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A TRX Date

Work has been picking up progressively, which means my workouts have become sporadic. If I don’t plan my workouts in advance I don’t have time to just jump over to the gym for a spin class. Basically it just isn’t going to happen.

Being uber busy also means that I am more likely to workout at home rather than the gym because it saves me 15 minutes of driving time and I am more likely to work in a lunch workout than not.

So the other day as I was flipping through my big book of workouts (no really I created a binder filled with routines from magazines and my trainers) I landed on my TRX workouts. I was doing these regularly when I lived in NYC and was training for our wedding. photo

I loved these total body workouts more than anything else I have ever done. It also doesn’t hurt that I was 15 lbs lighter from these workouts and I’d like to get there again. So I decided to whip out the TRX workout.

I took my TRX to our apartment gym and commandeered the pull up bar. In all it took me just about a hour to get through the entire routine and I ended up in fat burn almost as long as fitness, which was a HUGE deal for me.


I am going to be working some of my older routines back in over the next few months and start walking 15min daily to see if I can drop those 15lbs.

Running & I Are Going Through Something

I’ve had a really hard time getting back into the running game. At first I thought it was because I didn’t have a race to train for. Then I signed up for and got into the Cherry Blossom 10M. This triggered signing up for two other races…the Zooma Annapolis Half and the Capitol Hill Classic 10K.


These haven’t helped spark any sort of motivation. I keep making excuses, which leads to anxiety that I am not training for the first race.

Maybe its the fact that it has been rainy and cold (since it is winter and all) and at some point during marathon training I started hating the treadmill. I used to hop on that thing for a nice 3M run, now I can’t even bring myself to do it unless it is sprinting/cardio blast part of my overall workout.

I had high expectations for my hubby run-date on Sunday…it was 50 degrees, sunny and we were doing 6M. Since my new shoes haven’t arrived yet, I slipped in new insoles. They were OrthoLite and immediately my shoes felt lighter than when I am using my Surefeet.

I don’t know if the change was smart…because I felt like mt right foot was rolling differently and by the time we made it to the Lincoln Memorial I had to stop and stretch my shin. That being said, my shoes are WAY overdue for a replacement. I did like how light my shoes were, lately my shoes were feeling heavy and I think my pace picked up a bit more.

We were running straight into the wind on the way back, and that took a lot out of me. I ended up cutting the run short by .40M. Disappointed, but knowing that I was struggling and didn’t want to injure myself. And that has been the theme of most of my runs lately, which is why we are going through a little something.

I need something to jump start my love of running again.


Fitness DVD Review: XTrain Super Cuts

*I received the DVD for free. The opinions are my own*

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Back of the DVD really tells you what you are getting

This was quite possibly the most daunting fitness DVD I have encountered in a long while. Maybe it was because I know what metabolic workouts entail, or maybe it was the break down on the back of the DVD and all the equipment that’s needed.

The DVD has several options, which is amazing. You basically get to make your own workout with the “prefix” routines. I only did the first one this time around and that was absolutely enough for me.

The Prefix menu
The Prefix menu

It was the first time I felt like I was in a group exercise class at home. Cathe and the women working out with her look winded and need water just as much as you do.  The fact that they tell you on screen which weights Cathe is using (either 5lb or 8lb) is so super helpful, you actually have a benchmark to work from.

The moves themselves are not highly challenging, but are perfect for a total body day. Little things like putting dixie cups in front of you and scooping them back up when you are doing lunges–done so that you can make sure you get the burn in you bum–genius.  The bursts of cardio are really exactly what you need, not taking you to overly breathless, but bringing your heart rate up to the point where you need it to be.

Doing the moves
Doing the moves
Cadio burst
Cardio burst


The equipment part is pretty challenging though. I don’t have a full blown home gym. I have 5lb weights, mats, and a jump rope. The DVD calls for light and heavy weights, slide n glide discs, dixie cups, firewalker loop, and a medium resistance band. So I had to get creative.

equiomentI walked into the apt gym and kidnapped a pair of 8lb weights and I went out and purchased paper plates in place of the discs. I just had to make due without the bands. It wasn’t too bad, when they used the resistance band I just used weights. I am thinking though for my next routine I might sneak into the gym at an off time and hijack a room so that I have more at my disposal.


Long Weekend Workouts

There is something about that extra day off that seems to give me permission to have hour+ long workouts. I have extra hours to get everything done, and still relax.

On Saturday I slept until noon, which was fantastic and needed desperately, since I had two very late nights during the week.  When I finally got myself going I headed to the gym to do an metabolic effect or ME workout.  I’m not very good at these workouts. Not that I can’t do the actual moves…I am just no good at the whole rest part of it.

I made it my mission to take rests with the help of my HRM. After each round I rested until my rate got back down to about 135ish. It didn’t take too long, but it actually helped me make it through the workout better.

My Saturday workout
My Saturday workout

Then on Sunday we had a fitness date. Josh recently expressed an interest in taking a spin class, so we signed up for a class at Revolve. It had been almost a year since I went to a class there, and Steph did not disappoint. Her playlist was amazing and my legs were on fire. Josh really liked it and now understands my love of spin classes at a dedicated studio.  HOORAH!

With my Monday I decided to do the Cathe DVD. It was absolutely the hardest DVD I’ve done in awhile. I’ll provide a more dedicated review of the DVD tomorrow, but know that I had to get creative with my equipment.

Me getting creative...kidnapping weights from the gym and using paper plates
Me getting creative…kidnapping weights from the gym and using paper plates

Do go all out when you have that extra day?

Workout Review: Barre 3

The number of barre studios that have cropped up in DC is ridiculous. I don’t even know how you can possibly narrow down which one to go to aside from proximity.

A few weeks ago Kristen asked if I was interested in trying out Barre 3 in Georgetown. She had never been to a barre class and I haven’t found a studio here that works me out as good as Figure 4 in NYC. So why not?

There was a problem with the blakbirdpie shortcode

Our first class with Jill was a little disappointing. It felt like we were just scratching the surface in barre moves. The ab blasts were great and while we were doing the thigh and seat work I felt a burn, but it quickly dissipated. Kristen also left feeling less than she thought she would.

We went back to a second class separately. Kristen liked her’s a lot more, as did I. The class I went to this week I felt it more in my legs than I did last time, seat a bit more, but it was lacking in abs department.

Interestingly, the girl next to me was using her Polar App and said that it often mocks her after barre class. Saying “nice warm-up for the real workout.” I haven’t done my Physique 57 DVDs in a few weeks and I think I might have to compare. I don’t remember feeling like I could go for a run after the 57 min workout, same for Figure 4.

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The space itself is pretty beautiful. I love the exposed beams. I don’t adore the floor, it is a bit hard and I’d prefer some of that squishy material, but it works.

I have one more class left in my package, and I am hoping I find the instructor that gives me everything.


Getting My Shopping Fix

I indulge in retail therapy.  I fall into a pattern of buying and don’t necessarily jump out of my comfort zone all too often. It is the reason I have several pencil skirts and flowy blue and/or purple tops.

That doesn’t mean I don’t want to try new things. Unless I have a personal shopper that really isn’t going to happen. I don’t have the money or time for a personal shopper.

Enter Stitch Fix.

Stitch Fix is a fun and easy way to keep your wardrobe up-to-date. We get your style and size preferences, then send you a package of stylish goodies to try on at home, in your closet, with your favorite jeans and heels.

For $20 a month (or per fix whenever you want it) a package of clothing is sent to you. The options are picked especially for you based on a questionnaire you fill out when you sign up. You aren’t under any obligation to buy any of the items sent to you, but if you do that $20 is applied to the cost of whatever you keep.

I asked them to focus on business casual/work attire and “laid back casual.” Gave them the price range and scheduled my first fix.

All part of my first fix
All part of my first fix

I received a denim shirt, a black flowy floral print top, a scarf, a navy button down, and a dress. My favorite part of the fix is the recommended wearing guides with each of the clothes.

Birthday; Fix 055

Shirts are difficult because my petite frame usually means they are too big in all the wrong places. These were no different, they just weren’t flattering.

The scarf was cute. I already had a striped scarf and this one was $45 so I didn’t think it was worth it.

I absolutely LOVED the dress. Loved every piece of it. It made my waist look super tiny, and that is always a win in my book.

Keeping it, and looking to buy nude pumps that they recommended you wear with it
Keeping it, and looking to buy nude pumps that they recommended you wear with it

Returning the other items was really easy. The fix comes with a pre-stamped envelope to send whatever you don’t want back. You just have to do with within 3 business days. To finish off the fix you log back on and tell them what you liked and didn’t like.

There is a wait list, but honestly if you are trying to work new clothes into your wardrobe it is a great way to do it.

Want to sign up? Use this link http://stitchfix.com/sign_up?referrer_id=3041894


My First Week With Polar

I’ve had my Polar FT40 for a week now.This is my first HR monitor so there are still some growing pains…there have been a few workouts where my heart rate can’t be read (what is that? anyone know?), but overall it has been really interesting getting to know my workout routines a bit more.

Biggest learning: The Energy Pointer which tells me whether I am in fitness or fat burning, stays in fitness more often than not. Even when I am lifting weights. (I don’t know what that says about my fitness level, but that’s what the watch tells me) In fact the only time that I was in fat burn only was at yoga.

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I realized that I may not be resting enough between supersets. I am so anxious checking off minutes and squats and overhead arm presses that I just power through.  If I took more time between sets I probably would be able to bring my heart rate down enough to move back into fat burn at least for a little bit.

I also got to live out my dream of being in a fitness video this week. Leslie Ann decided to start filming a few workouts for her clients and I got to be in the first one! Yeah I am a total fitness geek.

I Don’t Find The Time to Exercise, I Make It

This week has been rough with work and something had to give….and it wasn’t going to be exercising because if I have learned anything about myself, it is that I need to exercise especially in times of high stress.

So since I put blog writing on the back burner this week; here are some inspiring “you can do it” fitness quotes. These have been my mantra all week.20 min one hour


invincible impt meetings

Exercise, The Cure For Foggy Brain

Have you ever had one of those days where no matter how much caffeine you take in or walk breaks you take you just can’t shake the fog? I had a day just like that recently.

I couldn’t remember if I had packed my keys and I was holding them in my hand. I was on a client call and completely zoned out for a solid 30 seconds and could not multitask to save my life.

At 5:50 when I was wrapping up a call I told a colleague that I was going to go to bed early because I just felt terrible. But, I hadn’t exercised and decided that a quick detour to the elliptical would be good.

Honestly, I wish I had time to do it earlier in the day because it was like I had sweated out the fog. I had a clear head for the first time all day.

My second wind gave me enough energy to be able to power through another hour of work, which meant work the next day was less stressful.

I forget how helpful a mid-day sweat sesh can be for refocusing.

Buying a Workout DVD

So we already know I have a fitness DVD addiction. It has taken me some time to figure out which ones work best for me and why. I have some duds that I have done once and never picked up again, and I have others that are my “at home gym” staples.

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With new options consistently being released, it might be hard to know which to purchase. So here are my tips:

1. Make sure it doesn’t involve overly complicated equipment or relies on a specific tool. I bought those Billy Blanks DVDs that required the bands you stepped into. I brought them with me when I spent a summer interning in NYC. I accidentally left them there. I haven’t done those DVDs since.

2. Read the reviews first. There are enough fitness bloggers out there that you can absolutely find a review of the workout. Amazon is great too. They can let you know if the marketing lives up to the hype or if you should just pass this one by.

3. Read the covers. If you are a beginner you might not want to pick up Jillian Michaels’ extreme DVDs, and possibly start with one of her easier workouts. They will also tell you how much time the workouts will take, which is important for your decision.

4. Test them first. In addition to finding reviews, Googling the DVD can also yield clips. Do them, it might whet your appetite for the full thing.