Travel Workouts

A few months after starting Crossfit I had to travel internationally for work, where I didn’t have the luxury of attending regular crossfit clases. Additionally, my hotel was pretty limited on equipment and space, so I found myself having to get creative in coming up with travel workouts. Originally I thought I was going to be stuck doing treadmill workouts again, but two of my coaches helpfully sent me some links for travel WODs to save me the trouble of trying to come up with my own crossfit inspired workouts while away. Most of them incorporated body weight exercises and not much equipment, making it much easier for me to do a workout in my room if I chose. In any case, I thought I’d share a round-up of some of the workouts I did while away, in the chance you find yourself searching for workout ideas while on the road.

Workout One:

This workout I was able to do in my room, even with limited space. I warmed up by doing a few inchworm/spiderman stretches, followed by Frankenstein walks and two minutes of jumping rope. I started with double-unders, but out of deference for the people in the room below me, I switched to regular singles so I wasn’t jumping so hard. After I was nice and warm, I did a relatively short workout:

Tabata: Sit-Ups

Tabata; Hand Release Push-Ups

“Sally-Up”

I’m not going to lie, the Sally Up about killed me, but I gritted my teeth and finished! And for those of you who are wondering, a tabata is simply four minutes of work, broken up into intervals of 20 seconds of work followed up 10 seconds of rest. Do that 8 times, and you’re done! I downloaded a timer app to my phone that includes a tabata timer, so I didn’t have to guess when to work and when to rest.

Workout Two:

This time I headed to the gym for my workout, and warmed up with inchworm/spidermans, squats, and a short jog around the perimeter of the gym. Then I did 30 Manmakers, alternating between 10 and 15 pound dumbbells. The link gives you an idea of what the manmaker should look like, except our gym adds a right and left lunge with an overhead press at the end:

-push-up, right arm renegade row

-push-up, left arm renegade row

-squat clean thruster

-right and leg lunge, with dumbbells held overhead in press position

This workout smoked me, but I felt awesome at the end.

Workout Three:

This ended up being a shorter workout, but effective:

5 rounds of:

– 10 push-ups

-15 sit-ups

– 20 squats

I finished with 2 minutes of jump rope – 30 seconds on, 15 seconds rest alternating singles and double-unders.

Workout Four:

5 rounds for time:

-10 high knee raises

– 15-sit-ups

– 10 goblet squats (20lb dumbbell)

Finished in 9:27

Not for time:

2 rounds of 15 burpees

Workout Five:

Benchmark WOD: Angie

It may sound crazy, but I actually did this workout – voluntarily. I didn’t come up with it on my own, there is no way I would have looked at this workout and said, “Oh, gee, I think I’d LOVE to do 400 reps of stuff while I’m away for work and on my own!” Yeah, not going to happen. However, I was chatting with the Husband and he shared that it was the WOD at our gym one day. At first I was relieved that I missed it, but the more I thought about it the more I wanted to see if I could do it. Unfortunately, my only option for pull-ups was an assisted weight machine and I am notoriously bad at remembering how the machine works, so I ultimately ended up setting the weight too heavy, which meant my pull-ups were easier than they could have/should have been.Note to self for next time: it will definitely take longer to complete this when I do it with banded pull-ups!

100 pull-ups (scaled to 50)

100 push-ups (knees)

100 sit-ups

100 squats

I broke up my reps in sets of 10 and I finished each exercise completely before moving on to the next. Not surprisingly, the sit-ups were easiest for me. Surprisingly, the squats didn’t suck as bad as I thought they would have. I finished it 20:28.

Workout Six:

Cindy (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats)

So the first time I ever did a version of Cindy was my first “official” Crossfit class. After going through a bunch of technique moves and stretches, we ended the workout with a 10 minute AMRAP of Cindy. It was, to sum up the workout in one word, HORRIBLE. I barely got through 3 rounds in 10 minutes, and they were awful, poorly executed rounds at that. I used bands for the pull-ups and still couldn’t complete 5 correctly. Our gym teaches tricep push-ups and I couldn’t even do them from my knees – I had to move to a box and I still struggled. The squats were the only thing that weren’t completely terrible, but I still struggled with my form. I left the class feeling frustrated, weak, and beaten down.

Fast forward to just under three months later. I decided to do the RX 20 min AMRAP of Cindy, using the assisted pull-up machine since I didn’t have bands. Having learned from the somewhat botched Angie workout, I initially set the pull-up machine for 70 pounds resistance, but switched to 60 after 3 rounds. I found this was a good weight to complete 5 pull-ups – it wasn’t easy, but I wasn’t absolutely struggling to finish 5. Also in a surprise twist, I did “real” push-ups! I’ve been slowly working my way up from doing push-ups on my knees to the full extended push-up, and I found I was able to do a set of 10 at a time.

I completed 11 full rounds, plus 1 additional pull-up!

Compared to the horrific 3 rounds I completed in 10 minutes three months ago, this is proof positive of some pretty awesome progress! I was smoked at the end of the workout, but I cannot stress enough how great I felt about it when I was finished.

When all was said and done, I only ended up working out about every third day. I could have done more; but on the other hand I could have done nothing, so I’m satisfied with what I did. The best part was that I felt confident about all the exercises I chose, I know I got a strong workout in each time (vice doing a lackluster treadmill run), and I felt good about the progress I made.

Looking for travel workout inspiration? Check out this downloadable PDF chock full of ideas! Need some more? Here you go!

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Stitch Fix #6

It’s been over a year since I last received a fix from Stitchfix – so long, in fact, that I had forgotten that burst of excitement you feel in your chest when you get home and see that box sitting on your front porch, just begging to be torn open!

However I have to be honest with you here. I’ve had a lot of good experiences with my past fixes; but ultimately there has been at least one item in each fix that I ended up not wearing nearly as much as I originally thought – and some pieces I’ve only worn once or twice. And when I opened up this particular fix I wasn’t all that impressed at first glance. It was pretty monochromatic, and I was hoping for something…more.

bearfamilystrong.com | stitch fix review 6

As it turns out I was very pleasantly surprised. I originally wrote this post a couple of weeks after receiving it (I received this in late October) due to work demands and some overseas travel, but I’ve worn every piece of this fix on a routine basis since then. Everything is 100% cozy and comfortable, and each piece fits into my already existing wardrobe perfectly. I mean, my stylist could not have been more right about this fix if she were related to me.

Confession: I actually took all these pictures while I was traveling, so the wardrobe I had to work with was somewhat limited. That just goes to show you how well this fix fits my style, and highlights how versatile these pieces are! So, without further ado, on with the “show”!

Tommy Pointelle Weaved Pullover Sweater

Confession #2: I actually owned this sweater for a few days before I realized that it was dark gray, and not the brown I originally thought. Maybe because the lighting in my bedroom was bad, but I was sort of taken back when I got to work the next day and realized my mistake.

When I scheduled a fall fix, I was hoping to get one of those bulky, slouchy sweater that’s so popular nowadays. You know, the kind you wear with black leggings and boot socks and high boots and your hair up in a messy bun? Yeah, that look. Unfortunately, that look isn’t really me. So instead I got the Tommy Pointelle Weaved Pullover Sweater – which is heavy enough to keep me warm, but also perfectly fitted. I love that I can wear it to work just as easily as I can for everyday errands – it can be dressed up or down.

Working with a very minimal wardrobe, I paired this sweater two ways:

bearfamilystrong.com | tommy pointelle weaved pullover sweater

Ok so admittedly it’s practically the same outfit, but it works.

Greenich Striped Knit Top

I could barely hold my excitement when I pulled out this top. Stripes and elbow patches! Elbow patches and stripes! I have no idea where my elbow patch fetish suddenly came from – this is now the first and only shirt I’ve owned that has elbow patches – but I love, love, love them. And this top. It’s slightly longer in the back, but not too much to be weird, and I adore the little touches of leather at some of the seams. (Note to self: do NOT wash this in the machine!!) This top by itself may not keep me as warm in the winter as the sweater, but you can easily pair this with a cardigan for layered warmth.

bearfamilystrong.com | greenich striped knit top

Liverpool Skinny Pant

These pants gave me pause. For one thing, they are almost 100% exactly like the Sanctuary Skinny Ponte pants I received in my first ever fix. Seriously. I really can’t tell the difference between the two. And it just so happened that I was wearing the Sanctuary Skinny Ponte pants when I was trying on the rest of my fix. I’m not sure why my stylist sent me, essentially, a pair of pants that I already own, but. The Sanctuary Skinny Ponte pants are THE Stitchfix item I wear the most. They are hands down my favorite pants and I wear them on a regular basis…so much so, that I have started to notice a little wear in the seams.

Which is why I had to keep the Liverpool Skinny Pants that came in my fix.

Disclaimer: the pants in these pictures actually ARE the sanctuary pants, because those are the ones I packed for my trip. Seriously, though. SAME PANTS.

bearfamilystrong.com | liverpool skinny pants

Salderas Hooded Cardigan

Out of the entire fix this is the item I was most on the fence about. I love cardigans, and the fact that this one has a hood almost sealed the deal for me. However, it’s slightly slouchy and a little bit big because of the style, so I just wasn’t sure if it was something I would wear often or not. As much as I think I like the slouchy, oversized clothing look I mentioned in my sweater review above, I’m much more comfortable in clothes that are fitted (not tight or revealing) than clothes that hang on me. So I tried this on with a couple of different things, thought about it a bit…and then realized that it’s actually a better deal to keep all five items, get my 25% discount, and call it a day. (This 25% discount deal has gotten me into trouble in the past. Probably definitely the reason I have a couple of pieces that I rarely, if ever, wear.

However, this cardigan turned out to be the PERFECT travel item. I layered it over a long sleeve tee and jeans and it was absolutely divine on the plane. Long enough to wrap around me when I got chilly, and the hood? Can it be any more perfect for sleeping on a plane? So I kept the cardigan, and I’ve worn it a lot more than I expected to!

bearfamilystrong.com | salderas hooded cardigan

Chloe Houndstooth Infinity Scarf

So, I have been crushing on infinity scarves pretty much for forever. The thing is, until about a week before I received this fix I owned a grand total of zero. I bought my first infinity scarf at DSW, because I was in desperate need of new shoes for work (and not in the typical, “ohmyword I have three hundred pair of shoes and I need another one” desperate need; I literally did not have any work shoes), and the scarf looked so cute that I was able to talk my husband into letting me buy it. And then I got my Stitchfix box a week later and not only do I have an infinity scarf, but it’s an infinity scarf that literally works with every single other piece of my fix! (Seriously, did you notice? If I added one more pair of pants to this fix, I could make about twenty different outfits!)

Initially I was a little taken back with the houndstooth and the colors – like I mentioned, at first I was bummed with the color scheme of my fix. But I started trying this scarf on with different pieces and fell in love with it. The end.

bearfamilystrong.com | chloe houndstooth infinity scarf

Bottom line? Even if I hadn’t saved 25% by keeping all five items this fix would have been worth every cent.

So, what is Stitch Fix?

It’s essentially a personal shopping service you can sign up for online. You fill out a fairly extensive style survey questionnaire (answering questions on both your likes and your body type), and one of their personal stylists picks out items based on your specifications. Then, each month (or however often you schedule your fixes), a cute little box arrives at your door filled with five items for you to try on and decide whether or not you like them enough to buy! It’s perfect because you can try on the clothes with other pieces from your closet, skype with friends or family to get a second (or third or fourth opinion), and whatever you decide not to buy, you simple mail back in the prepaid envelope included in your box! Simple as that!

You do pay a $20 styling fee for each fix, but that $20 goes towards anything you purchase. If you decide not to buy anything, you lose $20, but if you buy all five items in your box, you get a 25% discount.

(Disclaimer: use this code to sign up and I get a $25 referral credit.)

Staycation Weekend – February 2014

Hello and Happy Tuesday! So because Kevin had to work last weekend we decided to celebrate Valentines Day and our six month anniversary a week later! Since we’re on a bit of a budget we decided to stay in the area instead of truly “going away” for the weekend. Originally I wanted to stay in a little boutique hotel in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, but then I found a special deal on a hotel in the Dulles area for – are you ready for this? — $56 per night. And this wasn’t just any hotel on sale – this was the hotel that Kevin and I usually stayed at on our layovers in DC when we were in between overseas for work – so it holds some sentimental value. For those who are interested, we stayed at the Hyatt Place Dulles-Herndon East. (For the record, there is also a Hyatt Place Dulles North and Dulles South, but no West. Interesting.) Anyway – this hotel is a complete gem for the price (Usually the cost is typically around $89 or $99 per night). Not only does it includes a hot breakfast, which is a huge bonus for me seeing how much I love food, but it also boasts 24 hour room service, a bar, an indoor pool – (huge in Virginia in February), and a fitness center. Not to mention each room has a separate sort of sitting area which includes a sofa bed, so it’s a total win. The hotel is about a 45 minute drive to downtown DC, so if you’re ever in the area and looking for a deal – I highly recommend it!

hyatt place dulles herndon east

We didn’t really have a plan for our weekend, so after some deliberation and online searching we ended up driving in to DC to check out Union Market DC. Union Market is an artisan market in Capitol City and has a bunch of adorable artisan stands. Parking in the area is free and we scored a spot right outside the building – woohoo! Once inside we did a lap to check out the shops and ended up at the Red Apron Butcher for lunch and beer.

red apron butcher union market dc_eatwriterunrepeat.com

It only just occurred to me that I didn’t take any pictures of the beer or the sandwiches we got, but suffice to say they were awesome. Some more pictures:

cordial fine wine and beers union market dc | eatwriterunrepeat.com

righteous cheese union market dc | eatwriterunrepeat.com

union market dc | eatwriterunrepeat.com

From Union Market we decided to check out Port City Brewery in Alexandria, VA. I’m not going to lie, from the outside it was a little underwhelming:

port city brewery virginia | eatwriterunrepeat.com

But once we got inside it was nice – it was sort of a mixed ambience between modern America and old style Bavaria…at least that’s what I felt anyway. It was pretty crowded when we arrived, so we decided not to take the actually brewery tour and opted instead just to drink. and because the bartender and my husband are both from the same area of California and both have family from the same area in Oklahoma (weird, right?) we scored free flights! Sweet! The flight was pretty spectacular – six different tastings for $9 — and they were all great beers. I’m not an IPA person, I’ve mentioned this before, but I was really impressed with their Monumental IPA, as well the American Pale Ale which I’m also not normally a fan of. Kevin and I decided that there wasn’t one beer we wouldn’t order if we saw it in a restaurant, and that’s saying something!

port city brew house flight | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Anyway – if you ever get a chance to get to Port City Brewery in Alexandria, you won’t regret it. At least, I think you won’t! 😉

port city brew house virginis 2 | eatwriterunrepeat.com

After the brewery we were hungry again, so we checked out restaurants in the area and ended up at Rocklands Barbecue and Grilling Company for some barbecue. It was awesome, and that’s all I have to say about that.

rocklands BBQ | eatwriterunrepeat.com

rocklands BBQ | eatwriterunrepeat.com

After the barbecue we pretty much called it a day.

We checked out of the hotel on Sunday morning and brunch with some friends from our Bible Study before returning home and preparing to head back to reality, but it was really nice to spend some time away from our house, but not really away from home. And the best part? The entire weekend cost us about $250! Not too bad for a mini-getaway weekend!

I’m already planning our next one.