I RAN 1,000 MILES IN 2013. NOW FOLLOW MY MONTHLY GOALS FOR 2014!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Insanity Fit Test #3

Happy Wednesday! 

This is my 6th week of attempting the Insanity program. 

Every few weeks, the program encourages you to take their Fit Test to track your progress.

I completed Fit Test 1 on my first day, June 2nd. Fit Test 2 was completed 14 days later. I made some progress during those first two weeks, but after completing Fit Test 3 this morning, I noticed even more results. 

At the end of Month 1, the program has a "Recovery Week" where you are still doing videos, but the focus is on less impact and more core/balance work. The key here is to rest your body and prep it for Month 2, because let's be honest, Month 2 is psycho. 

Month 2 began last week, so it was time for Fit Test 3 today. 

You get 60 seconds to do as many reps as possible, with about a minute water break in between each workout. 

Here is a preview of what each exercise looks like:

Below are my results:



I was extremely happy with how things went this morning. I'm basically Tanya now. 


For those of you who haven't checked out Insanity before and don't know who Tanya is, she's referred to as "The Machine" and is super intense...Shaun T loves her, everyone else hates her. She's the one who makes you feel like you're slacking during the workout, even though you can't breathe and are about to pass out. 



She's extremely motivating, but super annoying. Her Fit Test numbers are through the roof, so it's awesome when my numbers get close to hers. Anyways, I digress. 

Fit Test 3 was on point and I can feel myself getting stronger and my cardio on par. Fit Test 4 is in two weeks, so I'll be sure to update again! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July's Goal - Week 1 Check-in

Week one check-in of July's goal is here! 

I challenged myself to drink 2/3 of my weight in water each day for the entire month. That's around 90-95 ounces daily. 


I've been using the Daily Water app on my iPhone to log my consumption and track my progress.

So far, I've been mostly on point. 

According to the app, each glass is 8 ounces. 


Being the first day of my goal, I was gung-ho on Wednesday and drank 120 ounces. I hit 96 on Thursday, but fell a little short on July 4th. Mostly because I was consuming tequila and wine instead, but still managed to hit close to 60 ounces. I've been picking up the slack and have done my best to get back on track this week. 

It's definitely a bit harder than I originally thought, but still extremely doable. If anything, it's making me more conscious of drinking water throughout the day...and all the peeing has me getting up from my desk every hour or so, which I figure is a good thing! 

Oh, and the other part of my goal? Continuing on with Insanity Month #2...

I only have one workout from Month 2 on my current DVD. I'm waiting for my friend to send the rest this week, but that one workout I do have is KILLER! 60 minutes of Max Interval Circuit...yikes. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Insanity Recap and July's Gooooooooooallllll

Like my title? I figured with the USA soccer game today, it would be a good fit :) 

Now that June is over, it's time for my monthly recap! As most of you know, June's goal was 30 days of Insanity. I have attempted Insanity a few times before, but never moved past week two. 

This time, I was determined. I'm proud to say I finished the 30 day challenge...AND I'm going to continue on throughout July to finish the full 60 day program.



Before and After...I see you abs! 

A little less of a pooch...

Not a tremendous difference in my arms, but Insanity only uses body weight, so no additional weights are incorporated. I think the more noticeable change in this picture is my side area. 

I feel so much stronger and leaner. I decided not to weigh myself before and after. I know that muscle weighs more than fat, so I'm not too sure how much the scale would have budged. I didn't decide to do Insanity for weight loss; I wanted to tone. Strong is the new skinny! 

So I have 30 more days to go...


But that's only part of my July goal. The other half is the water challenge. Since our bodies are made up of around 60ish% of water, I will be aiming to drink 2/3's of my weight in water per day. That's around 90-95 ounces (you can do the math), or close to 3 of these things...


Writing goal times on a water bottle is a good way to stay on track throughout the day. 

I also downloaded a handy little app on my iPhone to help keep up with my intake. It's called "Daily Water" (creative). 

You can set your own goals and check off glasses as you drink. 

There is also a reminder option to notify you when it's time to drink up. 

The rules are: only water, sparkling water, and brewed tea will count towards my daily goal. Other beverages like milk, soda, juice, coffee, alcohol, etc. do not count. 

This will definitely be me during the entire month of July...



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Restaurant Review: Salata

Summer is officially here in Texas and I believe temps in the 80's are a thing of the past. This can only mean one thing...bathing suit season. There are quite a few ways to attempt to stay cool in this great state, but my favorite fool-proof way is hanging out by the water as much as I can. I try and eat healthy and workout as much as possible, but it's unrealistic to think I can achieve that 100% of the time. 

Thankfully, Austin is full of healthy food alternatives to help me stay on track. One of them being SALATA

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Brooke to visit Salata's new Austin store and share my reviews with y'all. Salata has quite a few other locations in Texas, including Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Addison, Plano, Irving, and Fort Worth (with a handful in California as well). The new location in Austin opened about 2 months ago and it's within 15 minutes of downtown, so I jumped on the opportunity to try it out! They are also opening another location in Round Rock within the next few months (over by Ikea). 

I was told to ask for Kasey, the franchise owner of the Austin and San Antonio locations. She was very accommodating and took the time to explain how everything worked. Their methods are similar to Chipotle or most frozen yogurt places. I love the concept of customizing and creating your own salad! I specifically enjoyed the fact that Salata has a flat rate for their meals ($8 for a salad, $7 for a wrap...a few extra bucks if you want to add a protein). I like that they don't weigh your meal and charge by the ounce and they don't nickle and dime you with little adds on (avocado is free!). 

First up, you pick your greens. I opted for spinach and spring mix. 


Going down the line, you pick from an assortment of veggies, beans, and fruit. I went with mushrooms, cauliflower, bean sprouts, black beans, pumpkin seeds, feta, boiled egg, and sliced apples. Quite a selection...it was so hard to pick! But that was the great thing...I didn't have to narrow my choices down if I didn't want to.  




Once your toppings are selected, you have the option to add a protein ($2 for chicken or turkey and $3 for shrimp). They have 4 different chicken flavors: buffalo, pesto, spicy chipotle, or asian BBQ. Pesto chicken for me! 


To finish off the salad, you can pick any kind of dressing your heart desires. I picked the two that Kasey suggested: Lemon Vinaigrette mixed with Ginger Lime. You can also purchase their dressings by the bottle for $6. 


Once the dressing was drizzled on my salad mix, Kasey combined everything for me and offered a side of bread to go with it. They also have 3 different soup options to add to your meal; but in this Texas heat, I opted out. 

One of my FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE things about Salata is that they do not offer sodas! I think more and more restaurants should catch on and think about switching their drink selections over to tea and water only. There are so many "healthy" restaurants out there, only to tempt you into ruining your nutritious meal with a soda at checkout. I'm so used to just ordering water, I didn't even realize they had such an amazing tea selection until I had already sat down to eat. Next time! Yes, there will be many many more next times. 



Kasey sat down with me for a few minutes to hear about my blog and my 1000 miles. She was so warm and welcoming, I felt like we had known each other for a while. She also gave me a little goodie bag with coupons, koozies, notepads, and a travel cup! I was in awe of Salata's generosity. I can't recommend this place enough. 

And now, I leave you with some healthy tips from Salata to get back on the healthy train this summer and get bikini ready:

1. Most fresh veggies have just 25 calories or less per serving, so pile them on. Salata never charges for extra veggies and a salad bursting with flavors is sure to satisfy well past lunch, limiting mid-day snacking.
2. Diets often fail because we feel restricted. Add variety by choosing vibrant fruits and vegetables rich in color. Carrots, red onions, tomatoes, grapes, cranberries, mandarin oranges, and strawberries are all great choices to liven up your salad or wrap.
3. Stay hydrated. Skip the sugar-loaded sodas and refresh yourself with a cold glass of unsweet tea or water. Spruce it up with a twist of lemon.
4. Protein helps keep hunger at bay between meals, facilitating weight loss, but the trick is to choose lean protein. Salata’s savory flavored chicken, shrimp, or salmon options add flavor without the fat.
5. Vegetarians have lots of choices too with protein-rich options such as beans, tofu, pumpkin seeds, egg, or nuts.
6. Keep fuller longer by adding more fiber. Whole-wheat wraps or spinach salads are both excellent sources of fiber. Add black beans, nuts, and lots of vegetables for an even bigger boost.
7. Dress your salad up lightly by tossing it fat-free dressing instead. Salata’s sun-dried tomato and mango dressings are both fat free, and all Salata’s dressing are freshly made in-house without added preservatives.
8. Select heart healthy fats like olives, nuts, avocado, and salmon for health-protective benefits during the summer. 


Monday, June 16, 2014

Insanity Week 2 Results

Today is the 2 week mark for my June goal of completing 30 days of Insanity. 

14 days ago I completed Fit Test 1. This morning I did Fit Test 2.  

You get 60 seconds to do as many reps as possible, with about a minute water break in between each workout. 

Below are my results:




Naturally, I made some progress, but not as much as I would have liked. 

I went back and looked at my blog post from my Insanity attempt last year, just to compare, and I'm either a) currently out of shape or b) was in amazing shape last year. I think "b" makes more sense (that, or I refuse to accept the fact that I'm out of shape right now). This time last year, I was unemployed for 2 months, living at home, and had all the time in the world to workout. Now I work 9-5 Monday-Friday and sit at a desk the majority of the day. Last year I was also running waaaaay more than I am now to hit my 1000 mile mark. Considering the circumstances and differences this year versus last, I'll take the slight improvement for now. 

I took pictures 2 weeks ago and today, but I think I'll wait until the 30 days are up to show before and afters. I really need to clean up my diet in the next few weeks. I know that will make a huge difference in my results and I'll generally feel better overall. 

Happy Monday! 



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Let's Try This Again - June's Goal: Insanity

Meat-Free May is officially over! In a weird way, I kind of enjoyed trying to be a vegetarian. It was a challenge but still doable (thanks hippie Austin). I wonder how many animals I saved? :) 

I was completely meat-free for 24 days straight. Then my best friend's wedding occurred over Memorial Day weekend and I cheated a bit. At the rehearsal dinner, they catered Rudy's BBQ and I didn't feel like mac & cheese and cream corn would make up a well-balanced meal, so I had a few slices of turkey. For dinner at the wedding, they had the most amazing food prepared by an outstanding chef, so I caved and had to try some of the bison and salmon. After that, I was back on track to round out the 5 remaining days in the month. 

My first meal back was Chipotle (obviously) and it was everything I wanted and more. I debated on sticking with a vegetarian diet for a while longer, since I did enjoy it, but I know there are going to be times when I can't avoid it or really want Chipotle again, so I might just aim for Meat-Free Monday's. 

Now for June's Goal:

Back in April, I attempted to complete 30 days of Insanity. I kept at it for 12 days straight, but unfortunately I injured my foot during my last half marathon in mid-April. That put an abrupt halt on everything so I have decided to retry and make it my goal for June. 

I attempted Insanity around this time last year, but only completed about 2 weeks of it (I was more focused on running my 1000 miles). This time, I'm determined to finish a full 30 days! 


Thursday, May 29, 2014

My First Spin Class

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a Groupon for 5 spin classes at a local studio called Pure Ryde. I paid $43 for 5 classes, a $90 value...apparently spinning isn't cheap. I've been wanting to try spinning for a while now, so I finally bit the bullet and went for my first time last night. 




Whenever I try a new workout or venture into a different gym, I'm always a little nervous and intimated. I imagine I'm not alone in feeling this way. I like being in my comfort zone and knowing what I'm doing, so I really had to convince myself to attend the class. But I'm SO glad I did. 

The studio is only about a mile or two from my office so I had plenty of time to arrive, change clothes, and get familiar with the bike before the 6:00 class started. This specific studio is "clip-in" only, which means you have to either bring your own clip-in shoes or you can use the ones the studio provides (no regular tennis shoes allowed). Most places make you pay extra for shoe rental, so I was pleasantly surprised when Pure Ryde told me they were included with the class (as well as a free towel rental). 

I was one of the first riders to show up so I had a few minutes alone with the instructor, Aimee. She was very friendly and helped me properly adjust my bike and clip in my shoes. I've never clipped my shoes into any bike before, so it was a feeling I had to get used to. I had about 15 minutes before class started and slowly peddled to warm up my legs while others arrived. I noticed Aimee helping a few other people, so I felt more comfortable knowing I wasn't the only newbie. 



There were 24 bikes in the room, with the instructor in front on a stage facing the class. Once everyone arrived, Aimee kicked everything off with a great warm up. There is a tiny computer screen at the front of your bike that shows your speed (RPM's) and the instructor guides the class to keep each individual's RPM's within a specific range during certain songs. She also has you adjust your resistance from time to time to mimic hills and increase your heart rate. 

One thing I really enjoyed about the bikes and was not expecting was that they rotated from side to side. I was imagining stationary bikes but these could actually veer from left to right, giving you a great arm and core workout as well. Their website describes the bikes as "state-of-the-art equipment allowing you to experience the most dynamic indoor cycling classes around. They are the only stationary bikes in the world that allow riders to move in three planes of motion throughout the workout. As a result the workouts are more dynamic, intense and incorporate more muscle groups during use than a traditional indoor cycling bike." Most people view spinning mainly as a leg workout, but these bikes work more muscles and help tone the entire body. 

The music was upbeat and extremely motivating and I loved that the studio turned off the lights during class (with dim light on the instructor). My only complaint was the comfort level of the seats. I imagine this to be the same at any studio because most bicycle seats are not very tushy friendly, if you know what I mean. They did have seat cushions at the front of the studio, but I was already clipped into the bike and too stubborn to go get one. Next time I will grab one and hopefully that will help! I'm a bit sore in the bum area today. 

I will definitely be back for my 4 remaining classes! It was a great workout and good change of pace from my normal exercise routine. I'm not sure I'd be willing to pay $20 something dollars for a class, but thankfully I am a member at Gold's Gym where they have certain spinning classes scheduled on their calendar. I may test those out soon! 

Pure Ryde still has their Groupon up here. They have studios in 3 other locations in addition to Austin: Oxford, MS, Bethesda, MD, and West Bloomfield MI. I highly recommend it and encourage others to try it if you haven't already!