Monday, September 30, 2013

Ocean Prime - Philly

OMG y'all - I got to tell you....I went to Ocean Prime in Philadelphia last week for Restaurant Week. I went with Nick and Teralyn.  Teralyn picked it out.  MAJOR kudos to her because it was AMAZING! If you are local - you NEED to go or if you come to visit here -- GO! Our server was fabulous! He had great recommendations and always pleasant. Next time Mama Dukes is here or if my Broski and SIL come visit solo -- we are SO going!
I got a filet, mashed potatos and aspagras for dinner.  The steak was amazing - medium style and perfectly cooked. The potatos were perfectly fluffy and so creamy. I hadn't had mashed potatos in a long time.
We also had desert - the most amazing peanut butter pie EVER! Seriously! If you know me, you already know that this is my weakness, but this was seriously the best one EVER!  In the top of the picture you can see my second drink - yes, I said second.  My first drink was Berries & Bubbles which was Belvedere Citrus Vodka, Marinated Blackberries, Housemade Sour, and Domaine Chandon Brut poured over dry ice so it's smokey the whole time.  It was awesome! Also had Cucumber Gimlet which is Bombay Sapphire Gin, Muddled Fresh Cucumber and Hand-Squeezed Lime.

Good company - GREAT food and drinks!

Can't wait to go back for Happy Hour ;)

Friday, September 27, 2013

CrossFit - What Secret?

Alright y'all...I tried.  I tried to not blog about it.  I've tried to avoid the conversation with people.  I've refused to look at all the ignorant comments.  I understand CrossFit is newer (not really, but still to a lot of people). I understand a lot of people are drinking the hateraide. I get it, you HATE it.  OK so STOP F**KING TALKING ABOUT IT!! Here's the deal, we live in a time where everyone feels as though they HAVE to share their two sense.  So, share your thoughts and keep it moving.  You do NOT have to bash it into the ground.  There was an article floating around this weekend.  I am not going to say anything about the article except I think it is garbage.  You can read it for yourself if you'd like.  The gist is according to the author that CrossFit is the worst thing to ever happen.

Y'all know how I feel about CrossFit.  I love it.  I am in love with it and my box.  I love my coaches, my fellow Aspire members and our training. I love what it has done for my life, my health and my connections. I'm the strongest I have EVER been, in my entire life. I'm the happiest I have EVER been. Things are just coming together.  So here is what you should know...espeically before you try and make any "informed decision"....

1. TRY IT. If you have NEVER tried CrossFit, sit down. You do not have a say.  Period. I tell my students all the time, if you have not tried something (fruit, activity, sport, etc.) you can't have an informed decision on it.

2. SCALABLE. Yes, CrossFit is hard.  However, as a MILLION people have already tweeted, blogged or discussed, CrossFit is scalable to ANY PERSON! Hell even after I broke my ankle - the VERY NEXT DAY I was at my box.  I was doing the WOD.  CLEARLY I had to scale it and sub movements. The next 6 months I was still scaling and changing workouts.  We currently have a fellow member who is preggo (not to mention one of our coaches, Beth, who WODed and coached almost her whole pregnancy).  Everyone can do it.  You have to know what your limits are....which is perfect lead into....

3. PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY. I'm SICK of people trying to say that CrossFit will hurt you. No, it won't. Overtraining in ANY sport will hurt you.  PUSHING YOURSELF TOO FAR will hurt you.  You have to know form first and weight second. You have to know your body.  You have to listen to what it is saying.  I go 5-6xWeek -- but if my body is shot and I'm not feeling it - guess what that means? REST DAY.  And if I'm still not 100 by the next day, I take another rest day. If my ankle bugs me - or currently my shoulder is very tight - or it's not feeling right, you best believe I drop weight or don't do the metcon.  I know it is MY choice no matter what any coach or person says....

4. COACHES.  If you don't know - I have the world's best coaches. haha but seriously, I LOVE my box staff. There are bad coaches out there.  I get that and IF you want to have that discussion, I will gladly have it at any point at any time.  That's life.  There are bad teachers out there too, but I pride myself on not being one.  I also am TOO STOKED to become a L1 certified CrossFit coach. A lot of people who end up injured is due to lack of good coaching.  They have to know what they are doing, how to cue your position and how to teach form first. You have to be able to recognize good coaching and not good coaching.

5. HEALTH. This is the last thing for me.  Again, as I have already stated, I am in the best shape I have ever been in.  EVER.  I've played sports my whole life and have never been like I am now.  Broke my ankle 6 months prior to the Disney Dumbo Double Dare - guess what...still ran that race with NO training.  Just CrossFit under my belt because I wasn't cleared to run till right before.  Being fat can kill you.  Eating processed shit and crap every day can kill you.  CrossFit can NOT kill you if you do it smart.

Lastly...check out my girl Diva of Diva Richards Fitness - she's a trainer, CrossFit athlete and coach.  She pretty sums up what I wrote.....

Friday, September 20, 2013

Back To Aspire Love

Me & Peanut
Hello Loves! Happy Saturday! I'm finally getting into the groove of school, training, studying, and life, so hopefully back to semi-regular scheduled blogging!! The weekend after Labor Day aka the awesome California trip for Dumbo Double Dare (which you can read about a short thoughts here) was BUSY! I had made plans to keep the Peanut all weekend + had a school BBQ and CrossFit BBQ Saturday and run club fun Sunday.  I took the Peanut with me to everything - she's good like that. She spent about 6 hours in the pool on Saturday and two hours on Sunday. I LOVE that little girl - she's such a joy to have around and take care of! The school BBQ was fun - at my work BFF Nicolella's house.  Her dogs are AWESOME - seriously, they dive into the pool and swim to the bottom to get the ball - how cool is that? Peanut and I thought it was super cool - wonder if Scarlet would jump in?!?

Got to the Aspire BBQ late, but my bestie Jilly was there! I got to see her and her hubs, Tommy.  I LOVE love LOVE them! Seriously, would be lost without them. As always, I had a good time with my Aspire crew.  Didn't really talk to a lot of people.  Peanut and I didn't get there till late, so most people were in conversation.  I got to talk with TLyn and Kelly a lot, so that was good! Relaxed by Sandy's fire pit.  I love her backyard/house - so relaxing and makes me feel like I'm home.  It was a LONG day for both Peanut and myself.
Sunday started with Aspire Run Club........
I love my Sunday runs with the crew.  Our turnouts have been growing steadily and I love it.  Jess has even started coming.  She is brand new to running, and we all know how much I love working with new runners.  Ev comes too now! Such a good group.  The boy I have been hanging out with is in the picture too...but no disclosure on that...yet ;) After Run Club I also stayed and did some clean work with Caitlyn.
Got a new Clean and Jerk PR at 130#!

Kelly, Me, Coach Alycia
September 11th brought about the 9/11 Hero WOD - that thing was something different.  I really had to push myself.  I've been having some issues on my right shoulder, so it was a lot on my shoulder, but I did it.  We, as CrossFitters, do this to pay our respect and show we remember and value the lives lost.  There was NO way I was giving up! Took about 42 minutes, but it was done.  I did 95# for the lifts and 24" for the box jumps!

Aspire's Teams & Coaches
Last weekend we had a fundraiser competition - Beat The Streets - for Steve's Club. Aspire had a good turn out, as always!

Me & JC
I LOVE the thought of Steve's Club and really want to get involved - such a good thing and...some of my students are even in it...

Jake & Nilda - teammates
TLyn, Me, Nilda
I had a great time, as always.  I love doing CrossFit stuff, especially with my CrossFit crew.  It was good to see JC - one of my students from last year, and glad he has found Steve's Club.  Was good to hear how hard he has to work to get to the box to train and to keep his grades up.  Will have to check in on him! Had fun with my girls...and cheering on the other teams, from our box and others.
Team Snatchtastic - Jamie & me
I was lucky enough to pair with Jamie.  She's the best.  This lady is seriously AMAZING! When everything went down with my ankle, she was there when it happened and held my hand, she helped me with the girls before I took them to TN, she took me to and from the gym. Not to mention she is a BEAST! She got 1st in her last competition because she completed like 21 deadlifts in a min - I wanna say at like 175 or something too - amazing!
We had fun! At least I did.  I was the second to last heat, so I got to watch everything go down.  Lots of handsome CrossFit guys to check out ;)

As always, this past Sunday started with Aspire Run Club. It's just becoming a normality at this point haha!
This week has been good - Back To School Night at school and we got treated to sweet new cups from  our administration! Love them! I am so blessed to have a job I love so much.  I've taken a lot of time off this week, but yesterday I went and played with my snatch to see how my shoulder was feeling.  I do have my FIRST EVER Olympic Lifting Competition coming up...and....

I hit my FIRST EVER TRIPLE DIGIT SNATCH!! 100#!! Can you tell be the end of the video how excited I was?!? Even with my broken ankle this year, I've made most of my goals already - and just keep updating them!! CrossFit has changed my life! Can't wait to get my L1 here soon and start changing other people's lives!
Train Smart - Lift Heavy - Eat Clean :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

DumboDoubleDare Racecation Part 3

Finally...last but not last part of my DumboDoubleDare Racecation!! You can see Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed out. So obviously, my Saturday ended fabulous. Dinner with one of my favorite people in the world - My Tony! Always makes me wonder what would have been had we never moved apart from each other. I got home at a decent time and got to bed - half marathon mornings - especially runDisney ones - always have a early start! I was texting my girlfriend Ro all morning to see where she was so we could meet up.  We finally linked up at the corals.  She has not been training fully, and clearly with my broken ankle and not being able to run haha neither had I.  I only had a goal to finish the race and enjoy it.  That was her goal too!! In all my Disney races, I've never stopped at all the stops.  I'm always scared I'll be to slow and get held back.  This time, I did it anyways. I am a HUGE Disney fan so I can honestly say that all the stops made the day so much more fun!
Our first stop was Monsters Inc. I absolutely LOVE Monsters Inc.  Heck I went and saw Monsters U with no child - some people probably thought I was' whatever haha :) While we were waiting for Monsters Inc. - because there is always a line for pics, but totally worth it - I was texting Shireen.  Her and Jamie were running the half too... she ended up meeting up with us right after our Aladin picture...which isn't up haha! I just picked a few to put up!
My FAVORITE stop was with the toy soliders from Toy Story.  There was three of them and three of us stinkin cute are we? And totally side note - look how much more I'm leaning out? I've been stuck on the scale but people keep saying I look smaller.  I can't tell, but this picture def helped me see. Always a bonus!
We also stopped and had our picture taken with Darth Vadar. As we were leaving, a storm trooper was walking out.  We were kind of complaining out loud when he charged towards Ro and she got a cool pic.  Then he turned and bolted towards Shireen and I.  I LOVE this pic too!
Of course, we stopped and took pictures in front of the castle and it's super cute! And as a HUGE sports nerd, I thought it was totally cool we got to run (or by that point my ankle was sore so we were walking more so then running haha) Angel Stadium.
There was a car club on the back stretch - I love cars so that was really cool.  Some awesome classics and the people were very supporting.  By about mile 11 I was definitely getting tired from lack of running.  My ankle was sore (no more so then I knew it would be) but didn't hurt to bad.  By 12-12.5 my ankle was DONE.  I knew I would finish, but couldn't wait to be off of it. Mama was right at the 13 mile mark and complete changed how I felt.  Just knowing she was there for a race made ALL the difference. I never thought it could make that big of an impact, but it was awesome.  I hope she knows (or she will when she reads this haha) how much it meant. 

I know I've said it before, but CrossFit has changed my life.  There is NO way I would have completed those 19.3 miles Labor Day weekend without it.  For not really running and 6 months prior having broken my ankle, I am STOKED. 

My time stunk, but I had a BLAST, made new friends and finished!!  After the race, we headed back down to San Diego. We grilled out and relaxed for dinner.  I crashed HARD that night! Monday morning I woke up feeling good.  Ankle was sore, but not to bad.  We spent the day with my God Family. Cookout and kids and family - BEST time. I caught a redeye back to Jersey Monday night and went back to work Tuesday morning!  It was a great trip and just what I needed before school started back.  :)


PS there was a L1 seminar at my San Diego hotel that started the day I left...BOO!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

DumboDoubleDare Racecation...Part 2

Hello loves! Finally getting around to updating all of y'all on my awesome Disney racecation.  You can find Part 1 here. After an awesome night out with my God-sisters, Friday morning was an early start.  We definetly had a head start since I was still on East Coast time.  Mama and I headed down to Chula Vista to pick up God-Mom then got on our way to Disneyland! They dropped me off at the expo...which if you haven't heard by now, it was a not so hot experience.  I'm not going to complain or whine on here...stuff needs to be changed by next year's event, and I know RunDisney is doing their best to get it done.
God-Mom & Mama
After the expo GodMom, Mama and I went over to the parks. We went to Disneyland. It was SUPER hot. We did some of the smaller rides. The ladies also got themselves those know that spray you too! Haha they were funny! We rode the train around and did a couple rides.  I made sure to go see the Iron Man exhibit.  Incase you don't know - IRON MAN GEEK! Seriously - total geek out moment there. I left early and headed back to rest. Mama and God-Mom stayed and did some other stuff.
Me, Shireen and Jamie
Saturday morning I woke up and got ready for race time! Ro wasn't going to make the 10K because she did not get her packet in time. I got ready in my sweet new Sparkle Athletic skirt and Raw Threads shirt. Obviously I was nervous about my ankle.  I did not have a goal time or some PR I wanted.  Goal was to finish out the weekend with a healthy ankle and races done.  Thank GOD for Shireen and Jamie.  I meet up with them around mile 2 and they saved me.  I totally held them up, but they were sweet enough to stay with me. By the end of the race, I had two new race friends (both from California, so totally have to get out there for a race haha). We had lots of fun talking and getting to know each other. I really enjoyed their company and help.  For not running more then two miles since before I broke my ankle and it having been six months, I was pumped. Now for the coolest part of my whole trip. I have been running for about five years now - everything from 5Ks to Full Marathons - and I've never had family at a race to cheer me on. I had actually just finished telling my new friends about how my Mama was there to support me.  As we came into the last half mile or so, we came around the corner and Mama was THERE! It honestly MADE MY WHOLE RACE!! I've had friends at races before, which is always awesome, but to actually have Mama there was awesome. We finished the race and I headed back to the hotel.  I grabbed a shower and then had some brunch with Mama & God-Mom at the hotel.  They went to the park and I watched the Buckeyes play and then a nap.

Once I woke up - I headed over to the park and hung out with the ladies. It was super hot again. We just did some shows and a ride or two.  Nothing major. (My recaps aren't uber fun huh? haha) It was a fun day, but I was scared to be on my ankle too much.  I really want to go back and have more time at the parks. After hanging out for a while, we headed back to the hotel.  One of my ex-boyfriends and favorite people in the WHOLE world lives out there so we decided to go to dinner. It was honestly amazing to see him, and that could be an understatment.  It was like time hadn't passed at all. 
Me & Tony

 Didn't skip a beat. Always interesting to be reminded of such an amazing time in your life! Him and I had such an amazing relationship. We ended up spliting due to distance, but I'm happy we can still catch up and be such good friends.  You never know what will happen ;)

It was a good dinner and relaxed night to have before the half marathon. I made plans to meet up with Ro and Shireen for the half marathon. Next up...the amazing half marathon :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Finally...Dumbo Double Dare Racecation...Part 1

Hello Loves! Long time, no post.  Sorry for the delay.  Summer went SO fast and I felt like I never posted (too much actually living life and going non-stop) and now school is back in session.  I am LOVING being back at school.  I know I love what I do, but it's great when the very first day you are reminded of it :)

Let's talk California and my favorite stuff - running, WODing and DISNEY!!!

I started my trip on Thursday the 29th.  I flew from Philly to San Diego and Mama Dukes flew in from Nashville. When we got in we headed down to Chula Vista and picked up my God Mom. We grabbed lunch and caught up.  I then headed to CrossFit Invictus. Holy amazing WOD. We started with a fun game of musical medballs - like musical chairs - it was really fun.  I got to hop into their OLY section of the class - some drop snatches which I had not done before.  Got some great tips  and loved every minute.  Then we had a partner WOD - my partner was fabulous - 7 rounds - 7 push press and 7 T2B.  Remember I just really got my T2B so was scared I wouldn't be able to get them.  I got most of them and were close on the others. Then we had to go around the block holding a 25# plate above our head. BRUTAL. Totally needed it! Got Nick, Nilda and I a shirt.

Mama and I stayed at the Marriott Marquis in downtown San Diego. It was an amazing hotel with fabulous view. I definitely grab a quick shot from our room.  I LOVE San Diego - I forget how beautiful it is there.  I definitely want to go back for a vacay to San Diego and crash here again.  The pool look fabulous - and there was a CrossFit L1 seminar that started the day I for missing that! Anyways, I grabbed a quick shower....and my God Sisters Jennifer and Anna came to get me....
We started at The Blind Burro.  We got a craft of Sangria and I filled them in on life.  I haven't seen them since Anna and Nick got married. It was great to catch up and just be around people who aren't necessarily family, but might as well be family. Jenn use to babysit me when we lived out there and I was little.  Mom always says I reminded her of Jenn. After hanging with her, we totally are so much alike...I love it! We had some good food - seriously, it was really good!!

After Blind Burro Anna took us to Altitude. It had amazing views of the city and of Petco Park. We just chatted and hung out.  I had an amazing time and it was JUST what I needed. Part two is coming up tomorrow...lots of running and adventures with Mama and God-mom :)