Tag Archives: Harris YMCA

Week 22 – Round 3

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

Weight Gain – 16 pounds (Yep!  I put on 2 pounds this week).  My belly definitely popped and became noticeably bigger this week.


Movement – The baby is moving quite a bit more these days.  The movements are less low in my belly becoming stronger up top.

Sleep – I have been worn out this week.  I can always tell when the baby is going through a growth spurt because it sure does hit me.  Not only do I feel hungrier, but I just don’t feel like doing much at all.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of time for me to straight up lounge, so I am in bed early.

What I miss – Not being pregnant.  With my belly bump growing significantly this week and the weather warming up, I realized how uncomfortable the summer is likely going to be.  While some women embrace pregnancy and the joys it brings, it is really hard for me to constantly be aware of what foods, drinks and even moisturizers I am putting in and on my body.  I miss sushi, craft beer, bottomless cups of coffee, and lunch meat that doesn’t have to be heated up in the microwave.

Best Moments this Week – It was Spring Break for my girl’s preschool.  We did a staycation.  They are too young to really hit camps for Spring Break that they can go to together.  As such, I enjoyed spending some quality time with both of them together bouncing around town visiting every toddler hot spot in town.  As tiring as it was, I really did enjoy getting some quality time with my oldest for the entire day.






We ended up making it to several parks, Discovery Place, lunch uptown with dad, Chicfila (of course), the Harris YMCA, Pike’s Soda Shoppe (for ice cream), and haircuts.  When we weren’t driving around town, we kept ourselves occupied doing projects at the house:  making bracelets and necklaces with beads (fine motor skills), dying Easter Eggs and decorating them, reading new books, and coloring (sometimes missing the coloring book).



Spring Break was capped off with a serious Easter celebration.  While we did our own egg hunt after the kids discovered that the Easter Bunny had left them Easter surprises, we actually did head down to a larger egg hunt on Saturday that the actual Easter Bunny appeared at.



The hunt is held at a farm that our friend owns South of Charlotte.  The land is incredible with various activities for kids to do along with a barn that is the home of a horse.  My youngest loved getting a chance to feed the horse.



Looking forward to – Celebrating my husband’s birthday.  He hates making a big deal out of his big day, so we will keep things small at our house (planning to get a donut cake).  My oldest daughter also asked if we could all go to a baseball game for his birthday.  SOLD.

Cravings – I think I mentioned it above, but I could really go for a craft beer.

Symptoms – Restless legs hit me this week!  I have had this with all of my pregnancies which is why I am not surprised.  It doesn’t necessarily affect my ability to sleep, but I have noticed when I lay down on the couch at night to watch a tv show, I find myself fighting the urge to move my legs around to get comfortable.

Workouts – With less energy this week, I found my workouts took a hit.  Sure I am putting on serious weight these days, but I am also still teaching a lot (as compared to either of my first two pregnancies).  I now have four standing classes at Flywheel (in which I participate) as compared to two during my second pregnancy.  I was done teaching at this point in pregnancy number one.


  • Monday – I taught my regularly scheduled 6:30 AM Flywheel class.
  • Tuesday – I typically sleep in on Tuesday, however, with both kids at home, I forced myself to get up early and workout before my husband left for work.
    • 10 minute run
    • 2 Rounds
      • KB glute raise with halo rotation x 5 each side
      • Marching crunch on Bosu x 25 each side
      • KB lunge to OH press x 10 each side
      • Scapular pulls x 10
    • 3 Rounds
      • KB Swing x 25
      • Rope Pulls (Legs Out or Touching the Ground) x 10
      • Burpee x 15
      • Deadlift x 15
      • Knees to Elbow x 10
  • Wednesday – 30 minute easy run around the Harris YMCA track.
  • Thursday – I actually got myself up and back into the swing of my run group again on Thursday.  I modified the workout, but they completed it all.  I also still managed to squeeze in 4 miles at an 8:42/mile pace.
    • 2 mile progressive warm up
    • 8 x 400m, 200m recovery (I did 6 instead of the full 8) – however, I did stick around to cheer the group on.

I also went on to teach my regular 3:30 PM Flywheel class. that afternoon.

  • Friday – I have been having some lingering issue with my shoulder and low back that have forced me to really focus on mobility and adapting my exercises over the past week.  Friday was all strength (I did a lot of other cardio during the week).
    • 2 Rounds
      • Turkish Get Up x 5 each side
      • Mini Band around thighs walk forward x 15, back x 15
      • Flex Arm Hang Max
      • TRX Row x 15
      • Band Squat TRX x25
    • 2 Runds
      • Lunge with Foot on Wall x 10 each
      • Side Plank x :45 each
      • Overhead Press x 15
  • Saturday – I subbed the 2:45 Flywheel class.
  • Sunday – I taught the 7:30/8:30AM Flywheel class.  Yikes!! Lots of time in the saddle this week.  Less time running.


One Month Out

Race season is upon us.  My family and I spent Saturday morning stationed on the side of Queens Rd West cheering on runners in the Corporate Cup 5k/half marathon.  I feel so inspired watching people run in these races.  I also have to admit, it is kind of nice to be on the sidelines enjoying a coffee with no pressure to perform.  I will use that as my segway into today’s post.  I am one month out from my first two races of 2016.


I have talked a lot about how I am working to help other people train for future races on the blog; therefore, I have placed talking about my own racing in the back seat.  That said, I would like to pick back up describing my training as it leads into my upcoming competitions, so my readers can follow my preparation.  So what’s on the calendar?  The Cooper River Bridge Run (10K) and the Charlotte Sprint Spartan Race (elite heat).


I’m not going to lie, my approach to training for my first running and Spartan Race of the new year has been in many ways significantly different than last year.  For one, I’m further out from having delivered my second child.  Remember, it has still been less than a year since my daughter was born.  Even my husband admits that he continues to see gains in my performance directly as a result of time passing (that’s it).

Monday – Flywheel 

My cross training day.  Nothing beats getting on the bike to reset my focus and shut everything around me down.  I teach two classes on Monday –  6:30 AM and 10:45 AM.  I ride to what I teach.  By the end of my second class, my legs are beat.  I have said it once, I will say it again:  Riding the bike is a great cross training tool for runners to build endurance, leg strength, and anaerobic thresholds.  I will never let it go.


Tuesday – Strength and Conditioning

While I still utilize my home gym, my workouts have evolved.  It was during 2016 that I completed my Spartan SGX certification and I found a great group of women to workout with at Stax (a crossfit gym in Charlotte).  I forgot how important the push is from having a workout partner.  On days that I am exhausted, I find that if I show up to workout with these women, I get a much better workout in than I would have by myself.  The workouts are total body, but many of the movements mimic strength building exercises of a Spartan Race (pull ups, rope climbing, box jumps, sled pushes).


Tuesday’s and Thursday’s have also now been reserved for my time to train others in Spartan racing.  I strictly train others.  I do not workout when they are working out.  I will do the workout that they do on my own time.  I am incredibly excited about this program, the facility and the impact that it should make on the community and the obstacle racing sport.  It is in the next four weeks that we will start to train specific obstacles as we phase into the first Charlotte race of the season.


Wednesday – Running

One of my biggest takeaways from the Asheville Super Spartan race was that I wasn’t as prepared for the run as I should have been.  I got passed on the downhills.  I had to walk on some of the extreme uphills (we are talking mountains here).  While the obstacles are a big piece of the race, you can make up (or lose) a lot of ground in your run.  My injury created an urgency for me to get better at my run.  I developed speed (on the track) and hill training workouts.  The purpose of the speed workouts is essentially to teach my legs how to carry that faster turnover through intervals.  Trust me, you can’t expect yourself to run faster in a race if your legs don’t know what fast feels like.


I ran my most recent speed workout around a park nearby our house.  Relatively flat.  See workout below.

  • Warm up – 3/4 mile jog, increasing speed each 1/4 mile
  • Upon reaching park, dynamic stretch, form running drills
  • 2 x 800 – 3:10-3:15, 2 minutes rest in between
  • 6 x 400 – 1:30 target, 1 minute 30 seconds rest in between
  • Cool down – 3/4 mile jog, decreasing speed each mile
  • Static stretch, foam roll

Thursday – Strength and Conditioning/Flywheel

I am now spending Thursday specifically completing a Spartan SGX workout.  While I love my time with the women at Stax, it is imperative that I really start hammering power and agility as it relates to the upcoming races.  Since the workouts are included on Wodify, if I can’t get to the gym to complete a training session, we now have most equipment at home to get what I need to get done on my own.  I made out in a close out sale this week for a national exercise equipment manufacturer and distributor.


See my most recent post on Spartan SGX training that details what these workouts entail.  If you would like to learn more about them, please reach out to me.  I would love to continue to share workouts, but that wouldn’t make you want to show up!

Friday – Long Run, Steady State

My idea of a long run is not what you are thinking.  Long for me equals five to six miles.  Steady state means relaxed, controlled, enjoyable.  I am working on mileage here and not trying to press heart rate and anaerobic thresholds.  I do this to teach my body what it feels like to run six miles.  Simple as that.

Saturday – Mobility/Recovery

Saturday is recovery (which I used to not do much of).  I spend Saturday doing mobility exercises, fascia release, body maintenance, and drills that my physical therapist and movement specialist have given me to practice keeping my body loose.  Sounds weird maybe, but I swear by it.  My husband and I recently did a yoga class together on our family trip to Florida.


Sunday – Flywheel

With a recovery day Saturday, I am ready to ride Sunday.  If you know me, you know I covet my 6:30/7:30 AM Sunday Flywheel classes.  I know almost everyone that walks through the door.  I know they work hard.  I love getting up to see them each week.  They are all so unique.  They all inspire me to ride harder.  If you decide to check this class out, please stop and introduce yourself to me.


In the grand scheme of things it seems like a lot, but it’s not.  My anticipation of both races is building.  I am starting to get a little pre-race anxiety.  To be honest, I didn’t think I would ever get my shoulder back to where it is this quickly.  It is kind of surreal that I will be diving back in, in just a few weeks.


Pursuing New Opportunities

New year, new opportunities.  That may be an understatement.  It’s official.  I will be following through with my Spartan venture on a much different scale.  Where do I begin?  It’s only fair that I start at the beginning.  My first gym in Charlotte? The Dowd YMCA.  At the time (2007), it was THE place to be.  It was the Dowd YMCA where I met some of my best friends and my future husband.  It was the Dowd YMCA where I waited outside the door to get in at 5AM.  I built relationships that will last my entire life.  If you aren’t from Charlotte, this might sound weird.  Trust me.  The Charlotte area YMCA system is unlike any other.  Since having my second child, my relationship with the facility has changed.


I now frequent the Harris YMCA – a branch further south, much larger, and a facility that offers just that much more.  What does this have to do with my post?  You guessed it.  I will be joining the team.  In an effort to match some of the activity going on at many of the boutique fitness studios in Charlotte, the YMCA is looking to add some valuable programs that differentiate themselves.  Case in point – Spartan SGX training.  You got it.  For only a small fee over regular membership, members AND non-members have the opportunity to get specific training to get them prepped for an obstacle course race (or not!).  They are investing in this program.  Not only is there an outdoor track, but a new turf runway and the set of outdoor exercise equipment above.  Due to high levels of demand, I will be coming on board to lead two evening classes a week.


What does all of this mean?  What is Spartan SGX?  This form of training is methodical.  Structured.  It isn’t just about physically working out, but it also involves building self efficacy, learning about nutrition, changing pieces of your lifestyle through small attainable goals, and truly making yourself a better human.  Trainers (instructors) aren’t just leading individuals through a class, but rather coaching them during the week as well.  I am in the final phase of my training – building a 12 week program.


I won’t be the first person to say this, but you don’t have to be training for a Spartan race to pursue this system.  Through three phases, the body is prepared to hit a peak performance before partaking in regeneration and recovery.  As part of each trainer’s program, exercise type and intensity are detailed with regressions and progressions of each exercise.  That makes each workout very focused on making it adaptable to any and every one.  Trust me, you won’t be jumping over a wall your first day there.  You also won’t be climbing a rope until you have built a foundation. Each workout also includes a proper dynamic warm up and stretching/cool down. Whether it is your first race or you an elite level athlete, the program is adaptable.


All of this said, something else had to change.  I have put my notice in at SmartCore Fitness.  While I loved everything about the people and training methodology, the opportunity to start a program at a facility that offers something completely different than anything out there is a risk I am willing to take.  More than 290,000 children and adults used the Charlotte YMCA system in 2014.  As I continue to try to build my client base, aligning myself at a place that I can be seen is crucial.  For limited hours during the week I will also be open to training individuals or small groups at the Harris YMCA.    In an effort to kick off my new endeavor, I will be leading a FREE workout at Athleta Southpark on February 14th from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM.  Please reach out to me for more information!


On top of training others and working with this new program, I am full force back in Spartan training mode.  Shoulder is feeling extremely good, and I am building strength exponentially.  Burpees (as seen above) no longer create uncomfortable impact, and I am doing pull ups, toes to bar and overhead swings without pain.  My plan is to be running elite in the Charlotte Spring on Saturday, April 9th.


We have been spending some family time at Lowe’s buying supplies for Spartan training at home – 2×4’s for balance drills, PVC pipes for mobility drills and mounting devices for mock rigs and gymnastic rings.  We are all in.  I am going to give this a big go.  You better believe I will still be teaching at Flywheel.  I truly believe that the indoor cycling workout has been the key to me maintaining leg strength while building endurance – such a crucial piece of my training.  I also plan to bring the girls along for the ride.  Another perk of being at the Y is the childcare.  They get to come with me!  Who wouldn’t want to tote these two around everywhere?




I am anxious, but I am ready.  I want to make this something special.  I want the people who participate to feel a change in their life.  I want to see this through.  Are you up for the challenge? Please contact me directly for more information, and I will continue to keep you updated!