Morning Cardio!

So… I’m not much of a morning person when it comes to working out, but dinner plans with friends necessitated a morning trip to the gym. Skipping my workout was out of the question, as Monday sets the tone for my whole week – if I skip the gym once, I’ll find excuses to skip again. (Same goes for my diet, unfortunately!)

Much to my surprise, I felt awake and refreshed when the alarm went off at 5:45am. This is probably a residual effect from my long stint working two jobs, as I’d become pretty acclimated to waking up at 2am and having my brain functional for writing.

When I arrived at the gym at 6:15am, I was thrilled to see how EMPTY it was. Literally, almost every machine was available to me, something that rarely happens when I go after work. I decided to take advantage of this freedom by cardio-hopping, spending 5-15 minutes per machine and switching the moment I felt the boredom set in.

I did a little over 60 minutes of cardio, jumping from the elliptical to the stairmaster, stairmaster to the treadmill, treadmill to the bike, and bike to the rowing machine.

While I admit my flexibility and endurance is a bit less in the morning (still waking up slowly), I felt good. I burned a little over 625 calories and got home with plenty of time to shower, eat breakfast, and get ready for work.

The perks of working out in the morning are numerous, but is it enough to get me out of my warm, cozy bed tomorrow morning? Let’s see!

Bon appetit, my friends!
~ Tori

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Savage Race: I SURVIVED!!

I did it!

Saturday morning. 6.75 miles, 25 obstacles.

Other than a few scratches and a lot of mud (in unspeakable places, but that’s another story), I survived!

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I completed the race in 1 hour, 49 minutes — which includes the wait time at each obstacle. I wish there was a way to know my TRUE time (wait times removed), but I’m pretty happy with what I accomplished.

Bon appetit, my friends!
– Tori

Savage Race on Saturday!

I’ve been silent about this for the most part, but on Saturday I am competing in the Savage Race in Dade City, Florida.

In case you’ve never heard of the Savage Race, this is what it looks like:

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Fires. Electrified barbed wire. Mud. Ice-filled dumpster swim.

I’ve done this once before (back in 2012) when I was not in as good of shape as I am now (I was about 15 lbs heavier) and there were several obstacles I physically couldn’t do. This year, I’m hoping my lighter weight and stronger upper body will allow me to complete the whole course without skipping any of the stops.

The only obstacle I REFUSE to do? The 2-foot wide tunnel INTO THE GROUND that is 100% pitch black.

Nope… just, nope. I’m severely claustrophobic and panic in an elevator (or a car after too long), so the thought of being in a hot, dark, cramped tube with people jammed in front of and behind me is HORRIFYING. Besides, it’s not even a test of strength so much as it is a test of fear. And I don’t need to test that today.

I’m running in the 11:20am heat on Saturday and my husband is coming along to cheer me from the sidelines. Wish me luck!

Bon appetit, my friends!

Running in April!

Keeping up with my resolutions for the new year, I’ve been doing no less than one 5k per month since January. I’ve tried to pace them out every 2-3 weeks, as getting up at 5:30am on a Saturday morning is not something I’m able to do on a daily basis (without massacring a small village).

Fortunately for me, with the month of April comes a lot of EVENING 5ks! YES!

As the Florida days get longer and the evenings are still cool, several events are moving to PM-time slots. I don’t know about you, but running at 6:30pm is a LOT better than running at 7am – my legs are already warm, I’m well fed and watered, and chances are I’ve got some steam to burn off from a stressful day at work.

Excited for all of the evening possibilities, I accidentally signed up for FOUR runs this month. Whoops! Looks like it’s going to be a busy, running-filled April!

Here’s my calendar —

The Tijuana Flats Just in Queso Super You 5k!
Where: Baldwin Park, FL.
When: Thursday, April 3rd @ 6:30pm
What I’m Most Excited About: I GET TO WEAR MY SUPER HERO TUTU, SOCKS, AND CAPE!

SuperMom 5K Orlando
Where: Baldwin Park, FL.
When: Saturday, April 12th @ 8am (will need coffee, but this is reasonable!)
What I’m Most Excited About: I’m running in place of my sister-in-law, Lindsey Perez, one of the coolest moms I know!

IOA Corporate 5K
Where: Lake Eola, FL
When: Thursday, April 17th @ 7:15pm
What I’m Most Excited About: Racing with the Full Sail University team!

Run for the Trees Memorial 5K
Where: Winter Park, FL
When: Saturday, April 26th @ 7:30am (feed me coffee!)
What I’m Most Excited About: I get a free tree at the end of the run! Too bad I kill every plant I touch. 😦

WHEW! I’m exhausted just LOOKING at this schedule. I’ve got a run every single week! This is the best time of year to be a runner in Florida (dry season + longer days of sunshine + the temperature doesn’t match the pits of Hell yet) so I plan to capitalize on the climate and get out there as much as possible.

Not really FAST (is that false advertising?), but I'm committed!

Not really FAST (is that false advertising?), but I’m committed!

 

 

 

Who wants to join me? 🙂 There’s still plenty of time to sign up!

Bon appetit, my friends, and happy running!

~ Tori

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Calf Machine: 400 pounds!

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OK, my shoes may look dorky as all get out, but these bulky little calves just did the MAXIMUM on the calf press EIGHT times!

Yes, you read that correctly: I just did eight calf raises of 400 pounds!

When I finished, utterly pooped, I got a high-five from a trainer that had been watching from across the gym.

Strength > skinny.

Hell yeah!

~ Tori

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GymPact WORKS!

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So, I’ve just finished my fourth week using the GymPact app.

As you can see, I have NOT skipped a workout in four straight weeks. Other than one week with a hectic work schedule, I’ve committed to five workouts every week and bet $10 each time that I’d follow through.

Funny how dedicated you can be when money is on the line, right?

My weight is down slightly (137 this morning) despite a voracious appetite, so all of my cardio must be adding up.

Ah, the power of a Hamilton.

Bon appetit, my friends!

-Tori

Too much of a good thing?

Everyone has a favorite.

A favorite color. A favorite food. Favorite pair of jeans. Shoes.

Place. Person. Pet.

[Shhhhhhh. Don’t tell anyone, but I sort of like my boy Chihuahua a bit more than my girl. Proof is that he has his own Facebook page and she doesn’t. Whoops!]

Everyone is guilty of having favorites in almost every aspect of their life, including their fitness regime.

I happen to have a favorite type of cardio exercise: the elliptical machine.

If you've followed this blog for a while, you probably realize that's not ME in the photo.

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you probably realize that’s not ME in the photo.

Image source: http://www.ellipticals.us/

I don’t know what it is about this machine in particular, but I can literally spend 90+ minutes on it and feel great. The TV distracts me, I’m often rocking out to some killer tunes, and in some cases, I’m reading a book for the duration of the workout.

Unfortunately, you can have too much of a good thing.

I’m extremely guilty of not diversifying my workout. I have a tendency, especially when I’m tired or not motivated, to do the exact same exercise [60-90 minutes on the elliptical] every time I go to the gym.

For the past three weeks, other than one super motivated day in which I did a strength circuit, I’ve ONLY done the elliptical machine as my exercise.

Yeahhhhh.

The same machine. Always for 60-90 minutes. Every week, 4-5x per week.

As you can probably guess… it’s not helping my weight loss. In fact, as of this morning, I’m up a pound from my starting weight on June 11th.

It’s frustrating, because, despite the repetitious-aspect, I’m putting in effort. I leave the gym pouring sweat. I feel an ache in my legs the next day, which is normally a good indicator that I’ve given those muscles a pretty strenuous workout.

Why isn’t that enough?

I was reading a few fitness articles online and I discovered there are a couple of major CONS to doing the same workout over and over.

  • For one, you’re more prone to injury! As this article by Body4Life states, doing the same workout over and over creates a “repetitive-task” response, which can lead to an increased chance of injury.
  • The workout becomes less effective. As you continue to do the same workout over and over, your muscles learn the motion and it requires less energy/effort to mimic the action. Practice makes perfect – but, in this case, it means the workout provides less overall caloric burn because it’s not a challenge to your muscles anymore.
  • You won’t see the same results. If you continue doing the same exercise over and over but expect different results [aka, new definition or muscle development], you’re going to be sorely disappointed. [get it? sorely disappointed?! I’m such a pun-artist!]

So, with all of that being said, I guess I’ve fallen into the cardio-rut and it’s time to overhaul my workout a bit.

I hate to say this, Mr. Elliptical-by-the-Door, it’s time to take a break. I need to see other machines.

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That treadmill is looking mighty sexy. And I’m pretty sure Mr. Stairclimber has been checking me out all night. Don’t get me started on the rowing machine… he’s been dying to bend me over since he laid eyes on me.

Don’t be upset. We can stay friends. I’ll still visit from time-to-time. I’m just not ready for a committed relationship at this point, you know?

I’m glad you understand. I love you and I’ll never forget the joy – and the sore buttocks – you’ve brought me.

Bon appetit, my friends —

~ Tori

 

Best Workout? MOVING!

Last night, my husband, a team of three professional movers, and I managed to take the contents of our 3/2, third floor condo and move it into our 3/3.5 three story townhouse.

It took SIX HOURS.

Six hours for 5 people, all in relatively good shape.

Up and down three flights of stairs. Over and over and over again.

I’m exhausted. My legs are so tight, it hurts to walk to the bathroom. My shoulders and arms are so sore, it’s challenging to lift my laptop.

Moving is officially the most strenuous endeavor I know. Fortunately, we’re done. The house, though messy and still full of boxes, is relatively put together. Furniture is on the correct floor, gigantic marble tables are in one piece, and my quads are screaming like they realized they won the lottery and threw away their ticket.

I hope to never do that again. I don’t care if my husband and I have a HERD of children, this is our FINAL home. We’ll invest in bunk beds [free delivery and set-up, of course], and just stack the children into the bedrooms before I ever consider getting another house.

How do people do this so frequently? I have friends that move every 1-2 years. I can’t imagine going through this torture more than 2-3 times in a lifetime. Granted, I moved a lot during college, but I also lived out of plastic Tupperware containers and the heaviest piece of furniture I had was a coffee table from Ikea. Big difference.

On a positive note, I finally unpacked my scale. Going four days without a weigh-in was both glorious and freeing, but I was beginning to panic about the “unknown.” Like I said in my previous post, I normally weigh myself multiple times throughout the day. Going more than 72 hours without a weigh-in was just… strange.

Down 2.6 pounds.

Huh. I’ve been living on take-out and missing the gym, but somehow my weight has gone down and my jeans are starting to loosen up again.

I guess moving truly is the best workout around.

Not that I ever plan to do it again… but it’s good to know.

On that note, time to go grocery shopping and stock this place up with HEALTHY goodies!

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

Just cycling along…

One of my favorite exercises happens to be the one that feels LEAST like exercise: riding my bike with my husband.

This morning, we decided to crack out the old mountain/hybrids and go for a ride to strategically check out some homes that we’re interested in. The kicker, here, is that these homes are ALL over town. Literally. There were at least two miles between each property and we set out to see no less than six of them.

For two hours, we trucked around town, crossing from Orlando to Maitland, Maitland back to Winter Park, and then Winter Park back to the Baldwin Park area. If you’re not familiar with the Orlando-area, we biked roughly 22 miles. WOW.

Amazingly, the entire trip was a blast. I never felt tired [until the very end, of course] and I was in good spirits the whole time.

Perhaps the distraction of the sights, of having to meander safely through traffic, and the excitement of seeing our [potential] new home drove out the mental struggle that tends to accompany a long workout. I was entertained and enjoying myself, so it really didn’t feel like exercise. It felt like a fun trip with my husband and a beautiful day to be a Floridian.

This leads me to the conclusion that the easiest way to make exercise a daily part of your life is to make it a daily ENJOYABLE part of your life. Whether it’s a bike ride with your spouse or a kickball class with your best friend, a good workout is most effective if it’s savored and anticipated.

If you’re struggling to incorporate more exercise into your day-today, try riding your bike to pick up the few items you need from the drug store or suggest swapping your ladies night out into a ladies sweat-out and join a boot camp glass together. You can find tons of them – often free – locally by going to sites like http://www.meetup.com!

Chances are, you’ll appreciate the after-effects of a good workout much more than you will a night of heavy wine-guzzling!

Besides, how could you choose to go out drinking over rocking one of these awesome helmets with a friend?

Coolness: Defined

Yes, I wear this out in public. It’s the best!

On that note, it’s back to work for me.

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori