2ndBest

15 Apr

Last weekend I did something I have not done in over a year. First, on Friday April 10th, while on my lunch break I decided to use the Map My Fitness App and run a 5k to test out my time because on Sunday, I would be participating in my first 5k race SINCE 2013!

Ready, set, go! I had my favorite running playlist on and converted my app to kilometers so that I would know my pace per KM. First KM, 5:05. Second KM, 4:55. And then I stayed in this window for the rest of the run. I completed my Lunch-Time 5K in 24:28 an all-time personal record (PR) for myself. I could not even contain my excitement and went straight to Instagram to share my happy face, time, and route.

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Then Sunday morning came. I had offered to volunteer with the 2015 Frank Shorter RACE4Kid’s Health 5k, and they had informed me that I would have time to run the race if I wanted to do so and so I figured, “why not?” I will be there anyways. So, I signed up for the 5k that would start around 9am in Arista-Broomfield.

It was a beautiful day. When we started at 9am, it was probably around 60F degrees and sunny. One major downfall though- wind. Lots of it. Holy crap was it windy on Sunday. This was the first time I wished I had worn sunglasses on my run. I do not know why, but I just don’t enjoy wearing sunglasses when I run. Whatever, that is besides the point. Back to the wind… and the construction going on at Arista. Wind and construction do not mix. Dust and dirt was flying everywhere, and although the wind helped when it was on my back, it sucked at every other angle. I knew I wasn’t going to PR my race time, but still tried my best. 24 minutes and 54 seconds later I crossed the finish line at the 1STBank Center and to my surprise, I was sitting in second place in my 20-29Female category.

I enjoyed my post breakfast meal and watched other people cross the finish line, snapped a photo with Mr. Frank Shorter himself, who, if you don’t know, won the gold medal in the Marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics. His personal record for the Marathon is 2hours and 10minutes. I am taking that in. And so should you. That is a pace of 3:08 per KM, and exactly 5 minute miles. Holy crap. That is fast.

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At the end of the day, I won 2nd place and got the silver! I have never placed in the top 3 in any race or competition I have entered and was so excited.

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To any of you who are training for you next run, or long distance bike race, a crossfit competition or whatever just know that you may always surprise yourself and while you are competing, just remember to have fun and to use whatever advantages you can, like the wind at my back for example.

Yoga

4 Feb

One night of heated candle light yoga. So refreshed. Next morning.. Worst night sleep of my life. I was so dehydrated, but that was just poor planning on my part. The class was from 8-9pm and my bedtime is 9pm (Dan and I wake up before the sun comes out at 4:30am) and so after I showered, brushed my teeth and finally laid down in bed I could not relax. But given all of the negative stuff that went on the next day with how tired I felt, I couldn’t explain to anybody how rejuvenating it was and how amazing I felt in that moment in yoga the night before.  People may say the bags under my eyes told a different story, but I was hooked.

Don’t worry. I am not switching from CrossFit to Yoga, but I knew I needed to add yoga into my life for a better wellbeing and to give myself at least an hour of stretching to have better flexibility and to become more mobile. I signed up for a free week to try it out and to make sure it was something I was interested in and came to find out that I feel like a million bucks when I am sweating my ass off in the Heated Yoga class.

Well hello super special deal at Core Power in Broomfield. For $49 I got a one month membership and can attend ANY class at ANY Core Power in the Nation. What a steal. If anyone wants to give yoga a shot- take this deal and run with it. I doubt it will be around for long. I have now been a member at Core Power for one week and want to scream at the top of my lungs that I FEEL SO AWESOME. I feel more positive, more grounded, relaxed, and most of all when I am sweating it out, I feel like I am sweating all of the nasty, bad attitudes, and any negativity that I may carry with me day-to-day. In this hour of yoga practice I am one with myself and no one can enter my thoughts except myself. How awesome is that. No phone. No computer. No interruptions. Just you, your mat, and your breath.

Now with that little write up, why wouldn’t you try it out?

MyFirstWeightliftingMeet

5 Dec

Two years ago I would have never thought I would enter myself into an Olympic Weightlifting Competition. Two years ago when I started Crossfit, weightlifting as an individual sport wasn’t talked about as often as it is now. It has slowly crept its way in, and now there is a big difference that has been brought to my attention-There is Olympic Weightlifting and #CrossfitLifts. The latter is typically considered a sloppy type of weightlifting that includes pressing out, lacks squatting or getting under the bar, and is done for multiple reps in the middle of a workout. Since about June 2014 I have wanted to do an Olympic Weightlifting competition, but never thought I was good enough to even try. I lifted close to nothing when I compared myself to other people competing and my form was definitely considered “crossfitty.”

I worked with Tom and Annah Borak at Barbell Club at CrossFit 6th Ave & CrossFit Denver (RIP) and then continued to work with them at Barbell Nation at CrossFit South Denver. They are both amazing coaches and Annah is very inspirational – She is about 115lbs and lifts more than me. She is badass. It didn’t get real until September when I started participating in Max Out Saturdays and then in November took the plunge after some peer pressure and I signed up for my first meet.

Let me tell you. I get that I-am-going-to-pee-my-pants feeling before every competition, but something that was SO different in this meet was that all eyes really were on me. It is just you, the platform, three judges, and a crowd. With no music. Whoa. Totally different from my norm. In a race, I am running with thousands of other people with headphones in. In a CrossFit competition I am doing the same workout as 5-25 other people with music blaring and the only people watching me is my family or friends who came to watch me. This I-am-going-to-pee-my-pants feeling was probably the most nervous I have ever been.  But I turned those nerves into something positive and went 5 for 6 on my lifts and even hit a personal record (PR) on my Clean & Jerk. Hell yes- let me tell you that story…..

I decided a few days before to open my snatch with 85lbs and my clean and jerk at 110lbs. Let me take you back to 2013. My PR Clean and Jerk was 100lbs. I was going to OPEN ten pounds heavier than what used to be my PR just a little more than a year ago. When I started CrossFit 75lbs was my Snatch PR. So again, opening ten pounds heavier than what used to be my all-time best. It’s cool to think about that.

In a Weightlifting Meet you have three attempts to snatch and three attempts to clean and jerk. The goal is to lift more than anyone else in your weight class. You can fail two of the three lifts and still get a total number. I went five for six and wouldn’t change any of the weights I tried. As for snatch I opened with 85lbs, my second lift was 95lbs, and then at that time my PR was 107 and so I tried for 110lbs as my third and final lift. I missed it. Oh well. Next time. For my clean and jerk I opened at 110lbs, for my second lift I jumped to 125lbs, and then for my third lift I wanted to try and PR, so I tried for 142.5lbs. I got it! I PR’d at my first weightlifting meet. Hell yes.

This meet will not be my last. Ready to get involved in weightlifting more and only get stronger from here on out.

SummerOfWeddings

6 Nov

Dan and I went to seven – yes seven – weddings this summer….

I have been with the man of my dreams for four years now; we have a home and a dog, so we are practically married. We just don’t wear the rings, or have the signed marriage license.  But I am 27, and Dan is 29 so as society has so kindly done for us, we are getting to the age where everyone is asking us, “When are you going to get married.” Dan always says three to five years, no matter when you ask. I always say we are in no rush to have kids, so why would there be a rush to get married. And that is the truth, we love each other, the house has already put us in a 30-year bond, and there is no rush- but there is that girly part of me that wants a wedding day and wants to put together a party to celebrate our love and so I went to Facebook and asked for advice. I just said to lay it out and tell me the good, the bad, the pretty and the ugly, and that I would make anything they tell me anonymous. So are you ready? Are you thinking you want to get married? Well take some of these tips from people who have already been through it. Here is the big fat list to help you out.

I wanted nothing to do with picking out my engagement ring.

If the woman picks out the ring it takes away from the surprise and fun.

We got his ring off Etsy for $30. After getting him sized and seeing what he liked at another jeweler, we ended up finding something he liked online for cheaper and we figured we could upgrade later.

At Shane Co. they have a sweet upgrade policy, but even after years and years of being married we have never upgraded.

Biggest thing to know for the guys is that the new, cool alternative metals (tungstun, cobalt, titantium, etc) will break if you drop them on a hard surface (tile, concrete, etc). The material is scratch resistant, but very fragile — and they can’t be resized…EVER. So if for whatever reason he ever needs a different size, you have to buy a brand new one. Be careful, because most jewelers will not tell you the truth about that.

We planned our wedding in five months and we wouldn’t change that for the world. Less time to change our mind.

From the time we got engaged to the date of our wedding will be 4 1/2 months and I’m SO thankful it’s short.

You have to enjoy the planning part. It should be exciting.

We got married out of state so we hired a wedding planner who would check out venues for us, and pretty much picked everything out for us perfectly.

A lot of things about the day you need to leave it up to the professionals as well. They do this for a living for a reason.

We chose October for our wedding because of the leaves changing colors, but also we didn’t want to get married during “wedding season.”

We chose a Thursday because on Fridays & Saturdays, the Venue we wanted holds two weddings a day and we wanted to pick a time and have it embed our day and not run into any other couples or feel rushed.

We picked our date because our boyfriend/girlfriend anniversary happened to be on a Saturday the year we were getting married. So our wedding anniversary is the same anniversary we celebrated as teenagers.

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, have a plan B.  We planned every little detail and the weather the day of didn’t allow for us to do half the stuff on the list. That being said, our wedding was still perfect.

Get married in the off season. We chose a Friday in the off season, and is saved us $5,000 for the venue.

Our venue allows us to bring our own alcohol which saves tons and tons of money since they don’t have a liquor license but have a serving license.

Choosing a venue that is naturally beautiful saves money as well as you don’t have to spend as much on decorations.

Addressing the invites are a pain in the butt.

Invitations typically cost anywhere between $500-$2000…especially when you factor in the cost of postage.

No one will remember what your invite looked like, because it will most likely end up in the trash after the wedding.

Usually a one person invite assumes a plus one. While someone else said: The only time I think it is fair to invite a guest is if it is addressed that way, for example: George Smith & Guest or +1.

We needed to control our guest list a little bit more, so people who didn’t have an OBVIOUS significant other were not allocated a +1. Not to be super rude, but if I’m choosing between guests, I’m not allocating for a complete RANDOM stranger to be at my wedding.

The outer envelope is for the formal Mr. George Smith, the inner envelope would be George Smith & Judy Routh. That is where you add the “and guest”, or family, or just for the single guest.

For our ceremony we told everyone it was a no kids wedding.

We have nieces and nephews, really young cousins, etc., but we still wanted our wedding to be a kid free zone to hang out, party, drink and just enjoy. We have been to PLENTY of weddings that there a crying child during the ceremony. Yes they are a part of the family but there is a time and place for little ones. We were at the point we did not care if we offended someone by saying no kids. It is our day and we wanted it to be just adults.

RSVP card has a space for their names, and then underneath it says “We have reserved ____ seats for you at our wedding.” That way a family of five, whose RSVP card says “2” in that blank, can kind of get the picture that it’s not everyone.

Our dinner was plated and the food was $47 per person including booze, food, service, charges, tip, etc.

Most all inclusive places will cut/serve your cake for free – but make sure, because we went to places that charged $1/slice (OBNOXIOUS)

We had a tight RSVP list because it cost $60 per guest to attend the wedding.

We invited 135 people including ourselves. Take a second. If you have 135 guests, at $60 per person that is $8,100.

We spent about $20 on dessert for the entire wedding. No joke. We did root-beer floats. Everyone loved it.

We love this taco food truck and normally get full spending $10 for both of us, so we figured we would contact them for our wedding. The minute we told them it was for a wedding, the prices drastically changed and it was going to be around $30 per person. We said screw it and found somewhere cheaper and it actually only ended up costing $13 per person and it was awesome.

Gooooood luck budgeting. Costs go up depending on your guest list, the alterations on the dress, the veil, jewelry, gifts, details, craft projects, party favors.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is included, obvious, or free.

You can barter/negotiate on everything. It’s exhausting, but because it’s a service, and people want your business, they have flexibility…so ask!

Before you even start/think about looking at venues, vendors, dates, etc. I would make a list of EVERYTHING that you can think of that goes into a wedding (venue, invitations, dress, alcohol, pictures, flowers, honeymoon, etc) and then I would rank the items on that list as to what actually matters to you. That way you can put the most priority on what actually matters — this seems like extreme common sense, but as far as budget is concerned too it helps you stay on track for the stuff you actually care about and not overspend on things that are lower on the list.

Party favors, or gifts for the guests is such a big expense.

We are giving our guests a photo booth for their ‘gift’

We don’t want our party favors to be anything edible. We want it to be something they can have forever.

The best party favor I ever received at a wedding was a Cuban cigar and pink flip flops to dance in that we could take home at the end of the night. Both from the same wedding.

We paid for the bulk of the wedding, and that made for a lot less family drama. We could make our own decisions, because it was our money.

All the drama comes from your family and guests.

Don’t get too carried away with Pintrest. Be original.

Don’t have a groom’s cake. There will be more than enough dessert.

We didn’t even have a cake. We don’t eat cake normally – so why would we invest money into one. We had a few family members who didn’t agree with us and said that we were breaking tradition, but it was our wedding and the best advice I can give is to make it your own.

Centerpieces don’t matter, people won’t remember them. They are expensive and just get thrown away afterwards.

I think centerpieces are fun and some people think they’re a hassle. We’re making all of ours because it’s fun and less expensive. Some florists can do full centerpieces as a convenience if you’re interested. I’ve had three friends do it and had a super positive experience and they felt like it was worth the cost.

Spend your money on good photography. That is what you have to remember the day for the rest of your life.

Make sure that if you go over 150 guests that you get two photographers

Thank you cards are a must. They are common courtesy.

According to etiquette you have three months to send them out.

As a guest, I would like to receive a thank you card just as a reassurance that you got the gift. This seems silly, but with all of those cards lying around one could get misplaced, or heaven forbid; stolen. So I think thank you cards should be a priority.

All I can say, is go with it.

Expect for 10 things to go wrong, because then you can’t be disappointed. If only seven things go wrong, it’s a win. You can’t expect the day to be perfect.

Enjoy the process. It is hard at times, but it is worth it in the end.

Do what you think you and your fiancé want. What really matters at the end of the day is that you are married to your best friend.

10,000DoubleUnders

1 Oct

In September Dan and I celebrated our four year anniversary of being together, he turned 29 years old, and it was also the two year mark of owning our home. September is always a busy month for both of us and this past September I decided to add on one more task for the entire month. RPM Fitness put out a challenge to complete 10,000 double unders (DU) before the end of the month and so I decided to give it a whirl.

Day one, great. Day two, a little sore. Day three I had to take a break. I thought to myself, “Oh gosh, this is going be harder than I anticipated.” I didn’t really break it down before I started, but in order to get 10,000 DUs in the month of September, that means you must complete 333 DUs each day and 334 on the last day. So if you skip a day you better be prepared to do at least 666 DUs. At first 10K didn’t seem so bad, now I was second guessing myself for even starting.

September 15th: Half way mark. I hit 5,242 when the day ended and I felt like I was ahead of the game. My calves started to get used to the pain, I became best friends with the foam roller, and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I knew I had a work trip and that there would be nowhere to get any DUs done, and so before I left I made sure to get a few in, so that when I returned on Friday September 26 I would only have 2,848 left to do in 5 days, which means doing 570 per day. Well…. This was a weekend where something was going on at every minute of every day, but I squeezed in a few on the Friday before the busy weekend started and then on Sunday I was way too hung over to get off the couch let alone jump up and down 600 times.  Monday is when the realization sunk in and I had 2,448 left to do. In two days. Ah shit. So I tied my shoes, got my rope out and went to town on some doubles. Oh what a goal and some determination will do to someone. On Monday I got through 1,451 leaving me to only get through 997 by midnight (well really 9pm.. who am I kidding, midnight is way past my bed time) on Tuesday the 30th.

How could I come this far and not complete the challenge?! I had to complete it! So that is what I did. I got through 200 doubles in the morning, and then made up a workout to finish the rest on my lunch break. I would go on the elliptical for 2 minutes, and then do 100 DUs, and repeat until I was done. Until I was DONE with the #rpmchallenge. I am very happy with myself for getting through this and had a great time pushing myself, and reaching for new goals.

RopeClimbs

8 Aug

Oh hi Rope Climbs. Nice to meet you.

Sure- I have climbed a rope before in CrossFit, but this came from a lot of practice and a lot of confidence. As a kid, I could never climb the rope in gym class unless it had knots in it; I was always too scared to try the un-knotted rope, and thought I would fall off at the top. One day, maybe a year or so ago, I had Dan teach me how to climb a rope after watching some girls fail on them at a competition. I didn’t want to fail at them when I had to do them. I am sure I looked like a crazy person using most of my upper body to get up the rope and from then on, I knew I needed to get more proficient at rope climbs- using my legs, not just my arms.

Yesterday, after doing CrossFit for 20 months I did my first WOD with rope climbs. They have been programmed in the past, but I couldn’t get over my fear of coming down the rope when there is a “rounds for time” workout. I always thought I would freak out, trying to get the best time, and not know what to do when it came time to climb, or worse- fall from however many feet high. This fear is real guys. I am not making this up.

Anyways, back to yesterday. The workout was 10 rounds: 1 rope climb, 2 deadlifts at 205#, and a 100m run with a 20 minute time cap. I thought this was a generous cap. I was seeing times of 14 minutes, all the way up to 18 minutes. So in my head I thought I had this in the bag to finish before the time cap. Well, I was wrong. Yes.. I have practiced rope climbs one at a time on days that I am fresh. I have never felt or realized how hard it is to climb a rope when your grip is shot, you’re all sweaty, and after about 3 climbs, your inner thighs hurt like hell, but you know you still have a few more to go. I got through 8 rounds plus one rope climb and one dead lift (so nine rope climbs total in 20 minutes). For me, I did not like my final score, but still wrote it up on the white board, sat there for a minute and then smiled- because I pushed through a fear I have had my whole life. This is the part where I really just had to leave my ego at the door and realize that damn… I just did that workout Rx, it kicked my ass, but I was proud of myself for trying something new, and pushing through a fear.

I still need work on my descent. I still need work on using my legs, and which clamping style works best. I know that there will always be things to work on. But today- I feel like just getting up and down a rope nine times is an accomplishment and I will take that as a mental PR for sure.

CrossfitSouthDenver

25 Jul

It is this time, more than ever, that I have a reason to write about my gym, because in one week, my Network Affiliate: CrossFit Denver will close its doors for good.

 

CrossFit Denver (XFD) and CrossFit South Denver (XFSD) have been Network Affiliates for 2 years and just this week members found out that come August 1, XFD will be closing their doors, but memberships will be honored at XFSD. If you trained at XFD, this may be a time when you start to question if you want to continue crossfit, or if it is worth it to make the four mile drive south to XFSD. Let me be the first to tell you that as someone who has trained at both gyms- you will not be disappointed and should really give it a shot. Here is why—

 

For me, it all started at XFD. XFD was a small gym that wasn’t intimidating, the price was right for memberships, and Steve- the owner had been around for a while, and taught me the elements of CrossFit. I liked my small community. Then one day, after a few months of CrossFitting, I couldn’t make it to XFD and decided to try out XFSD since my membership allowed me to train at both gyms. I was intimidated, couldn’t believe how much bigger the space was, and there were some people in the front room making some big lifts to the point that I am sure my eyes got big, my mouth dropped open, and I wanted to avoid it like the plague. Although this all may sound like a bad experience- this was the best thing for me to take my training to the next level. I got comfortable at XFD— I may have even started to slack a little bit. At XFSD, there was some steep competition, and I knew who I wanted to catch, and that lit a fire under my ass. There were girls doing pull ups without bands, swinging 45lb kettlebells like that was the Rx weight, and at that time, could run circles around me. At XFSD, I got my first unassisted pull up, completed my first Rx WOD, and this was the first gym I was affiliated with as a CrossFit Games Open competitor- where although I didn’t contribute to the team score in 2013, the team was only a few spots away from being invited to Regionals.

 

If you were an avid XFD member, I am hoping you give XFSD a try because CrossFit isn’t CrossFit without the community you have surrounded yourself with. There are many of you that I hope to see at XFSD, because as Tom Borak said last night to me, “[The other gym] would have worked, but my family wasn’t there. My home is here [at CrossFit South Denver].” Home is where your family is and for me, my family is now joining in one home- CrossFit South Denver.

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