Jan 092014
 

I tried a lot of new things at the Warrior Room recently. It was hard after taking 2 weeks off (holidays and being sick). The Warrior Workout (a 90 minute class) was a bit of a struggle at times because I wasn’t back at 100%. I wanted to share a few of the things we did because they were really fun! The description of the class is this:

“This is the big gulp of the Warrior Room – for a brutally intense 90-minutes, Ashley will offer a one-off weekly work out that will focus on blasting calories leaving you with detox grade shakes. Not for wimps or wieners, you’ll be empty faced after this once a week punishing work out.”

TRUTH. Not for wimps or wieners.

This time it was another station workout. There were 3 stations and we were divided into groups of about 5 or 6. Each group would work within the station and then move on to the next. For example, one station was box jumps, battle ropes, the sledge hammer and then burpees with a bosu ball. The person doing the battle ropes was the leader and once they got to 50 we all rotated to a different exercise within the section.

This was the first time I tried the sledge hammer. It was REALLY fun! I can totally see that being a good exercise to get some anger and frustration out, much like a punching bag. I’d swing the sledge hammer down onto the huge tire and then repeat. At first it was awkward but then I got the hang of it.

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I love the battle ropes. By far that is one of my favorite activities. I can totally feel it in my core during, after and the next day when I do that exercise. I feel like it’s helped me with core strength and even balance. But really the improvements I’ve seen in my balance the last few months are probably a combination of the kettle bell workouts and consistent yoga. Check out this video to get an idea of different battle rope workouts.

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One of the other stations was all kettle bell work–one handed swing, chest press, and bent over rows. Then we did a “static walk.” Basically everyone grabbed two kettle bells, raised them high above our heads and then walked about a 1/4 mile around the neighborhood and then back to the gym. That is a LOT harder than it sounds. Keeping your arms up for a long period of time holding two kettle bells caused shoulder fatigue quickly. It also looked really weird. People driving by were staring with curiosity and probably confusion! Haha!

We also did something new to me called a “waterfall pushup.” In our small groups of 5, we all got into plank position in a circle with our heads in the center of the circle. The first person would do a pushup while everyone else held the plank position and then the next person did a pushup and so-on until each person had done one. Then we did it again and this time everyone did 2 pushups, then 3, all the way up to 8! 8 pushups doesn’t sound like a lot but it is when you’re holding a plank position for several minutes in between! My arms were shaking by the end!

Towards the end we did a similar workout but with squat jumps. Again we were all in a circle, then one person did one squat jump while the rest of us held a squat position all the up to 10 instead of the 8 like the pushup waterfall. Yowza! Thighs on fire!

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Have you ever done squat jumps? They are harder than they look. Despite being slow and not quite 100%, it was a fantastic workout and I left drenched in sweat and happy.

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Almost 900 calories burned! Intense! Have you tried anything new to you lately?

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May 202013
 

This past weekend I went on a little getaway with Michael to the beach, courtesy of Living Social. We stayed at Adrift Hotel in Long Beach, Washington. It was a really cute hotel– modern, shabby chic, minimalist. Definitely a cool, 20-30-something vibe and definitely not a family type place.

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We got in later than planned and checked in before going to the bar for a drink. I could see the beach from our hotel room, but couldn’t hear it. Our room was on the 4th floor of the hotel (the top) and at the other end was the restaurant, where they played live music at night. This is why I don’t think it’s a great place for families–or people wanting to sleep! But if you want to party, it’s perfect! Thankfully our room was at the opposite end of the restaurant but we could still hear the music.

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The restaurant was called Pickled Fish and the food ended up being really, really good. Friday night we just had a drink together to unwind after the long drive. The route we took was really bizarre–the app on Michael’s phone took us north into Washington to Kelso, then somehow we crossed a bridge and we were back in Oregon before we ended up crossing another bridge back into Washington. It was totally strange! I ended up calling my dad, the expert, and asked him what was up. I guess there wasn’t a direct route on the Washington side of the Columbia River and that’s why we ended up taking a roundabout way.

On the way to the beach we’d stopped at Plaza Jalisco in Kelso, WA for dinner. The outside was sketchy and iffy, but once you were inside it looked just like any other Mexican restaurant and the food was a surprise! It was so good! I got the tacos and the portions ended up being so huge, probably enough food for three people. I ate the meat out of the tacos and skipped the tortillas, some of the rice and beans and called that good. Then, at the end of the meal they brought out dessert! It was a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of a crispy tortilla topped with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Delicious, ridiculous, and way too much food.

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Anyways, back to Adrift. I ate way too much dinner and so the glass of wine at Pickled Fish was plenty for me. I got a glass of the Mount Baker NV Oyster Blanc. It was tart like a sour apple and hit the spot.

One of the downsides to the hotel we were staying at was that there wasn’t a pool or a gym. Those are definitely amenities that I look for in a hotel. You could “rent” beach cruisers for free for 2 hours at a time but with my knee issues, I wasn’t riding any bikes. There were also trails and a boardwalk that would be perfect for running–again, something I couldn’t do.

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But I COULD get in a mini workout despite not having a gym. I spent 45 minutes doing an ab workout, body weight exercises like burpees and push-ups and I also used the Nike Training Club app to do some workouts. It was better than nothing!

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The workout consisted of my warm-up from Suzanne, modified push-ups, modified burpees, reverse crunches, toes touches, v-ups, full extension crunches, suitcases, side plank crunches, regular planks, frogger with swivel, and plank walks.

After that we went to breakfast at the 42nd Street Cafe. There were two twin boys at the table next to us (probably 2 or 3 years old) that wanted to play peekaboo with me. It was adorable! Michael got the jambalaya omelette and said it was fantastic (odd but great flavors) and I got the smoked salmon scramble.

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My scramble had spinach and gruyere cheese in it. It was pretty good but kind of skimpy on the salmon. After breakfast we checked out the North Head Lighthouse. It was built in 1808 and was just a gorgeous piece of history. I recently finished a great book, The Light Between Oceans, which was about a lighthouse keeper, and while I was touring the lighthouse I kept thinking about that book and what the life was like back in the day for the lighthouse keepers. If you read the link about North Head Lighthouse, the history of one of the keepers and his wife is oddly similar to the book!

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It was a gray, misty, sometimes rainy day so we didn’t do much exploring. It’s a shame because it was such a scenic area with lots of oceanside trails that weave in and out of old growth forests.

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Most of the stuff I had planned for that weekend involved things like hiking. When we’d booked this trip a few months ago I guess I was hoping I’d be better by now. Oh well. I was definitely disappointed that I couldn’t do much–and oddly enough, where the lighthouse was built is called Cape Disappointment. Oh the irony. Sigh.

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We took our cold and damp selves back to the car and dried off. I was STUFFED from breakfast and didn’t end up eating until dinner.

We went to Fort Columbia to see what it was like; I hadn’t been since I was a kid and Michael had never been. It is a national historic landmark and it was built in 1900. The bunkers were used in WWI and WWII and haven’t been used since. It was built to defend the Columbia River.  It’s very eerie to explore abandoned military bunkers. There was even a door that looked like The Hatch from Lost!

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We explored the “downtown” of Long Beach, which wasn’t very much. It was definitely geared towards kids (go karts, arcade, etc). There was an oddity museum that had Jake the Alligator Man on display!

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And then I got my fortune read by Zoltar. Ten points if you know the reference!!!

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It was time to hang out in the room and relax. I did a lot of reading and we just chilled. It was a nice change from the usual vacations where we go go go. Stayed tuned for the next post. The dinner we had Saturday night was out of this world!

Okay, anyone get the Zoltar reference?

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