We Finished the Spartan Sprint Race!

This weekend was all kinds of wonderful!

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for one, Friday started with overnight oats in an almond butter jar — always the best

And I hope you all share the same sentiment. Shoutout and prayers for your fathers and all fathers, alive and gone. Super special shoutout to Pop! Much love to my hero.

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I think this is from Father’s Day last year!

Friday

I posted this “half a week in the life” vlog in the morning! Then I worked all day in the lab, with a nice outdoor lunch break in there. Lunch was a hodgepodge of snacky foods because my fridge stockpile is depleting.

carrots and hummus, three hard boiled eggs with sriracha, Mary’s Gone Crackers, grapes

Coming home from work was just a wee bit rainy…

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All I needed to do was shampoo and rinse.

Soon after coming home, I quickly ate leftover roasted brussels sprouts straight from the fridge before a FaceTime date with one of my best friends, Emma. She’s one of those people who you can’t help but love and admire — truly a sweet and holy soul.

I wanted something sweet but also somewhat nutritious afterwards, so Amanda’s banana bread mug cake with extra peanut butter and lots of Greek yogurt came to the rescue.

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Saturday

On our last day before the Spartan Race, Ben and I did a short and simple 16 minute workout with some foam rolling in the morning.

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Next on the agenda for me was spiritual direction, which was more beautiful than I expected it to be, as it always is. I went to Mass directly after, and then walked to The Clayroom for a date with my girl Colby, who’s in Boston for the summer!! I ate a ham and cheese sandwich + grapes on the way there.

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I ♥︎ sandwiches – delicious, filling, portable, versatile

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The Clayroom is a pottery painting studio that Colby found after we decided to do an indoor activity given the rainy forecast on Saturday (it never even rained). We loved it!

First you choose your own piece of pottery (varied prices depending on the piece, plus a studio fee).

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And then you paint it as you please, pay for everything, leave your piece there, and pick it up a few days later after they’ve fired it in the kiln!

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Colby chose a big plate to paint for her dad for Father’s Day. Apparently he likes to grill, so she made him a very impressive “King of the Grill” plate. How sweet!

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I chose a pasta bowl (functional for the many things I eat in bowls) that I decorated with some doodles on the outside and something that might look familiar on the inside…

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The colors will be more vibrant once they’re fired in the kiln. We’re going to pick them up later this week, so I’ll show you our final products after that!

It was great catching up with Colby and having some good ol’ arts and crafts time with her. 🙂

At night, Casey, Ben and I had a slumber party so that Ben and I could carb up and also be ready to leave early in the morning the next day.

Ben made us a delicious dinner of cacio e pepe, cured meats, caprese, and toasted focaccino bread.

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I LOVE CARBS.

No slumber party is complete without braiding hair.

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We were planning on turning it in early, but we didn’t get to sleep until around 11, with a 5:15 AM wakeup just around the bend.

Sunday

I was on breakfast duty in the morning, so I brought all my favorites for a nice pre-race meal.

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Two slices of pb banana bread for all.

Casey wished us luck, and then Ben and I departed for Treasure Valley Scout Reservation, which was a little over an hour away. We were both feelin’ excited and nervous on the way! I said I would have nervous poops, but Ben thought I said “foops,” so now we’re dubbing nervous poops “foops.”

I’ve talked about bowel movements a lot here recently, I’m sorry.

When we arrived, there were already racers from earlier heats trekking through the obstacles, and the festival portion was bumpin’.

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The weather was pretty perfect for a race — overcast, not too hot, not too cold. Maybe just a little muggy, but not too bad.

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We warmed up, made sure we were just hydrated enough, and then lined up in the corrals for our 10 AM start time.

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so happy and clean before the race

Ben: “Let’s do a serious face.”

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Me: “This is as serious as I’m gonna get because I can’t stop smiling.”

Ben: “Oh c’monnnn!”

Me: “Fine.”

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The thing to shout at a Spartan Race is “AROO!” so the start line announcer rallied us up to chant “I AM A SPARTAN” and “AROO AROO AROO” several times before he yelled “GOOOOO!”

Guys, this race was so much fun!! The volunteers and other racers were enthusiastic and encouraging, the trails and obstacles were challenging yet fun, and there were just enough water stations.

The course was 5.1 miles, filled with:

  • muddy and rocky trails through the woods
  • GIANT hills
  • deep and sticky mud pits + giant hills up which you had to carry sandbags and buckets of rocks
  • barbed wire crawl
  • short and tall walls to climb over
  • an inverted wall
  • a traverse wall
  • a tire flip
  • a couple sets of monkey bars
  • a spear throw
  • a sandbag pulley
  • a rope climb
  • muddy water pits
  • a line of burning rocks to jump over at the finish!

For every obstacle you fail, you have a 30 burpee penalty. #yikes. I only had to do 90, which I’m proud of, considering I honestly thought I would have to do 300.

I was most concerned about the running because of my hips, but running through the woods was slow enough, and the damp soil helped absorb a lot of impact, so my hips felt great! What didn’t feel great were the uneven paths that torqued my right knee quite a bit, but I think I just need to ice and nurse it a bit this next week.

My favorite obstacles were actually the big hills, traverse wall, and the one set of monkey bars that I surprised myself by completing. The spear throw was my least favorite because I’m bitter about having very little hand-eye coordination.

The rope climb was another {bittersweet} favorite. I hadn’t climbed a rope since elementary school, I think. In the race, I used way too much arm strength since I didn’t know how to do the J-hook with my feet properly. I was *this* close to ringing the bell at the top, but my arms were absolutely fried (I was on that rope for a good two minutes), so I just started slipping and rope-burned my way down in failure. Womp womp.

It was sweet though, because the rope climb is one of the last obstacles on the course, so a bunch of people were watching and cheering me on from the sidelines. I mean, it was humbling to disappoint all of them when I didn’t make it, but it was still awesome to have people cheering for me.

Two hours and two minutes later, Ben and I crossed the finish line, muddy, sweaty, but full of joy! We downed water, a banana, and a Clif bar while beaming at the fact that WE DID IT and neither of us died/needed hospital assistance.

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In order, my goals for this race were to:

  1. glorify God
  2. have fun
  3. not injure myself seriously
  4. finish the race
  5. finish the race in good time

And I think Ben and I accomplished these goals, praise God!

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We got some swag upon finishing, including a nice medal, a T-shirt, some free food samples, and a beer. We hosed ourselves down, but Lord knows we would need a real shower later. Some of that mud was definitely commingled with some animal poop.

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Me: “I’m still really thirsty, which makes me want to drink this beer really quickly, but maybe I shouldn’t do that.”

I am so grateful that I got to run the Spartan Sprint safely and happily with one of my best buds. What a great experience!

But the Spartan Race was the second best thing of the weekend. Mass that evening was the best thing.

After Mass, a bunch of us went over to our friend Austin’s place for dinner since he had a bunch of leftovers from a party. Free food is better than gold for us college students.

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delicious chicken drumsticks + sausage and peppers

Ben and I had been half-joking about ordering the Vermonster (a 20-scoop ice cream sundae) at Ben & Jerry’s with a bunch of friends after our Spartan Race, but we decided that our stomachs would much prefer a more moderate amount of ice cream (still recovering from Scooper Bowl, TBH).

Back to White Mountain Creamery then!

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I went here on Memorial Day with Casey and Ben, but I needed to come back with Rachel since the “Cookie Monster” (cookies and cream with cookie dough throughout) was on our food bucket list. IMG_9130

This stuff was dreeeeamy. As was the scoop of blueberry white chocolate underneath.

I went to bed last night feeling quite tired and achy, but my heart was so full.

Monday

I woke up later than usual today because a) SLEEP; b) I took the bus instead of walking because my knee is hurting, but I was still rushing to get out of the house. Breakfast was leftover green pancakes with PB&J, eaten on the way to the bus stop.

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I’m working until around 6 today, and then I desperately need to go grocery shopping!

Hope you all have a kick-butt Monday! AROOOOOO! (← I actually find saying that very dog-like.)

So tell me:

Have you ever run an obstacle course race?

Have you ever painted pottery?

One delicious thing you ate and one fun thing you did this weekend!

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Good News, Bad News

What a week!

As the title suggests, things have been an ever-exciting cocktail of highs and lows. Life is a rickety wooden roller coaster, but fortunately, those are my favorite kinds of rides. Also, there is more good news than bad news!

Good News – Gross anatomy exams went so well last week! I am grateful for intelligent and motivating classmates/friends who helped me through that intense study period.

Good News – The men at the Catholic Center put on an incredible “Women’s Appreciation Night” last Thursday, complete with real plates and silverware, a three course meal, and SWING DANCING. Chivalry is not dead!

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look how dressed up they are!

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that bacon-wrapped chicken was bomb

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shoutout to Evan and Veronica for giving the swing dance lesson (and to all the guys for actually dancing with us – I tried hard to not be the leader 😀 )

Are we queens or what!?

Bad News – Megan and I have found SIX cockroaches in our apartment in the past two weeks. The first one was not cool, the second one was a problem, and the next four have been borderline traumatizing.

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And she really did leave a singular rain boot for me in the kitchen.

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As well as the delicious corn bread, which made matters slightly better.

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We finally just called Emergency Facilities yesterday, so they’re coming to fumigate the place today.

We’re clean people, we promise! We also tried spraying the place ourselves, but apparently, using bug killer spray on the perimeter of the floors just makes the roaches crawl on the walls and on top of the refrigerator (!!!????!?@#$!@#%!).

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How I currently walk around the apartment more often than not. Although, squishing the roaches is potentially worse, because it might attract more?? Whatever the case, Megan and I take at least 20 minutes to recover from each huge roach we encounter.

Me to Rachel:

Good News – We have a warm bed, food, and shelter. There are worse things that could be happening.

Bad News – Speaking of housing though, my roommates for next year and I are scrambling with apartment searching/landlord issues. GAH adulting is hard.

Good News – I have been drinking and eating delicious mango things.

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champagne mangos that go down like buttahhhh

Bad News – Last night I had one of those “oh crap I have so much work to do these next few weeks” moments. Naturally, I started writing this blog post in the midst of it all.

Good News – On Saturday, my friend Rebecca and I attended a free trial class at CrossFit Fenway! It was a pretty basic class, understandably, but I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the Crossfit “box”, and our instructor was very knowledgable and motivating.

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After going through the warmup + basic movements, our short WOD (workout of the day) was:

90 second max calorie row

1 min. rest

8 min. AMRAP:

  • 12 squats
  • 9 abmat situps
  • 6 ring rows

Nothing fancy, but it was fun to do it with a group. Other people at the gym were doing Open Workout 17.5 and I was wishing I could participate! Thrusters and double unders are two movements I can actually do.

Bad News – I think it would be fun to join CrossFit box, but it is expensiveeee and your girl can’t afford that right now. Also, our Fitness and Recreation center on campus is fantastic already.

Good News – I had my first workout/Bible study this past Sunday, and it was great! Four girls are in the group, and I take them through a 30-45 min. workout + a 30-45 min. Bible study based on Theology of the Body (trying to tie together that body-soul idea ya know). I’m really excited for it! The girls killed this workout I put together:

4 rounds (10 sec rest/30 sec work)

  • burpees
  • squats OR squats with overhead press
  • plank OR spiderman plank
  • side jump lunges
  • pushup to T OR plank to T
  • high knees

And then we had a good discussion about body image!

Bad News – It’s rainy all week.

Good News – I finally got to watch Inside Out, and I LOVE IT.

Bad News – I didn’t actually get to finish Inside Out, sooooo now I’m at a cliffhanger and I need to find another time to watch the rest.

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Good News – I watched all of Beauty and the Beast in theaters with Rachel on Friday, and it. was. magical. Wonderful animation and music, and Emma Watson is gorgeous. Highly recommend! (p.s. Disney is making a live-action Mulan movie coming out November 2018!!!)

Bad News – Eh, I’m done complaining. No more bad news.

Good News – I made and ate enchiladas for the first time ever last night. I bought a can of Hatch enchilada sauce from Thrive a while ago and finally put it to use with this recipe. They ROCK and I can’t wait to eat the rest of them this week!

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I hope you all have a great Tuesday! Laugh about the little problems and have faith that it will all be okay.

So tell me:

One piece of good news (you can share a bad one too if you want, but at least one good one!) 🙂

Have you ever had a pest problem?

Have you ever eaten enchiladas before?

 

Don’t Let The Mirror Steal Your Joy

Real talk tiiiiiiime.

Last week, I completed a fun workout outside. I think it was this one:

5 rounds
  • run the cul-de-sac (~200m)
  • 60 sec squat jump with knee up twist (15#)
  • 60 sec v-ups
  • 60 sec down dog spiderman pushups
  • 60 sec reverse lunge with kick (30#)
  • 30 sec side plank right
  • 30 sec side plank left

It involved running, so you know I felt extra accomplished when I finished. I was hot and tired, but I also felt energized and strong.

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But then I looked in the mirror, and all of a sudden I didn’t feel as satisfied with my workout anymore. I honestly think I’d been watching too many Crossfit videos that weekend, so all I had been looking at were bodies like Stacie Tovar’s:

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I’m obviously not as fit as a Crossfit Games athlete (or almost any Crossfitter, for that matter), but when I looked in the mirror, I subconsciously compared my body to fitter, leaner bodies.

And that stole my joy.

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We’ve talked about the comparison trap 1000000 times on this blog, but it never seems to fade away (for me at least). Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe that I am in a healthier place than ever, mentally. But it’s still important to realize that aspiring for thinness OR fitness can be dangerous (← great article from Spoon University).

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In other words, aspiring for another person’s body (seeing someone else’s body as #goals) is denying yourself the opportunity to realize the amazing things about your body and what you can do.

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If I let myself define my workouts by how I look afterwards, I will end up miserable, and working out will become merely a means to an “end”— to have a certain physique (which is actually not an end because physical aesthetic alone is never fulfilling IMHO).

This doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t set goals, but I think there’s a difference between setting goals to be like someone else and setting goals to be the best version of yourself at this stage in your life.

Even with that perspective though, how can you tell what “your best” is? Am I not doing “my best” right now just because I’m not pushing myself to lift the heaviest weights possible, to run more, or to eat less sugar? Maybe. But I’m going to say that I am doing my best, because I have other priorities ahead of fitness (that is, fitness that goes above and beyond basic fitness for health) towards which I devote my time and energy as well.

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Since I’ve been working out when I feel like it and in a way that feels right for my body on each day, I’ve truly come to love working out. When I started this blog almost three years ago, I probably said that I loved working out, but I don’t think I truly did. I was still forcing myself to work out when I didn’t want to and to do workouts that were way too intense for what I needed that day.

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throwback to when I went to New York Sports Club in high school

This also doesn’t mean that you should never work out if just because you don’t feel like it. However, if there is one Pinterest quote I am willing to share over and over again, it’s this one:

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So cheers to moving and grooving…

…whether that’s running or walking…push-ups on your knees or clapping push-ups…air squats or heavy squats.

…whether you have a cut six-pack or a “muffin top” with those spandex capris…a perky butt or a cellulite-dimpled butt…biceps or no biceps (I happen to have the latter on all three of these)…

Don’t let the mirror steal your joy. Let exercise itself be your jam, not just “the body” (whatever that is to you).

So tell me:

Have you ever let the mirror steal your joy after a workout?

Other thoughts! 

Confessions of a College Homebody

We have just a little over a week left in March! 2016 is basically around the corner.

I kid, but WOW, time is moving and grooving, am I right? To prove that, I can tell you that last week was a blur, which explains why I didn’t blog. That makes me sad.

But here we are on this fine Monday, ready to tackle a new week! I can’t promise I’ll be posting more than last week, but I can promise that I have some blog posts in the noggin that will make it to you very soon. For today though, I want to talk to you about how I’m a homebody.

I like to think that I am an adventurous and fun person, but there are many times when I just want to be in my room by myself, catching up on blogs, listening to music (when it’s not Lent), and just decompressing (both figuratively and literally; lying down after standing all day is heavenly for the spine).

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I love going out and trying new things, but I’ve come to terms that I tend to want to stay at home. Another term for a college student like me could be “loser”…and that could be accurate. But in my world, there are times for young and wild adventure (like the Great NYC Food Tour and that time I encountered an alligator in the wild) and there are times for retirement-status rest and relaxation. My weekends often call for the latter, and I’m okay with that.

There’s an underlying reason as to why I was a grandma for Halloween, I guess.

So what did I even do this weekend?

Friday

Worked out, showered, went to class, ate a fantastic Fish Friday lunch…

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tuna salad, veggie, honey mustard sandwich + maple orange tempeh and brussels sprouts

…took a nap, went to work…

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proud of this lemon pepper honey dill salmon that I made at work

…came home, ate oatmeal a la dorm for dinner (because the dining hall had already closed)…

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…and then watched CrossFit videos for the rest of the night.

Saturday

Ate oatmeal a la dorm for breakfast, help set up a Students for Life conference, stayed for a couple of the talks…

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…left the conference to change into BU gear and prepare for my campus tour, ate lunch…

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huge salad + “Asian salisbury steak” with “soba noodles” (yes, those all needed quotation marks, but it was delicious nonetheless!)

…gave my first campus tour ever (!!!)…

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…went back to the room to eat a snack, went back to the conference for a few hours, ate dinner, studied, did summer job searching, blogged…

…and I resisted Rachel with all my might, who was trying so desperately to get me to go out. But I told her that I wasted my time doing nothing on Friday night, so I needed to do work. She is right to suspect that I don’t remember the last time I went out on a weekend night during school, but I’m not complaining!

Sunday

Worked out, showered, ate breakfast…

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…did some homework, went to Mass, ate lunch, studied some more, walked around a bit, ate dinner, more job searching, FaceTimed with the parents, blogged…

…and here we are. I think I want a snack.

If you’re still reading this, you’re the coolest. On the surface, my weekend definitely wasn’t some wild adventure out on the town, but I still think it was filled with fun and exciting events! The Students for Life conference was awesome and inspiring, my first campus tour went very well, I walked outside in the sunshine (praise Jesus, winter is breaking), and found some possible job opportunities for the summer.

But don’t worry, I do have a social life and other weekend plans in the future. I’m not going to pass up the student activities here on campus!

Also, random inclusion: I whipped out this miracle substance for my weird spine pain, and it WORKS.

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It has that wonderful hot-cold, minty sensation that soothes your aches and pains. Ahhhhh. If you’ve never tried Tiger Balm, I highly recommend it for sore muscles, sprains, and maybe even aromatherapy (stuff smells so good IMO).

So there you have it, friends. Confessions of a college homebody.

Hope you all have a beautiful Monday! Let’s all get out of our comfort zone today, deal? 🙂

So tell me:

Do you tend to be a homebody or an adventurer?

One exciting thing you did this weekend.

One mundane thing you did this weekend.

Have you ever used Tiger Balm?

Weekly Moves and Grooves XXIII {100 Burpee Challenge PR}

HI I’VE MISSED YOU.

School. That’s my only excuse. And maybe some nights when I did not want to do anything at all except watch YouTube videos, but that’s good for sanity, right?

More to come tomorrow! But today is Sunday, which means…

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

1 mile jog to the gym + leg workout

  • 1×8 (115#), 5×5 (125#) squats // 10 squat jumps between each set
  • 5×5 trap bar deadlifts (135#) // 10 box jumps between each set (20 inches)
  • 3×8 Bulgarian split squats each leg (30#) // 16 jump lunges between each set
  • 3×20 hamstring ball curls // 30 side jump lunges between each set

Walking was a little painful on Monday.

Monday

gymnastics warmup + Purely Twins’ 18 minute plank workout

That plank workout is one of my favorite quick, low-impact workouts ever. It makes my whole body shake every single time.

Tuesday

Rest

Wednesday

jog to the gym + 500m row + “WOD” + jog back from the gym

My impromptu “WOD” was 5 rounds of:

I always go to the gym with my friend PJ on Wednesday mornings, but I was so tired this week. I texted him saying I would go later in the afternoon, but then I changed my mind and just went in the morning since I was already up (I was majorly conflicted—it took me so long to decide what to do with myself). I also needed to study a little bit more for an anatomy exam I had at 11AM, so I was in and out of the gym in about 20 minutes. Whatever works!

Thursday

100 burpees for time

It had been a long while since I had done 100 burpees for time, but I think it might have been one and a half years ago! I came across the 100 burpee challenge again on Krista’s blog, 12 Minute Athlete, so I thought it would be a good, fast workout to do in my dorm (since I slept in that morning). Plus, I ♥ burpees.

My PR in 2013 was 7:54, but this time I completed 100 burpees in 6:40! Just less than seven minutes, but I was feelin’ it for the rest of the morning.

burpee PR 3:19:2015

I broke up the burpees into sets of 30, 10, 10, 20, 15, and 15. Now if only I could run a mile in this time… Just the thought of that makes me cringe.

Friday

jog to the gym + dynamic warmup + three 10 min. AMRAP workouts

First 10 min. AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) inspired by this one from The Blonde Ponytail:

Second 10 min. AMRAP:

Third 10 min. AMRAP:

I finished either 4 round or just under 4 rounds for each of the mini workouts. This was a really fun way of keeping me interested during my time at the gym!

Unfortunately though, I had a slight pain in my upper (inferior cervical, to be exact, yay anatomy) spine area that started before spring break, and the overhead motions in these workouts seemed to tweak that pain even more. Thus, I’m going to take it easy on my shoulders and neck, and I hope to do some yoga this week!

Saturday

Active rest

Some walking, air squats, pushups, sit-ups, burpees…

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I’ll talk to you all tomorrow! Hope you have a lovely Sunday. (Palm Sunday is in ONE WEEK and Easter is in TWO WEEKS!)

So tell me:

Have you ever tried the 100 burpee challenge?

What is one way you like to make your workout extra fun? Besides circuit workouts, I love pyramid workouts, dance, and ultimate frisbee!