hiking, west african dancing, etc.

The rain has eased up a bit. Despite the thunder currently rumbling overhead, the last few days have been relatively dry. That means that Alex and I got to do an outdoor workout today. Yay!

Since our Tuesday workout was derailed, I had my fingers crossed that Wednesday would be dry and we’d be able to head down to Ann Morrison. But, again, it was pouring when Alex got home from work. We decided to just bite the bullet and do a tabata workout inside. If you’re not familiar with tabata, it is where you do an exercise with all-out intensity for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second rest, for eight rounds, totaling four minutes. We did four separate tabatas, with a full one minute rest between each tabata. Instead of us just doing the same exercise for all 8 rounds, each tabata had us alternating between two different exercises. Our tabatas looked like this:

1. Pushups/Triceps dips (using a dining table chair)
2. Kettlebell swings/Goblet Squats (with 25# kettlebell)
3. Crazy Russians, alternating L/R each time (with 8# medicine ball)
4. Situps/Spiderman plank

The kettlebell is new and it was our first time using it. 25# is definitely a workout for me now, but I’ll be excited for when I feel strong enough for 35#! Also, the crazy Russians with the medicine ball not only worked my cored but were killer on my biceps. I loved them!

Wednesday also meant Patio Wine Wednesday at my dear friend Kelly’s house! I made some totally not healthy chocolate orange ginger cupcakes but I limited myself to one! I was pretty proud. Baby steps, right?

This month’s Mom’s Night Out fell on Thursday night and I was seriously jazzed. We all went to a West African dance class at The Dojo and it kicked ass. More specifically, it kicked my ass. I think the last time that I sweat that much was when I was in labor with Alma. But labor was definitely less fun than the dancing. I concluded that I am definitely terrible at the dancing but also definitely want to try it again… and maybe become a little less terrible?

Proof of my mad West African dancing skillz. This was about 30 minutes into the class when I was still feeling like “Yeah, I can totally do this. I’ve got this.” The following 90 minutes proceeded to wipe away all of those feelings.

On Thursday I also ran with the Betties in the early morning and went to Stroller Strides. I was beat after hitting up the River Room with my dancing comrades. The next morning when I woke up completely sore, I had no idea which activity had fully kicked my butt or if it was a combination of all three, I decided that Friday would be an appropriate day for a rest day.

I had planned a Table Rock hike with a few classes of Body Back alumni that was supposed to happen last Saturday but was postponed until today because of the rain. Mother Nature smiled upon us and it was a beautiful morning for hiking. We left the trailhead at about 7:30am and made it full circle by 9am or so, including a break at the top for muffins and pictures. It’s such a fun, short hike to start the weekend with!

I feel so lucky to get to work with, coach and call these ladies my friends!

After the hike Alex and I brought the kids down to the Boise High School track so we could tackle another workout from Blonde Ponytail, Crossfit Travel WOD. Since we had the kids with us we alternated rounds until we had each completed all five. Btw, those hand-release pushups are no joke. By the time I was running my last sprint, my pecs and armpits were feeling tight from the previous 60 pushups. Not gonna lie, I did the last five on my knees. They were tough!

Not only does the Boise High track have a playground to entertain my kids, but a crazy family from Provo, UT was also there with their THREE TINY BABY GOATS. Obviously that was awesome. Apparently these people raise goats for a living, were on their way to Washington to pick up a new buck when their car broke down in Boise. Since they were traveling with three baby goats that had been born yesterday (YESTERDAY! THEY WERE SO SMALL! AND CUTE! WHY DIDN’T I GET A PICTURE?) they decided to stretch their legs on the green space at the field.

Oh Boise. You’re so great.

I’m hoping to tackle that same Lower Hulls/Crestline/Kestral loop tomorrow – this time with the plan to FINISH IT! Wish me luck!

And for your viewing pleasure, a video of tortoises eating tiny pancakes:

Happy long weekend!

rain, rain, go away

We are officially in week two of Alex and Rachel’s Summer Fitness Extravaganza (AaRSFE, obviously). It’s a Tuesday which means workout day but the downpour outside is rearranging our week. I had planned for us to run to Ann Morrison and use their outdoor workout equipment but by the time Alex got home from work the storm clouds were rolling in and we knew we were doomed. Not to mention that we had to filthy children in need of a bath, one of which was an extremely exhausted four-year-old that we needed to hustle to bed. Maybe it was a sixth-sense that told us how our evening would go, but we had both fortunately gone running earlier in the day. I met up with the Boise Betties for a coached track workout (gag. I hate the track.) at 6am and Alex went running on the greenbelt over his lunch break. Hopefully the rain will let up and we can do our workout tomorrow. And if you’re wondering why we don’t just do something indoors, you’ve obviously never seen our house. There is no way that it could accommodate two people working out at once (especially since it means that both kids would have to bust our their yoga mats and insist on exercising “with” us). We live in a microscopic cardboard box.

Despite being an oddly wet two weeks in Boise, we’ve slowly been building momentum. I ran with the Betties last Thursday morning (Thursdays are trail workouts – thank God) and Alex and I did our Saturday morning workout together. We brought the kids down to our closest little park, Bowen Park with the intention of letting them play while we tackled Blonde Ponytail’s Dirty 30 workout. I love this workout, by the way, because it feels so fast and as soon as you finish a set of thirty, you know you are done with that exercise and don’t have to come back to it! We started with running a few laps around the park (which is teeny weeny tiny) which devolved into an elaborate game of chase/tag with the kids. Then instead of our normal dynamic stretching, Alma and Jasper got to choose their favorite exercises for us all to do together. Alma chose things like walking lunges and jumping jacks while Jasper had me hop around on the play equipment on one foot. Definitely not your traditional warm-up, but it got my heart rate up!

On Sunday we decided to split up and take two separate trail runs rather than bring the kids along for a family run. I wanted to do the Lower Hulls Gulch/Crestline/Kestral loop (aout 7.7 miles, which is SUPER long for me) but my pace was slower than anticipated and I had to make sure I was back in time to teach Sunday School. I ended up just doing an out-and-back on Lower Hulls and think I clocked in around 6-6.5 miles. Let me also note that as I was leaving my house for this run I dropped my phone and broke it. Boo hoo. I should not be allowed to own smartphones. Sigh. Alex ran in the afternoon and ended up getting hit by another of our recent weird Boise rainstorms. Oops.

Other big news? On Sunday we decided that we needed to deviate from the Buzzfeed Clean Eating plan because it was costing too much, especially when we have a freezer full of food that needs to be eaten. I feel a little bit like we “gave up” and it bums me out because I felt amazing just from one week of it. When I weighed in on Saturday I was down three pounds! Let’s hope I can keep that up. Now we’re just trying to stick to general “healthy”, whole foods eating, keeping everything in moderation but I’m finding myself having a hard time not over-thinking every bit of food that I come across. I DO NOT WANT TO BE THAT PERSON.

Sorry for a boring update, but the rain has turned us into boring people this past week. I’m excited for Thursday night, when I am going African dancing with a bunch of girlfriends! I fully expect to make a fool of myself, and I am 100% ok with that.

a slow start

As it turns out, working out as a couple when you have two small children is actually extremely challenging.

We did a family run on Mother’s Day but since I needed to teach high school Sunday School at 9:30 we cut it short. I’m not sure what our actual distance was but it was more like 2.5-3 miles instead of the 5k that we were aiming for. The rest of the day I allowed myself to eat junk and be pampered because, hey, I’m a mom and that’s what this day is all about!

Monday rolled around as day 1 of our clean eating challenge! Our meals looked somewhat like this:

Pretty freaking delicious. My Ninja could barely handle the insane amounts of kale in the morning smoothie so it was a little chunkier than I prefer, but it was still tasty. The evening snack of pears and almond butter was delicious! For some reason I never think to buy pears but I loved this combination.

Day 2:

The overnight oats were a bit of a stretch for me because I haven’t loved them in the past. But, the blueberries made it palatable and I could see it growing on me. The lunch salad was “meh” but the tomato snack and the chicken wraps for dinner were basically awesome. I couldn’t find clementines at the store so I had strawberries for a night snack instead.

This day was also our first workout together which ended up being a little crazy. I packed a picnic dinner for the kids and we were ready to head out the door as soon as Alex got home. We jogged to Memorial Park, got the kids set up with snacks and play and then did some dynamic stretching. Then we started in on this bodyweight workout from Blonde Ponytail. I really enjoyed the workout at the scissor abs were killer! Unfortunately, during my 4th set it started to sprinkle and we decided we should cut it short and head home. Well, on the way home a thundershower started so instead of cooling down with a brisk walk home we ended up sprinting with the stroller. Our poor kids are troopers. I only had time to eat half of my dinner before I headed to a meeting at Hyde Park Pub where I had to stay strong against the temptation of everyone else’s delicious looking beers and burgers. Sigh.

Day 3:

All I’ve had today so far is the yogurt parfait and the lunch salad. Both were super delicious and both were HUGE! Not gonna lie, I am super looking forward to the night snack of almond milk with dark chocolate melted in it. My menstruating self REALLY craves chocolate. I am a walking-talking cliche. [Update: While the cauliflower and lentil dinner looks pretty unappetizing, it was REALLY good.]

All-in-all, I am liking the meal plan and recipes. The calories are a little low for me (it would probably be fine for someone less active, but I probably rank in the “highly active” category) so I have been adding in some sort of bar every morning, maybe an extra piece of fruit at some point in the day and yesterday I had a protein shake before our workout.

Of course Alma has to be sick this week. 😦 My grand plans of running to Julia Davis before I taught Stroller Strides on Monday were dashed when Alma had a fever and I had to ask one of our other instructors to teach for me. Boo. My workouts have just been a bit more lackluster than I had been hoping for.

This afternoon is Patio Wine Wednesday which will be the real test of my clean eating resolve. HOW WILL I SAY NO TO WINE AND M&M COOKIES?! For reals. I’ll just be the dork toting along my avocado with S&P and my home brewed kombucha. Jealous?

initial assessments

Yesterday we did our initial assessments and let’s just say that I did not achieve any personal bests. Boo. Here’s where I’m at:

Sit-ups: 27
Pushups: 20
Biceps Curls: 51
Burpees: 22
Plank: 2:05 minutes
Wall Sit: 1:30 minutes

The pushups probably bummed me out the most, but I would have also liked to have done a little better on my plank. My goal is to at least break 3 minutes, preferably 3:30 by the end of 8 weeks. That would be a PR for me!

And in the interest of full disclosure, these are my “before” pictures. Eek! Alright interwebz, I’m trusting you now…

Well, in other non-totally-embarrassing news: tomorrow Alex and I begin out clean eating challenge. I went grocery shopping with the list that Buzzfeed provides and holy moly, we have a ton of greens in our fridge! 2 bunches of collard greens, 4 bunches of asparagus, 5 BUNCHES OF KALE. I did not know if it would all fit. For reals.

What you don’t see in this picture is the gigantic pile of items that still didn’t make it into our fridge – mangoes, bananas, limes, avocados, tomatoes. So. Much. Produce. I’m pumped!

Tomorrow I am teaching Stroller Strides so the kids and I will run the two miles to Julia Davis Park beforehand. I had an amazing Mother’s Day but definitely indulged so I am excited for Monday to be a clean slate!

Alex and Rachel’s Summer Fitness Extravaganza!!!

It has literally been over a year since I have typed anything on this blog. There have been a lot of times when I have sat down, fully intending to write, but my brain just hasn’t had the space to sort my thoughts. So you know all of those introspective posts that you used to read? Yeah, just forget about those.

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Some of you may have heard that I have recruited Alex to embark on an eight week fitness journey with me (ok, it was actually kind of his idea) that I have enthusiastically named “Alex and Rachel’s Summer Fitness Extravaganza!” If you’re at all familiar with the Body Back program that I teach with Fit4Mom, just is just a riff on that program except I am doing it with my husband at home! I have decided to try to blog about it for accountability and because some people have been curious as to the types of workouts that Alex and I will be doing (often with our kids in tow). Tomorrow is the kickoff of our 8 week adventure, so here is the rundown:

2x/week big workouts. On Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings we are planning to do some HIIT or Crossfit WOD type workouts, either at our house, the local high school track or a nearby park. We are planning to make use of the awesome outdoor workout park at Ann Morrison (they are putting one of these in at Camel’s Back Park too, which is WAY closer to us. Yay!).
Weekly family run. Sunday is run-day. We will either be running together with the kids in the double BOB (either doing distance runs or some speed intervals) or taking turns running on the trails while the other one crazily tries to feed and dress our kids before we have to go to church. Alex is planning to run two other times a week while I will be training with the Boise Betties off and on (depending on my schedule) and running to Stroller Strides when we’re at Julia Davis Park. I have a couple of races coming up in the next two months which will throw off our schedule a bit but it will be a fun challenge!
Body Back. Starting in June I will be taking Body Back classes on Monday and Thursday nights. Just more awesome HIIT for me!
Workouts. I’m finding a lot of the workouts that we’ll be doing from Blonde Ponytail and am also just using a lot of workouts that I or fellow Body Back instructors have already written up.
Clean eating. Starting on Monday we will be taking the Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge (I’m so excited to have someone else do the meal planning for me!) but after that we won’t be following any specific diet. We generally try to eat “real” food at home and make most things ourself, but I have a CRAZY sweet tooth and Alex loves a beer or two in the evenings. We are going to cut out processed foods as much as possible, eat veggies at breakfast and try to generally be more thoughtful about our food. We are each allowing ourselves one “cheat” day each week (Hello Patio Wine Wednesday!) but won’t go overboard on those days.
Fitness Assessments. Just like any other results-based program, we will be doing beginning and ending fitness assessments. Tomorrow we will do as many sit-ups, pushups, biceps curls and burpees as we can for one minute each. Then we will see how long we can each hold a wall sit and a plank. I’ll post my results tomorrow!
Weight loss contest! We will be weighing in each week and whoever loses the most weight over the eight weeks gets to have an awesome date planned for them by the “loser”. Kind of a win/win situation. 🙂

That’s our plan in a nutshell. I’m really excited to have something that Alex and I will be focused on together for the next two months. Sometimes when you’re parenting small children it’s not uncommon to realize that you haven’t really talked to your spouse in like, oh, six months or so. Hopefully this will help us remedy that.

We’ll have a few hiccups along the way to figure out. The kids and I are going out of town for five days to visit my sister in Phoenix and I need to make sure that I don’t lose momentum there. Also, that I don’t just eat a ton of ice cream. The struggle is real, people.

Anyway, this whole “exercising with your spouse” thing is new to us. I expect it to be fun, motivating, challenging, and a little bit awkward. So stay tuned!