Friday Free-For-All – 08/18/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

It’s Ben’s birthday! He turns 29 today. We don’t have any specific plans for after work tonight, but we are having a party tomorrow, which should be a blast 🙂

This week was my office’s “volunteer week.” We did a bunch of great activities outside the office, like helping to refurbish a tree house, and helping out at a youth center’s summer carnival. I’m proud to work for a company that really takes community involvement seriously, and I’m grateful I had some opportunities to be outside on beautiful summer days.

We met with a mortgage broker on Wednesday. Frankly, it was scary and kind of discouraging. We’re able to borrow quite a bit more than we need or want to, which is great. But based on our current amount of available cash for down payment etc, our monthly mortgage payment when buying a house in our target price range (including property taxes, home owner’s insurance, PMI etc) would be a LOT higher than we had thought it might be, and definitely NOT doable if I’m going quit my job when we have kids. This means that we need to seriously lower our target price range, which seriously limits our options. Thankfully, we are in a situation where we can be patient and wait for the perfect opportunity, but it’s still pretty discouraging. I had initially hoped for us to be in our own place by the end of the year, but I’m no longer so confident in that timeline.

Happy Friday!

5 Ways CrossFit Has Been Great for My Running

From November to March, I took an extended break from running. During that running break, I started attending about three CrossFit classes a week (obviously quite a few less than that while I was busy with Dogfight). Since I picked up running again, making time for both has been a bit challenging, but has also had some excellent benefits.

Obviously, CrossFit is not for everyone, but for me, combining CrossFit with running has been doing great things for my running, and I hope to continue with both. Here’s why.

Physical Strength
I’m sure it goes without saying, but being strong is great for a runner. I’m physically stronger now than I’ve ever been before in my life, and I’m only going to keep getting stronger. My legs, core, and arms are strong and balanced, so running feels a lot easier than it ever has before. I used to have occasional pain in my right hip after longer or harder runs, probably due to some un-diagnosed weakness or imbalance, but those days are gone.

Mental Toughness
Just as mental toughness is essential for a runner, it’s essential for a CrossFit athlete. At least once during every CF workout I think, “How can I possibly keep this up for another x number of rounds or minutes?” But I don’t give up. I take a breath, adjust my pacing, and keep going. I remind myself that I haven’t quit on a workout yet, and if I’ve gotten through in the past, I will this time too.

That mental toughness totally translates into running. I’ve gotten practiced at pushing through to the finish even when I’m gasping for breath and my legs are shaking and I just want to quit. I just remind myself that I’ve done harder things before, and keep on moving.

CrossFit has been an INCREDIBLE confidence boost. I’ve done things I never thought I could do, lifted weights and executed movements I never imagined I was capable of. My form and strength have improved boatloads since I started. My friends at the box only ever encourage me, and congratulate me every time I reach a new milestone. I know for a fact that I can do hard things. And that is VERY powerful.

CrossFit is Harder Than Running
I do not in any way intend to offend with this statement. I know running is very hard. But for me, CrossFit is harder. The average CF workout is WAY harder than an average run, so now, running just seems… easier by comparison. Especially just run-of-the-mill steady state running. It makes getting out there and hitting the pavement a lot less daunting.

Knowing My Limits… And Pushing Beyond Them
A big piece of CrossFit is learning how to push outside your comfort zone (in a safe, measured way). It’s about setting a one rep max in a workout, and then maybe a couple of weeks later, setting a new one. Or repeating Fran a few months after your first attempt, and finishing faster, or using heavier weights.

In my running, I was often afraid to push too hard during a race because I was afraid of blowing up or “failing,” but failing a movement is just a normal part of CrossFit. You try to add some weight to a movement, you give it a shot, and if you can’t do it, no big deal. You can try again next time. Getting used to trying hard things, to adding more and more weight, to failure, has been so instructive for me. For so much of my life, I’ve avoided taking chances for fear of failing, but CrossFit doesn’t really allow me to do that.

Now, I know what the “edge” feels like. And I’m not afraid to step right up to it, maybe put a toe over, and see what I can do. And I’m SO EXCITED to see what that attitude will continue to do for my running.

Have you found a form of cross-training that’s the perfect compliment to your sport of choice?


Manic Monday – 08/14/17


Manic MondayTraining For: Charlotte Covered Bridges Half?

What Was Planned vs. What Happened

Monday 08/07/17: CrossFit | CrossFit
We worked up to one rep max squat snatches, which KILLED me, and then did a 15 minute workout that combined bar muscle ups and hang cleans. And then I got changed and went out to a concert. On a Monday night. Like a boss.

Tuesday 08/01/17: 5k Run | 5k Run
I didn’t feel like running at lunch, so right after work I changed into my running clothes and zipped out the door for a 5k. This meant I got to go home and shower off instead of sitting in my own sweat all afternoon. Win.

Wednesday 08/02/17: CrossFit | CrossFit
We did Open workout 17.5, which is 10 rounds of 9 thrusters and 35 double-unders. I didn’t quite finish before the time cap, but I was able to do two DUs in a row several times, and even three in a row once, which is HUGE. We finished with some sprints.

Thursday 08/03/17: 5 Mile Run | Rest
I was quite tired and sore after three straight days of workouts, so I decided to just relax. This was also the day Ben came home (FINALLY), so I made dinner for the family and we just hung out.

Friday 08/04/17: CrossFit | CrossFit
This was a doozy–basically 5 different short workouts crammed into one hour. I was a sweaty, exhausted mess at the end.

Saturday 08/05/17 : Rest | Rest
We had a relaxing morning, and then spent the rest of the day at our friends Lori and Emerson’s wedding.

Sunday 08/06/17: 9 Mile Run | 8 Mile Run
It was a perfect, breezy, overcast day. I probably could have done 9, but since I didn’t run long last weekend, I didn’t want to push it too much.

Sunday runday! 8 slow and steady miles in the bank.

A post shared by Rachel Bruce Drew (@rbdinvt) on

That’s probably the best week of training I’ve had in a while. I made it to three CrossFit classes and ran twice. I’m hoping I can keep this up going forward!

Friday Free-For-All – 08/11/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

BEN IS HOME! FOR GOOD! And we couldn’t be happier about it. He arrived home midday yesterday and I can’t freaking wait to spend some time together.

Getting to go straight home after work (or CrossFit) is AMAZING. I was thinking through things a few days ago, and realized that for the last TWO YEARS, I haven’t really taken a break. I went from Legally Blonde straight into Chess, straight into training for Wine and Dine, straight into marathon training WHILE doing Mary Poppins, got a part time job at Athleta, straight into 9 to 5, and then almost immediately into Dogfight. I know that in like two weeks I’ll get the itch again (glutton for punishment much?), but right now, it is so nice to have some down time. I get to actually eat an evening meal while sitting at an actual table. And go to bed at a reasonable hour. And put my laundry away and snuggle my cats and watch Netflix. Please remind me of this if I say I want to audition for a fall show…

This will be the first week in I don’t know how long that I went to three CF classes. If I go to class tonight. Which I totally will. I am SO HAPPY to be getting back to regular classes. I’m pretty committed to going M-W-F no excuses now that the show is over and I don’t have any upcoming demands on my time. I can’t wait to see what going to class regularly, combined with my newfound will power against drinking and eating sweets, will do for me 🙂

Busy weekend ahead. We have a wedding tomorrow and a BBQ on Sunday. I’d also like to fit in a long run, but that doesn’t seem likely. Maybe I can squeeze in a five miler? I should be hitting 8 or 9 this weekend according to my training plan for the Charlotte Covered Bridges Half, but we all know how well I follow training plans. We’ll see how things shake out.

Happy Friday!

Dogfight Post-Mortem

Whew. Three weeks of shows for Dogfight the musical have come to an end, and I’ve got SO MANY thoughts and feelings, so I decided to do a little post-show brain dump.

As I’ve already said a couple of times, this rehearsal process was not that great. I was so, so excited for this show, and pretty much every rehearsal had me doubting that it was ever going to come together. Mercifully, it did, and the end product actually turned out to be pretty good in spite of all of the crap, which is great. As always, a show ending is bittersweet. I’ll miss the music. I’ll miss my friends. I’ll miss performing. But BOY am I ready for a break.

This experience really threw some things into focus for me. I have a good friend who talks a lot about process vs product. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how crappy the process is because the product is so good. And sometimes, the process is so crappy that it totally sours the product. Or the product isn’t super great but you have lots of fun working on it. In the case of Dogfight, we ended up with a good product, but the process sucked.

Going through this made me realize that I’m really, really over committing myself to projects that aren’t challenging and fulfilling. Yes, the music for this show was amazing, and I’m really glad I got to sing it, but I’m not sure that all the time I spent being stressed out, frustrated, and anxious was really worth it. Not to mention all of the time spent driving to and from Stowe, and the money I spent on gas, costume pieces, and makeup. Maybe it’s not for me to say, but I feel like I’m ready to be consistently performing at a higher level, and not just taking every opportunity that comes my way. At Stowe, I’m a big fish in a tiny pond, but I feel like I’m capable of being a medium-to-big fish in a bigger pond.

Unfortunately, this decision that my time and talent are worth more is coming a bit late, in the sense that I’m likely on the cusp of taking a fairly long break from performing in order to try and start a family. All I can hope is that there are better opportunities for me when I get back to it. I’m also already feeling the FOMO for all of the shows I may miss due to pregnancy and having a child. Expect a post expanding on this soon.

Until the next audition, I definitely plan to do all I can to keep improving. It’s really expensive, but I’m hoping to get back to voice lessons this fall, and maybe a dance class too. In order to do CrossFit, voice lessons, and dance classes, I will definitely need to do some pretty serious budget-trimming, but I’m ready to make the commitment, both in time and money, to things I’m passionate about.

On that note, as I teased in my July wrap up post, I have officially joined the PR and Development Committee for Lyric Theatre Company. I’ve been doing shows with them since 2002, and while I genuinely love and appreciate the organization for all it has given me and the community, there are of course things about how they operate that I think could be better. And rather than just bitching about it, I think it’s time I get more involved and actually work within the organization to help make it better. It will be nice to maintain an active role in the organization even if I’m not able to perform for a while.

Manic Monday – 08/07/17

Manic Monday

Training For: Charlotte Covered Bridges Half?

What Was Planned vs. What Happened

Monday 07/31/17: CrossFit | CrossFit
We did a strength WOD with thrusters, then a 12 minute AMRAP 40-30-20-10 double-unders, kettlebell swings, kettlebell snatches, and kettlebell overhead squats. Woof!

Tuesday 08/01/17: 5k Run | Rest
True confession: I didn’t run because I washed my hair that morning and didn’t want it to get all sweaty before a date night with Ben. #priorities

Wednesday 08/02/17: Rest | 5k Run
It was fairly hot and humid, but I got in a lunchtime 5k regardless, and was glad I did.

Thursday 08/03/17: 4 Mile Run | Rest
I had a phone call scheduled for the middle of my lunch break, so I opted not to run. And then the call was rescheduled at the last minute. Whomp whomp.

Friday 08/04/17: Rest | Rest
I thought about running, but a) it was hot, and b) I had my rescheduled phone call to make.

Saturday 08/05/17 : CrossFit | Rest
I had way too much to do Saturday morning, then a three year-old’s birthday party and getting ready for the last performance of Dogfight on Saturday night, so it just didn’t happen.

Photo Aug 05, 1 19 59 PM

Sunday 08/06/17: 8 Mile Run | 3.1 Mile Hike
My best friend and her husband were in town to see the show, so we spent the day together hiking, eating ice cream (twice!), cooking delicious food, and playing games. It was an excellent day.

Photo Aug 06, 1 28 57 PM

Photo Aug 06, 3 27 53 PM

Thanks for the flattering photo, Vinny!

One CF class and one hike is certainly better than nothing, but I think attempting to do anything more would have just ended up making me a stressed out, tired mess. I’m excited because now that Dogfight is over, I can get back to going to classes and running more regularly, eat dinners at home, and see my family more. Yay!

Have you ever stopped for ice cream twice in one day?

Friday Free-For-All – 08/04/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

Holy crap it’s August. I mean, seriously. I know I say this pretty much every month, but I feel like July didn’t even really happen. I’m not happy about the fact that summer is almost over already. Boooooo.

It’s the last week of shows for Dogfight. We’ve got one tonight, and one more tomorrow. This show ending is even more bittersweet than usual. Bitter because I love the music and show so much, and because this may be my last show for quite some time if we get pregnant. Sweet because the rehearsal process was so frustrating, and I’m EXHAUSTED from doing two shows in a row. I’m just trying to enjoy every last minute. On that note…

My bestie and her husband are coming to see the show tomorrow! Mandy and Vinny live in Jersey, so I only get to see them once or twice a year. They’re making the 6+ hour trek up to see Dogfight tomorrow night and I’m so excited and so grateful. I can’t wait to see them!

Ben is officially on the last leg of his whirlwind summer tour. He’s currently in Prague visiting his sister Emily, and he’ll be home for good on the 10th. And I can’t. Freaking. Wait. Of course I’m happy that he got to enjoy his summer break and have lots of adventures, but I missed him! And I’m also very excited to go get pre-approved for a mortgage and start house hunting in earnest. Whee!

I know this is really silly, but I have recently had a delightful string of celebrity interactions on Twitter and Instagram. Or, people I consider celebrities. Specifically, Broadway stars. One of my idols, Stephanie J Block, replied to my tweet about her upcoming Live from Lincoln Center performance. Caesar Samoyoa, a member of the cast of Come From Away, replied to my response to his tweet about the new immersive Star Wars experience coming to WDW. And Mamie Parris, who is playing Grizabella in Cats on Broadway, liked a comment I made on one of her Instagram photos. It’s SO INDESCRIBABLY CHEESY, I know, but I love it nonetheless.

Capture 3

Capture 4

Happy Friday!



July 2017 Wrap Up

I am missing CrossFit fiercely at the moment. I only made it to 5 classes this month, which I think is a record low since I started. I probably should have prorated my membership for July, but by the time I thought of it, it was too late. And honestly, I truly thought I’d go more. Ah well.

I’m really ready and excited to get back to going to class regularly once Dogfight wraps up. I think I can re-commit to going to the 5 pm class M-W-F like I was during 9-5 rehearsals, no excuses.

In spite of how busy I was, this was actually a decent running month. I got in 6 runs for a total of 29 miles, including two 6+ mile long runs. Until July, I hadn’t run more than 5 miles since November 2016, so I consider that a win.

I’m still hoping to run the Charlotte Covered Bridges Half Marathon on September 9, but it will totally depend on two things: 1) not blowing my August budget, and 2) completing at least one 10+ mile long run. Both of those things are doable, I just need to make the race a priority. And with Dogfight wrapping up in a few days, I will be WAY less busy.

I’ve gotten through two weeks of shows for Dogfight the musical, and tonight kicks off the third and final week of performances. I’m excited because lots of people I know will be coming this week, including my aunt and cousin, and my best friend and her husband who are driving up from New Jersey for the weekend.

You can expect a longer post expanding on this next week, but in short I’ll say that this show has made me think A LOT about my priorities when it comes to theatre and performing. I am more than ready for a break after doing two shows in a row, but also have some FOMO settling in because this may be my last show for quite some time if our plans to get pregnant soon come to fruition.

Also, I’m strongly considering joining one of the various committees for Lyric Theatre. They are without a doubt the largest, most well-funded, best organized community theatre organization in my area, and if I can’t be on stage, I’d love to stay involved in other ways and help to make some changes and improvements that I’ve seen a need for over my 10+ years being involved. I’d like to join either the Membership or Development committees, and plan to reach out to the heads of both to find out when they meet and what responsibilities I could expect. Stay tuned!

I think my favorite day this month was the 4th of July. I got to be in the Stowe parade, and then spent the day with my new good friends, Brita and Doug. They plied me with delicious cider and tasty food, we chatted, I got a sunburn, and we watched the fireworks. If it hadn’t been for them, I likely would have spent the day at home, missing Ben. Instead, I had a really fun day, and solidified some new friendships that I’m really excited about.

If I’m counting correctly, I only saw Ben seven total days this month. It was definitely hard to be apart so much, but I’m grateful that for much of the time he was gone, I was very busy with the show, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. And now he’s on the final leg of his crazy travel schedule, and all will be well.

July Goals
As a refresher, my goals for July were:

  • Stick to “no booze Monday-Thursday” rule–yes
  • Go to CF at least twice a week–no

Unfortunately, this month just kicked my ass. I was so busy I barely had time to eat full meals let alone get to CF more than a handful of times. Still, I’m impressed with what I managed, particularly sticking to my no booze rule, and adding in the “no treats” piece as well. Surprisingly, I’m having a fairly easy time sticking to my guns on those rules, and not feeling like I’m missing out on anything. For instance, there were donuts in the kitchen at work yesterday, and I didn’t have one. If you know me, you know that is some SERIOUS will power.

August Goals

  • Stick to “no booze and no treats Monday-Thursday” rule
  • Go to CF at least twice a week, preferably three
  • Run at least twice a week

Nothing too crazy for August. Mostly just trying to re-establish “normal” after a month of insanity. It will be nice to get back to a routine, not to mention eating regular meals at home again!

Does it usually take you a while to get back to “normal” after a busy period, or do you just jump right back in?

Manic Monday – 07/31/17

Manic Monday

Training For: Covered Bridges Half

What Was Planned vs What Happened

Monday 07/24/17: Rest | Rest
Oh, how I rested. I actually got to go home after work, have supper at home, and hang out with Ben. Crazypants!

Tuesday 07/25/17: CrossFit | CrossFit
First class back in almost two weeks, yay! We did some rowing intervals, then open workout 14.3, which was lots of box jumps and deadlifts. My legs were SO TIRED.

Wednesday 07/26/17: 5k Run | 20 Min. Walk
We’re doing a wellness “bingo” challenge at work, and one of the squares is “take a 10 minute walk with a coworker.” A bunch of us decided since the weather was gorgeous, this was a perfect day to check it off.

Thursday 07/27/17: CrossFit | Rest
I suppose I could have squeezed in a run, but I ran some errands instead. I needed more dry shampoo and tattoo cover up for the show.

Friday 07/28/17: 4 Mile Run | Rest
I was tired, so I didn’t run. Meh.

Saturday 07/29/17: Rest | Rest
Nailed it, haha! I slept in, spent a few hours running errands, and then just relaxed before show number 8 for Dogfight.

Sunday 07/30/17: 7 Mile Run | 7 Mile Run
I took it to the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail for the first time ever, and MAN am I sad I only just now found it. It’s about a 15 minute drive from my in-laws’ house, mostly flat, partly shaded, and generally a nice break from road running. Woot!

Not too bad a week considering that I’m starting to feel a little ragged from burning the candle at both ends. This week is the final week for Dogfight, and while it will be sad to let go of the show, I will be very grateful to get back to regular CrossFit and running.

When is the last time you explored a new running route?

Friday Free-For-All – 07/28/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

Week two of shows for Dogfight is going well. We picked back up on Wednesday, and had probably our best show so far that night. My folks came last night, which was really nice, and I have some friends coming tonight as well. We’re finally settling in and figuring ourselves out, which I’m intensely grateful for. And after a few days of rest earlier this week, I’m personally feeling a lot better, stronger, and happier to be there.

I went to my first CrossFit class in almost two weeks on Tuesday. It felt SO GOOD to be back. Of course, I was still exhausted from my epic Sunday of 10k run + hiking, but I persevered. I missed my friends, I missed the feeling of accomplishment… I gotta really try not to miss full weeks from here on out!

And just like that, Ben is gone again. This time he’s off to DC to visit his older sister Leah. He left on Wednesday, and will be back for like, two whole days before he takes off again to go to Prague. I’m really glad he was home for four days, and I feel like we crammed a lot of quality time together into his short home stand.

Against all odds, I’ve actually kind of been sticking to my half marathon training plan. Definitely not religiously, and not hitting CF as much as I’d like, but I’ve done long runs the last two weekends in a row, including the longest run I’ve done since Wine and Dine back in November. I’m cautiously optimistic that I can at least be somewhat prepared to run a half in early to mid-September, which would be fantastic. Still though, there’s a lot of stuff to get through first. Fingers crossed that I can continue what I’ve been doing.

The latest in humorous search terms leading to this blog: “hot busty runner.” I literally laughed out loud at my desk when I read that one. Yes, I am busty, and yes, I get hot very frequently, so I guess I can see what brought them here, but still. Dying laughing over here.

Who else is ready for the weekend???