I’ve been taking some time off from blogging in case you haven’t noticed. I haven’t taken a planned break for years and wanted to reset. I’ve always blogged for the passion of it. To be able to share my own struggles, experiences, successes and hard work and have it help someone else – that’s my goal. That’s what inspires and motivates me. Learning about how others have succeeded has helped me throughout the years without a doubt. I don’t like to blog out of obligation and I guess that’s why I took a break. I just didn’t feel like writing. But, here I am again…
A few updates from the past month or so to catch everyone up:
I’ve been living large all Fall and Winter long. Not really paying attention to what I’m eating and like so many of us – hearing my inner voice tell me I shouldn’t be eating with abandon. And I have noticed that my lack of attention has slowly started to show on my body. So, when Wayne, my trainer, mentioned that we needed to start weighing me in again – because Spring/Summer is coming – it hit me like a ton of bricks. Oh SHIT. What? Why? Why? Really? Ugh…
I’ve been getting back in the swing of things with making sure I am getting enough protein and limiting the crap I’m eating. Exercise isn’t my issue. It’s CARBS. I love CARBS and sugar! Sign..
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month
As many of you know, my silver fox of a husband, Scotty was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age 37, so it’s a cause that hits so close to home that it is my home! March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colon Cancer is survivable if it’s caught early, so know the signs and symptoms.
One again, Team Hoagie’s Heroes will be running the 2017 Washington DC Scope It Out 5K at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC on March 19th, We are celebrating Scotty’s 9th year colon cancer free. (He was diagnosed in July 2008). If you can, join us or support our Hoagie’s Heroes Team in Scope It Out with a tax-deductible donation.
With that said, I am beyond touched by the kindness of so many people that I have met. I have received donations from some wonderful, awesome unexpected people. It blows me away and truly warms my heart that the people around me are the best people in the world. Not that I had any doubt. I appreciate all the donations from everyone but here is a story that totally made me cry.
Title Boxing started last month having a monthly campaign whereas for every check in on Facebook, they donate a dollar to a charity. The person with the most check-ins for the month gets to choose the charity. I always check in as a matter of practice and I guess I was in the lead for a while. I had no idea, but a fellow boxer Donna saw my post on Facebook about supporting Team Hoagie’s Heroes. So, she set out to win the check in challenge and to surprise me, she picked my fundraising effort to donate to. When I sent her a note thanking her, she said,
“I saw your post about the 5k a couple of weeks ago and then heard that you and I were in a close race for the check-ins. I felt it was the perfect way to honor you and your husband. I am honored to be supporting you in some small way.”
How seriously kind and awesome was that? I’m blown away. I have met Donna a few times, maybe and yet – she did this. Now, that’s a stand-up person.
- Feeling Burned Out at Work? Join the Club
- I Was Perpetually Angry Until Joy Became My Goal
- How Exercise Shapes You, Far Beyond the Gym
You can join (or donate to) our team, Hoagie’s Heroes, by visiting this URL: Scope It Out 5K
Start: Sunday, March 20, 2016 @ 9:00 AM (EDT)
Near Freedom Plaza 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington , DC 20004
Join us and help celebrate Scotty’s 7+ years of being colon cancer free!!
Are you at risk for Colon Cancer?
if you are at risk for colon cancer, have any of the symptoms below, or are 50+ please go get screened for Colon Cancer. If caught early, colon cancer is beatable! And more and more young people are battling this horrible disease, so it’s not just a cancer for those ‘old people’. Know the risks, the symptoms and don’t let your guard down.
- A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
- A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so
- Rectal bleeding
- Blood in the stool, which may make it look dark
- Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unintended weight loss
(recognize a certain family?)
This past December, Mathias Giordano lost his cancer battle. Tomorrow he would have celebrated his 14th birthday. I have not been able to get him out of my thoughts since first hearing about him and what an amazing young man he was from my friend Gwen. Gwen and I, along with her son and HB ran the 5K this morning to remember him and raise money for childhood cancer research.
I was so proud of HB. I thought she was going to back out of coming with me early this morning but no. She stayed true to her commitment and did great. This is now the second race we have done together. I can’t even describe how much it fills my heart with so much love and pride that she is open to tackling the races with me. I think one of the reasons that I continue to be moved by Mathias is my own kiddos are around the same age – and after seeing how hard Scott’s cancer battle was, I can only imagine how much harder it is for those younger. During the pre-race speeches, I teared up thinking about him and his family. What an amazing example of faith and perseverance.
Partnering with the Team Mathias was Be the Match®, a global leader in bone marrow transplantation. They conduct research to improve transplant outcomes provide support and resources for patients, and partner with a global network
My last 5K was in March for Scope it Out Colon Cancer Awareness and my 5K pace was 9:36. This race I finished with a 8:45 minute pace. So I’m pretty pleased with that improvement. Boxing and Cycling are really helping my overall lung capacity for sure.
Childhood Cancer Statistics – Important Facts
Each year, the parents of approximately 15,700 kids will hear the words “your child has cancer.” Across all ages, ethnic groups and socio-economics, this disease remains the number one cause of death by disease in children. Despite major advances – from an overall survival rate of 10 percent just fifty years ago to nearly 90 percent today, for many rare cancers, the survival rate is much lower. Furthermore, the number of diagnosed cases annually has not declined in nearly 20 years.
- Every day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer.
- 12% of children diagnosed with cancer do not survive.
- Children’s cancer affects all ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups.
- The average age of children diagnosed is six.
- More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.
- 60% of children who survive cancer suffer late-effects, such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers.
- There are approximately 375,000 adult survivors of children’s cancer in the United States.
- That equates to 1 in 530 adults ages 20-39.
Sunday was the 10th Annual Scope it Out 5K. It was my fifth year running to celebrate my husband being colon cancer free! Seems so long ago now that he was recovering from surgery and chemo. Every year, I run this race as a reminder of how far we have come from those days and to continue to do my part spreading the word about how important it is for anyone with symptoms or at risk for colon cancer get screened. Remember: the treatment for colon cancer is a lot worse than any colonoscopy!!
Both my kiddos ran this year’s race too! Last year’s 2014 Scope it Out 5K, HB joined us and this year Nate Dogg committed and rocked it! I could not have been more proud of both of them! Apparently, Nate loves to talk while he runs and expects a two way conversation, so Scotty had the pleasure of counting cop cars, crowds of people and anything else Nate Dogg wanted to mention during the 3+ miles. Good times!
I still regularly visit blogs created by others battling colon cancer. When I got back from the race, I decided to visit a blog by a young women in Arizona: Michelle Whitehead Hastings. She had not been updating regularly because the cancer came back and she was undergoing some painful treatments. I wondered how she was doing and was shocked to learn she passed away late last month. Michelle was a women, wife, mother, daughter – a bright shining person, who tried to give back as she navigated her own treatment. I took a moment last night to say a prayer for her and her family. And although I didn’t know the news at the time – I ran the race in her honor. RIP Michelle.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my time was better this year than 2014 and 2013! Keep in mind that I am not a runner. I had not run since this fall and even then it was no more than sprints. While there is nothing amazing about my pace in the general sense, I am quite pleased with it. And I came in the top 17% overall. Not too shabby!
- 2015: 9:36
- 2014: 10:13
- 2013: 9:55
- 2012: 9:03
- 2011: 9:29
- The Myth of High-Protein Diets
- The Skinny on ‘Hidden Fat’: Why Being Thin Is Not Equal to Being Healthy
- The Joy of Quiet
2015 Scope it Out 5K Event Photos
Spring is almost here and for the fifth year in a row, my family is running in the Scope it Out 5K Washington DC Presented by Chris4Life
Are you busy Sunday, March 22nd? Want to do a 5K with me in DC?
I am running with Team Hoagie’s Heroes to raise awareness and money for colon cancer research. My silver fox of a husband Scott Hoaglund is now six+ years colon cancer free and I can’t think of a better reason to run and celebrate!
Here’s a link to the blog I kept during his diagnosis and treatment: Colon C: A Family’s Journey
If you can’t make the run with us, would you consider donating? https://fundraising.active.com/fundraiser/Hoagie_sHeroes
Recognize people in this video?
What a crazy, busy wonderful weekend I had. Friday evening, I met up with some of the awesome people from Highbar CrossFit for a social happy hour/dinner. It’s always fun to be able to talk and hang out outside of the gym because if our coaches had our way, we would always be laser focused on the workout. And I know, I know – it’s important but I also like chatting away.
Scott and I didn’t stay out too late because I had to get up early and go to the Bob Takano Weightlifting Clinic at Highbar. Bob Takano is a hall of fame lifting coach who has coached some really impressive athletes. He’s the kind of coach that based on his experience, he can just look at you and know instantly where your faults lie and how to advise to fix. Whether you can fix it or not, well that’s another issue. He’s also the kind of guy that is very blunt in his approach – doesn’t really sugar coat his message, so I am glad I have a thick skin in general. One of the points he talked through was the idea of an athlete and a more recreational athlete, who is just looking to get fit. That’s been the topic of debate in the CrossFit circles for a while. I got the impression that Coach Takano could give a crap about all of that controversy. He loves what he does and if there are new communities who want to learn more about weightlifting, he will be happy to oblige.
I learned quite about technique and I realized how long it has been since I have done any Oly Lifting. My form was totally off and some of my general faults prevent me from making some progress. For example, my posture sucks. I have Kyphosis – which is a curving of the spine that causes a bowing or rounding of the back, which leads to a hunchback or slouching posture. I have mentioned my posture issues before and they have been around since before kindergarten. I look at old pics and wish that someone had insisted I sit up properly! Just look at my Kindergarten school pic below. I know I was cute and had flair, but man, my shoulders were all hunched in even then. SIT UP STRAIGHT YOUNGER STEPHANIE!!!
What do I need to do to address my back issue? Coach Takano told me to focus on doing a lot of Overhead Squats. So, I am going to start doing that and add in some mobility work to help combat any more effects that may arise down the line. It also looks horrible –when I see pics that I have not posed for, I look schlumpy and fat. And if I can do something to prevent me from looking frumpy, I am going to do it! A quick Google search produced a bunch of results on how to heal the hunchback. Here are a few from some sites that I respect:
- How to Improve Thoracic Spine Mobility
- Kyphosis & Shoulder Mobility: Practical Correction
- Simple Thoracic Spine Mobility Exercises Everyone Can Perform
There is always some work to do and I love it! And I was super tired and sore from 6 hours of weightlifting and slept super well Saturday night.
Scope it Out 5K
A good night’s sleep was seriously welcome because I had to get up early and head into DC to run the Annual Scope it Out 5K for Colon Cancer Awareness! This is the 4th year I have run it and we always have a ton of fun. We run the race and then head out to eat brunch and partake in bloody marys and/or mimosas. Hannah Bea ran it again this year too – and I was so proud of her for finishing it along with her daddy! Five years cancer free is a serious reason to celebrate!
Here’s a link to the complete photo gallery: 2014 Scope it Out 5K. I finished in the top 25% which was suprising since I have been strugging with my running lately. It wasn’t an impressive performance – doing a 10 minute mile, but I finished alongside my pal Lani and didn’t have an asthma attack, so it was a win in my book!
- CrossFit: Meet Ivan: Highbar Was A Chance to Rediscover Myself
- Health & Fitness: For Depression, Prescribing Exercise Before Medication
- Health & Fitness: HOW “CLEAN EATING” MADE ME FAT, BUT ICE CREAM AND SUBWAY GOT ME LEAN
- CrossFit/Strength Training: Probably Not the Expected Answers
Nothing like doing a 5K on New Year’s Day — Rehau Resolutions 5K. It was a tough one for me.. did about a 10 minute mile. My running needs major work– and I mean major work.
Happy New Year – May it be your best year yet!
Yesterday, I ran the 10K Trail Race from Hell aka the Loudoun 10K Trail Run in Middleburg VA. It was probably one of the hardest races I have personally ever done mostly due to the huge hill at the start and the finish of the race. The race benefits the Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors and it was a worthy cause especially since today is Veteran’s Day. Trail racing seems to be so much tougher than regular road running too. There were leaves all over the trails, so you aren’t sure what the terrain is really like –and it was bumpy, uneven & slippery underneath all of those leaves. Then we had small creeks to get over – It was really challenging and I was so ready to go home when it was done. The last quarter mile was this steep hill that kept on going and going. I stopped in the middle of it — and thought how am I going to finish. I am sore, my lower back hurts. I just decided to put one foot in front of the other and just keep going. At the very last part, I really didn’t think I could run to the finish line and this other lady ran by and said “come on, we will run together.” And we did –and I was done. My time was nothing at all to write home about –but for someone who doesn’t run long distances often and who doesn’t enjoy running – the fact that I finished it was an accomplishment. That’s all that mattered to me and I got to hang out with some super cool, strong chicks who took it on together!
After getting laid off, I wanted to do something completely out of my comfort zone that would challenge me to the max for some reason. I am glad I did it –although I am not likely to do that course again – but never say never! And the ladies I spent time with on Saturday were awesome. As I said, I am focused on being around strong, positive people who want to be better and do better each and every day.
A few lessons learned —
- 1. Do not wear a fanny pack with a bottle of water. My back started to get really tight and uncomfortable after a while and only after I dumped the water, did it start to feel a wee bit better.
- 2. Do not use Spotify when you are on a trail in the woods. Reception is bad and your music becomes unreliable.
- 3. Don’t plan to do anything the rest of the day because you will need to rest and recover.
Saturday, after my workout – we all as a family went to see Thor. I am not usually into movies like that but it was really good. I thought the story played out really well. The kids really liked it too — and it was yet another reminder that my daughter is growing up. She now has a crush on Chris Hemsworth!
The Olivet Eagles football team at Olivet Middle School in Olivet, Michigan, decided to run a play and intentionally not score, all without their coaches knowing.
The football team planned the play for weeks, all so they could set up a very special moment for a special boy.
Keith Orr is a special needs child, and his buddies on the football team decided to give him the chance to run for a touchdown.
How can you not love Mr. Rogers. These facts are just more proof of what a wonderful, kind man he was in real life.
I had so much fun this weekend at CrossFit for Hope. It was a great cause and was worth having work out in the blazing heat, mid-morning in the middle of the National Mall. I didn’t do like amazing well at the brutal workout, but that wasn’t what it was about for me. I just loved being in the mix of the CrossFit community, seeing old friends, doing something all together for a great cause and having fun the only way CrossFitters know how – through fitness!
Such a great event and I was happy to be there –but in all honesty I felt sluggish and chunky the entire time. Then I saw the pictures and OMG — I look a bit thicker around the middle that I would like and started getting really down. Yeah, Yeah – I look strong and have muscles but I am also all about honesty – and I need to re-focus my eating and start getting leaner again — not to mention I need to rid myself of some of the physical effects I am feeling as of late. Today is the day —
Want to see some more pics from the event? Visit my Facebook photo album: CrossFit for Hope 2013
And I can’t forget my friend Christmas Abbot giving me a headlock hug — She really is one of the nicest people you could ever meet – gorgeous, funny, nice, strong.
The workout was brutal
CrossFit for Hope
3 Rounds AMRAP
- 1 minute Burpees
- 1 minute Snatch
- 1 minute Thrusters
- 1 minute Box Jumps
- 1 minute Chest to Bar/Pull ups
- 1 minute Rest
Imagine its 90 degrees, out on the National Mall doing that workout. Yeah – it was brutal. When we were done, I walked around a bit, said my hellos/goodbyes, went out for lunch. Drove home – showered and I crashed for a few hours. I was wiped out but happy I was there for another year.
Sunday was a rest day –and today, was the start of testing week at HighBar CrossFit!
4 sampson stretch
10 push ups
4 instep lunges
strength – testing my progress
10 min AMRAP
5 DB Hang Squats
5 DB Lunges
25 Double Unders
I am taking full advantage of having this week off and going to the later HighBar CrossFit classes. Today we did a benchmark workout, Jackie. We didn’t do a lot of benchmarks that required rowing at the other gym but I am finding that rowing is super challenging to me and I like it.
- 1000m row
- 50 Thrusters (45#)
- 30 Pull Ups
I took the thrusters and pull ups 5 at a time and just got through them. I was a soaking wet mess at the end. To add misery to the day, we also did 3×12 of this Ab torture movement. I can’t recall the name of it, but you lie on a bench with your butt off the bench. Bring your knees to your chin, straighten then out and slowly lower them to parallel -hold them a sec, do it again. Want to feel your abs working? Do that, trust me. I like some of the isometric work we do — my abs will be sore tomorrow for sure!
I have mentioned before how I have been fighting a mycobacterial infection for over a year now. I don’t think I will ever get rid of it — I have been talking to the owners of HighBar who have experience as athletes as well as coaches. They are very aware and sensitive about the cleanliness of their gym and I am constantly seeing them sweep and mop with antifungal/anti-bacterial cleaning stuff. When you are looking at joining a CrossFit box, look around – -is the gym clean? What do the bathrooms look like? Ask them about their cleaning schedule. Do you see the coaches and staff doing their part in helping keep the place clean, safe and disinfected? It’s really easy to have an open cut and have it turn into something more when there are tons of bacteria and other shit around. Learn from my mistake!
I just registered for CrossFit for Hope in DC on July 6th. It should be a good time for a great cause and I think Scotty will be able to join me so he can take some bad-ass pictures. I’m excited!
Lastly, do you often have lower back pain? Whenever someone mentions that to me I tell them, it’s probably the hamstrings! Here’s some exercises you can do to help alleviate your lower back pain:
And of course, do hamstring stretches to loosen them up so you can move better and also help alleviate the strain on your back. It has changed people’s lives! I swear….