Wednesday, July 24, 2013

BIC Band Love

So, I had heard about BIC bands through some of my bigger blogging "friends" - Sarah and Sarah. I had a time finding a head band that doesn't slip off my head during my various activities. I originally wanted some head bands for my trip to Uganda since I wasn't exactly going to be doing my hair... or even washing it that much. Ha. Who am I kidding? I don't do that now and I have unlimited access to hot showers and electricity... Anywho, I was looking for some fun headbands that stayed in place and didn't give me a headache.

Hence a late night $36 order for three headbands. (some of the best $36s that I've ever spent)

I ordered two of the gunmetal glitter bands and one purple glitter. Because purple is my favorite color and the gray because it was "neutral" and I figured it would go with everything. I also don't like to be super flashy and bring a lot of attention to myself in the way that I dress... So I ordered three sparkly headbands? I know, it makes sense to me too...

I was so happy when I got them - just in time for my trip! I think I wore them almost every day...

BIC bands at work in Uganda - keeping dirty hair out of my face since 2012!

My love did not stop once I returned home! 

To say that I wear them more than they were intended to be worn would be an understatement. The secret to them never moving is the velvet underneath. Genius! And they also offer for you to measure your head if you have a larger than normal noggin and don't think the average size would fit you. (my description, not theirs.) I wear them to work, I wear them when I run, I wear them Crossfit.. speaking of cross fit - did anyone see the WOD announcements!?! A 21,097 meter row!? That's a half marathon in rowing people... almost two hours on a rower.. I just can't even fathom.. I hate like 5 min on the rower! Okay.. side note - sorry. So the point to this story is that I was in the process of ordering more head bands for my upcoming trip in a few weeks - and I wanted to check their Facebook page, because again, another really cool thing about these headbands is that the company donates $1 from purchases to a "charity of the month". This month the proceeds are going to Boston Strong. When I ordered last year they were donating to the Wounded Warrior Project. Okay, so while I was perusing their Facebook site - I noticed that they were looking for BIC bands in action - um hello!? Like I said I wear mine all. the. time. I surely have some awesome pictures to send in. So I sent in a couple of crossfit pictures and a couple from Africa, thinking that they probably had a TON of people submit pics and they'll never use mine... well hello, please I got an email from Sandy, the founder saying that they were going to use three of the four that I sent in!!

These were three that I sent in. I do kind of love the first one - that sweet boy stole my heart and I think that you can totally tell - you've probably seen it floating around here a few times! But anywho, how cool is that!? It's kind of a big deal for me!! I totally geeked out and called the hubs at work to share the news! This is like one product that I tell everyone I know to buy!

Soo... what are you waiting for? 

**I was compensated for my photos.  Not my blog post. But all opinions are 100% my own.**

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What is a burpee?

I get this question ALL. THE. TIME. when I'm talking about crossfit.. and I have such a hard time explaining it without actually doing it. But it's not always appropriate to just bust out a burpee... It's not a noise that comes out of your mouth after you've had too much to drink... 

By definition: 

"it refers to an exercise combining a squat with a push-up, two of the most effective body weight movements out there. Pair them together, and you have an overall strength builder guaranteed to leave you out of breath in seconds." - washington post

"The burpee is the ultimate full body exercise...With each repetition, you’ll work your chest, arms, front deltoids, thighs, hamstrings, and abs. Trust me. Your legs will feel like they’re pumping battery acid after you complete a set of burpees... The burpee is a ridiculously simple, full body exercise that will leave you gassed after doing only a few." - art of manliness

And then... some funnies..

And a little "how to"...

  1. Begin in a standing position.
  2. Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground. (count 1)
  3. Kick your feet back, while simultaneously lowering yourself into the bottom portion of a pushup. Your arms will not be extended. (count 2)
  4. Immediately return your feet to the squat position, while simultaneously pushing "up" with your arms. You will perform a pushup as you return your feet to the squat position (count 3)
  5. Jump up from the squat position and clap overhead. Feet must leave the floor. - wikipedia
Initially I absolutely hated doing burpsees - hated them! But after about eight months I have figured out how to breathe and pace myself during them and I'm not so afraid of them anymore... I actually kind of like them.. a little bit... But don't start spreading that around! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

WODs 7/15 - 7/21

So before I talk about all the WODs that I completed last week - I wanted to share some photos from a competition that I did on June 30. Battle of the Boxes. I was kind of just asking about it around the box and how it worked and next thing I knew I was on a team... I am glad I did it, it was a lot of fun but really humbling... which is what I love about crossfit! You are constantly brought back down to earth! 

The first WOD was 
20 thrusters 95/65
20 burpees over the bar
20 Pull ups 
200 M run

I knew I'd do fine on the thrusters and burpees - which I did - I did both unbroken in about 2 min and then the pull ups happened... At our box I've been able to string about 5 kipping together and then get off re-chalk and get back on... I thought thats what I'd be able to do... Nerves, over-confidence, being tired - I'm not sure what happened. No excuses? I just bombed the pull-ups.. had to do the one at a time... got a few no reps... it was awful.. humbling, like I said. I really just wanted not to finish... but I knew I still had two teammates to finish behind me so I just. kept. going. Trying not to cry! Thankful for friends who ran with me... I finished. It was awful. We didn't make it past the first two WODs... I'll always feel like it was my fault - BUT I had the best team and they loved on me! We did have a team finish fourth from our box though - so proud of them! Because the WODs just got harder!! I definitely won't let it scare me from competing because its just fun!! I'm not sure if I'll do team stuff again... but I really did have fun and got a work out in regardless! The next day Kaleena made me feel better - a) by telling me that she'd beat me with a PVC pipe if I said sorry one more time and b) her first regionals she had done so good and it looked like she may make it to the games, but the WOD was 7 minutes of muscle ups and she spent the entire time staring at the rings because she couldn't do a muscle up... I'm not going to the games or anything - but she came home and worked on muscle ups and she's in Cali right now preparing to become the "fittest on earth" SO I've been spending time before and after working on pull-ups so that I can at least get through them in a WOD without a band!!

20 thrusters @ 65#s

burpees over the bar

The run with Melissa and Longo - thanks girls!!

Melissa consoling me!!

Our 3 teams of 6 and our member spectators ...

Okay so this past week -

Monday 7/15 "No Mercy Monday"

AMRAP 15 min
50 overhead squats 95/65
50 burpees to a plate
50 front squats 95/65
50 burpees to a plate
50 back squat 95/65
50 burpees to a plate

I think Kaleena was eating ice cream and doing an evil laugh when she made up this WOD! She programs a lot of our WODs with a low time cap - her theory is, is that we're more likely to push ourselves for 15 min or so then if we just do the WOD for time and then you have a lot of time wasting, walking around etc etc... any way I did Rx for girls 65#s and made it to 153 reps - which comes down to the 50 OHS, 50 burps and 50FS and 3 burpees... Some good crossfitters finished the workout.. we went and met my mom and dad at Q for bbq!! yum!


We spent the day in the city.. walking around in the heat!!

Wednesday 7/17 "high tolerance" 

10 minutes
hang squat clean
find a heavy 5 rep max to use for wod
4 rounds
5 unbroken hang squat cleans
row for calories with remaining time
rest 2 minutes
score is calories each round

My five rep max was 115lbs and I did the WOD at 105lbs. The two minute break built in was wonderful! The first set of rowing I was like oh my gosh I'm done - there's no way I can do this 3 more times unbroken! Then I remembered I get to rest! So I was able to go unbroken with the 105lbs.. I probably could've done the WOD at 110lbs.. But the rowing got tough! My score - the calories per round was 23-18-18-16. I was happy with that! I really liked this WOD! Because I really like built in rests!!!

What 105lbs on the barbell looks like... I wanted to be able to have the option of taking some weight off need be..

Thursday 7/18

I wanted to go for a run BUT holy cow it was hot!! All week last week was miserably hot! So I'm very thankful for friends who have spin bikes inside their air conditioned house! Central AC, no less!! (Thanks BK and Michelle!) I went over and was able to spin - I modified Janae's fun spin work out - and did 3 min of heavy hill climbing out of the saddle and increased tension every 30 seconds then spent two minutes in the saddle with recovery/sprints... I was super sweaty despite the AC! Did that for half an hour then did 5 sets of 10 kettle bell swings with their 30lb KB. Then I had to go to work!

Friday 7/19 "main site chipper"

30 handstand push-ups
40 pullups
50 kettlebell swings 53/35
60 sit-ups
70 burpees
20 minute cap

I finished it 17:59! I did the pull ups with a thin blue band. I did strict for about 15 and then had to use the band to start kipping. Still working on getting lots of pull-ups unassisted!! I used 2 ab mats for the hand stand push ups.


Still unbelievably hot! We were supposed to get some rain friday night that was supposed to cool things off... that really didn't happen! The air quality was absolutely terrible and it was still about 90 degrees inside our apartment! SO I went back over to BK and Michelle's house to spin again. Again, so grateful for friends with central AC! I did the same fun spinning work out as thursday but I went for 35 min. Then since the WOD on saturday morning used KBs, and the Kelpacki's have KBs - I modified!

3 rounds
15 kettlebell snatches 53/35 right arm
30 wall balls 20/14
15 kettlebell snatches 53/35 left arm
rest 3 minutes between rounds
each round is separate score
running clock time cap is 20 minutes

I used the 20lb KB since I was inside their TV room and didn't really feel like launching a 30lb KB at their wall or TV! Also instead of wall balls I did KB thrusters with the 20lb KB. My rounds were 3:12, 3:10 and 2:59. 

And just in case you're tired of all the crossfit talk and pictures... Here is a picture of my really cute niece Madi Lou

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hudson Valley Road Trip

Hello friends! My mom and dad (Rod and Juls) are here visiting from Florida and my dad decided he wanted to see something other than NYC! So over the weekend we drove up the Hudson Valley. It was really pretty and something that the hubs and I have never done - and we really don't live far from any of it. As a matter of fact about 50% of the nurses that I work with commute from the towns that we visited.. I can barely make it home now in the mornings.. Anywho..

We went by the Croton on the Hudson Gorge... It was a cute little park and I think there is a dam on the other side but we didn't really want to drive to it..

We went to Bear Mountain - The hubs and I hiked up the mountain last year with the puppy before my trip for our family fun day - but we went the easy way and drove up to the look outs. It really is beautiful - but man alive, it. was. hot.

We ended up at our main stop that afternoon - West Point Military Academy. We were too late to tour but we drove around the town and found a hotel on It was the cheapest - and it wasn't the dirtiest hotel I've ever stayed at but it wasn't the Holiday Inn either... But it was a great deal last minute. We checked in to the hotel and then went over to Woodbury Commons to do a little shopping. The hubs scored some great deals! Lucky for him I don't really shop much for myself unless it's Nike or Lululemon because I work and do cross fit and run sometimes and I sleep... I sleep a lot. So my need for real clothes is limited to the few Sundays that I actually make it to church...

We went to bed pretty early so we could wake up and be first in line for the tours... Our tour didn't start until 11 but they opened up at 9 - and those buses filled up fast! After we put our names in we drove a little north and stopped at an overlook where we were able to see the campus. It was beautiful! 

Then we drove a little further to Cornwall - and stopped at Jones Farm. How cute! They had a cute bakery and fruits and veggies - I think they do apple picking in the fall. And a little boutique-ish store. A great find if I say so myself. 

We then went back to start our tour...

The story behind the chains is that when they established West Point as a military in the 1700s it was because of its position on the narrowing of the Hudson River and we were able to control ship traffic better. When the Revolutionary war began the chains were constructed and laid across the river just under the water so to stop ships - although it was never tested because once the British knew about it, they never sent a ship that way. Pretty neat history lesson for those of you that wanted to know.. And for those of you that are snoozing at your computer screen - WAKE UP!!! 

Molly Corbin's grave. She was the "first female" in the military. She went with her husband to battle during the Revolution to take care of him and when he was killed she manned the canon herself..

Okay, okay - I'm done with the history lesson!

West Point is a beautiful campus right on the Hudson! I really enjoyed the tour! And I suggest if you're in this area you make time for it!

After West Point we ate a quick lunch and made the drive to Rhinebeck, NY. I'm not really sure what we thought we'd find there but it was a really cute little town. Then we turned around - drove by one of the Vanderbilt mansions in the area and stopped one last time in Poughkeepsie where we walked a little bit of the overlook over the Hudson River. That might have been my favorite part. I haven't really heard great things about Poughkeepsie, but I would love to be able to add that bridge to part of my run! How cool would it be to run over a bridge over the Hudson River as part of your work out!? Maybe that's just me... But again, at 6pm it felt like 100 degrees... We picked the hottest weekend of the year to be tourists!

On Monday the hubs had to work - someone's gotta bring home the bacon while I have some fun! My mom, dad and I traveled up I-95 and went to Ikea... It's like an amusement park for adults. I want to throw out everything I have and start over. We had just gone with Luke's mom and dad the previous week and I bought two chairs so that way our guests wouldn't have to sit on kitchen chairs or the floor. Thoughtful of me, I know... We spent about two hours there and then my mom and dad made the trip back to White Plains to go to the Container Store. 

Today we went into the city... I mean we have to take people to the city when they come to visit - it's really the only way we know to entertain them. My dad wanted to visit the Museum of Natural History so that was the big thing on our agenda. So that is what we did. 

We spent a little over three hours looking around and we still didn't see all the rooms! There were about a million small children running around on field trips which kind of made me twitch (I don't do well in large crowds.. especially large, noisy crowds... I live in the perfect area for this right!?)  Sister and I went last year and it was so not that crowded. We zipped through in about 90 minutes! We made our way back downtown and then the hubs met us for a late lunch, at - you guessed it - Johns Pizzeria - our favorite! We were going to try and go see a show but we have seen quite a few and gracious have the prices gone up!? The cheapest for Phantom was $77 a person! For four people that kind of adds up... so we walked to Bryant Park and sat and people watched during the five o'clock rush hour.. my favorite. It takes all kinds to make up NYC!!

Then Rod and Juls splurged and took a rickshaw back to Grand Central!

Happy (almost) hump day!! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Week of WODs

I wanted to wrap this week up in WODs... I think it was a good week of workouts!! 

Monday: "vendetta"
Overhead squats
Then.. 5 rounds
30 seconds double unders
30 seconds overhead squats 95/65
30 seconds toes to bar
30 seconds rest

I did the Rx for girls which was 65lbs OH squats. I also stuck with my OH squat max of 115 and decided not to push it. It was my first time doing OH squats since I had muscle spasms in my neck a few weeks ago. Which after a deep tissue massage, I felt like a new person! So anywho, I really liked this workout, I love OHS! My score was kind of low competitively because I cannot string my double unders together and would get 10-12 each round. 

After the WOD I stayed after and did some strength/form work with a friend. We did 10 rounds of squat snatches - 3 squat snatches EMOM for 10 rounds. I did 55lbs. Our main focus was form - not to feel like we were killing ourselves in a WOD. I'm planning to make this a regular practice to get better and stronger!

Tuesday I put furniture together... 

Wednesday: "Isabel"
A benchmark
Snatch squat max
30 snatches 125/95

I PR'ed on my one rep max! 95lbs squat snatch. My coach was saying technically you should be able to squat snatch 115 because I can OH squat that... But I get to 100lbs and just freak myself out! But I was happy with my 5lb PR! I used to absolutely hate snatches and couldn't get over 70lbs for like 2 months and somewhere in there the movement just clicked and I love them now! So much fun! 
There was a 7 min cap - I finished in 4:38. Also a little slow compared to other people but I did 80% of my max instead of the prescribed 70%. 

Thursday: fight gone bad "FGB"
3 rounds
1 minute at each station
Wall balls 20/14
Sumo deadlift high pulls 75/55
Box jumps
Push press 75/55
Row for calories 

I did Rx for girls. My total was 267. Box jumps are my weakness! They really slowed me down! But I usually look for others on the board that are similar to my level and so I was close and I was okay with that. My coach's score for FGB is 511... If that doesn't put things in perspective... Luke's reply was "that's why she's going to the games and you're not..."
I also nailed myself in the chin a few times on the sumo deadlifts - resulting in a nice bruise on my chin! I also whacked myself during the wall balls... You can just call me Grace!!

Saturday: I modified since we're on the road with my mom
and dad

10 rounds
10 hand release push ups
10 kettle bell swings 53/35
10 butterfly sit ups
20 min cap

Since I did this in our hotel room - I did air squats instead of kettle bell swings so I was able to finish in 11:26. I do really like kettle bell swings but I had to do something since we are dinner at TGI Fridays and it was totally not paleo!

Sorry no pics!! I typed this whole thing from my phone and can't figure out how to transfer!! I really thought blogger was supposed to be user friendly! 

Happy weekend! We're touring West Point tomorrow!

What was your favorite workout or WOD you did this week!?

**i downloaded the blogger app and can add photos from my phone!**

Friday, July 12, 2013

A little catch up post... again

Remember when I wrote this post... Third time's a charm right? In the eight months that I've been attempting to finish sharing my Africa trip with y'all we have...

Celebrated our good friends' wedding - Kayleigh and Neil in Butler, PA

I'm super classy and always have some bright rubber band to put my hair up... I danced so much I was sweating like I had ran a half marathon...

I was able to go to North Carolina for part of Thanksgiving with my family... Luke had to stay home and work and watch the puppy - someone's gotta bring home the bacon!

My BFF and her hubby came to the city for a little get away weekend and we were able to meet them and hang out with them and eat at our favorite pizza place... you guessed it Johns!!

We survived the snow storm - Nemo and had to put our sweet Doogie to sleep..

Sitting in about 2 feet of snow in the driveway.. it was super fun to drive home in!

RIP kitty, kitty.

I was able to escape the freezing winter in March and go to Dallas to see my BFF again and meet little EK for the first time... remember when I helped throw a baby shower for little EK!? She's one now!

and two short weeks later I left the northeast again and drove to Florida for the second year in a row with the puppy to visit family. 

Same picture as last year... except this year someone almost attacked the mailman... bad dog.. two and a half years later and we're still working on our manners!

This trip was extra special because my sister had a baby (#2) - I got to meet my new niece Madilynn Louise - she is so cute! 

We had a girls night - my sister, my mom, me and baby Madi...

The hubs and I did the tourist thing and went parasailing. It was scary and fun and I'm just not sure if I'll ever do it again. It was in the bay so we were able to see Destin and Niceville and Fort Walton and Eglin Air Force base and all the surrounding area. It was beautiful but cold and REALLY high up!

AND we celebrated our four year wedding anniversary! We went away on our first trip together as married people.. We spent a couple of days in Newport, RI. It was beautiful and so much fun! Kind of cold still though! You can look on instagram for all the pictures that I posted.. 

The coast was beautiful and all the big mansions!! And we had a lot of fun eating too!! 

And in the meantime I've been running here and there and doing cross fit... and I'm loving it. Thanks to Jess @ Blonde Ponytail and all her posts from last summer, I finally talked the hubs into trying it and we've been doing it ever since! 

OH YEAH - if you didn't want to spend a million years reading all my Uganda posts... I'll just let you know that I'm going back!! Luke and I will be going in 35 short days!!!