5 Random Facts About Me

I love reading random ish about other people because I’m a nosy person by nature. When I was younger I used to fill in those surveys that went around the internet all the time, then post the answers to my LiveJournal so my friends could read it and let me know what they thought about me. Did anyone else have a LiveJournal? I guess blogging is kind of the modern LiveJournal/Xanga, huh?

So, let’s take some time to get to know each other a little better, shall we?

1. I have 1 tattoo on my left foot. My mom and my sister actually have the same tattoo in the same place. I’m considering getting another one, but I just don’t know where or what I would want yet.
Tattoo2. I had really bad asthma when I was younger and had to be on a nebulizer multiple times a day. Even though my asthma isn’t active anymore, I think it makes me sensitive to the sensation of not being able to breathe during runs.

3. I went to Drexel University in Philadelphia for my first year of college and transferred back home to the University of Delaware for my next 3 years. After my first year, I decided paying out of state tuition wasn’t worth it and I preferred the course load at UD.

4. I had 2 dogs growing up – both of which were Miniature Schnauzers. We had our first dog, Missy, for right around 13 years and got our second dog, Lucy, after she passed away. I still miss her. Schnauzers are the best dogs to have if you have allergies and they really don’t shed all that much.
Lucy5. My parents named me after a soap opera character and Alyssa Milano. Yup, I’m named after Cassie Callison from “One Life to Live” and my parents really liked “Who’s The Boss?” so they named me after Alyssa Milano too. Put the 2 together and you have me – Cassandra (Cassy) Alisa.

Now that you know way more about me than you would ever care to know in a million years, let’s be friends other places too! Friend me on Instagram and Pinterest. Then I’ll friend you back and it’ll be one big circle of friendship, sound good?

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Tell me 1 random fact about yourself! I’m so excited to see what you guys say!

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I’m Incapable of “Taking It Easy”

I’ve come to an interesting and (somewhat) important self-realization over the past week: I am incapable of “taking it easy” during workouts.

You know how if you’re following a training or workout plan, some will call for an “active recovery” day? Yeah, those don’t exist in my world. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t have recovery days (I usually take 1-2 a week), but if I’m working out in any way then it’s usually a balls to the wall effort. Or if you’ve ever read up on how to pace yourself during certain types of runs like speed workouts, tempo runs, or long runs, they always describe the effort of a long run to be at a “comfortable pace”. Yeah, I don’t do that either. Long run or not, I always push myself to my absolute limit.
Running at WissahickonI used to think this was a really good thing about myself. To me, if I’m going to take the time to workout, then I want to get the most bang for my buck and really push myself. This way, I’m getting maximum benefits from my time and the most calorie burn, right? I mean, why take a long run easy if I can up the intensity a little and finish with a better time? And why would I bother to cruise along on the elliptical while bopping my head to the music when I can do some HIIT on it and increase my overall calorie burn?

I think part of the reason I find it so difficult to take a more relaxed approach to some workouts is due, in part, to my competitive nature. And no, I don’t mean competitive with others (although I am guilty of that also), but I’m mainly competitive with myself. I mean, let’s be honest, no one else in the world cares about how fast I finish my long run or how much weight I can deadlift except for me (as much as I like to think Ed actually cares, he probably doesn’t). Sure, it’s interesting to see other people’s stats so you can compare yourself to them, but at the end of the day, I’m really the only person who my numbers have any effect on. I like to test my limits. I like to look back and say “Man, I can’t believe I actually did x, y, or z (crushed my last 5k PR, cycled that far, back squatted that much, etc.).” To me, personal growth is part of the fun of exercising and you reach those goals faster if you workout harder, longer, and more intense, right?
Wissahickon BridgeWell, as it turns out, that’s not exactly the case. I’m a big fan of Mark Sisson’s blog and podcast and he frequently discusses the importance of giving yourself enough time to recover from your workouts and the importance of easier workouts. Apparently, we like to think we recover a lot quicker than we actually do.  Whether it be the recovery time we take in between sprints during our speedwork sessions or the amount of days between heavy lifting sessions, a lot of people don’t give themselves enough time to fully recover and this can lead to a lot of issues. Obviously, injury is one of the issues it can lead to, but it can also wear away at your immune system and cause you to not get as many benefits from your intense training days because your body hasn’t fully recovered and strengthened itself.

Now, don’t get me wrong here – I’m not doing some crazy intense workout all the time that blows everyone else out of the water, but I am always pushing my body to its limits in whatever I’m doing. With that being said, I now have a new goal for myself and that is to have at least 1 “easy” workout per week. One workout where I can hold a casual conversation and where I’m not constantly trying to one up myself or the person next to me. The purpose of this workout will obviously be to ensure my body has recovered properly, but I guess also to stop being so competitive with myself all of the time and prove that I can do it.

Let’s hope it goes well!

Are you guys constantly competing with yourself (or others) during your workouts?

Do any of you have this same mindset when it comes to workouts – that more is always better? I feel like so many people discuss the problem of not working out intense enough, but the concept of working out too intensely too often isn’t as frequent of a topic.

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Bike & Brew

Wow, based on my last few blog posts it must look like I’m biking A LOT! Granted, I am biking a good amount, but I promise I do actually walk/drive places too. I just don’t think you guys would be very interested if I detailed my morning drive to work to you (as riveting as it is!).

Yesterday, Ed and I made plans to meet up with my sister and Luis at their place in Philadelphia for a fun-filled day! We started off the day bright and early and made the 40 minute drive to their house. First up on our list of activities was checking out their local farmer’s market!
Headhouse Farmer's MarketWe drove to the farmer’s market near South Street around 10am and it was already jam packed with people!
Farmer's Market VeggiesThis farmer’s market literally had everything imaginable and a lot of the products were organic, which was awesome. We ended up only grabbing a couple of sweet potatoes since we had done grocery shopping for the week on Friday.

After we were done exploring the market, we headed back to their place to grab our bikes and begin our journey from Philadelphia to Conshohocken. It’s about 12.5 miles from their house to Conshohocken and you have to go through the city (near the art museum, Kelly Drive, & through Manayunk) for part of the ride and the rest is beautifully paved paths!
MLK rideBoathouses from MLKPaved Path to Conshohocken
We took a very leisurely pace on the ride since we were talking and enjoying the scenery. After about an hour , we made it to Conshohocken and decided to take a break and refuel with drinks and food at Conshohocken Brewing Company!
Conshohocken Brewing CoApparently all the other cyclists had the same idea we did because the brewery was packed with a bunch of other bikers.
Bikers at CBC
We ordered some drinks and food while we played a couple of rounds of Jenga and Connect Four. I lost at Jenga :(.
Jenga at CBC
After we got our check, we took off back to Philly, but, unfortunately, we didn’t get very far since Ed had a flat tire. We were at a loss for what to do since we didn’t have a repair kit (rookie mistake), but, luckily, a couple of extremely nice riders stopped and offered to help patch it for us.
Flat Tire HelpIt was so nice of them and a lot of other people asked if we needed help as well. I guess cyclists are a really friendly and helpful bunch of people! After he patched Ed’s tire, we started back up on our ride again and got about 5 miles in before we decided to stop in Manayunk to get a new tube for his bike.

After getting a new tube ($17 for the tube plus installation – highway robbery I tell you), we walked around Manayunk for a minute before starting back up on our ride.
Ang & Me in ManayunkWe ended up stopping one more time before we made it back to the city because they wanted to show us The Whispering Wall, which is a curved wall/bench where if one person sits at one end of bench and talks directly into the stone, the person all the way at the other en can hear them perfectly. It was pretty cool and Ed and I could hear each other crystal clear!
Whispering Wall
After playing at The Whispering Wall, we finished up our ride and took in some nice views of the city along the way.
MLK back to PhillyRide back to PhillyArt Museum from MLKAll-in-all, we covered about 25 miles on our trip and had a great time!

What did you guys do yesterday?

Interesting articles to get you through Monday:
4 foam rolling moves for runners My Fitness Pal
The Gratitude Challenge Huffington Post
The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Popsugar Fitness

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