We Rocked the ROC Race!

Last Saturday, I ran my first ever obstacle race! The ROC Race in Chicago, billed as “the craziest 5k of your life!” is the original game show-inspired obstacle run! It’s a 3-mile fun run filled with larger than life obstacle challenges! I hosted a giveaway for two free entries on my website, and fun surprise, one of the winners was my client Toni! So she and I, along with my 17 year old son and Toni’s best friend Chris, met up and ROC’d the ROC Race! The race was just as fun as I hoped it would be! The obstacles varied in difficulty, which made it fun for everyone. Some were easy and just for fun – like giant inflatable slides and a giant bounce house! Others challenged your strength – like the Get It Up (and Over) climbing wall, and the Gorilla bars. Guys. GUYS. Guess what? I did all the Gorilla Bars! I couldn’t do hand over hand, but I didn’t drop – I completed the entire sequence! And then get this – dropped backwards into the pit anyhow. OMG. How annoying! I lost my balance on my dismount. But there was a guy who was coaching me the whole time and that was super cool – “You’ve got great concentration! Keep going! You’re almost there. Steady pace, don’t lose momentum…” That REALLY helped because my grip was giving out but because of his encouragement, I kept at it! When I fell back into the pit, he yelled, “Great job! It counts!” WOO! Then there were obstacles that required balance, agility and coordination – like the Tight...

Let’s just say that bench and I have an intimate relationship and I’m pretty sure it had a smoke after I left.

Read more

4 Ways to Bust a Workout Plateau

My HiiT Quickie Workouts provide plenty of variety, intensity, and full-body exercises, but any workout can get old, and at some point you might feel like you’re not seeing as much progress as you were before. Welcome to Plateau, the land of frustration. First off, let me tell you that I don’t see a plateau as a bad thing. I know, living in the cornfields for too long has made me lose my mind, it’s true, but stay with me here…. You began an exercise routine. You cleaned up your diet. (You cleaned up your diet, right?) You lost some weight, you built some muscle, you feel stronger, you look stronger. BOOM. :::bicep flex::: Kiss, Kiss. Which way to the gun show, bitches? So you kept going. And life was good. And suddenly… one day…. the workout didn’t seem so challenging. And that was exciting! But soon after came….  stagnation. The weight isn’t coming off as quickly. You’ve got muscle but you don’t seem to be getting bigger or stronger. You’re not getting your ass kicked by every single workout. Fun fact: I’m there. Right now. And it’s tempting to get frustrated and wonder why you’re doing this to yourself if you’re not seeing progress. But wait! You DID progress! Your endurance and strength improved. Your body changed.  And now your body is all like, “We got this, yo. Come AT me, bro.” And now, your lovely new muscles are kicking back, hanging out, preening, taking selfies, and being all nonchalant n’shit. Time to up the awesome, y’all. Time to change it up. Time to raise an eyebrow at complacency and plan...

5 Tips for Kicking Ass in Obstacle Races

Obstacle races are all the rage right now! A combination of trail running, military-style obstacles, and even fear-inducing challenges (in one race, we had to eat raw jalapenos – and then run another 6 miles. WAH), obstacle races take competitive and for-fun group races to the next level.  They can be fun for the amateur and adrenaline junkie alike, but no matter your level of fitness and courage, be prepared for a daunting challenge, both physical and mental. You’ll need to run, sprint, jump, crawl, carry heavy things, pull your own bodyweight, “dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge” (Name that movie!) and even swim, and sometimes all in mud. Good grief. The designers of these races are surely masochists. Therefore, your training needs to reflect those demands. Do you want to learn how to kick ass in an obstacle race Of course you do. :::fist bump::: Here are 5 training tips for your next obstacle race. 1) Strengthen Your Stabilizers Your what? Your core muscles. Your core muscles have two functions – stabilization and exerting force. When stabilizing, you’re resisting force placed upon you. So you don’t, you know, fall over when something presses against you.  When exerting force, you’re recruiting core muscles to accomplish something. That might be balancing, pushing, pulling, even things like….. coughing. Or vomiting. Yeah wow. Ew. Anyhoo, I like to think of my core muscles like the trunk of a tree. The branches and roots depend upon a strong solid trunk, and can be only as strong as the trunk allows them to be. Therefore you’ll want to train your core to stabilize – think planks –...

Let’s Get Muddy! For a Good Cause! At a Discount!

Have you ever done an Obstacle Race? Believe it or not, I haven’t! I competed throughout most of my youth, beginning with power tumbling, then dabbling in AYSO soccer and 4-H sports, and on through middle and high school in track, volleyball, cheerleading, and one season of basketball. But as an adult? Not so much. Also, MAN did I suck at basketball. I even went on to play some intramural volleyball in college, and then coached girls volleyball and track for a few years. And I’ve always exercised. I loved competing….. mostly. But the nerves…  they get to you after a while. I’d get soooo nervous before competitions of any sort! I wish I’d been coached not only on physical conditioning and skills, but on mindfulness and focus and calming my nerves the f*ck down. I know the things that most held me back were nerves and lack of confidence.  There are a lot of people at my gym who do every race within a 30 mile radius, and I have to admit I’m a bit jealous of their shared experiences and sometimes wish I did them too. But two things hold me back. My nerves, of course, and this little thing…  it’s nothing, really…  it’s just that…. I hate running. MAN, do I hate running. I’ve tried to like it, but after 35 years of trying to like it I finally gave myself permission to NOT LIKE IT. MAN, does it feel good to give myself permission to not like running. But then some wise guy has to go and invent a whole new kind of event –...