Throwback Thursday-A Fitness Timeline!

It’s no big secret…I’m obsessed with running but that hasn’t always been the case! I HAVE always enjoyed working out but have a strange combination of exercise ADHD and OCD. I go through phases where I’m really into a certain work-out and treat it like it’s my religion, then one day I am decide I’m bored and over it.  (Unfortunately that trait carries over into other areas of my life, but I’m not going to go there! At least not right now…)  Running is the one form of exercise that has just stuck with me….I like that it doesn’t (in theory) require a lot of thought, planning, or gear and it’s the best form of meditation/stress-relief/therapy I’ve ever found!

I was thinking about all of my past fitness phases, and in honor of “Throw Back Thursday”, I thought it would be fun to throw together a timeline of my past fitness obsessions! I’ll admit, some of them are pretty silly…but try to laugh with me, not at me! 😉

  • 1994-1999 (High School Years): Swimming and Water Polo

I loved swimming, even though practices were 3 hours day. Did not love water polo, but my coach didn’t make it optional for his swimmers and it was great conditioning!


  • 1999-2001 (College Years) Taebo, Crunch Fitness, and Belly Dancing Tapes

Yes, tapes….as in VHS! 😉 Being a “starving” college student, juggling classes and multiple jobs, I had little free time and even less money for a gym membership. So I resorted to doing work-out tapes in the small basement apartment I rented. I did the 30 min crunch work-outs when I was pressed for time, the belly dancing work-outs when my roommate wouldn’t see me, and I LOVED me some Billy Blanks!! 😉


  • 2001-2003 (College Years Part 2) Spinning and Weight Training

I took a weight training class for a couple of semesters in college (to meet PE requirements) and became obsessed with lifting! I honestly don’t remember how the Spinning part happened, but somehow I ended up at 5 am Spin class every day. I HATE mornings….but I loved spinning my legs really, really fast (or so I thought), on a stationary bike, in a sweaty room, with a black light and techno music!


  • 2003-2007 (Military Years) Air Force PT and PT Test

Yeah, yeah, yeah….my veteran buddies from other branches will say, “Air Force PT” is an Oxymoron.  It was pretty much focused on meeting weight standards and passing annual PT test (1.5 mile run, push-ups, sit-ups). I NEVER got over my hate/hate relationship with push-ups. Having to run in formation was ALMOST enough to make me love running a little less. The one time I got to “pace” a formation run, I was fired within .25 miles for running “too fast” and running too “zig-zaggy”. *Sad face*


  • 2007-2008 (Fitness Rebellion Year) Kickball and Dodge Ball

After my separation from the military, I relished my freedom and NOT having someone tell me I HAD to do PT. No one telling me I had to do push-ups and run in “non-zig-zaggy” lines! So I went through a short-lived fitness rebellion where I did no serious exercise. But I DID play on intramural kickball and dodge ball teams…AKA…drinking leagues!! Woo hoo, doing what I want!!!!


  • 2008-2009 (Come Back Year Part 1) Beach Body/P90X

After a year of “doing what I want”, I decided I was getting a little too old to “rage against the machine”…and I was tired of feeling like an unhealthy slug…so I tried to get back on track. I ordered P90X DVDs, and followed the program/schedule to the letter. (Minus the diet, because I don’t do well on diets!) The first few weeks every part of my body hurt. I didn’t loose much weight (not enough cardio) but I did get noticeably more toned.  And loved the active bonding time with my sister when she came over to P90x it up with me at my apartment!


  • ??? (The Fuzzy Math Years) Other Random Fitness/Sports Phases 

There are a lot of other work-outs/sports/fitness activities that I’ve gotten into over the years…but they either didn’t quite stuck or been very sporadic. That includes; Pilates, Yoga, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Kayaking, horse back riding,skiing, snowboarding,TRX, strip aerobics, and rock climbing. Honestly, I feel in love with rock climbing, and found it to be perfect compliment to my running, so hoping to start climbing again in April!


  • 2009 (The Hook) My first half marathon!

In 2009 I ran my first race ever, the Baltimore Half Marathon, and was instantly hooked. I was officially addicted to running from that point forward!


What about y’all? Have you tried any of the same work-outs? What are some of your favorite “retro” fitness routines or blasts from the past? 







Run. Drive. Sleep? Repeat. Throwback thursday! Ragnar style!

Rewind to 2010…I’m still relatively new to this whole running thing, and with a few races under my belt, I’ve become acutely aware of “Runner peer pressure”.  You run a local 5k and have a blast mingling with other runners post race…by the time you leave you’ve agreed to run another race (or 3)!  While training with a Co – worker for my second marathon (marine Corp marathon), he casually mentions that he isn’t going to be able to run a relay he signed up for due to a conflicting work conference.   He asks me if I’d mind filling I’m for him.  In retrospect, maybe I should have asked a couple questions, but without even thinking I respond with an enthusiastic, “Sure! It’ll be fun!”  So that is how I become a member of “Team Microsoft”. (Oh, did I mention I’m a geek who happens to know a lot of other geeks?!?)

A few days later I meet “chipper” Jim, the team captain, who gives me an animated explanation of the “Ragnar”.  My eyes are glazed over; confused by why I need a sleeping bag, snacks, multiple sets of running clothes, a head lamp?…by the end of our conversation I realize I signed up for a 202 mile relay that started in western Maryland and finished in Washington D.C.!  Huh?!?! What the hell was I thinking?!? I was intimidated but also thrilled to be part of something so insane!  All the arrangements were made, I’m runner 3, and meeting up with van 1 the night before the race to head out to a hotel near the starting line.


Runners from van 1, bright eyed and bushy tailed at the starting line!

This ended up being the best race experience of my life!  It was unlike any other race; it’s not a closed course (meaning you have to look out for cars), the terrain is varied/intense in places (with some steep hills and trail running), there are moments where I wondered, “where on earth am I?!”, and running through the pitch black country side with a head lamp on was a trip!  On top of that, the atmosphere was lively; with costumes, elaborately decorated vans, and plenty of cheesy runner humor (Like “Who fartleked in the van?)!


Running my first leg, first time ever running a hill this big!

  This race was the beginning of my “ultra-relay” obsession! To date I’ve ran 4 Ragnar relays (3 with my original team!) And 1 American odyssey race (a similar but admittedly not as well organized race).  I not only got a lot of great swag from these races (Ragnar race medals double as beer bottle openers! Awesomeness! ), I also developed many incredible memories and friendships! 


My original Ragnar team!

If you’ve never ran this style race before, I strongly advice given it a shot! (There’s that “Runner peer pressure” *wink wink*)

What is the craziest race you’ve ever been “Runner peer pressured” into doing?

It’s a Winter Wonderland!

The East Coast got hit with another nasty Winter Storm a few days ago.  I am beginning to wonder if my daughter and I are going to school and work again before March!  Not that I’m complaining, I’m enjoying the extra quality time snuggling up with hot chocolate and movies.  🙂  I slipped outside a couple of times Wednesday and Thursday, excited to hop around in the snow, to be quickly persuaded by the freezing winter air to slip back INSIDE and stay there! Last night it finally seemed warm enough to go play in the snow, perhaps in part because of the red wine I enjoyed with dinner. Haha

We got a big bonfire going in the yard and Ilana, Danny, and I spent a couple of hours playing in the snow. Ilana and I decided to build a snowman; I’m not a big fan of the snow and I HATE being cold, so it had been a long time since I built a snowman. I started by forming a compact ball of snow and rolling it up and down the large piles of on either side of the driveway….Whew! I forgot how much work building a snowman is! Granted, I grew up in Texas, so my snowman building technique may be less than perfect! Lol As my snow balls increased in size, and I lifted them up to pile my three not so symmetric mounds on top of each other, I began to feel a slight burn in my abs, obliques, shoulders, and arms. Danny noticed my effort and joked that I needed to do more cross fit! Probably true! Lol It did make me wonder how many calories you can actually burn building a snowman, and of course being the dork that I am, I looked it up later that night. I was happy to see that all of my playing in the snow, while not as high intensity as my normal cardio sessions, actually burned off the couple glasses of wine I indulged in at dinner. 🙂 Burning calories was not my primary goal, but it was a nice added benefit and a reminder that sometimes play=exercise.

So in case you were wondering how many calories you can burn playing in the snow, here are some numbers:

-Building a snowman=285 calories an hour
-Having a snowball fight=319 calories an hour
-Making snow angels=214 calories an hour
-Sledding=468 calories an hour
-Snowmobiling=234 calories an hour

Some ideas of more intense snow activities/work-outs:

-Snowshoeing=450 calories an hour (Seriously considering renting some snowshoes from REI to give this a try!)
-Cross-country skiing=510 calories an hour
-Skiing (Downhill)=594 calories an hour
-Snowboarding=428 calories an hour
-Shoveling Snow=414 calories an hour (Ok, so this one isn’t fun, but it’s ok to count it as your daily workout!)

(Note: All of these numbers are based on 150 lb person and of course vary depending on intensity)

Since a lot of us still have several weeks left of crazy snow, lets make the best of it and get outside, have fun, play in the snow! 🙂

Building my Snowman!

Building my Snowman!