Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Half Marathon Group!

Just wanted to post a quick pic of my FANTASTIC Fleet Feet Marlton Half Marathon Group -- they are ROCKING it and I can't wait to run Philly with them :) Tonight was their first tempo run and they did a great job.  I'm very proud of how well they did. We did 5x1mins in the middle of our 3 miles.  We ran 1.5 miles out, did our tempos (which ps I ran the first two at 9:12, and the last 3 at 10:15 -- wootwoot) and ran the 1.5 miles back. I felt great and it seems that my girls did too!!  I really enjoy this group and can't wait to see them finish in Philly (or see them after they finish since they are faster then me haha).

This is after their first tempo run :)
Joel, me & Mike - Coaches

haha - I thought that could make everyone smile! Off to bed - CrossFit in the morning with Jill! I'll leave ya'll with this

xoxo - Melissa

You'll Wish You'd Started Today

Ok, so today is the LAST day of July - it's the end of a lot  for me.  I want to give up diet coke and Wawa.  Now mind you, the only time I go to Wawa is for fountain diet coke or if I'm running late and need a bagel.  August is a new start for me - tomorrow marks the start of me commiting to this 100%.  This being training way more at CrossFit Aspire (hopefully I'll be able to start getting up in the mornings haha) and getting my nutrition better under control (more Paleo w/some clean eating and less crap). I tried to start last night - for the first time in my life I made real bacon (yes, from a pig and not turkey).

More importantly - I made Paleo banana bread!! Now you can find the recipe here --> http://paleomg.com/banana-bread-french-toast/ -- it was FANTASTIC!! I could not wait till this morning to try it. I even brought in some for Mr. G (our physical education teacher) who has joined the CrossFit world and who's wife is slowly moving their family more paleo :)  He said it was really good too!  Juli (Paleomg.com) is one of my FAVORITE blogs as she is soooo funny and has some great recipes.

My CrossFit time has been slacking as I am seriously struggling in getting up in the mornings.  I remember a time in HS like this too and my anemia was really acting up.  I am looking to go to the doctor to get checked out to see what we can do.  As much as I don't want to go back on the major iron pills, I am sick of being exhausted. I get enough sleep so I know that is not it.

August is also bringing me more #plankaday fun - I started with not being able to do 30 seconds, now I am up to 1:38.  I am hoping to get to 2:30 by end of August.  Fingers crossed :)

Here is a good picture to explain how I feel during planks haha

August is also bringing with it a chance for me to go back to Knoxville and see my family.  Tank's birthday is coming up on the 16th and I am looking forward to celebrating his 8th birthday with him on the 11th.  He sent me a pretty cool invitation -->

We are going bowling.  He has a little friend from KY that is coming down to visit him too and he doesn't know yet.  He's going to be very excited.  I am also excited to see Ms. O since she is pulling up and standing now.  Plus she is CRAWLING!! Such a big girl! Bonus is she takes after her awesome Aunite M which just makes me love her that much more :)  I've already talked to Johnny from CrossFit Knoxville about training with them when I am home!

Running is going great - I love being back to doing it as much as I do.  I am looking forward to ROCKING the Philly Half Marathon in September with my half marathon group.  They are really getting better. Plus, I have to start setting up a plan for my Disney Full Marathon in January. Can't believe I have signed up for a FULL again. I must be crazy haha

That is all for now.  I will leave you with this

Keep an eye on the blog and see how I do with my changes! What are you changing?

xoxo -- Melissa

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Single Isn't Just a Status

Single isn't just a status.
It's a word that describes a person
 who is strong enough to enjoy life
without having to depend on anybody else:)
So, I can't seem to get this out of my head so I am putting it down. Yes, I am 28 and single. No, I do not believe that "something is wrong" or I'm doomed to be single forever.  Some single people like to use the quote I put at the top.  I do enjoy my life.  Trust me.  Now more then ever.  At 28, I am in a lot better shape then I was within the last 5-6 years, I LOVE my job (both of them actually) and am genuinely happy.

I know that some people don't get it.  How I am ok with it.  I don't want to be single forever, don't get me wrong.  However, I want it to happen on its own.  I would like whomever he is to be enjoying his time right now too, that way when we come together, he's all in too!  A lot of people I know are having a hard time with this.  They have seen a lot of people in their life get married recently and wonder when their time is due.  It's coming. Don't wait for it, but don't rush it.  Don't settle to get it quicker either.

I remember being 18 and thinking Eric was EVERYTHING I ever wanted and needed.  Now I think about it and think how closed off we would have been.  Mom & I had a talk last night about how she meet my father at 15, was married at 18 and now divorced at 62 and living on her own for the first time.  She went on to tell me she thought I would have been married by now.  When I was in HS she thought I would settle for whoever and as I got older she felt the same. Now, she knows I won't settle but is scared I could be to picky.

Yes, I am picky but only because I want someone to be going as hard as I do.  I want someone who has the same interest as mine (not all but a runner or CrossFitter would be FANTASTIC) so we have some stuff to do together and some stuff to do separate. And clearly he has to be into sports with the Buckeyes and Bengals just being a major bonus ;)

Yes, I am 28 and single. And I really am ok with it :)

Love will find me when it's time:)

Rest Day

Happy Rest Day guys :)

They joy of Sunday for me is it is a semi-rest day for me.  Saturday is my long run day with my Fleet Feet Marlton half marathon group. We did 7 miles and my interval girls did great!! We started with a 3:1 and ended with a 2:1.  The biggest challenge for them is breaking the mental part that comes with running longer and getting yourself ready for half or full marathons. They are getting better about breaking through those boarders.  I am thankful to be able to help them and give my advice and opinions.  I enjoy helping people become runners and seeing them get better at something they did not think they could do.  The weather held out for us, which was great because within an hour of being done it was a down poor! Very hot and humid, but not bad overall!

The view from my front door.

So as I stated in Friday's blog - mama dukes came up to see me this weekend.  I didn't end up getting to meet up with her Friday after work since I went to Dollface's for girls night and to give a mini baby shower to Ms. JW.  So the original plan for Saturday was my long run with the group then CrossFit and head down to the beach.  But that did not happen!

The run took my girls a little longer then originally planned and our CEP Compression rep was still at the store so I skipped CF and stayed to listen to the rep.  Thankfully I did.  The rep introduced a new product for them - an achilles brace.  For those who don't know, in May of 2010 I got a slight tear on my left achilles.  I think it was just from over training and now being 100% smart about what I was doing. Anyways, 2 years later I still have issues and pain so obviously I was very interested in this product. Our rep was cool enough to offer to let me have hers as long as I promise to give her some information and reviews (and obviously share with ya'll too).

Obviously, sticking around for the meeting was a smart idea and I got a great BONUS! At that point I waited on mom to come to the apt to pick me up.  The traffic on the way down to the shore was MISERABLE and took forever, but I refused to get stressed over it as we can't change it.  Once we actually got down there - it was BEAUTIFUL
I had a great time with my family and enjoyed getting to spend time with everyone. Next time though I am packing my OWN cooler of food and snacks as I ate like complete crap!  We didn't get to do the Boardwalk in North Wildwood as by the time we got showered and ready to go back down it was raining and storming pretty bad.  Ashley, John, Peanut, Mom & I ended up grabbing Five Guys (more not so good for you food but AMAZING food) for dinner and then mom & I headed back.  I have to say that mom and I have an amazing conversation on the way home.  I learned a lot about my mom, her & dad's start, her opinions on me adopting down the road and how she feels about me being single! It was a good time!

This is the last week of summer school and I am excited for that.  I am looking forward to No Wawa August.  I plan on taking August as a time to get to cooking and trying more stuff, giving up Diet coke (got to find a new drink or excuse DC when I have my cherry vodka) and getting a LOT more CrossFit in! Heading to make my meal plan for the week and training schedule.  Until next time

xoxo -

Friday, July 27, 2012

Look What CAME :)

Look what came....look what came!! I am honestly SO beyond pumped!! Can't wait to get to use them - hopefully tomorrow morning :)

It's Getting Hot In Here

Where to start - I ended my last blog with a quest to set a new PR at CrossFit that night and I DID!!! I have a new weight of 125# for Back Squat x5 and I'm more stoked bc it was 115# and my x3 was 130# so I am definitely getting stronger! I just wish I could get to the gym more.  Someone last night asked me why I do CF and I said it was easy.  I LOVE it! I love the community of CrossFit, the fact that even though you are built up because of the people around you, you are never beating anyone but YOURSELF!! I have done things I never thought I would.  I can almost do a full push (pretty freaking cool!!).

School life is a little crazy - CC has shut down a couple more schools, I think four.  I am not sure what will happen to those teachers or students yet, but I am under the impression that I am still ok for the '12-'13 school year :)

Last night we had our Pub Run with Fleet Feet Marlton.  It was a good time! We had originally cancelled the run part since it was so hot, but people came up ready to run so we had some good runners for a 3 & 4 mile option. The new runner helped me push myself and we had a good pace! Upping my mileage is going to be easier having more people to run with and hopefully our Thursday night group runs get bigger! After the run, we went to Champps for some drinks and a appetizer or two :)

Ok - so with it almost being August, I have made the decision to have NO Wawa! BIG deal right?!? MAJOR! I am not sure I can go a full month without Wawa, but I seriously HAVE to get my nutrition under control. I mean I really only go to Wawa for fountain Diet Coke, but I also have a slight addiction to their plain bagels w/butter.  I really want to use August as a month for me to better my nutrition level and expand my education! It will be the lightest month for me in turns of work schedule, which will give me more time to train with CF and more time to get cooking and trying things.  Mom is bringing me her food processor this weekend so that will be fun too! I think I will also invest in a blender for morning smoothies and protein shakes, any suggestions?

Thankfully Alycia put out this post - http://crossfitaspire.com/2012/07/cheater-cheater/ - yesterday and I really know I have to change things!  I have pushed myself to where I am now, but now I need to get to the next goal! Please keep me in check and ask about things!

Between twitter and you guys, I need to be held accountable! I have to get better at cooking my meals and eating healthier/smarter! The goal weight was originally 150-155 lbs. and a size 8-10, but right now I just want to get healthier, stronger and faster. Since last January - I am down 30#s and two pant sizes! I am enjoying the journey and can't wait to hit some more goals! What are yours?

Well, with all that - I am looking forward to this weekend. Tonight I get to see most of my Jersey loves!! Tomorrow the FFM half marathon program is going out for a new record of 7 miles for our long run, then hopefully I will make the 10 am CF class.  On top of that Mama Dukes is coming up for a beach day at the Jersey shore :)
xoxo M

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Getting Ready to Rock-n-Roll

How cool is that picture? I am pretty excited for this run! Let's start by saying we all know how much I LOVED Fleet Feet Knoxville and how I really missed it for the longest time.  I started with Rob & Patti about three years ago at Fleet Feet Marlton, not to long after I officially moved to the Dirty Jerz.  It has taken me some time, but I really do enjoy my time at FFM now.  Mike & I (and an extra guy named Joel, who doesn't work for FFM) are coaching a half marathon program, with HUGE thanks to Brooks, to get a group ready for the Philadelphia Rock'n'Roll in September.  I really enjoy being back to coaching.  I honestly forgot how much I LOVED it when I was at FFK.  Last night was our first hill workout and it was very hot out.  You know that kind of heat that when you run your chest trys to expand to get in the air but you can't? I was feeling very sluggish and hot, and I know the group was too! This upcoming Saturday we are doing 7 miles and I can't wait to see their faces when they are done and figure out that they are over HALFWAY now!! I'm a proud coach :)

Summer school is starting to come to an end.  A week from today and it will be over.  I am ready for the break and looking forward to my time in Tennessee.  I have really enjoyed this summer though.  Between getting to know some of the staff better and getting to know more kids, it has been a great experience; however, I can't wait to spend some time in the south with my SIL, broski & the babies! Not to mention Austin will by 8 next month.  I can't believe it - my little Tank will be 8! (

Please notice that both are Nike OHIO STATE shirts :) haha

Plus when I go home - I get to see Ms. O crawling :)

You know what else is funny - back home everyone is getting ready for the summer to end.  All my teacher friends from Tennessee are tlaking about getting ready to head back to school and I am just getting out of summer school. Crazy! So August will bring not only a trip home, but hopefully more time at CrossFit Aspire and with my training schedule.  I know my biggest struggle at this point in my weight loss journey is my nutrition.  I have been reading up on the Paleo lifestyle.  I am starting to figure it out but I need to start getting better at planning and preparing! I think if I did like an 75-80% Paleo and 20-25% Clean Eating plan I'd be set. 
Hopefully in August I can play with cooking some of the recipies in my new cookbook and the new blogs I've found like www.paleomg.com -- which has quickly become my FAVORITE! Juli is fun and witty and I really enjoy her posts!  

Todays WOD looks challening, but the strength is back squats so I am hoping to get a new PR there!!
Back Squat 5
4 Rounds
20 Push-ups
20 Goblet Squats
400m Sprint
- rest 90 seconds

Enjoy your day loves!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Can we do it? Yes we can!

Where to begin?!? What a FABULOUS day! Let me first thank these two people....

Alycia & Justin from CrossFit Aspire -- they have become my biggest pushers with the new change in my life aka CrossFit.  They push me to do things I never thought that I could. Which brings us to today and my first CrossFit competition.  It was a team competition and CF Aspire brought 7 teams - and all teams ROCKED it!!

WOD #1 - 50yd Burpee Relay followed by 100 Hang Power Cleans -- we did it at 65#s.  AMRAP in 10 minutes. We really did well - we split into Shelley & Brooke, Melissa & me! We got through two rounds and I felt good. The Burpee Relay was a good time. I honestly enjoyed it.  By the end of the Hang Power Cleans, I felt as though I actually got the movement a little better! The pop seemed to come easier to me. I am looking forward to getting stronger at this lift!

Team Melissa :)

WOD #2 - 50yd Partner Carry, 100 Front Squats at 65#s, 50 yd partner carry, 100 box jumps - AMRAP in 10 minutes! Now while front squating and box jumping two people on the team had to hold a 15# plate above their head.  We actually made it through fully once and started the next partner carry! We really surprised ourselves on this one as we didn't think we would get through the box jumps! The Front Squats were a lot better then I thought. We moved through them well. The box jumps really got my achilles going. Had to be careful there since I have to run :)

WOD #3 - 25 sit ups (heels together & knees down), 20 Sumo DeadLift HighPull with Kettlebell (1 pood - I was very geeked for that part), 15 burpees & a row for 10 calories! This was actually the hardest for me as you just kept going. NO break.  Burpees you had to jump up onto a plate instead of jump up and clap! The Sumo DeadLift HighPull I started with the 1 pood and on the second round I was going to switch to a light weight but she (my judge) told me NO, you already started with the big one and you looked strong the first time, you have to finish.  When I was telling Justin about it later, he told me once you start with a weight, it is yours, you OWN it.

The workout was fabulous but more importantly I really just enjoyed getting to know more members from my gym.  I don't know a lot of people at my gym yet, but after today I really feel as though I have more friends. I have blisters in places on my hands I wasn't quite sure you could get blisters.  9 new non-popped blisters and a couple rubs mid hand.  I learned new tricks and really got my hang power cleans down. I am anxious to see how sore I am tomorrow. My hips and arms are TIGHT! I passed on the team outing at Pour House because I honestly didn't think I could get up haha!

Now I am looking forward to getting into the gym more and really pushing myself to the next level!

On that note - night friends :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Can I do 6 miles?

Look look - two days in a row! Be proud :)

Yesterday's blog was a little long and a lot of pictures.  Sad for you I don't have loads of pictures again, but I have some updates on today!  After work last night (and updating my blog) I went to the Acme to get my grocery shopping done.  Funny how life changes - who would have ever thought I would be grocery shopping on a Friday night instead of going out for a drink or three!  Anyways, they were having a special on meat and I needed to stock up.  Now, since I am not the best with meat yet this also equalled me calling my Mama to get some advice! Lots of good meat later, plus I FINALLY found coconut & walnut oil, I am good to go for a couple more days.  Need to grab some fresh produce this week from Springdale Farms.  That place has quickly become a HUGE favorite for me since most of it is locally grown and very fresh!

This morning started with a FABULOUS 6 mile run with the Half Marathon program I am helping coach through Fleet Feet Marlton! We really have a great group of people! I only had one person in my interval group today and she was really fun to get to know her better and talk about her journey.  She has had a fabulous weight loss journey and started running with our No Boundaries group.  I am hoping I can help talk her into coaching the NoBo group this fall for Mike. (This is in hope that I can get the 10K program started.)

After my run - I went home and gave myself a quick mani before grabbing a shower and heading over to CF Aspire to meet the one girl I don't know on my team for tomorrow and practice some of the lifts and see what weight we are going to do.  Obviously, we are not going to do it as scribed but will have to scale it.  I feel a little better after going over some of the stuff, but still very nervous for what is about to happen tomorrow.  Be on the look out for that blog! Ha - here is a link to what we have to do -- it is called Test Your Metal!!

After that I came to FF Marlton and had a fun day. Now I am going to head over to Ush's house to celebrate her birthday with my Jerz loves before crashing early for tomorrow!! Keep your fingers crossed and a little prayer for me :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Picture Overload...but you know they are cute :)

Life.  Life seems to never slow for me.  I make changes to my schedule thinking about how great the outcome will be, then either it doesn't turn out like I thought (imagine that) or something else happens and I have to make more changes.  Bringing life up to date.  I had an interesting talk with a un-named friend from HOME (Tennessee that is).  This week she told me that she was right. When by the sound in my voice she must have realized I had absolutely NO idea what she was talking about, she said she was excited that I was eager to get my blog up and going but made at comment at the time that I would never update.  You see - if you know me you already know this - but I am known to jump into things until my plate is almost overflowing.  I jump to the point of being semi-stressed but loving the outcome, which is why I believe I do it time and time again.

Right now that plate is full. I feel as though for once though it may be overflowing, but I don't think it is any fuller then before but that my life priorities have really changed in the last year.  Yes, we all know I've moved and I am coming up on my third summer in the great north east region, aka the Dirty Jerz, and I really do enjoy it.  I do miss the south, the way of life and the people; however, living 20 minutes from such an awesome city and an hour from the mountains or the shore make it great for right now.  My fitness life has changed.  The way I look at fitness, working out and life has really evolved, and more so in the last six months.  Being the first post since before the Shamrock Half...let's give a little run down :)

Shamrock Half was a blast - nice little weekend away with Hoover & Ro! Even though I had definitely not run enough nor was in half shape, I made it with a smile on my face and LOVED it! Sweet swag and got a hoodie which totally made my day! I paid for being under trained in my back; however, the Achilles was back and not to bad!!! I had a blast running for Team Racing for Veterans! Check them out and get involved if you can!! I am looking forward to more races with them & the awesome Megs!

That was really all of my March - April came and had fun -- Got to spend Easter down in DC with my Boo & her family and have Sunday brunch with Mama Dukes -- Boo was still preggos at the time, but as always we had a blast! Gummy has gotten SO big!!
Me, Boo & Gummy
Me & my Gummy
Spent Easter with my SIL and the babies -- much need week of just them!

Austin & my girls (Scarlet Tressel & LD)
Me & Ms. O
Also had the big 2-8 birthday in April! Had a blast with majority of my Jersey loves!!

LC, Ush, Fanning, Me, GF & T

I think April brought the Phillies game for running the Phillies 5K with the Wifey - so her, Bobby & jackass went (yes that is his name for now)!
Me & the Wifey
Me & Bobby
End of April and May were BUSY BUSY!! First we had Dollface's Bridal Shower -- it was a surprise for her and she def had NO idea if was coming!! She is by far one of my most favorite people so I was glad how well the bridal party rocked it - we are one FABULOUS bridal party haha :)

Next big event was the Bachelorette Party - McFaddens! We had a blast! And of course because we are such a fabulous group - we rocked the place!! :)
Me & Dollface
Dollface & her girls!
Me, Kels, Alicia & GF

Next up for my life was NJ ASK testing week which was concluded with Dollface & Cuzzo's wedding!! Mind you she is now officially family, though she has been the whole time! The wedding was great! We had a blast and I was surrounded by majority of my family and Jersey friends!!

Dollface & her bridal party
Me & Dollface - isn't she BEAUTIFUL
Cuzzo & me :)
Me & my bro
Ms. O & me

Now, May also brought into my life CrossFit Aspire which has quickly and honestly become my BEST decision ever!! I have never felt so welcomed by a group as well as pushed past so many boundaries!! The picture below is from our July 4th workout - which was team style and a BLAST!!!

June brought the end of the school year and Kelsey & Todd's wedding! The end of the school year was hard - I am looking forward to being out of 4th grade and back to the middle school next year, but I really loved that bunch of 4th graders! They taught me a lot of patience as well as love! They really were a great group!! I swear that Kelsey & Todd got married on what felt like the hottest day ever! haha no really but I felt bad for them until I saw Kelsey - and she looked cool as a cucumber and her & her girls were BEAUTIFUL!! It was a beautiful evening, and again I was lucky to be surrounded by a vast majority of my Jersey loves!!
Kels & her girls :)

Sorry for all of the pictures but that pretty much brings you current on the major happenings of my life! Of course there are tons of little things that I haven't said - like I'm no longer doing weight watchers and am moving towards a more Paleo diet.  It has become a semi 75-80% Paleo and 20-25% Clean Eating with an occasional cheat and Cherry Vodka and Diet :) I'm down another pant size which is fabulous!! I am helping to coach a Half Marathon program at Fleet Feet Marlton. We have a great group and I am really looking forward to seeing everyone with that fabulous medal around their neck!

I am really hoping to start blogging more about my fitness adventure, cooking and just the fabulous life I am SO blessed to live!