Fit Friday Motivation ~ 5.6.16

Happy Friday!!  We have officially (almost) made it through the week!!  I know that I personally cannot wait for two entire days off of work in a row.  This week feels like it’s been dragging on forever.  What does everyone have going on this weekend?  Last weekend was so busy with the marathon going on, plus I had a hair appointment, plus Miss H had her 6-month shots, so I’m looking forward to a relatively relaxing weekend.  We are ordering pizza for lunch at work today, so I’m planning to cook a healthy dinner with my hubby tonight and RELAX with him and Miss H afterwards.  I’m going to do a shake-out run tomorrow at some point then do some super-clean grocery shopping afterwards.  My diet has been less-than-ideal lately, and it’s been taking a toll on my energy levels and my waistline.  It’s time to plan ahead and make some clean meals for the week.  I’m thinking oatmeal, grilled chicken salads, and sweet potatoes will be on the menu– I plan to make a “What I’m Eating This Week” post next week so I’ll update you then.  Sunday is my very first Mother’s Day, and I cannot wait to spend it with Miss H and my husband! I have no idea what we are doing yet– we’re last-minute like that– but I’ll be happy as long as we are together.  I’m really looking forward to it.

You may or may not remember that I have two half marathons on my schedule coming up in the next month, and I was waiting to see how Pittsburgh went before I decided whether or not I was actually going to do them.  Well, Pittsburgh went reasonably well for me (see my recap here) and was actually a good reminder of why I love running in the first place.  With a new baby in the picture, running has obviously been on the back burner for me for the past few months.  It’s easy to fall out of love with something when you aren’t doing it regularly, and I have to admit that I was falling out of love with running before the Pittsburgh half.  Which isn’t a good thing, since running is essentially a necessary therapy for me (read about why I run here).  Although I took a much-needed hiatus from running right before and right after Miss H was born and I have no regrets about that at all, I’m ready to start logging the miles again. I love the endorphins that come along with a challenging long run– they keep my emotions on an even keel and keep my stress levels manageable.  If I’ve learned anything about my return-to-running the past few months, it’s that a happy mama is a better mama, and I would give anything to be the best mother I can be to Miss H.  So, although spending time with my family will always be my first priority, I know that I need to continue running long distances whenever my schedule allows.  Miss H is on a more predictable sleep and nap schedule now, so it will be easier to plan my long runs for a time when she will be (mostly) napping or sleeping.  Since I am already signed up for the two upcoming half marathons, I have decided  that I want (or need, rather) to run them.  I feel like the picture below pretty much sums up how I feel about long runs, and it was kinda perfect for this particular Fit Friday post.  Enjoy.

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Source: Google Images

What’s on your fitness agenda for the weekend? 

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Fit Friday Motivation

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Source: Run U Mother Facebook page

I think everyone has had these runs at one point or another– the ones where your defenses break down and you begin to doubt yourself, your abilities, and your training.  It might be during a race or during a training run.  And as much as I dread having this type of run, I never let it defeat me when it does occur.  I push through to the finish line because I know when I do, I’ll be a stronger person and a better runner.  These are the kinds of races, training runs, workouts that show us what we’re really made of.  They force us to put our heart and soul into them just to get to the finish.  They teach us things about ourselves that we never knew before.  They show us that we’re capable of so much more than we thought possible.  In my opinion, these are the runs that make a runner a runner.  They makes us stronger people and stronger athletes.  I dread the experience, but I love the after-effects.  =)

I hope everyone has a fun, fit weekend!! =) 

Fitness Friday and My Weekly Recap!

Hey all!  It’s been a while since I’ve done a Fitness Friday post.  Since it’s the start of a new season and the start of a new month, I thought it might be a good idea to seek out a little bit of fitness motivation and share it with you.  So here goes… You really can’t go wrong with inspiration from Nike!

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Seriously, when it comes to fitness {and all other things in life}, there’s no time like the present to get started on something you’ve been thinking about doing or been putting off doing.  Especially in the fall– with the inevitably colder temps and the busy holiday season approaching, it’s so easy to say “there’s no sense in starting now, I might as well wait for spring to get here.”  Um, no.  Get off your butt and get started NOW!  When the spring comes and you’re fitter, healthier, and happier than before, you’ll be glad that you did.  On a related note…

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Don’t prolong your goals.  Get started now, because in a month, a year, a decade– you will be glad that you did.  The passing of time won’t make you any more motivated than you are today.  The time will pass, and you’ll still be saying “I’ll start some day.”  So make that “some day” today!

With two 5K races and two half mary’s coming up in the next month, I’ve been running a good bit lately (much to my liking!).  Last Sunday, a group of us did a very scenic 8.5-mile loop full of uphills, downhills, and flats.  I normally do my long runs on my favorite running trail, which is a flat, soft-surface, rails-to-trails.  I knew I wanted to get in a tougher training run before my October 6th half marathon, and last Sunday’s run definitely fit the bill.  It felt great to check out a new route, get my heart rate up, and test my legs’ limits up over the hills.  I really wish I’d have had my phone on me to take pictures, but I didn’t– some of the sights we saw were absolutely beautiful.  We are planning on repeating the loop this coming Sunday, so hopefully I can snag some pics to share then.

On Wednesday, my bestest running friend Emily and I ran a nice-and-easy 10 miles on our favorite running trail.  Once upon a time, if you’d have told me I was ever going to say that a 10-mile run was nice and easy, I’d have laughed at you.  But seriously, we took it nice and slow and I felt great afterwards.  I love distance running, and I especially love feeling like I’m improving at it.

Last night, my brother and I went on an easy 3.1 mile run with a family friend who is training for his first 5K.  I treated it as a recovery run in preparation for tomorrow’s 5K race, but in reality our route had some nasty hills on it!  I was feeling the burn in my legs and the burn in my lungs from the chilly fall temperatures.

I did a little bit of strength training this week, but nothing to write home about.  I’m using strength training more for injury prevention now, but I’m hoping to kick my strength training up a notch once all this half marathon training slows down in November!

I hope everyone has a fun, fit FALL weekend!!!

=)

Fit Friday Motivation

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I saw this on a recent Facebook post and just knew it had to be the basis for my Fit Friday Motivation post.  Like many women, I, too, have suffered over the years with body image issues.  I went from being overweight and uneducated about health & fitness (the teenage years) to being underweight and still uneducated about health and fitness (the quarterlife crisis years).  Throughout my entire weight spectrum, I was never happy with my body’s appearance.  When I was heavy, all I wanted was to be thin and tiny.  I put my body through hell until I was finally the thin, tiny person that I wanted to be– then I was unhappy with the shape my body had taken.

Throughout all of the disrespect and abuse I put my it through– starving it of meaningful calories, pumping it full of fake sugars and other dietary toxins, and pushing my cardio sessions to the extreme– my body never failed me.  It carried me through each day.  My lungs gave me the oxygen I needed to survive; my heart pumped nutrients throughout my body, my brain gave me focus and clarity, my muscles worked together to make me capable of each and every movement, and so on.  But I didn’t see all of that– all I saw was the reflection in the mirror of a body that was not good enough.  I disrespected my body and I took it for granted.  Until I started running.

It’s like my body stood back and passively accepted all of my negativity and insults until I started running.  Then, it was like my body finally decided to stand up to me and say, “Hey, you think I’m not good enough– watch and see what I can do!”

Pushing my limits, pressing on when all I want to do is give up– those are the ways running has shown me what I’m really made of.  When I first started running, I was so surprised by what my body could do.  It could do things that I never thought it was capable of doing.  I was no longer disappointed in it; I was impressed with it.  Breaking barriers and reaching new goals was such a wonderful feeling.  And, over time, my relationship with my body began to change from a negative one to a positive one.

Running has taught me so much about my body.  It’s not inadequate.  It’s not weak.  It’s capable of so much more than I ever gave it credit for.  It’s stronger than I ever thought possible– not just physically, but mentally as well.

Now, three years after I first began running, I can truly say that I respect, appreciate, and love my body.  And I only have running to credit for that.  My body isn’t perfect– but my body is strong and it is healthy, and I respect and appreciate that.  I’m proud of it for carrying me through life the way that it does.  The fact that I can run 13.1 miles without stopping has a much bigger influence on my self image now than the number on the scale or the reflection in my mirror.  And that makes me happy.

I feel like many runners have had the same experiences since beginning running.  Has running had a similar effect on your life or on your body image??  

Fit Friday Motivation

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It’s Friday!!  You know what that means– the obligations of the workweek are {almost} over for many of us, and another summer weekend is almost here!

I don’t know about you, but this week has felt like it was never going to end for me.  I have been super busy– hence my lack of writing on the blog, sorry about that– but for a good, fitness-related reason (which I may or may not disclose after the weekend is over).

Despite my crazy-busy week, I have been able to squeeze in a few cardio workouts this week.  I ran some intervals on Monday with my younger brother, then I went for my usual Wednesday night run with my bestest running friend Emily.  My weight training has been slacking, though, so I’m looking forward to getting back on that bandwagon next week when my schedule returns to normal.  I always feel so much better when I’m weight training regularly on top of my running & cardio.

The weather’s been outrageously hot in this part of the country this week, but the weekend is looking to be much more comfortable.  I’m hoping to get in a bike ride with my lovey boyfriend this weekend!

I hope everyone has a fun, fit weekend!  See ya next week.  =)

Fit Friday Motivation… and a Weekly Recap

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I saw this meme and fell in love with it!  Maybe I’m crazy, but I love the feeling of (slightly) sore muscles– it lets me know that I accomplished something with my workout and that I’m changing my body for the better.  When I take a few days off from working out, I actually feel worse because my body doesn’t feel like it has been challenged at all (most likely because it hasn’t! duh).  When you just don’t feel like working out one day, think of what you’ll feel like the day after– would you rather be sore or sorry?  =)

It’s Friday, and I’m happy to say I’ve had an active week this week!!

Monday:  I ran 5K (just the distance, not a race) with my boyfriend and my brother later at night after the heat and humidity started backing off.  Of course I forgot to press “start” on my GPS app, so I have no stats- but I think we did pretty well!!  We have a 5K next week and wanted to get some training in for that.  I’m super-proud of my boyfriend for doing such a great job– he dropped from 360 pounds to 235 pounds a few years ago and seriously kicks my butt (and most people’s) in any kind of athletic event.  His last 5K time was 24:47 (3rd in his age group- wahoo!), and he’s shooting for 22:45 in his next one.  So proud of him!

Tuesday:  I took a rest day on Tuesday, but I spent 4 hours in the evening getting my CPR/AED certification– just one step closer to getting my NASM CPT certification!!  I have to take the test before August, so {hopefully} in another month I’ll be an officially-certified personal trainer.

Wednesday:  Wednesday was trail-run day with my bestest running friend Emily!! We did six easy miles on our favorite local running trail.  Since we aren’t training for a specific long-distance event right now, we took it easy and enjoyed the scenery and conversation.  It was H-U-M-I-D outside, and that really slowed us down despite the fact that the temperature was in the mid-70’s.  Ah the joys of summertime running.
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Thursday:  Thursday evening was my weekly hour-long spin class!!  In case you don’t follow my posts, I just started spinning again a few weeks ago.  Those first few sessions are always rough (for me, at least) because it takes a while for my leg muscles to adapt.  It’s almost more of an anaerobic workout than an aerobic workout.  Last night, I felt like I finally crossed the threshold from anaerobic into aerobic– I was huffing and puffing for sure, and my HR was through the roof!  I was content with my workout when I left they gym.  I was also able to talk my little brother into going to spin class with me– it was his first time spinning, and I think he enjoyed it!
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TONIGHT:  Tonight I’ll be running in a local 5-mile race!  My bestest running friend Emily is also running.  I have done this race the past two years and really enjoyed it, although the weather has been less-than-perfect (i.e. hot and ridiculously humid) each time.  Tonight’s weather looks to be about the same as the past two years, but I’m sure it’ll still be enjoyable.  I’ll be sure to recap sometime next week!

I hope everyone has a fun, fit weekend!!