite sure what CrossFit is, it’s company founded by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai. It involves using functional training movements through high intensity interval training. It also includes Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, and calisthenics. Each workout consists of a WOD (workout of the day) in a CrossFit box (gym).

The workouts help you achieve speed, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, balance, coordination, etc.


I have been taking the CrossFit beginners class for about a month. Even though it’s a beginner’s class, it is in no way easy. I leave drenched in sweat, tired, and burn between 450-550 calories each workout. I love it.

CrossFit lets me focus on goals like learning proper form for Olympic weightlifting exercises such as deadlifts, cleans, push presses, overhead squats, front squats, and more. It has been helping me work on my pull-ups and double unders (jump roping while passing the rope under your feet twice in one turn of the rope). I work on rowing, running shorter distances, and really work on challenging myself.

Most CrossFit workouts are time-based. You want to finish the workout or a certain amount of rounds in the fastest time possible. For example our WOD the other day was a 800 m (1/2 mile run), 50 push presses, and 30 pull-ups (I did mine with a band since I’m still working on a regular pull-up). My time was 10:31.


Every workout is different and challenging and lets me push myself in a way that makes me feel accomplished. So far, I am really enjoying CrossFit and plan to continue. I don’t think my running days are over – I’ll still run races here and there. I just don’t think running is going to be my main goal anymore.

Stay tuned for more posts on my first CrossFit class and more!

Have a great day!

  • Have you ever tried CrossFit?
  • What’s your biggest accomplishment or a goal you’re currently working on?



Filed under CrossFit, Fitness, Running, Working Out