Thursday, October 27, 2011

T-Rex Push-ups

Hi Friends,

I'm mid work related tornado this week, so this is going to be an UBER fast post again (sorry!).

Today i'm taking a MUCH needed rest day after an INTENSE Tabata style workout at Crossfit on Tuesday and equally as challenging strength workout with Kathy yesterday morning.

I initially thought I'd get a workout in today, until I woke up SUPER sore. Rest is ESSENTIAL for muscle development and prevention of injury...plus I've totally feeling like this guy today....



...I don't think I could DO a push-up even if I wanted to!

Sooo, aside from lots of work today, there will also be plenty of "active" resting...aka stretchies and walking!   Active rest is KEY to flushing out the lactic acid, and working out the fascia so that you remain loose, injury free, and to beat soreness!

Let's talk about fascia! "Fascia is a dense type of connective tissue, all of the muscle in your body is enclosed in this fascia.The job of fascia is to help protect muscles and allow them to maintain their position throughout the body."

While reading FitnessRX yesterday, I came across this interview with a trainer about fascia and intense training and how to keep things in order:


The Article Highlights:
Problems concerning fascia -- "Intense training can cause fascia to become tight, causing inflammation, which leads to a thickening of the tissue. The thickening leads to restrictive muscles that can't stretch -- plus it can make you look bulkier than you are!!"

What should you do -- Starting your workout with self-myofascial release work with a foam roller and/or lacrosse ball will help release the tight fascia. It's also the perfect thing to do on rest days!

Recommendations: Roll at least 3x a week and make sure to stretch as well!! If you feel especially tight or sore, rolling and stretching daily is the BEST solution!!

Sites with Self-Myofascial Release Exercises:

Techniques using a foam roller -- http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/self-myofascial-release.html

Techniques with Tennis or Lacrosse Ball -- http://healthonabudget.com/self-myofascial-release-with-tennis-ball-to-release-muscle-tension/


Alrighty party people, get your self-myofasical release and stretchies on!! It hurts, but in a GREAT way and after all the hard work you put in training, you are doing yourself a TREMENDOUS favor!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Good Nutrition

Happy Monday folks! Today is a super crazy day at work, but I didn't want to leave you guys high and dry. So I'm re-posting a great Reader's Digest version of Good Nutrition as posted by CaveGirlEats

If you stick to these basics, you really can't go wrong!!

Quick Weekend Recap!!




I did my first 5 mile run of the fall season!


Taught my first Barre Bee Fit Class!!

Aaaaaand got my first feed-back:

"I just wanted to let you know what hurts...my booty, triceps, back of my legs, abs and muscles I don't even know existed. oh and my shoulders. oh and my biceps..."-- MDF


"OMG my abs are soooo sore! Well done!" -- SK




Plus!






The Bears won in London!!






All in all, a GREAT weekend!!


I can't wait to teach my NEXT Barre Bee Fit class THIS FRIDAY at 5:30pm!!


Stay tuned for a closer look at Lil B teachin' BBF!!





Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Triple Play & Then Some!


It's a gloomy Thursday here in Chi town, but I still managed to wake up at 6am with some serious spunk! (Perhaps it's the black-out curtains I just installed in my apartment which have been helping me sleep more soundly) 


Whatever the case, I jumped out of bed this morning, threw on my gym clothes, (managed to snag a pic for you all), and bounded off to Crossfit!


This is how dark it was on my run over to Crossfit. You can sort of make-out my face. I didn't post the pic i took with flash because I look like a serious ghost head!

Today's Crossfit workout was a Baseline Test taken to the extreme! Some of you regular readers may remember, I did a Baseline test on my first day at Atlas Crossfit back in August. Click Here to revisit that ridiculous experience! NOTE: LP Crossfit does their baseline a little differently than Atlas did.

Anyway, a baseline workout is something we use in Crossfit to measure our baseline -- duh! It's deceptively hard!! Basically, the pace you set on the rowing portion determines how quickly you can move through the remaining exercises.

LINCOLN PARK CROSSFIT BASELINE WORKOUT:
(For Time)
500 Meter Row
40 Air Squats
30 Sit-Ups
20 Push-Ups
10 Pull-ups

Ok -- this is hard but doable right?!

Well,

We did a little workout today called "Bases Loaded."


Where you get the chance to earn yourself a single, double, triple, or homerun. How? By completing the baseline workout up to 4 times in 20 minutes. Each time you complete the baseline, you earn a "base," and let me tell yah -- this workout was fully loaded!!

GANG! I woke-up with spunk and pep today and I took that energy and drilled it home during today's WOD (workout of the day)! Not only did I surprise myself, but I managed to beat the top person from the 6am class AND all four dudes in my class!




Lil B managed to get her booty to 3rd base, and even attempted a run for home -- only to get tagged out after completing 371 meters of rowing!! And in case you didn't follow my logic earlier, getting "tagged-out" means that the 20 minutes on the clock ran out :)

**Granted, I did girlie push-ups and used a resistance band to help me with the pull-ups, but in all honesty I don't think that takes away from what I accomplished. For me, form comes before extra sets or reps, and the best way for me to maintain form is with the aforementioned assistance.

Regardless of the 2 modifications, I'm getting stronger y'all and it feels damn good! My endurance keeps getting higher and my ability to challenge my body in all ways is improving so much.

Stick with your goals y'all, it feels good to reap the rewards of hard work -- believe me!!

REMINDER!!!

I teach my first Barre Bee Fit Class this Sunday at 9am!!


Go to barrebeefit.com and get yourself signed up!!

I know it may seem a little early on a sunday, but if you plan to spend your day watching football or being lazy, or going out for a decadent brunch, maybe this poster will help you rethink sleeping in:


Join me for an hour muscle burn this Sunday at 9am, Barre Bee Fit in River North. I promise you won't regret it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Warm Breakfast, Cool Products, and a Special Announcement!!

I love fall!


The leaves turn pretty colors and the air is crisp. There is plenty of sweater wearing, coffee drinking, and football watching to be had. It's also the start of the holiday season and we're getting closer and closer to my fave holiday -- Thanksgiving!!

--BUT!

Fall can also be rainy and gross


and can botch your plans for a morning run :(

--BUT! When there's no morning run, there's...


...a filling, nutritious, breakfast! Asparagus, Sundried Tomato, & Mushroom Omelet with sliced yellow peppers, tomatoes, and cukes

Because I was already up and ready to run, I figured I should make myself a nice warm breakfast instead...cuz let's be real, a good run and a nutritious breakfast are totally the same thing! Well ok, not the same, but both are a healthy way to start the day!


Anywho, my warm breakfast definitely helped me put a smile on my face along with my raincoat.

When I got into work this morning, my breakfast buzz was only heightened by a package that was waiting for me!!!


From Left Clockwise: Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Sulfate-Free Shampoo, Argan Oil (for mah face), Clarisonic brush-head replacements, and Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask!!

Just as I am super particular about the food I put IN my body, I take just as much care with the products I put ON my body!

Carol's Daughter hair products are great! They work well and they're not loaded with the yucky chemically stuff I don't want! More Product info:

  • Monoi Oil gently conditions your hair all over
  • Hibiscus Extract help quickly detangle any hair type, but especially delicate, damaged hair
  • Coconut-derived cleansers are gentle enough for even the most fragile, distressed hair
  • PLUS, it has NO Parabens, Petroleum, Mineral Oil, or Artificial Color


    Clarisonic is also an AMAZING tool! It helps me clean my face deeper so my complexion is a lot clearer and a lot glowier :)



    Finally, I decided to give an Argan oil product a chance. Here's what Sephora had to say about Josie Maran's Organic Argan Oil:

    What it is:
    A lightweight oil that can be used as a daily moisturizer or treatment for skin, hair, and nails. 

    What it does:
    This 100% Pure Argan Oil is rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and grown organically in Morocco. With its multitasking benefits, Argan Oil can be used for many areas including hydrating and nourishing skin, as a daily moisturizer, skin treatment, treating spilt ends, and softening cuticles. It's gentle enough to use on all skin types and is believed to help with skin conditions including acne. Argan Oil easily absorbs into skin to give you a youthful, dewy glow, and has astonishing healing, conditioning, and antiaging properties to keep your skin and hair nourished and revitalized and to keep you looking beautiful from head to toe. 

    What it is formulated WITHOUT:
    - Parabens
    - Sulfates
    - Synthetic Fragrances
    - Synthetic Dyes
    - Petrochemicals
    - Phthalates
    - GMOs
    - Triclosan 

    Research results:
    This product is clinically proven to improve skin hydration and skin elasticity after only four weeks. In just four weeks: Participants saw a visible reduction in coarse wrinkles and fine lines in the eye area, and more than 83% of women showed significantly improved skin hydration.

    Basically, I'm super excited to try this oil! Stay tuned for a full product review in a few weeks!!


    So things are definitely looking up for me on this gloomy, rainy, Wednesday!


    OH!!! BIG NEWS!!!

    It's official! Lil B will be teaching her FIRST Barre Bee Fit class THIS SUNDAY October 23rd!!!


    If you live in the Chicago area, come out to Lasalle and Hubbard this Sunday at 9am for an hour of muscle burning awesomeness!! Barre Bee Fit incorporates Isometric strength training, with stretching/flexibility work along with cardio bursts to boot! I PROMISE you will feel like A MILLION BUCKS after taking this class!

    Plus, what better way to start a day of Bears and Beers than with an hour long workout that your body will thank you for later?!?!

    New Client Special: $60 unlimited for first month -- totally worth it!!
    Drop-in Rate: $15 -- also not a shabby price!!

    Click on the link below the Barre code below for more deets about BBF, along with info about rates, location, and schedule!!

    www.barrebeefit.com
    I hope to see you all on Sunday!! 





    Monday, October 17, 2011

    Me, Myself, and Team

    Mission Urbanathlon ACCOMPLISHED!!!!


    I'm happy to say that team Snake Juice not only showed up Saturday morning, but we went all-in with "take no prisoners" attitudes!!

    I have to admit, I was actually really nervous for this race. I couldn't figure out why, of all the races i've ever done I was most nervous for THIS one. Though 3.5 miles and 459 steps along with a handful of other obstacles is a challenge, it definitely wasn't something any different or scarier than other races I've done before...

    ...I tried to shake the nervous feeling I had for this race by sticking to my pre-race protocol.

    PROTOCOL:
    1) Lots of hydration day before the race
    2) NO CARBO LOADING!! Simple meal of protein and veggies the night before:


    3) Lots of stretchies
    4) Early bed time
    5) Racing Breakfast of Paleo Champions:

    Justin's Maple Almond Butter, Banana, Zico Chocolate Coconut Water

    Sticking with my pre-race protocol really helped ease some of the nerves I was feeling, but it wasn't until Team Snake Juice assembled at Gear Check on the morning of the race that I realized why I had been so nervous...

    ...every race I've done to that point, was all about ME. Up until that point, racing has always been about pushing MYSELF as far as I could go, beating MY OWN PERSONAL records. If for some reason I didn't feel up to giving it my all, that was ok, because only I would face the consequences.

    For Urbanathlon, I wasn't just doing something for MYSELF -- it was about the TEAM. All of my efforts for this race wouldn't just affect how I did, it was going to affect the TEAM's standing as well. All the nerves I was experiencing were about fears I had about letting down the TEAM

    I started to get even more worked up about the race! I was worried that I was going to be a terrible anchor racer. I was worried that I was going to grind the progress of my team to a halt. I was worried that I wasn't going to be fast enough or strong enough, or have enough energy to do my part. 

    Looking over at Meredith and AD, I realized that I was being dumb. I was taking something that was supposed to be about US having fun...and turned it into ME being worried. With that realization, I decided to let all the worry go and just enjoy the pre-race buzz with my awesome teammates!


    After all, Snake Juice is supposed to be "Venom for your soul...in a GOOD way."  I let the energy or "venom" of my teammates enter into my soul ... and let that supportive and excited energy propel me through the race!We got each other pumped up, and got down to the business of kicking ass and taking names!!!

    Team Snake Juice went all out and ran a heck of a race that day!! Queue the Snake Juice Victory Dance:



    I have to tell you, there is nothing like the support of a team! Even though I ran my leg of the relay alone and got my own shiny medal...


    ...I couldn't have done it without the support of my kick ass team!!


    Plus, it was waaaaaay more fun engaging in some Saturday morning masochism with teammates along for the ride :)

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    Urbanathlon Count Down...

    HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYBODY!!!!

    This week was super, crazy, busy for work but I don't think it's going to get much easier tomorrow...

    Though I didn't run the Chicago Marathon last weekend, I will be participating in a similar form of masochistism competition this weekend:


    I will be running the Men's Health Urbanathlon as a relay with a bomb dot com team! Our cast of characters:


    my cousin AD, who ran Metro Dash with me a few weeks ago




    Meredith, my good friend over at Gym Shoes & Dresses 

    Together, we have formed an unbeatable team known simply as, 


    SNAKE JUICE:
    "A delicious blend of many kinds of alcohol, coffee, sugar, and ingredients, Snake Juice slips down the throat with ease, packs a serious bite, and sheds away the troubles of your day. It will make your nights better... it will make your conversations sexier... it will make your feelings feeling-er...

    ... it's venom for your soul! In a good way."

    In case you didn't know, Snake Juice is a made up beverage from Parks and Rec:


    The three of us will be running this entire course as a 3-man relay.


    Meredith will take the first leg, AD is on the second, and I get to anchor the whole shebang.

    And, just as Snake Juice is venom for your soul in a good way, Urbanathlon is venom for my body...in a good way (hopefully!)

    Here is my part of the relay:

    3.5 mile run

    AND


    Jeep Crawl and Marine Hurdles Combo:
    I get to crawl under two rows of Jeeps, then over 2 rows of hurdles 

     Next, I get to climb a grand total of 459 stairs inside Solider Field (exciting, but also super daunting!!)


    For my last set of obstacles, I get to hurdle over two rows of taxi hoods and climb over a bus that has a cargo net over it, then under a chain link obstacle and over a wall.



    YIKES!!! and that's only MY part of the race.

    Though this seems like a scary/insane/daunting task -- Team Snake Juice has been training hard and we are ready to kick some serious bootay tomorrow!!!

    You can follow our race progress through my twitter handle tomorrow as it will be updating live!

    Twitter Handle: @lillina21


    Pre-Race Agenda for Lil B:
    * Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
    *Stretch out my IT bands, quads, and hammies!!
    *Fill up on protein and veggies
    *Get my coconut water, banana, and almond butter breakfast ready for tomorrow
    *Pick out my racing gear -- it's going to be a chilly and windy one (welp!)!!!
    *Pick out my pump-up music
    * SLEEP!!!!

    Stay tuned for a post-race post Monday!!




    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    The Perks of Work Travel

    Hey all! As promised, I'm blogging again today -- lucky you :p

    I have to keep this super short because, as the title of the post suggests, I'm traveling for work, which means I have to get back to it!

    Though work travel is exhausting and takes all the normal structure out of my routine, it can have it's perks.


    Like, when you get to the airport too early in order to beat morning rush hour traffic, you can sit down to a decent breakfast at the airport Macaroni Grill -- love me a veggie frittata with a side of tomato and coffee


    ...and when your hotel room isn't ready and you have to get down to business (and you have status!), you get to hang out in swanky club lounges like this one!


    ...and what's that over there by the door?!?!


    FREE coffee AND Espresso!!!!!!

    Ok, so the perks may not be awesome or life changing, but when things get hectic and stressful, it's nice to pay attention to the little positive things that get you through!

    Tip of the Day: Instead of fixating on the things that are hard, annoying, frustrating, etc. Try to pick out the perks...even if it's just the sun shining today!

    Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!!

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Showing Up...

    Happy Monday Bloggies!!

    Y'all I have been SUCH a TERRIBLE blogger! I'm so sorry I went AWOL on you for so long. Accordingly, I've got lots to share, I will try to do so efficiently as possible. So buckle up buttercups and let's get to it!!

    Lesson of the Day: Showing Up is Half the Battle!

    This morning, on my way to Crossfit, I was talking myself out of going every.step. I was just feeling super lazy. Though my brain kept trying to convince me to turn-back, my feet kept moving forward. I finally stopped dead in my tracks and convinced myself that I just had to SHOW UP!


    If I had to take it easy during my workout -- fine! At least doing something would be better than turning back and abandoning my workout all together! With that, I continued on.

    Well...I have to tell y'all, that not only did I show up, but I KILLED it!

    Today's WOD (Workout Of the Day):


    This was a killer!! Within the first 3 rounds my heart rate was SKY high! Then -- the craziest thing happened!  I was gearing up for round 8 (8 burpees and 8 thrusters in 1 minute), when I realized that I was THE ONLY person left standing! Everyone else had already been eliminated -- chicks AND dudes!!

    I managed to get through round 8, and was able to complete 9 burpees and 5 thrusters for round 9.

    I'm SOOOO glad that I convinced myself to get my little B to the gym this AM. Not only did I show up, which would have been better than not even coming, but I also dominated. A GREAT way to start a busy week -- with a win!!

    Breakfast felt like such a nutritious reward after my morning butt-kicking:

    Sliced Tomatoes, Cukes, & Yellow Pepper. Grapefruit. 2 Eggs

    AND COFFEE -- DUH!

    OK, recap of the past few weeks here we go!!


    Metro Dash 2011:
    I ran this obstacle course race with my really good family friend/practically cousin AD.


    Me & AD posing for pics with our medals post race

    Here are some of the highlights:

     Pulling then Pushing a Weighted Sled

     Flipping Tires

    Monkey Bars then Fence Climb

    Swinging Over the Finish Line

    There were a bunch more obstacles, but I thought these were some of my best action shots -- Shout out to Papa B for his awesome photag'ing!! Overall, this was a GREAT and FUN and CHALLENGING race. Though it took less than 12 minutes to complete, it was BRU.TAL.

    Sucking Wind Recovering Post Race

    Mustering the Strength to Pose for a Pic

    I was REALLY pleased with my finish as well!! 


    I would have even finished higher for women, but I decided to let my pride get the best of me and I flipped my tire the ENTIRE men's distance instead of the half that women had to do...Hey! I couldn't let AD do MORE than me!!

    SAN DIEGO
    So the weekend of Sept. 30th, I took a trip to San Diego before a business trip to Orange County. It was so so fun!! We did a lot of fun stuff, but I'm just going to do a quick photo recap!

    Cruising Around in a Convertible -- Only Way to Roll in Fun Diego! 


     Hanging with the Monkeys at the San Diego Zoo

     Playing with GINORMOUS Polar Bears!

     Getting Bear Hugs!

    Watching the Bears at a Chicago Bar on the Beach!! 

    Apparently this was a trip full of ALL KINDS of Bears!!


    Oh! And some gratuitous Sunset Pics for You:


    Overall, it was a wonderful trip! Ate delish seafood, went to the zoo, played at the beach (swimming AND running AND laying). We also did some Yogurtland eating, sunset watching, and overall GREAT time having! The perfect mini vacay before my work travel storm!!

    The Holidays with the Fam


    From Left: Lil B, Brother B, AD, Cousin SDubs, Cousin BDubs


    I HAD to include this pic, because we all look so adorbz (yeah, I said adorbz -- deal with it!)! This Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, was the FIRST year that all the siblings and cousins were together since before I left for college 7 years ago!! I really treasure the time I get to spend with my fam :)

    THE MARATHON!



    You can breathe y'all, I may be a crazy workout fiend -- but there is definitely NOT a marathon in my future. HOWEVER -- I would like to send a BIG shout out to 3 of my favorite girlies who not only RAN the WHOLE marathon -- but also knocked its socks off! LMW, Fritz, and Er -- I'm sooooo proud of you girls!!!

    Well, that is All for today. I think I managed to catch y'all up on my cray cray life for now!

    Phew!!

    Stay tuned for tomorrow's post (I PROMISE there will be one)!!

    Before you go, please promise me that today, especially if you're in the Chi, you will take one foot in front of the other and go OUTSIDE. Enjoy the sunshine, and at least Show up! You don't have to run a marathon, but at least go for a walk and take in this gorgeous day!!

    Yours in Fitness and in Health,

    Lil B