Double-under Quest

I came home from CrossFit a few days ago looking like this:

IMG_1529No, they aren’t cat scratches.  They’re jump rope bites!

We jump rope a good bit at CrossFit.  If you’re like me, I hadn’t picked up a jump rope since I was a little kid, so when I started CrossFit a little over a year ago, I was severely out of jump rope shape.  Over the course of my short CrossFit “career”, though, I’ve improved on the jump rope.  I can jump 200 times without missing the rope–on most days.  You know how it goes.  Some days you just can’t do anything right, right?

But when it comes to double-unders…

Most CrossFit workouts that include a jump rope include the skill of double-unders, having the rope pass twice under the feet with a single jump.  To me, it’s a bit like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time.  Somehow, I just can’t seem to keep my jumping rhythm while speeding up my twirling rhythm.  It should look like this:

But I’m not there yet.  I can usually get a double-under with every other jump, but I’m having a hard time stringing a run of doubles together.  IMG_1536CrossFit jump ropes tend to be a slim cable, so when I miss, the rope really packs a wallop.  Hence, the lovely whelps on my arms. But I am bound and determined to get this skill down.  I’m done with letting the jump rope beat me, literally.

So, starting Monday May 1, I’m challenging myself to a month of jumping rope.  For the month of May, I am challenging myself to at least 15 minutes a day (except Sundays) of jumping rope and working on double-unders.  My goal is to do ten     double-unders unbroken at the end of the month.

Will I meet my goal?  Check in and follow along on my quest for      double-unders!

Talk to me:

What’s a goal you’re working towards?

When’s the last time you jumped rope?

 

What I’m Eating These Days

So how’s your eating going?  Are you making healthy choices?  It’s hard.  I know.  Believe me, I know!  But I thought today I’d tell you about some of the foods that have made choosing healthy a bit easier for me lately.

  1.  Tomato Basil rice cakes.  I discovered rice cakes early on in my weight loss process.  I know a lot of people turn up their noses at them, but I like IMG_1484them.  Plain rice cakes aren’t all that tasty alone, but use them in place of bread and they’re wonderful!  Throw some tuna, turkey and lettuce, or even peanut butter on a rice cake, and you’ve got a quick, low-calorie meal, and the crunch of the rice cake satisfies the part of my appetite that needs crunch as well.  But these tomato basil rice cakes are amazing!  They taste great alone which makes them perfect for when I’m craving something crunchy and salty.  They also work great as a base for turkey and gives tuna an extra zing.
  2. Powdered peanut butter.  Who knew there was such a thing?!  I LOVE peanut butter!  No day in my world is complete without it, and running out of peanut butter nearly constitutes an emergency.  Seriously.  I have IMG_1483gone to the store for nothing expect peanut butter.  True story!  But I try to be careful with how much peanut butter I eat because it does add a lot of calories and fat to my diet.  What I like about this powdered peanut butter is that I get the taste of peanut butter without the fat and with significantly fewer calories.  My experience with it is limited to use in smoothies, but I’m anxious to try it just mixed with a little almond milk in place of the real deal.IMG_1522
  3. Zucchini.  I love all kinds of squash.  Butternut squash soup is one of my favs!  I love roasting summer and zucchini squash.  But lately I’ve sauteed zucchini, mushrooms, and onions in a pan sprayed with olive oil cooking spray.  When the vegetables are almost done, I toss in some chicken.  Holy cow!  So good.  That’s been my dinner several times this past week.
  4. Blackberries.  I’ve never been a big fan of berries aside from blueberries and strawberries.  The crazy thing is that I was in the store recently, saw blackberries, and thought they just looked so good.  Why is that when I’ve never really cared for them before?  Anyway, I picked some up and had some for a snack later.  Well, I am a reformed berry hater.  They are IMG_1523so good!  And they’re really good for you too–lots of antioxidants to fight cell damage.  I just have to be careful to eat them in moderation because, as with all fruit, blackberries are sugar.  You know how your body stores excess sugar?  As fat.  Yep.

So who says healthy eating has to be boring?!  Who needs pizza when you can eat squash?!

 

Talk to me:

What are your favorite foods/meals at the moment?

Care to share a favorite healthy recipe?  Leave it in the comments for all to enjoy.

Freedom in Fitness

So this Easter weekend, I’ve been thinking about the concept of freedom.  It’s a big concept, right?  Ask anybody what freedom means to them, and you’ll probably get a different answer.  I mean, think about freedom in the context of war and our soldiers.  Wow.  Think about religious freedom, and people around the world dying for what they believe.  Think about political freedom.  Think about freedom of speech, and all the other freedoms the Constitution of the United States bestows on its citizens.

But the freedom I’ve been thinking specifically about this weekend, you know, with it being Easter and all, is spiritual freedom.  Read my story here of how the truth of God’s word freed me from a lifetime of trying to be someone other than who I was.  If you don’t feel like reading that story, let me just say, folks, that there is incredible freedom in just being who you are.  No, I don’t mean just let it all hang out wherever you are!  Manners and discretion are important, but just drop the mask.  It’s okay that all your ducks aren’t in a row!IMG_0183

And as I’ve mulled over this incredible gift of spiritual freedom and just enjoying being the ME that God made me to be, I began to think about how much physical fitness mirrors this concept of spiritual freedom.

Here’s the thing.  I felt almost as trapped by an obese body as I did by a deceived mind.  Just as my erroneous beliefs of who I was affected how I acted, my obese body affected where I went and what I did.IMG_0747

Listen, I could find any excuse in the book to not attend a social function when I was fat.  And then I would lie on the couch and have a cry because I felt lonely.  Anyone know what I’m talking about?

Seriously, I was letting my desire for food rob me of life.  When I put food in its proper place, lost the weight and put my body in a place to function more effectively and efficiently–Wow!  The world became this never-ending amusement park, full of places to go, things to try, adventures to tackle.

No, of course, everything’s not rosy.  Please.  I still have tough days.  I still struggle with erroneous thoughts.  I still make bad food choices.  7386(Yep.  I ate Cheetos last week.  Can we say bad food choice?)

But the point I’m trying to make is that being fit makes it so much easier for my body to just do what it’s supposed to do.  Because the work of just moving and caring for my body has eased, I have the strength, energy, confidence, and desire to try new things.

Fitness has given me a different kind of freedom.  How can I help you get there?

 

Talk to me:

What did you do on Easter?

Is there something weight is holding you back from doing, or at least, trying?

 

 

Running Coach!

A few weeks ago I spent the weekend in Little Rock, Arkansas, at St. Vincent’s hospital.IMG_1069No, don’t worry!  I wasn’t there because someone was sick.  I was there for educational purposes, and it wasn’t nursing or anything medically related.

Curious yet?

I attended a running coach certification course!  It was a weekend jammed full of information on the different types of runners, what different types of runners need, and how to design training programs for runners from a couch to 5K to a marathon.

I have to admit.  It was pretty overwhelming.  I never realized what went into the training that I’ve been through.  I just showed up and ran with my group, followed the coach’s instructions and lead, and then on race day, I showed up and ran my race!  The science and discussion behind various training strategies is fascinating–and complicated!

Anywho, attending the course was the first step towards certification.  The next step was successfully passing the online exam.

My goal for this week was to complete the exam.  We could take as long as we needed to complete it, as long as we completed in within 30 days of the course.  So I started the exam yesterday.  I’d work through a few questions, take a break, come back to it.  This morning I finished the exam.

My heart starting beating fast as I hesitated over the submit button.  I had one chance, and there were a few questions I was unsure about.  But I knew that I had answered the questions to the best of my ability.  Come what may, I was done with the test.  I hit submit.  And then that 5 second wait that seemed like 5 hours was over and my score popped up on the screen.

Was that really my score?  I could feel my hands start to shake.  It’s over, I told myself.  Deep breath, girl.  You….PASSED!IMG_0337

Yes, I passed the exam, and Tulsa now has a new certified running coach.  So if you’re in the Tulsa area and you think you might like to be a runner, I’d love to help you reach that goal!

 

Talk to me:

Who’s the best coach you’ve ever had?  Why?

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My First Trail Run: The Spectacular Spill on Turkey Mountain

One thing on my running to-do list has been to try trail running.  But training for and running two marathons in one year didn’t leave much time for other running adventures.  So with no big races planned for 2017, when I saw the announcement about the Snake Run I decided to take the opportunity to try trail running.

Now, the name of the race seriously made me reconsider registering for the race since my fear of snakes borders on a phobia.  I am terrified petrified of snakes.  I hate them so much I made my sister read the reptile chapter in my eighth grade science class to me so I wouldn’t have to look at those pictures.  Shiver.

But once I scrolled past the picture of a colorful, coiled up snake (shiver, again) on the race’s website, I discovered that the name of the race came from the curvy nature of the trail on Turkey Mountain, a wilderness area right here in the middle of Tulsa (sweet!), and had nothing to do with snakes, thankfully.  Then, I learned that runners of this race chose a time limit of either 3 or 6 hours.  The objective, then, was to run as far as possible within that time limit.  Sounded like a good race for my first trail race, so I signed up.  At least if I made one lap and decided I hated trail running, I could just quit.  There wasn’t a distance I needed to complete.  Kind of took the pressure off, you know.

So for those of you who follow me on Facebook, here’s the story I promised you of why my first trail run ended like this:trail running, 1The day of the run dawned sunny and clear, a perfect day to run.  I was feeling a bit nervous since the rules of this race were so different from road races.  A veteran trail runner explained that we would make the 3.75 mile loop, check in at the start/finish line for our miles to be logged, and head back out for the next loop.  The strategy came in finishing the current loop before your time limit was up.  Otherwise, those last 3.75 miles would not be counted.

The 6 hour runners started, and 15 minutes later the gun went off for us lowly 3 hour runners.  I took my place in the line of runners along the narrow beginning of the trail, and my first trail run was underway.  I discovered that what I’d been told about trail running was absolutely true.  My pace was much slower, and I had to focus on the ground right in front of me to know where to put my feet.  Yep, just like they said.

snake run2, 2017About 2 miles in, I was feeling good, enjoying the new adventure of jumping over rocks, mud puddles, rocks, and ditches when all of sudden I found myself face down in the dirt.  But it wasn’t just a fall.  It was one of those falls that begins with a couple of bounces when you hit the ground and finally ends when you skid to a stop with an “oomph.”  A most spectacular spill, I’m sure, if I’d been on the viewing end of that initiation into trail running.  Other runners passed me like gazelles, slowing down enough to make sure I was okay and to pass on encouragement to “walk it off”, telling me that a fall makes me a true trail runner.  Sprawled on the ground, taking up the entire trail with limbs in every which direction, that did make me feel a bit better!

snake run1, 2017I landed hard on my left hip (enough to get road rash through my shorts, I discovered later), but running didn’t seem to make it worse, initially, so I kept going.  My goal was to run 13 miles in the 3 hours, but with each loop, my left leg and knee started protesting more and more and my lap times kept getting slower.  Finally, I noticed that I was holding my breath and with each step over tree limbs, rocks, or ditches, a little moan would escape from my mouth.  I decided that to risk further injury, the prudent thing to do was to end the race…at 12.75 miles.  I hate doing the prudent thing sometimes, especially so close to my goal.

So there you have it.  The story of my first trail run…and 2 weeks later, I’m still sporting a nice greenish bruise on my leg.  But fall and all, I had fun!

Talk to me:

What’s something new you’ve tried recently?

What’s something you’d like to try?