Setting the bar…low

The barbell, that is.

A few years back when I was still at JMU, I had a brief love affair with lifting weights. 85% of the reason I started lifting was so that I could hang out in the weight room where all the cute guys were. The other 15% of that equation was that I actually sort of enjoyed lifting weights. I did this fairly regularly for about a year until, of course, I inevitably graduated and lost my amazing free gym.

So, thus, my love affair with weight lifting came to an abrupt end. Until today that is.

If you know me at all, you know I cave into peer pressure pretty easily. So, on this cold, rainy, morning (okay, fine, it was noon) as I was laying in bed, in my PJ’s, wondering if I should watch Free Willy or Rocko’s Modern Life on Netflix, when I got a phone call from my friend Colin. The conversation went something like this:

Colin: CAITSTRIDES [yes, he calls me this]! What are you doing?
Me: I’m just chillin’, what’s up?
Colin: Stop chillin’. We’re going to the gym to lift weights.
Me: No.
Colin: Caitstrides, get out of bed. We need get ripped at the gym. I need to do jump rope and you said you wanted to start lifting weights again.
Me: No, I don’t want to.
Colin: Caitlin, listen, I didn’t want it to come to this, but…someone’s life is depending on whether or not you go to the gym right NOW.
Me: No.
Colin: Cool, I’ll be up in 10 minutes.
Me: Fine.

While I was not happy with him at the time, I figured I’d probably be thanking him in an hour. And I was.

I forgot how much I LOVE to lift weights. It’s been over a year since I did any weight lifting and it’s pretty crazy how much strength I’ve lost in my arms. I had to decrease the weights from 40 lbs to 25. By the end of the workout I couldn’t even do 15 lb tricep curls. OUCH! How did I used to do this?

Anyway, I’ve decided that I’m going to start incorporating weight lifting into my regular routine again, especially since my apartment complex has a free gym that I really should start to utilize more. There are so many benefits, especially for runners. I need to start building strength again now that I know I have that whole endurance thing down. I’m aiming for 3 times a week, now I just need to find a legit weight lifting routine so that I’m not just doing random weights. I need to be working towards a goal.

After a solid hour’s workout, we headed back home (feeling great) and had a delicious Sunday morning breakfast.

On the docket for the rest of the day: Mad Men marathon! I’ve been wanting to start watching this series for awhile. Today is the day!

And fun dip! I heard sugar is really good for muscle recovery. Okay, not really. But, whatever!

Oh! New development: I can’t lift my arms up over my head. Soreness, you slay me!

What weight lifting routines do you use? What do you like/not like about it? I’m looking for a good one to start! Please share.

Breakfast of Champions (or mediocre football teams)

In my [humble?] opinion breakfast is the most underrated meal of the day.

I seriously love breakfast. If I could eat it for every meal, I probably would. Imagine this, for as long as I can remember breakfast was the only meal I wasn’t picky about. I will literally eat almost every single breakfast food. French toast? YUM! Hash browns? DELICIOUS! Bacon? Don’t even get me started on my favorite food EVER! Personally, I don’t think breakfast gets enough credit. It’s the most important meal of the day, plus you can eat whatever you want because you have all day to burn it off! You really can’t beat that.

So many people (sometimes myself included) throw breakfast by the wayside due to a hectic lifestyle. However, being on vacation this week allowed me to fully enjoy my fix of breakfast. The best place for breakfast in Hawaii? Boots & Kimo’s!

All week, this was the one place that my friend Molly absolutely insisted we go. We woke up at 7:30 am (which is an ungodly hour for someone like me who loves to sleep) and even at that hour there was a 45 minute wait. Boots & Kimo’s is only open until 2:30 pm and apparently at peak breakfast & lunch times there can be over a 2 hour wait! Yet, people still wait and I quickly found out why.

The decor inside surprised me. I wasn’t sure if the place was a sports bar or a family style restaurant. We stepped inside and all of tables had pro NFL team logos, but the walls were painted yellow and were adorned with tiki decorations. It was confused, but combined 2 of my favorite things (football and the beach) so I was okay with it.

This was the table we were seated at. The (1-4) Carolina Panthers? Come on! I would have rather eaten at the Seattle Seahawks table! Seriously.

NFL rant aside, the food was fantastic! I got a bacon and swiss cheese omelette with hash browns. Me being me, I was relatively concerned about the swiss cheese. If you can even believe it, this was the very first time I ever had swiss cheese. Yes, believe it, because it’s true.

It was SO good. I’ve only recently (ie. the past 3 years) started eating eggs and I’m so glad that I did. Eggs are now one of my favorite foods! And hey, they’re actually good for you too. The bacon in this was real, crunchy, salty, and delicious. The cheese was abundant and I was surprised at how much I liked the swiss. Molly ordered a seafood omelette which was stuffed with cheese and crab.

She was obviously very excited, the girl freaking loves her food. I tried a bite, and if you can even believe it, I liked hers even more than my own! Crab is slowly climbing up my favorite foods list.

But onto the real star of the show. Molly also insisted that we get the pancakes. I saw a waiter bring them out to another table and noticed that they had some sort of sauce poured all over the top. I was resistant, but she was relentless vouching that I just needed to “trust her”. Easier said than done.

We ordered them to split and I can honestly say that it was the best thing I had all week. I don’t really know what exactly the sauce consisted of but it was sweet, creamy, and nutty. No syrup needed on these puppies! The pancakes were fluffy and light and SO GOOD. I don’t even have the words to describe how great these were. All I know is that I was extremely full, but I just kept on eating them anyway until my stomach felt like it was about to burst.

Finished everything. Oops! But it was hard to feel too bad about it when I was here literally 5 minutes later: