Recovery Workout #1

I sort of lost track of posting this second workout! Sorry guys! Toe update: doing a lot better! I’m regaining the back and forth motion in my big toe, and I am back to my normal workout routine.

The first workout I posted was the one that I relied on most for the first two weeks (with some minor changes here and there). Once I got the dressing off and staples out, and I was able to put some weight on my foot again, I did this workout (or one similar to it).  This started to help me get my heart rate back up and incorporate a little cardio back into my routine.

Recovery Workout 

Repeat each set 3 times. Alternatively, you can set a timer and complete each set for a certain number of minutes (8, 10, 12 …) Use 5-8 lb weights for the upper body exercises.

Set 1:

  • 30 alternating side lunges
  • 15 squat to shoulder press
  • 15 pushups (on knees)
  • 15 ladder crunches

Set 2:

  • 15 jumping jacks
  • 15 side lunges each side
  • 15 upright rows
  • 15 rowers (military style sit-ups)

Set 3:

  • 30 alternating High Knee Pull
  • 30 speed squats
  • 15 tricep kick backs
  • 15 leg lifts

Set 4:




Toe Surgery and Non-Weight Bearing Workout #1

It’s been many months on the blog quiet front, but one of my resolutions is to change that!
So, two weeks ago I had toe surgery. I had arthritic spurs on my right big toe joint that caused me a lot of pain when I exercised, walked, ran, etc. It kept getting worse until I finally decided to go see a highly recommended orthopedic foot surgeon at the Rothman Institute – Dr. Raikin. I originally thought that I had a bunion, but he quickly set the record straight. Here’s more information on the surgery I got. The official recovery time was two weeks. During that time I had a big bandage on my foot, 9 staples in my toe, and I was supposed to keep it elevated 23 hours a day. Now, as you can probably tell, I’m super active  – and all of the sitting around drove me crazy. Within a few days, I was getting out of the house some, but I was walking well under 1,000 steps (200 on some days), and I’m use to walking 10,000 plus.


Naturally, by Day 5, I had managed to come up with some workouts that I could do, and I want to share them with you here. I was able to put some weight on my foot, but all of my early workouts were non-weight bearing.  These workouts were *NOT* the same intensity (obviously) as I was used to, but they were sufficient to keep me moving some, and without any weight gain (during the holidays, no less!)


50 min non-weight bearing workout:

Seated “cardio” –  25 minutes (I repeated this 5 times, which took approx 25 minutes. I kept my foot elevated during this entire sequence.)

  • 25 raise the roof (both hands)
  • 50 raise the roof (alternating hands)
  • 25 punches to the right
  • 25 punches to the left
  • 50 alternating punches to the front
  • 25 side bends to each side (arms straight overhead)
  • 25 small arm circles front, then 25 to the back
  • 25 large arm circles front, then 25 to the back

Body weight circuit. Repeat each 2 times before moving on to the next circuit. Or, go through the entire circuit once, then repeat. (Repeat more than twice to extend workout).

  • Abs: (sub out any of these for your favorite crunches)
  • Lower Body:
  • Upper Body: (I used 8 lb weights. I did most of these seated, and I even elevated my leg during most of them.)
    • 15 bicep curls
    • 15 shoulder presses
    • 15 upright rows
    • 15 tricep press backs
    • 15 bent over rows each side (I stayed seated and literally bent down.)
    • 15 pushups (on knees)


Try it out and let me know what you think! What other exercises have you done when you were injured?


Southeast Asia!

Hello from Ko Samui in Thailand!! I have been traveling for almost 2 weeks and have managed to get in a few actual workouts in hotel rooms and a couple super active days filled with biking or temple exploring.
We have also had quite a few days where we weren’t so active – because we were on a boat or traveling. Today, we laid around at the beach all day, but we are staying at an awesome resort with a fitness center (with equipment that includes free weights and TRX bands) in addition to the ample room we have in our two bedroom villa that has a private pool. Since our next stop after this is roughing it at a floating hotel with no electricity, I’m going to try and get in a bunch of good workouts here.

Today, I took advantage of the free weights in the gym and did a sweaty 35 minute circuit I pinned from Fitnessista. Check out her blog… It’s fabulous!

I will definitely feel this tomorrow! Let me know if you try it out! It can also be modified if you do not have weights by doing tricep dips not extensions and subbing incline push-ups for overhead press.


Food I’ve Been Eating (and workouts and mini-goal update)


The past couple of weeks, I’ve been absolutely killed by Sgt Nate –  boy, have I been sore! I did make it to yoga twice in the past two weeks, though! Mini goal achieved! I’ve also gone to a few Lithe classes, and I finally ran a few times. I’m running the 15K Hot Chocolate run in 4.5 weeks, but it’s been so cold that I haven’t really been running. Okay, so I’m a baby when it comes to the cold. But it snowed yesterday. In March. And it’s 24 degrees. Let’s just hope for my sake that the weather takes a turn for the better soon, and I’m able to get some good running in, since I’m approximately 35 miles behind schedule.


I took all last weekend off from working out, went to Maryland to visit some friends, and we spent Saturday in line at Georgetown Cupcake. We did some shopping and other things too, but the cupcakes – they are pretty delicious. I bought two – and definitely ate the second one Monday morning pre-snow-day-workout. (They don’t make good pre-workout fuel. Shocking, right?!)

I wanted a sweaty, hard workout that didn’t take forever, so I headed over to Sweat in my neighborhood  – I had to burn off that cupcake after all.

My Workout: 

  • 25 minutes on the treadmill – working with speed intervals. Changed speed every 1/4 mile. (I think mine went something like this: 5.5 MPH, 6.0, 6.5, 6.0, 6.5, 6.0, 6.5, 6.0, 5.8, 6.2)
  • 15 minute circuit – 1 min each, repeat 3 times
    • Pushups
    • Situps with kettlebell overhead press
    • TRX squat jumps
    • Single Arm Kettebell Row- 30 sec L, 30 sec R
    • Rest

I was pretty wiped by the end and though I wanted to keep the 6.0-6.5 MPH going, I just couldn’t. I was having some asthma-like breathing problems, which is no fun when your chest hurts. (Don’t worry, I got my prescription refilled today. It’s all allergy related.)  I did a little over 2.5 miles on the treadmill when all said and done. My legs were even sore today! 

Food I’ve Eaten (and made myself!)

I have *not* been eating the best these days. But I have not been eating the worst, either. It’s all about balance, right? I am tracking my food on MyFitnessPal again, though. For the most part, it has been going all right. Here are some things I’ve been eating.


Avocado, Tomato, Basil, Balsamic Bruschetta!


Thai Red Curry with Chickpeas and Vegetables (I am eating it with quinoa!) Inspired by:


Quinoa Flax Bread (from Whole Foods) with avocado, tomato, and egg, inspired by:


I also made my own hummus tonight, following this recipe! It is delicious – and I definitely cut my finger open while doing so, but seriously! Just like I’m never buying mayo again –  I’m now officially never buying hummus again.


Mini Goal of the week: I. have. to. run.  (even if it’s 24 degrees, but hopefully it will be warmer.)


10 Day Challenge: Day 9

Today is Day 9! I’m excited to have a beer on Friday – don’t get me wrong – but I have discovered that I haven’t really missed wheat or dairy at all. I remember feeling a bit more deprived the first time around doing something similar to this. I will post a complete recap of the 10 Day Challenge when it’s over; however, I thought I’d share some photos today to highlight some things from the past few days.

Food I Ate  (and Didn’t Eat)


I made Thai red curry with chicken and vegetables last night for dinner/lunches this week.  I added a little water to it, and I think I shouldn’t have – it turned out a little watery than normal. I made this huge pot of it (this picture was taken before the tofu was added), and it will last for at least 5 meals. It’s dairy free (and meat free for that matter), and I have been eating it over a cup of brown rice – that are pre-cooked and packaged in ziplock bags in my freezer. You just microwave it for 2 minutes. It’s genius really, just be sure to package it up when it’s still warm to lock in moisture.


I spent some time with Ingela and her family this weekend. They were super supportive in our no dairy/no wheat efforts. We would have made do, but they re-did their menu for us!  For dinner on Saturday, we had vegetable skewers and sausages. I found this recipe for banana boats for “Paleo” campfire treats, and they were absolutely delicious. We cut open a banana and stuffed it with a little peanut butter, some dark chocolate chips, and topped it with some almonds. Wrap it up in foil, put it in the fire for awhile, and enjoy. Brunch the next day was eggs with veggies and watermelon. Perfect.

I did eat a ton of chips and salsa this weekend – which isn’t the best, and not the worst thing. Technically fits with no wheat/no dairy, but *not* with the “real food rules“. Jess and I went to our baby cousin’s first birthday party, and while I did eat some potato chips, I did not eat any cake. It wasn’t that big of a sacrifice. Cake is not the thing I would eat if it were my last meal on Earth.

Things I Did

8 mile run on Saturday morning! Pace was great, weather was great, and Tamika came along with Matt, Jess, and I!  We did an out and back on Kelly Drive.


We are seriously the happiest people I’ve ever met post-run.

My knee started to bother me during the last mile. I’ve never had knee problems, so I decided it was time for new sneakers. Honestly, it’s been time for a few months. Philadelphia Runner had a cool Beer and Gear event (in which I did *not* partake in the beer), and I had a $25 gift card from a Body Cycle giveaway last spring, so I ventured over to actually spend some money on decent sneakers. Look how pretty they are? (Saucony Ride 6 for those who care).


I wore them yesterday and today and love them. Yesterday, I ran 2 miles over the Schuylkill for Ranger Training and then wore them for class – stairs, wall squats, crab walks, power step ups, etc etc etc. Then I wore them today for Kettlebell class. Love them.

Also, I want to leave you with my article of the week. Fitspiration is getting a little out of hand. Yes, it can be inspiring, but it can also be down right damaging, which I didn’t fully realize until reading this. He’s pretty spot on with a lot of this. I strive to be *healthy*. I work out hard, and too much according to some people – but I take days off each week, eat plenty to fuel myself, and listen to my body. Last Friday, my body said “don’t you dare go do a kettlebell class and expect me to run 8 miles tomorrow.” So I went to yoga. It’s important to make the distinction between killing yourself in the gym and training hard. Read this. It’s important.

My Week in Exercise

Here’s a rundown of the exercise I did this week, and how I feel about it. I’ve been doing a significant amount of drinking and eating this week …. so it was important for me to get moving this week. BUT – it was a bit of a slow week exercise wise with all the work I did the past couple of days.

Monday: I went to noon Ranger Training Bootcamp with Sgt Nate. The class was a little brutal, but no awful. FIrst, we started with a warm up run, followed by 10-20-30-40 flying burpees. (Think: burpee, 180 degree jump turn, repeat). Then, we did 20 frog hops down the field, lunge walking (in reverse) back. We continued with 5 bear crawls and 10 pushups (the “5 and Dime”) down the field, and sprinted back – 4 times. There may have been something else that I’m blocking out.

Tuesday: I was supposed to get up for yoga, but I didn’t. I instead came to Lithe and took Twiggy. It’s a non stop class with a ton of cardio cheer at the beginning, at least the first half. Then, you alternate some standing arm and leg work with more cardio for the last half of class. I was dripping sweat, in a good way.  That evening, I took another Lithe class called Waspie. Waspie is a slower more sculpting class that uses the blue bands, which always make my arms hurt. My legs were super tight on Wednesday from all of the standing leg work we did!

Wednesday: Morning 3 mile slow run with Matt and Jess. Read about it here. I also had an ultimate frisbee game that night. I played a decent amount – and definitely got some sprints/speed work in! We won – 3-0 now! – and I scored a touchdown/goal and threw a touchdown pass also! I’m definitely getting better on offense!

Thursday/Friday: Rest days due to work and going to the beach today!

Saturday: Planning on some kind of bootcamp type workout at the beach. I’ll be sure to post about it! It will likely be something similar to this workout from the Be Well Philly Blog.

Sunday: 7 mile slow run with Matt. Actually looking forward to it! I only ran 5 miles last week, but I’m not too worried about the distance. Working our way up to 13.1!

Summary: 2 runs (1 short, 1 long), 1 Ranger Training, 2 Lithe classes, 1 DYI bootcamp, 1 ultimate frisbee game

Next week is my last full week off before school starts, so I’m going to kick it up a notch in anticipation of my nutrition challenge in September. Stay tuned.

This Week’s Reasons Why Life is Good

I’m a little overdue for a “why I love life” kind of post. Lots to say.

1. This is so spot on. I wish more of us (me included) took this advice to heart. My favorite part: “Just eat food. Eat real food, be active, and live your life. Forget all the diet and weight loss nonsense. It’s really just that. Nonsense.” Read it immediately. Also, here’s another good article about the “f-word”.


Birthday Fun!

2. I had a blast on vacation, but I’m really , ridiculously happy to be back in Philly and hang out with all of my friends. I missed them!

3. I had the pleasure of celebrating two of my friend’s birthdays on Saturday. I love being part of people’s celebrations just as much, if not more, than I love celebrating my own accomplishments.

4. Mini Recap: My sister and I also went to Philly Dance Day on Saturday. It is one of my favorite fitness activities done all year. Organized by Philly Dance Fitness, it is super fun every year. Classes are mostly 45 minutes each. This year, Jess and I took Swing Fit first. It’s like Zumba, but with different music and movements. We did a little partner stuff at the end, but I sweat the whole time and thought it was an absolute blast. Then, we went to the YMCA on Christian St (It’s pretty nice there, by the way) and took a Hip Hop class followed by Cardio Pop. Hip Hop was super duper fun, and Cardio Pop left me a little sore the next day. Think: dance and fitness follow the leader intervals. They have a big evening party, but I’ve never been able to go to that. Maybe next year!

5. I took a run with Matt on Thursday. My first in awhile! It was a great day to run the bridge. It’s not a secret that I don’t like running, or exercising at all really, by myself. I clearly suck it up on occasion, as I did for most of my vacation workouts – but I’m happy to be back running with him again. We are *soon* going to be officially training for a couple races: The Sloppy Cuckoo (short distance) and The Oktoberfest Half. Run with us!


Taken by me, from cute little bleacher style seating, made comfy with lots of pillows.

6. If you haven’t been to this adorable pop up beer garden on Broad between Pine and Lombard, go immediately. I love it here. It’s super cute, cozy, and I never want to leave.  They serve good, local beer for $5 a pop. GO IMMEDIATELY! (Unless it’s raining, in which case, you might want to wait.)

7. My closest friend in the world (not including my sister) – Ingela – recently moved back from Savannah to Harrisburg. I’m super psyched that she’s only a couple of hours away.  Now, I just have to get her to come visit my sweet new digs.

8. Have I said how much I LOVE my new apartment? And we have a COUCH now. It has seriously changed my life.

9. I had 2% greek yogurt (instead of 0%) for breakfast with my usual granola and blueberries. OH MY GOD it’s delicious. And I wasn’t starving all day. Coincidence? I think not. There’s no turning back from here.

10. Due to my vacations, I took a month off from Rangers. I took some Lithe classes when I was home and ran on vacation. Yesterday was my first day back. We started with walking lunges down the green to a far tree, running back – 4 times. Then we did 360 pushups, split up in sets of 5-10-15, etc with running in between each “station.” We repeated that with flying jack knives. Then, we did a mile run. I survived. It felt great! I’m SORE today!

11. I am taking this pretty awful teacher training class. (Made for new teachers, and I’m going into my 6th year. *sigh*) In order to be a little more positive during the day, I went to yoga class Tuesday morning and am going again tomorrow. It definitely helps! At least after this class and one more year of teaching, I’ll qualify for my instructional 2 certificate!

12.  Speaking of my lovely sister, here is a lovely picture of us. She’s a perfect example of why life is good.


Taken by Pam, July 27, 2013