Friday, August 23, 2013

A Month of CrossFit: Day 13

I feel like every time I write a CrossFit post, I talk about how I didn't really want to go to the gym, but I did and it changed my life/day/mood/outlook. And it's probably time I changed all of that, but I'm trying to be real here, and man, I don't always hardly ever feel like relinquishing my pillow and bouncing out of bed in the morning.

Today's workout is one of those where I felt like the workout wasn't that complicated, but I know that I'll be feeling it later today/tomorrow.

Warm Up:
10 push ups
15 sit ups
10 ring rows
15 KB swings

5 rounds of:
max reps bench press - I did 35 total reps at 65lbs
max pull-ups - I did 85 jumping pull-ups

Total score: 115

I honestly don't remember the last time I did a bench press. Maybe high school? I thought I could go all beast-mode and pull off 100lbs, but that so did not happen. I did 65lbs with good, clean form and little spotting, but on the 4th and 5th round I was struggling to bring the bar back up.

Workouts like this tend to make me feel like a weakling, but then I remember my deadlift experience on Wednesday and try to remember that I'm just setting a bar to beat the next time I max out. And that'll be good enough for today.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Month of CrossFit: Day 12

When I started working out, I could never see myself being a person who "missed" the gym. I would hear people say I would miss it if I skipped a workout, or I would crave getting back into the box after a few days off, but I didn't believe it in the slightest. I'm just not that kind of person. 

Friends, I think that day has come. 

I woke up this morning completely miserable. I laid in bed, arguing with myself about whether or not I would actually get up and go to the gym. I was THISCLOSE to saying, "Screw it, I'll just go on Friday," and then something clicked in my brain. I wasn't going to be weakened by my WOD, I was going to be strengthened by it. And I could use some extra strength right now.

So I went. 

And I killed it.

Warm Up:
15 PVC pass-throughs
10 KB swings
50ft. walking lunges
20 sit ups

Then, I did a one rep max deadlift. If you've been with me from the beginning, you'll know that on my first day, I maxed out at 108lbs. At the time, while so many other people were doing max reps of 125, 130 lbs, I felt so weak. But this morning, I felt powerful. 

We started at 50% of my previous max, then moved up to 110, then moved up again to 135. My trainer was on my side the whole time, pushing me to take it one step further. I took a deep breath, remembered my form (laces under the bar, squat down, grab, butt down, chest up, drive your heels into the ground and push the earth away) and did a one rep max DL of 155lbs. Talk about being strengthened by the WOD... I was on a CrossFit high and ready to tackle the rest of the workout.

For Time:
50m 45lb sled drag
50m sprint
50m farmer's carry (I did 45lbs)
50m sprint
- 2-minute rest - 
50m 45lb sled drag
50m sprint
50m farmer's carry
50m sprint

My goal was to do the whole thing in under 6 minutes, having seen another CrossFitter's time of 5:07 on the board. But when adrenaline and sheer force of will takes over, you can do anything. And I pulled this off in 5:29. 

I'm on a whole 'nother level, kids. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Shopping My Closet: Getting Graphic

Graphic Ts are Everywhere

Once upon a time, I worked at Express. I took a part-time job there in college, right when the heyday of graphic tees started taking over high school & collegiate campuses. These sophomoric cap-sleeved, form-squeezing bursts of nonsense had unintelligible script super imposed above lions (men) and flowers (women) with sparkles, patterns and more colors than a kindergarten classroom. These gave way (or were they already third in line of a royal knock-off genealogy?) to a culture-wide acceptance of Affliction shirts, lettering spattered on men's button-downs, Old English typography bastardized into mainstream mumbo-jumbo. It was depressing. 

I won't say that a new job path was sought out solely because of graphic tees, but you only need to board-fold a couple hundred or so before you realize that you'll either find a new life's meaning in their nonsensical lyrics, or you'll pluck your own eyes out.

So when graphic tees began their resurgence, I was skeptical. After years of wearing logo-less American Apparel finds from the men's section, the thought of putting on that Nike shirt outside the gym ("vintage" by way of my childhood or not) seemed taboo. But as this trend gained momentum, I bandwagoned like a fashionista chugging kale juice in wedge sneakers at NYFW. I rock the vintage Rolling Stones shirt, the classic Nike logo, the Adidas insignia, my D.A.R.E. shirt from high school, whatever I have/whatever I can steal from my perma-roomie.

Above (obviously) and below (also obviously), feature some inspiring looks for recreating the style. Ankle boots, sneakers, what have you... literally. Whatever you have, use. Because this whole budget-friendly Shopping My Closet Series wouldn't make sense if you had to go buy a whole new wardrobe.

So, go get your graphic tee on. Put 'em with printed pants, jeans, skirts, pleated green shorts, blazers... the list goes on. How does that saying go? You're only limited by your imagination. And, of course, if your male counterpart is wearing the shirt you were intent on borrowing. In which case you'll have to fight him for it.

And now for a few outfit compilations, courtesy of Polyvore:
Graphic T Inspiration
Graphic T Inspiration by jlrey featuring denim skinny jeans

Graphic T Inspiration - Part 2

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Month of CrossFit: Day 11


Sometimes when you're trying to work out, get fit, lose weight, etc., it's easy to fall into the trap of, "I'm not seeing any results so it must not be doing any good. Maybe I'll just quit." I've been there, done that. I've started, quit, started something else, quit again. I've crash-dieted; I've struggled with disordered eating. I've tried running, videos, workout classes with friends... you name it, I've probably done it and made a snarky response about it.

When I started CrossFit (yes, I know it's only been 11 workouts/11 days of being at the gym, but thou shalt not judge until thou hast also push-pressed thy way through a Monday morning), I left every single class feeling like I was going to absolutely die. And this morning, I left feeling... energized. 

First time for everything, folks.

Warm Up:
15 PVC pass-throughs
15 PVC OH squats
15 sit-ups
15 Supermans
15 push-ups
Hip-Floor stretches
15 ring rows

10 minutes of practicing handstands and walking handstands


8-Minute AMRAP:
400 m row
40 squats
30 sit-ups
20 push-ups
10 pull-ups
Max burpees

Total: 103

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Favorites #3

Every week when Friday comes around, I start putting together a "wish list" of weekend activities that start at 5pm and stretch through Sunday night. Tonight, I'm counting on soaking up the forecasted 79-degree low temperature on a patio somewhere, then waking up for some delicious brunch and some rock wall climbing, a day/night with friends and my love, and a Sunday with a nap squeezed in there somewhere. 

Before we get into the perfect weekend combination of activity and relaxation, let's wrap up another week with a list of Friday Favorites.

After spending a hefty amount of time on IndieShuffle and 8Tracks, I recently got back on the NPR Music bandwagon, and it couldn't have come at a better time. Right now they're previewing Typhoon's new album White Lighter (1), and you can listen for free here. I've had it on repeat for days, and can't wait to buy the album when it comes out on Aug. 30. 

I recently watched a great video from Vivianna Does Makeup about doing your entire makeup routine with your hands, which I used to do, but I was lured away by a skunk brush and promises of air-brushed looks. Regardless of what makeup application you use, this method really is a great way to achieve the dewy, natural look that a triple-digit summer demands, and prompted the purchase of Sonia Kashuk's cream bronzer (2) and the liquid tint blush in Peony (3) that can be layered for lighter/brighter looks. I also needed a new concealer, and decided to try this new formula from Sephora (4) - guaranteeing 8-hour waterproof protection. I don't have enough experience with it to post a personal review yet, but we'll see.  

I don't know if it's CrossFit enthusiasm working its way into my daily life or if I've been inspired by Refinery29's sneaker features, here and here, but I'm obsessed with trying to work sneakers into every single outfit I wear. And of course, inspiration abounds on Pinterest (5). 

Need some inspirational, heart-warming quotes to make even the worst days brighter? Check out Brian Andreas' Story People (6). And speaking of inspirational, you can never have too much knowledge in your noggin, and that's why I've been listening to TEDTalks (7) when I'm not jamming out to new tunes on NPR.

And finally, I caved and bought the Dr. Weil Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief cream (8) from Origins. I love the way it smells/feels/hydrates my skin - it's fantastic!

That's it for us here at Hey There, Friday - now go get your weekend on!

Shopping My Closet: Thursday Catch-Up & Shark Week Friday

Get Creative, Get Comfy

When I get home at the end of the day, about three minutes of time pass before I'm out of the clothes I wore all day and into a pair of Nike shorts and a huge T-shirt. And those three minutes includes how much time it takes me to get from the front door, up two flights of stairs and find said comfy clothes. Moreover, when you're fighting the deep-seated conviction that you will absolutely die if your feet touch the floor in the morning, you aren't in the mood to squeeze into some ridiculous pencil skirt and strap on a pair of heels. At least, I'm not. 

But that's where Thursday's (sorry, I'm a slacker) and Friday's outfits come in. Comfortable, functional, and good enough to pass for office wear (at least in my office, that is). 


Mix prints and have fun doing it. I wore a striped shirt from J.Crew, a cardigan from H&M and my standard UO black jeans, plus a pair of ballet flats that I will never, ever, ever throw away, because their bargain price of $9 on super sale at the random Gap in Santa Cruz, compiled with the journey they've been on around the world, guys earns them space in my closet for eternity. 

Pictured below is a tote bag I don't own but wish I did from Baggu (because their stuff is legit). 

Thursday Casual


Today I got home from CrossFit and decided I liked the way my sneakers were stabilizing my shaking feet on the pavement, and so I switched from my black Nike Flex to my neon Nike Frees, threw on a couple of pairs of J.Crew tanks, the jeans that seem to go with just about everything, and my favorite Nike hoodie to tackle this Friday. 

And a gold shark tooth necklace, because we're wrapping up Shark Week. 

Shark Week Friday

A Month of CrossFit: Day 10

Fight Gone Bad

The last time I wrote about CrossFit, I mentioned how I wanted to see some changes happen on the scale. In all honesty, with the weights I'm using and the way our workouts are going, there won't be a massive change on the scale for a while. And I think I"m okay with that.

Why am I okay with not seeing results on the scale, our standard rule of weight-loss measurement? Because I'm seeing results in other ways. I did walking lunges across the span of the Box this morning without feeling like I would die. I can feel my muscles working to be better, faster, stronger at runs, pull-ups, kettlebell swings and push-presses. My back, shoulders and arms are looking more toned and my legs are losing the "squishy parts." Now that's progress. 

This morning our trainer said that this was the workout that would make us regret coming to the gym, and he was almost right. I really tried to pace myself so I didn't get to the oh my gosh, I'm going to vomit, faint and die on this gym floor phase, but I left with shaking arms. 

Warm Up:
Easy row - 2 minutes
20 leg swings
50ft walking lunges
20 PVC pass-throughs

WOD: "Fight Gone Bad"
3 rounds at 5 stations for 1 minute each station and 1 minute rest between rounds
Max reps at each.

Row for calories - R1: R2: R3: 10
Wall ball (15 lbs) - R1: 21 R2: 12 R3: 7
SDHP (35 lbs) - R1: 10 R2: 10 R3: 12
Box Jump/Step Up (16" box) - R1: 11 R2: 11 R3: 13
Push Press (35 lbs) - R1: 13 R2: 13 R3: 10

Total Score: 163

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Shopping My Closet: Less is More

When you think of just throwing something on for the weekend, does the phrase, "just a t-shirt and jeans" ever pop into your head? It's the universal go-to, but it has to be done right to look right. When I was laying in bed this morning, trying to convince myself to shake off the covers and go greet the world, I flipped open this picture of Cat Deeley on the 'net. 

She's got the casual-cool vibe down, and even though we're so many days away from a weekend, I couldn't resist duplicating the easiness of her look for my typical long Tuesday. Skinny jeans, a belt, sandals... I've got all of those. Add in a cool, lightweight military-style jacket to combat my office's arctic tundra thermostat setting, and this is the kind of French-chic ease I dream about.

The t-shirt I'm wearing today is an old one from American Apparel's dude section, the jeans I've got on are the trusty Madewell skinnies, my belt is a patent neon orange from J.Crew, and we're on a first-name basis with the Madewell sandals by now. I'm also wearing a vintage turquoise cuff from my MIL, the Michael Kors staple watch, and my utility jacket is one I scooped up for $16 in Spain. 

Keep on keepin' on, kids!

Less is More

Monday, August 5, 2013

Shopping My Closet: Power Through Monday

Find what you love and buy duplicates

When it comes to legitimate, honest-to-Friday closet staples that can go from day to night, week to week without loss of shape or enthusiasm, those basics can be hard to find. So when you snag something like the perfect white tank or the best pair of jeans you've ever worn, look into doubling up on that item. You don't have to buy it at the same time (especially if budget is an issue), but there's nothing wrong with stocking up on truly staple items that you'll wear forever. 

Below, an H&M cardigan, a Cotton On tank, H&M ankle zip jeans, Chelsea boots from ASOS, and a hefty amount of coffee. Because it's Monday.

Monday, Monday

A Month of CrossFit: Day 9

Dragging myself to the gym this morning is the last thing I wanted to do after a weekend of good food and relaxation on the river, but it was the first thing I needed to do to get my body back on track. I pushed it this morning and made it through the whole workout without many modifications, even doing my Rx of thruster reps.

Now, down to business.

Warm-Up:2x Through:
20 air squats
20 supermans
50m small hops
20 ball slams

Then a 400m run.

1,000m row
50 thrusters at 35 lbs
30 pull-ups (I did jumping pull ups, where you stand on a box, bend your knees until your arms are straight, and then jump up to get your chin over the bar)
My time: 16:34

While I'm still waiting to really start seeing results from CrossFit materialize in how my clothes fit and how my body looks, I'm definitely feeling stronger and recovering more quickly from workouts. I need to start taking measurements so I can better track my progress.

When you're starting a new fitness routine, how do you measure success?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Favorites #2

Before you put up your away message and peace out like a hippie at Woodstock, let's wrap up the week here at Hey There, Friday with the Friday Favorites.

I used to be a die-hard fan of Jurlique's rosewater mist, but as a Marie Claire interviewee pointed out, that bottle is dang heavy and will suck about $40 out of your wallet. That's why I switched to Mario Badescu's facial spray (1) - $7, lightweight and the same great effects (and the smell - love!). I just can't get enough of these cute Home T shirts (2) - they have every state, Canada and the U.S., and would make a great gift for birthdays, holidays, housewarmings... what have you. H&M finally opened up their online store, and of course I've already made a purchase. On its way to my doorstep now: these loose pants with front slits (3). And on the list of things I almost purchased but forced myself to wait on: a tortiseshell clutch (5), a freaking awesome vase (6) and these rockin' gold rings (7). And for your weekend looks, amp up the bedhead/beach style with this crazy long-lasting Paul Mitchell body boosting spray (4) - this stuff works. 

Happy Weekend!

Friday Favorites

Shopping My Closet: TGIF

Hallelujah for Weekends

Get off early, get out of town, take advantage of the weekend! August is looking like a champion already, and I've got just the outfit to start the party.

Sometimes all you need to hit the road for the weekend is a good pair of jeans, a few tanks, a functional pair of sandals and a couple of great accessories. Pack it up with a pair of J.Crew (or in my case, Madewell) jeans, a white tank, wide-brimmed straw fedora and an easy on, easy off pair of sandals. 

Get Out of Town
Get Out of Town by jlrey featuring steve madden

Just don't leave here without some good tunes in your ears - crafted especially for you, weekend warriors. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Shopping My Closet: Book Sale Thursday

We're gonna need a bigger bag

July, you were a brutal month, and I am in no way sorry to see you go. 

August, welcome to the party.

No matter how hectic this week has been, it culminates in a beautiful, beautiful book sale tonight, courtesy of my local library. Hardbacks are $2, paperbacks are $1, and I cannot contain my excitement. Hence the enormous tote bag and one of my most comfortable outfits.

I'm wearing a henley-style hi-low shirt, the faded, ripped-to-perfection jeans that look great even if my legs hurt like nobody's business, my foolproof Madewell sandals and necklace. This is what recycling and shopping your closet is really about - find items you already own, remix and rewear them in different ways that make it look like you have an outfit delivery system at your disposal. Put it together however you want. Heck, it's your Thursday!

Book Sale Thursday