The Doughman Race 2012: We Ran, We Ate, We Conquered

I never thought I’d say this, but I ran one hell of a race (dressed like a bloodthirsty honey badger after eating a vegan tako).

Yeah, I think the whole sentence is what I never thought I’d say. MAYBE I thought I might have run a race (or swam, or biked, or crawled one)…. but NOT dressed like a honey badger, and NOT with a tummy full of treats.

Saturday morning, I met at my teammate’s house bright and early to put the final touches on our costumes (ok, let’s be honest, mostly my costume… I’ve got a flair for the flamboyant) before carpooling in the direction of downtown Durham.  Our goal? The Doughman, an event that may have been the first thing I put on my Triangle Bucket List.

Note the honey…. gotta stay true to form.

We registered our team bike (a road bike… remember that, as it comes into play later) and checked out the scene.

The closest I came to the trophy, don’t worry

The sweet slap bracelet that served as our “baton” to pass from person to person

There were amazing costumes by some of the other teams. It was clear that folks had gone all out and, despite the fact that I probably looked like a road-killed skunk, I was channeling my inner bloodthirsty honey badger. And I was feeling great.

Team BHB aka Team 38! Jordan, Katie, Ben, and Paul

The organizers of the race called the teams together for a few announcements. First things first, they covered the rules. I can get behind that, everyone needs to know the rules.  Then they covered some other stuff.

For instance, if you’d raised $250 or more as a team, you got a “time bonus” of a 2 minute head start. If you raised $1,000 or more, your head start was 5 minutes. We’d raised $160 as a team and, in my opinion, that’s awesome. I’m so thankful for my loved ones who donated, and I LOVE that we raised money for SEEDS. But the entire time the organizers were talking about the time bonus, I felt a big whopping pile of guilt being ladled onto those of us who didn’t raise enough for a time bonus.

Look at all those teams hopping up to the start early, all of you other teams… Maybe next year, you’ll think of that when you’re raising money.

Whoah. Wait a minute. Is my money not also doing great things?  That wasn’t all that was said to us, and I feel like we were basically made to feel like second-class citizens for not meeting THE QUOTA. If there’s money you NEED us to raise, make it a requirement. Otherwise, don’t give us hell for not doing it.

ANYWAY, Team 38’s lead leg, Paul, faced a daunting meal before his 8.5 mile bike ride.  From Dain’s Place: Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich with Homemade Marshmallow Fluff on Fresh Bread (contains nuts)

A worthy foe

He chomped it down, hopped on his bike and got to getting. And then, the unthinkable happened.

EEK!

The chain on Paul’s bike fell off the moment he started riding it. LUCKILY this happened inches away from the starting line, so Ben QUICKLY jumped into action and fixed it. But it didn’t bode well for the bike ride.

See, the thing is, according to Ben we “broke the first rule of races”. Don’t change something on Race Day. Paul had never used a road bike before, just mountain bikes. Uh oh.

I waited. I was the second leg and, after 27 minutes, the first speedy racers came in from Leg 1. I was getting fired up. I stretched. I jumped around. I ran through the course in my brain. And I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

According to Paul, since he wasn’t accustomed to gear changing, every time he had to go up a hill, he had to walk the bike. And then re-mount it.  Translation? Slow and (semi-)steady.

Result?

Mercy rule, they let me go at 1 hour in….  And THEN I was off!  Ahead of me? 1.8 mile run followed by a “water activity” (paddling across a pool in an inner tube!) after eating a treat from Kokyu.  Ahead of me was their V-Tako: Soy Nuts, Sprouts, Vinaigrette, Cilantro, Kokyu Chili, Sesame Kimchi’d Radish.

Hello, nemesis.

I ran the short distance from the corral to the table and had at it. My first instinct? TAKE A HUGE BITE!

The many faces of eating Jordan

WOW! That was a spicy tako! The initial HUGE bite was the hardest to chomp on, knowing that every time I bit down, a burst of spicy Kimchi was coming at me. I wised up after the first half of the taco, ripping it into small pieces and chasing each bite with water. FINALLY, I got it down. Well, mostly down.  I had to take a last few swallows when the judge asked me to show him my mouth.  Oops…

The run BEGAN!

I jumped out of the gate FAST, much faster than I’m accustomed to running.  I knew the course, I was ready for this.  What I was NOT ready for was how very lonely it is out there when there aren’t any other runners.  Since that whole “mercy rule” was instituted, it was just me and one other runner, one who was faster than I was. He sped by me (though, I WILL say I ate my tako before him, HA!) and, since I didn’t bring my iPod, I was alone with my thoughts.  I know it was only 1.8 miles but, for me, that’s more than I’d ever run before practicing the route earlier in the week.  After speeding the initial uphill + downhill portion, I looked at my HRM. Where I was at 10 minutes in my practice round, I was at 7:45 during the actual race. So when it came to the uphill portion, the quiet, the loneliness, and the TAKO got to me.  There were a few portions that I had to walk (namely uphill, right across from the Durham Bulls stadium).  I couldn’t help myself, I was sucking wind and thinking to myself “Whoah, there’s phlegm and cilantro in my throat.” I know that is gross, and probably TMI.  Sorry.  But the moment I saw the YMCA in the distance, I knew I’d made it. So I hauled ass to the Y, yanked all my clothing off (don’t worry, I had a bathing suit on!), tossed my HRM to the side, and hopped in the pool.

I HATE that I don’t have pictures of this, because I imagine it was hilarious.  But I placed my butt in the inner tube and paddled my honey badger heart out.  And I ran the last 50-70 yards barefoot, clutching my shoes and clothes.

CHAMP!

My final leg time was 20:05. For eating, running, and paddling, that sounds GREAT to me.  To give you a range, the fastest time I saw was 12:41 (Damn Bull City track team speed demons) and the slowest I saw for my leg was 30:40, so I feel comfortable in the middle of the pack. I really think I could’ve gone faster if I’d run the whole thing, but morale wasn’t as high without any volunteers out to cheer me on, or fellow runners to feed off of their energy.

Katie’s leg started off with a doozy.

From Nosh,  Fried Green Tomato Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper Spread (contains nuts).

Yummy!

It was delicious. Not that I ate many bites of it….

MOVING ON!

Alas, I didn’t get any pictures of the only meat-item of the race, but Ben had the pleasure of eating Old Havana’s Cuban Sliders on Gugelhupf Brioche with Maduros. 

Jealous.

He ran like the wind (the fast wind) and actually had like, the 4th fastest time for his leg of all the teams. If we were ALL Bens, we would’ve won that trophy, I’m sure.  We’re not, but I love him for keeping us in a position of honor for the last leg.  They saved the best, of course, for last.

The DESSERT LEG!

On the menu?


Leg 5, team sprint: The Parlour, Mad Hatters, LocoPops & Daisy Cakes
Meal: Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream with Strawberry Swirl; Chocolate Walnut Whopper Cookie; Water-based Raspberry Coconut Popsicle (vegan); Strawberry Cupcake with Almond Buttercream Icing

I decided to take control of the strawberry cupcake with almond buttercream icing.  I knew, if I could dominate anything, it was a cupcake especially with almond flavored ANYTHING.

The two “cold” items not pictured to avoid melting.

I dove right in.

The frosting was FLYING!

I’m pretty amazing at eating cupcakes fast, I learned and, after the rest of the teammies wolfed down their dishes, we sprinted to the finish line.

Team 38/81 came in 58th place…. But I know we’re #1 in your hearts.

WAHOO!!

It was brutally hot, it was tough to down food then go running, and bike issues got us down initially. But, on the other side, it was exhilarating, it was hilarious, it was delicious, and it was a blast! I would TOTALLY do it again. In a heartbeat.

I feel so lucky to have amazing buddies to make up a dream team, and I LOVED the chance to Doughman-ate the Doughman!

I think I wanted to pretend it was a cape?

I am the Dough(WO)MAN!!

Craziest competition you’ve ever been a part of?

Eating, running, racing, swimming, I’d love to hear about it!

Would you ever do something like the Doughman?

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Six Pack Sunday: Pizza Gear and Summer Beer

Now that the sunburn has finally stopped sizzling, I guess it’s official. Memorial Day Weekend is in full swing, and that can only mean one thing: Summer time, baby. The living isn’t really “easy” or even that different, but there’s a shift in my mentality, knowing that I only have about 14 days left at the office, and about a month before I start my gradual move to the North (Philadelphia by way of Ocean City, NJ… quite the exodus, yes?)

Luckily, today also means Six Pack Sunday.  So there’s that.

1. Sunshine Wine

The gang’s all here

Before this weekend, I’d never made sangria before. But I a Sangria newbie NO MORE! Following (mostly) this recipe for a “light” tropical Sangria from Cosmopolitan, I put it in the fridge Friday night and hoped for the best. Luckily, what I created received rave reviews from my friends.

I nixed the lime slices in favor of lime juice, added a peach and a bit of Splenda, along with an airplane bottle of lime rum which has been sitting in my apartment for way too long.

I tasted better than that picture looks…

It was the perfect treat for poolside sunning.

2. A Running Fool

So I know I’ve referenced the Doughman a few times, and yesterday posted a teaser of my sexy costume.  But it wasn’t all about eating and costumes and silliness. We actually had to run! And so, on Wednesday, I fought some crazy crowds in downtown Durham to practice my route.

Cheesing

The pride you see on my face is from running the 1.8 mile course in 18 minutes, after getting a little turned around, and drenching my body in sweat. TOTALLY worth it to not get lost on Saturday morning.

3. Summer Beer

Ta DA!

Clearly, I’m a fan, as demonstrated by my newest Untappd badge.

4. Chicken… AND waffles?!

That chicken is what my heart looks like, too.

Dame’s Chicken & Waffles. 

Oh my gosh.

More on that later.

5. I got Pizza on my Chest, but Don’t Call Me a Pizza Chest

I may not be a fashionista…. but I gotta say, I’m not a fan of this.

Umm.

The Pizza Shirt is just a LITTLE too realistic looking for me.

And given the fact that my beau is a notorious pizza hound, I probably shouldn’t get one of these any time soon, for fear of him actually eating me up.

6. Just Call Me Speedo Sally

Yesterday, I was up and wearing a bathing suit by 6:15 am.

….ready?

I don’t think I’ve done that since I was like… 11.

Who is this crazy Jordy girl?

Speaking of Speedos, I think I gotta toss on my bikini and get back to the pool.

Are you a Sangria fan?

What’s your favorite poolside bevvy?

Dough-minated

A spicy vegan tako, 1.8 BRUTAL miles in the NC sunshine, a quick paddle in the pool, lotsa bites of the teammate’s fried green tomato sammy, cheering my face off, a MONSTER vanilla + almond buttercream cupcake, 1/2 a chocolate chunk cookie, and a final run push. Now I relax. Thanks to everyone who made my dreams of The DOUGHMAN a reality!

Pardon the stains on my mirror, I’m a gross creature.

Full recap in the future. Time to relax, Memorial Day Weekend style.

You can find me at the pool.

The Hazards of Being Fabulous

I know, I know, it seems like all I talk about these days is Zumba. How I dress for it, how much I love it, how great it is. Whatever, old news, right?

Well, did you ever know how dangerous Zumba can be?

It’s risky to shake it as hard as I do, sometimes.

Let me explain.

Certain instructors like to split the room in half and work the room in a dance-off. A battle of epic, Step Up proportions. And these are excellent times. On Monday, I visited Women’s Only Workout in Chapel Hill for the first time (membership is a perk from the Healthiest You Challenge). I figured I’d tour it and try a Zumba class.  Only my fellow participants weren’t exactly as hyped up as I’m used to. While I was hooting and hollering, they were sort of silent coyotes, dancing without words.  So, when the room was split up, the instructor called me out.

Instructor: “Who do you Zumba with? Like, who taught you?”

Me: “Oh, goodness, like… any and every instructor, really.”

Instructor: “Well, class, you gotta Zumba like THIS GIRL! Get into it, let’s hear some noise!”

Me – “Challenge ACCEPTED.”

That was a challenge, right? So I decided to REALLY bring it.

The side vs. side dance-off began simply enough, lots of shaking and shimmying.

Then, we took it to the next level. We’re talking booty-popping, locking, and dropping.  So I decided to top it off with a grand finale, guaranteed to garner cheers and joy from my fellow Zumb-ers.

After shaking my way to the center, I thrust my hand in the air (like so):

You know what’s coming

Then, in an epic gesture, I dropped it low and SMACKED the floor. Like this:

MAKE THAT FLOOR WISH IT WAS NEVER LAID!

And, the moment I spanked the living daylights out of that floor, I felt it.  Right in my hand, a searing pain that one might expect to get had they slapped a brick wall for sassing them, or had their hands rapped with rulers for being snarky in school.  So, I continued to dance as the crowd roared with laughter and cheering and claps.  But what I WANTED to do was this:

MOTHER OF ALL THINGS HOLY THAT HURT!

The result?

Hand bruises are no jokes, y’all.

What did we learn from today’s lesson, friends?

Winning a Zumba dance off is worth any and all pain.

I don’t regret a thing.

Monday’s Miseducation

So, I learned a lot of things this weekend.

My frenemy, Mary.

Bloody Marys and I don’t get along.  Or, more accurately, we maybe get along too well. I’d never tried one before this weekend, and apparently, they do an exceedingly good job of masking the taste of alcohol.  Dangerous for this girl.  Belated apologies to everyone that had to deal with me after the effect kicked in, I think that’s the last time I’ll be enjoying (?) that particular soupy cocktail.

Vacations are a lot less relaxing when you spend most of the time traveling, even after the initial traveling to get to your destination.

If this article is true, I’m going to live FOREVER.

Wahoo!!!! (Wa-Foo?)

The Foo Fighters put on one hell of a live show.

If DJ Pauly D is performing IN NEW JERSEY, you really should get in line quite early.  Or else you won’t see him.  Luckily, there were plenty of other fist pumping moments to deal with over the weekend.

Who YOU calling ugli, fruit?

Ugli Fruit are real things.  This is not a joke.   And, despite their mottled and lumpy exterior, their insides are juicy citrusy fruits that taste a lot like grapefruit.  So if you’re into that kinda thing, be my guest.

Still warm…

Oui oui

New Jersey’s got the breakfast situation on LOCK. Plump, warm everything bagels, thick slices of Taylor pork roll, enough butter to swim in…. Mama likes it.

Oh, and something I learned today?

If this creature is allowed to exist on the planet, the end is probably nigh.

SPAWN OF SATAN!

I hope y’all are at peace with your makers.  Or really good with bugs….

Any bits of juicy knowledge you learned this weekend? (They don’t ALL have to be related to Jersey.)

Healthiest You Challenge: Progress!

Oh.

My.

Goodness.

HELLO, new friend!

THAT is a number I haven’t seen in quite some time.  And even that one time I saw it, it was only once. And only for a brief second.  And there was a .5 added to it.

What I’m trying to say is WHOAH I got some progress going on!

When I started this Healthiest You Challenge, I weighed in at 178.  Which is actually 37 lbs lighter than when I started.  But still 13 lbs above my ultimate goal. And I know that weight isn’t the only measure of progress, so I wanted to share some other progress made.

I’m doing 50 pushups a day.  Not in a row, mind you. But over the course of the day, in sets of 10, I’m doing them. And I’m feeling stronger.

I’m mixing up my workouts.

Feeling that burn!

That is a combination of a Muscle Conditioning Class and the Core class right after. I’ve definitely been neglecting strength training lately, being all cardio and Zumba obsessed.  But this glass challenged ALL of my muscles, and I was sore in places I haven’t even thought about in years.  The use of weights, resistance bands, steps, and sliding disks made for a variety of exciting new exercises that kept me challenged.

Holy 191 HR!

The High Intensity Training (don’t mind that extra I in the text on the image) class is described like this:

H.I.T. only lasts 45 minutes as opposed to 60 minutes, but it is done at near maximal intensity the entire time. Cardio circuit after cardio circuit, muscular circuit after muscular circuit, the class will keep your heart pounding from start to finish, with minimal rest and maximum effort. As with any class particpants can make it as hard as they wish, with safety always coming first in the form of various options and modifications, but as a general rule of thumb, this class is not for the faint of heart.

I’ll be honest, NOTHING about that sounds fun. And, compared to choreographed workout classes, it wasn’t “fun”, per se. But it WAS hard, and exciting, and I felt like I was shocking my muscles with moves like Burpees with the Bosu ball and standing-on-one-leg bicep curls and EXPLOSIVE jumps from a standing position.  I think I rocked it.

I’m also tracking all my food intake on My Fitness Pal and have gotten a lot better about not overdoing it over the weekend.  That doesn’t mean it’s been smooth sailing.

There have been bumps (sometimes, in the shape of a family sized box of Wheat Thins split between two ladies on a Sunday evening…)

Family of two, anyone? (And yes, that’s the infamous Brian Krakow a la My So-Called Life on the screen behind the box.)

But it’s working. I’m getting over my plateau with hard work, and dedication.  And knowing I have a team behind me, cheering me on as they work for the same goal as me, that’s another welcome addition to the party.

This Healthiest You Challenge is actually making me feel like the healthiest Jordan I’ve been in a long time.  But don’t worry, I haven’t changed all that much….

Still taking life as seriously as ever.

Thanks to everyone for their support so far, June 8th is approaching quickly and I really hope I can reach my goal (or at least get a little closer!!)

Six Pack Sunday: Glows, Games, and Girls

Whoah. A Sunday not spent on the road (or on a plane, or checking in for a flight, or anything of that sort).  An easy Sunday where I didn’t set an alarm, I just woke up, at some stuff, watched some stuff, and (later) I’ll sit by the pool and stuff.  If I feel like it.

I don’t get many Sundays like this lately, so it’s essential to make the most of it.

Clearly, “making the most of it” translates to “writing a Six Pack Sunday” post.

1. Games (Well, really just one Game [of Thrones])

Halloween Costume this year?

I don’t have HBO at my apartment. I do, however, have internet, and a family that LOVES HBO, traditionally. THIS means that I have access to HBOGO. For some reason, this didn’t sink in (despite my hours spent watching junk on Netflix). But, since  I finished the Mad Men offerings on my go-to-streaming site, it was time for a change. And, fancy that, there’s a show running featuring dragons, kings and queens, lovers, warriors, sword fights, and magic. Basically, every single thing that I used to read about every day of my childhood/adolescence.  Terry Goodkind, Maggie Furey, Robert Jordan, Tolkien, Tamora Pierce….

Yup, I’m hooked.

2. Behold the Power of Precious

I love Jellyfish. We’ve covered this before, as I have them decking my home’s walls and counter tops.

On a second, unrelated note, I have no interest in having a child anytime in the near future.

But, let me share with you something that made my womb ache with the need to produce a little one, just so I could deck him/her in this glory:

eeeeeeeeeeee!

Don’t worry, the squealing faded as my proximity to the onesie decreased.  But for a moment there, I contemplated stealing the nearest baby to raise as my own and dress in ONLY jellyfish gear.

Too much.

3. Ain’t No Party Like a Cheese Party…

….because a cheese party’s GOT CHEESE!

Let me explain.

As I’m leaving my company (and the state of North Carolina) at the end of June, they wanted to put together a little farewell dessert thing for me.  However, despite the occasional sweet tooth, dessert isn’t really my favorite thing.  But you know what is?

Cheese!

I requested advice from my various social networks for cheese recs, and have decided that a cheese plate is the ONLY way to bid me farewell.  I am happily welcoming any other cheese suggestions.  This Wensleydale with Cranberries came HIGHLY recommended from several sources, though. So it’s definitely going on the list.

4. Flower Power

well, almost a flower

This is an artichoke down to the last layers. And it is BEAUTIFUL!

More importantly, it’s a delicious, healthy treat.

For future reference for all my suitors and fans, in lieu of flowers, I will accept bouquets of artichokes.

5. Girls Gone… Something

I know I’m far behind but, as I mentioned above, I just found the joy of HBOGO.  This means, I just watched (all 4 episodes of) Girls.

I shared my thoughts with my buddy ClaireB already, but here they are for the rest of the world (and for posterity, I guess):

I HATE the lead (Hannah).  She’s like this deplorable character that reminds me of Betty Draper from Mad Men, who I also hate.  I was so proud of her speech to that guy, and then was like UGH you rat letting him touch you again, get that squirrel dick away from me.

I LOVE Shoshanna. She may be my favorite character.
I’m feeling the same way about Jessa as I did Juno (from Juno). I kind of like her, and then I feel uncomfortable with her talking to the dad of those kids.
Marnie, poor Marnie. I feel sad for her, b/c Charlie seems like such a tool, but a lovable tool, and I imagine that he’s hard to get rid of.  I’d like to see her character get more developed.
We’ll see how this series goes but… it’s promising.
6. It was all YELLOW!
I’m a big fan of being tan. However, when you work all day, travel on the weekends a lot, and generally don’t live at the beach (or tanning salon), it can be tough.  Enter an old friend:
Providing moisture to the skin as well as tint, Jergen’s Natural Glow is a girl’s best friend (you know, when she doesn’t have too many diamonds to her name).  However, there’s this little phase between totally pale and a happy “glow” that looks a LOT like jaundice.
Unfortunately, that’s the phase I’m in right now.
Time to rub more in my skin and pray people don’t think I have a liver condition…
What’s your FAVORITE cheese?
 
What would you want in a bouquet instead of flowers?

Triangle Bucket List: Dos Perros in Durham

Dos Perros. Two dogs.  Seems simple enough, right?

However, when placed in downtown Durham, NC, these two dogs are transformed into a magnificent Mexican spot perfect for date night or a get together with two ladies.  Since my main squeeze is located in Philadelphia (without me, for the next few months), I opted for my other partner-in-(legal)-crime: Melissa.  And, though our initial destination was Dame’s, plans changed and we ended up in a different Durham restaurant, but EQUALLY on my Triangle Bucket List.

Solid lineup

The menu wasn’t too long, but it had everything we needed. Dinner, appetizers, and, of course, cocktails!

Bevvies? BUENO!

Melissa ordered the Dos Perros Sangria: “Hibiscus, citrus, seasonal fruit and red wine, mixed into an addictive beverage.”

I opted for the always-popular classic margarita: “Fresh orange and lime juice, just a dash of sugar, and, of course, tequila.  If you agree that a margarita should be tart and refreshing, you’ll love it.”

I have to admit, after trying both our beverages, the margarita came out on top. Then again, anything with tequila, fresh lime juice, and rimmed with salt is all I need to be satisfied.  I will say that Dos Perros offers a load of craft beers on their extensive drink menu, but, when in Rome…

Speaking of menus,  I’d scoped their dinner menu out for quite some time before we headed to our seats (we had a bit of a wait, though nothing too off-putting), so I knew some ideas of what I wanted.  What we got was a mixed bunch of goodies (and… not AS goodies).

Chips and (tomatillo?) salsa

Hell of a heap of guac

The guacamole started the meal off on the best note possible. Creamy with just the right amount of chunks (yay corn!), this guacamole order for $5 was delicious and hearty! A rather large serving, that didn’t stop us from virtually (actually?) licking the bowl.

No worries, because our meal came shortly after we’d finished.

Empanadas!

As Melissa and I are both fond of sweet potato ANYTHING, we were all on board for the Sweet potato empanadas with chipotle, fig sauce (for $7)

I’ll admit, the empanadas themselves were actually not all that life-changing. It was the sauce that brought the dish home for me.  The sweet mixed with the savory, salty fried pastry completed this plate.  We split this order, as well as a “main dish”.

Yeah, baby!

Lamb enchiladas w/ tomato-red pepper salsa. With shredded cabbage, avocado, queso fresco ($16).

The ends of these (3) enchiladas were actually a little dry. That’s all that I can complain about, though. The lamb inside was tender and the queso fresco on top of everything was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Again, the sauce (or, in this case, salsa) was slathered over all the best bites, and I even enjoyed some of the rice (which I normally avoid like the plague.)

I wish we’d opted to replace the pinto beans with black beans, but the whole plate worked.  It worked a-okay.

Since we got a patio seat outside, we enjoyed our dinner outside, lit by candles.  However, by 9pm, it was a little too chilly for us (who hadn’t thought to bring jackets or sweaters, in hopes that we could trick our body into believing that it was already summer) so we migrated inside for the grand finale (finale grande?)

HELL to the yeah!

Mole poblano ice cream topped with house-made granola.  I don’t remember the price of this, but it was totally worth it, whatever it was.

One bite seemed sweet and sumptuous, the next bite possessed a spicy kick that reminded you what an amazing feeling taste-dissonance can be.  This ice cream…. just go get it.  It’s ethereal.

Though there were not-so-highs during this dinner, nothing was bad and there were a few standouts that I’d go back again and again to enjoy.

The Triangle Bucket List continues to be a booming success.  I can’t wait to see what’s next…
What’s your favorite taste combination?  Salty sweet? Spicy and creamy? hot and cold?

Healthiest You Challenge: Week 3 with Jazzercise!

Jazzercise.

Yup.

That is the first image that pops up when I google image search the term. Jazzercise, according to a pal on MyFitnessPal, evokes this response:

OMG, I haven’t even heard that term in like 20 years! Makes me think back to my old Jane Fonda videos!!

Well… Turns out that’s not really what Jazzercise is all about.  According to the internet, “Jazzercise is a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing.” When I visited the Chapel Hill Jazzercise location (located dangerously close to a bagel shop and a barbecue joint, eep), I didn’t know what to expect. While I didn’t imagine unitards and shiny leggings, I sort of wish I’d brought a pair of leg warmers, if only to get the full experience.

The full experience, however, was pretty fantastic.

For the Healthiest You Challenge, we are required to try a few community health options out over the 8 weeks. 6 complimentary Jazzercise classes were on that list. While I’m accustomed to a gym full of hyperactive “yo pros” (Young professionals) with the occasional student mixed in at O2 Fitness, Jazzercise was definitely an older crowd.  That being said, it definitely wasn’t “OLD” old, and there was a range from about mid- to late-20s all the way up to (I assume) 60s.  A great mix, and everyone seemed very excited.

Getting JAZZY!

As far as the outfits, folks weren’t rocking my dream of Glitter Body Suits, but all looked pretty fashionable in bright colors and comfortable workout gear.  Nothing out of the standard fitness gear.

There were only females in my class, though I know that Jazzercise welcomes males and females.

(Sorry for the lousy picture)

The perceived exertion chart sort of set up the class as far as how we’d be working out.  There’s a buildup with a warmup, a sustained peak for four songs (in this particular class, I’ve heard it can vary), and then a period of slowing/cooling down, which included some strength training.

My thoughts?

I’ll admit, I was wary initially. The warmup was REALLY slow, and my heart rate stayed a lot lower than I’m used to in my standard dance fitness classes (like Zumba or Bodyjam).  However, after a little while, I could see why folks were so dedicated to this class. Though it moves at a slower pace, you definitely are getting a solid workout in. Most of the songs I’d never heard before (with about 3 exceptions during the whole hour class), and I always kind of prefer being able to sing along, but (at points) I was working so hard that singing would’ve been a challenge.

Jazzercise is less about sexily shaking what your mama gave you, and more about a fun dance workout to music.  I get the feeling it sort of set the groundwork or foundation for lots of more modern classes, and it’s always good to know where your roots are.  The participants were all in good spirits, which was contagious enough to have me whooping with the rest of the class about halfway in.  My favorite part of the class, though, was definitely the strength portion.

The gear!

There was a section for arms, for lower body (booty, thighs), and an ab section, covering all most of the bases.  This was a nice change of pace from my usual cardio-only classes, and I liked jumping off that cardio high to focus on small, controlled weight lifting and inner/outer thigh work.

As far as Jazzercise goes, while I can’t say that I’m a convert, I will happily say that I’m a believer that it can be a great fitness workout for some people. It’s affordable, it’s a great feeling of community, and, I imagine, with enough practice, the steps feel like second nature.

Without any practice, you may end up bumbling around like a fool for few parts.

I know I did.

According to my HRM, I burned 692 calories during the hour (with a few questionable peaks that make me wonder if, at the end, I may have bumped it or made it go funny).  But hey, I broke a serious sweat, and had fun doing it.

I haven’t had a chance to get my weigh-in for the week (blessing in disguise after a bit of overeating on the weekend), but I’ll let you know when I check in on that, too.

Have you ever tried Jazzercise? What’d you think?

or, if you haven’t, What’s one exercise class you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had a chance?

I HATE Star Wars Day

Things that I would rather do than read the “May the Fourth be with you” anymore on the internet:

  • Lose all my checked luggage at the airport
  • Drink ONLY Pickle Back shots all night

    Grosser than gross.

  • Lose all my DVRed TV shows/movies (like A Goofy Movie. THAT would be the worst loss.)
  • Have to walk through all Drive-Thru ATMs

    No, this didn’t bother anyone at all.

  • Sit between two giant, hairy, smelly guys on my next flight (which is still possible, tonight… keep your fingers crossed!)
  • Get 10,000 spoons when all I need is a knife
  • Get caught in a windstorm wearing all black, and carrying a plate of beignets

    This doesn’t look promising

  • Have to cheer for Duke. Ever.

    The only time I may actually do that.

  • Get lost in Philly and lose my GPS signal (also very possible, I get lost easily.)
  • Have to spend the weekend in Sevierville, TN home of Dolly Parton… Again.

    This actually happened one year the night before Thanksgiving… but that’s a story for another time.

  •  Hmmm… That’s all I can think of right now, off-hand.

There are probably countless other options, but none that come to mind with fun illustrations to go with them.

I can’t wait for Cinco de Mayo, if only because Han Solo will take a back seat to tequila jokes and sombreros.

Comprende?

Do you have any least favorite holidays that aren’t actually holidays, they’re just things that people made up to sound clever?

Basically, I’m asking if you are as sick of these ridiculous tweets and status updates as I am….

Goodness, I sound bitter.