Category Archives: Workout

Michigan 2012



It’s been almost a month since I’ve been back and I have been completely slacking with my posts.  I’m not going to apologize though, I’ve been living life and making some pretty big strides since my return… more on that later..




In short, Michigan was fantastic.  We didn’t spend too much time doing water sports, instead we spent a lot of time ‘off site’.    Here are some recaps from our trips.

Sand Dunes – What’s the most beautiful place in the USA?  It’s sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore in Michigan, according to a vote in 2011 by viewers of good morning america.  I’ve seen family photos of the place for a while and I’ve been secretly wanting to go myself.  This was my year!  We headed west to the sleeping bear dunes and much to my surprise, it was even better than I was anticipating.  First up we went to a smaller dune overlooking Lake Leland.  This is where we took turns running up and down the dunes and capturing some pretty fantastic photos.

Next up was the main attraction.  The dune everyone was warning me about.  The dune that was my ‘workout’ for the day.  Let me tell you.  They were not joking.  It took me just about a minute to run, skip and maneuver my way down this thing.  Thankfully it had rained that morning and it had packed the sand a little.  Thank you weather for a not so crowded and easier to climb experience.


The climb was amazing, but what really took my breathe away was the views.  It was blue as far as the eye could see.  Absolutely stunning.

Oh, and I just want to throw it out there… yours truly made it up the dune the fastest.



Paint Ball – This was my first experience paint balling.  Holy balls is it super scary and incredibly exhilarating!  Our instructor told us ladies, you will know within the first couple of minutes if you love it… or hate it.   Despite being the first one out in our first game (I swear the horn wasn’t even done buzzing before I got hit) and getting hit in the neck while I was in ‘the safezone’ I had an absolute ball.  We broke up into teams and played 3 different scenarios two times each.  Once was in the smaller space with big black tubes to hide behind, a more realistic field with old vehicles, houses , tires, sand dunes and other random objects to hide behind and the final course was just in the woods.  If I learned anything about myself during paint ball it’s that I am definitely more of a ‘guarder’ then a ‘run to the flag and get shot at allot’ type of person.  Again, after being hit in the neck (somehow I managed to get hit in the 1/2 ” of space where my neck wasn’t guarded) I was first to volunteer to be a guard. youillstayhiddenbehindsomewoodigotyoucovered.

group shot

garrison family shot


I’m not sure how or when the decision was to play family paint ball instead of our normal family put put, but I was a fan!

Sand Bar – If you were to ask me where I want to live, in a dream situation.. water would definitely be involved.  In fact, I may have changed my answer this summer and could just say Elk Lake Michigan.  Especially because we headed to Torch Lake this year (they are connected – about an hour boat ride to get there from the cottage) and hit up the sandbar.  So.Much.Fun.  We pulled our two boats up (yup, we had to get a second boat to fit everyone this year) and anchored right in the swing of things.  Booze, bathing suits, snacks and music.

sand bar, torch lake Michigan


What else could we possibly need?  A floatie.. for Grandma.  Marc’s cousins and I went on a mission to find a tube or floatie for his grandma.  It was a bit wavy and she was uncomfortable with the water height and it was way too hot to stay up on the boat all day.  Mission accomplished.


Not too much after this happened… we may have been out of adult beverages and on a mission.  again, after a few bizarre looks, a long walk, a few ‘mystery shots’ and almost selling me to some strangers… mission accomplished.

I’d say we had a good time.

 House painting – The warner’s bought the cottage next door and we spent allot of our vacation helping scrape and paint everything.  We took turns so it went by fairly quickly.  Many hands make light work.  In the end, it looked like a brand new cottage.  Teamwork FTW!


Washer Game – Each time I visit I try to do something nice for the warner’s.  I mean, they are letting me stay with their family for the week, it’s the least I can do.  This year, my dad and I made our family favorite game and sent it up to them.  Let’s just say… it was a hit.  I hope the game is used frequently and brings their family as many memories as it does my own.



Other Randoms –



what a stud 😉

paddle boating with Melissa and Tucker

just gotta throw it in there!



I realize this was a lot to read and if you’ve made it all the way to this point I am impressed and thankful.  A big thank you to the Garrison, Craig and Warner family for welcoming me into your lives and treating me as one of your own.  You truly have become family to me.  Looking forward to the years to come!!


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Another Half Marathon…

Well, it’s pretty much official.  My sister and the rest of my ‘Chix’ teammates have pretty much convinced me to do the Lewiston Half Marathon on September 22nd.  Just ONE WEEK before my best friend’s wedding.  YIKES!  I looked it up and it’s a beautiful and very scenic course.  I know that if I have a few friends that will be there I am more likely to be pushed harder and take training more seriously.  I took a look at Hal Higden’s Novice 2 – 12 week program and I’ve tweaked it a bit to fit my needs more.

SAT: Because the race is on Saturday, I plan on keeping my distance days on Saturday. I try to keep these runs a little more flat, but most times hills are involved – it’s hard to run around town and not face hills.
SUN: Sundays are for some sort of cross training – doesn’t matter if it’s swimming, rollerblading, tennis, biking, water skiing, anything that keeps my body in motion and not just sitting on my ass ‘”recovering”.
MON: Monday’s I will take full advantage of being lazy and instead of an off day, I want to use my foam roller or just get a good stretch in. Probably a leisurely walk at night too.
TUES: I will most likely be doing this workout at the track. I’m going to try to incorporate 12 laps with 12 different total body movements that mimic a lift at the gym (pushups, chair dips, lunges, stairs, squats, etc.)
WED: I’ll head out for a run, most likely through the park to get in some hills.
THURS: Just like Tuesday, I will most likely be doing this workout at the track. I’m going to try to incorporate 12 laps with 12 different total body movements that mimic a lift at the gym (pushups, chair dips, stairs, squats, etc.)
FRI: Again, like Monday this is supposed to be more of an off day, so I’m thinking I will do a light form of yoga that is allot of stretching and prepping for Saturday’s longer run. Besides, never have I ever wanted to work out on a Friday. Ever.
REPEAT x 11.

The last (and only) time I ran a half marathon was in Rochester with one of my great roommates from college, Mel.  Here are a few of my favorite photos from the day..

early morning, pre race jitters

so proud of ourselves!

with my favorite cheering squad. dad, mom and marc!


Here’s to starting at day 1 all over again!

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Tone It Up – Guest Post

Today’s guest post comes from Rachael, who I have been in contact to because of Foodie Pen Pals – you can see our exchange here.    We sent several emails back and forth and once I discovered she was a part of the Tone It Up Team I had so many questions for her!  She’s done me a favor by writing a little bit about it to share with all of you!

Hello The Little Spoon Blog readers!  I’m Rachael, I blog at Ready to Get Sweaty , and I’m so excited to post here today while Katie is relaxing and soaking up the sun.  I “met” Katie through Foodie Penpals (isn’t it just the greatest) and through our correspondence found out that she too loves Tone It Up (TIU).

What is Tone It Up?

First off, Karena and Katrina (K&K) are both certified personal trainers and nutrition coaches.  While they refer to their Nutrition Plan as a diet, the members (including myself) think of it as more of a lifestyle change.  The full TIU Nutrition Plan is $149, which I know is a bit pricy for most people – myself included.  Although, I must say that some of my favorite aspects of the TIU plan are completely FREE.  Yes, I said FREE!!!   And these are what I want to share with you today.

Fitness Tips

Booty call – If you Google “Tone It Up” one of the first things to pop up is the phrase ‘Booty Call.’  This isn’t your typical ‘booty call,’ I promise ;).  On the plan K&K challenge members to set their alarms for 30 minutes earlier than usual, put on sneakers and get their heart rate up to about 110-120 beats per minute.  This can be anything from a brisk walk, jog, low impact kickboxing DVD, toning moves, or even a high intensity interval training workout (HIIT) – seriously ANYTHING!  Science shows that people who exercise first thing in the AM burn a higher percentage of fat and are more likely to eat better the rest of the day.  I love BOOTY CALLS and for an extra burst of motivation I wake up to this saying everyday…

Go on now set your alarm, you know you want to!

Toning – If you couldn’t tell from the name TIU is all about TONING.  Weight training is amazing for women who want muscle tone for a number of reasons: (1) it increases your daily metabolism, (2) prevents injury and pain, and (3) increases muscle tone.  K&K post a new toning video every Tuesday (Tone It Up Tuesday) on their YouTube channel (  Each video also comes with a printable routine, so you could even take it to the gym with you.  I often find myself incorporating many of these videos into my daily workouts whether I want to focus on arms, abs, legs or just a full body workout.  I mean who wouldn’t want to do a workout with a tile like “She sells sea shells by the seashore” or “COWABUNGA”.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)HIIT workouts have become a popular way to lose weight and a great way to improve speed and endurance. They consist of bursts of high intensity activity combined with short periods of lower intensity.  HIIT routines offer a lot of variety and you get an effective workout in about half the time.  Google “HIIT” and you will find a number of jogging, walking, and even cardio routines you could do at home.  There are various levels of HIIT workouts, so be sure you find something you are comfortable with.  Also, be sure you are not over exercising.  HIIT workouts shouldn’t be done every day.  I typically do them 2-3 times a week.  My favorite at home HIIT workout is actually from the TIU Beachbabe DVD.  It is 15 minutes of intense cardio (burpees, squat jumps, etc) mixed with toning moves.  If you don’t have the DVD and don’t want to spend the money on it here are some other HIIT routines:

–       5 minute warm up.  8-12 intervals of 30 seconds sprinting and 60 seconds jogging / running at a normal pace.  5 minute cool down.

–       5 minute warm up.  3 minutes at level 7; 2 minutes at level 4 – repeat 8 times total.  5 minute cool down.

–       5 minute warm up. 60 seconds at level 8; 2 minutes at level 2 – repeat 8 times total.  5 minute cool down.

Nutrition Tips

Protein pancake – One secret weapon on the plan is the protein pancake.  This pancake is low carb, low fat, and seriously delish!  I eat a version of it almost every day (no lie!).  Give it a try, you won’t regret it.  Although I should warm you, flipping it does take practice :-).

Water – We all know that staying hydrated throughout the day is extremely important.  On the TIU plan K&K stress the importance of drinking 1/2 your body weight in water throughout the day.  That means if you weigh 150 pounds you better be drinking 75 ounces of water a day.  You don’t just have to drink water, feel free to substitute it with some Zico coconut water – the TIU girls love their Zico – as well as Kombucha.  I never tried coconut water before starting the TIU plan and now I’m addicted.  If you haven’t tried chocolate Zico yet – go out and buy it right now!  You will thank me later, I promise! You can also try putting fresh fruit in your water (e.g., strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) to naturally flavor it or even mint leaves with stevia.

Lean, Clean and Green – Another secret weapon on the plan is eating lean, clean and green.  This means no heavy white starches, large portions of cheeses, chemicals (i.e., fake sugars) or fried foods.  This does mean tons of veggies, fruit, non-processed foods, nuts/seeds and desserts.  Yes, I said desserts.  Healthy doesn’t mean depriving yourself.  For example, one of my favorite after dinner treats is an apple sprinkled with cinnamon and stevia and then microwaved for about 30 seconds.  I also like blending frozen bananas or fruit with frozen ice cubes made of almond milk and greek yogurt – it’s a great summer treat.  Some of my favorite Tone It Up recipes are:

–       Garbanzo Bean Patties

–       Peanut Butter Balls

–       Turkey Chili – I substitute the turkey with meatless crumbles


One thing I love about TIU is that you don’t need to purchase the plan to be a part of the community. With the TIU community you get to take advantage of the encouragement you get from the community members.  The team is full of supportive individuals (mostly women) that all have the same goals of becoming healthy or maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  You can also connect with other TIU members and nonmembers online through Twitter and Facebook.  The ability to connect with others that share the same goals has been a HUGE part of my success over the past few months.  It helps you realize that you aren’t alone in your goal to be a healthier, happier you!  There are also a number of groups that plan meet-ups for workouts.  For example, a bunch of TIU girls in Boston are getting together next month for a private yoga session – we call ourselves the Bostoned GroupJ.  I’ve met a bunch of great girls through TIU that I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Also, if you go to the TIU webpage you can sign up to receive a newsletter which includes free weekly check-ins from K&K, free workout routines every Tuesday, free healthy recipes, and much more.

Well that about sums up my favorite FREE parts of TIU.  If you have any questions about the plan please feel free to e-mail me at readytogetsweaty[at]gmail[dot]com.  Thanks you again Katie for letting me guest post.

Xo – Rachael

I’ve followed Karina, Katrina and Tenley (Bachelor fans anyone?  I was a HUGE fan of her) who all follow the plan.  So many times I have thought about purchasing the gfree TIU plan but just haven’t committed to it yet.  After Rachael’s post I’m just that much closer to buying it!

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Quarter Mile Workout

Thank you Lindsay for posting your Quarter Mile Workout the other day!  I was able to get out to the track this morning and give this workout a go.  I was able to keep an 8 minute mile pace on the track (thank goodness for easy splits!) and I was most definitely working up a sweat!  I love getting up early and heading to the track with my mom.  It helps that I can use the jog to the track as my warm up, the school is just around the corner from my house!  Perks of living close to your elementary/middle/high school – sleeping in just that much more during my school days and quick walking over right as the bell rang.  Easy peasy!

If you are ever looking for a good and fairly short workout (24 ish minutes) give this one a try!  You can do it at a track, on the treadmill or a mapped distance!  Let me know how it goes!!

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