Monday, February 28, 2011

Your New Facebook Friend

I don't know if I should be readily admitting this, but here's my latest confession. I spend a lot of time on Facebook. Whether that should be viewed as good or bad, I'll leave it up to you. But sometimes rewarding opportunities come from the site--like when I read the helpful and educational information at Master the Shift. And now here's my latest, one I have to say I'm happy, thrilled even, that I stumbled upon. It's the Nike Women business site, also known as the Nike Training Club, that you need to friend immediately. If you were fueled by the latest Nike commercial, the Throwdown Anthem, you'll get the same energy here. Here's why:
  • Contrary to its name, Nike Women isn't strictly by women, for women. It might look like it from the title, the correlating photo that shows a fit female glistening through a gut-busting plank, and the My Obsession items pulled from the female fashion line. But anyone can use the tips and videos at the Get Fit tab, anyone can download the weekly music downloads, anyone can add the corresponding app to their iPhone (provided it's been updated to the iPhone 4 software as I learned earlier today), anyone can follow the adventures of the Nike Field Reporter.
  • How can you resist weekly free downloads for workout mixes? Whether you want the whole set or only a sampling, you can test the tunes before you save them to your playlist arsenal. And you'll have a healthy library of new songs to choose from for your next workout from energetic to mellow to motivating.
  • Find a workout that fits your target zone. You won't need a gym or personal trainer to get fit if you check out what's available with the Nike Training Club, which puts a-list trainers in the palm of your hand or on screen. I was already digging the froggers and double snap kicks.
See for yourself...maybe you'll find it to be your new obsession much like the leggings, training capris and hoodies have been Nike's.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fit-Pic: Talons Challenge

 It may not have been the most ideal of weather conditions but when you're skiing the Talons Challenge among 1,500 skiers and snowboarders, you're thinking more about the powder than a blue bell sky. And with five inches of fresh snow that fell overnight according to the snow report at Beaver Creek, it only provided extra cushioning for the 13 bump runs that needed to be skied from lifts open to lifts close. So many people on the mountain, some fast, some slow traversing the moguls, but we got it done--earned our Talons pins and hats to prove it.

But now it's time to rest. Dodging people and jumping bumps makes for a tiring day.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fit-Pic: Three Fifty Three and Counting

I seriously could dance and scream from the rooftops right now. I have a week of this to look forward to. Five inches of fresh powder just fell overnight at Vail, it's still snowing on the mountain to only add to the 353 inches that have fallen on the mountain this season, and I'll be boarding a plane for Denver in a few hours. Could life get any better than this? Hmm, not really for this skier who couldn't wait for this trip to come after I returned from Squaw in mid-January. And to know that there will be some cushioning when I hit the bumps tomorrow at Beaver Creek's Talons Challenge, I'm even more thrilled. Trying to ski Birds of Prey with 1,499 other challengers could get scary--and fast.

Photo grabbed from Vail's Facebook page.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's a Girl for Deena Kastor!

First it was Kara. Then it was Paula. Now it's Deena. Except this time around it's not so much playmate as it is playdate. Colt and Raphael are going to have to fight over Andrew and Deena Kastor's new addition to the family, a daughter: Piper Bloom Kastor, born February 21, weighing in at 6 pounds, 5 ounces, and measuring 20 inches. Can we expect wedding bells 20 or 30 years down the road, linking two great marathon moms?

Piper is the first child for the Kastors, and she was the reason Deena dropped out of the 2010 New York City Marathon last November. You can't run a race at blistering fast speeds when you've got a baby in tow--probably not too healthy either, unless you slow down the pace. Like Goucher and Radcliffe, the baby timing couldn't have been better for Kastor who still has plenty of time to run a 2011 marathon and perhaps set her eyes on qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics. The Chicago Marathon is still more than seven months away and Kastor has torn up that flat and fast course before. Could she...? Will it again in October? It's probably too early to tell.

But in the meantime, maybe these moms can put competition aside and meet up to push the kiddos in the jogger strollers? It might be easier for Goucher and Radcliffe to do since they've charted similar race schedules in the past--like the New York Mini 10K--but Kastor won't have to wait long for a jogger stroller buddy without needing to leave Mammoth Lakes. Josh Cox's wife Carrie is pregnant with their first child, and if Josh has daddy duty, I wouldn't be surprised if it will include a long run or speed work with baby in tow. But we'll save that for next month when the 2011 baby watch (or whatever term People coined it among the celebrity set) continues.

Photo grabbed from Brian Sawyer at flickr.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Half Marathon With Meaning

What's better than running 13.1 miles through the streets of New York City? Running a half marathon across Manhattan with more purpose than simply crossing the finish line. And here's one way to fill that purpose component: by running the NYC Half-Marathon as a Fresh Air Fund-Racer.

There's no denying that the NYC Half-Marathon on Sunday, March 20 is one of the Big Apple's big-time races. Shutting down A-list streets--and through Central Park and Times Square--so runners can march through is no easy feat, and it's one that only happens at such a magnitude one other time of the year, for the New York City Marathon. Enlisting a lottery to determine who can even run the race. Drawing elite competitors to make the run even more drool-worthy--ahem, our favorite, Kara Goucher, will be there this year.

But maybe you didn't get in through the lottery or by boasting one of the time standards that gives you automatic entry. Or maybe you forgot about the race until mid-January and by then it was too late to even think of registering for 2011. Or maybe you are indeed signed up and ready to go but you need some extra motivation. Or maybe.... Well, I'll stop there because I probably could devise enough scenarios to further prove that you want to consider fund-racing with The Fresh Air Fund. Here's a charity team that raised $100,000 at the 2010 race. Here's a way to gain entry into a bucket-list-worthy event that's close to impossible to get into--Fresh Air fund-racers gain race entry by fundraising for the organization before race day. Here's an organization that impacts nearly 10,000 New York City children through free programs annually and has provided 1.7 million New York City children with free summer vacations since 1877.

If you have hopes of running this half-marathon, you need to hurry and contact The Fresh Air Fund. Not only to gain a spot, but to start training. But have no fear if March 20 isn't in the forecast for your running feet. You can always get out and ride in the Five Boro Bike Tour--a 42-mile cycle that closed just hours after opening registration--or by volunteering to be a host family for the organization's summer programs. Need more details? Check it all out at

Photos courtesy of The Fresh Air Fund.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sweatin' to the Grammys

By Ya'akov (see more below)
Have a playlist that's in desperate need of some updating? I do. I've had the same hits rotating through my run since 2006. Not to get too detail-heavy, but I blame it on my 1 GB ipod (too small for my shuffling, moody fingers) and my fear of losing the removed songs for good because I've forgotten where the originals are stored. But after tuning into Sunday's Grammys awards, I was ready to put all that aside. Usually, I'm not that inspired by these music awards, but this year I turned out to be more a fan of the nominees and award winners than I originally thought.

Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, Bob Dylan--and that was only five minutes of the program. For a playlist to power me through my next long run or the upcoming Talons Challenge, where I'll be skiing 13 bump runs at Beaver Creek all in a day's work and likely consecutive, I came up with this list of Grammy hits for Only problem is after I published it I realized I left off three hits I'd want to listen to: Don't Stop Til You Get Enough by Michael Jackson, Dog Days Are Over by Florence and The Machine, and Love the Way You Lie by Eminem with Rihanna.

What Grammy hits would you want on your playlist?

Photo by By Ya'akov (originally posted to Flickr as grammy.jpg) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Next Stop, Ski Country

Put me on the next plane to Denver, Salt Lake City or Reno. Please! I have the powder flu--that itching, burning feeling where you yearn to blow off work, make a beeline for the roads taking you straight into the mountains, click into those ski bindings, and hit the slopes for what sounds like knee-deep powder.  But there's no remedy for this ailment when you're living in the flatlands of Illinois and the Midwest's temperatures have skyrocketed to near record-setting levels--even a trip to Wisconsin on the ski bus is out of the question, at least for this ski snob.

I'm dying here in Chicago, quite literally. It's snowing, nay, dumping, in the mountains, and I'm stuck in the land of wild temperature swings, melting snow, and gale-force winds. Sure, I like swapping out my heavy layers and commuting by bike instead of by foot, but that snow is calling my name. First Lake Tahoe. Then Utah. Then Colorado. I've seen the pictures on Facebook to prove it. And the storms aren't done yet. Take a look at these snow stats:

Lake Tahoe
By Thursday morning, Northstar-at-Tahoe reported 32 inches. On the south side of the lake, Heavenly counted 21 inches. Back to the north side and Squaw Valley USA was also sporting about a three-foot snowfall. I had been taught last winter that a good Lake Tahoe storm meant at least a foot, but I still can't fathom skiing, or seeing, nearly three feet of snow falling in a 24-hour period. And for a place that had been quiet about reporting snowfalls, which tends to mean they're not coming at the levels snow-seekers are used to, this was needed.

If you don't want to be tempted by the "greatest snow on Earth," don't follow the Ski Utah Yeti. This friendly snow creature only makes the powder flu worse from far away when he tells you it's monster dumping in the mountains or warns of an impending snowfall. This time around resrots from Alta to Brighton to The Canyons sported at least 8 inches of snow with more on the way.

Every time there's a snowfall this season, Colorado resorts post pictures, especially (here and here). For this girl, who would trade digs in a second with anyone living in this state, those pictures make it even tougher to be stuck in Chicago. I may be heading out west to ski next week but Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Vail are already calling my name. Their storms are only starting but how in the world does it snow three inches an hour at Beaver Creek? If I-70 is open Friday morning, I'm willing to put money on the numbers ditching work for a three-day--or four-day if Monday is already scheduled off--weekend.

Jealous yet? I am. I wish I had a Presidents' Day Weekend out of town--it'd be a good one with all the snow and even better to practice those powder skills. Instead, I'll be waxing and sharpening my skis and doing my snow dance for next weekend.

Who's out there skiing?

Photo of Beaver Creek's three inches an hour grabbed from's Facebook page.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Boot Camp Day 6: Prized Possession

You'd think that an extra half hour of sleep would be a good thing. It was, but it wasn't enough. I was ready to roll over in bed, ignore the obnoxious ring on my phone--the only sound loud enough to wake me up--and spend my morning sleeping longer than usual. Sound familiar?

But you know that feel-good sensation you get after you worked out, especially on those mornings where it's especially tough? I had one of those--again--except today I didn't just give myself an imaginary pat on the back for my efforts. I lucked out and was actually rewarded. With a YogiToes. A bright orange one. Something I've coveted for a year, since my sister showed me hers, told me its purpose and bragged about her ebay-shopping deal.

That's one way to make it worthwhile to work out even when your muscles hurt, you could have used at least 3 more snoozes on the alarm and you're still feeling the effects from Friday's circuit. The results that you start to see only six days into the boot camp program are the other reasons--and those are even better than receiving a reward.

Like the boot camp challenge. On Monday, we warmed up by counting the number of push-ups, sit-ups and jumps over a block we could do in a minute. Today the challenge was back. Let the groaning and grunting start now. If you thought a minute's worth of push-ups was hard on the first day when you're out of shape and lacking arm strength (that's why you signed up for BootCamp isn't it?), it's even more difficult when your arms, chest and legs have been put through a battery of weight-bearing exercises for five days. But if you improve--and most, if not all of us did--then you've succeeded.

Like the muscle definition. Here's another recurrence back to day one where we were measured like those kids who go to fat camp or the Heavy cast to count the number of inches lost around our middles, waists, and flexed arms and legs. It's a little intimidating, even the second time through, and you can only hope that what you notice in the mirror--like a flatter tummy, more quad and a tricep that doesn't go into hiding--is being reflected in those numbers.

Like the healthy eating. We've been encouraged to eat clean, nutrient rich, unprocessed foods all week. We've been urged to skip the late-night dining. But it takes a while for that to sink in, the adjustment period, and you finally start to hit your stride when week one comes to a close. You're not craving that dessert, or only noshing on a banana to start your day, or nibbling on something up until the minute you hit the bed.

Like the ease that's starting to come with the workouts. Those 10 circuits are no longer as dreadful as they once seemed at the start of the week. You're curious to see what the different stations entail. And more often than not, you're relieved to see a familiar exercise--heel clicks--or notice that one you dreaded--jump rope--didn't make an appearance.

Like the soreness that signals your muscles making changes. Ouch, ouch, ouch. With no weights at the stations, I thought it might be easy. But moving your body weight, in the ways we did, was tough stuff. My inner thighs burned for the rest of the day. My abs and obliques throbbed from the boat row.

One thing I learned today? The traveling mule jumps (think hind legs of a bucking bronco and that's what we're recreating) affirmed why I quit gymnastics as a kid. Inversion plus Kate equals bad idea. At least we get brownie points for trying, no matter how ugly it looks.

Photo of my prize grabbed from

Fit-Event: Nearly Naked

I see London, I see France, I see Cupid's underpants. Wait, what? Well, cupid's undies may not be making an appearance but plenty of runners will be stripping down to their skivvies today. If you spot some half-naked runners cruising down the main drag, chances are they're running Cupid's underwear run.

In Chicago, it's the Cupid Undie Run, sister of the Santa Speedo Run that kicked off December's holiday season. In Washington, D.C., it's Cupid's Undie Run, which raises money for The Children's Tumor Foundation. You'll have to wait 'til next year if you're in D.C. and looking to bear your bedroom-best--the event sold out back in January. Crazy, right? But here are the details on February 12's Chicago event:

Don your birthday suit and join the crowd from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Butch McGuire's, 20 W. Division, to get this party started. For $20 you'll enjoy breakfast and an open bar with domestic drafts and well drinks. Then at 1 p.m., runners will take a one-mile jaunt down Michigan Avenue baring nearly all. Who knows, you could run away with a valentine when you let go of any inhibitions.

Don't let the run-in-your-underwear part hold you back. AKA, don't be me, who's not only freaked out about baring too much in front of a bunch of strangers (after all, I was completely overdressed for the Lunar Run) but also worried about being--and getting--cold. The weather's warmer than it's been in days. The sun is shining. The snow isn't creating a traffic hold-up on the running path. And if you haven't worked out yet today, here's a way to do it. You could end up with your fastest mile, hustling to return to the bar and cover up.
As for this runner, she's too tired from heel clicks, mule jumps and steroid skater jumps to even try. Sad, but true. Not even this video could convince me.

Photo grabbed from M.V. Jantzen at flickr.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Boot Camp Day 3: Hump Day

Either boot camp is getting easier or I'm starting to get the hang of this morning workout routine. Choice No. 1 is out of the question, considering I'm still sore from the first days and felt different muscles kicking into action today which I'll feel tomorrow. And considering I had three coaches yelling in my face at various times during the workout. Go faster. Move your legs. Tuck your tailbone under. Hips up. Butt down.

Choice No. 2 it is. Easier to get out bed. Easier to put an outfit together. Easier--and faster--to walk to the studio. Easier to survive the workout--or more used to it. Easier to focus while plugging away on my computer. And I shouldn't admit it, but easier to sneak into the bedroom for a refreshing nap.

Ah but the workout. And the 10 circuits that have varied with the exception of the jump rope (yep, it's still there to torment me). These are challenging even when you don't have to rapid-fire your legs (yesterday's bent-knee leg lifts while standing on a platform) or jump quickly from side to side (Monday's skater jumps). What seems like a relatively calm hour is secretly firing those muscles to produce results that brought you to boot camp in the first place. And when the cardio components--football runs standing atop a Bosu, the jump rope, the jumping lunges where you switch from leg to leg--aren't lumped together, it feels easier on my system. Sure, I still struggle with the stability ball when I have to crunch my legs in, and my sore arms are screaming even more during the wide-arm push-ups, but I'm actually enjoying the curtsy lunges and pulling my elbows up with the resistance band. Seriously.

According to my coach Amy, Wednesday seems to be the day everything clicks--she felt it too (many of the coaches are BootCamp alums and they trained like us the week before). And with the exception of a few work conflicts, our group was still intact.

But the hardest part? Attending a regular yoga class later in the day. I'm zero for three. Zero for five if I count skipping Saturday and Sunday before camp started, too. I keep repeating I'll do it tomorrow. We'll see...

Photo grabbed from Kenny Holston 21 at flickr.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Boot Camp Day 2: Are We Done Yet?

Sumo squats? Back rows? Spider push-ups? Walking backward with a resistance band wrapped around my ankles? I can do these--I've seen them, and done them, plenty of times in yoga sculpt, with the exception of the resistance band which got a lot of use in physical therapy. But it's another story when the familiar is paired with the unfamiliar or the unfavorable, and you never feel like you catch a breathing break unless it's the minute water stop at the halfway mark of the four circuit rotations.

I don't like jumping. I decided during today's BootCamp. No more tripping over the jump rope, no more leaping across the room, no more begging for the time to be up, please. I survived round one of yesterday's skater jumps--bounding from cone to cone using the outer leg and hips to really reach--but after that I was starting to hate them and my non-stretchy hips. If you've ever seen me try to get into frog pose, you'll see what I mean: my hips scream in pain the lower they have to go. If I wanted a quick boost to the heart rate, I found it in today's wide leg jumps, loading in the legs to leap to a cone then reload and leap to the next one. But over and over again my body said, "no, thank you," as the sweat started pouring and all form went out the window. I can't even elaborate on the jump rope. I lose my rhythm in one swift swoop, trip over the darn thing and can't start again so I'm forced into kicking my knees high to my hips and those are even more dreadful on this girl's body. Then I really want to rotate to the next station, but the minute drones on...and on...and on.

And I don't trust myself on rounded exercise equipment. Mentally I'm telling myself I'm going to fall over, collapse, hurt myself, you name it, the minute I step on top of the Bosu ball or have to use my legs with the stability ball. Putting your hands on the ground and your legs up on the stability ball is hard enough balance wise, and it gets worse when you're supposed to be working your lower abs to pull your legs in and stand upside down in a pike-like position. Trust me, there will be bruises. As for the Bosu, it's the high knees coming back to haunt me.

But that's another sweat session in the books...a super sweaty one too. I was already sore going in, but now the unable-to-move feeling has stuck with me all day. And I unfortunately haven't done anything to help it like a CoreRestore class or a Hot Power Fusion, anything to help stretch out those sore spots. Tomorrow, I tell ya.

Photo grabbed from andrewmalone at flickr, featuring my nemesis, the jump rope.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Boot Camp Day 1: Lessons Learned

Down dogs feel so good--if there's time post Boot Camp.

This is not going to be easy. Not that I ever expected a workout with the name Boot Camp ever would be. But really, surviving the next two weeks won't be easy. I thought that before today's first class, the tension building as I sat through yesterday's orientation and I listened to how I'd have to alter my eating plan and the time I set my alarm. I'm still thinking it now as I struggle to get through the work day, sore to the core, arms aching and biceps burning. Oh wait, that was during the it's my butt that's burning.

Do I regret enlisting? Not yet...and I don't think I ever will. The first workout was a challenge from arriving early in the morning--I think my doorman was shocked to see me bundled up and walking out the door at 6:55 a.m.--to enduring each round of the 10 circuits. And then having the stamina to stay awake, and alert, for the rest of the day. That workout might be done, and the day feels so much longer, but there's still a lot to be learned. Here are my takeaways from the first 24 hours:

I'm constantly hungry. I heeded the orientation advice to replenish with some protein shortly after the workout, but I still want to eat. Salad, oatmeal, bananas, Trader Joe's 9 Whole Grain Crunch cereal, nuts. I'm surprised I actually got work done because I was running into the kitchen every few minutes to find another snack or meal.

Naps are good. I don't know how some of the boot campers go straight to the office after class. I snuck in a nap mid-morning to recharge my engine and was way too thankful that my office is only steps from my living room couch.

How am I going to fit in this second workout? First I thought I'd follow up with my usual routine of yoga sculpt, but after holding a 10-pound medicine ball over my head while squatting, and doing bicep curls, tricep extensions and push-ups among other activities, I really just wanted to go to bed and return to another class later. But when you're thinking about dragging yourself out the door at 8:30 p.m., only to be returning to the same place again the next morning, my grand plans to try hot yoga were abandoned.

The price is right. At $399, less if you have a CorePower Yoga membership or are a program alumni, this two week program doesn't break the bank for what you're getting. An hour-long workout six days a week for two weeks, all the yoga you could want during that period, a coach who checks up on you via email or phone, four coaches who encourage you throughout the day's workout and correct you if you're doing something wrong, nutrition suggestions, the chance to win raffle prizes. I'm sold, especially since I didn't expect the nutrition component and thought it only came with CorePower's other programs like the Wellness Cleanse or Live Lean (also pricier, I might add).

Thank goodness I'm a regular yoga sculptor. I'm recognizing some of the moves from my regular attendance at yoga sculpt so it's not too hard to adapt. But they are kicked up to an even higher level. I'm just happy to see these repeat moves--I'm terrible grasping the coordination with new ones.

Why can't I do more sit-ups? Today's class started with a challenge of counting push-ups, sit-ups and jumps over a block that we're going to repeat two more times during the program and see how we've improved. For thinking I'd be good at them, my sit-ups were horrendous; I almost did more push-ups than sit-ups in the allotted time. Yikes! Let's hope that improves the next time we're tested.

I shouldn't follow a boot camp with a yoga sculpt class. Not that I've tried--yet--but after the way I felt this morning, I didn't even think I'd be able to lift more than three pounds. And I usually use five- and eight-pound weights.

It's easy to slip out of proper alignment. How many times was I reminded to sit lower on the wall? Or drop my shoulders while holding the medicine ball? Or have my tailbone tucked under for me?

My yoga practice, especially my sculpting one, is going to change--for the better. I've been doing some of the routine moves incorrectly and not getting as much out of them as I should and could. Hmm, no wonder I wasn't seeing the results I thought I'd get from multiple classes in a week. That was fixed within a rotation of today's workout with my back row and burpee. 

It's easy to be intimidated. Some people make the work look easy, hardly sweating by the end of class. Others have done BootCamp before and know what to expect. And while appearance isn't everything, some look pretty fit, beanpole thin, too. Meanwhile, I'm soaked, constantly catching my breath during half the circuit and turning red then ashen during the other half. Even with marathons under my belt, this is a diferent animal, and I'm wishing that I started at a different station because my hardest stations hit me all at once to the point where my legs start burning and never stop.

Partners push you to work harder. We paired off to run through each station, which helps in more ways than simply knowing someone else in class. You have someone to share the pain--the coaches make the moves look a lot easier than they actually are. You feel more accountable for slacking off, especially when your partner effortlessly hops over the jump rope and you continue to trip (oh wait, that was me stumbling!). And you're going to try harder. I was pushed to stay in plank longer before dipping to my knees and tried a heavier weight because she was--or maybe that's just my competitive side showing its face.

A water bottle or two later and I survived. Sore, tired and resting up for day two. And hoping that I won't have to do any more skater jumps for the rest of the week.

Photos grabbed from lululemon athletica and ACEfitness at flickr.

Get Schooled Before You Ski

Not all of us are fortunate enough to have the mountain life at our fingertips. If I want to hike, I'm either "hiking" along the Lakefront Path or driving a half hour to Palos Forest Preserve to hit the trails. If I want to ski, I'm either sucking it up to blaze down a Wisconsin landfill-turned-ski-hill where the lift lines tend to be longer than the actual runs, or I'm waiting all-too-anxiously for that next mountain vacation to turn up on the calendar.

But the last thing I want to do is suck wind on the big-time mountain, feeling the burn in the legs and the lungs, and calling it quits before apres specials even apply. The simple solution is to work out--I know that--but all the running and cycling in the world, my common fail-safes, won't necessarily help, especially winter workout boredom sets in. Instead, here are three articles from with three different workouts to shape, strengthen and tone those muscles before it's time to hit the slopes. And you'll find that these tips hold up outside the ski season too.
Now I've already tried the first workout--that's the one I wrote for I know I could benefit from the other two. The burpees that I've deemed torture at yoga sculpt are proof enough--I'm out of breath every time. What workouts do you do to get ready for ski season?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Call To Duty

I'm officially scared. Boot camp hasn't even started yet, but I'm starting to question my enlistment. Orientation kicked off earlier--perfectly planned to either jump start your Sunday if you were like me and couldn't drag yourself out of bed when you saw the snow falling outside, or provide tons of time before any Super Bowl parties on the schedule for later--and that's where the fear started to set in. Promises to yourself, promises to your body, promises even to your coaches. I'm usually good with direction, or so I think, but now I'm starting to wonder if I can really keep up with class, especially now that I'm learning more about it than the keywords that ingrained themselves in my memory over the last few weeks.

It's not so much the workouts--I like getting my ass (excuse the language) handed to me and falling out of bed sore the following day, which I've done after a marathon or two--and their inscribed intensity, although I do wonder how I'll take six consecutive days of circuit work. I liked the circuits that alternated between a strength and cardio move, and could coach myself into their three rounds. But it's more the early mornings--yep, I'm still crabbing about having to be ready to move at 7:15 a.m. It's the contract I signed in my manual, telling myself I'd follow the program and suggestions to make me a stronger player. It's writing down my program goals and coming clean with my random snacking and midnight munchies (eating two to three hours before bedtime is a no-no). It's seeing the other boot campers who already look too fit to even be needing such a regimen.

But there is a bright side in my quest for a fit February even if I do have to sacrifice burning the midnight oil--a habit I should break anyway. Forget sitting on the couch after BootCamp to appease those sore muscles: We're encouraged to work out again whether it be on a yoga mat or elsewhere. And it should be for more than 20 minutes. I won't have to doubt my trips to the gym? I'm really in now, sacrifices and all. The grocery shopping--fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grains--could pose a problem if the snack attacks return, but I'll still be telling the peanuts and their sinful salt to take a vacation. Hey, a girl can try, can't she?

Join me on my two-week journey through my first tour of duty at CorePower Yoga's BootCamp. How do you think I'll fare? You'll have to check back for updates over the course of the next two weeks. But for now, I'm resting up for tomorrow (I already felt the burn today with our post-talk workout complete with high knees, squats, bicep curls, jumping jacks, leg lifts and more), hoping that I hear my alarm and wake up.

Fit-Pic: Super Bowl Snowshoe

Apparently we weren't the only ones looking to shed some calories before the big game. Forget the Super Bowl, our pregame consisted of some snowshoe and cross-country ski action across a snow-covered golf course along Lake Michigan. Chicago's third largest dump brought plenty of snow seekers outside with skis, sleds, boots and their dogs to romp through the snow, more than I've seen on any given Sunday. Even our beloved Lakefront Path had a steady flow of runners racking up their mileage.

Guess that means we could enjoy a few extra snacks during those commercial breaks?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Who Said Anything About Skiing?

I'm not shy about my love for skiing. Heck, I married a skier, only solidifying that either I will be taking vacations to snow country for the rest of my life or moving there. But some--OK, most--of my friends and family don't exactly share this affinity. Skiers and riders, I know what you're thinking. How can anyone not want to ski or board?

I definitely don't have the ultimate answer to that question--I'm the one who'd take a ski day even in July--but I do have some solutions, an assortment of activities that work for skiers and non. Whether you're trying to sell your non-skiing friends on the reasons to visit a ski resort or you want to stay active without your skis or board for a day, check out these snow sports I shared for And the best part? You don't need a lift ticket to do them.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fit-Pic: No Running Outside

Chicago's 2011 blizzard sent people packing for home midday. It canceled classes--yoga, fitness, universities--and even the Chicago Public Schools, which NEVER close. It stranded passengers on trains and buses for far longer than usual, and it shut down Lake Shore Drive. Yes, that's right, it was an absolute parking lot, there's a slightly blurry photo below to prove it. But my favorite sighting from the night was the sign telling me that I wouldn't be able to run, walk or trek on the Lakefront Path. Unless it's the weekend of the Air and Water Show, when you don't want to run through the hordes, does a foot path ever close? Even the gym was open normal complaints there, since I skipped my Monday workout and hoped to make up on Tuesday, snow and all. What crazy--or not so crazy--activity did you do during this snowstorm?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...