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I Passed and Had the Best Weekend Ever

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For those who don’t know, Body Pump is the original barbell class that works eight major muscle groups (quads, glutes/hamstrings, chest, back, triceps, biceps, abdominals, and shoulders) to fatigue in one hour, all set to awesome, popular, motivating music.  This weekend, I attended my initial training module to become a Body Pump instructor.

Going into this past weekend, I honestly had no idea what to expect.  After going through such difficult training to work on the cruise ship, I thought that I could make it through just about anything.  But after talking with a couple of people who are way more experienced than me in the fitness industry and actually have Body Pump certifications, they made it sound like the weekend was going to be the toughest thing that I had ever done in my life, the trainers would eat me alive, and I would be lucky if I scraped by with a “Pass Withheld” meaning I would have to do a little extra training before I could send in my video.

With all of this going on in my head, I was pretty nervous.  I started Saturday with a little Starbucks (I used my free birthday coupon 😉 ) and some overnight oats to give me plenty of fuel for this physically active weekend.

Upon arrival, I immediately noticed that it was all girls…except for two boys.  I was honestly pretty surprised by this at first, but then I realized that most participants are girls in the group fitness setting so it made since.  Also, it wasn’t hard to realize that everyone was nervous.  None of us had a clue as to what we should expect…even the people who had done previous Les Mills certifications.

The very first thing we did was take the master class.  This was taught by our training facilitator, and two facilitators in training.  This was seriously the best group fitness class that I have ever taken.  Everyone was responding to the instructors’ cues and questions.  We were all cheering and singing along with the songs, it was awesome.  It basically felt like a live workout concert.

All in all, this weekend was amazing.  It was inspiring, it was motivational.  We worked on technique, cueing, how to motivate our classes, how to make our classes feel special, and our own fitness level.  I thought I loved Body Pump before this weekend, but now I am obsessed!


And good news…

I PASSED the training module.  I didn’t receive a pass withheld, I passed all the way.  That means that I only have to team teach four times (which I will probably do more) and then I can submit my video to receive FULL certification, and my first team teaching session is tomorrow morning.  I couldn’t be more excited.

I am so happy that I completed this training, and I cannot wait to begin my Body Pump and Les Mills career.

After I found out I passed, I immediately came back home.  Brian and I then headed out straight to his parent’s house to celebrate my birthday.

Everyone had burgers, but Brian’s dad specifically made me cod with roasted peppers and onions.  It was delicious and much needed nourishment after such a physically active weekend 🙂

Brian’s mom also made delicious strawberry cupcakes with homemade strawberry icing.  I felt like I could have eaten about three of them, but somehow contained myself to one.


Waking up at 6am today was like a treat after waking up at 4am and 5am this weekend for training.  I honestly expected not to be able to move this morning because this weekend we completed 4 Body Pump classes, a technique Boot Camp, and the Body Pump challenge (in which I probably lifted more weight than I ever have before!).  Yet, my body is not any more sore than usual!  I still plan on taking the day off from weight lifting and cardio, and I plan on attending a yoga class this evening.  I am expecting it to be very relaxing.

I started my day with some overnight oats in a jar.  They were delicious as usual.  One of my favorite things about eating the oats from a jar is scraping the last bits of peanut butter off of the bottom of the jar and having be like a little surprise underneath the oatmeal on my spoon.  What can I say?  I love peanut butter.

Because I had such a full weekend, I have to do some errand-type things today, like grocery shopping.  Brian and I are about out of food!  I am also volunteering everyday this week except for Friday at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra to help them prepare for the Maestro Open event this coming Monday.

I hope everyone had an amazing weekend, and is ready to start this week off right!

Tom-ay-to, Tom-ah-to

Yesterday was the first real day of training.  We wore our uniforms, learned our first speech, and worked a little bit with the “upper weeks” (the people who have already been here three weeks).

I will be wearing that little outfit for the next three weeks straight!  Even though we are fitness, we are still expected to have full makeup including lipstick, and our hair up nicely with all pony holders covered.  Even on workout days!  I am going to be washing my face well at night.


I was finally able to get up early and head to the gym yesterday.  I simply did the elliptical for 30 minutes and stretched, but it felt so great! The gym doesn’t open until 6:30am so it is a little bit of an inconvenient time, but I am going to try to do it every other day when we are not doing some sort of physical training during the day.  After talking with the upper weeks about their fitness regiment, they said that it was pretty normal to not have a whole lot of time to workout during the first three weeks.

I honestly find the whole situation kind of weird.  We are fitness people who are learning about how to promote a clean and healthy lifestyle, yet we are eating food that is not very nutritional and we are unable to workout because of exhaustion and lack of time…doesn’t quite make since, but I hear it gets better on the ship (hopefully!).


I hadn’t eaten breakfast at the YMCA yet so I didn’t know what to expect.  There was oatmeal (made with cream), a variety of cereals, some sausage, eggs, french toast (i think), fruit and juice.  I thought it was a bit overwhelming because I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the cereals and it is hard to read the nutritional labels here because everything is metric.  It also looks like the calorie count is for 100g on most things, not necessarily the serving size.

Another fitness girl, Lisa, grabbed these two giant granola patty looking things for her cereal.  I had never seen them before, and she said they were Weetabix.  Whatever they were, they were tasty and totally soaked up the soy milk I put on them so they got extra soggy, which I liked.  I also had an apple on the side to get a little fresh food in my diet.

Training Day 1

Yesterday, we mainly focused on learning our speech for the spa tours given on embarkation day on the cruise.  Our test got pushed back until today, which means that we have our written exam and we have to have our embarkation speeches memorized.  I know the gist of the embarkation speech, but I was so tired last night that I started fumbling around.  I am going to review a little more before class.  Today, we also begin learning our first seminar…Detox.  Apparently, this is the BIG one!


I was able to order a salad for dinner at breakfast yesterday, which was sooo much better than just a plain potato.  However, their salads are different.  The best looking option on the salad menu was the cheese salad, which literally was a little salad with a ton of cheese on the side and cole slaw.  The salad wasn’t bad, just good to have fresh food, but the cole slaw will have to go next time.

Carrots and root vegetables

It wasn’t a bad meal, wonder what is for dinner tomorrow?  Probably another salad.

Tom-ay-to, Tom-ah-to

Me being American definitely puts me in the minority in this training, which I think is great!  Even though almost everyone speaks English, there are still a couple of words that I don’t know.  Here are some of my new vocab words from the “English” language:

  • serviette:  Napkin  “Do you have an extra serviette?”
  • training: workout “Did you have time to train today?”
  • biscuit:  cookie  “Biscuits and milk not biscuits and gravy.”
  • swede: a root vegetable that I tried last night for the first time, tasty, not a lot of flavor 🙂

That’s all that I can remember at the moment, but now I am going to shower for day 2!

Induction Day

Yesterday (Monday) was my first official day of training.


It started bright and early…at 3am!  Because of the time difference, I was a little jet-lagged and ended up going to bed around 8pm and waking up at 3am, which gave me plenty of time to skype Mom and Brian after showering and getting ready.


Once all of the new trainees were ready, we headed downstairs and out to the bus stop.  None of us really knew where we were going or how to get there.  The only thing we knew was we needed to get to Steiner Academy on bus 258, and we were able to get there!  We rode in a double decker bus to and from the academy, and on the way home we sat in the top 🙂


The morning consisted of a welcome presentation about Steiner and medical exams.  Part of this medical exam included a blood test.  Now, I have never had to have a blood test, but when I have given blood in the past I have a very difficult time getting any blood to come out!  Well, the same thing was the case here.

They kept having me squeeze my hands and they were tapping my arms, and they ended up sticking me three times with no luck!

They even had to stick my hand.

By the end, I had to lay down because I felt very shaky and dizzy.  Clearly not from blood loss, but I guess I just can’t handle getting poked with needles a bunch of times.  I finally went to the hospital to get my chest X-ray with everyone else and they were able to take my blood just fine.


During the remainder of the day, we received our uniforms, listened to some other seminars about working on the cruise and finally were able to meet our instructor, Wayne.  We have heard that he is pretty tough, but I just have to keep the prize in mind (getting on the ship), do my best, and work really hard.


After our induction was over, I headed to the store to get some odds and ends because yesterday was my last day to get anything like that accomplished for a while.


We received our schedule and training will literally be from 9am-10:30pm with homework every night.  They said it was a vigorous program and they were right!


One thing that I am a tad worried about here is the food.  I have found that I can request a salad for dinner when I eat breakfast, and today is my first day eating breakfast in the cafe so I am making sure to request one.  All of the meals are very bready, have little “fresh” veggies, rarely fresh fruit, and don’t have a lean protein option.  I also am not provided lunch everyday, which stinks because I hate spending money….especially on bad food!  So, I went to the store and bought some plain mixed nuts, peanut butter, and crackers.  I have to have some way of getting protein!


After dinner and a bit of studying for our entrance exam tomorrow, we met with the group of fitness people above us who have just been here for 3 weeks (this is their fourth).  They showed us a diagram that we will be using in all of our seminars about how the liver turns fat into sugar to produce energy for the muscles.  They said that every seminar boils down to just that!

I am now off to use the gym for the first time here!  I am so excited to use that elliptical! 🙂

Training Schedule

Last night, I hung out with my parents!

We originally planned to walk around and eat at the Rib America Festival, but when it started pouring down rain we decided on eating in at a restaurant.

We went to a little bar/restaurant called Chatham Tap.  This bar is just so cute and has a great atmosphere!  It is seat yourself, so sometimes when it is busy there can be a long wait, but last night we were able to waltz right in and sit down.


We started off with a delicious onion rings appetizer.  I took a picture, but unfortunately the picture won’t show up on my computer.  The breading on these rings was so light and crisp, and the sauce was slightly smoky flavored with chipotle and very runny which was a surprise considering most onion ring sauces are a bit thick.  I think that my favorite part was the fact that the onion rings were topped with grated parmesan cheese…so yummy!

For my entree I go the balsamic grilled chicken salad.

It had blue cheese, sunflower seeds, cranberries, grilled chicken, a balsamic dressing (on the side of course), all on top of mixed field greens.  The salad was wonderfully refreshing, which is just what I wanted after having onion rings as a first course.

Mom got the fish and chips, which is one of their more famous dishes, per Brian’s recommendation.  I tried a bite of the fish, and although the breading was thick, it was slightly sweet and just so delicious!  Good recommendation Brian!

We then ordered a piece of turtle pie to share.

Need I say more?  It was delicious 🙂

We then, went to the Rib America Festival so that Dad could listen to the Dooby Brothers, and Mom and I walked around and sampled the barbeque sauce from each vendor…our favorite was the smoky!  I can’t remember which booth it was at though.

This Morning

This morning I woke up, and my knee was bothering me.  Last night it was actually bothering me to on the lateral (outside) side of my right knee.  I have never had a pain like this before, but I am positive that it is from the half marathon.  I am hoping that it goes away with time, but in order to prevent further issues this morning I did some stretching and exercises to work my IT Band, hip adductors and abductors (the inside and outside muscles of my thigh).

IT band stretches/strengthening

Hip adductor/abductor strengthening



Hopefully things start to feel better tomorrow!  There is no swelling, which is good, I think I just need time to rest.


Breakfast this morning was what I think a Sunday breakfast should be…pancakes!

I originally wanted to buy buckwheat pancake mix when I went grocery shopping, but I couldn’t find it so I decided to try Hungry Jack Wheat Blends pancake mix.  It tasted delicious.  The pancakes were light and fluffy not dense like some wheat pancakes can be.

I topped them with some natural peanut butter, raspberries (thanks mom!), and sugar free syrup.  We also had some coffee on the side.  It was the perfect way to start a Sunday!

Training Schedule

Yesterday, I told you I would go into detail about my training schedule for the half marathon.  I looked at several plans, finally deciding on the Hal Higdon Training Schedule and the Half Marathon 8 Week Training Plan.

I combined the two workouts putting my schedule and my group fitness teaching schedule into consideration to come up with this 8 week plan:

  • Monday:  Pilates or Stretching/Strength
  • Tuesday:  4 or 5 mile run depending on the week
  • Wednesday:  Short run with strength training
  • Thursday:  Short run or cross train
  • Friday:  Rest
  • Saturday:  Cross train
  • Sunday:  Long run
Of course some weeks I had to tweak things a bit because of various events and my constantly changing work schedule, but I think that this schedule totally worked for me.  Since I had just finished training for a 6 mile race, I was able to up the mileage in my long runs faster than I expected, so I actually changed the numbers in my plan a couple of times but kept the same basic format.
When it comes to nutrition and training for a half marathon or marathon I looked to blogs like running-advice and the Runner’s World magazine site.   When it comes down to it, everybody is different and needs to find the food combo that works best to fuel them.
I really enjoyed having a long-term goal in sight, and I am 100% sure that this is something I will do again.  Because it was my first race I did not incorporate speed training into my regiment, but I have decided that is a goal I will focus on next time.


Training Isn’t Always Pretty

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I woke up today ready to run!

I started out with an overnight bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter to give me fuel for my final long run of training.

My mom is part of a walking group, and today they were walking 6 miles so I went with them to see what I could do.  Originally, I thought that I was going to do the 6 mile loupe twice and possibly walk the last mile since 11 miles was on the schedule for the day.  I ended up finding a group of runners that were doing the half marathon loupe so I joined up with them!

I started off running right behind another girl that seemed to have a pace pretty similar to mine.  After about 3 miles I lost her and was on my own.  There was a group of three people a ways in front of me that I had been following for the entire run as well.  Although the trail was marked, I still didn’t really know where I was going so I told myself to stay behind them the entire time.  After getting to about mile 8, I caught right up to them!!  My pace was under 10 minutes the entire time, which is faster than usual for me on these long runs 🙂  When I caught up to them, they realized they didn’t know where they were going and I didn’t know where I was going either, so we stuck together in order to figure it out.

Throughout my training for the half marathon I have been doing my long runs (well all of my runs for that matter) by myself just listening to my iPod.  Once I started running with them, I turned off the iPod and I was surprised by the fact that I was able to carry on a conversation after running nearly 10 miles!  It was great to have company, especially experienced company that pushed my pace a bit.  After talking for a while, we realized that I went to high school with the son of one of the men and he is dating one of my best friend’s from high school’s younger sister….small world!!

I opted not to walk the last 1 or 2 miles because I was feeling so great.  Colin (one of my new friends) and I sped up a little bit faster than Len and Tiffany (the other two running friends) and finished with ease.

My new running buddy! 13 miles!

I then stretched out, and made sure to do a good job of it because jumping from 10 miles to 13 miles is a big leap, but I know I will be in good shape for the race next Saturday.  Good news though…no chafing!  Thank you Body Glide!

Training isn’t always Pretty

I felt pretty good afterwards and came right home to shower.  After showering I started blow drying my hair, and then suddenly I just did NOT feel good.  I didn’t eat right afterwards because my stomach felt a little strange and I didn’t want to upset it, but I think that was a bad idea.  I made myself a little glass of chocolate milk to replenish my body with blood sugar and protein, but that just didn’t quite do the trick.  I layed down on the couch to just close my eyes and try to  cool down.  I think the blow dryer overheated me.

Not feelin' too good

My mom then gave me raisins, peanuts, and chocolate chips along with a fresh glass of ice water…just what the doctor ordered!!

Post run replenishment

It’s true, training isn’t always pretty…but I guess chocolate just makes everything better 😉

Now, mom and I are off to the grocery, picking up my brides maid dress (!!), hopefully replacing my camera, hitting up Taste of the Arts in downtown Fort Wayne, Chelsea’s open house, then Chelsea’s bachelorette party!! Should be a fun and busy day 🙂