Monday, November 28, 2011

My Top Five Tips For Getting Your Workout In Early

So as you may or may not remember, I set a goal 21 days ago.  I'm proud to say that I pretty much kicked it's butt!! Did I get up first thing EVERY morning? Nope. Did I get up and work out before work, church, and my other activities. YES.

It's true what they say that the hardest step is the first one. But once I made it to the gym, I found myself wishing that I had gotten up earlier to have more time!

Will I continue to workout in the morning? Absolutely! It's not always the most practical choice, but more often than not it is! It's great to be in the gym when it's quiet and almost empty. I'm not going to lie, it kinda makes you feel like a badass just being there!

I also get ready in less time (less distractions while getting ready) and I'm earlier to work. All great things!

So I thought I'd share what has worked best for me. So here are my top five tips for getting up early and getting your workout in:

5. Think about how awesome it will be to get off work and be able to come home and hang out with your family/put your feet up/eat dinner/watch tv/whatever.
4.  Get to bed at a decent hour. My goal was 7 hours of sleep minimum but hoped for at least 8.
3.   Avoid Nyquil. :)
2. Pack a dedicated gym bag (mine has a travel hairdryer and straightener, shower shoes, shower kit with shampoo, conditioner, and face wash, etc.). This way you don't have to worry if these key items are in your gym bag or your bathroom.
1. PLAN AHEAD. The first thing I do when I get home from work is change out my towel, unload my dirty clothes and pack tomorrow's outfit. That way it's ready to go in the AM. It takes 10 minutes and then it's done.

Another logistical thing I learned from the other women who shower at the gym... When you're finished with your towel, hang it on a clothes hanger then you can hang it in your car. Helps dry it out.

I hope this helps you out if you're thinking about trying to work out in the morning. I never thought I'd be the person to get up and work out before work. But I LOVE it and I feel so great for the rest of the day. It's 'my time' and it allows me to focus on the day. I'd encourage you to give it a shot!

Hope you all are having a great week so far!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Decorations and Virtual Races

I finally got some pictures of most of my Christmas decorations and I thought I'd share with you all. This weekend is usually when I put everything up, but I did everything last weekend since I had to work this weekend.
This is my favorite decoration. I'm not going to lie, last year I left it up until Easter (I put everything else up, I swear!) My parents and grandparents bought me the pieces for it over the past few years so that makes it even more special.

This is a new serving plate courtesy of my granny (she volunteers in the hospital gift shop and is always getting me the cutest stuff--reason number 31049732 that being the only granddaughter is the I thought it was too pretty to only use as a serving dish.

This is kinda boring to me, any ideas to make it more fun?

My mom hand painted the two grey reindeer, I love having them up! So many great memories!

We used to have a non themed tree, but Riley knocked it down two years ago (scared the crap outta me because I was home alone) and busted a bunch of our ornaments. So last year I went to Walmart and picked out a bunch of green, blue and pink ornaments. Then luckily I found perfect ribbon at Michael's to match so I could make a bow.

Did you do any shopping this weekend? I made it to Dick's and Target on Black Friday (only had a little time before work) then went to the mall later on Saturday. I got some great stuff for the Sock Swap!! Have you signed up yet? Don't forget the $15 iTunes giveaway!!!
I also finished my 4 miler for Ashley's 4 mile Turkey Trot, thanks for hosting Ashley!!! I have really enjoyed all the virtual races lately, they've really motivated me!
Courtney is hosting a 5k virtual race next week that you should really consider doing. It's to honor her daughter, Ashlyn (such a beautiful name, right?) 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

HBBC Week One

So I've decided to work on a post all through the week to keep up with my HBBC points, then I'll post on Saturdays. That way I'm not posting daily just to list my workouts (and let's face it I'll never post daily because that requires too much thinking!)

Saturday - Ran 5.5 miles and stretched/foam rolled/abs for 20 minutes (6 points)
Sunday - Stairclimber for 20 minutes (I'm considering this high impact because I sweat buckets during this) and 15 minutes elliptical (3 points)
Monday - 50 minute spin class, 60 minute body pump class (8 points)
Tuesday - Stairclimber 20 minutes, walked 2 miles, 60 minute body pump class (7 points)
Wednesday - a whole lot of nothing
Thursday - Turkey Trot 5k, walked another 5k with Rileybear (6.2 points)
Friday - Walked 1.8 miles, Biked 3 miles (2.8 points)

Total points for Week 1:  33 points

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Miles and One Big Meal

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope you all had a great day! I was super pumped for the Turkey Trot 5K this morning, mostly because Brad agreed to do it with me!! This is the first race he's done and I'm hoping he'll catch the bug! I was thisclose to a PR but I'll get into that later when I review the race.

This is my 'hokie'. Pardon my bug eyes!!

I found a new place to take crappy pictures. Just to switch it up from the bathroom self portraits! And you can see my nativity at the bottom (my favorite Christmas decoration!!).

I'm using the Turkey Trot to link up with Alissa over at Journey to Thin for her Thankful Healthy Blogger 5k.

Thanks Alissa for hosting this!!

While Brad was working on our turkey (side note:  I usually just cook a turkey breast since it's just the two of us but we got a $15 Butterball gift certificate and Brad was dead set on making a turkey) I took Rileybear for a 5k walk. We stirred up all the dogs in our neighborhood and the two next to us. Whoops.

I wanted to walk to hopefully combat the calories that I'd be getting later. I also wanted to enter Kiley's 5k as well! She's doing a whole holiday series, you should definitely check it out! I did the Halloween 5k too! Thanks for hosting Kiley!!

Sorry Kiley, but my printer is out of ink! I pulled up the bib on my iPad, but you can see how well that worked out! And my partner in crime was being SUPER cooperative!!

So that was the workout part of my day. B-rad dominated the turkey and I took care of the sides.
And we've been lazy on the couch for the rest of the day!! Oh, and not to be outdone,  Riley got a big bone for Thanksgiving:

It lasted him about 10 minutes. For reals.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today Is Not My Day

Today I practically skipped to them gym. [Side note: I made a new rule that I could only watch my HBO shows if I was at the gym working out and I'm hooked to How To Make It In America and I'm also in the middle of Band of Brothers.] So as you can imagine I had big plans. I was going to stair climb during How to Make it, then walk for an episode of BOB (roughly an hour).

OBVIOUSLY I put some time into this plan. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO the Rush had other ideas. The wifi was acting stupid so I had no entertainment. I MADE myself do 20 minutes on the stair climber then left the gym. I told myself I'd run errands then come back and surely it'd be working.

Fast forward 2 hours when I'm back at the gym and the desk guy's looking at me like "didn't I just see you?". Nope, must've been someone else. I get situated on the treadmill and I'll be damned if the thing still wouldn't work. I was beyond pissed. [at the Rush, at Apple, at myself for not learning from prior experience and bringing back up entertainment] It took everything in me to keep from packing it up right then.

I went and talked to the desk person and she explained that their internet is "crappy" and "they're supposed to be getting us new software soon".

Well crap.

I walked two miles then did body pump. And was mad every second that I wasn't watching TV.

Want to make me feel a little better?? Sign up for my Sock Swap & giveaway!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday Sock Swap... And a Giveaway!

Okay, so a few years ago I was reading a blog around the holidays and I saw this thing called a sock swap. I thought it was a really cute idea (and I've googled for the blog to credit it with no luck, please let me know if you know so I can give credit where credit is due) and was super jealous because I didn't get to participate. I'm pretty sure we all love to get stuff in the mail so what do you all think about having one this year?!

Here's how it would go down:
  • Everyone who wants in let's me know via email ( I will need your mailing address. This will ONLY be shared with the person who will be sending your gift. The deadline to sign up is December 2nd at midnight.
  • I'll draw a name for everyone then send your mailing address to the person who draws your name. Keep it a secret!!! 
  • Buy a cheapo pair of holiday socks:
  • Stuff the socks with goodies (get creative!). I'm thinking a good limit is 20 bucks, but if you all have another limit in mind let me know and I'll go with the majority.
  • Mail out the gifts by December 15th. Don't worry I'll remind you! 
  • Let me know when you've sent it. I probably will stalk you (send you emails, not show up at your doorstep) if you don't let me know you've sent it. Just because I'd hate for someone to spend the money, send someone a gift, and not get one in return).
  • When you get your socks, post your presents and thank your 'secret sock santa'.
If it goes well and I get a lot of participation, I'll consider hosting a few of these throughout the year. If everyone ignores me I'll just make Riley swap socks with me because he loves me even though I'm lame.

Okay, so what about the giveaway???

Everyone who participates and follows my blog gets one entry.

How do you get extra entries? RECRUIT! Spread the word however you'd like, but make sure you tell them to let me know who sent them. You'll get an entry for each person you get to participate! (Feel free to use my ghetto button that I made).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Five Things Friday

1.  I got this little piece of awesomeness in the mail today:

My Erin Condren life planner. It came with so many extra little things:  personalized gift labels, some cards and stickers. I've been filling it out for the past hour and a half [not nerdy at all] and I'm considering sleeping with it under my pillow tonight.

2.  I finally got to try out my new gun today. My very first shot hit the middle of the bulls eye... Let's just say I should have stopped while I was ahead. Oh well, practice makes... less horrible?

3.  I cannot freaking believe that Bradley Cooper was named sexiest man alive. Apparently I'm not the only one. Way to eff that one up People.


4.  I am decorating for Christmas this weekend. Go ahead and judge me. I normally put it up on/around Thanksgiving, but I'm off for 5 days then I'll be working all around Thanksgiving. So might as well do it now!

5.  I'm joining up with to run 12 half marathons in 2012, want to join us? Jill has lined up some sponsors for us and I think it's going to be a great motivator. If you're interested, let Jill know.

It's hilarious but I just googled "running inspiration" and this came up. I went to copy the website to cite it and it was Jill's blog!!! Too funny.

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Two Great Concerts in One Week (Parachute and Casting Crowns)

It's been such a busy week and I was so excited to share why last night... Then I left my phone at the pharmacy. Unfortunately my phone held all the pics that I wanted to share, so I had to wait till today.

Sunday night Brad and I went to the Orange Peel to see Courrier, Kate Voegele, and Parachute... So fun. I am such a sucker for live music and some of my favorite groups have made their way through Asheville lately. The Orange Peel gets lots of great performers (Adele was actually scheduled to play here but she had to cancel) and it's so great because it's a smaller, you get a more intimate feel.
There weren't a lot of people, I guess because of it being a Sunday night.
Wow that's really not a good picture at all, but it's all I have. Anyways, the show was SO GREAT. I love me some Parachute. I listened to their albums while training for my half this year. Will, the lead singer even came down into the crowd to sing with us! I was really impressed and felt like they put on a special show for us because we were out on a Sunday. They kept thanking us for coming out. LOVE.

And if one concert wasn't enough, we also got to see The Afters, Sanctus Real, and Casting Crowns on Tuesday. I love some many of their songs and it was such an uplifting concert. 

As you might have guessed from my new blog header I'm loving the Casting Crowns song 'Courageous'. They did it first thing and it was just as good as I hoped. But the best part was during the song 'Glorious Day' (ps if you haven't heard this song, please go listen to it immediately, along with courageous they will really touch you). While they were singing this crazy powerful song, an artist was painting with his hands only from three buckets of paint. Sometimes he just threw it onto the canvas and paint splattered everywhere. But the end result was AMAZING.
What an awesome blessing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our Last Couple of Days in Maui

Yeah this is super late. Sorry. But anyways, I wanted to record the memories. [Quick Tangent-- do you find it hard to remember things from like, 5 years ago?? Wondering if I'm the only one.]

So we drove back from Hana and made our way to the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea. We scored an amazing deal for this hotel [they are renovating]. It was super nice but very upscale. Even during happy hour the drinks were like 10 bucks a pop. Brad and I of course improvised...

Umm yeah. The Hana condo owner left us this complimentary bag, so we put it to good use. And you better believe we marched our butts straight to the pool and killed them. It was a little awkward walking through the lobby because the bag was definitely dripping. Nothing but class.

The hotel was really nice. We got lei's (sp?) here!

The room was awesome although it was hella far away from the pool and everything else (but like I said we got a huge deal). I really wanted to steal the pillow from the room.

One nice thing was that they had a suite that we got to use when we first got there (and on our last day) because our room wasn't ready. We got to change into our suits so we could enjoy the day. On the last day we had a super late flight, so we got to enjoy the pool and beach all day, then shower and get ready in that room. Super nice.

The only lame thing was their gym. It only had 3 or 4 treadmills. Our room was bigger than the gym. On the last day I didn't want to workout, get sweaty, then have to put my stinky clothes in my bag. So again, I improvised.

Yeah, I showered in my clothes, then hung them outside. Looking back, I guess I coulda washed them in the sink, but where's the fun in that?

We ate at Spago (Wolfgang Puck) one night and we also went to the spa at the Grand Wailea (amazing!!). We usually like to eat pretty cheap (the whole first week we cooked at the condo) then pick one or two nice restaurants. Spago was great and like all the restaurants, amazing open air seating.

I LOVED this trip and was so sad to come home.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Five Things Friday

1.  So I'm happy to report that after the Nyquil debacle, I have successfully gotten up and worked out before work for the past two days! Once I make it out of my warm, comfy bed, I actually do enjoy working out early and it's not that big of a deal getting ready at the gym. It takes a lot of planning, but so far so good and I've actually been early to work!
2.  I am in super planning mode for 2012 and am trying to scout races and see which ones I want to run. I'm trying to make my mind up about a RnR race today because you can get $20 off a race registration if you sign up today (and Lord knows those races aren't cheap!). I'll share more when I know all the details but I'm joining up with Jill over at Life...As I See It to run 12 half marathons in 2012, so planning will be a necessity!

3.  I love, love, love my new job. It sounds crazy but it's like oh yeah, this is why I wanted to be a pharmacist. I'm actually getting to use what I learned in school and I'm not just there to dispense pills and be verbally abused. I don't want to jinx it, but I haven't been yelled at in 2 weeks. It's a good feeling!

4.  I cannot freaking wait for my Erin Condren planner to get here. Counting down the days in my soon to be retired ugly, plain, black planner. It's getting super jealous.

5.  I just realized that I never recapped our last stop in Mauii... That was in August just in case you were wondering. But it's too good to not share. And I have lots of pictures to prove it. Here's one and you can start trying to guess where this went:

More on that mess coming later! Hope you all have a great weekend and good luck to those of you who are racing!!!!

Question:  Give me your tips on strategy for 12 in 2012. Should I aim for one a month (but I don't know how I'd do in the cold weather, BRRRR) or double up in some of the nicer weather months (don't want to overdo it or burn out)? Decisions, decisions!

If you're coming from FF, it's great to have you!! And thanks as always to Jill for hosting!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Epic Fail

Just in case you were wondering how operation work out in the morning went...  Horribly, thanks for asking. I woke up just in time to shower and get to work. I don't remember snoozing my alarm. I blame this guy:

Round two starts tomorrow. I've locked the Nyquil up with the tequila and wine. Fool me once!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Does 21 Days a Habit Make?

So from what I can tell, the consensus seems to be that it only takes 21 days to make a habit. And I know for a fact that I can do almost anything for a month (back in pharmacy school I did a trauma surgery rotation = I got up at 4am every day, including Saturdays). Where is this going?

Monday I started a 21 day challenge:  To workout first thing in the morning.

Why do I want to do this?
  • To get my metabolism going first thing.
  • To feel those endorphins all day long
  • To get the workout out of the way so it's not looming over me all day
  • To hopefully help me eat better (I've already put the work in, don't cancel it out by eating crap!)
How I'm planning ahead to make this happen:
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night = help me get up in the AM
  • If I have to work, pack my gym bag, work clothes, and lunch the night before
  • If I don't have to work, pick an early class so that I get up and get going
Do you have any tips? My biggest obstacle will be the days I have to work (Gym is on the way to work so it makes no sense to come back home in between). I have to shower after I work out so that means packing shower stuff, clothes, hairdryer, etc.

Have you ever tried to make something a habit? How did it go?

Today's workout:  40 minutes of elliptical while watching How to Make it in America.
Love this guy. But let me just tell you, it is SUPER AWKWARD when there are sex scenes (it's an HBO show). I feel like everyone in the gym is thinking I'm watching porn while working out. AWKWARD.

Spartan Sprint Carolinas 2012

So I've already had some people email me about joining up with us for the Spartan Sprint (YEAH!) so I figured I'd better get this post up!

Spartan Race offers various levels based on your fitness (and your, well, guts):  Spartan Sprint, Super Spartan, Spartan Beast and Spartan Death Race.  

Pretty much anything you want to know about the race can be found on their website. [Except a list of obstacles that'll be found on the course. I've noticed a lot of other obstacle type races will list the obstacles or show the course map. Kinda scary, but okay. ] So go check out their site and see all the reasons why you should join us at this awesome event!

Are you ready to sign up? I was too after getting all geeked out about the race. Then I saw the price tag. Honestly the price is right in line with most other challenge courses. It stinks, but you get what you pay for. What do you get with sign up? T-shirt, medal, and a free beer.

Want to know how you can get the best price?
  • Join my team
    • Just because you're on a team you do not have to start/stay with/or finish with your teammates.
    • What this means is you can compete as an individual but if you sign up on a team you will all get discounts based on the number of people on the team. [you will get a credit to your account a few days before the race based on the final team head count].
  • Go to the website and enter your email address so they can send you the 'workout of the day' [WOD]
    • You will be given a coupon code for 10% off right then!
If you want to join my team or have ANY questions, email me at or you can go to the website and search for our team name:  'Fear The Beard' and the password is 'ncspartan'. No, I obviously do not have a beard, but my little brother does. Think King Leonidas in 300.


Yeah he's a beast and he's my hero (Matthew, not Gerard). I'm going to try to find shirts something like this:
If you sign up I'll keep you updated on the shirt situation and can order you one if you'd like.

*Disclaimer:  I was given a free entry to this race. All opinions and general riduclousness are mine and mine alone.