Sunday, September 28, 2014

Yoga at BKB

Brooklyn  Boulders hosted a Bare Feet Power Yoga session on Friday. Was a fun time. Looking forward to the Grand Opening.

Airplane pose (left) 
Downward Dog (left)

Ditka Dash

Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Second annual Ditka Dash. It was my first time running it. Super fun. There were 13,000 runners. The race was well organized with different waves (8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.) and with corrals according to pace per mile.

The goodie bag came with two shirts (a white Da Finisher shirt and a navy blue Ditka Dash shirt), aviator shades and a Ditka mustache. There were also a ton of different optional add ons such as sweat bands, Ditka cigars and stickers. I just upgraded my Ditka shirt from cotton to Tech (which was a good move). 

Heading to the Start

Side of Soldier Field

Ditka 'Stache

Friends at the Finish
The only downside to this race was that it was "self timed" which meant you were not tracked and there was no official race clock. I used my Endomondo app to keep my time. So, that worked out.


My time was 27:38 (improved on my time of 28:28 at the Bucktown 5k on September 14). Pretty happy. Not sure I will run anymore the remainder of the year, but my goal is to train harder and get closer to a 26-minute 5k next year.

I would definitely run the Ditka Dash again (unlike the Color Run and Hot Chocolate).

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Brooklyn Boulders Chicago

So excited for this climbing gym to open by the end of the month!

Bucktown 5k

Confession: I don't love running. I mainly run 5ks because I like the shirts/hoodies. That was the main impetus for me registering for the Bucktown 5k.

I had not trained for this run. In fact, the last time I ran 5 kilometers was the Ravenswood 5k. That race day was cold, and I did not do as well as I wanted. I had to stop multiple times and just did not have the endurance for it.


Although I had not done any running since then, I have been doing Insanity. I felt confident that I'd improve on my next run. And I did!

My goal was to run under 29 minutes. Felt good running today and didn't stop at all. The conditioning from Insanity has definitely strengthened my large leg muscles. What I need to work in is my cardio to pick up the pace. 

My beef: The goodie bag included sweatpants - which look very nice but were HUMONGOUS. 

I ordered a small and discovered just how big they were once I picked up the packet. I drove back to the store to exchange them for an X-Small but was told I had to come back on Wednesday to make the exchange. Was pretty bummed. Seriously, these ran way too big. Check out the size chart.

Bummer. I hope the XS aren't too big. Looking forward to wearing these to keep me warm when winter comes. 

I would definitely run the Bucktown 5k again. It was very well organized with corrals and numbered gear check. Lots of these new runs (like The Color Run) have disappointed with not having gear check at all (and not notifying runners before the race) or having just a general gear check which took forever to find one's bag. The course itself is nice, too. Not as neighborhoody as the Ravenswood 5k, but pretty close. There wasn't much uphill running, which can sometimes kick my butt.

If you've never run this race before, I highly recommend it. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What I've Been Up To This Summer

Hiking (check out the awesome pics!), climbing, yoga, etc. Come back for more updates.

New Shoes

The first time I did Insanity a few years ago, I got some Nike Free Fit shoes (see post) to keep me from flying when I was doing In n Outs and suicide jumps.

I'm doing Insanity again. And, I actually still have those shoes, but it was time for new ones. I got a similar pair. 

Nike Free 5.0

Today was my very first workout in them. Honestly, my feet were aching within 10 minutes. They are pretty flat and not extremely supportive (which is why they're called Free). But I feel like the original ones I bought were a little more flexible. These are going to take a bit of getting used to. But, I don't hate them (except for the color). Why couldn't they be yellow or something?

I give them a 6 out of 10 for now. 

The 3-day Refresh


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Last Entry Was Exactly One Year and One Day Ago

What have you missed? Well... a lot. 

Early 2013, I hurt both knees trying to carry some buckets that were way too heavy for me. Walking was uncomfortable. Going down steps was unbearable. A specialist diagnosed me with chondromalacia patellae. Basically, it's the wearing of the cartilage under my knee caps. I was out of commission for a while. 

I Googled some images to post on here for a visual, but they are kind of gross. Let's just say that this wasn't the best news of the year. 

But that was just a minor setback in the world of trying to figure out how to stay (or get back) in shape without breaking. 

Thus, I came to the realization that the world doesn't need a millionth blogger blogging about her workouts and shakes. What makes me different from the next P90X enthusiast who is jazzed up about accepting Tony Horton in your life? Nothing, really.

Except, now I have something to share. But first, a brief history.

At my athletic peak, I looked like this:

I had overcome asthma and learned how to manage my food allergies to avoid breathing problems. This allowed me to develop into an avid runner. Plus, I worked out. A LOT. I ate well. I drank not so well. Overall, I'd never felt better.  

Then, that summer of 2011, I went skydiving. It was a liberating experience. You should try it. And while I can't say with certainty that skydiving broke my back, it just so happens that within weeks, I started experiencing discomfort in my leg when I would go running. I wasn't as flexible when I did yoga. The discomfort turned into pain so bad that I literally could not sit down. The excruciating pain forced me to see a sports medicine doctor. After medication did not help, she ordered an MRI. The MRI showed two large disc herniations at L5/S1. I needed surgery.

The shock of going from being the healthiest I'd ever been to needing back surgery was... well, shocking. 

They sliced me, diced me and patched me up. 
(No, this is not a paid endorsement)

Amazingly, I went in for surgery in the morning and walked out (slowly) in the afternoon. I recovered well, but it still took time for my incision to heal and for my nerve pain to subside. I was on disability from work for about a month. It was a long, soporific month. 

Since then, I haven't jumped out of a plane again. Nor have I gone snowboarding like I really wanted to. Nor have I tried my hand at surfing. I am very aware that I run the risk of re-herniating my discs if I am not cautious. 

During the first year of recovery, I allowed my fear of re-injury to render me lazy. I felt sorry for myself because I could no longer palm the floor, do push ups or even a single pull up like I was able to before. I felt like I would never reach that level ever again. Then, I snapped out of it. After some soul searching, I discovered that obstacles don't keep you from reaching a goal - they simply allow you to take a different path towards that goal. 

Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got.
Invisible Gym will chronicle my path to reach those proverbial heights we all dream of. Hopefully you'll start your own journey today and not one year and one day from now.