Left My Heart in the Emerald City

Hi friends! Did ya miss me?

Sorry I have been kind of wallowing… didn’t know what to write about, didn’t feel like anything exciting was going on… just in a funk.

So while I meander my way through “the winter is coming” blues, here’s what I’ve been up to!

Last weekend Trevor and I headed down to Seattle to catch the CU vs. Washington game. It was literally the quickest trip I’ve ever had, but I had a wonderful time.

We headed out Friday night and made it through our 3hr 30min flight to Seattle.

Trevor was taking his reading very seriously 🙂

It is a killer long flight. Think about how far you can get in the Lower 48 on a 3.5hr flight. I always have to a bag full of entertainment to make the journey down south. This time I rented “Bridesmaids”, had my book, iPod, and well… I brought Trevor. Bugging him usually provides a handful of entertainment 🙂 (Side Note: didn’t love Bridesmaids, it wasn’t as funny as I wanted it to be, and they tried to mesh crude humor with chick flick… kinda awk)

Upon arrival, we got into football mode.. I told Trevor to make a tough/bad ass face and he did this…

Fear is now instilled in your heart… right?

Since we arrived at 10pm, it was a quick night. We headed down town to The Tap House and had some great happy hour hors d’oeuvres. I love restaurants that have late night food deals. This place had a ridiculous amount of beers on tap, so if you’re looking for a wide selection of brews, this is the place.

We opted to stay closer to the University though, save ourselves the traffic, and just walk to the stadium. University Inn did the job. Perfect location, continental brunch included, great price, but the pillows were complete crap. So there ya go!

Our Buff pride shined on Saturday regardless of the score.

We were literally barked out of the stadium (Husky mascot and all), but we had a great time seeing a friend of Trevor’s from college ROTC and his wife. I even got to see some of my sorority sisters that were out in Seattle for the weekend. Can I just say, I love being able to see my friends all over the country and world. Makes me feel like I have friends everywhere, which is always nice 🙂

From the end of game we pretty much had 12 hours remaining in our trip. I’ll be back tomorrow with the Saturday night story, and Sunday explorations!

Spin-spiration

Two weeks away from my normal spin routine, that’s 4 classes that I normally teach, and I was RAWRing to go last night.

I hit up my favorite gym at home and Shazam-ed songs that I liked during class. I constantly use my iPhone and this app all over the place. If I hear a song on a TV show that I think can work, I pause it and get my phone queued up so that I don’t forget it.

So between new instructors and having a wider range of radio stations to listen to, I was really excited to have a completely brand spankin’ new playlist for my first class.

After the elevation in Colorado, I thought I’d have a bit of an edge on this work out, but in the end I was a drenched sweaty, panting pansy. This is tough, but awesome….

As the weather gets colder (other places are getting colder, right? Just say yes), get inside and find a spin class that motivates you… Or print this out and push yourself! Either way, let’s do this..

Warm-Up:
I Don’t Feel Like Dancing (4:49) Flat road, get your legs moving, and do some easy stretching during the last 2 mins

Pump It (3:33) Intervals, 20s race speed (90%) effort, 10s rest. Keep this pattern going for the whole song
Now We Found Love (4:16) 4 count jumps -standing to seated for 1min, standing to hover for 1min… repeat
Grenade (3:42) Climb, turn it up and out to position three for the chorus, don’t touch the dial and sit back down for the verses
Titanium (4:05) Rolling Hills, build up a hill until :45 HOVER, turn it back down to a flat road at 1:16-1:31 and sprint it out, build up the hill again, 2:02 Hover, turn it down and sprint at 2:32-2:48, turn tension back up to an 8/10 to hover 2:48-3:10, standing jog, sprint with high tension on 3:33-4:05
Valerie – Glee Cast Version (3:35) recover for 40s, circuit track, 20s in each position, seated, standing, position three (standing climb)
Should I Stay or Should I Go (3:09) seated climb, with surges (80-90% effort) during the choruses
Paralyzer (3:25) Standing climb, add on resistance every 30s.. by the last 30s it should be really grinding, and pushing hard to keep moving
New Year’s Day (4:19) Cadence, if you have a distance moniter, track how far you can go during this +4min song. Try and stay with a consistent pace the whole way!
Jump for My Love (4:26) Jumps! Start with seated to hover jumps, then standing to hover, then standing to seated. All 4 counts, 2 counts for choruses. Enough tension must be on to stay in control!
Harder To Breathe (2:54) Circuit climb, 25s each position, and turn it up every time you move
You Make Me Feel (3:36) Hovers and sprints. Hover :40-:58, sprint :58-1:12, Hover 1:42, sprint 2:10-2:40 2:41 Hover, 2:59-3:27 sprint
Without You (3:28) circuit sprints, seated easy climb, seated sprint 1:15-1:37, Standing Climb and add tension, at 2:25 move out to position three add more tension, position three sprint 2:41-3:12, finish the song with a low and SLOW hover
My Body (4:04) SPRINTS!! 30/60/30 Add tension before each sprint to keep from bouncing. 1:00-1:28  1:58-2:58   3:28-4:00

Cool Down
Drift Away (4:16) Cool down, keep at least a 6/10 for tension on, let your heart rate come down, go through an easy circuit.
If I Ever Lose My Faith In You (4:32) take tension completely off, stretch out!

Push yourself to add the tension on… Your hills should be built gradually but each turn should make a difference in the amount of effort. Knock out those last sprints like its the end of the race and push to the finish line!!

Its great to be back in my classes and hopefully these playlists will get you moving too. I’ll be back later this week with a boot camp routine that was seriously a butt-kicker!

Have a great Wednesday!

Hometown Highlights

As I soak up my Colorado sunshine and meet up with all my favorite people, I also have the utter satisfaction of hitting my top places in Fort Collins.

I moved to Colorado when I was ten years old from Minnesota. Yes, I did have a sweet accent. Occasionally if you’re lucky it still comes out. Don’t ya knooow 🙂 While I did my elementary years elsewhere, Colorado has my heart.

So even though I moved away briefly freshmen year of college, and am taking a brief hiatus, Colorado is home to me. Did you know it is the sunniest state in the US? Suck it California! We don’t get those gross gloomy, smog days like you! We have pure, unadulterated, UV, beautiful sunshine!

And today of course was a glorious September day, basking in the awesome Colorado weather, so I set out to visit some of my favorite places.

1. The Cupboard

I love specialty kitchen stores. They totally speak to my heart. Beautiful plates, glasses, aprons, mixers, cookie cutters… Seriously I love them. The Cupboard is a love of mine, truly because it’s an institution in Old Town Fort Collins. This place has been around for +40yrs. If you are in Fort Collins, need a great gift, inspiration, or want to take a cooking class, please visit this place! You’ll love it too.

2. White Balcony

Source

This store is pure womanly magic. They have beautiful clothing, hats, cards, purses, books, notepads,wallets…. I could go on forever. I went in today and found a green sweater and shirt that I absolutely love. Boutique style shops can be a little pricey and sometimes too quirky for me, but White Balcony is a store I adore.

This water bottle jumped out at me, because of well, the Eskimo, and I thought it was cute and funny. Great for gifts, personal treasures, and gentlemen, you really can’t go wrong here if you’re looking for something for the lady in your life.

3. Big City Burrito

Burrito lovers meet Big City. Big City meet burrito lovers. Yes, I can hear all you Chipotle fanatics, but this restaurant has become a part of me. Literally, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten there. I can thank Big City for keeping any kind of fat/muscle on my body in high school. Chipotle is good… But Big City is unlike any other.

My order: Regular tortilla (in high school I downed a super in less than 10mins, thing of my x-country past), Chicken Mole, lite on the black beans, rice, pico, corn salsa, hit of house hot sauce, sour cream… and the best thing: ask for a side of ranch.

This burrito is life changing. It is impossible to eat it and look attractive. Do not do as I did and go on a date here. It is shameful and unattractive. But delicious none-the-less.

4. Elements Day Spa

If you need a massage I beg you to go to Michelle at Elements. I literally just got one and I feel like a new person. She works on your knots, and tension and leaves you feeling like a melted pat of butter. It’s not painful, or hold your breath while she works out a knot… its bliss. Go. Do it. Now.

5. The Breakfast Club

This is a little gem. Forgive me as I get sentimental. Both my sister and I had our first jobs at The Breakfast Club, and its a wonderful old school place for breakfast. The man who hired me, Shawn, is the general manager there and whenever I get the chance to come in, its like being part of a family.

I worked there every Sunday for about 2.5 years. I was paid $5.75 an hour, and got a $5 credit toward breakfast. In a 14yr old’s mind, I hit the jackpot. My favorite two things to order, to this day: Breakfast Burrito. It’s a monster smothered in green chili. My mouth is watering right now. Just trust me on this, no place does it better. Secondly, french toast. There is something about the BC french toast. Its perfect, sweet, and dusted in powdered sugar. How can you go wrong??

I have many other places that I need to go to, but these are my favorites. I also want to write a favorite list for Boulder because I spent the better part of 4 years there. But I hope if you head to Fort Collins you enjoy some of my favorite haunts 🙂

Hope you all are having a great start to your week!

3 Things About My Friends

Thankfully my life is full of not just “me things” but full of some of the most wonderful people in the world. They are all over the world, being amazing and generous people.

One of my friends is currently in Madagascar working for the Peace Corps. My sister is in Washington DC working on programs and events for the Smithsonian. And I have a wealth of awesomeness up here in Alaska, all supporting and living as military families. Not to mention my heart and soul of high school and college friends in Colorado…

So as I’m thinking about my friends, and how I met each one, I started to think about the things that make them the really good friends. You know, not just friends but the people you really can lean on. From my high school friends to my Air Force ladies there is a rather broad spectrum of personalities, interests, and where they are in life.

My idea was to think of the uniting characteristics that really anchor a person’s place in my life. I’ve come to realize that the people I really keep in touch with and that are permanent friends, hold certain traits that make them the people I can really turn to.1) Loyal This is the most important characteristic to me. To me this means that through distance, arguments, and the everyday changes we all go through, that as friends we grow together. You learn how to stand next to each other, stand up for one another, and are committed to the friendship.

2)Sense of Humor If you know me, you know that sarcasm is my first language. In my life I need people who want to laugh, that can take a joke, and that can toss some humor my way when I need it. If you can make me laugh I automatically feel a ping of friendship. I am definitely someone who laughs at the “kind of” funny parts in the movie… You know the laugh inside moments when everyone thinks it’s funny but not necessarily funny enough to laugh out loud? I laugh out loud. And unfortunately do this with more volume than I intend. So I’m usually the weirdo cracking up by myself in a packed theater. Oops… So if you can laugh with me or not laugh at me 🙂 then I think we’re pretty set. 3) Generous There are a boat load full of ways that my friends have been more than generous and thoughtful. I’ve been lucky to find people who will pick me up from airports, lend relentless support, and know that I may not be there in the same way. Since my life offers the opportunity/burden of moving frequently, the friendship I have are a pretty committed bond, to say that a friend will be generous with their time to pick up the phone, or meet me on a trip. Everyone is busy, everyone has thousands of things they can spend their time on… But my friends are generous enough to allow me to steal some time and energy so that we can stay connected.

I know its impossible to show appreciation for these things every second of every day but I’m pretty lucky.

Do you know what characteristics your true blue friends have in common? What do you think is the most important quality to your relationship?

Buggin

I feel like I need to check myself into an addiction clinic. Apparently I have a lot of them. I guess I’m programmed to become obsessed with things.

They don’t tend to be harmful though. So that’s something. They also don’t tend to be terribly expensive… I mean we already pay for cable, so my TV addictions are kinda a right off.. ish?

But there is one addiction, one obsession that has a tight grip on me. One that I can’t seem to shake….

I’m a grown adult. But I love me some ladybugs.

It all started when I was around the age of 8. My older sister, Elyse, had decided that she loved butterflies. I witnessed the power that this statement held on her birthday. She had tons of butterfly gifts. As a younger sister, I needed to find someway to copy this concept.

It couldn’t be something to close to a butterfly. I couldn’t choose a monarch just because the butterflies she liked where more colorful. It needed to be something different, something cute… something easy enough to find.

Ladybugs.

Red and Black. Cute. Tons of different items and options.

It started out simple enough. Some jewelry here. Some dorky clothes there….

But ladybugs took on a life of their own. It become a comfort thing to me. Whenever I saw ladybug stuff in a store, it made me smile… like it was there especially for me. And then my friends would say they thought of me when they saw a ladybug ____. It’s nice to have something that makes people think of me out of the blue 🙂

The good thing is that my mom has gotten especially creative on ladybug items. She knows I have plenty of earrings and I have more than enough ladybug stuffed animal (stuffed bugs?) but how fun are these??

Friends and family have joined in too… and I love my bugs. They make me smile and I remember everyone who gets me a new ladybug…

My college roommate got me this flattened wine bottle with the awesome Ladybug White label on it.

Trevor’s grandmother got me a ladybug pillow pal 🙂

And my parents gave me this yard flag when they came to visit.

Yes they are silly. No I probably don’t need them. But they are cute and make me happy. And well, I don’t care, I like them 🙂

Now if you see ladybugs I hope it makes you smile or roll your eyes because you know someone who really loves them. And maybe if it’s really cool you can tell me where to get it!

Do you have anything you collect? Something that people associate with you?

Spin Mojo

Last week I had a rough class. I was still sick. Still feeling rather foggy.

My class looked like they weren’t thrilled to find themselves on their bikes. They too were not looking forward to an hour of work.

I wanted to rally them. To bring their spirits up and have a great class.

But it didn’t work. Between my clogged head, some really cloudy gross Alaska weather, and their not so pumped attitudes we all had a blah day. I lost my spin mojo.

Tuesday though, I was on a mission. I needed my spin mojo back. I needed a confidence booster, to feel like my instructor glow was still going strong.

This mix brought my mojo back hard. I got that “je ne sais quoi” back 🙂

Warm Up:
Trouble Maker (3:58)
Rumour Has It (3:43)

Spider Webs(4:28) Sprints 15/30/60, get off the start line fast, have around a 7/10 resistance on where it feels like a little gravel is under your tires so that when you take off you can really push into the pedals :45-:58, 1:29-1:55, 2:36-3:44

Every Tear is a Waterfall (4:03) Rolling hills, don’t take it all off to sprint down, only take about a 1/2 turn off to come down a little of the hill. Turn it up 3 times every 20s, and then 1/2 turn for downhill.. repeat for the song

Til the World Ends (3:58) Jumps, switch between regular up/downs, with up/hovers

Edge of Glory (5:21) Climb/Sprints 30/30/60s Put your tension up to 8/10, like you’re in the middle of a hill already, then get ready to take off for sprints in between climbing, 1:04-1:34, 2:28-2:58, and 4:02-5:02

Where Them Girls At (3:15) Cadence track, focus on keeping a consistent pace, faster than your comfort zone, only maintainable for the 3 mins!

Bon Bon(3:36) Jumps

Crushcrushcrush (3:09) flat road with surges (surges are 80-90% of your max effort, sprint is all out 100%) :45-1:05, 1:45-1:59, Hover from 1:59-2:14, surge at 2:27-3:06

Fireburning(4:03) You’ve got four minute to really focus on pace. Pick something faster, not comfortable. You’ll really have to push to maintain it for the whole song

Rocketeer(3:31) Climb. Seated and out in position three climbing. Every 30s turn it a half turn. On the last minute make them big turns, make it steep and challenge yourself for the last 60s

Black Horse & a Cherry Tree (2:56) Have a little fun with this one and every time you here the “woohoo” change positions. Moving from seated, to jogging, to position three climbing. Push your pace for these intervals whatever position you are on the bike :45-1:05, 1:47-2:04, 2:31-2:50. Its an active listening/biking challenge!

Numb/Encore (3:25) Climb!! Last hill! Start out at a 7.5/10. By the end get about as close to 9.5 as you can. Its a slow slog but you’re almost done!

On The Floor(3:51) Last song, last set of sprints! Moving from regular seated, to a hover (jack up your tension) to sprints(take about half the tension you added off)
Hover at 1:22 Move down to sprint at 1:40-1:55
Hover at 2:32 Move out to sprint at 2:50-3:05
Last sprint at 3:25-3:45 ALL OUT!!

Cool Down:
I Try (2:56)
Angel (3:57)

A hard core hour of nothing but spinning. I got my mojo back.