The Seven-Minute Workout: Too Good to Be True?

First things first, so sorry to neglect you, dear blog. The end-of-the-year madness has finally started to calm down at work, so my brain no longer feels the need to shut itself down and run screaming from a computer at 7:30 each evening. I hope to never leave the blog so high-and-dry again. Please forgive me, WordPress. I promise our honeymoon phase is not over yet.

With my Mondays & Wednesdays spent at the yoga studio, I usually go to the gym on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Atlanta had some seriously gorgeous weather yesterday, and I just couldn’t bring myself to stay inside, running on a treadmill like a hamster. When I got home from work, I laced up my shoes and took the dogs for a quick 2-mile walk, wondering what else I could do to make myself feel less guilty about missing a workout. While walking back home, I remembered a New York Times tweet I had seen about a new, super effective seven-minute endurance workout that had appeared in a recent issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal. My interest was piqued.

Hey, thanks, New York Times!

With 12 basic exercises that use only  body weight, a chair and a wall, scientists claim the routine routine fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort – a combination of a long run and strength training – in about seven minutes of steady discomfort. The payoff? The benefits of prolonged endurance training in much less time. Continue reading

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Not So Blue Monday.

Sometimes when your post-work commute looks like this…

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The only solution is this…

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Turns out that an hour and a half of twisting, stretching, and hanging in a silk to the sounds of Florence & the Machine does wonders for your mood, especially when followed by a steaming bowl of tomato soup and a beer.

Cheers to the beginning of this week!

Friday Favorites.

Oh hey, February. I didn’t even see you. Won’t you stick around for a while?

Time to get ready for tomorrow’s race! I just finished my playlist; it’s a little longer than usual and filled with slower jams to keep me company should I end up walking all 6.2 miles. Who knows – after this week, I might have big plans to try out for the 2016 Olympic racewalking team.

Calm Throughout The Storm.

What a day.

I was at work way early this morning to give a talk on social media safety and privacy to middle school parents. The talk went really well! There was a larger turnout than I expected, parents took notes and asked questions, and everything was going smoothly…until a tornado siren went off and phones started blowing up with alerts that all of Metro Atlanta was under a tornado warning. We moved our discussion into the basement until the coast was clear and the warning was lifted.

By lunchtime, a tornado hit Adairsville, a town about an hour north of us; by 1:30, the local sirens started up again. It was madness as we tried to communicate to the school and to parents the most up-to-date information about what was going on.

It didn’t take long for the tornado to make national news. As I was updating my BFF Mary about what was going on (she lives in Chicago) and how crazy things were at work, she commented, “Man, I bet your love of yoga really helps in situations like that.” You know what? I think she was dead on.

While I’m certainly not advocating taking a savasana while children are duck-and-covering in the hallway, if there is one thing that yoga has taught me, it is the importance of your breath. It’s ingrained in your brain from your very first class: “Deep breath in, slowly release. The most important thing is your breath.” After years of hearing these mantras repeated, I realized that I subconsciously have started to return to my breath when I feel stressed or anxious – and on days like today, where it is so easy to become overwhelmed, I’m so glad I do.

It’s seems so trivial to write about things as simple as breathing after days like today, and I’m not even sure how to conclude this post. I feel incredibly fortunate to have my home (and sanity) in tact and my little family safe with me tonight. Keep The Peach State in your thoughts as the rebuilding process begins.

Recap: Hot Chocolate 5K Expo

First things, first, the weather today was absolutely gorgeous. Think 75 degrees and sun – oh, glorious, glorious sun!

Mom and I hit up Figo for lunch before heading to the Hot Chocolate Expo – any excuse to carb load! Whole wheat primavera penne, you are my BFF.

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After lunch, we headed to the World Congress Center for packet pick-up. I was a little worried about how smooth packet pickup would be after reading some not-so-pleasant reviews of previous races in other cities, but I was pleased to see there were no lines, just lots of orange-clad volunteers and very loud music. Boom boom pow!

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(I’m not sure what is going on with my elbow in that picture, but it’s kind of freaking me out.)

We picked up our race bibs and sweatshirts with no wait. The sweatshirts, while surprisingly thick and super comfy, do run a bit small, but not so small that I had to exchange a size, so no complaints here.

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The expo had a cute little chocolate area in the center with volunteers handing out hot chocolate and little chocolate squares – a yummy preview of what we will be enjoying tomorrow after the race!

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We stopped by Big Peach‘s corner, and it was a zoo! Mom managed to navigate the crowds to get a neat little headband, and I picked up some thick socks for cold runs (if it ever actually gets cold). After that, we stopped by the Publix Georgia Marathon booth to get glimpse at the half marathon and marathon medals!  I had seen them on Facebook, but it was fun to see them in person and pick them up (heavy!). I’ll be envisioning that half medal around my neck somewhere around Mile 10 that day, for sure.
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Trying out new products is one of my favorite things about expos, and I am an admitted sample fiend. The Hot Chocolate Expo was small and definitely lacking in that area, BUT they made up for it by having the Biscoff booth stocked with full-size jars of deliciousness. I would be lying if I said I didn’t stick a spoon in it the second I got home. The husband is hooked as well.
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On our way out, we picked up our pre-paid parking pass (so glad we were able to purchase one) and passed the Cheer Squad station. I always love to see bystanders holding silly signs, and I hope I see some good ones on the route tomorrow. We grabbed one to pose with at the starting line tomorrow.
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After leaving the expo, we went to the yoga studio for Lisa’s holiday detox workshop. It was two hours of twisty, sweaty goodness! Definitely a good way to spend the evening before a race. I feel loose, limber, and ready for my 5 a.m. wake up call.

I just finished my night-before-the-race tradition of making my playlist, and now I’m trying to decide what to wear. The Weather Channel is telling me it will be 60 degrees tomorrow at our start time. Crops and a tech tee? Shorts and a long sleeve tee? Decisions, decisions. Hard to believe it will all be over in less than 12 hours.

See you at the start line, fellow Hot Chocolate runners!