Monthly Archives: November 2014

Utilizing City Resources to Blast Through an Outdoor Bootcamp when Traveling

If you couldn’t tell from the pictures of our Thanksgiving day activities, let me remind you that we traveled to Roanoke, VA for several days.  Being out of town can definitely throw a wrench in workout routines, especially during the holiday (when things aren’t typically open).  That is the reason why I decided to mix things up by doing an outdoor bootcamp workout using a downtown venue located right in the heart of the city.

IMG_1160In the past few years Downtown Roanoke has made several improvements to their parks.  One of the upgrades included an amphitheater.  The picture taken above was from a visit of ours several months ago.  At the time, little did I know that I would one day use the space as a gym.  It doesn’t hurt to have a good view!

IMG_1161The amphitheater has several flights of spaced out stairs, railings and concrete barriers that are perfect for doing specific exercises. So, how did I get my workout in?  From the parking garage, I ran approximately  a half a mile to the location.  Great little warm up.

BwjF7EeIYAAUuV9.jpg-largeThat’s when the tough stuff starts.  The actual workout.  There are exactly five flights of stairs, so I made my mind up early that I would be doing reps in increments of five.  There are three parts to the workout. Each part engages the arms and legs in two different exercises. See below.

Part 1 – Squats and Pushups

Run up the first flight of stairs.  Complete 20 pushups and 20 squats. Run down the same set of stairs.  Once at the bottom of the stairs, run to the next set of stairs and repeat.  With five flights of stairs, you will complete 100 reps of each exercise.  Move to Part 2.

Part 2 – Steps Ups and Dips

Again, starting at the bottom of the first flight of steps, complete 20 step ups (10 each leg) and 20 dips.  Use a concrete barrier that is raised out of the ground approximately two feet.   Once you have completed the exercises, run up the stairs, around the top row and back down the last flight of stairs (essentially completing a “lap”).  Repeat five times, for a total of 100 reps.  Move to Part 3.

Part 3 – Supine Pullups and One Leg Straight Leg Deadlift

At the bottom of the first flight of stairs complete 10 supine pull-ups, using a railing similar to the one that we used in our Aruba Beach workout.

photo 2-47

Run to top of stairs.  Complete 10 one legged deadlifts on each leg.  Run back down the stairs and restart with supine pull-ups.  Do 5 sets, for a total of fifty reps each leg.

photo 2-67

Total workout time was approximately thirty five minutes.  I also squeezed in almost two miles between running in the workout and running to the start point and back.  This is clearly a difficult workout to completely copy, but it gives you some great ideas for utilizing what resources that you might have when out of town.

Thanksgiving Fitness Traditions + Family Time

Since college, my dad and I have enjoyed running a Thanksgiving morning “turkey trot”/”drumstick dash”.  As I got older and realized how important staying active is, we decided to continue this tradition every year (eventually inviting my husband to participate).  While my dad has been unable to run the past two years (we are hoping injuries subside by next year), my husband and I have kept up the tradition. photo 1-159During my first pregnancy, I wasn’t able to run much. Two reasons:  It was not already a regular part of my routine and I was teaching more classes at Flywheel Charlotte.  When my daughter was born, I picked up my running again.  I post a lot of workouts that I have done during this pregnancy that are different than last.  During pregnancy, it is not the right time to start trying exercises that your body is not used to.  Fortunately, I was running very regularly when I got pregnant this go round (specifically 3-4 mile base runs), so I knew running a 5k at a comfortable pace would be no problem.

photo 2-167With baby number two in tow (in the belly), my husband and I dressed in layers and got to the start line with just enough time to take a quick selfie.  Our annual Thanksgiving run is not about personal bests.  It is about being thankful for the ability to be together and doing something we love.  We run the race for a good cause, while talking to each other and making jokes about everything going on around us.

photo 3-143It is amazing to see so many other people out (in cold weather) preparing for a day of thanks.  I ran with the Garmin on.  Mainly so I could keep up with my pace and not let myself get too far ahead of where I knew that I should be.  Competition tends to do that to us.  I also made sure that I could comfortably talk to my husband the entire run.

photo 4-107With just three quarters of a mile left, I told my husband to run ahead of me to look for my parents at the finish line (who would have my daughter).  We wanted to cross the line with her.  As I pulled up to the last ten yards, I spotted them.  I slowed up for a picture.  We ran the last ten yards together.  The smile on her face was priceless.  I think others were fascinated by how special she felt being carried over the line on her dad’s shoulders.  A great memory.

IMG_1623After a fun run, we headed inside to help my mom cook.  My dad is in charge of mashed potatoes.  My daughter was literally begging him for a taste.  We obliged.

IMG_1627She scarfed down some mashed potatoes and stuffing, prior to the actual meal.  Good thing some of the food was done early.  Lucky for us, she laid down for a nap with a full belly right before the family dinner.

IMG_1637My mom outdid herself.  First plate – turkey, green beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberry relish, mixed vegetables and gravy.  Second plate followed suit.  We actually got through the entire dinner without hearing a peep from my daughter.

IMG_1641She woke up just in time for a four generation family photo.  From the left, me, my daughter, my mom and my grandma.  Truly a special moment.  Can you see the resemblance?  We finished off the photo shoot with a picture of grandma and grandpa.


Why can’t she smile like that when we are doing a family picture?  Note, this was her second outfit of the day.  She did enjoy a second plate herself after her nap (and dessert).


What kids wants to be stuck in the house all day?  Wait, let me ask, what adult wants to be stuck in the house all day?  After eating way too much food, we took a walk around a Christmas tree display at a local hotel.  Getting those steps in after a long day of eating is an easy way to burn off some of those extra calories.  The pictures kept rolling.

photo 3-141photo 2-165photo 1-157IMG_1671I am so thankful for my sweet family and all of the great memories.  We have been fortunate for our health, and we look forward to building our family in the next year.  I look forward to what the holiday season will bring both personally and professionally.  Lots of memories still in the making!

What’s Up With This Weather? Gearing Up for Thanksgiving!

So, in a week, the temperatures in Charlotte first thing in the morning have gone from as low as 16 to as high as 61.  How do you even plan your workouts with the weather fluctuating so much?

photo 4-12         photo 1-20

With a dip in temperatures last Sunday, I saw a rise in the number of riders at the Flywheel Charlotte studio.  When I checked the schedule on Saturday night, I noticed that every single class on Sunday had a wait list.  Incredible.  I don’t know if you have checked out the Thanksgiving holiday schedule, but it looks the same.  Since I knew I was going to have a large (even fun) group, I threw some surprises into my playlist. See below.

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 1.44.56 PMEven better, look at the power numbers on the torqboard for just 45 minutes!

photo 4-102

You better believe, “Save A Horse” was in there.  The response was so fun.  Lots of “woohoos” and singing along.  I have to say, with the weather being so iffy, Flywheel Charlotte is one of your best options for cardio.  Let’s face it.  You know what you are going to get every single time you ride:  great music, a motivating instructor, a killer cardio workout AND an additional short arms circuit (all while staying warm and dry).  I’m biased.  A little, but it is so true!

photo 3-140That said, I have to admit, when I saw 61 as the temperature on Tuesday morning, I decided I had to be outdoors. How many more mornings (in the next few months), will I have the option to run in shorts and a tank top?  It was dark, so I grabbed my Black Diamond headlamp.  I know.  I look ridiculous, but the last thing that I need to do while running pregnant is fall.  Several streets in Charlotte are not well lit.  Having a headlamp not only allows cars to see you, but you to see all aspects of the ground in front of you.  It is actually incredible how easy it is to wear this device.  As I was finishing up my run, I was happy to find my daughter excitedly waiting!

photo 2-163Probably because I made her cinnamon rolls for breakfast (and my husband had already given her one).  This was an impulse buy at the store the other day, but a treat that reminds me so much of my childhood.  I sure do miss these things, and I do plan on buying/making them again.  It’s the start of the holiday season.  Little things like this remind me of how important it is to be around my family during this time of the year.  I’m looking forward to sharing ways we sweat together as a family and try to maintain our fitness while balancing all of the good food!

Pregnancy Update – Week 22

Size of Baby (per “What To Expect”) – Size of a small doll.

Weight Gain – 13 pounds

Movement – Those little kicks are starting to get bigger!  It is a great thing to feel the baby moving.

Sleep – I slept like a rock this week.  My daughter is starting to get used to one nap a day. Introducing her to a toddler class daycare wears her out, so she is sleeping later in the morning.  That means mom sleeps later.  I’m taking advantage of this now.

What I miss – Believe it or not, nothing due to pregnancy.  I truly just miss the warm weather.  During week 22, temperatures were as low as 16!  It’s November.  Come on.  This is going to a long winter.  I guess I need to invest in a pregnancy coat (or get used to wearing my husband’s?)

photo 4-12 Best Moments this Week – We started setting up Christmas decorations this week.  While this is not a picture from this year, this is our tree.  More pictures of decorations to come. This is a special holiday in the Dufrense household.  Let the extravaganza begin.IMG_0469A big part of any Christmas is the Nativity scene.  My daughter apparently thought that my parent’s Nativity decorations were a doll house.  After several hours of playing with each person in the set, we later found baby Jesus in a cabinet.  Hence the reason why I bought her her very own Little People castle to play with.  It would be an understatement to say that she was pumped.

photo 3-138

Looking forward to – Thanksgiving!  We celebrate Thanksgiving with my family (since they are so close).  We also do an annual Turkey trot in the morning.  My plan is to run it again this year (at a much slower place).  Last year, my husband and I ran it just four and half weeks after my daughter’s birth.  My sweet girl was just a month old last year at this time!

IMG_1338 IMG_1339 IMG_0671

Cravings – Food!  I have been on overdrive.  The baby must seriously be growing, because I can house some food.  I’m wrapping up things at work, which is making me a little stressed.  I am looking forward to slowing life down a little bit (for at least a few months).

Symptoms – Continued pregnancy congestion to a much lesser extent.  I’m sorry if you catch me blowing my nose or clearing my throat.

Workouts – Lots of Tracy, Tracy, Tracy this week.  With the cold temps, I kept a lot of my workouts indoors.  Strength work has started to get extra tiring the further I get along.  Doing the Tracy Anderson pregnancy series is a perfect at home workout that I can do with little to no impact.

Monday – Lunch Hour DUFifty workout at the gym
Tuesday – Teach Flywheel Charlotte 7:30 PM
Wednesday – Tracy Anderson Pregnancy DVD
Thursday – Flywheel Charlotte Ride with Zach
Friday – Tracy Anderson Pregnancy DVD
Saturday – Tracy Anderson Pregnancy DVD + Neighborhood Run + LOTS of decorating!
Sunday – Teach Flywheel Charlotte 7:30 AM

Still keeping up with a decent run (or two) each week.  I even jammed out to a recent playlist this weekend.  You know it will be a good one when I use it in my own workouts to get pumped up!

photo 1-156 photo 2-162