Traveling? Modify Your Workouts!

Anyone who has traveled literally ever knows how challenging it can be to try to find time to exercise on a trip. Especially if that trip is one for work and your days are almost entirely consumed with work-related activities.

Between days full of meetings and education sessions, and evenings that have multiple events requiring your presence or attention, finding time to get even a 20 minute workout in can feel impossible.

That’s the situation I’m faced with this week. I’m on the road for the annual conference that the association I work for puts on. Fortunately, the hotel we’re taking over has a fitness facility and I’ve committed to working out at least three times during the five days I’m working there. Ideally, I’ll be able to make it happen all five days, but you know as well as I do that sometimes, you’re just too wiped by the end of the day.

Now, what might seem like a challenge is figuring out whether or not I’l be able to continue with my current workout routine. Currently, I’m doing a lot of barbell work – front and back squats, cleans, push jerks, thrusters, bench press, deadlifts… Without a barbell, these things seemingly become more difficult.

But that’s just how it seems. What’s cool is that al of these moves can be scaled or adjusted to be performed with Dumbbells or kettle bells. And some can even be done with body weight alone (I’m looking at you squats).

So, this week, depending on the equipment available to me, I’ve been doing my normal workouts or body weight workouts, based on the following:

Monday – bi tri/cardio
Row – 50 cal warm up – The likelihood that the hotel has a rower is slim, so I’ll probably just jog for five minutes or so
Standing curl – 4×8 (20)
Hammer curl – 4×8 (17.5)
Ez bar curl – 4×8 (35) – All of these cable-related lifts will be dependent on equipment. No cables? Tricep push-ups and kickbacks instead!
Tricep pushdown – 4×10 (55)
Rope pull down – 4×10 (38.5)

4 rounds
10 KBS (20)
10 burpees

Tuesday – legs
Back squat – 4×8 (185)
Box jump/air squat superset – 3 rounds, 10/15
Sled push – 1,2,3,2,1

Pull-up/box jump/push-up superset.

Wednesday – back
3:00 AMRAP (3 rounds)
Deadlift/push-up super set 185/135 – Deadlifts can be done with Dumbbells or kettle bells easily enough. I won’t be able to get up to my normal working weight, so I’ll probably up my AMRAP time to 5:00.

Barbell row 4×8 (135) – Dumbbells, lower weight, higher reps.

Cable row/lat pull down superset
4×10 (121) – If there’s no cable machine, I’ll add to my pull-up reps in the next movement.

Pull-up/box jump/push-up superset.

Thursday – chest
Straight bench – 4×8 (135-7,6,6,5) – Will sub with Dumbbells if necessary. Or push-ups if no Dumbbells are available.
Seated Fly – 4×8 (30×4)

15 min EMOM
18/12 cal row – If no rower, I’ll run!
18/12 air squat
18/12 dips

Pull-up/box jump/push-up superset.

Friday – shoulders
Thrusters – 4×8 (85) – Modify this with Dumbbells if necessary
Push press – 4×8 (75) – Modify this with Dumbbells if necessary

6 min EMOM
Wall ball thrusters max
Jump squats max

Pull-up/box jump/push-up superset.

Saturday – rest
Saturday is a travel day, so working out is a maybe. If I have time to do a short workout in the morning, I will, but I’m not going to scramble to make it happen.

Having a workout plan and schedule for the week should make my goal of working out while at Conference easier to achieve, but as well all know, things happen. In the event I can’t stick to my schedule, I’ll improvise, and that will be good enough. Because as long as I get to move my body and zone out for a little bit, I’ll be in a good spot.

We Found Love in a Hopeless Place


When you’re alone and life is making you lonely
You can always go downtown
When you’ve got worries, all the noise and the hurry
Seems to help, I know, downtown

I think Petula Clark was on to something – because last weekend, when I was still deep in the dark place, the fiance and I took a quick little jaunt down to Charlottesville, VA (not exactly “downtown”) to spend some time together outside of our normal routine.

It was a short trip, but it was just what we needed.

Between crazy work schedules and travel and extracurricular commitments, finding time to be together and just enjoy each other’s company has been a challenge, because when we are together, we’re usually running errands, or cleaning the house, or hosting our friends for Sunday football, or collapsing on the couch after a long day and zoning out in front of Netflix. And trying to save money for the wedding has meant that we have been keeping things pretty low-key.

So, we planned a weekend away. But what was supposed to be a two-night stay became a “less-than-24-hour excursion” because, wouldn’t you know it, work happened and we needed to get back in time for that. That said, we managed to capitalize on all of our time there and it was just what we needed.


Friday morning, we hopped in the car and drove back country roads to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s estate just outside of Charlottesville. We spend lunch and the early afternoon there exploring the grounds, enjoying the unseasonably warm sun, and touring Jefferson’s house. Consequently, I think we also managed to get Hamilton songs stuck in everyone’s heads if they were following us on social media.

Following Monticello, we had planned to visit a winery, but we were tired and hungry, and decided that checking in to our hotel sounded like a better plan. Because that involved stopping for snacks and then laying in bed watching tv and napping without any reason to move.

(I know. I vacation hardcore.)

One of the big reasons we wanted to visit Charlottesville is that it is the birthplace of the Dave Matthews Band. Dave was living and working as a bartender in Cville when he formed the group and there are a number of DMB landmarks there. Clay really wanted to see a few of them, so we spent the evening on a DMB mission.

It was important to Clay for us to stop at Leroi Moore’s gravesite – Moore, one of the founding members of the band, passed away in 2008. He, and the band, have meant a lot to Clay over the years, and getting to pay his respects was something Clay had wanted to do for a long time.


Afterwards, we decided we needed a drink and some dinner – and we needed to pour one out for Leroi. Or shoot whiskey. Same thing, right? I thought so. So, we headed to Miller’s Downtown – the bar that Dave Matthews was tending at when he put the band together. Yes, there was fangirling. No, we’re not sorry. The burger and the wings were awesome and downtown Charlottesville is the cutest. They’ve taken a few blocks of the downtown area and closed them to vehicles, so it’s just a pedestrian mall. We walked up and down it after dinner and explored that little corner of the city before retiring to bed.


When you try to get the Miller’s sign and your faces in one picture… with little success.

Saying goodbye to Charlottesville the next morning happened early and cold – but we left feeling rejuvenated and energized and, honestly, more connected. That sounds so sappy, but it’s true and I’m grateful that in the midst of what has been a very uncertain and emotional week, we were able to find time to focus on each other.

Adventure Is Out There!

I am of the firm belief that when you go on vacation for any amount of time you come back home with a renewed sense of self and purpose. You see things differently when you’re on vacation. You notice little things that you might not otherwise. And when you return home, it carries over into every day life as you slide back into the routine.

Jay (my husband of 13 years and only #relationshipgoal for the past 19 years) and I have always enjoyed traveling and visiting new and different places. We don’t get it do it nearly often as we’d like because as you’re probably well aware, travel is not exactly cheap. At least not the way we do it. But we have had some incredible adventures!


2000 – cruise while we were in graduate school

2004 - Spain selfie on a legit camera (check out the blonde!)

2004 – Spain selfie on a legit camera (check out the blonde!)

Babymoon cruise while pregnant with my second baby.

Babymoon cruise while pregnant with my second baby.

Our most recent adventure has been years in the making. Yes, years.

Practically since we’ve been together Jay has been traveling to Switzerland (and in more recent years, Germany) with his company for business trips. I’ve heard countless stories about these countries, drooled over pictures, and gotten many souvenirs – usually of the chocolate variety.

The stars aligned this year and it was finally my turn to go on holiday (doesn’t that sound so European?) with him. We haven’t had the opportunity to travel alone together for awhile; it was really awesome to spend 10 days of Schmoopy time together.

During our visit we hopped from Zurich airport to Germany for 5 days and back to Switzerland for 5 days. On our way back to Switzerland we took a brief, unexpected drive through Austria. It amazes me how you can do that in Europe!

But enough of me prattling on, you want to see pictures, don’t you?


Our first day was spent at Mainau Island, which is a Botanical Garden off of Lake Constance in Germany. Our main goal this day was to stay awake. It was not easy but the scenery definitely helped!

All tomatoes shall be grown!

All tomatoes shall be grown!

That's not an optical illusion, you can see right through the butterfly's wings!

That’s not an optical illusion, you can see right through the butterfly’s wings!

After finally sleeping and getting over jetlag (staying awake the first day really did help), we visited Bavaria to see Castles Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein.


From the window of Castle Hohenschwangau.

From the window of Castle Hohenschwangau.

Hanging in the castle garden.

Hanging in the castle garden.


The hike between these castles was about 20 minutes long and we hoofed it back and forth between each. Although it was gray and raining much of the day, the views were spectacular!


Castle Neuschwanstein’s design and architecture largely inspired both Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella’s castles in Disney. Rightly so!


Our home base in Germany was Ravensburg and after driving to visit the Castles, we decided to do things around the city on our 3rd day. Ravensburg is home of Museum Ravensburger, an interactive museum dedicated to puzzles and games.



I made a friend!




Since we were hanging around our “home turf” and Ravensburg is known as the city of “towers and gates” we decided it would only be appropriate that we visited the Blaserturm, located at the center of town.


Well done, Ravensburg!

Well done, Ravensburg!


For our final full day in Germany, we decided to drive to Munich. It wasn’t exactly close by but Jay had heard about the Rathaus-Glockenspiel in the center of town and he was really looking forward to checking out the show.

From there we spent the rest of the day walking around the city, shopping for souvenirs, and taking a riding tour on a double decker bus. When we were in Spain we used them a lot to get from point A to B to C and decided to take advantage once again!





As we were traveling to Switzerland the next day, we decided to make it an earlier night, eat locally in Ravensburg and hang out back at our hotel (Hotel Obertor).


Next up, Switzerland! But that will have to wait for Monday’s post. See you soon, world travelers!

Where have you traveled lately? What is on your travel bucket list?

Back to reality after #birdcamp

You may already know I spent last week on the west coast – first in California visiting a few wonderful friends – then in Oregon for Oiselle team camp.

I had planned to create a big, long post for today sharing photos of my adventures, but I ran out of time — so instead you’ll get a few fun pics and a teaser. You’ll get the full post next week – or you can check out my work blog post.

ccBeachcombing at crystal cove in the OC

cc2Celebrating life with two of my loves – Linz and Kelly

camp18at Mt. Hood with Kelly!

camps6One of my fave pics from #birdcamp, hiking with the pros (Lauren and Kate)

camp4LOTS of birds before a 5k race

Catching up:

You may recall that last week Bec asked me to take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Welp – I did it Monday with a few colleagues. Click HERE to watch the video:

iceFrom left, Neeti, Sarah and I get doused

And speaking of work:

In January – just before my last trip west – I was interviewed on a local murder case for the true crime show Snapped, which airs weekly on the Oxygen channel.

You may recall Rose Chase, an Ontario County woman convicted of killing her husband in 2012, hiding, then dismembering and burning his body and lying about his whereabouts for six months.

rose chase 2Rose Chase at her sentencing in January; Photo by Tina MacIntyre-Yee of the Democrat and Chronicle

Long story short – her story will be on Snapped Sunday night. And I’ll be on it. Check out the promo video HERE:

Tell me about your fave spot on the west coast. Have you done the Ice Bucket Challenge? Do you watch true crime shows like Snapped?

Time to Break Away From This Day to Day

People, I’m going insane over here. We just wrapped up an entire week of Little being sick.

Pooks was sick with the same thing at the beginning of the month but at age nine, he’s a much easier sick.When Pooks is sick, he stays in his room, relaxes, plays on his 3DS, and watches Netflix (you know, in between the vomiting and whatnot).

When five year old Little is sick, he’s on the couch with me. He wants to watch the same show twenty times in a row. He wants a drink. But not medicine. Never medicine. He wants to cuddle. He’s hot. He’s cold and wants a blanket. Gemma is allowed to lie with him, but only on his feet.


With all this time around the house, I’ve been getting a lot done… so there’s a positive, I suppose. I’m at the point where ALL the laundry is clean. That will last two seconds but I’m going to enjoy this moment. All the dishes are also clean and in their spots. Straightening and chucking things that have been sitting around for far too long has also occurred.

What’s not getting done? Food shopping. Meal planning. Running. Playing. Breathing fresh air.

Although, being at home with kiddo hasn’t been all bad. I’m reading my third book of the week. I finally wrote an overdue letter to Victoria. And I’m planning trips for the summer! Getting in the summer mindset isn’t really too difficult because Little is constantly asking, “Is it summer yet? NOW is it summer?” Kids are always ready for the next big thing before this one is even over.

As of two weeks ago, my only solid plans were heading to California at the end of August to visit bestie Kelly -and her adorable family- and then meet up with my Chicks, Jess and Cam, for the Disneyland half weekend and shenanigans.

Now, more solid plans have fallen into place.

  1. We’ve joined a local swim club.
  2. Little is signed up for five weeks of camp for the mornings.
  3. Pooks is heading to Florida with Grandpa on the auto train. (shhhh, it’s a surprise!)
  4. We’re going to Florida too! We’ll be meeting them down there for a week of Beach, Pool, Ice Cream. I think that’s basically my version of GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry for those who have never seen Jersey Shore). Oh, and FAMILY. We’ve got a slew of family down in Florida and I want to see them all.
  5. California!

Throw in a couple of races, the ever-constant training – running and weights, our Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a Sweet 16, Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, and a wedding and we’ve got quite a full schedule!

With all the plans, there are still a couple of things that I’d like to focus on.

1.  Focus on swimming. Since we’ve joined the swim club, I would like my five year old to learn how to swim. Additionally, I’d like to get back into the pool and add that into my workout routine. I was on the swim team for years as a child but haven’t used it as exercise since my young teen years.

2.  Cook dinners, order out less, and focus on healthier food decisions. Why is this so challenging? Seriously. I feel like it shouldn’t be and yet, the planning of meals is something that has never come easy for me. Sometimes I’m REALLY on with things. And then there are times like this week/month/few months. Maybe I’ll see if What’s For Dinner? errrr, I mean BEC can come up with a meal plan for us.

3.  Be present in the moment. So much of my time seems to be spread out between things I want to do and things I feel obligated to do. However, with all of the moments, I would like to try to be more present. It might mean leaving my phone at home more but do I really need to be in constant contact with everyone all the time? No. I do not.


Although look at the gorgeous pic I took just a few blocks down from my house while taking the pooch for a walk!

What do you have planned for the summer months? Do you leave your cell phone at home to disconnect for awhile? Any recipes or meal plans you can recommend?



Tink, sickness and an upcoming trip

Last week, I only ran once.

I wasn’t feeling the best all week and decided it was smarter to lay low and relax rather than push it. I had just run the Tinker Bell Half Marathon on the west coast, and I think flying cross-country for a long weekend after an insanely busy work week ultimately took its toll.

victinkMe after 13.1 miles!

(Side note – click here for my Tink Half recap)

For once, I was responsible about what I was convinced was an ear infection and went to the doctor to get medication. Turned out – not an ear infection, but I did have a fever. (what? I never have a fever. My average body temp is actually a squeak below 98.6 degrees. what was I doing pushing 100?)

So I left the doctor without any medication and an invisible creature who was repeatedly stabbing me in my left ear. Fabulous. Lots of advil, sudafed, vitamin C drops and tea were my staples for the week.

For several days, I sat on the sofa and snuggled with my cat. I cleaned the house, until I couldn’t stand that either. I read two books (mind candy) and organized receipts for my hubby’s business. I ignored shoveling snow until the weekend and on Sunday, I went on a baking spree.

bananaMy banana bread had babies

It was freaking cold out to boot. Not helping the ear pain.  By Saturday, I felt far better but with subzero wind chills, I decided to head to the treadmill. Not my best run, but I managed three 10-minute miles and some ab-work.

So now, I am looking ahead at what’s next. As many of you may know, I am headed to Orlando (again) next month for runDisney’s inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge (that’s a 10K race and a half-marathon over two days during the Princess Half Marathon weekend.) 19.3 magical miles!

But alas, another running adventure will take place one week earlier with my friend Kristin! 

And that means… I’m going to Alabama! Together, we will run the Mercedes Half Marathon next month in Birmingham, Alabama! The race is one of Kristin’s favorites — and a hometown event to boot!

I’ve never been to Alabama, it’s actually one of the few states I’ve wanted to visit but haven’t quite reached. (along with Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas – I seem to be missing several southern states on my US checklist.) I plan to eat my way through town and run may way through this historical city (not at the same time, of course.)

I love to travel, I love to run and I love visiting with friends. And what better way to do so, than to tackle all three together! Can’t wait to run with you, Kristin!

Have you been to Birmingham, Alabama? What should I  visit and eat while there? What should I add to my CAN’T MISS list?