Thursday, October 2, 2014

October's Goal

Officially 3 more goals to go this year! September's Paleo goal was kind of a hit and miss...the first two weeks were good, but I honestly got a little bored with the limited options and decided to kick it to the curb. I wasn't feeling much different anyways so I concluded that it just wasn't for me. Hey, isn't that the whole point of testing these goals out anyway? 

I did start the 24-day Advocare Cleanse on September 24th. I'm about 8 days in, so I'll be sure to do a separate post on that next time and report back once it's over. 

Here's an updated list of my goals for 2014. I think I have come to the conclusion that I do really great in the fitness/exercise related challenges, and not so great in the nutrition/food related ones. 

October – Squat/Ab challenge
November – No sweets or processed sugar
December – No eating out

Yoga and Insanity were amazing at keeping me in shape and motivated, so I thought I'd steer clear of another food goal (because lets be real, I'd probably fail again) and stick with fitness...which I'm better at anyways. 

At first I was going to do a Squat/Ab challenge (similar to what you see below), but I found this calendar on Pinterest and it looked like a good mix of workouts that will target more body parts than just squats and abs.  

    Who doesn't love Burpees? 

Happy almost Friday! Now get to Burpee-ing! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Upcoming Races

Happy Friday!

Now that it's not 100+ degrees out, running season has official started back for me. I enjoy running just to run, but it's also fun to have some upcoming events in place to help motivate me on those days when I'm not feelin' it. 

Here are a few races I have coming up in the next few months. 

September 27 - ROC Race 5K Austin: I am SO excited for this. I joined a group of people on a team and while it's only a 5K, it includes some really fun obstacles very similar to the show Wipeout! I love that show, so I can't wait to try and attempt some of the same things, like the "Wrecking Ball," "Sweeper," and "Jump Balls." I just hope I don't hurt myself...it's my first obstacle race ever. 

November 16 - Rock 'n Roll Vegas Half Marathon: I've only been to Vegas twice and haven't been back in over 4 years, so I'm pumped to go back with my friend Kristen and do a race down the strip. We are staying at the Luxor, but it'll probably start off pretty calm since we have to run a few days after we arrive. Since it's a Rock 'n Roll race, there is always a headliner...and this year it is none other than SNOOOOOOOOP! I would never pay to go see him on my own, but the fact that he'll be performing at the race makes me oddly happy. The race starts at 4pm, so there will be plenty of time afterwards to get our "Vegas" on. 

November 27 - Turkey Trot 5 Miler: My first Turkey Trot ever! I've always wanted to do one but I usually prefer to be lazy the entire day of Thanksgiving. Not this year! My friend Deanna and I registered a few days ago and I'm hoping it'll start a new tradition. I need to brainstorm costume ideas. I definitely won't feel as guilty eating 8000 calories later in the day. 5 miles = unlimited calories, right? 

December 5 - Lights of Love 5K Austin: Deanna invited me to join her in this charity race for the Ronald McDonald House. It's Christmas themed and has beer at the end, so it didn't take much to convince me. 

January 25 - Austin 3M Half Marathon: I completed this race last year and hit my PR (thanks to the downhill nature of this course). I convinced a bunch of my friends to sign up for it with me this year, so it should be a good time! It's a first half marathon for a bunch of them, so I'm really excited to see how they like it...I've warned them that it's pretty addicting. 


June 14 - Rock 'n Roll Liverpool Half Marathon: Yes sirrrr! Liverpool, England. An international race has been on my bucket list for quite a while. After much thought and discussion, Kristen and I bit the bullet and registered for the race and bought our plane tickets. She's doing the full and I'll be doing the half. We are flying into Dublin first to give us a few days to rest, adjust to the time difference and explore a bit, then we will cross the pond over to England and run our little hearts out. We'll spend a few days there and then return to Dublin for a few more days to recoup and drink Guinness and Jameson, naturally.  I believe a few more girlfriends may join (but not run) so it'll be a fun girls trip! 

I'm sure a few others races may pop up in the Spring. I can't wait to get back into running shape and log some more miles. 

Hope everyone has a good weekend! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Paleo - 2 Week Check-In

I know everyone is dyingggg to know...have I turned into a cave-woman yet? Not really. 

About two weeks ago, I set my September goal and have been attempting to follow an 80/20 Paleo diet. I would say it has turned out to be more like 70/30, but ratios were never really my thing.

I knew going into this goal that I had to be honest and realistic with myself. With it being football season, it can only mean one thing...consuming some adult beverages and eating some Not-So-Paleo meals more often than not. 

During the work week (AKA zero football times), my breakfasts and lunches are 99% Paleo (everything minus some salad dressings here and there). The trouble comes on the weekends and some evenings during the week when I'm actually a social human being. Eating Paleo at home is extremely easy, because I know what to buy and avoid at the grocery store. Dining out or eating at other people's houses on the weekends is a different story. 

I'm not sure if it's because I'm not 100% in it or what, but I really haven't noticed that big of a difference. For the most part, I have cut out certain foods like hummus, quinoa, rice, black beans, sugar, and most refined carbs like bread/pasta...but I don't really feel a change. I never considered the majority of the above foods "bad" in the first place (everything in moderation), so I haven't decided if I would benefit from going Paleo long-term. 

Maybe it's the 20-30% cheats that ruin any chance I have of progress or feelings of change? Thanks pizza. 

I definitely think this is one of the harder diet-related goals I've had this year. Gluten-free wasn't easy, but it gave me more options that Paleo. And Vegetarian was a breeze compared to both of those. 

Two weeks to go! 

In other news, the weather is amazing now and I'm back into my running-after-work routine. Two months until the Vegas Half Marathon!! I gotta break these bad boys in. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September's Goal: Paleo Diet

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day! It's safe to say Tuesday is the new Monday today.

Now that we've started a new month, it's time for another monthly goal. 

September: Paleo! Otherwise known as "The Caveman Diet."

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Paleo Diet, there is quite a bit of information here

But just as a brief overview, the basics of the diet instruct that you only eat the following:
- Lean proteins (such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, etc. It's important to pick grass-fed vs. grain fed)
- Fruits and Vegetables (natural fruits and nothing deep fried)
- Healthy Fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, etc.)

It suggests avoiding certain kinds of foods, such as:
- Dairy
- Grains
- Processed Foods & Sugars
- Legumes
- Starches
- Alcohol

For the most part, my diet already fits fairly well into this lineup. But there are a few foods that I do regularly eat that aren't allowed, such as beans (sad face for no hummus), quinoa and rice, and peanut butter (yep, peanuts are actually a legume/bean). 

I'm going to try and be realistic here and know that I won't be able to go 100% Caveman (another month of no alcohol...not gonna happen). So instead of setting myself up for failure, I'm going to approach this with an 80/20 mindset. 80% of my diet will be on the Paleo track, while 20% will most likely be "whoops" incidents. I still view certain beans, grains, and other "off-limits" foods as healthy, but my main goal here is to avoid the processed fake "food" as much as possible, and stick with all-natural, multi-ingredient-free choices. If the name of the food isn't actually the name of the food in it, it's not happening (ex: a banana is a banana...chips are not just chips). 

I've heard a lot of pros and cons regarding this diet, so instead of being confused about it, why not try it myself and see how my body reacts? 

Good news - Bacon is allowed. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Alcohol Free August Recap

Happy Friday!

So, I'm a failure. I completely bombed Alcohol Free August...okay, not completely, but I did drink. Who didn't see that coming, right? 

That being said, I did make it 14 straight days without a drop. Then I had a fun outing planned with some girl friends on August 14th, where I was okay with having a "cheat night." I knew about this night going into my monthly goal, so I had already planned on it happening. This night was going to be one and done. Or so I thought.

Basically, after that evening, I told myself I had ruined my progress and rounded out the rest of August without a care in the world (I don't recommend this mindset). A cheat night turned into a cheat weekend, which turned into I really don't care anymore. 

I will say this...there were only 4 times the entire month where I drank more than 1 alcoholic beverage. Impressed? Small victories, people. The other few times I did have alcohol, only one drink was consumed (i.e. a work happy hour cocktail, a glass of wine with dinner, one margarita with Tex Mex, etc.). All in moderation. 

I'll be posting September's goal next week. I'm pretty excited about it. It does involve cutting back on alcohol again, but come on, it's football season...the likelihood of that happening is slim. 

And on that note: Hope everyone has a great Labor Day Weekend! Stay safe and don't drink too much ;) 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to Running

Lately, I've been trying to ease my way back into my usual running groove. After preferring to stay indoors and beat the heat during June & July by completing Insanity, I need to start logging the miles now. 

I have a few upcoming races I've already registered for, with the next one being a half marathon in Las Vegas in November. This gives me about 2 solid months to get my mileage back up. I'm not necessarily out of shape, but it will still take me a few weeks to get back to where I was earlier in the year. I have another half in January and one already set for June 2015 (in Liverpool...more on that soon)! 

Until recently, I hadn't run one mile since May. That's quite the break! But I needed it. It's always a good idea to switch things up and take breaks so you don't burn yourself out. It was also a welcome hiatus for my knee. 

I've kept track with my "daily mile" app and surprisingly, I've only run 203 miles in 2014. This time last year, I was probably close to 75% of the way through my goal and nearing the 750 mile mark. I'm thinking I'll hit close to 500 miles this year. 

August is still extremely hot here in Texas, but I've decided to just deal with it, go in the evenings, and start slow with short distances. My plan is to stick with 3-4 mile runs 3-4 times a week, where hopefully it'll help me slowly get back up to 5-6 mile runs once it eventually cools off within the next few months (with longer runs on the weekends). 

Thursday, August 21, 2014


If you're looking to mix up your cardio game and build up your leg strength at the same time, might I suggest running stairs? It's an extremely effective way to get your heart rate up while also working your leg and glute muscles. 

Yesterday, my friend Ashley and I, drove about 10 minutes from my apartment to one of the highest points in good ol' Austin, Texas. Mount Bonnell is a popular tourist destination for both locals and visitors. It's known by many as quite the romantic date-night spot and has amazing views overlooking the Lake Austin portion of the Colorado River. It's about 780 feet above sea level...talk about altitude man! See, not all of Texas is flat. :) 

There are 100 stone steps up to the top and 100 (slightly scary ones) back down. Ashley and I completed 10 full reps. You can do the math. 

This is my third time going and I really enjoy it. It's good people watching and it can be completed rather quickly (20-30 minutes). Plus you get to end it with a really great view!