Tag Archives: Michigan

Brooksie Way Half Marathon Review

1 Oct

I did it! First half marathon completed in Michigan; add that to runs done in Pittsburgh, Raleigh, and Richmond! I’d really love to run a half marathon in all of the states..bucket list-style ;).

The Brooksie Way staff put on an amazing race expo at the OU Rec Center on Friday afternoon and all-day Saturday with tons of vendors. Everything from running gear to shoes to energy bites were available for purchase; some vendors were nice enough to give away freebies! I was all over them, don’t worry ;).

The race shirts were bright color which I LOVE! The 5k tees were orange while the half marathon tees were lime green. I feel like bright, vibrant tech tees are so appropriate for races-they scream “look what I’ve done!” Yes I’m an attention whore and am always looking to get noticed :-D.

Wish me luck!

So what did I wear?

Bright at Night pant. Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve shirt. Swiftly Arm Warmers. Nothin’ But Run jacket.

The pants were amazing! So tight but in a good way. As I was trying them on, I kept asking the educators how they were supposed to feel; they all said to think of the pants as a “second skin” (this helped me get past the fact that every knook and cranny my legs have could possibly show). Throughout the run, I never once felt that the pants were restraining my stride, thanks to the four-way stretch and LYCRA to keep their shape. As I got hotter, the wicking material helped keep the pants feeling dry without weighing them down. They hugged my hips so I never had to hike them up throughout (something I’m known to do) and the 2 deep side pockets came in handy; when I went to take off the jacket, I stuck my iPod in there and it never slid out! Even after the race, the pants dried quickly so I wasn’t standing there freezing. I highly recommend these pants to those who are doubtful that you could get over the tight pants phobia; they really are comfortable and flattering!

The swiftly t-shirt was lightweight but durable throughout the race. It allowed me to breathe without suffocating me. The only thing about the swiftly short sleeve t-shirt was that it kept riding up; whether it was too big or too small or it didn’t agree with my pants, it got real annoying! But that’s a minor detail; nothing about this t-shirt I would change! It’s nice to know that it’ll last throughout a half marathon, even with all of the glistening that may or may have not happened ;). This shirt I can definitely see myself wearing on a run, a basic tee, teaching group fitness classes, and even as an undershirt for a night out on the town-it’s THAT versatile!

The arm warmers. Ohhhh the arm warmers! I think this was my FAVE piece of the outfit! Skeptical at first, I though they’d just be a nuisance rather than a huge help. First things first-I’m ALWAYS cold; going outside at 7:30am when it’s 48 degrees outside usually calls for sweatpants, a long-sleeved shirt, a fleece, and a scarf.. just for reassurance. I was nervous about wearing a swiftly t-shirt and the arm warmers with a light-weight jacket on top; standing there waiting for the race to begin is the coldest part. I slid the arm warmers on and made sure they were above my biceps (something to hold on to); even if you don’t have little goose eggs as defined biceps, the silicone dots at the top of the sleeves kept them in place throughout the race, before, during, and after sweating. The mesh material provided the more-prone sweating areas a venting system and the thumb holes kept them down. Towards the end of the race, I ended up rolling the arm warmers down to my wrists and used them as my personal kleenex and sweat band! Talk about a functional piece of clothing :-P.

The nothin’ but run jacket was light weight, water-repellent, had venting systems throughout the entire jacket, reflective detailing, a long enough zipper that kept my neck warm with a “zipper garage” to keep my chin scratch-free, and stretchy wrist cuffs to keep the wind out. I also enjoyed that the jacket was long enough to cover my butt (it tends to get very cold) and form-fitting; it indented where my waist cinched in, which adds a feminine feel to it. This jacket is the perfect accessory to wear for a run, to and from the gym, or as a fashion jacket doing everyday activities. After the race, it dried quick enough that once I got cold- shocker -again, I was able to wear it sweat-free.

The best part about the race? I achieve a PERSONAL RECORD! Once I saw the 1:50 pace group, I knew I was able to beat my best time of 1:48. I kept up and sprinted to the finish, coming in at 1:47! The outfit must have helped 🙂 All in all, the Brooksie Way half marathon was a beautiful yet challenging course; there were 3 forever-long hills that just kept getting steeper and steeper. I love when races take you through all the different parts of a city; we went through Rochester park, downtown Rochester, and through various neighborhoods and back roads. It was definitely a tougher race with the continuous hills but so rewarding at the same time.

Rachelle and I before the race!

One last best part? Being surprised when you’re finished by someone special… 🙂

On the Pumpkin Bandwagon

28 Sep

Well good morning loves and happy Friday! It’s been a crazy week; lots of office work, teaching group fitness, classes, and preparing for Sunday’s Brooksie Way Half Marathon! I’ve heard wonderful things about the course so I’m super excited that it’s my first half marathon in Michigan!

lucky bib # 579

Rachelle and I will be starting the race together but I’ve been informed- “DO NOT run with me!” Don’t you feel the love?!

I’m meeting one of the social media guru’s with the company I recently started working with; fingers crossed that I’ll have some AMAZE BALLS news for you come tomorrow! It may involve wearing an outfit and writing a review about it right here..who knows!?

Last night I taught Abs, Glutes, and Thighs at the Rec center! The workout will be posted on Workout Wednesday-stay tuned 🙂 I appreciate the social media department advertising my classes!

ESPECIALLY when one of the attendees (a fave one I may add) still thinks about me after the class with a shout out tweet  :).

love what I do!

Things I’ve been loving lately:

  • pumpkin. first purchase was Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice coffee. I like it but need a better way of drinking it..any suggestions? I like sweetness but don’t want to start on artificial sweeteners.
  • sparkling ice. a naturally flavored mountain spring water that has zero calories. if you like pop but want to wean yourself off of it, I highly recommend trying this! It’s fizzy and tingly going down but you won’t feel guilty about drinking one ortwoorthreeorfour a day. (Sparkling Ice did not ask me to review this product; I’m just obsessed; these are my own thoughts 🙂 ).
  • almond, peanut, & cashew butter. scrumptious. my friend, Sarah, introduced me to this last year and I just now decided to keep it as a staple..sometimes I question myself..OIAJ= 1/3c. oats, heaping spoonfuls of Greek yogurt, splashes of almond milk, chia seeds, banana all mixed into the almost-empty jar.

Is anyone else running in the Brooksie Way 5k or half marathon?

How do you drink your pumpkin spice coffee?

Hello Oakland University!

20 Aug

What a busy week it’s been!

Moving up to Michigan on Sunday, unpacking all my junkthings, setting up my room, making trips to Target, getting some-what settled, and saying bye to my parents all happened in one day.

One. Day. I tell ya..my family is really starting to get used to all of this moving-to-a-different-state-and-back-in-one-day business. I’m not sure if that’s something to brag about but I’m very blessed to have wonderful parents :). Not to mention our family-love for Starbucks helps fuel the trips :-P.

I made it passed the first week as a GA! It’s definitely going to take a longer-ish time to get adjusted but that’s to be expected, no? I’m taking one day at a time and planning for the best; thankfully I came from one OUTSTANDING fitness program with AMAZEBALLS people to another one with lots and lots of opportunities. Being at OU and working within Campus Recreation, it is much different from my work as a student director at NC State but in a good way; I’m anxious to get the semester started come September!

I spent the majority of the first week meeting the professional staff, attending staff meetings, learning the fitness equipment, navigating offices, and meeting the student staff that’s here for the summer (we don’t start fall semester doesn’t until after Labor day (yay!), so things are pretty chill around here). Since I’m the GA of group fitness, I want the next couple of weeks to be focused on learning the ins and outs of the program, the instructors, the rules and policies, and the equipment available before we start the fall schedule and students expect things from me! It’s really the perfect opportunity to get acclimated with the program before being the semester gets crazy..in a good way :-D.

 The first OIAJ at Oakland! In the mix:

  • the remaining cookie butter
  • oats
  • yogurt
  • almond milk
  • chia seeds

 Pre-made salads from Trader Joe’s! The meal plan I have on campus doesn’t start until September and since I’m close enough to Pitt that I can go home on the weekends before school starts, I’ve been relying on pre-made salads and easy to assemble lunches and dinners to feed me. Once the semester begins, I’ll be staying at school more and then I’ll finally stock-up on groceries!

Here’s a kick-butt workout I completed earlier in the week:

  • walking lunges, jump squats, elbow planks & glute extensions, sumo burpees. 20-16-10-6 reps, 1X through.
  • 10 T-push-ups, 20 mountain climbers, 30 floor jacks, 40 bicycles, 50s. plank. 2X through.
  • 10 v-sits, 20 plank knee-tucks, 20 russian twists, 20 back extensions. 2X through.

And for all of my FALL lovers out there..is this a sign?

Greetings From My Current Home!

26 Jul

I moved back to Pittsburgh last Friday and am thrilled to be able to take a couple of weeks off before heading to Michigan! My dad, mom, brother, and Jagr drove 8 hours to Raleigh, packed my stuff up, and headed back up north for a longer-ish (11 hour) trip. It was 3 hours longer because we stopped for dinner at a quaint sandwich shop in Fayetteville, WV. It was well worth it; the sandwiches were hand-crafted using local ingredients and unique combo’s that we never would have thought to put together! I had a turkey, peach jam, carmelized onion, and blue cheese spread sammy on a freshly-baked French baguette..mouth-watering good.

Saturday and Sunday were spent relaxing with my family; we’re reunited and it feels SO good! I haven’t been home in such a long time and I’m always missing family gatherings, dinners, and random activities that are done on weekends. For instance, my dad and I are HUGE car fanatics (I like to shop, he likes what the actual car does) and it just so happens that the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix was happening in Schenley Park! It’s a car show that showcases both vintage and current car styles and raises funds

“to help provide residential care, treatment, and support for developmentally disabled individuals in the Pittsburgh area” (source)

Although hot, it was a great way to spend the day and even got me thinking about Lola #2 ;).

Unfortunately, my parents do this thing called work and the 24/7 bonding time was over Monday morning. But that’s okay- I’m one of those Type-A individuals that can keep myself busy all by my lonesome.

Here’s what I’ve been up to: in pictures!

  • added onto my family’s gym membership. first membership ever! 
  • went to Bartram House bakery for coffee. every morning. *if you’re in the Wexford or McMurray area-you must stop in!
  • attracted construction workers attentions with my attractive get-up while walking Jagr 
  • eating delicious food. daily. that I don’t buy! *when I’m home, my job is to prepare dinner for my parents. I absolutely love my job 🙂
  • enjoying the amazing weather! cool enough to sit outside in the mornings and evenings. I went for a run in 58degree weather and my hands were actually numb-y post-run.
  • am baking again  when I lived in Raleigh, I didn’t bake as much since I’d be the only one eating it. now, since I’m with 3 other sweet-mouthedteethed, dessert every night people, I can bake again and not feel guilty about it going to waste..or me eating it all (whichever comes first 🙂 )

I received an email from Oakland U about moving in and the teaching schedule for the fall! It looks like I’ll be heading (more) north on the weekend of August 10! I’m teaching 4 new-to-me classes in the fall;

Core and More, Cycle, BLAST, and Abs, Glutes, and Thighs. The wheels in my exercisebrary-brain are churning already; I’m hoping Oakland U. participants will like what I bring!

I have lots more to babble about but I’ll save that for the next post; I don’t want to spoil all of the fun!

(Finally) Day 44!

20 Jul

 

9 hour days, 5 days a week, 40 hour weeks,  10 weeks, totaling 400 hours worth of corporate fitness is complete! I finished up all my hours yesterday afternoon but had to come in today to organize some things for when I turn in my internship portfolio later this morning.

It’s bitter-sweet; no more 40 traffic when the threat of a mistingrain arises (sweet), staff and training meetings are a thing of the past (bitter), seeing the people I formed relationships with (very bitter), long days of shadowing office hours and fitness classes (sweet),  being on a schedule (bitter), impacting participants lives in a positive way through instructing and training (extremely bitter), and most importantly, leaving Raleigh (need I say how bitter?).

I’ve called Raleigh my second home for the last 4 years and it’s hard to grasp leaving and not returning in a couple of days or weeks. BUT. When one door closes, another one will open and I’m ecstatic to go home and be able to relax with my family for a little before I head up to Oakland Michigan to start another chapter in my life book!

I met some lovely ladies for sushi last night  and to say good-byesee you later. (It was BOGO so when in Rome right?) We went to town and were shocked when the waitress brought a sushi boat to our table for 3 women (4 when our 4th showed up). A SUSHI BOAT. Granted, it was the size of a pontoon boat and not the Titanic, but still.. *A side note-we ate ALL of the above, and more..4 more rolls. 😉

My parents left Pittsburgh at 4am this morning so their ETA is ~11:30am and they brought a guest with them. This little guy is making his first appearance in Raleigh! The plan is to pack up all my junk, head to Jasmin’s for lunch, then make the 1-way trip back to Pittsburgh.

 

Finding My Balance

17 May

Recently, I decided to reach out to a nutritionist on campus for the first time. Lately, I haven’t been feeling like the energetic, outgoing, and upbeat Katie and to be honest, I can’t take it anymore. Things I do on a daily basis seem like a chore to perform, convincing myself repeatedly to exercise when it’s something that I naturally love to do, eating and never feeling satisfied, and being just.plain.blah. This internal battle has been going on for quite a while now and it’s really starting to affect me; this time in my life should be one of the happiest, graduating from NC State, starting an internship at SAS, packing up all my things and heading to a completely new state (Michigan), new school (Oakland U.), new program, new friends, new environment; NEW EVERYTHING! Stressful? Yes. Exciting? Unbelievably. Nervous? Extremely. Open to change? Definitely. Will it be hard? Without a doubt. Bring-It-On. I like to believe I welcome change with open arms; moving to NC when I was 18 to attend a college I had NO ties to, NO family around, and NO prior experience being on my own. I MADE IT!

“You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler” (Denis Waitley)

You: Katie, you’re stressed out.

Me: No, not me-I don’t stress! Palease.

When I finally made a decision to schedule an appointment with a nutritionist, I finally let my stubborn-guard down and realized, dang. I’m-stressed-out. Cortisol, the stress hormone, has got the best of me. Too much cortisol leads to:

  • impaired cognitive performance
  • suppressed thyroid function
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased abdominal fat
  • decreased bone density and muscle tissue
  • decreased energy levels

Although I don’t feel I show all of these signs, a majority I do. I’ve never experienced these symptoms simultaneously, that’s what I believe put me over the edge. Before anything got worse, I talked to my mom about it and made a responsible decision to contact the nutritionist. I briefly explained my situation, 1. because I’m still hesitant to realize there may be a problem, and 2. it makes me vulnerable. She recommended I keep an online food journal a week before our appointment so she can track and discuss my diet and exercise regime; My Fitness Pal is a knowledgeable resource that’s easy to use and has an extensive list of food choices (one of the major pitfalls of keeping an online journal is the limited food choices you have to pick from which leads to inaccuracy). My caloric intake goal is ~1800 calories/day with an emphasis on increasing fat intake as well as overall calories. Some tips the nutritionist recommended for me:

  • post-exercise, eat a small snack within 30 minutes of my workout that incorporates a healthy fat (I do this currently, but sometimes it’s not within that 30 minute window)
  • drink chocolate milk before bed.
  • eat iron-rich foods more often (leafy greens, red meat)
  • consider an omega-3 supplement as well as a daily vitamin.

She also recommended I see my doctor and have my thyroid gland checked. One of the thyroid glands main function is to regulate the body’s metabolism which affects weight, body temperature, hair, skin, and mood (among other things). A thyroid problem may be the cause of my excruciating stomach pain after a meal, feeling bloated all of the time, and lack of energy.

Being in the fitness industry, high-energy and enthusiasm all the time are a must and it (being a love of mine) should come naturally to me. I don’t want to have to force myself to do something I’m so passionate about. I’m taking the necessary steps to resolve the problem, learn from it, and move on. I need to feel like the energetic, outgoing, and upbeat Katie again :).

 

Day 3

16 May

After an exhausting Tuesday, I made sure to go straight to bed after dinner; call me a grandma, but I went to sleep at 9:15pm. I would have gone earlier but I got caught up in Guilianna and Bill :-P.

I slept in until 7:20am (does that even count as sleeping in?!) and felt a little more rested than I did yesterday; the storms throughout the night have me tossing and turning though. Once I establish a routine with my internship, my body will adapt (I’m hoping)!

2 scrambled eggs with cheese and spinach, a mini-pita pocket with humus, and a bowl of fresh fruit was on the menu for breakfast. The nutritionist mentioned changing up my breakfasts to incorporate healthy fats, whole grains, and protein to increase my energy and keep me satisfied- another change that I’m eager to make. I’ve also switched from lattes to regular coffee with skim milk and syrup; I like to have a cup with breakfast and a cup at work- it’s a big girl thing ;-).

On the agenda today: Employee Health and Fitness Day! A full day dedicated to employees making a conscious effort to stay fit at work by providing them with the tools, equipment, and ideas they need to be successful at it. Set-up for the event was last night; tables, chairs, and streamers-oh my! It was circus themed with lots of reds, blues, and yellows hanging from the ceiling of the gymnasium. A 5k kicked off the event; when the runners were done and heading back to the gymnasium, they stopped by the putting green where I was!  Participants had three tries to get the ball in the hole; not to toot my own horn but, toot toot I made them all-first try ;-).

Observing another fitness class tonight at 4:30pm- Step and Sculpt (sounds familiar NCSU Fitnasty🙂 ).

Because my internship is unpaid, I’m trying to find a part-time job I can handle on the side. It’s not ideal at the moment but it can’t help my shopping, grocery store, and having fun problems having a small income. I have an interview at a local gym; we’ll see!

Have a happy hump day!

P.S. I’VE BEEN ACCEPTED INTO OAKLAND UNIVERSITY! I haven’t mentioned it before, but I received a graduate assistantship for fitness and wellness back in March when I attended the NIRSA conference in Tampa, Florida. In order to accept the GA position, you must be accepted into the actual graduate school first (makes sense); I applied right after I came home and have been eagerly and nervously waiting since. I’m so grateful for this opportunity! I can’t thank God and everyone at NC State who has believed in me and pushed me to apply and interview for GA positions. I’m excited about the new opportunities, people, education, atmosphere- new EVERYTHING that’s coming my way in August.

Oakland University. Get ready-here I come!