CrossFit Endurance–Week 1

Tuesday, December 1st was my first day back to CrossFit in a VERY long time. 

CF_What Is

According to CrossFit.com:

CrossFit is defined as that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity). CrossFit is also the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together. In fact, the communal aspect of CrossFit is a key component of why it’s so effective.

I’m currently in a CF Endurance class at CrossFit Tactical Strength in Ft Wayne, IN.  According to CrossFitEndurance.com:

CrossFit Endurance is an endurance sports training program dedicated to improving performance, fitness and endurance sports potential. We inspire, coach, and provide our community with the most aggressive and proven fundamentals of sports science, exercise physiology, nutrition, and athletic training protocols.

The difference between a traditional CF course and an Endurance course is all about fundamentals.  The Endurance class spends a lot of time on stretching, trying to activate muscles, think glutes & hamstrings, that are dormant in the bodies of most endurance athletes.  We focus on movement and doing things correctly.  We spend more time talking and practicing moves verses just banging out WODs.  Ultimately, the endurance based CF class will not only increase strength but focus on reducing volume of endurance based training while increasing the quality of workouts.  It’s a process.  Strength, nutrition & flexibility seem to be key to our impending success.  I hope you’ll follow along and see how CF Endurance impacts my running and triathlon adventures in 2016.

Week 1, TUE 5:30a Class

Brand new class.  Fresh group of endurance athletes ready to get strong!  From left:  Me, Amy, Sheryl, Adella, Jaime & Brandy.

CF_group

Warm Up:

1)  Plank Series:  Front Plank, Superman, Side Plank Left, Side Plank Right.    Hold each for 10 seconds, rotate to next move.  3-4 rotations.  Week 1 was rough for me, even the warm-ups.  I have shaky arm syndrome from being weak.

2)  Hip Distraction – Let’s open up those hips and stretch the glutes and hamstrings.  We were instructed to hold the stretch on each hip for 2-3 minutes.  It takes 2 minutes for a change to occur in how our muscles work.  Apparently, if we hold for a minimum of 2 minutes we create a new muscle memory.  I can’t say one way or another because our version of this stretch had our back knee on the ground and both of my knees are injured from falling a couple weeks ago.  So I tried to do this but couldn’t hold it very long because I couldn’t tolerate the pressure on my knee(s).  I like the version in the picture and will try this next time.

CF_Hip Distraction

Accessory Work (Kinda like Physical Therapy for all of us laymen) – Banded Hip Bridges – 3 sets of 10-15.  We did it without additional weight.

CF_Banded Hip Bridges

Skill/Strength:  Air Squat & Box Squat.  A silly thing like a squat and we spent a lot of time on it this week.  Being a long time endurance athlete, it’s hard for my glutes & hamstrings to activate.  Spent a lot of time on proper positioning and getting our form correct.

Metabolic Conditioning – Mostly anaerobic for us since we get enough aerobic condition from the run, bike, swim.  Tabata (4 minutes – 8 rounds, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, repeat x8) – Rowing for Calories, Pushups.  One group was rowing for the 8 rounds, other group did Pushups.  Then we switched.

 

Week 1, THUR 5:30a Class

Warm Up: 1)  Plank Series (Front Plank, Superman, Left Side Plank, Right Side Plank) 3-4 rounds of 10 seconds each.  2)  Banded Walk with Squat.  Once again building on that squat.

CF_Banded Walk w Squat

Skill/Strength:  Deadlift (first image) & Push Press with Kettlebell (second image)

CF_KB Deadlift  CF_KB Push Press

Metabolic Conditioning (WOD for normal CrossFitters):  21-15-9 Reps for Time of Kettlebell Deadlifts, Kettlebell Push Press & Situps.  3 rounds, 21 of each move the first round, 15 of each second round, 9 of each last round. 

Accessory:  GHD (Glutes Hamstring Developer) Hold.  This was super hard for me.  I have zero core strength and all my weight was on low my quads.  It hurt.  I didn’t do very well with it.

CF_GHD Holds

That’s a wrap for Week 1!  I learned some new moves.  I was humbled by how weak my body has become.  And I realized exactly how damaged my poor knees are from the fall.  I’m in rough shape right now.  But onward & upward, right?

**Disclaimer – I write about my workouts for informational purposes.  I personally need to do CrossFit & High Intensity workouts in a gym/box with supervision so that my movements are monitored to avoid injury.  In the past, people have suggested that these moves are easy enough to do at home.  Not for me.  I share my journey with you so that you can see what these programs are like and have the courage to try them for yourself if you have an interest.  Under the supervision of a trained professional.  If you attend a CF class and are not constantly being hounded about your form and movement then 1)  you are perfect or 2) your CF instructor doesn’t care about your safety.  Please keep that in mind.  I’ve had good luck with the facilities that I have attended but I’ve also heard horror stories about CF in general.  Make sure your instructor cares about you and helps you to avoid injury thru proper movement and form.

** Working on Strength & Conditioning ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

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A Return to CrossFit ….

Call this a week of new beginnings.  It’s been approximately 612 days since my last CrossFit session. My CrossFit days came to a screeching halt in the Spring of 2014 as we learned that we were moving from IL to IN.   Hubby had received a very sudden job offer for a position that I believe he had been interviewing on for over 7 months.  We had about 2 days to decide if he should take it.  Then we had another 2 weeks of mania before he left to start the new job, 200 miles away from where we lived in IL.  It was a crazy time and to be honest, I still am not sure I’m settled in Indiana.  Although I love the new area and being close to my family and old HS friends, it’s been nothing but a long period of adjustment, struggle and pure chaos, which is far from over.  It hasn’t been fun but I’ve made a real effort to get back to basics and focus on my food, weight and regain my lost strength (both physically & emotionally).  That’s what I focus on each day.  I make the choice to eat well and be strong.

daily changes

I’ve been looking for a CrossFit Endurance type program since I moved in August 2014.  But it wasn’t that easy.  The area I’ve moved to is much smaller.  I’m now in a suburb of Ft Wayne, Indiana NOT Chicago.  Slightly different market.  There are very few CF boxes here and only one CF Endurance program within a 40 mile radius.  That Endurance program was a cruise from where I live AND it’s an evening class.  As a wife and mother with a full time J.O.B, evening classes don’t really happen for me.   Ever.

So I visited a couple CF “boxes” (AKA “gyms”) looking for a CF class somewhat close to my new home.  It didn’t go well.  One box owner told me I was out of shape, overweight, and due to my history of injuries, I would need to be personally trained before I could possibly even go to one of their CF classes.  Great.  I knew all that but couldn’t afford a personal trainer or a bigger wound to my already damaged self esteem.  So I tried to do home based CF workouts.  I talked to some of the trainers at my local YMCA to see if we could get some CF equipment at the Y.  I was making an effort but ultimately failing because I wasn’t even sure if I was doing the CF moves correctly.  I knew I needed to regain my strength.  I wanted to do Strict Presses, Push Presses and Dead Lifts, etc but I didn’t have anyone watching to make sure I wasn’t screwing things up.  So I basically gave up til recently when I once again started searching for options.  And bingo, one of the CF gyms had just moved to the north side of Ft Wayne. 

CF_logo

513 Incentive Drive, Ft Wayne, IN * (260) 310-5360 * anthonyshefferly@gmail.com

I went for a visit.  Can’t say I had a ton of hope.  We still haven’t managed to sell our IL house and things are not good for us financially.  I pretty much assumed that I couldn’t afford anything they were offering.  But looking and talking are free, right? 

Long story short, we set up a CrossFit Endurance Class on Tuesdays & Thursdays at 5:30am.  Offering a one month trial period for December 2015.  Very low cost (almost free). Trial period for any runner, triathlete, endurance athlete who may be interested in seeing if this is something they want to pursue.  Trial period for CF Tactical Strength to see if an Endurance class will work for them and if there is a real interest/need for this type of class.

December 1st was our first class.  Stay tuned for more info on my first week back to CrossFit tomorrow! 

P.S. ….. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a FREE Entry to a Spartan Race of your choosing.  Go HERE to enter! 

** Happy Running & Enduring WHATEVER Your Heart Desires ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Spartan Race FREE Entry Giveaway!

spartan_logo

As 2015 is coming to a close I think most of us are looking back at our year and trying to decide on a bit of direction for 2016.  Some of us may be tired of training.  Some of us may be looking for a new direction.  Others have just moved into beast mode.  How about you?  Where would you like to go in 2016?  Need a new challenge? How would YOU like to become a Spartan? 

Spartan_When Going Thru Hell

I have ONE free entry to give away to a Spartan Race of YOUR choice, anywhere within the continental US!!!   The Reebok Spartan Races have been around for years.  It is one of the few obstacle course races which offer events for the whole family:  kids, those just starting on their fitness journey, and those of you who are a bit more serious.  Something for everyone and that’s what I like about this race series!  More official info, from the Spartan Races website, below:

Spartan Race

World’s Best Obstacle Race. Period.

Born in the scenic hills of Vermont, Spartan Race was created to bring the excitement of obstacle racing to spectators and athletes alike. That means you.

Spartan Race is a true adventure that anyone can do, and everyone should try. With course lengths of 3+miles (Sprint), 8+miles, (Super) and 12+miles (Beast) each course is filled with mud, water, and signature obstacles designed to help you discover your inner Spartan. Athletes of all fitness levels will enjoy participating in a Spartan Race and the feeling of accomplishment that comes at the finish line.

Spartan_levels

Spartan Race even has events for kids. We believe that fitness and adventure should involve the whole family. Come out and watch your kids run, jump, and climb like children were meant to do all in their own Spartan Kids race.

For those that want a more team based experience Spartan Race has the Hurricane Heat and for the truly adventurous the Hurricane Heat 12 Hour. The Hurricane Heat takes you out of the individual role and has you work with a group of complete strangers to complete tasks designed to bring you together as a team.

So if you are starting to load your calendar for 2016, I recommend trying something different.  Something fun.  Something to force you to work on both strength & endurance.  Something that will move you beyond your comfort zone.  Something that will challenge you. 

Spartan_If It Doesn't Challenge

If you are interested in being entered into the drawing for the FREE ENTRY to a Spartan Race of your choosing, please comment below (one point).  If you REALLY want to win, then you can get additional entries by jumping thru a few hoops (listed below).  Just let me know in the comments what actions you preformed so I can allot you the proper amount of entries. 

  • Comment Below – Required – 1 Entry
  • Like the TooTallFritz Facebook page HERE – 1 Entry
  • Like the Spartan Races Facebook page HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow TooTallFritz on Twitter HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow Spartan Races on Twitter HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow TooTallFritz on Instagram HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow Spartan Races on Twitter HERE – 1 Entry

Total of 7 entries available for this giveaway.  Let me know in the comments what to credit you.  Note:  it’s a freebie if you already follow me or Spartan Races on any of our social media channels.  Smile  Giveaway goes from now until December 9, 2015 at noon CST.  Good luck!!

** Let’s Step Out of Our Comfort Zone ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

How to Stay Motivated Thru The Winter

I can already see it.  It’s happening to my group runners at the YMCA of DeKalb County and it’s happening to some of my friends.  The Winter Blues are moving in and the snow has yet to fly in NE Indiana. 

brrr

I know that the time change put a real damper on things.  It seems like it’s dark ALL THE TIME now.  But that doesn’t mean that we give up until spring.   As always, let’s focus and make a plan to combat those winter blues!!  First, consider trying a new fitness activity or class.  Use the winter months to get stronger, leaner and even more amazing.  Make this winter YOUR B*TCH. 

summer bodies

I’m taking #1 to heart this year!  I’ll be starting a CrossFit Endurance class on December 1st.  Tuesday & Thursdays @ 5:30am.  Feel free to join me if you are local and want to make 2016 your best year to date!  I’m going to get strong AND stay ahead of those winter blues!!!

  • CrossFit Tactical Strength
  • 513 Incentive Drive, Ft Wayne, IN 46825 
  • (260) 310-5360 

CF Tactical Strength 

Second, I think it’s important to not only do some different activities during the winter months but reconnect with what you really love.  For me, running is my game.  I love it.  But pounding the pavement gets BORING.  So I really try to mix it up in the fall and winter months.  The way I do that is by hitting the trails.  I leave my music at home.  Grab my 4 legged running partner and we run.  If I get tired, we walk.  If a hill is too steep we walk.  I don’t have a mileage goal, we just run and enjoy the amazing environment.  Bonus:  the trees provide a wind break on those blustery days!  Secret:  Running in the fresh fallen snow is invigorating and gives a sense of peace.

snowy trails

Third, don’t go too long without a real plan.  I know you just killed your fall races.  Nailed some amazing goals, maybe even got the big BQ.  Bask in the glory!  Take some time off!  Put your feet up in the recliner and cuddle the little ones.  And then figure out what’s next so that you have a definitive point to get back to work.  I find that putting a spring marathon on my calendar keeps me honest thru the winter months.  I can be lazy like anyone but sometimes I need a reason to get my butt out in the cold to move my body.   My 2016 Spring Marathon will be the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.  May 1st, 2016.  Far enough ahead that I get some down time.  Close enough that I don’t get lazy. 

flying pig

Think about how you want your winter to look this year.  Think about what strides you would like to make while others are spending time in hibernation.  Think about the goals you have on board for 2016 and how you can get one step closer by focusing on improving yourself in the off season! 

After the Thanksgiving holiday, I’ll talk more about CrossFit Endurance and how to train for the Flying Pig Marathon DURING THE WINTER.  For now, I’m pretty focused on the Route 66 Marathon this weekend and the fact that I’m speaking on the blogger panel Saturday at 3pm, Expo Stage.  If you are at Rt 66 this weekend, find me and tell me how you plan to make this winter YOUR B*TCH. 

** Stay Motivated THIS Winter ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Sleep, The Missing Link In Your Recovery

Possibly one of the most important things you can do for your body other than eating right, is to get the proper amount of sleep.  I know, you are busy!  I know you are up and down all night with the kiddos (and pets).  But you have to sleep if you want your body to fight off all the nasty germs/illnesses and recover from your training plan.  It’s a must.

train-eat-sleep

This is all I could think about last night as I was up and down a billion times with my dogs.  We had a rough one last night and every time I went up and down the stairs, my legs were screaming at me.  My left foot hurts and my legs are fatigued.  On a good note, next week I get to cut back on workouts to freshen up for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.  On a bad note, I’m pretty crabby.

There is a great article by Jeff Kuhland on rest and recovery HERE, which outlines 7 “elements” for rest and recovery.  The #1 “essential element” is sleep.  See the excerpt from the article below:

Sleep is the most important time to recover. Adequate levels of sleep help to provide mental health, hormonal balance, and muscular recovery. You need to get enough sleep, which is between seven to ten hours for most athletes. Everyone has individual needs based on their lifestyle, workouts, and genetic makeup. 

  • Hours slept before twelve at night are proven to be more effective than those slept after.
  • Sleep in the most natural setting possible, with minimal to no artificial lights.
  • Wakeup with the sun if possible.
  • Fresh air and cooler temperatures help to improve the quality of sleep.

Seven to 10 hours of sleep per night.  Who is getting that?  And who is able to wait til the sun comes before they have to wake up?  Not me, or anyone else I know.  So what can we do about it?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Go to bed earlier.  I’ve been going “upstairs” early.  Like between 7:45 & 8:30pm.  Some days it feels like a punishment.  Other days it’s a relief to get Mr. Michael settled early and have a bit of quiet in the house before sleepy time. 
  • Drink hot tea or take a hot shower before bed to relax. 
  • Use that crockpot & try to get dinner on the table earlier so that you aren’t cleaning up the dinner plates and rushing the little ones to bed at 8pm.  So hard for me.  I had everything cleaned up by 7 or 7:15p last night and it felt like a huge win. 
  • Read, write or do something for “you” directly before you turn out the lights.  Step away from the kiddos for a minute and just breathe.  Yoga, anyone?
  • Get that workout in before dinner so that your endorphins have time to dissipate before bedtime.  I’ve never been a fan of the evening workout but when I hit a workout after work, I keep it short & sweet with lower intensity. 
  • Avoid alcohol before bed.  Article HERE from the Cleveland Clinic on what happens when you drink alcohol before bed.  Think scary nightmares, sleep walking and frequent waking. 

nightcap-excerpt

  • No hydrating after dinner.  I have a huge issue with this and usually drink a glass of water after dinner.  That combined with my high water intake during the day leads to frequent potty breaks at night.  I need to be better about this.  My old weim wakes me up 2-3x a night to potty.  It’s super frustrating when I have to get up before her and then I have 3 dogs ready to go outside.  Yes, I have 3 dogs, which leads to the last thing.
  • We aren’t supposed to sleep with our pets.  If you have a dog, or two, or more in your bed at night, I don’t have to tell you why.  This graphic says it all.  My lovlies cause me a lot of unrest at night.  But I still love them and wouldn’t change a thing.

sleep with your dog

Do yourself and your body a favor and try to get some extra rest.  I know I can’t make up for sleep deprivation but sometimes on the weekend I like to lay down and rest for a bit mid day.  Makes me happier and allows me to stay up longer with the kiddos for fun things like movie night.  If you need me, I’ll be thinking about sleeping cuz I’m a little short on it for the week. 

Any other suggestions on sleeping, getting to sleep or staying asleep?  Let us know!

** Sleep to Recover ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Work In Progress …..

I wanted to touch base with all of you today and talk about a few things.  So many of my blogger friends, run friends & Facebook friends are just killing it right now.  I mean KILLING IT.  Running killer times.  Lifting heavy weights.  Qualifying for Boston.  Conquering new and horrific challenging distances. And I’m proud of them.  They worked hard and they deserve everything that comes to them and more.  But there is a whole group of us, myself included, who are also working hard but it doesn’t look quite as great on paper.  That’s because we are a Work In Progress.  And let’s be honest, some of us will forever and always be just that …… a Work In Progress.

Work In Progress

Social Media can be as great as it is horrible.  There is so much to motivate us and even more to tear us down.  Let’s build our network accordingly.  Keep the motivators, get rid of those who spew negativity toward us and others.  Focus on what we can control.  Identify our weaknesses.  Be positive.  Know that things don’t change over night.  Fitness, life, parenting and work can be hard and getting where we want to go can be a painfully slow process.

Slow Process

In real life, there are road blocks. U-Turns.  Detours.  And people who want to tear us down, possibly because they are miserable and too afraid to chase their own dreams.  They see us “going for it” and call us selfish, bad mothers, single-minded and/or obsessed.  Well, they are right, I am obsessed.  I’m obsessed with my own personal wellbeing.  Obsessed with wanting to be the best person I can be today, tomorrow and well into the future.  But I still have to take the detour like everyone else.  Life is hard.  It’s how we chose to react and handle what is thrown our way that defines us as people.

road block

Don’t let the fear stop you from chasing down what you want.    Don’t let the excuses build a wall around you.  Don’t let stress be an enabler.  Think for a minute.  What’s the plan?

  1. What can I control?  ANS (for me):  Only my actions and reactions.
  2. What is my weakness?  ANS:  I’m a stress eater and let my emotions enable binge eating.
  3. Be positive –   I always get in my workouts, even when everything else is falling apart.
  4. Know that things don’t change over night –  I’ll keep chipping away at fitness even when it seems like my goals are hopeless.  I’ve created mini goals to keep things focused and manageable.

Over the last 18 months, I’ve been in a period of constant change, chaos and struggle.  I look back at the “easy days” longingly and wish that just a fraction of the easiness would return to our lives.  I know that it will.  I have faith that better times are ahead but for now, I’m focusing on what I can control.  I’m doing pretty well with my food, except for the bags of mini health bars that hubby keeps bringing home for me.  Unfortunately, today I told him not to bring them home anymore because they are the TTF kryptonite.   Sad smile  More salads, fresh veggies, spaghetti squash dinners.  Less Heath Bar candy. 

salad

More StairMaster and Strength Training, less mindless running.  I can barely move my 35# kettlebell at this point and that makes me sad. 

78781614

And most of all, no matter what, I refuse to give up.  Even if I never get back to where I “once was”, I’ll keep working toward new goals.  Pursing new things with dogged determination because I know that for me, fitness is about more than the size of my jeans and more about the state of my mind.

Workout for Me

I’m a Work In Progress and I’ll never give up ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

A Matter of Healing Thru Rest, Strength Training & Healthy Eating ….

I’m in a lull between The Go! St. Louis Marathon and the Pittsburgh Marathon.  Three weeks between the two races.  The timing was a strategic calculation to allow my body to heal up a bit from St Louis.  It was a good call. But with this being Boston Marathon week, I’m just restless.  I want to run.  I want to run fast. But alas my chiro body says, NO! 

So I’ll just keep thinking about running fast and well, doing what I’ve been doing …. taking care of myself, eating well, stretching, strength training and running easy. 

Run Easy

But I can certainly think about running fast, right?  I’ve reset my Run Less Run Faster app and am ready to go with some targeted workouts once I get the green light.  I certainly don’t want to backslide and aggravate the Plantar Fasciitis DEVIL who is currently napping.  He certainly hasn’t left but I’m feeling better each and every day thanks to a lot of torture over the last 4 months from my new Chiro

So far, this year has consisted of rest, a lot of strength training and a little running.  There have been a lot of kettlebell swings, hand release push-ups, squats, lunges, weighted sit-ups, knees to chest, ab baskets, side to sides and short bursts of strength workouts both in and out of the gym.   All by myself.  I’m really missing my 5am CF crew in IL!   I also miss being able to swing a kettlebell and not have to worry about some unsuspecting gym patron rounding the corner right into my kettlebell improvised CF area.  I miss having certain equipment, like rings for ring rows, a box for box jumps, a wall ball, and a weighted ball for ball slams.  Yes, I actually miss those torturous things and so much more!  But I’ve improvised and been good about doing a minimum of 2 strength workouts each week.  Even if that means I have to skip a run to squeeze it into my day.  I know that a strong body is essential not only to a healthy life but also injury free running.  So strength training is a priority.  In and out of the gym.

CF at Home

I’ve also made a few changes on the food front.  I’ve always been decent about my food choices but things took a turn south last year.  While I normally favor fruits & veggies, my love of carbs took over and I was eating WAY too many cheese quesadillas & flavored Triscuits!    I tried to balance out my carb intake with exercise.  You know that never works but a carb lover can hope, right?  Then I tried to decrease my carbs and up my protein.  That helped temporarily but I quickly tired of protein powders/shakes/smoothies.  And my body didn’t love all that protein either.  Plus I was still craving those junky carbs!   Then one of the books I was listening to last month (Born to Run by Chris McDougall) mentioned a change he had made that helped him control appetite and lose weight.  Salads for breakfast.  What?  Yep, salads for breakfast.  I figured it was worth a try.  I bought some fresh produce, developed an obsession for kale, and started making a humongous salad every morning after I returned from the gym.  I filled my salads with nutritious items, healthy fats, plant proteins and tons of veggies.  Not a wimpy, “diet” salad but real food that would fill me up!  Every day.  Today’s salad below.  Kale, red onion, avocado, yellow pepper, northern beans, tomato, chia seeds, olive oil, balsamic vinegar & sea salt.

IMG_6771

I eat as much of my hearty salad as I want for breakfast and then put the rest in the fridge for lunch.  Guess what.  I’m on week 3 of salads for breakfast.  And I feel good.  Like really good.  I can’t tell you if I’ve lost weight cuz I “Threw Out the Scales” before I started my salad for breakfast regimen.  But I feel good.  And my tummy is happy.  And I’m full.  I’ve replaced most of the cheese quesadillas with healthy carbs like baked sweet potatoes.  Or in a pinch, I eat the Brown Rice Sweet Potato Triscuits.  Smile  Cuz my love of Triscuits goes beyond the scales!  But overall I’m pretty happy right now and feeling way better than I have in about a year.  So I’ll be buying ALL THE PRODUCE and eating lots of greens with a variety of veggies going forward.  I’m not a vegetarian but I’m certainly going to do some more research about food and specifically plant proteins.  And most importantly, I’m going to enjoy feeling good. 

Food You Eat_Ann Wigmore

The point of this post isn’t to start a movement where everyone should eat salads for breakfast but rather to suggest that if you’ve been doing what your doing for a long time and it’s not working  ……. maybe it’s time to try something new.   Be open to change.  If you are tired and run down, what type of food are you using for fuel?  Exercise will always help us feel and look better but the FOOD that goes into our mouth is the main source of our energy and health.   I’m trying to make sure that I’m eating what my body NEEDS rather than what it immediately wants.    As a result, I want less and less of the foods that are “not so good for me”.  I’m still not perfect.  Never will be perfect.  I mean, we have a standing order with the pizza guy for Monday nights but now we get a salad with that pizza too.  Winking smile

If you are struggling, don’t give up.  Cuz that will put you further back than where you are now.  Keep fighting the fight.  Change things up.  Don’t’ forget to Hide the Veggies from the family and yourself in some of your favorite meals.  And please, try to find a way to fall in love with good, clean foods.

eat like crap

** Eat Your Veggies ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Throwing The Scales OUT!

As women, we are so often defined by a number.  Weight.  Height.  Number of children.  Miles ran.  Hours in the gym.  Reps.  Life.  Work.  Money.

Enough already.  We are more than a number!

Defined by The Numbers

Last week I had a bit of a breakdown.  I had ordered something from one of my favorite retailers.  It was a special order thing.  We order in October.  It arrives after the new year.  I ordered the same size as last year, even tough I’m not the same size physically as last year.  Well, it arrived and it didn’t fit.  Cut was different.  Sizing was different.  Length was different.  I returned it for a size larger.  New larger size arrived last week and well, it still doesn’t fit.  Too small.  Too short.  Maybe if it were long enough it would work, but not now.

Same story with my entire closet.  I’ve packed on the pounds.  Over 20 to be exact.  Yes, I’ve said it before.  Yes, it’s still true.  Some of it attributed to the move, and the miles, and the length of time it took.  Some probably attributed to my new age group.  Regardless, I’ve been busting my butt and the scales isn’t moving.  And it’s emotionally draining. 

Scales_OMG

On average, I’ve been running 35 miles a week.  Strength & CrossFit workouts 2x a week.  Plus a cycling workout or two.  I’m out of time and energy.  Plus the Plantar Fasciitis in my left foot still isn’t great so as I increase mileage, my foot gets worse. 

What to do?  I’m getting rid of the scales and just focusing on being fit, healthy and happy, at whatever size that may be right now.  I’ve put in time and energy and used lots of supplements to spur weight loss and well, very little helps.  No, I’m not perfect with my food but I’m pretty good.  Lots of fruits, veggies, lean proteins.  My downfalls:  busy schedules which leads to pizza or carryout at least 1x a week & my love of Corona Lt (realistically 1-4 per week).  

I personally can’t let the number on the scale determine how I feel about myself.  I’m strong.  I’m healthy.  I might be what some call a “fit fat” but it is what it is and I refuse to apologize.  Good bye, Scales!  Good riddance!  You’ve never helped me feel good about myself.  I’ve been a slave to you for longer than I will admit.  No more.  I’ve purged the majority of negativity from my life and for some stupid reason I let you stay.  No more.

I will run.  And bike.  And swim.  And lift.  And Circuit Train.  And CrossFit.  And probably buy new clothes for summer.  Cuz living with a wardrobe the doesn’t fit makes me feel bad.   Every.Single.Day.

I encourage you to start living your life and stop defining yourself by the numbers.  I know you do it.  Admit it.  Now stop.  With each new era and change in life, our bodies adapt in different ways.  While my girlfriend may not be able to gain a pound no matter how many Twinkies she eats even if she tries.  I personally can gain without much effort.  Apparently that’s my era.  I will embrace it and keep doing what I’m doing WITHOUT stepping on the scales and feeling bad about MY number.   Let’s all focus on being fit and healthy, regardless of how our clothes are “fitting” this amazing body that God gave us.  No more shame.  No more apologies. 

What You Body Can Do_winetoweightlifting

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** Go forth and be happy, free of the numbers ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Yurbuds Leap Wireless Earphones for Women–Product Review

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I’ve had the Leap Wireless for Women earphones since Christmas.  They are an amazing product from Yurbuds.  I’ve worn them a lot.  Like more than a lot.  For the first time ever, I’m free of the dreaded “cord”.  I enjoy listening to music during workouts but have always had a big issue being tethered to my music source.  This has resulted in my NOT using music on the majority of my workouts.  All that has changed.

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Since my Plantar Fasciitis has been so bad this winter, I’ve done more and more workouts inside.  In fact, I’ve ran a “few” miles on the indoor track at the YMCA of DeKalb.  I can’t chance being outside and slipping or falling on the endless sheets of black ice that we’ve had so far this winter.  So I’m inside, running around a track that requires 9 laps for each mile.  I don’t necessarily mind the circles knowing that I have a safe environment for running but what I do mind is being strangled by my earphone cord.  All of my running clothes have one pocket, always in the pants.  It’s a zipper pocket on my waistband located in the small of my back.  I would zip my phone into that pocket and try to deal with my earphone cord being wrapped around my body.  It was driving me CRAZY.  So I tried to plug my earphones in from behind so that my cord was down my back.  Yeah, that didn’t work.  THEN I tried running with my phone in my hand like I see so many amazingly coordinated women do and I about lost my phone down on the basketball courts because I was sweaty and my butterfingers couldn’t hold onto it! 

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Now I’m running, lifting, riding on the trainer, and swinging my kettle bell to the sky & back all while jamming to my favorite tunes.  The Yurbuds Leap Wireless earphones have helped me get my grove back and start to tackle workouts that I haven’t attempted in a long time.  I’m back to CrossFit workouts.  And I’m lifting real weights.  In the gym.  With the boys.  All while pretending I’m the only one around by focusing on my music and my workout NOT the cord and definitely not the sweaty boys that spend more time looking at their phones than they do lifting those giant weights!  I even managed a workout at home this morning since it was too icy to go out!

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After a quick WOD this morning, I jumped on the trainer to ride.  I normally ride while watching Michael’s favorite children’s programming (Barney the Dinosaur or Paw Patrol) but today I was in my own little world with my Leap Wireless for Women earphones.  Yay!  I’ve never been able to have music while I ride for lack of a place to put my phone to stream the music!  Problem solved!

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Okay, I love them, right?  Now for some of the more technical details, regarding the Leap Wireless for Women earphones:

  • Ergonomically designed for comfort
  • Twistlock Technology
  • Smaller in ear design/fit for women with multiple size ear pieces
  • 6 hour battery life
  • Easy Bluetooth connectivity
  • Ability to change songs, adjust volume or answer phone calls with the touch of a button
  • I also like that while the sound quality is good, my Yurbuds (wired or wireless) NEVER drown out the sound around me.  I like to hear my music but I need to be aware of my surroundings.  I don’t know if this is a plus or minus for others but it’s the primary reason why I don’t use some of the high quality earphones in my collection.  Really big deal for me.

The cost of the Leap Wireless for Women earphones is $99.99.  You can buy them a number of places or just grab yours from Yurbuds dot com.  I hope they are a game changer for you as much as they have been for me.  They have given me the confidence to focus on me and MY workout.  For that I’m grateful.  I hope they serve up some magic for you as well.  Smile

** Untether From YOUR Earphone Wire! ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Getting Back to CrossFit and Making It Happen for 2015

I took about 9 months off strength and CrossFit workouts.  Some women could have had a baby in that time, me, I just couldn’t manage to fit it into my schedule.  Initially when hubby moved to Indiana ahead of the family, I tried to do CrossFit at home.  I called them my “home grown” CrossFit workouts.  I had a 36# Kettle Bell and a few other pieces of strength equipment. I tried to make it work.  But let me say, with kids and dogs to trip over, moving thru one of these home grown workouts was difficult at best.  Plus I was either making the workouts too easy or too hard.  It was a giant flop.  Fast Forward 9 months and I’m trying to get myself back together.  I’m focusing on strength once again.  I’m knocking off the weight I gained last year due to stress and the move.  I’m eating right.  I’m drinking water.  I’m trying to avoiding alcohol.  As they say, muscles are made in the kitchen, not the gym.  But we all know they go hand in hand.

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So muscles are made in the kitchen, not the gym.  And we can’t “outrun” a bad diet, right?  Right! But for those of us who have been “on the run” for a long time, running just isn’t enough.  The body settles into a holding pattern and running becomes normal.  What to do?  Something different!  Use different muscle groups, add in speed workouts to your routine, spin, swim, CrossFit or circuit train.  We can’t do the same thing we’ve always done and expect different results than what we’ve previously recorded.  You want to change something?  You want to run faster?  You want your pants to fit better?  What are you going to change to make it happen?

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So basically 2014 was a year that I just “let things happen”.  And I didn’t like the results.  Yes, I had a stellar year and ran a lot of races but I gained 23 lbs, if I’m being totally honest, and well, what the hell is left now but honesty?  So in 2015 I’m going to make things happen, not LET them happen.  I encourage you to join me in this journey.  Know that things don’t happen immediately but start thinking about what you want, no what you NEED to change.  Now make an action plan and follow thru with it.  Make it happen. 

For me, I have to get my foot and body in a healthy spot.  I’m working on that and have a plan of action and for the first time in a very long time, I actually confident that I’m going to be healthy sooner rather than later.  Secondly, I’m going all Food Nazi, and yes, I can say Nazi cuz I’m like 100% German.  I’m currently doing the  AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge and I’m KILLING IT.  Third, I’m moving back to high intensity workouts like CrossFit.  However, this time, I don’t have a “box” and a CrossFit coach (miss you Jared!) but a normal gym where I’m making it happen each and every day. 

My high intensity CrossFit workouts for the week occurred at the YMCA of DeKalb.  Normal gym, right?  Let’s look at what I did.  

1)  5 Rounds: 15 – Knees to Chest (or abs if you are me!); 15 – Squats w/ weight bar only (33#s); 30 – Double Arm Battalion Rope Waves; 15 – KB Swings (20#s); 15 – Bicep Pulls (each arm – 17.5 #s).  Time – 25 minutes

2)  5 rounds: 15 Knees to Chest; 8 thrusters – 33# bar only; 20 – side to sides w/ 12# ball; 15 – 20# KB Swings; 30 Double Arm Battalion Ropes Waves.  Time:  24:44

3)  5 Rounds: 20 – Medicine Ball (12#s) Bounces off angled trampoline; 20 – Ab Baskets (12# ball); 20 – Side to Sides (12# ball); 10 – Hand Release Push-Ups; 15 – Squats w/ 25# Kettle Bell; 30 – Double Arm Battalion Rope Waves.  Time:  24:55

I will say that the Y purchased a Synrgy 360 and this piece of equipment has been integral in my workouts.  If you have one at your gym, don’t be scared, try it out.  It’s fun and very useful!!

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Get after it and try something new.  Get that metabolism blazing and confuse those muscles.  Move it and Make It Happen!

** Make It Happen ** Amanda – TooTallFritz