Last week’s workouts: back into running, at home workout, Orangetheory and CrossFit

March 27, 2017

Hello! Hope your week is off to a fabulous start! I’m trying to get things wrapped up here before we leave for our trip and it has me a bit scatter-brained at the moment. I plan on totally unplugging when we are in Mexico (besides checking in with the girls) so I’m trying to tie up all the loose ends at work before we head out. Here’s hoping the productivity gods shine down on me over the next few days.


Last night I got a bit sad when I started thinking about leaving the girls (I haven’t been away from them for more than a couple of days). I’m sure they will be fine (they are super excited about having time with grandma), but I am going to miss them like CRAZY! My whole world revolves around them so it’s going to feel really odd to be away from them. I’m sure I’ll be all out of sorts and crying like a baby when we leave {tear}.


But we really need some time away. Matt and I rarely have any time together just the two of us (we “talk” a lot through email and texts since when we’re home it’s usually all about the kids). I’ve convinced him to take a yoga class with me (!) and I’m sure we’ll put together some fun beach workouts to do. I’m definitely someone who likes to exercise while on vacation (I find I’m able to relax more when I include workouts) so I’m looking forward to mixing things up.


Speaking of exercise, last week I included a lot of different workouts. I’m definitely someone who does better with a variety of activities. I haven’t taken a run in several weeks and my body definitely took notice of this. Sometimes it’s easier to just take a class and get told what to do. I was finding it really hard to motivate myself to get out there for a run, but I was glad once I did. That internal talk can be so hard to tune out at times! But, honestly, I never, ever regret working out. I’m very thankful that I’m able to workout as much as I do and I’m so glad to have hobbies I enjoy. And I hope you do, too. Whatever activities you enjoy – whether it’s running, boxing, lifting, or hiking – I truly hope you continue to make time to do these things.


Here’s a look at what I did last week…


Last week’s workouts




  1. 2 back squats EMOM (every minute on the minute) for 10 minutes (I used 95# pounds for 20 reps)
  2. Every 3 minutes for 15 minutes (5 rounds) – go as fast as possible to earn as much rest time as you can:
    • 15 thrusters (I used 40#)
    • 10 bar facing burpees (it ends up being 20 burpees and jumps over the bar total)



At home – Total Medicine Ball Workout

I did everything the same, but instead of the figure eights I did jump squats. I also substituted the med ball slams for weighted sit ups (I couldn’t risk waking Ashlyn up from her nap).

A Fit Mess








3 Rounds:

  • 1 minute pull ups (my best was 7)
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 1 minute plank
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 1 minute double unders
  • 30 seconds rest


3 Rounds:

  • 1 minute ME cal row (my best was 16)
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 1 minute KB swings (I used a 26# kb)
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 1 minute wall balls (I used a 10# ball)
  • 30 seconds rest



5 mile run outside (I didn’t wear a watch, but I estimate this is how far I ran).






5 mile run outside (this is the crazy-happy face I make after a run when everything is right in the world again). PS – I have got to do a post about some of the affordable and cute workout clothing I have been getting from Forever 21! I bought 4 workout tops and the sports bra below for $50!


Enjoy your evening, friends!



Weekend highlights + last week’s workouts + CrossFit

Hello friends! How did the weekend treat you? We are having a mild and warm winter here so we spent a lot of time outside. The girls and I definitely soaked up the sun over the last few days.

Here are a few of our weekend highlights:

Friday evening bike sesh with these cuties. They are good little riders.

A Fit Mess

Friday evening wine and Netflix. I was so stinkin sore from Thursday’s CrossFit workout (see below) that all I could do was lay on the couch and be a bum. We recently started watching ACS: The People vs. OJ Simpson. It’s pretty interesting so far!

Saturday morning workout. I love kicking the weekend off at OTF.

A Fit Mess

Lazy Saturday morning in our PJs. P.S. I finally cut Ashlyn’s bangs. The hair in her face was driving me NUTS!

All the coffee. I like to spend my weekend with a mug in hand at all times. Who’s with me?!

Playground fun with my wild girls. You can just barely see Maddie’s feet sticking out from underneath Ashlyn :).

A Fit Mess

Wine time. Fun fact: I don’t actually know how to choose wine. I went with this one because it was made in Abruzzi, Italy which is where my family is from. It tastes really good!

Sunday morning I met my best friend for a little Target shopping. She’s pregnant and I couldn’t be more excited about having a baby for her. We looked at all the baby items and it brought back so many memories.

I worked a bit in the afternoon and then spent the rest of the day outside. I read for an hour while the girls played outside and then we all went for a walk.

Overall, it was a really great weekend with my kids.


Last week’s workouts


5 mile run (not sure of my pace because my Garmin died half way through)




Orangetheory – Strength / Switch Day

Alternating blocks of 4.5 minutes on strength floor, treadmill, and rower

Run included various pushes at 3% incline for distance, 250 meter row, and then run at 6% incline.


CrossFit (my first official class)

warm up included several rounds of back squats (8 or 9 sets?). I used 65# which felt fairly light, but I was just working on form and getting the movement down.

Metcon (AMRAP)  21-15-9

  • hang cleans (I used 35#)
  • toes to bar (<–so fun!)
  • wall balls (6#)


“Metcon” is just a fancy word for As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP). So you would start the workout doing 21 reps of each exercise and then complete 15 reps, and finally 9 of each. It took me 12:16 to finish.


REST – I was sooooo sore from CF



Block 1 (2-3 rounds):

  • 500 m row
  • 10 goblet squats (35#)
  • 10 DB pullovers (25#)
  • 20 swimmers


Block 2 (2-3 rounds):

  • 10 DB chest flys to tricep extensions (15# DBs)
    10 rear delt raises


Block 3:

  • 500 m row
  • 10 hamstring curls
  • 10 sit ups to cross body punch with DBs


Treadmill included hill runs and incline work.


5.65 mile run (8:30 pace)


I’m trying to figure out how to balance running, Orangetheory, and now CrossFit. Given the girls’ school schedule and my work commitments, I think I can manage to do each activity twice a week and have at least one rest day, maybe two. I really don’t want to give anything up so I’m hoping that I can fit everything in.


Here’s how I’m thinking I can structure my weekly activities:

  • Monday – CrossFit
  • Tuesday – Run
  • Wednesday – Orangetheory
  • Thursday – CrossFit
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – Orangetheory
  • Sunday – Run


Does anyone have any advice on how to balance these? I am obviously new to CrossFit, but I think I need to start out slow with just two classes per week for now.


Have a great day!


Last weeks workouts + my first CrossFit class

February 21, 2017

Hey, friends! Happiest of Tuesdays to you. I’m popping in to share last week’s workouts and tell you about my first experience at CrossFit. I’ve been sort of winging my workouts lately as I try and figure out what schedule works best for me, but I’m enjoying not having a set training plan at the moment. 🙂


Last week’s workouts


REST – took a walk during lunch because it was beautiful out!

Tuesday (Valentine’s Day)

6 mile run – average pace 8:05

For the last mile I did hill sprint repeats and my legs were noodles by the end. If felt really good to end my run with a hard effort and “empty my tank”. We are definitely soaking up the warm winter weather here in North Carolina.

A Fit Mess


CrossFit intro class (see below!)


3 mile run




Orangetheory – ESP Day (Endurance – Strength – Power)

Strength work included a lot of pressing movements (one arm DB chest presses) and pushing exercises. Ab work (planks, bicycle crunches, toe taps).

Treadmill: various incline work / pushes –> all out efforts


  • 750 meter row + 25 med ball overhead presses (I used a 12# ball)
  • 500 meter row + 25 med ball OH presses
  • 250 meter row + 25 med ball OH presses
  • repeat 25o meter row and presses until time is called


I’m not sure why, but this workout totally killed me. I was completely wiped out from the rowing at the end. I like to alternate between starting with the strength work and the conditioning. Something about the combination of the rowing and the med ball overhead presses at the finish just destroyed me.



1 hour walk outside with my sister <3


My intro CrossFit session


I have been thinking about trying CrossFit for a while, but just haven’t taken the time to check it out. I recently had a conversation with Matt about wanting to increase my strength and power in a group setting, and he encouraged me to look into it. I love working out with my husband, but our schedules rarely jive and he is booked up most days with Carpe Diem clients. Much of my strength work is done on my own or at Orangetheory. As you know, I love OTF!  The community atmosphere and workouts are awesome. So I still plan on sticking with OTF, but I wanted to learn more about the CrossFit program and experience it for myself.


Mostly I’m intrigued because CrossFit intimidates the heck out of me. I thought I’d share my initial experience with you in case you were interested in learning more about it, too.

You may have noticed that there are CrossFit studios popping up everywhere. Each gym (known as a “box”) is actually its own entity and – from what I hear – the workouts, coaches, and experience can vary greatly from one location to another. I ended up selecting the box that was nearest to my house and I scheduled a complimentary one-on-one training session with a coach (a prerequisite before taking a class).


Although I was a bit nervous pulling up to the box, I felt much more comfortable after meeting the coach and seeing the members. I was given a tour of the facility and my coach asked me a lot of questions about my goals, background, and interests.


We talked quite a bit about the program and the movements, what typical workouts look like (each class in an hour long, but the strength work lasts between 8-12 minutes on average), how the class moves (warm up, active work, conditioning, cool down), etc. I asked a lot of questions and my coach took time to answer everything thoroughly. There was a class going on while I was there so it was neat to see an actual workout in progress. I was surprised to see people of ALL ages, background, and fitness levels working out. I was impressed by how the members were engaging with one another. They were super encouraging and offered each other feedback and helpful pointers. It was so cool to be in such a supportive environment.


After the tour, I went through a quick baseline workout:


  • 500 meter row
  • 40 air squats
  • 30 sit ups
  • 20 push ups
  • 10 pull ups


I finished the workout in 8:25, but I wasn’t really pushing myself. I was just going through the workout and letting the coach analyze my movements. I completed most of the workout straight through, but broke up the pull ups in reps (4, 3, 3). Some of the movements were a bit different from what I am used to doing. For example, the sit ups were performed with a wedge under my back and my legs were in a butterfly position. For the push ups I was told to touch my chest to the floor. I managed to hit my face on one of those. 🙂 I did the pull ups strict because that’s the only way I know how to do them (a lot of CrossFitters do a moment called “kipping”).


After the workout, I stayed and talked to the coach a bit more and then watched the remainder of the class. A few of the members came up to me to chat and everyone was very friendly and down-to-earth. All in all it was a great experience and I plan on going back again this week!

A Fit Mess


In case you aren’t familiar with CrossFit, I thought I’d share some background info..


What is CrossFit?


According to, CrossFit is a fitness program that combines a wide variety of functional movements into a timed or scored workout. Common exercises include pull-ups, squats, push-ups, weightlifting, gymnastics, running, rowing, and a host of other movements. Programs are always varied and always changing.


Philosophy – CrossFit


We believe that fitness is a state of mind, a way of being. It shows up in the way you talk, walk, sleep, eat, work, play, dress and relax. It is the physical embodiment of the character traits of honor, courage, confidence, discipline, integrity, responsibility, dedication, and joy. It is also instrumental in reducing the immediate and cumulative effects of stress and anxiety. We’ve found that the fitter a person is, the more he/she is physically able to do the things that bring joy and fun to life – everything from feeling strong, confident and energetic through your normal work day, running around with your kids, being physically active and playing sports, to traveling to remote corners of the earth. Being physically fit is inspiring, feels good, enriches your life, and adds both years to your life, and life to your years. For us, the bottom line is this: Fitness allows you to live your best.


Have you taken a CrossFit class before? What did you like about the workout? 

Do you run alone? Stay safe with these 5 tips

February 16, 2017

Hello, there. I hope your Thursday has been amazing so far!


Today’s post is something I hope can serve as a reminder when you are running (or walking) alone. Most of us understand the general safety rules, like “trust your instincts” and “be aware of your surroundings,” however, it’s easy to become a bit lax with our precautions because we feel the odds of incurring danger are low. Unfortunately, the reality is that we should never let our guards down, especially women. Many runners have at least one or two scary moments to share, myself included. So, I hope these five tips will be useful to you or a loved one.


5 safety tips for runners


1.  Try to tell at least one person that you are going for a run, and if possible, where you will be running.

I usually let Matt know where I’m headed and how long I think I will be so he knows around what time to expect me back. Our neighborhood backs up to several winding trails which eventually loop right back to my house. This allows me to easily run long distances yet stay within a five-mile radius of our house. Having quick access to so many walking/running paths was one of the reasons we bought our house!


My Garmin forerunner has a feature called LiveTrack which allows you to connect and pair your watch with mobile devices. Friends and family can easily track my location and workouts in real-time. Most phones are enabled with GPS tracking as well.

2.  Avoid running alone in the dark unless it’s a place that is well lit and you feel comfortable.

I know this can be tricky for people who run early in the morning or at the end of the day. When I was training for my last half marathon, I had no choice but to run at 5:00 a.m. some days just so I could get my long run in before Matt left for work. This wasn’t the best idea since our neighborhood streets are extremely dark and in some spots I was running in total darkness.


If you need to run in the dark, be as cautious as possible and follow these guidelines:


  • Always wear a reflective vest.
  • Do not run on trails or roads with shallow shoulders.
  • Stick to streets you are familiar with.


3. Turn music off or lower the volume in a secluded or dark place.

Your hearing is invaluable and could save your life during a run. Wearing headphones makes you vulnerable not only to attack, but to collision with cars and cyclists. I know how essential music can be while running (Motivator #1!) so you don’t need to forgo music altogether, but be sure to turn the volume off in heavy traffic areas and secluded places. I would also refrain from listening to music while running in the dark.


4.  Always look directly at passer-bys and make a mental note of his/her appearance.

I know it may feel slightly rude to look squarely at a stranger, but try adding a wave or saying “hello” to make it less awkward. Not only does this let the other person know you have noticed them, but it keeps you alert, too. I try to make a short mental note of a person when I run by them, such as “black hair, green shirt, etc.” After you pass someone coming in the opposite direction, be sure to turn around to check that they are still moving in the other direction.


5. Keep your phone with you.

It wasn’t until I became a parent that I started taking my phone with me on my runs. I loved feeling unplugged from the world and I kept most of my music on my iPod. Now I have my phone on me most of the time in case someone needs to reach me about the girls, but it’s also helpful in case I am hurt and/or I need to call for help.


I created this safety tip sheet below for easy reference. Safety should always be our number one priority.

Safety products for runners:

Road ID bracelet

Reflective vest

LED headlamp


What tips would you add?