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Fitness Friday: Plugging Along

I am still working hard towards my fitness goals. I know it seems like every post lately is a running/fitness post, but well… all I do these days is take care of my kids and go to Orangetheory. HA! I promise I will post some cute kid pictures soon, but for now, here is some more about what I am dealing with.

First of all, Orangetheory Fitness.

I’m back on my Orangetheory schedule. I originally was planning to stick with a 2-3 times per week schedule, but I’m aiming for at least 4x per week now. I feel like I am really not going to see what I’m looking for unless I amp things up. I’m really enjoying the workouts and have gotten back into the swing of things. My metabolism is still not too happy right now, so the weight loss is extreeeeemely slow going, but I’m making some changes and hoping that the weight that I had put on during the stress of our move to GA will fall off soon — especially with eating better and working out more.

Also, I am really loving my new studio, Orangetheory Suwanee-Brookwood. I know I said it before in a previous post, but it’s true. In Florida, I felt like I had a little “home” at OTF in Coral Springs & Parkland, along with a wonderful friend of mine, Ann, whom I worked out with every week (and miss dearly). I loved my trainers. They were so amazing, motivating, and knew my strengths and weaknesses. They pushed me to go FAR beyond what I thought I was capable of, and I am still amazed by what I can do now compared to where I was nearly a year ago when I started taking classes. I was so worried when I moved, because I thought that my new studio would not compare. However, I worried for nothing. Seriously, all of the trainers at my new studio have all made me feel so welcome and part of their little orange family. I feel like I have been there forever. I have now taken classes with all of the coaches at my new studio, and I can honestly say that I really like each of them and they are doing the best they can to make the classes outstanding.

Over the weekend, as part of my Mother’s Day celebration, I took my studio’s first #Orange90 class! Woooo. What fun! I hadn’t taken a 90 minute class in several months, but I was ready for the challenge and it was great to be a part of a milestone event for the studio. It was not easy, but I was excited that I burned nearly 900 calories. I was also excited to wear my new orange & blue headband and Florida Gators tanktop, just to tease my coach, Shelley, who is an Auburn girl. :) Shelley, if you’re reading this… GO GATORS! :) Doing a 90 minute OTF class was the perfect way to spend an afternoon to celebrate the strength it takes to be a good mom – both physically and mentally – because that’s what you need to get through a long class! I can’t wait for the next one!

Me after my 90 minute #Orangetheory class at #orangetheoryfitness Suwanee-Brookwood! Excited to be a part of their first ever #Orange90 - it was great! #loveotf #liveintheorange #orangenation #otf #fitness #fitfam #fitmom

Second, dealing with pain.

I’ve been dealing with some pain in my right hip and lower back, which has made life & workouts a bit more challenging lately. After I ran my first Atlanta 5K at the Oakland Cemetery about a month ago, I noticed my SI joint hurting A LOT. Now, a little pain was nothing new, since I popped it out several months ago while laying on the floor playing with the kids. It was awful! My Chiropractor had popped it back in for me, but it sometimes got sore, so I tried not to aggravate it.

Well, as I wrote in my last post about the 5K, I had no idea that Atlanta was so hilly… and it did aggravate this injury and put a lot of stress on my hip flexor/quad (according to my orthopedist). Then, I went ahead with another 5K two weeks later, the Cumming Fiesta 5K, and SURPRISE… there were more hills! I overdid it, and I knew it as soon as I finished the race. I scheduled an appointment with an orthopedist that week.

Not surprisingly, the doc recommended an MRI and Physical Therapy to help with the pain in my back and hip. I had my first PT appointment the other day and learned a lot of great exercises to do at home.. The MRI is scheduled for another two weeks, so hopefully that will give more information about what is going on.

Thankfully, the doctor and PT both said that I can continue doing Orangetheory (thank goodness) as long as I take it down a notch by walking instead of running and modifying any exercises which will cause too much stress to my lower back/hips or feel uncomfortable. So far, so good. My only issue is “taking it down a notch” and I really have to keep myself in check because running is so much more fun than walking, and I certainly burn more calories when I have the opportunity to run.

As a child, I always had problems with one of my knees (thankfully grew out of it), and I actually used to use it as a way to get out of doing PE at school. I hated PE & all exercise. So, while I can’t stand that I am in pain and it’s making things harder when it comes to everyday life & workouts, a part of me is a little amused that I have an “exercise-related injury.” Even 10 years ago, if you had told me I would have made exercise part of my daily life, I would have told you to keep dreaming.

Hopefully the stretches and whatever the doctor prescribes will be good for me, since I do have the Haw Creek Park 2.85 mile trail run on June 20th! I am SUPER excited for my first trail run (already ordered appropriate shoes), and look forward to tackling this new challenge… hopefully with less pain!

Have you ever head a running or sports injury? How long did it take to get better?

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The Oakland Cemetery Run Like Hell 5K

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

On April 18, I completed my first 5K here in Atlanta! It was the “Run Like Hell 5K” at the amazing Historic Oakland Cemetery. While the race was fun…and HILLY… I had no idea that Atlanta was full of steep hills and it was a real learning experience… I really enjoyed the experience of walking around the cemetery and seeing some of the famous and non-famous gravestones. The cemetery is absolutely beautiful and full of history, and I already can’t wait to go back and take one of their tours.

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

I didn’t even come close to a PR for this race. In fact, I was truly lucky to finish in just under 50 minutes, HAHA. To think I was so close to getting under 40 minutes back in Florida, running & walking on the completely flat streets there… well, it’s going to take some practice, to say the least. I’ve now focused my Orangetheory treadmill training to really include those inclines so I can be better prepared.

If you haven’t read my blog before, I should tell you, I’m not even close to being a fast runner, and I never will be! I enjoy the races for the fun and exercise, but I will never win any awards. :)

As for the morning of the race, it was very cloudy, cool, and had recently rained. It was the perfect setting for running in a cemetery! Here I am just before the race.

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

I ended up putting my jacket back in the car because I knew I would warm up plenty by the time I got started running. I arrived very early, and I was so happy that I did, since it gave me the opportunity to get situated and walk around exploring the cemetery and taking pictures. I absolutely love history, and you can just feel the history surrounding you here. It is an amazing place.

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

I had done absolutely zero research about the cemetery before coming here. Which, if you know me, is not like me, but considering we had literally just moved to Atlanta two weeks prior, and I was understandably very busy. I didn’t even think to look anything up beforehand. I had no idea that there was an entire section dedicated to the Confederate soldiers of the Civil War who died in the Battle of Atlanta. It was amazing to see this old military graveyard. National cemeteries are always an amazing, haunting, and humbling sight to see, and while this isn’t exactly a “national cemetery”, the area dedicated to the Confederate dead certainly felt and looked like one. It was one of those moments that took my breath away and made history truly come alive for me.

When I was in middle school, my American History teacher, Ms. D’Andrea, and my Language Arts teacher, Ms. McNeely, taught an incredible unit on the Civil War. Ms. D’Andrea, especially, was a huge Civil War buff and made sure that we were little 7th and 8th grade experts. Basically everything that I know today about the Civil War is due to it being drilled into my memory at 12 and 13 years old by those wonderful teachers — twenty years ago. I found myself thinking about Ms. D. and Ms. McNeely that morning wishing they could have shared the experience with me.

Pictures of the Confederate section of the cemetery are below.

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Then it was time to start! :)

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

The race went through the beautiful and historic Grant Park Neighborhood of Atlanta. There is an actual city park, Grant Park, which is the oldest park in Atlanta, and the neighborhood is a Victorian style of design, which was such a pleasure to run through. I wish I had taken some photos of the neighborhood itself during the race, but I was kind of more concerned with huffing and puffing up the hills, hahaha. As I said before, I somehow didn’t know that Atlanta was so hilly. It makes sense, with us being at the foothills of the Appalachians, but I somehow didn’t put two and two together… needless to say, I was pretty sore afterwards, though I did have a great time, and I plan to do the race again next year!

Here I am after the race! I survived! That sure was a whole lot of effort just for a water bottle and a banana. ;)

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Once I was properly hydrated, I stuck around for a while longer to explore the cemetery a bit further. I was delighted to find the Old Jewish Burial Grounds. It was small but so interesting. I loved seeing the beautiful gravestones with Hebrew writing. Some stones listed the person’s country of origin. So many in this section (like many all over the cemetery) were the graves of children, incredibly sad.

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

This one was just heartbreaking!

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

This view from the side of the Jewish Burial Grounds shows the famous bar – Six Feet Under – a popular spot in Atlanta next door to the Cemetery.

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

There were many other fascinating, sad, and interesting gravesites throughout the cemetery.

This one, filled with plants, was beautiful and eye-catching. Then I realized that it was the grave of a parent and a small child. :(

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Here is the grave of one of the first mayors of antebellum Atlanta, James E. Williams.

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

This set of graves was so interesting to me. Mother, Father, Son – with the inscription, “My Only Boy,” and their daughter, with a smaller grave than the rest.

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Not only was everything green, as you can see in the photos above, but the colorful plants and flowers had also begun to bloom. Their fragrance was beautiful!

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com

Finally, I enjoyed this last view of the cemetery. A mix of old and new – you can see the skyscrapers in the misty, cloudy distance, layered by the MARTA train passing by just a block away. It’s easy to go to places like this and feel like you’ve been transported to another world or time. That’s why I love that we moved to a city with such a rich history behind it. I love learning about the past and being in places where I feel like I am just a small piece of something huge that happened long ago. A fraction of a moment in the timeline of the universe.

Oakland Cemetery 5k 2015 | © BrightAutumnSun.com


All photos taken with iPhone 5s, edited with instagram and Pic Tap Go.

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Running in head-first

So, being new to Georgia, I need to develop a social life and find things to do. I’m not doing much photography at the moment, just soaking in my new surroundings, enjoying some time being a stay at home mom, and getting my house in order (who knew we had so much stuff? now we have to unpack it all!).

Since I’ve fallen off the healthy train a bit over the past couple weeks, I decided to put my health and fitness back at the forefront of my life and make that my new “job” – I’m going to be back at Orangetheory Fitness 2-3 times per week, walking in my neighborhood, and I just went ahead and registered for a bunch of 5k’s and runs.

Here is a shot of me at Orangetheory yesterday morning! I had a great class, and my coach, Risa, was awesome and very motivating. I am really enjoying my new studio.

Had a great session this morning at #OTFsuwaneebrookwood! Love my new studio here in GA! #OTF #orangetheory #orangetheoryfitness #otfstrong #otbeat #whatsyourallout #basepushalloutrepeat #loveotf #fitness #fitspo #fitmom #fitfam #igersatl #igersatlanta #f

The first race that I signed up for is THIS WEEKEND. In downtown Atlanta. Yes, apparently I’m crazy.

At Orangetheory yesterday, I ran a mile in a little over 14 minutes, and I was pretty winded – I probably could not maintain that pace for a 5k, but that’s okay. I am hoping to get a few more OTF sessions in this week to get some more practice, though. At my last 5k back in November, my average pace was 14:01 and I finished the race in 43:31. I am NOT a fast runner, and I don’t intend to PR on this run, but it’s at a super old cemetery, so if anything, it’s going to be awesome. I plan to have fun and burn some calories! If I manage to PR…. that will be a HUGE added bonus!!

Here is what I’m signed up for now. ATL friends, let me know if you’re planning on signing up for any of these or if you are already registered!

I’m especially excited about the trail runs! I love hiking, so this should just be a really fun extension of that. One of the reasons we chose this part of the country to relocate to was because of all the outdoor activities available, and now I feel like I am really going to be taking advantage of everything. Yay!

Are you signed up for any races you’re looking forward to this spring?

 

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