Fit Friday And A Special Request

This has been a great week! Here’s the recap in case you missed something:
Beautiful Mondays had an amazing Guest Post from one of my favorite people
– Tuesday showed you something a little crafty that I did
– Wednesday was all about a great dinner
– Thursday gave you a glimpse into my home decorating

So here we are on Friday. This has been the first week in a long time where I have been able to post every day. It’s been really nice, and I’ve totally enjoyed it! I think I’ll be keeping up the current format and series. I hope you all are liking it as well!

So moving on to the last new series: Fit Friday

This one is another brain child of the Lovely Miss Kara, who pointed out that Fridays should be about fitness to help motivate you to keep up your fitness throughout the weekend. She’s such a smart cookie! 🙂

Back at the beginning of February, I made a list of goals to help keep me fit in Feb. I would give myself a solid score of 50%. I did get 3 new recipes that The New Yorker and I LOVE, and I registered for a 5K. On the other hand, 100 miles of running ended up with 3, and Meatless Mondays morphed into “oh shoot, it’s Lent and I’m not allowed to eat meat on Fridays”.

My biggest accomplishment, hands down though, was starting CrossFit. I have to say, I’m already addicted, and am dreading next week when I can’t make my favorite class (stupid work…)!

Source: lifeasrx.com via Cameron on Pinterest

 

The CrossFit gym where The New Yorker goes has a great way of introducing new clients to CrossFit. There are a lot of techniques that you need to know in order to keep you safe (and not looking like an idiot) in the classes. They start with a free intro class where they go over the basics:
Different equipment in the gym
Squat series
Push ups
sit ups
Pull Ups
and so on.

Then she put me through a workout. The workout was the Baseline workout for CrossFit:

500m row
40 squats
30 sit ups
20 push ups
10 pullups

Source: google.com via G. on Pinterest

 

The intro class lasted about 45 minutes, and I left completely unable to walk down the stairs! My trainer was awesome, and I had signed up for 2 “onboarding” classes before I walked out the door. The Onboarding classes were even more technique focused than the intro class, and I learned a ton. We went over a lot of the modifications that I would need until I was stronger, like using a band to help me with my pullups.

Then I bought a 10 class pack.

With the class pack came the CrossFit log book for the gym. It has an AMAZING amount of information about Paleo, the  bench mark workouts, technique, and more.

The best thing in the book, hands down, is the measurement pages. I immediately had The New Yorker help me with all of my measurements, and I can’t wait until next month when I get to check and see my progress!

So back to the classes:

Last Saturday I did the Bootcamp class. My trainer from the onboarding classes was teaching it, so I felt more comfortable knowing that she knew my limitations. The workout for class was

3 Rounds for Time-cutoff is 40min:

50 Kb Swings 24/16 (scale down as appropriate)
45 Single Jump Ropes (scale up for double unders)
40 Lawnmowers 35#/20# (scale down as appropriate and split between both arms)
35 Ab Mat Situps
30 Walking Lunges
250 M Row
25 Burpees
20 Box Jumps 24 inch/20inch
15 Push Press 85#/65#
10 Lemon Squeezers
5 Dead Hang Pullups

Can you say HOLY HELL?? I got through 2 rounds + and was pretty pumped. I didn’t wimp out, and did every.single.rep. It was such a great feeling.

(Sorry, this is staring to get wordy.. I’ll hurry it up!)

After my class, The New Yorker was doing the CrossFit Open at the gym. The Open is like the Olympic Trials. There is a set  of workouts that anyone can do every week, as long as they are judged by an eligible judge. The people who do the best at round 1 of the open, move on to regionals, and so on, until they have the competitors for the CrossFit Games.

The New Yorker’s Open workout on Saturday was 7 minutes of Burpees.  If you’ve ever done burpees, you’re cringing right now. I can see you! If not, here’s the basic idea:

Source: tumblr.com via Emily on Pinterest

 

The New Yorker did amazing, and got 95 burpees in 7 minutes!! He’s headed back tomorrow for workout #2, I’ll keep you posted on how he does!

And FINALLY, my first Beginner CrossFit class was Monday. I was terrified! The Bootcamp had been more cardio focused, where this class was way more weight focused. We did 2 seperate workouts.

#1
15 Min AMRAP
2 Muscle Ups
10 Handstand Pushups
10 KB Swings

Then WOD #2
22-20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4 Rep Rounds of
Ab Mat Situps
Sumo Dead Lift High Pulls

We modified workout 1 a LOT. Muscle Ups are this absurd thing where you go from hanging on a set of rings, to a pushup-like position on them, to pushing your whole body to an upright position. It’s super hard to explain, so here’s a picture to help you out a bit:

 

Our modifications were 1: working on the dip movement on the rings and then 2: dead hang pull ups.
Then for the Handstand push ups, the mods were handstands against a wall for 10 seconds, followed by 10 pushups off of a bench.

It was an insanely hard workout for me, but again, I did everything and was really excited when I didn’t totally suck at it!

Now, I’m hooked and headed back for another BootCamp class tomorrow. I just looked up the workout:

SKILL REVIEW- 1 ARM KB Snatch

Each exercise is 30 seconds on/15 seconds rest (off)
5 Rounds at each station and then move to the next station
1. Mountain climbers
2. KB Sumo Deadlift High pulls
3. Burpees
4. Split squats (right leg)
5. Gymnastics Push ups
6. Sit Stands
7. Triple Extension Jumps
8. Split squats (left leg)
9. Ab Mat Situps
10. 1-arm snatch left arm
11. 1 arm snatch right arm

Here is my new motivator – and this workout is helping me become more useful in general 😉

Source: zazzle.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

 

I hope you all have a great weekend, and a HUGE shout-out to Krysten from Darwinian Fail, who is  running a Half Marathon this weekend, and then turning right around and going in for major surgery on Monday. Please keep her in your thoughts this weekend, this girl is phenomenal!

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Check It Off The List!

Yesterday was full of new and exciting things.

My day started out with an intro class at the CrossFit gym. Yup, that’s right, I FINALLY started CrossFit! (I can cross it off of my Fit February list!)

 

I walked into the gym, and had a slight panic attack. It was packed with equipment that I had very strategically avoided in the past. No comfy treadmill, no familiar dumbbell.

CrossFit gyms are referred to (lovingly) as a “box”. Nothing fancy, just 4 walls a ceiling, and a padded floor. There were 4 pull up bars, a few racks, and otherwise just space and some mobile equipment.

Source

Heather greeted me right away, and was super friendly. She showed me around the box, and then went over a quick warm up with me. Following that we went through some of the basic movements used in the Workout of the Day (WOD).

(Each of the following movements has a link to a Youtube video so you can see the if you are unfamiliar, which I was for most of them!)

We went over the different types of squats:

Air Squats

Front Squats 

Back Squats

Overhead Squats

Then we did sit ups Crossfit style!

Next we moved on to push ups. Heather said she was impressed with what I could manage for a push up (which isn’t much!) I actually snorted when she told me I could do those for a short time (like 10-20 push ups) but if I was going to do more – say 50 to 100 – I should do modified. (Later on I maxed out my modified push ups at 12… I have a ways to go!!)

Finally she showed me the pull up bars. She brought me over to one and demonstrated a jumping pull up. I was a little too short for the box and bar that she had set up, so we moved to the smaller bar. MUCH better!

Last but not least, we went over pull ups with the assist of a band.

When all of that was over, Heather looked at me and said “Are you ready for your first CrossFit Workout?”

Wait. What?? Didn’t we go over enough? My quads were already screaming from all of the squats. Oh hell…

So off we went. She explained the workout and set me up on the rower. All the sudden I heard. “3..2..1.. GO!” and I started rowing.

I rowed for 500 meters. Then I hopped up and did 40 Air Squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups (where I figured out my current max…) and 10 assisted pull ups.

Holy Moly! I may be able to run a half marathon and be fine when I’m done, but that had me huffing and puffing!!

I finished in 7:15. I have absolutely nothing to compare this to other than the New Yorker’s best time of 4:xx

I left feeling awesome! How can you not after something like that? I have 2 more private sessions with Heather, and then I’ll jump into the group classes.

How am I feeling today though, you ask? Well. I’m walking like a penguin.

Source: google.com via Kara on Pinterest

 

This little guy looks cute. I – however – look silly. Oh well. I’m going back Friday, so as long as I can lift my arms above my shoulders by then, I’ll be golden 🙂

Next fun thing:

I got my new glasses yesterday! They are these from For Eyes:

I’ll have to get a picture of me in them soon, but right now my face has abandoned the treaty we made, where I told it NOT to break out like a 15 year old. Fail. Oh well, soon enough!

I also got my new contacts yesterday. Those look like contacts. Nothing super fun.

And FINALLY, the BEST thing we got yesterday….

The New Yorker picked up his new 2012 VW Jetta GLI 🙂 Boy, was he a happy camper!!

This is actually a funny story. I was at work this weekend, and the plan was for him to go do the “first test drive” since he didn’t want to waste his time planning on a car if he didn’t like how it drove.

I got the phone call that said “Hey Kate, they’re giving me a good deal….” and that was that. The car was his.

Here’s the inside (done at night, on my phone.. sorry!)

It has all the bells and whistles from heated seats, to bluetooth phone connection, to a Fender sound system. The car is AMAZING and I’m so happy he loves it. He gets stuck in traffic every day, so this will make the traffic a LOT nicer to sit through!

Even better? Now I have a car! We kept the Toyota, since it’s still in great condition, and now I am free to go further than the T will take me!

Woo!! So there you have it! The PastaFree house had an amazing day yesterday!

I hope everyone has a happy Valentine’s Day!

What is something great that happened to you yesterday?

Dinner and Breakfast with a side of Paleo

Last night The New Yorker (or Chris. I could just use his name..) found a recipe he wanted to try for dinner. It looked basic enough, and yet still different, so we gave it a shot. It was called “Gingery Broccoli Beef”, and came from a newsletter Chris gets from his CrossFit  gym that has a full weekly Paleo menu. The website is called Paleo Plan and is a great reference if you are interested in learning more about Paleo.

**Time out here for quick Paleo explanation**

CrossFit has what it calls the “Nutrition Prescription”. The basics are as follows:
-Protein should be 30% of your calories and be lean and varied.
-Carbs should be about 40% of your calories, and be low glycemic.
-Fat should be 30% of your calories and be monounsaturated.
(Source) 

The CrossFit website plainly states that the easiest style of eating to accomplish this is the Paleo Diet*, which is based on a more “Caveman” style of eating.
*Diet being way of eating or lifestyle, not a quick fix to make you drop water weight super fast*

The basics of eating Paleo-style are as follows:

If you google “Paleo Diet” a wealth of information comes up at you. Since I am not a registered dietician or nutritionist, I will leave you to your own research from here on out, but the basics are pretty simple!

Paleo makes sense for me since I can’t have dairy or processed carbs to begin with. The New Yorker, on the other hand, REALLY likes his pasta nights.. Oh, Italians… 🙂 We are dabbling in Paleo, and for now are just using the recipes he gets to help us try new foods out.

**Time in, and back to dinner last night**

Since I don’t really enjoy beef, we substituted chicken that I had gotten at Whole Foods on sale.

The New Yorker did all the chopping (carrots, broccoli, chicken, garlic, and onion)while I mixed the spices (ginger, flaxseed meal, red and black pepper, lemon juice, and chicken broth).

He moves at the speed of lightning!

We cooked the chicken first with the garlic and coconut oil. We had never used coconut oil before, but I’m hooked!

It made the kitchen smell heavenly, and gave the chicken the nicest hint of coconut flavoring.

Flaxseed Meal was another new thing. I didn’t really notice a taste from it, but the bag says it does a ton of great things for you, so bring it on!

We both realized that we needed a “filler food” so The New Yorker quickly whipped up some rice for us.

Then we added the chicken and veggies, and voila! Dinner for 2!

The New Yorker loved it. I thought it was too spicy (read: I drank about 3 gallons of water, was sweating profusely, and had a runny nose). The basic flavors were great, but I think I would have to 1/2 all of the spices to be able to eat it again!

Now, on to breakfast this morning. I had the breakfast of champions – or at least those who aren’t picky about certain foods going together (ahem:chris:ahem).

Layer 1

Layer 2

and the main course (which was NOT on top of the fruits, but rather, in a separate bowl. Thanks Kara!!)

It was delicious! I can’t remember the last time I had a kiwi, but it was totally worth the wait. I have a few from my Green Box of Gloriousness and am psyched to get to eat them all!

I’m back at work tonight, so I have to go catch some zzzz’s and then get up to go running. I hope you are all having an awesome day!

What kind of “diet” do you follow, if one at all?

All It Takes Is All You’ve Got – CrossFit

A few days ago I asked the New Yorker a lot of questions about CrossFit. I had been looking on Shape or Fitness Magazine’s website (can’t remember which to save my soul) and saw that CrossFit had been voted one of the best workout methods of the year. I knew it was great, but had always assumed you had to be in amazing shape to start it. All these questions started morphing into more of an interview, which morphed into a blog post. So, courtesy of the New Yorker, here is some great info on CrossFit for those of you who are interested in giving it a try!

 

Source: crossfit.com via Rebecca on Pinterest

 

-Tell us a little about yourself. How did you discover Crossfit, and what made you want to try it out for yourself?

I have been an athlete my whole life. I played soccer for 13 years and ran track very competitively in high school and for a year at a D1 college. I also recreationally play hockey, basketball and just about any other sport someone suggests that day. After I stopped running track I got into working out and for a few years did basic “out of the magazine” workouts.

I discovered CrossFit in 2009 when I stumbled onto the main site. I was intrigued by the variety in the workouts as well as the intensity at which they are meant to be done. I started doing the workouts at my college’s gym and was hooked (even with all the weird looks I got while doing the workouts).

On a weekend in February 2011 I attended a CrossFit level 1 certification course with the hopes of eventually finding a gym that needed a part time trainer.

In front of the guy holding onto the bar on the left

While that has not worked out yet due to my full time job; CrossFit, and fitness in general, is something that I am passionate about. I’ve done a sprint triathlon and I do the occasional obstacle course race or 5k. This year might see a duathlon since I like running and biking but don’t really enjoy swimming.

-What is the basis/model of Crossfit?

CrossFit is a general physical preparedness program (GPP) based around functional movements. The workouts are constantly varied and programmed to improve on ten fitness domains:
-Cardiovascular and Respiratory endurance
-Stamina, Strength
-Flexibility
-Power
-Speed
-Coordination
-Agility
-Balance
-Accuracy
This is done by incorporating functional, compound movements done at high intensity. Functional movements are what we as humans do every day. Think of getting into and out of a chair (squat), picking something up off the floor (deadlift) and putting something over your head (shoulder press). CrossFit uses all of the varieties of these 3 major lifts as well as moves from Olympic weightlifting, power lifting and gymnastics among other things to provide improvement to the ten fitness domains.

 

-What makes it different from other workouts like traditional weight lifting, yoga, or running?

One big difference is the constantly varied part of it. Most traditional workouts involve doing the same exercises, many of them isolation exercises, week after week. Squats on Mondays, bench press on Tuesdays, etc. With CF you never know what you’re going to get. Another difference is the intensity. A majority of the workouts are timed, encouraging you to move faster and therefore tax your cardiovascular system unlike with a traditional weight lifting program. It doesn’t really compare to yoga or running. It’s not meant to replace either of those. In fact, the addition of them to CrossFit is very popular and extremely beneficial.

 

-What is the difference between paying for a CF class at a specialized gym, and going to your own gym and doing the workout of the day, available on the website?

Going to your own gym and doing the main site WOD is very possible and thousands of people do that. I was one of those people before joining a CrossFit gym and I still am one of those people a few times a week. The problem here would be for people who are new to either working out in general or just new to some of the movements incorporated in CF. If someone does a squat or deadlift incorrectly there is a very real and serious chance that they will hurt themselves. This is where the trainers at CrossFit gyms come in handy. Each class is under the watch of a trainer who will go over form before the workout and make sure everyone keeps that form throughout the workout. Also, the community and competiveness at CrossFit gyms is awesome. It is always helpful when you are struggling through a workout to have other people there either struggling with you or cheering you on to finish. There is also structure to a CrossFit class which usually follows a format similar to this:

warmup/stretch > skill/form review > strength training > workout of the day (WOD) > stretch

Source: crossfit.com via Rebecca on Pinterest

 

-Should I have a certain level of fitness before trying CrossFit?

Having a base level of fitness before trying CrossFit is definitely helpful but by no means necessary. Every CrossFit workout is scalable to each individual’s fitness level.

 

-Is there anything else I should know before starting CrossFit?

Don’t let it intimidate you. It is scalable for all levels.

CrossFit is very humbling, even for people who are, or think they are, in shape. There are many unfamiliar movements that will take a while to learn how to do properly.The other side of this is that it is also very rewarding. It is a great feeling when you press a weight that you didn’t even think you could get off the ground over your head, or when you squat with a well more than your bodyweight on your back. And that feeling doesn’t just stay in the gym.

If you’re curious about CrossFit then find a local gym near you (I can almost guarantee there is at least one near you, probably more). Many offer low cost or free trials to introduce you to the methodology and to see if it is something you are interested in.

Source: google.com via Annie on Pinterest

A HUGE thank you to The New Yorker for all of this great information! If you have any other questions, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at PastaFreeRunner@gmail.com and I’ll forward it along to him!

What workout do you like to do that pushes you to your limits and beyond?

New Years Resolutions 2012

HAPPY 2012!!

This is my first New Year with the blog! I’m really excited to be able to share my resolutions with you, and then have them in a place where I can find them at the end of the year to look back.

I’ve come up with 6 resolutions for this year that I think will keep me on track

1. Make the switch to a 100% clean/organic diet.

 

This is one that The New Yorker and I are already working on. I’m really looking forward to all of the great food we’re going to be trying with Boston Organics!

2. Run 2 half marathons, and 1 full marathon

 

This one is pretty self explanatory! I’m going to refine this one as the year goes on to include goals and times.

3. Start Crossfit

Source: google.com via Jessica on Pinterest

 

I really wanted to start Crossfit by December 2011, but with my left hand being stuck in the brace, there was no way I could safely start. As soon as I’m cleared, this will be one of the first things I do. I mean seriously, those girls are badass!

 

4. Spend more time on the blog
I want to make my blogging much more efficient and reader friendly. I also want to spend more time on other people’s blogs. I’m kind of a lurker in the blog world. I read a LOT of blogs every day, but RARELY comment! Maybe that should be it’s own resolution! Comment more! 🙂

5. Become more organized.
It’s kind of a joke with my friends that I can put something down, turn around in a circle, and when I get back to where I started, I can’t find it to save my soul. I really want to spend some time cleaning and organizing, and getting everything in order.

6. Do More Yoga!

 

I REALLY miss going to yoga! Once I’m allowed to go back to yoga, I really want to try to go at least once a week. I like the stretch that I get, I like being able to clear my mind, and I like seeing how far I can push myself.

So there you have it! A quick look at my resolutions for 2012. I’m looking forward to a great, healthy, and productive year, and I’m excited to be able to share it all with you!

 

What are your resolutions for the new year?