Weekends at ROJ

This is a fun little post to write, because I get to just sit back and chat with you about LIFE. Somehow I decided talking fitness isn’t the same as talking life and maybe that’s the wrong attitude? Hmm. Still, here is what I like to do, or have been doing when I’m not working or sweating. And no I won’t go on and on about cooking or cleaning, because that is implied. Here are the FUN things I like to do!

A few weeks ago I ventured out with a friend to the grand opening of the new Microsoft store in Beachwood. I wasn’t so excited about the store as I was about the FREE Kelly Clarkson concert! As part of the promotion the first 100 people in line were able to be a part of a special meet and greet. Shane and I traveled up after I got off from work and waited patiently. LOTS of people were standing by the mall, but we were told they were not allowed to line up early and would be moved. We waited in the parking lot with several others also following the rules.

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When they called time to line up though….no one was moved from the “fake line”! Despite our best scrambling efforts, we were #102 and #103 in line. I was MAJORLY bummed. We opted not to stay outside all night (and try our luck the next day for regular tickets) and went home to sleep off our sorrows. Luckily some friends we made in line hooked me up the next day. Each person was given 2 concert tickets and their group only needed one each, so I was able to attend the show! I lined up SUPER early for the show since it was all general admission and snagged essentially a front row spot. It was a beautiful experience. KC is one of my FAVORITE singers of all time. And no I’ve never watched American Idol, so I’m not just coming from that crowd. Her lyrics and her body image/attitude I relate to on such a deep level. She’s an amazing person from what I can tell. The most down to Earth part of her show was when she realized after her first song that her zipper was down. She laughed and said to the crowd “Do you like my pretty blue panties y’all” then asked us to please tweet pictures at her so she could make fun of herself.

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Being at the show, even if I was tired and sore and being sleeted on…it was a therapeutic experience. Suddenly years of joy and pain and angst and so much were brought to the surface as I remembered what each song meant to me. I cried, I laughed, I soaked in the whole experience.

Kelly Clarkson Concert

To see all my pictures from the show, including two not so high quality videos check out my photobucket album here. I should also share, Microsoft was having various grand opening giveaways. Thanks to a tweet I sent out I was randomly selected as a winner! I walked away with a brand new XBOX 360 with Kinect bundle.

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Last weekend I attended an “adult” East Egg hunt. Which sounds dirty, but I assure you it is not. Down at Lock 3 in Akron the grounds were covered in hundreds of plastic eggs. Inside the eggs were candy and possibly slips of paper with numbers. The numbers matched various prizes ranging from bath lotions or candles to a grill or a 32″ LED TV. Deonna and I were planning to go a week earlier, but it was delayed due to rain. We arrived Friday night and paid our $8 admission fee. I noticed everyone else had MUCH larger bags so I ran to my car and upgraded. I picked out my EggLand’s Best bag because I thought eggs would like an egg bag. Hehe. I also wore my headlamp, because I am a dork and I thought having an empty hand would be…”handy”.

Once it was dark we were set free onto the grounds. Normally there are 100’s of people who do this event. This was my first year and only about 30-40 people seemed to be there! I ran around and collected as many eggs as possible. It was quite the little workout and my legs were sore from doing weights at the gym directly before! Inside we had the tedious task of opening ALL the eggs. It paid off though, because I walked away the proud owner of the 32″ LED TV. Haha. It’s a good match for the XBOX from the week before!

Egg Hunt

The next morning Jason and I went to the LEGO store up at Beachwood and made some mini versions of us as LEGO people. Then we watched the final Lord of the Rings movie. We watched the other two a few weeks before. It was quite the geeky day for me.

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THIS weekend I attended the 2013 MedWish International Band Aid Bash. I won tickets thanks to Jen of Why CLE? I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had fun nevertheless.

I entered for the chance to win a 1994 Porshe and placed a silent auction bid on a beautiful vase. Sadly, my luck has run out and I did not come home with either. While there I did run into some other fun blogger ladies and was able to show off my new hair cut. Haha.

MedWish

Then home again home again to crash and sleep! I opted to skip Forget the PR on Sunday…my leg is better, but not full force and I didn’t want to push it. Also I’ve been hella busy lately and don’t want to push myself to exhaustion.

So what do YOU do on your weekends? Are you as busy as I have been lately? Do you tend to be lucky at contests?

PS. For my local buddies. Earth Fare is opening a new store in Solon on May 8th. To celebrate they’re giving away 30 $30 gift cards. Yep, (1) $30 gift card each day until May 7th! Mind you this is only for the new store, so sorry everyone else. Follow this link for more information. http://earthfare.tumblr.com/post/47116861378/solon30days And check back after the 8th for my review of the new store.

My Weekday Workouts

Anyone who knows me knows I am not one for change, I typically find a routine and then stick to it and when something shifts I start to dread the chaos and freak out. Strangely, with my workouts I am often quite the opposite. Very quickly I become bored with the same thing day after day and I seek out new adventures! Maybe that is what draws me to trail running? It is almost never the same experience even with the same course.

Most of my friends have some type of routine and I know a lot of them love to run or train with groups, and I like to do my own thing every now and again. I wanted to take today though to share with you the many different forms of exercise I have access to during the week and what I normally do and what I hope to continue with in the future.

Monday

The day to kick off the week and really sets the mood for all other days. If I skip a workout on Monday I may as well throw the whole week in the trash it seems. Monday I go to Zumba with my coworker 99% of the time. Even days where I am sore or tired or cranky I try to make it to Zumba even if it is the saddest performance of my life, simply to keep the routine going. It is one of the classes offered free to employees, and while I’ve noticed other companies giving watered down versions of classes, this is not like that at all.

After Zumba I try to make it to my gym. The last 2 weeks I’ve been doing weight training. I really am not comfortable with free weights, so I’ve been using machines. Other fitness classes I’ve attended include strength/cardio, cyclye/core, and yogalates. What do I do for my weight training? I’ll tell you, but please don’t laugh…in no particular order.

Leg press: I like this machine because I can feel it in my quads and butt. I try to make it so it also works my hamstrings. I do 3 sets of 15 reps at around 40 to 50 pounds depending on the day.

Prone hamstring curl machine: This machine is the bane of my existence and also the best thing to ever happen to me. Out of ALL the exercises and stretches and whatever elses I have done over the last year, this is what finally made me go OH MY GOD THAT’S THE ISSUE! I couldn’t finish my sets or reps the first day and that was on the lowest weight of 10 pounds! I’ve made my way up to 3 sets of 8-10 reps with 10 pounds. My left side still feels weak, but I know it’s making a difference.

Leg extension machine: I always underestimate this baby. To me it seems “easy” but whenever I start to use it I can feel my quads barking at me. Sometimes I’ll try it with just one leg at a time, mostly I do it with both. I believe I’m up to 3 sets of 10-15 reps with 40 pounds. Of course a day after a race or hard workout and that becomes much harder

Lateral pull down machine: Makes me feel good to work out the upper part of my body. I know I tend to neglect things from the waist up and that’s bad. I can feel this machine working, which makes me feel cool when I do use it. Right now I’m at 3 sets of 15 reps with 25-35 pounds of weight.

Hip Adduction / Abduction Machine: This set of machines is probably my second favorite after the hamstring curl. Partially because they’re the two I can use at the highest amount of weight. They are the “Don’t make eye contact” machines. Haha. Really they work the insides and outsides of the thighs/hips. I can feel myself growing stronger and more stable especially in the muscles where my ITB starts to hurt. It might be all in my head, but it almost seems like the tightness and pressure from my butt down through my leg is getting better. I can sit and lift without pain. I’m at 3 sets of 15 reps using 75-85 pounds.

Seated push up machine: I struggle with this one SO MUCH. I can only do 3 sets of 8-10 reps with the lowest weight of 10 pounds. I’m working on it though. Hoping to get better shoulders and triceps, maybe nicer looking arms for summer sleeves?

Seated chest press: Another area I suck at currently. I know I need serious help with my upper body and I am SO embarrassed using the machines, but I have every right to use them as much as anyone else and I’m not getting any better simply by looking longingly at them, right? At any rate, I’m at 3 sets of 8-10 reps of 10-15 pounds depending on the day.

Back extension machine: At first I didn’t like this machine. I was taught it last year and it hurt to use. Now my pain and issues have subsided slightly and I can use it without many side effects. If I’m being “lazy” I can do 3 sets of 15 reps at 45 pounds. I notched it up to 55 one night and boy did I feel it the next day! Ha!

Recently I read I should be doing fewer reps with more weight…I’ll work on that this week. Weight training is still very new to me.

Tuesday

I’ve been taking Tuesday as a rest day. However I have the option of doing a water aerobics class at work, or at my gym they offer tabata, yoga, or Pilates.

Wednesday

Work offers Zumba again on this night and I had been going on my own. Then I learned there is Zumba at my gym and I think about doing it instead. Lately I’ve been doing my weights routine for a second night and then using the treadmill or elliptical for some “running” mileage. I have done the strength class at my gym too, but I like trying to stick with my own weights routine for now.

Thursday

I LOVE Thursday. My coworker and I go to the water aerobics class together. Honestly, it doesn’t always provide a GREAT workout, but one week I stayed and did laps in the pool while she took swim lessons and that was great. I’ve thought about hauling ass over to the weekly trail run with CRTR. When I get my speed up and weight down and the weather isn’t nasty and crazy I probably will start doing that after. For now my friend and I hang out in the sauna and gossip and relax which IMHO mental/emotional fitness is JUST as important and I can tell when we miss out weekly hang outs I always feel so “off” for a while. Work also offers Zumba with a different instructor this night, we did the class a few times when we didn’t feel like getting wet, but it’s been moved to Tuesday nights. Boo. Last week we hiked 3 miles on the local paved path instead too. She agreed to possibly go with me to CRTR, but to do the route as a hike as she is not a runner and has no desire to run. I’m cool with that. Thursday classes at my gym are the same as Tuesday, I’ve never gone in though.

Friday

Ah Friday the end of the glorious week. Every week I have every intention of going to the gym and doing a workout. One week I DID go to my gym and I did my weights routine! Other weeks I’ve gone and did a few walk/jog miles on the treadmill or elliptical. Work doesn’t offer any classes that I know of and my gym only offers Zumba, but that’s a later in the night class. I have done it and it is SUPER fun, but it’s also at a weird hour. I do try to be social every now and again ya know. Also, if I have a race on Sat I’ll skip a Fri workout.

Saturday/Sunday

Honestly, I’ve been taking these as days off and time for friends and family unless there is an event. My gym offers Zumba at 1000 and I’ve gone a few times. We also have 930 yoga I’ve been meaning to hit up for Saturday. A friend of mine teaches the 900 yoga at a different branch on Sunday, but I have yet to make it out there. I prefer being outside on the weekends and I’ll go hiking or running.

PS: I was recently given a pedometer at my gym. My goal was/is to reach 10,000 steps per day. I’ve been wearing it constantly. Unless I go running I haven’t counted those steps toward any “extra” fitness. Some days I’ve made it to only 2,000 steps, one day I made it to 15,000. It is certainly making me more aware of when I need to walk around and of course the dog gets an added benefit of health too when I take her along for the fun.

Now you know what my little fitness word looks like. What do you think? Do you have as many choices? Are you as bad as I am with sticking to a routine? Are you nervous with weights or have any advice for me on how not to be as nervous?

Don’t forget I am on dailymile and you’re welcome to friend me to spy on my progress. Full disclosure though, I am constantly forgetting to update and often post everything for the week over the weekend. Tune in tomorrow when I’ll share what sorts of FUN things I do when I’m not working out and it’s the “freakin’ weekend”.

Friday Food : Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

Happy Friday everyone! Today I am sharing a great and easy way to make yourself some creamy broccoli cheese soup!

I made this soup about 2 weeks ago, it makes A TON. Which is good, because you will be wanting to eat it again and again and again; Maybe using the instant potatoes makes it more magical than typical soup? I don’t know! What I do know is this 1) I will SO be making this more often 2) My serving bowls are crazy cute. Do you like them? Jason took me to this discount store and I found them and loved them and now they are mine. Only $1.99 each!

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

What you will need:

  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 package (12-16 oz) frozen broccoli cuts
  • 1 package (12-16 oz) frozen carrots crinkle cut
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups instant mashed potatoes
  • optional: spices, salt, black pepper, etc…

Directions:

  1. Combine broth, milk, broccoli, carrots, and any optional spices in a large stock pot (or slow cooker) and allow to simmer for 1-2 hours, or longer if desired
  2. Slowly add the cheese until well blended
  3. At the end whisk in the instant potatoes and serve