Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Super Spartan Race SATURDAY!

I must apologize, I never hit publish... damn it...but here is what I was thinking before the race!

There comes a time in everyones life when we have to face a situation that makes us well, uneasy. For me, the time is now. As the countdown to Super Spartan Carolinas dwindles, I can feel my body tightening and my heart beat just a little harder at the prospect of what is to come at 11am Saturday morning. This apprehension was multiplied after watching the video from the Spartan Race in Tuxedo, NY. Honestly, it looks like a fabulously muddy, sweaty, challenging good time where the will of your mind needs to exceed that of your body. Admittedly, I am nervous, I could never do Monkey Bars...damn it - I hope there aren't any monkey bars!
See what I mean, monkey bars! Anyway, I am excited - I am nervous, and I know I am going to finish! I might not be fast, I might not be gracious, but I will be a SPARTAN... bonus would be to CHICK some dudes...lol And while good old Webster hasn't added this to the dictionary, to CHICK a dude, basically, it's when a dude has been left in the dust by a female athlete...he has been CHICKED. Now, I am not saying I will be able to do this, but I have to believe there is at least one dude out there that will be reading the back of my shirt!

Speaking of shirts, Heather & I are about to get crafty - AGAIN. It really is fun to make our own shirts, and we have learned that 'puffy paint' as we call it, shows up even after you are covered in mud!

So now its Tuesday, I will save all my detailed Super Spartan Race reporting until I can get my hands on some awesome pics (of me & Heather) because me telling you guys about it - well it wouldn't be the same without pictures! Stay tuned & I promise this time I will click 'Publish'... seriously.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First Triumph Fit Club

Well Heather & I just completed our first Triumph Fit Club. You know Murphy and his laws? Yeah, anything that could go wrong...will... Yeah that one. So here it goes.

First - I got to my moms (that's where we are conducting these classes until we can find a bigger *free* venue) and apparently she forgot this was even happening tonight. Her kitchen table was covered in paperwork & she had a quilt draped over the breakfast bar stools, drying. So I quickly started 'straightening' up the joint.

Then, our projected attendance went from 8, down to 5... by 6pm, there were only 3. At 615pm, we had a total of 4 plus Heather and myself. Not too bad of a turn out, which was actually ok, read on to hear why.

Ok, so my mom has a mostly empty sun room that is about 22x15. The TV hangs from the ceiling. I think it's the ideal setup. Everyone can see and there is plenty of room. After a brief discussion, we decide to kick it old school with some Turbo Jam. I try to load the DVD, but the player won't turn on... as a matter of fact nothing will, not the cable, not the television, not the DVD..nothing. So after all of us trying to figure out if there was a switch, a circuit breaker or a plug undone - I call my mother (who is on her way to bible study) asking her a million questions as to why she thinks this deal isn't working! Finally someone says, "Can we do it in the living room?"

YAY! A solution... well not so fast... Apparently, I need an engineering degree to figure out any electronics in my mothers house. I get the DVD on, TV on, sub woofer on... no picture! What the... Again, I am on the phone...'pick up, pick up' Mom is now IN bible study and much like a movie, you have to turn your phone off... damn (no worries, she prays for me daily!). Is there a Plan C?

Ok, so now I have my mom's 15inch screen laptop on top of the fireplace mantle and have redistributed her furniture to the furthest corners of the living room. Finally we can get this FIT CLUB started!!!

Remember how I said how the smaller turn out was actually ok... here's why...

It's almost like no one wanted to be in front, but with all the kicks, I wouldn't be up there either...notice me in the pink, I look pretty friggen excited right? Well I was... I was having a good time! Where I lack in coordination, I make up for in enthusiasm.

In the middle of the workout the computer froze... can you say Water Break? I got it restarted and we all went on to complete the workout :)

After breaking a sweat, we whipped up some Shakeology samples. We did both the Greenberry & the Chocolate. I have to say, it was a hit!

So, alls well that ends well! Our first Fit Club, was Triumphant - we could have given up, we could have backed out but no, we did what we had to do to get our fitness on! Thank you ladies, for your patience, your positive attitudes and of course - your sense of humor! Hope to see you again next week!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers Day!

First, I would like to wish my daddy a Happy Fathers Day... it's been a little over 3 years now since my dad passed. Today, when others are giving greeting cards and spending time together, I am thinking about how Fathers Day used to be, and how it is now.

My dad was a strong man, he didn't have a whole lot to say, unless he had something that fired him up - then if you didn't agree with him, well he'd keep talking until you either agreed with him or stopped disagreeing with him. He wasn't always accepted by others, probably because he had strong opinions and a standoffish appearance (thanks Dad, I got that from you & the premature grey!) but deep down my dad was a caring, generous man who loved his kids, even though we might not always thought so, he wanted the best for all of us. I remember growing up, I thought he was mean because he'd never let us run the streets with our friends, gave us an ridiculously early curfew, if we were even let out, and expected us to do our best in all we did. What a hard ass right? Yeah, I felt that way until I had kids of my own. It was then I realized, all he did, he did out of love. He was an overprotective daddy who tried to protect us, I for that I love him.

So today I celebrate Fathers Day with my adoring husband who has been a wonderful step-dad to Joshua for over 2 years now. This year is his first Fathers Day with Gabriella and I am trying to make it as special as possible... I really don't know what I could possibly do to show him how much I love him, how grateful I am to have him as the father to my children, and how awesome he is as a dad. He loves with his huge heart unlike anyone I have ever seen. He is kind, and sensitive... and would do anything to protect the thing he loves most, his family.

I would write it in the sky if I could, "Stephen, You are the best!" Both Joshua and Gabriella really couldn't ask for a better dad, a better role model, a better example of what it is to love, unconditionally. I think this is one of my favorite pictures, it is so sweet and you can see how in love he is with our little peanut. I have no doubt that she will use her cuteness to best of her ability to wrap daddy around her tiny little pinkie, and if the HOA allowed it, she'd probably have a pony for her first birthday!

Happy Fathers Day to all those men out there who love their children, who aren't afraid to be hands on dads, who love to spend time with their kids laughing and playing, and showing it's ok to be sensitive and give hugs and kisses. Joshua and Gabriella are incredibly lucky kids, because Stephen is an awesome dad. I would like to add that Stephen had the perfect example, and Jerry should be so proud to have raised such a wonderful man, it is because of him, Stephen is a wonderful husband, father and son.

If you think your kids aren't watching, think again... lead by example parents, they are indeed watching, listening and learning from you, and actions speak louder than words! I better finish, Stephen is folding the laundry & that isn't something he needs to be doing on Fathers Day!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Exciting things happening!

Some very exciting things happening to kick off my self proclaimed "Stress Free" weekend! Yesterday at 1pm, I sat for the American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM) Health Fitness Specialist (HFS) exam. I spent hours (admittedly not enough time) reviewing for this exam, it encompasses all that I have learned for my Bachelors in Exercise Science, everything. I had really gotten to the point where I just thought, let me just take this exam and get it over with already! Thinking about it for weeks was wearing me out, and at the same time, had my nerves balled up and the butterflies in my stomach on speed!

How I imagine I looked
when I saw I Passed!
As I got to the testing center, it was as if I was sitting for some Top Secret CIA program. All jewelry, sunglasses, and any personal items were to be locked in a locker. She said if I wanted to keep my wedding ring on, she'd just have to inspect it. I am not sure if it was to ensure I didn't have someone out in the car googling info and somehow transmitting it to me, but whatever - I just took everything off to be compliant and without it being hassle. I also needed two forms of ID with signatures, and I couldn't even carry in my water! I tell you, I could have used that water half way through this 150 question multiple choice free for all (well not free - the exam is over $200 and retake is $150 - another reason I had to pass!!!). Anyway, mid-way through I felt like, ok this isn't bad, that flip flopped a few times, isn't bad - when did we cover that - ok I got this - I've never seen that before... then finally it was time to "End Review"... Deep Breath... <CLICK> ... (open eyes slowly)... PASS!!! THANK GOD!!! The picture of my princess kind of resembles how I think I looked as I stared at my final screen in the testing room...

Another happening is the interview Heather & I had last week, well it's published. I paid the $1.50 for the entire paper just for this little tidbit. If you want to read the entire edition of the Myrtle Beach Herald, you can subscribe online.  I hope they don't mind that I put this on here... Although, please substitute 'Epton' for all references to 'Eaton' - I know, darn that spellcheck - it doesn't like my name...

So there you have it, one week until Super Spartan! 8 miles of Hell that we are more than looking forward to! Yes, I think for the most part I haven't quite prepared mentally or physically, but that's why you find a friend just as insane as you are to do it too... for the encouragement... besides, we have to finish now - we are Accountable!!! 

In other news, Beachbody has announced the new Shakeology flavor - TROPICAL! I am super stoked to try it... I love fruit, so if this is anywhere near as good as the Chocolate... I will be ALL about it!  

Well time for me to sign off and enjoy this stress-free, study-free, family filled Saturday! Tomorrow is Father's Day, so if you are like me, today is the day to get that card, and finish constructing prezzies...lol When did I become a procrastinator? Oh right, about 7 months ago ;)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

HFS Exam, Fit Club & 9/11 Run-Walk!

Ok, this is a quick post, mostly because it is late! I have to be up in oh, 7 hours to get in a 5 mile run... at least that is the plan. There has been a lot going on this week. Work is crazy, I haven't been able to study a whole lot for the Health Fitness Specialist (HFS) exam that is scheduled for 1pm Friday. When I am home, I tend to fall asleep as I flip through the pages of my ACSM Review Guide... *yawn* I am so nervous about this exam, testing everything I have learned over the past few years, yet I worry even with my 3.9+ GPA... I just have to pass... if I don't - you will find me on my patio Friday evening hanging with the Captain!

So Heather and I have constructed our first Fit Club, it took some time to come up with a snazzy name, Triumph Fit Club... there were other ideas, Coastal Fit Club, Myrtle Mamas Gone Wild! (I joke), Forest Fit Club, By the Beach Fit Club, and Thrive, Zeal, Verdure, Verve, Vigor (I liked the V's - not sure why!?) Anyway, there was one, Get Sh*t Done Fit Club, but the marketing on that would likely be a nightmare... So Triumph it is... I like it - especially when it comes to getting fit, sometimes it's a battle with yourself you know? To Triumph, overcome obstacles and press on to conquer your fears, break through plateaus... accomplish your goals... Anyway, we are super stoked!

Lastly, on my long list of "Things going on",  I have been working on getting a 9/11 event in Myrtle Beach and it all looks so promising... This would be awesome to honor and commemorate all the lives lost a decade ago on Sept 11th. Can you believe it's been almost 10 years? Man, it doesn't seem like it... I still remember trying to explain it all to my then 5yr old son... Anyway, I am hoping we can get this event planned and have it be a success... more to come on that later :)

Hopefully on Friday I am running around helping coach at the GSRC Kids Running Clinic, not home wallowing in my sorrows, blogging about how I should have been studying more for the HFS Exam!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quick Spartan Post

So last week, Heather and I were interviewed by Amanda from the Myrtle Beach Herald. We met for lunch at Grouchos, which is a new deli near the college. I had a wonderful salad, and recommend them, seriously, yum. Anyway, we were interviewed about the up coming Super Spartan Race, only 12 days left!!! The article is supposed to make the June 17th edition of the paper. I am not quite sure what it might say (hopefully how excited we are, how we love races that get people involved in activity and how more races like this should be done!) but I won't tell a girl how to do her job. You know we've had an increase in mud runs in Myrtle Beach, and for that I am ecstatic! I know there were people out there who otherwise do not run, let alone jump in mud pits, crawl through dirt, or climb huge hills of earth... being the fitness fanatic I am, kudos to those guys (and gals!) who stepped outside of a comfort zone and if they are like me, had a blast! Ideally, I would love to see races and events all the time that got people up and moving... I don't want to get up on my soap box about Diabetes and Obesity rates in this country - but it is preventable... and so it should be prevented.

I was so amped on Saturday morning, I logged a 6 mile run with Heather & Gabby (thanks to Heathers jogging stroller!). We were able to get out pretty early in the morning, 6am to be exact, before the sun came up and the humidity zapped our will... BTW, isn't she just about the most precious thing you have ever seen?

Friday, my Shakeology arrived! After we completed our early morning run, we were pretty psyched to try the Greenberry... I mixed it with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and a banana... Oh how I love fruit! My initial reaction was that, as Heather stated, 'Smells like grass clippings', but it tasted good. I think next time I am going to use pineapple and maybe some frozen peaches... It's all about experimenting!

Sunday I tried the Chocolate; I added a banana, OMG. Yes, I said OMG! I was planning on sharing with Stephen, but seriously, I drank it all myself! Now, I have had quite a few experiences with protein based shakes - this was like no other... it was delish! Heck, I even had one this morning... I swear I will go back to Greenberry, but why not start a Monday with a Chocolate shake right?

Tonight is running group, I am hoping it's not 100 degrees with the heat index! BUT knowing what I know about SC in June, my focus today is hydration, hydration, hydration... All winter I am saying how I can't wait for it to warm up, and now I can't wait until the Fall! Isn't that just the way?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Super Spartan T-18 days!

Oh man, time is ticking away! In no time at all I will be dawning my muddy competition gear for another physical challenge... this one far exceeding those of the recent past. On June 2nd, I threw caution to the wind and officially registered...the countdown to Carolinas Super Spartan Race has begun!  I posed the question, 'Are you cool with this (SS Race)?' and my husbands response to me was, 'As long as you come back in one piece!' Well I will do my best, seriously, my best...lol

I follow SPARTAN RACE on facebook, I love seeing the pictures from the events, and get the workouts too... The recent photos from the New York Spartan Sprint (around 3 miles) in Tuxedo, NY (which reminds me of my younger club days in Tuxedo Junction, but that was in CT..lol) looked awesome! Fire, barbed wire, climbing, crawling... I mean what more can a girl ask for? Oh yeah, Super Spartan is 8+ miles of hell (seriously, that is the description on the site) - so more of all those awesome obstacles, more of a physical punishment for which I have paid to participate, more, more, more!

I did however, make every attempt to have my registration paid for. I contacted people who knew people to try to get someone, anyone to write about the race in the local papers. I even offered to write it if they would publish it... no dice... I did get a response of, 'The Spartan Race website looks awesome!' and then said he'd forward the information on to all these other papers. That was May 26th. A follow up email was sent on June 1st, and I have yet to get a response. I decided to register and pay out of my own pocket before the event sold out and I would be ass out (excuse my french)... No big, well it is because it's not cheap but hopefully it will be worth it!

So, now here is it, less than 3 weeks away and I have been working on my strength training... I am not delusional by any means. I will probably not be lifting my body weight by then, unless I lose about 40lbs (which would not be conducive to competing or my overall health and well being for that matter). My hope is to be in better shape in 18 days than I am today, honestly - what more can I ask for right?

Heather and I have been planning our girl road trip - which will undoubtedly include girl karaoke because come on - what would a road trip be without it? Disappointing, that's what! So we will sing our little hearts out (I hope she is prepared, my dad compared my singing to a dying cat once!) as we make our way to Winnsboro, SC... I hope she likes Eminem :)

So I would encourage anyone who thinks they are Spartan enough, and even those self-doubters to go ahead and check out the site, SPARTANRACE.COM and believe in yourself enough to give it a go... Find a race near you, throw caution to the wind and sign up! You only live once people, live it with a competitive spirit and do not limit yourself!!! You are stronger and more bad ass than you probably give yourself credit for!!!

If you live in, near or will be visiting the Winnsboro, SC area, and still need a little more incentive, you can save yourself a little coin by using the promo code "MARK"... Sign up before June 8th otherwise fees rise again...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The week in Review

I feel like I have left a few things out about my week, it seems to have gone by so quick! Memorial Day was also my 2nd Wedding Anniversary! There was a lot of contemplation in the morning, we knew we wanted to see Hangover 2, the dilemma was, if we went to an afternoon show - there was a popcorn vs nice dinner out debate... Yes, Stephen has an obsession with movie theatre popcorn; I don't think he can see a movie without it! Anyway, we decided we'd go to a 3pm show, take it from there.

We went to Barnes & Noble first, where I picked up the book, Run Less, Run Farther by William James Pierce, Bill Pierce, Scott Murr and Ray Moss. It was recommended to me by my long time friend and Army buddy, Shawntae, who has gone from 'run when chased' to marathoning mama! Anyway, I look forward to reading that, I will start that soon but first, I have studying to do for my HFS Certification Exam which is fast approaching - less than 2 weeks!

So we went to the theatre and were a bit early, but just in time for the 2:25pm show - score! We got the popcorn and I had a slushy, that is my obsession - Oh how I love a Cherry Lime slushy! I liked the Hangover 2, some people had said it wasn't as good as the first, which is probably true, but it was still pretty funny and I did laugh...out loud... I went in with no expectations, which in my opinion is really the only way to go! For dinner we ended up at Hippo Nacho, it was alright... not sure I'd frequent it, but it was good.

Tuesday was Gabriella's 6 month appointment, I won't talk too much about it because it was emotionally exhausting. My baby girl was not feeling the doctors office, and then the shots... she was cranky all day and I have to give major props to all the SAHM's out there - it's not easy - AT ALL... At least on the weekends me & the hubs can do the hand off and help each other out...lol

Wednesday - June 1st was National Running Day! It was also ridiculously HOT! We had organized a casual meeting at 6:30pm to celebrate the day by running - makes sense right? So Stephen took the baby to Barnes & Noble (yes, it really is one of our favorite places...lol) while I ran around the lake loop a few times with the other running peeps. It was hot and humid and I ran slow - but I was running faster than the person sitting home on the couch so mission accomplished! 

Thursday, well I decided it was finally time to stop breastfeeding... Gabriella is 6 & 1/2 months old now, I had set the goal of 6 months. Working full time and pumping while at work is no easy task, but I felt like I did a good job but it is time to move on. Unfortunately, nothing could prepare me for how I would be feeling physically with this decision. Let's just say Friday morning, Power90 was a little more challenging (especially jumping jacks) when your chest is full, and sore, very sore. By the end of Friday evening I had given in to all this talk about cabbage - yes cabbage leaves - in my bra to relieve the pain of drying up... At first I thought my friend Dawnmarie was just messing around... then I talked to the nurse at my doctors office and my sister-in-law - all saying Cabbage leaves... Lord have mercy, I smell like St. Patty's Day and feel like a salad bar.

Last night before heading out to dinner, I took 2 benedryl (I read an antihistamine would help with the drying process) and 2 advil (because my lady lights were hurting)... which in hindsight wasn't the best thought out plan... by the time dinner was over I felt like I was going to fall asleep in the car. So we got home, fed Gabriella her last bottle and I crawled into bed feeling like I had about a half a dozen cosmos... by 9pm it was lights out for this girl! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Workout Interupted...

Ok, so now that I have committed my mind & body to getting fit once again, on Friday I had to faced an obstacle called...my gym. Yes, in my house, I have this room which houses all my fitness equipment. I have a treadmill, a total body machine, an elliptical, a ball, and an assortment of resistance bands and hand weights. Unfortunately, I also have boxes of clothes, bags of all stuff to shred, among other obstacles (unlike those at a mud run) to climb over in order to use this room!

So on Friday I decided, it is time to reclaim my gym for the purpose in which it is intended to be used! I'm not sure if anyone is familiar with what the nursery once was - but it was what the gym is now... a dumping site, a free for all, for all the crap you don't know where else to put! This is totally my fault, since I have been running outside my gym has been neglected... but no more - something had to be done! So I took a deep breath, devised some sort of plan, and went in for the attack!

First, remove the largest obstacles, the area rug that my hubby was so happy to see removed from the living room - apparently this rug has been a nemesis since he moved in in the fall of '08...I mean, obviously I liked it, I had a large selection of throw pillows (which serve no purpose) to match the rug...but hey a new rug (of a completely different color palette) = new pillows!

It didn't take too long, just needed to get started, as with anything, getting started IS the hardest part. I was quite pleased with the results. I now have a floor! Well I always had a floor but now, I can not only see it, but I can walk freely on it! Easy access to my treadmill has been restored, and very soon I will say good bye to the elliptical. It has served me well over the past 9+ years, but I need the room and I don't use it, so my brother-in-law will be enjoying whatever life is left in her...lol

So now we come to Monday morning... oh wait it isn't Monday, it's Thursday...oy vey... Anyway, last night I took my dreaded 'BEFORE' pic, and this morning I got up at 5:15am to begin using Power90... Day 1, Sculpt, no problem! I made sure all my gear was in the bathroom so not to disturb the hubs, sometimes I am considerate like that! I decided I should do an official weigh-in, complete with body fat and circumference measurements. Pretty impressive for 5:15 ah?

Next, refill my water and head into the gym (because now I can!)... I turn on the TV, and the DVD player and press play... hmmm... oh right, I have to put in the DVD...its okay, see it's early! Play... oh that's right, someone unplugged my DVD player... goodness... I am not giving up - let me get this hooked up! DVD is good to go... so I start... Now I remember, I need a chair! Dang it.. Then I grab my resistance bands because my hand weights are MIA (I'm saying the DVD unplugger is the weights taker too!)... Finally! Let's DO THIS Tony! So I am going along, except for the 1 time I caught my hand in the ceiling fan (which is ready to be replaced since the motor is going and it hangs too low - hopefully this weekend, since I bought it over a year ago!) - I am moving along... I get to an exercise and remember why I like the weights, so I pause and go to retrieve my weights! Needless to say, I should have taken a picture of it, my 5lb hand weights were taped together with blue painters tape because apparently, they weren't heavy enough... Was this workout even meant to happen!?!?!

I chug along, feeling good, then I hear it... wait was it? Yes, Gabriella is awake! With 5 minutes left to go on my video, my sweet little princess is waking up... So I took this picture of us, to show how with 5:01 left in this mornings crazy workout, I tried... I still owe Tony that 5 minutes and 1 second, and I won't forget to do it later...Maybe to make up for all the mornings debacles, I will add in the ab ripper too!

The moral of the story is, there will always be obstacles, some you can see, some you can't... you can't always plan everything, but you can't give up either. Sometimes all you can do it try your best, do what you can do, and keep on keeping on...lol

Tomorrow - 3 mile run, followed by Power90 & Ab ripper... wake up call 4:45am

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The dreaded 'BEFORE' pic...

June 1, 2011
I am going to post my progress as I once again begin using Beachbody products. I began using Beachbody Slim in 6 in January of 2005. I saw awesome results, and went on to order a few other lines. I am going to see if I can find my measurements from that point. I figured I would post my new before picture, since it's 6 years later and I have recently had my daughter in Nov 2010. I didn't gain a lot of weight with her, about the average 30-35 pounds. I remained somewhat active, but not like I had in 1995, when I carried my son...

So here it is, the dreaded 'BEFORE' picture... I had one where I looked REALLY sad, but I felt it didn't really represent my personal feeling. I mean, I have work to do but I am not pitifully sad about it...I am actually pretty excited! Bring it...

Granted, it's a far cry from the abs of steel that were once chiseled into the mid section of my body, but it's not completely tragic either...lol I can't believe I am posting this for all to see... I do have to say, I am happy with my top (soon to disappear I am sure...isn't that always the way!)

I will post measurements soon... it's way past my bedtime! Power90 begins tomorrow!

National Running Day!

Happy National Running Day!!! I am so excited about today, I know if you are not a 'runner' you are probably wondering why - right? Well to be honest, any day that celebrates physical activity is a good day in my book... I am excited to see what kind of turn out we will have tonight. Heather created an event on facebook and then I posted an article which is featured on a local online community news site called TheDigitel.com. I guess I just wanted to get the word out that this is happening and I want everyone who can come, to show up and move!

It seems like I have a lot of balls in the air right now... almost consumed by motivating and being motivated to be active and live healthier... It's one of those feelings of overwhelmed happy - if that makes sense? I have people to call, email, confer with... as well as studying to do - that Health Fitness Specialist exam is on the 17th - 16 days to be exact!

Remember when this last semester was coming to an end and I thought, "what will I do with all my 'free' time"? Well here it is... I am trying to create a huge event in the Myrtle Beach area for September, really commit to my own physical activity routine, oh and I just signed up to be an Independent Beachbody Coach to help others on their journey... so lacking things to do - doesn't seem to be an issue!

I want to take a moment to thank my wonderful husband who says he loves that I am always going a million miles an hour, because without his support, I couldn't do all that I do...I love you Stephen!