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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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

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If you’re like most people who strive to make exercise a regular part of their daily life, chances are you’ve run into a roadblock or two somewhere along the way.  Maybe you’ve plateaued; maybe you’ve lost motivation; maybe life has gotten so crazy that you’ve fallen off the bandwagon and can’t seem to find your way back on.

When this happens, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the thought of getting back into shape or back into following a consistent training pattern.  A lot of people give up at this point– they choose to do nothing instead of doing what they can because they feel like doing what they can just isn’t enough.  If they aren’t training or exercising at a level they are accustomed to, they choose to not exercise at all.

This is a beginning of a downward spiral when it comes to health, fitness, and overall well-being.  I don’t know about you, but when I’m not exercising regularly, I find it’s more tempting to put crappy food into my body.  Then, as I gain weight and/or retain water and don’t get my regular endorphin fix, I become unhappy with my body and unhappy in general.  But I continue to eat poorly and not exercise.  And so on and so on…

I have to admit, I’ve been guilty of this for the past few weeks.  I have been too tired to do my morning strength training workouts regularly because my evenings have been too hectic to go to bed at a reasonable hour.  There have been a few mornings when I’ve been able to fit a workout in, but I get discouraged because I feel like those few workouts just aren’t enough.  On more than one occasion, I’ve re-set my alarm to sleep longer because I didn’t see the point in waking up to do my one and only morning workout for the week.

But then it occurred to me– although I preach that consistency is key when it comes to achieving results in any fitness program, and it truly is– why do I feel like it has to be all-or-nothing and get down on myself when I can’t give it my “all?”  At the end of the day, ANY workout is better than NO workout.  Lack of consistency may make it more difficult to reach your specific goals right now when times are hectic or motivation is lacking, but lack of fitness because you chose to do nothing instead something will only make it more difficult to reach your goals whenever life does start giving you more free time to work towards them.

We’ve all heard the saying “strive for progress, not perfection.”  This is true in all aspects of life, but especially when it comes to health and fitness.  Striving for perfection in a world full of chaos is only setting yourself up for failure.  Sometimes you’re just not going to be able to follow your workout schedule to the “T.”  Don’t let that discourage you.  Do what you can when you can, keep the momentum rolling, and you’ll be back on track in no time.

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A few months ago, I went to spin class every Thursday like clockwork.  I felt great– my endorphin levels were through the roof and I was in great shape.  But then I had a few Thursday evenings with prior obligations and I couldn’t attend spin.  I could tell that my fitness levels were suffering because of it (spinning, if you haven’t tried it, is seriously the most butt-kicking workout I know).  Yesterday was the first free Thursday evening I’ve had in a while.  Hmm.  To spin or not to spin?  That was the question I asked myself.  I knew that I wouldn’t be able to spin next Thursday either.  Was attending one class worth it?  I decided to give it a go.  And ya know what?  Class was really tough after taking so much time off.  Class will be tough the next time that I go because it won’t be for a few weeks.  But that made class all the more rewarding; I felt great afterwards and I’m really glad that I decided to go!

My best advice for fitness success:

  1. ALWAYS make a plan.
  2. Do your best to stick to it consistently.
  3. If you can’t follow it consistently, do SOMETHING.  ANYTHING.  Anything is better than nothing.
  4. Get back on track whenever you can!

Happy National Running Day!

Happy National Running Day!!!! I’m pretty sure the only people that have ever heard of National Running Day are runners ourselves. But to members of the running community, our sport is definitely worth celebrating!! According to the official website for National Running Day, today is “a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running.”  Plain, simple, and open to interpretation.  While this simplistic explanation might mean nothing to anyone who isn’t a runner, it has a very special and unique meaning to each of us who do consider ourselves runners.

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In my opinion, a runner is anyone who makes running a part of their lifestyle. Whether you are tall, short, heavy, thin, fast, or slow– if you choose to make running a regular part of your life, you are a runner. And each runner runs for a reason. It may be to beat a personal record, to improve fitness levels, to prevent disease, to improve mood, to lose weight, or just for the pure enjoyment of running.

To a true runner, his or her own reason for running is something personal and sacred. We run because we truly love running. We are a unique group of people with many shared passions, interests, and consequent personality traits, and the community that we form is a close-knit one. Running, for many, is an identity that defines us. Today is a day to celebrate all that running means in our lives.

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So, what does running mean to you? How has running affected your life? Share and celebrate that today!!

Unfortunately, I won’t be logging any miles on my running shoes today. My chronic back pain has been left unattended a bit too long, so I’m visiting my chiropractor after work this evening to get myself straightened out so that I can run comfortably again soon (hopefully before this weekend’s 10K! Yikes!).  Indirectly, I’ll be celebrating National Running Day by getting my body back into running-order!

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