My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

Easter Weekend and a Big Decision

Happy Easter, everyone! 

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Hope you are having a good Easter weekend.  We took a quick trip down to London on Friday to have a visit with my mother-in-law. While we were there we went for a walk down at SpringBank Park.  The kids wanted to climb trees and play so we walked and met them after.  Of course, after our walk, the kids weren’t where they were supposed to be, so we took another walk to look for them.  I found them sitting by the river, whittling sticks, watching the ducks and geese.  They looked pretty cute…kind of like a couple of little old men. 

my little old men

Saturday I went to the 9am CrossFit.  The WOD was 2 strength moves:
          WOD mar 30

This was another Fundamentals only class, so everyone there was pretty new to CrossFit.  We focused mainly on the Back Squat and would get to the Shoulder Press if there was time.  I had done back squats before, with the most recent being a few weeks ago, when I got up to 85 lbs.  Yesterday, I got to 100lbs!  I was super happy with that.  I probably could have done more, but didn’t want to push it and get hurt.  For my 70% max effort set, I lifted 75 lbs for 18 reps.  I have no idea if that is 70% of my 1 rep max.  I don’t know what my 1 rep max weight is yet!  Hopefully one day soon I get to figure that out! 

I didn’t have much time to spend on the shoulder press, but did manage to get a few sets in. This was my first time doing pure shoulder presses.  My coach gave me some instruction on how to do the press and then I was off.  I managed to get to 55lbs.  I wish I could lift more, but my upper body is still pretty weak.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a lot stronger than I used to be, but still have a ways to go. 

I will get to put my upper body to work again on Monday, when the WOD is Barbara:
barbara WOD

This workout sounds killer!  I hit Google to get an idea of how long this might take me to complete.  While searching I came upon this great article about some of the CrossFit “Girls”, including Barbara.  I think it’s interesting to see the thought behind the workouts.  I have only done Fran so far, so I’m looking forward to giving Barbara a try tomorrow.  I’ve heard the sit-ups are the killer part of this workout.  For me, I’m pretty sure the whole thing will be killer.  Pull-ups and push-ups are tough for me – you know, given that whole upper body weakness thing I’ve got going on! 

Now, it’s Sunday and I am supposed to run today.  This stupid half marathon is only 35 days away.  I have only run 5k twice.  I keep trying to convince myself to run.  But, you know what….I don’t want to run.  Running is not easy for me.  I don’t have a natural stride.  I have short little stumpy legs.  I trod along and every step is hard work.  I just don’t feel like running.  And at this point, I don’t really think I can realistically be ready to run 21.1km in only 5 weeks.  I don’t want to get hurt by over-doing it, and I can already feel the ache in my hip coming back from only two 5km runs. 

The race seemed like a good idea when I agreed and signed up with my sister back in January.  The hope was we would get to run together and have some good chats while we ran – just like we did when we trained for the Niagara Half last summer/fall.  However, we are only 5 weeks away and we have yet to run together once.  We are just both too busy with work, family and other things to fit in runs together.   

As I was lying in bed this morning, trying to convince myself to get up and go for a run, I came to a realization.  Why should I force myself to do something in my spare time that I don’t find fun or enjoy?  I have so little free time as it is, it just seems silly to fill it with something that just causes me stress.  I have enough stress with work and keeping things on track in the rest of my life, I don’t need to add more stress to my life with the things that are supposed to be relieving my stress!  So, I think I will just sit this one out.  I will use my free time for things that I enjoy and make me happy:  CrossFit, golf, ball hockey, cooking clean meals for my family, and playing with my kids.  I’m not saying I won’t run again, but if I do, it will be because I want to, not because I have to

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Once I finally did get out of bed, this is what I had waiting for me at the breakfast table:

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The Easter Bunny had been and he knows how much I love Mini Eggs.  He was much more sensible this year and only left me a 200g bag instead of the 1kg bag he left last year!  I will try to limit myself to only a few at a time, but I won’t be surprised if I over-indulge and eat the whole bag in one sitting!  The darn things are just sooooooo good!  I also got a little 4 pack of caramel bunnies.  I think I will take these to work to enjoy one a day as a treat in the afternoon. 

We enjoyed a yummy Easter breakfast this morning.  The kids had put in a request for hubby’s waffles and they were just as delicious as always.  I enjoyed mine with a little bit of Nutella, some whip cream and strawberries.  Such a great way to start the day!
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Now, I think I will watch some golf, read a book, plan my meals for the week, and just relax.

How has your weekend been?  Did the Easter Bunny leave you some yummy treats?

Have you ever decided to not run a race you had signed up for?

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Learning to Kip

Happy Hump Day, everyone! Only one more work day until the long weekend! I cannot wait for that extra day off of work!

Today was another CrossFit day. Normally I don’t go back to back days, but I had hockey Monday night and was supposed to have hockey Thursday night, so needed to get my CrossFit classes in around those. That meant back to back WOD days.

Today’s WOD was a skills class and a 2000m row. My Box is doing the Open 12.4 WOD tomorrow, and since it didn’t get announced until 8pm tonight, they didn’t want to have anything in today’s workout that might make those competing too sore or tired for tomorrow’s Open workout. So the 2000m row was a pretty safe bet. Each class got to pick the skill they worked on at the start of class. Tonight, our coach suggested kipping pull-ups. Everyone agreed we could all use help with those.

Once again, this is a move that I can not do! (You may have noticed that this list is quite long!). We started with a warm up of 5 burpees, 10 sit-ups and 15 air squats for 3 rounds. Then we practiced hollow body pose and superman, rolling from one to the other. I had no idea how this related to the pull-ups, but apparently those are the same movements you do when you kip. I am learning so much at CrossFit! After doing a few sets of the hollow body to superman’s, from left to right and back again, it was on to the bars to put it into action.

At first I felt like I was just flailing around up there, but then I started to get the hang of it. The coach reminded us that we need to engage out shoulders rather than just hang there – active hang versus passive hang. Once I started to "engage" my shoulders, I was able to start to actually get the "pull-up" part of pull ups! Who knew! I wasn’t able to get all the way up, but when I do, I need to remember to push away. So many things to think about. Hopefully next time we do these this will all come back to me!

Here is an excellent video of all the steps for doing a kipping pull up. Seriously, this video is awesome!

How to do a Kipping Pull-Up.

I am going to review this video every once in a while and try to spend a bit of time practicing.  I’ve got a pull up bar that goes over the door frame.  I’m not sure I can do this kipping move with that bar or not.  I might need hubby to MacGyver something in the basement for me to practice on.  I’m determined to be able to do a pull up by the end of the summer.  I’d also like to master double unders.  Those I can practice at home as soon as the weather gets a bit nicer and I can skip in the driveway. 

Tomorrow I was supposed to have hockey.  It is my team’s final game of the season.  I’m bummed I can’t go.  I have to go to a client dinner at work.  Normally I would have gone to hockey, but now that I’m an owner, I can’t blow stuff like this off.  So, I’m going out for dinner with a new client of ours.  We are going to Didier Restaurant.  One of the other people who will be going out for dinner with us has arranged for the chef to prepare a special meal for us.  I have no idea what we are in for, but the restaurant is supposed to be one of the best French restaurants in the city.  I’m excited and nervous to see what we get.  If I can sneak some pics, I will include them in tomorrow night’s post. 

Can you kip?  Isn’t that a great instructional video? 

Any of you Toronto folks ever been to Didier? 

11 Comments »

Totally Random Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another

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Here are some of the random things going on in my world.

1. I’ve got 2 training runs under my belt. I ran just over 5k on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s run started out sucking HUGE, but ended not too badly. Sunday’s run was pretty good. I didn’t hate it…and that’s a win in my books! My hips and hamstrings were killing me for a couple days. I had forgotten how much running messed with my body. Hopefully as I get back into it the aches and pains won’t be as bad. I’ve been foam rolling and trying to stretch a bit, and things seem back to normal now. My next run is scheduled for Friday. I’m actually looking forward to it!

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2. I’ve got new CrossFit shoes! Most of my shoes are running shoes. These are not great shoes for CrossFit. Apparently they put your body weight more toward your toes and you want your weight in your heels for lifting. I had seen lots of people at the box wearing and talking about about Reebok Nanos. So, I did a bit of research online and and found the following on the Reebok website:

Product Information
Introducing the world’s first shoe designed and developed by and for CrossFitter’s. With enough stability to keep you grounded while lifting, a minimalist platform and enough cushioning for cardio and endurance movement, this lightweight training shoe is is the perfect PR breaking companion. U-Form technology gives this shoe a proven custom fit, and the carbon rubber outsole and side wall lug wraps provide durability for any movement. Now go climb a rope. (source:
http://shop.reebok.com/us/product/women-crossfit-flex-nano-shoes/EG303).

On the weekend I hit the Reebok store just down the street and was happy to find they had the Nanos in stock. So, I am the proud owner of some sweet CrossFit shoes!

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3. I took my new CrossFit shoes for a test drive tonight! I went to the 6:30 CrossFit class tonight. We started with some handstand push up work. Since this was a Fundamentals class, we were all pretty new to CrossFit and no one could really do a handstand pushup. Our coach worked with us and broke down the move. We started doing headstand tripods, moved onto lifting our legs off our knees, learning to kip into a plank from a headstand, and then progressed to trying to kip up the wall, and then finally doing a handstand. I can do the headstand tripod no problem, and raise my legs up. Kipping from a headstand to a handstand is hard, and I’m not really able to do it. I am able to step up into a handstand and do a little tiny push up. Now that I know what I should be doing, I can practice a bit at home and hopefully get better at them.

After working on the HSPU, we moved onto the WOD. The WOD today was 50 Kettlebell swings followed by a push up/pull up ladder of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. Because we took a bit longer than probably planned with our HSPU work, we only had about 10 minutes left in class for the WOD. Given this, our coach changed it to 25 swings and then the ladder. I can’t do a pull up yet, and either could lots of others in the class, so we did jumping pull ups. I had never done those before…they are way better/easier than pull ups with a band! I did my 25 swings (with a blue KB…not sure how much it weighs…I will have to check next time!) then worked through the ladder. It was tough and I was dripping by the time I finished. When I was done, there was still time left in the 10 minutes allotted for the workout, so I did another 25 swings to get the full 50 of the original WOD. I finished in 9:12…and my new shoes were awesome!

4. My healthy snacks are hitting the spot!. On the weekend I made no bake chocolate coconut cookies and dark chocolate date bars. Having these at work as a healthy snack option is awesome. It satisfies my hunger and both of these are like having a treat.

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Now, as usual, it is late and I need to get to bed. I’ve got another busy day at work tomorrow and I’m hitting CrossFit for the 7:30pm class, so I need a good night’s sleep!

Until tomorrow! Hope your Tuesday was Totally Random!

Do you have any special CrossFit workout gear? I’m loving my new shoes! I think I might need to get a CrossFit t-shirt next!

4 Comments »

I Did It Again!

I ran again today! And it didn’t suck!!!

I ran the same route I did yesterday, and it was a much better run. I am still slow, but I was able to run much longer before stopping. Today I ran 25 minutes straight before I stopped and walked. I still felt good when I started walking, but I didn’t want that damn hill to kill me, so walked it, caught my breath and got my heart rate down a little bit. I’m pretty sure my heart rate is still way too high when I’m running. (Does anyone know how to tell what your heart rate should be? I’m pretty sure my Polar knows, but I’m not sure how to read it!)

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So, my run today felt much better, but it wasn’t much faster overall. Still, I’m pretty happy with it. I actually didn’t hate it? Maybe, just maybe, my run mojo is coming back. Checkout this haiku that Charla of runninghaiku.net wrote to help me find my lost run mojo…its awesome, and it worked!!! Thanks Char!

Here’s yesterday’s and today’s breakdown side by side.

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I planned my week of meals, snacks and workouts. With 3 CrossFit classes, 2 hockey games, and trying to squeeze in 2 runs, my week is pretty busy! Ideally I would like to get one more run in. It’s the Easter long weekend, so maybe I will be able to find time…if not, I’ll live!

I made some healthy snacks today – dark chocolate no bake coconut cookies and dark chocolate date bars. I’ve made both of these before and they are both delicious! These will give me some good snacks for work. Plus, with the chocolate in both, they seem like a treat as well! Bonus!

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Finding meals for the week that would fit into the hectic schedule was a bit of a challenge. On CrossFit nights I don’t want to eat a heavy meal before I go to the gym, so I need quick meals those nights. Still, I was able to plan another week of great, clean meals – and I’m hoping some of the, give me leftovers for lunch the next day! Here’s how the upcoming week looks:

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I still need to figure out breakfasts for the week. I’m sure I will have microwaved eggs a few days, and maybe I will make some overnight oats for a few days. It’s been a while since I’ve had those.

Dinner tonight was a simple, light, and tasty meal of dumplings and edamame. This was quick to prepare and a hit with the while family. Jacko just loves the dumplings and Nick is a huge fan of the edamame. I like them both!

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It’s a short week ahead and I’m already looking forward to next weekend. Friday is a holiday for Good Friday so we’ve only got to make it through 4 work days! Wohoo! With all the things I’ve got on the schedule for this week, I’m sure it will fly by. Lets hope so anyways!

Now, it’s late (when will I learn?) and I need to spend some quality time with my foam roller before I go to bed. My hips and hamstrings are killing me. That’s one part of running that I didn’t miss. I don’t hurt like this after CrossFit or hockey…just running. Hopefully as I get a few more miles under my belt, it won’t be so bad. Until then, it’s Advil and foam rolling for me!

How was your weekend?
Did you run? Do your hips and hammies ache like mad after you run?

And finally, I’d like to give a shout out to a few of my running friends who ran the Around the Bay 30k run today. Kathy (aka JackRabbit) had a killer PR of 2:41, my friends/cousins Lianne and Susan also ran great races with times of 3:03 and 2:54 respectively, and my friend Suzanne ran her first ATB finishing in 4:11. Congrats ladies! I am in awe of you all!

4 Comments »

I Did It!

I went for a run today! As I had planned, I ran home from my son’s hockey game this morning. I wasn’t expecting much out of this run, I just wanted to get it done.

I have to admit, this was not an easy run. During the first kilometre I was having an internal conversation with myself. Here are some of the things that I was saying to myself during that first, horrible kilometre:

  • Why do you do this to yourself?
  • This half marathon is a very bad idea…you will not be ready in time.
  • You can just go get the race kit and skip the actual race.
  • Running SUCKS!
  • You might be able to tell…I didn’t much enjoy that first kilometre! But after that, it did improve slightly. My thoughts were still not the most positive, but I started to think I actually might make it all the way home! In the end, it took me 37:46 to run 5.14km.

    The run broke down like this:

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    Km 4 was a rough one, with an uphill climb so I allowed myself to walk the hill, which made for a pretty bad pace, but I’m pretty happy with the 3rd km….that is race pace for me! Overall, although I did not break any land-speed records, and I was not able to run the whole 5k, I was pretty happy with my run. It didn’t suck as much as I thought it would!

    I wore my Polar heart rate monitor for the run. I’m not exactly sure what my target heart rate is supposed to be, but I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be as high as mine was during the run. Also, there were no fat burning minutes, which is a first for me while wearing the HRM. I was impressed that both my HRM and Run Keeper both had the same calorie burn (although I forgot to start my HRM right away so the times don’t exactly match).

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    I was smiling at the end of the run, which is a good thing I guess! I’m not sure if I’m smiling because I was happy with the run, or if I’m just happy it was over!

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    The rest of my day was spent watching my other son’s hockey game, shopping for some workout clothes, and making another new Clean Eating recipe. Tonight I made Pork Chops with Peppers, Onions, and Olives. This recipe was easy and quite good. It also made enough for a couple of leftover meals!

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    Tomorrow I’ve got kid’s hockey at 9am and again at 2:15pm. The plan is to go for another run between hockey games. I also need to do meal and snack planning for the week. My workouts are already planned with 3 CrossFit classes, 2 hockey games, and at least 2 runs.

    I better get to bed so I’m ready to get up and cheer at hockey. We need to win to guarantee we make championship weekend.

    Goodnight, all. Hope your Saturday was a good one.
    Did you run today? How did it go?

    7 Comments »

    The Friday Five

    Wohoo!  We made it to Friday! And you know what that means…it’s the weekend and it’s time for…
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    1.  Today was CrossFit Open Workout 13.3.  I am not actually competing in the games, but my box does the Open workouts on Fridays, and anyone who is at the class does the workout.  I just don’t record a score in the games.  Today’s workout was killer:

    150 Wall Balls (Rx 14lbs)
    90 Double Unders
    30 Muscle Ups

    This is actually the same workout as last years 12.4 Open Workout.  Doing it again this year will allow people to check their fitness improvement, since they can compare their scores to last year.  I wasn’t doing CrossFit last year, but I have done this workout before.  This was a regular WOD about a week after I joined CrossFit.  I did not love this workout then, and I definitely didn’t love it today!  Today I increased the weight of the med ball that I used from 8lbs the first time I did this WOD to 10 lbs today. That 2lbs killed me!  Last time I finished the wall balls and just started the double unders.  Today I only got 112 wall ball finished.  GAWD!!!  This made me feel like I haven’t gotten any stronger in the last month.  UGH…Oh well…just gives me more incentive to work even harder each day. 

    2.  My half marathon training starts tomorrow!  This is a better late than never thing, since I am about 6 weeks late starting this training.  I still haven’t quite figured out my schedule, but my plan for tomorrow is to run home from my son’s hockey game.  The rink is about 5.5k away from our house.  I haven’t run 5k since the Resolution Run on New Year’s Eve.  I might have run one other 5k with my sister shortly after that, but that’s it.  I’m not expecting much out of tomorrow’s run.  I’m just hoping to take it fairly easy and make it home without hurting anything! 

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    3.  I need to eat healthier snacks.  I have been doing very well with my clean eating dinners – which give awesome leftover lunches – but my snacking has not been the greatest.  At work I tend to just go to the kitchen cupboards and grab whatever is in there which most times is not the healthiest.  Our office admin stocks the cupboards with cookies, mini chocolate bars, and other less-than-clean processed foods.  When my usual 3pm hunger comes on, i head to the kitchen and it is not good.  I need to be better prepared and have veggies and other healthy snacks that I can easily grab when the hunger strikes.  So, one of my goals for the weekend is to prepare some healthy, quick-grab snacks for work.  I’m going to pick up carrots, celery and snap peas, and get them all chopped and ready to go.  I’m also hoping to make some more of my dark chocolate date bars and no-bake coconut cookies too, for when I need a little chocolate fix!
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    4.  I’m sick of winter and all of this snow!  This winter seems to be going on forever.  Now that I am home from our ski vacation, all of this snow can go away!  I’m ready for sunshine, warm temperatures, sitting on the front patio with a beer, and golf!  I’m on the board for the golf league I play in, and we are starting to plan our summer. Opening day is May 7 (hey, I just realized that’s 2 days after my half marathon….so it really is coming soon!).  Hopefully all this CrossFit will be good for my game and make my swing stronger and my drives go further.  Fingers crossed!
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    5.  Another “Feel Good” Video.  I saw this video today and thought it was just too good not to share.  #2 gets the award for “Best Assist EVER!”  I hope you enjoy it.

    Happy Friday, everyone.
    Got any big plans for the weekend?
    Don’t forget to send positive run vibes my way tomorrow morning! 

    6 Comments »

    Happy Friday!

    Here’s a little funny to start your Friday.

    You won’t see this at CrossFit!  🙂

    How long would you stay in any of those classes?

    Happy Friday!

    4 Comments »

    CrossFit Confessions

    Seems like I’m not the only one!

    2 Comments »

    I’m Feeling Unmotivated

    If you’ve been following along, you know that I am LOVING CrossFit.

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    But, you will also know that I have been dreading running. I have a half marathon to run on May 5th and I have not started training yet. I know I should be out there logging miles, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I have a mental block. I joke that I need to find a hypnosis tape to play while I sleep to convince myself that I can do this. I may actually hit Google tomorrow to see if I can find anything like that, but until then, here are just a few motivational things I’ve found.

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    Hopefully if I keep looking at the motivating quotes they will sink in and I will go run. Currently my plan is to lace up and get out there Saturday. Feel free to remind me that I’ve said this.

    How do you get motivated?
    Anyone know where I can find a running hypnosis mp4?

    6 Comments »

    I Need To Learn How To Count!

    I don’t know why I do this to myself…but once again, it is late, and I’m exhausted. So, this is going to be short and sweet.

    Today I got back on track with clean meals…
    Delicious Leftover Spicy Corn Chowder for lunch, with Ryvita and laughing cow cheese.

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    Dinner was another new Clean Eating recipe: Broccoli Rabe Linguini. I had never tried broccoli Rabe (apparently also known as rapini) before. It was quickly boiled and then sautéed with garlic and hot pepper flakes before sun-dried tomatoes, white beans, and Kalamata olives were added. This was the “sauce” that the linguini was tossed with. I was tempted to eat the sauce all on its own! Doesn’t it look tasty!

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    The final dish, with the sauce tossed over the linguini was amazing.

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    And in usual clean eating style, I’ve got leftovers! Enough for 3 meals!

    After dinner I had a little time to let dinner digest and then it was off to CrossFit for my first WOD in over a week. Tonight the strength move was a 3×5 Back Squat. I hadn’t done a back squat yet, so started light, with just the bar at 35 lbs. Then I added weight until I got to 85 lbs and figured that was enough for my first time!

    After this it was onto the WOD, which was Annie. 50-40-30-20-10 double unders and sit-ups. This was a bit of a challenge since I still can’t really do double unders yet. I can pull off a few in a row, but definitely not 50! The modification for this is to do 5 single skips for each double under. This meant that I was doing 250-200-150-100-50 for the skipping and then 50-40-30-20-10 sit-ups in between each skipping set. I’m pretty sure I did the 150 skips and 30 sit-ups round twice! I need to keep better track of my counting! In the end, whatever amount I did took me exactly 15 minutes, and I was exhausted and dripping with sweat when it was over.

    After everyone in the class finished the workout (I was happy I wasn’t the last one!), our coach, Ryan, did the workout. His best time on the wall for Annie was 5:28. Watching him do the workout was inspiring. He was smooth and could double under like it was no effort. He was cruising right along and then I think the pressure of everyone watching him got the better of him. He started to flub his double unders and that threw him off a bit. His time was 6:24. Not his best, but still damn impressive! One day I will get my time down there. One day…if I can ever learn to keep track of how many reps I’ve done!

    I’m still searching for a quickie half marathon program. I’m psyching myself up to run on the weekend. Fingers crossed!!

    How was your day?
    Did you try any new, awesome recipes?

    How do you keep track of your reps?

    9 Comments »

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