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Weekend Warrior: Mind Prep for the Week

To put it in spinning terms…I’ve been on a slow steep climb up a massive mountain at work. There is a specific project that has been a year in the making and we are about to hit the peak and begin the incredibly speedy ride down.

My days have been long, and my weeks even longer. It is the payoff at the end of all of this that makes me love my job so much, but the days leading up to that payoff are torture. These past two weeks in particular have been difficult.

Difficult because I can feel my anxiety building and I know that it often manifests itself in the form of frustration. So I try to keep myself in check (lots of yogi breaths), which is exhausting.

I wouldn’t call myself a “weekend warrior” because I work out during the week, but it is on the weekends that I double time it…especially when I am trying to clear my head and prepare for the next week.

I do not own this shirt, but I want this shirt
I do not own this shirt, but I want this shirt

I kicked off my doubles on Friday with a workout with my trainer in the AM. Lots of heavy lifting and a bit of punching. Honestly, that really helped me get through my day. Punching bags are an amazing stress reliever. Then in the afternoon I did an easy yoga flow.

Saturday I met a friend for a spin class at Gold’s Ballston. I had never taken a class with this instructor and the music was perfectly suited for working through some residual frustration. After the class we had a little bitch session that made me feel 100x better and put a lot of stuff into perspective. Then since it was absolutely gorgeous the hubby and I went for a really long relaxing walk through Georgetown (we walked way up Wisconsin to get away from the crowds to make it relaxing).

Cherry Blossoms against a blue sky make everything peaceful
Cherry Blossoms against a blue sky make everything peaceful

And finally today, I went back to Down Dog…which has to be my new favorite way of clearing my head. It wasn’t until I went into savasana that I started thinking about all the crap that I had to do today. That being said when I got home (showered) and sat down at my desk to work I was able to power through with a clear head.

Making a Runner Out of Him

Today’s post comes courtesy of my husband, someone I am determined to make a runner. 

When my wife asked I wanted to review the latest and greatest shoe from Saucony, the Virrata , I was filled with mixed emotions.  I was excited to have the opportunity, but was nervous, because I’m not the strongest runner.  While my wife is off running everything from 5Ks to marathons, I am briskly walking along the race course turning my head left to right like a timid elementary school child deciding whether it’s safe to cross the street, trying to catch a glimpse.  Although, I did complete a 10K last year, 3 to 5 miles once or twice a week is more my speed.

Getting the right shoes has always been tough for me.  I have big, flat, and narrow feet.  You know what they say about men with big, flat, and narrow feet….they need a good pair of shoes.  I have tried a variety of different shoes, but mainly have stuck with cross training shoes that I use for running and weight lifting.  It wasn’t until recently that my wife explained to me the importance of having a pair of shoes that are just for running.  Enter the Virrata.  The Virrata, which Saucony boasts as its “lightest and most flexible training shoe” is intended to allow your foot to move more naturally.  I have been using the Virrata for the past week, indoors and outdoors and have the following thoughts about the shoe:

  1.  These shoes are lightweight.    Not having worn a really lightweight shoe before, I wasn’t sure how much of a difference it would make when I was running.  These are the lightest shoes I have ever worn. Compared to wearing a cross trainer with added cushioning and heel support, I found that the Virrata made me feel like I was in more control and had a more natural stride.  I have the tendency to run with shorter strides, but because I felt like I was running closer to the ground with the Virrata and because the shoes are lightweight, my instincts were to take bigger strides, especially while I was on the treadmill.

    Fancy light weight shoe
  2. For a “zero drop” shoe, it still feels cushioned.  Because I have flat feet, I was concerned that the Virrata would not provide enough support while I was running.  This was not an issue.  My feet felt secure and cushioned. The outsole of the shoe felt very sturdy right when I pulled the shoes out of the box.   I think the shoe is a good compromise for runners looking for the bare foot style shoe, but still want some cushioning.
  3.  The shoes breathe pretty well.  The upper part of the shoe is made with a mesh material that feels light and did make my feet feel like they were getting some air as I was running (especially outdoors). However, the material isn’t light enough to make you feel like you are running bare foot.
  4. Style Saucony sent me the black/citron/red style and it may have just been my “runner’s high,” but I felt some positive energy in the gym and outdoors surrounding my shoes.

    We go on run dates now. Thanks Saucony!
    We go on run dates now. Thanks Saucony!

Bottom-line:  It seems like there are a lot of shoes out there that are designed to emulate running bare foot, and while the Virrata is certainly lighter and lower to the ground than other shoes I have worn, it truly feels well-cushioned and supportive for your feet.

*FTC Disclaimer: We were provided the Virrata to review, but opinions are our own.

Down Doggin It

Sundays are my favorite days to have “me days.” There is usually some pampering, but my absolute favorite thing is exercising for multiple hours.

I know that sounds strange, but I’ve gotten really good at shutting off when I am working out. I focus on the moment and whatever ridiculous thing I am doing, so it completely relaxes me. Sunday was a perfect day for this, a complete detox before another busy week.

I headed for a long run with Kristin, which absolutely sucked. I was just sucking wind instead of finding my groove. The big event though was heading to Down Dog Yoga. It was my first time at the studio and my first heated practice in probably two years.


My first impression is that the studio is a bit crammed. You basically walk into a long hallway with limited maneuver space. I thought this was a strategy to make sure there was enough room in the actual room, but I was wrong. The room while expansive, is packed to the brim with yogis.

During the practice I touched the girl to the left of me more than once, and felt like my feet were in the face of the girl next to me all the time. All that aside, I absolutely loved this class taught by Rachel. She was encouraging, but fierce in pushing us to extend ourselves just a bit more. One of the reasons I love heated yoga is because I like feeling like the toxins are leaving my body, and leaving they were.

My “HOLY HELL” moment? Was definitely the back-to-back-to-back (with a few more backs) wheelbarrows that were held for 10 breathes each. Rachel actually made me snicker while I was silently cursing her, with her “you know what, let’s do that again.” Did I mention this was after we had been practicing for a hour already? No? Well, now picture that.

I felt really good afterwards and my love for heated yoga rekindled. I bought the new student unlimited month so I will be going back for sure.

Lululemon Pants Rant

The disaster that is Lululemon’s sheer black yoga pants has been all over the interwebs this week.  Business publications discussed their likely earnings hits…with quippy sentences like “it will hurt their bottom line” (oh you business reporters and your snarkiness). I didn’t  care so much because my black yoga pants from Lulu were purchased months ago, and are not subject to the recall. 00120065-0000-0000-0000-000000000000_469b5687-f4ab-4992-a2ac-46c322b7a161_20130319133432_Lululemon_031913_RF_300

Then the articles about how employees (and the CEO) are asking customers to try on the pants and bend over to see if they are in fact sheer happened. And the PR person in me shot up and cringed. Still all I wanted to do was help them out, because wow. (That is an entire different story, poor choice of words CEO!)

I guess I have become so loyal to Lululemon (I write as I wear Wunder Unders, Power Y tank and Daily Yoga Jacket), but what got me heated was a Washington Post article about this being a “fashion wakeup call about yoga pants.” Now, I am supposed to feel bad because I have chosen to replace my jeans with yoga pants? I don’t think so.

Jeans are my enemy. My muscular legs don’t look nice in them, so on the weekend when I am out and about I am in my yoga pants. I feel better in them. End of story. I am sure the Pixie Pant from J. Crew IS the perfect legging, but if I decide to go for an impromptu walk or yoga class I have to change.

I guess I am a little different since I work from home, but I resent the claim that I am an exhibitionist because I choose to wear them regularly. (BTW that label as an exhibitionist came from the actual reporter, NOT the comments) What is the difference between my Wunder Unders and a pair of skinny jeans? 130319093039-lululemon-yoga-pants-620xa

There is a time and place for your yoga pants. Of course I would never wear them to the office unless it was after hours. I would never wear them out to dinner when it is date night/girls night/whatever night.  Honestly, though you can’t tell me you would prefer jeans over yoga pants for your errand running.


No Off Season

Last week on my favorite fitness inspiration show (The Biggest Loser), Bob was wearing a shirt that read “three days on, one day off, 365 days,” and I thought isn’t that an interesting perspective.

Shirt created by Life as Rx
Shirt created by Life as Rx


I am by no means a cross fitter fanatic. I just haven’t been able to get into it like so many of the people around me have. I think it is the commitment to the times…seriously that’s the only reason Josh and I didn’t do it after we tried it last year. But the “no off season” concept is really intriguing.

I never realized I had a running “off season” until recently when I found myself NOT running during the winter and just recently feeling the desire to get out there. Now I have spring/summer races on the schedule and the more mild-temperatures are motivating me to run.

So why can’t my normal exercise routine take on that same system? Even if my third day becomes a yoga day because my body is just too tired, I like the idea of that being a goal. It makes it more attainable than working out 5 days in a row.

Weight Loss

In other news, when I was with my trainer we did another one of those BMI, body percentage calculator thingies. He was shocked when the little thing showed the results. I wasn’t shocked. It is the same thing I have been dealing with. I am pretty toned, solid muscle, but I am a petite lady, which means I bulk and don’t become lean.

I bought the Petite Advantage Diet a few months ago and didn’t really use it because it called for meat and I wasn’t eating it then. Now I am thinking about trying to follow it more closely. The only problem is that means almost separate grocery lists for me and hubby (who is absolutely not a petite person). He’s on a healthy/weight loss kick too right now so it helps a bit, but how do you actually plan the meals like that? Dinner especially.

Having One of Those Weeks

I’m having one of those weeks. You know the kind where no matter how hard you push yourself (in work and in life) you don’t feel like you are crossing off anything on your to-do list?

This is where my head is at right now
This is where my head is at right now


I knew the weeks leading up to April were going to be rough. I have a client expecting a decision from the FDA very shortly and another who just launched a new app. The fact that my to-do list can’t seem to have a beautiful pink line drawn through it is making me beyond anxious. That lack of lines make me feel like nothing has been accomplished though I know we are making progress.

New motivational computer background? Probably
New motivational computer background? Probably

I’ve been forcing myself to  break for exercise, but other things are slipping like my nutrition. No seriously, the other day I had a bag of edamame for lunch at 4pm and dinners are well past the normal eating time. Knowing my anxiety level is starting to hit supernova level I decided to take my rest day and turn it into a yoga day. I could only get in 40 minutes before my brain told me I couldn’t continue, that I needed to get other stuff done.

I hate that. I just want to be able to relax at night and sleep. God, I would love some uninterrupted sleep. The time change (though I love having more daylight at night) has really wrecked me.

So yeah, it is one of those weeks where I just want it to be over.

Sleeping Patterns & Exercise

I have a cut off for exercise. If I haven’t done it by 7:30 pm then it just isn’t going to happen that day.  It just gets too complicated with eating dinner and getting home to shower and all that jazz.

Plus I was convinced that if I exercised too close to bedtime (and I am not talking about yoga here) I would be awake for hours because my body would be revved up. Honestly, that thought process was thrown out the window last week when I went to a blogger spin meet up at Revolve DC. Since it started at 7:45, I was breaking all sorts of rules. I made the effort to eat dinner before I left (don’t judge the two meals at my desk that day), told my hubby he was on his own and set off.

The class was great and when I got home at 9, I was beyond exhausted. I showered and then immediately went to bed. No tossing and turning, just straight up knocked out. Then this week the National Sleep Foundation released a survey showing that there was no difference in sleep quality between those who exercised early in the day vs. those who exercise at night.

In an interview with the Huffington Post (see graph below), Michael A. Grandner, Ph.D. an instructor of psychiatry and a member of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine program at the University of Pennsylvania, said “If you can get your activity [at least] an hour or two before bed, that’s probably ideal. But chances are you’re probably not going to get the intensity or duration you’d need for it to impair your sleep.”

I am thinking as long as I find a way to eat dinner before, I might be picking up a few 8pm classes I’ve been avoiding.

It’s Nutrition Month!

When I was working on a campaign for a diet company, we tagged March as the month diets die.  February is just disgusting when it comes to weather and  keeping track of what you are putting in your body has just become tedious.

So it seems perfect that March is National Nutrition Month. You are about to call it a day on your diet and BAM you are reminded that bathing suit season is just around the corner and exercise is only half the battle.

This year’s theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” makes me pretty happy. I am a sugar addict. I love my post dinner treats and I start thinking about them before I am even done with my meal. Seriously, I haven’t had dinner yet and I am already thinking about how delicious that Skinny Cow Cookies N Cream sandwich is going to be.

So for me, living by that theme means that I can indulge in my lower calorie sugar needs without the guilt. Yes, sometimes I over indulge and my tummy hates me for it, but isn’t that what they made tea for?

Eating your way, every day means you don’t let one bad day send you into a tailspin. Now if only I could get that to be my outlook for work.