Sep 012014
 

I’ve been steady and normal with my workouts…meaning, despite the stresses I’ve experienced this year and the wedding stuff piling up and piling up…one thing that stayed consistent was my fitness. I am grateful for that because I DEFINITELY used fitness as a stress reliever.

Here is an example of a typical week in my fitness world:

Saturday

Boot Camp!

I know, I previously said that I probably wouldn’t go to another boot camp class in the summer because it was way too hot and my heart rate got too high…but I went again anyways. It wasn’t as hot this time. I went to the Warrior Room with a bottle of water and bottle of ice cold Gatorade. I wore a hat this time (which was smart) and wore lots of sunscreen. We were instructed to get 2 kettlebells and walk to the school football field (about 4 blocks).

I got to the school and realized I didn’t have much water in my bottle so I ended up jogging back to the gym and then back again! I guess that was my warm-up. This class was brutal. We did partner workouts. My partner would jump rope and I would sprint to the 50 yard line, touch the line and sprint back to the 40 yard line, then back, then sprint back to the 30 yard line and so forth. BRU-TAL! I was dying. Then we switched and I jumped rope while she sprinted.

Then we did a bunch of kettle bell work (squats, dead lifts, high pull and double swing) then did the sprinting/jump rope intervals. Then back to kettle bells–chest press, shoulder press, pushups and bent over rows. Damn. No wonder I was so sore the next day!

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So that was my calorie burn. It was a surprisingly high for only an hour workout! 753 calories burned.

Sunday

I treated my body to some low-key fitness, as per usual on Sundays. I’m frequently sore and not really feeling like heavy lifting. Sometimes I run, sometimes we go for a hike. This particular Sunday I warmed up with about 22 minutes on the elliptical (2 miles) and then it was time for yoga. I really really really needed that yoga class!

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Calories Burned: 341. I was particularly sore from the Warrior Room.

Monday

Rest Day.

Thank goddess!

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Tuesday

Warrior Room!

I was recovered (about 90%) from Saturday’s boot camp and ready to do some weight lifting! I went to the Kettlebell Conditioning class. It was half isolation and half tabata workout. This class in particular was a killer! We did these “burnout” sets where we did intervals of really hard work. Here is an example: 80 High Knees, 4 burpees, 60 Mountain Climbers, 4 burpees TWICE in less than 3 minutes. Gawd! It was HARD. You’d be surprised at how shaky your legs are by the time you get to the burpee part of the set. Then we did kettlebell work. For example: lateral raises, front raises, bicep curls, and goblet squats.

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It was a rough workout and I was really glad when it was over with. Calories burned: 528.

Wednesday

I wasn’t really feeling the whole weight thing…but I did it. Since I’d done specific isolation workouts with the kettlebells the night before, I made sure I worked other parts of my body. I warmed up and then did one leg romanian dead lifts, regular dead lifts, push-ups and a bunch of ab work. After that I did 2 miles on the elliptical. I went easy on the resistance because the sprints I did at Boot Camp made my knees a little cranky and I wanted to take it easy.

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Definitely less calories burned on my own when compared to the Warrior Room, but it was a nice, stress-free workout and I finished up with lots of stretching and foam rolling. Calories burned: 451.

Thursday

Another rest day. I was a little sore from Tuesday and Wednesday–mainly in my hips. That was slightly odd but not abnormal. Every once in awhile my hips get a little sore but it’s usually a good sore, not like an injury. I took a few walks with Bella this day to loosen things up.

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Some weeks Rest Days are difficult. I’m antsy and want to do something. Some weeks I am grateful for those two rest days I have each week! As the years go by, I’ve noticed myself slowing down a little bit and feeling much happier about two rest days a week. My body needs the repair. I’m slowly realizing that I need to EAT more on rest days, actually REST, and let my body do what it needs to do. This hasn’t always been the case, but injuries and over-training at times have taught me to listen to my body and REST when it needs it.

Friday

Swim! I love my swim nights. Sure, sometimes I just don’t feel like it because it’s a process. Drive to the pool, change into the swimming gear, swim, shower, sometimes it feels like a whole thing. But most of the time I look forward to this because swimming is a form of relaxation and meditation for me. It gives me time to think and sometimes not think. I like going on Friday nights because the pool isn’t too crowded and it’s a good transition from the work week into the weekend.

It’s also nice relaxing in the hot tub and sauna afterwards. That always makes my sore muscles feel good! As for the calorie burn, I have no idea. Every once in awhile I used to wear my heart rate monitor in the pool to gauge how my calorie burn is. I normally do not wear it while I swim. The number doesn’t really change much–average burn is 275-350 calories. Kind of low, I know, but the swimming is more for relaxation and to give my joints and body a break from high impact activities.

Saturday

No Boot Camp this day. I was not going to chance it with my knees. Instead I took the Kettlebell Conditioning class. It was a lot of jumping in this class. For example, one routine was this: 5 tuck jumps, 10 frog jumps, 15 floor jumps (i.e crouching down to touch the floor then jumping up with hands high), 20 squat jumps– two times then 12 push-ups. This was another killer. My thighs were ON FIRE. Seriously, on fire. Half way through the first round my legs felt like jelly. Whoever got done first in the class, went into plank position and the clock was stopped. We were timed and if we didn’t beat that time, Ashley made us run. BRUTAL. We ran a few times. LOL

Then we did some kettlebell work–various types of bicep curls, goblet squats, sumo squats, traditional kettlebell swings and two bell kettlebell swings. It was a super hard workout but I was glad I did it.

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527 calories burned. I took my sweaty self home to get cleaned up.

The Coming Weeks

As for biking…I’m kind of disappointed that there wasn’t much of it this summer. I’d hazard a guess that I biked to work maybe a dozen times the entire summer. I wish it had been more but time didn’t allow it. I was busy training for my 5k and then just got busy with other fitness.

The wedding is approaching. My fitness routine will be pretty normal the week leading up to the wedding. Pretty sure I’m going to take that day off, though. :) As for the honeymoon, I am not making any plans. I want to relax and just see what happens. We plan on doing a little hiking, I will definitely be swimming, and we hope to do some sea kayaking. But time will tell. I may end up doing nothing!

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May 192014
 

My fairly easy going Saturday turned out to be really busy! I got up a little early for the gym and got in a great workout. I hit the weights pretty hard–I feel like I’ve been slacking in that department lately what with traveling and training for the 5k. The scales have tipped towards cardio and while I’m still getting strength training in, it’s definitely not enough or as much as I did over the winter.

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I met up with my friend Erika for lunch at Laughing Planet (I got a beef and black bean bowl) and we hung out there for a few hours chatting and catching up. I ran a few errands, went home and worked in the yard for about an hour talking to Michael about the rehearsal dinner planning and then we decided, why not go out and try one of the places we were thinking about?

We went to Firehouse Restaurant over in NE Portland. It’s a restaurant I’ve heard a lot about for several years and had wanted to check it out but never really make it to that side of town much. If we go out for dinner in NE Portland it’s usually somewhere on Alberta. Im glad we decided to check out this place. It was such a charming space, built in an old firehouse, and is the front runner for the rehearsal dinner.

The building it a two story brick building with a glass garage door that opens up and makes it an open air restaurant. The interior walls were brick and they had charming old black and white photographs of what the building looked like before and the firemen who worked there. There was a humongous brick pizza oven in the corner and while the place looked small and crowded, there was actually a lot of seating available. There was the main area then a back room as well.

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Before dinner we checked out the space for large parties upstairs. You walk up an old, narrow staircase to the second floor and the area was large. There was a lounge area with a few couches, a bar, and a bathroom. Then there was the main dining room that could fit a lot of people standing for a cocktail hour or about 34 people seated. There were three large tables that fit 12 at two and 10 at one. It would be family style dining.

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The space was really cool and large enough for our rehearsal dinner. I totally fell in love with the space. It was very unique and “Portland.” It wasn’t just another banquet room in a restaurant. The exposed brick walls and windows overlooking the yard decorated with Christmas lights was very romantic.

Now, time to test the food. I had a taste of their wine selection and ended up picking the Montepulciano red wine that was really tasty. The Primitivo was way too sweet for me.  

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They had a three course meal option for not very much money. For $29 I could pick an appetizer, salad and entree. I went with that option and Michael did the $25 appetizer, salad, pizza selection. We picked several different things to get a taste of all we could get. The first was the arancini–fried cheese balls.

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They were piping hot and crispy and while they were good, they needed a dipping sauce. That would have made them fantastic. The other appetizer was the seasonal bruschetta. It was goat cheese, grilled asparagus in a lemon vinaigrette and shredded cheese on top. It came out on a large hunk of crusty bread. I liked this dish a lot but it would have been better had it been on smaller slices of bread. It was kind of difficult to eat. The flavor was great, though, very unique!

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We got a complimentary dish courtesy of the manager–it was the fried cauliflower. Michael remarked that it was like a play on calamari. The dishes were very playful in their interpretations. The fried cauliflower was so fascinating! It wasn’t breaded and it had a crunch to it that was delightful. It came with a lemon dipping sauce that was slightly overpowering. I think a garlic aioli sauce would have been better. The lemon was just the dominant flavor tasted. Still, loved the fried cauliflower!

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Next up was the salads. Michael got the romaine hearts which were basically a Caesar salad. It was tasty and had a nice presentation. He thought the salad was a little too salty. I had a few bites and it didn’t seem like it to me, but maybe it was.

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My salad was greens with dried cranberries, toasted hazelnuts and goat cheese. I won the salad competition! Mine was fabulous!

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By the time our main dishes arrived I was pretty full. I don’t normally eat several courses when we go out to eat dinner. Sometimes we’ll split an appetizer and then get entrees, but rarely do we get all of it! I ordered the meatballs with kale. I’m glad it didn’t come with pasta because that would have been just too much food. Loved the braised kale and the meatballs were perfectly soft and crispy on the outside. I ate two meatballs and took the rest home for lunch the next day.

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Michael got the Zoe’s Pizza –soprasetta and mozzarella cheese. It was small but big enough for two people to share for a meal. The crust was PERFECT. It was chewy and smoky from the wood burning pizza oven. It was also very, very spicy. Surprisingly so. Michael’s only complaint was that it was a little on the greasy side which made the pizza slightly soggy in the middle. If they could fix that it would be perfect.

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With everything we had we enjoyed the food and it tasted great. Some of the things I criticize in this post are mild alterations that would make the food absolutely perfect. Just small tweaks it would be magical.

Even though we didn’t have room for more food, we wanted to get dessert to give it a try. The manager comped it for us, which was very nice. We ordered the ice cream sandwich. Holy moly! This dessert was AMAZING! The “sandwich” part was on the inside of the ice cream as opposed to the outside. It was topped with whipped cream and dark chocolate almond bark.

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If this is where we have the rehearsal dinner, that’s the dessert I want. It was so amazing! We left so full and happy with our experience. The “cons” didn’t make us rule this place out. I think everyone would have a wonderful meal here if this is where we had the party. The logistics of everyone getting from our wedding venue in Beaverton to NE Portland are kind of a pain and parking is all street parking but those are minor things.

We have one other place to check out but if it were up entirely to me, I’d pick The Firehouse. This is Michael and his dad’s choice though. Time will tell!

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