Refocusing on Recovery and Taking a Break From Running

Refocusing on Recovery and Taking a Break From Running

After I ran the Ronnie’s Run a few weeks ago, I not only chaffed like a MF, but I overdid (and realized I’m also lacking) in more ways then I thought.

About a week after the race, I took it easy and did some easy runs (3-4 miles, maybe 5) and slowly got back into it since the race. I decided after a few of those, that I could up the mileage and challenge myself. A weekend or so ago, I ran 3 miles on Saturday, 7 miles on Sunday, and 5 miles on Monday. Rested Tuesday (typical day of rest). After 7 miles, I felt tight and achy. I never stretched or foam rolled. I just moved on with my day. I never questioned the next morning when I would plan to do 5. During the 5 miles, I felt tight at the beginning. Kinda typical right? The first mile is always a warm-up mile for me. *Side note: I have terrible if not, just non-existent warm-up routine that I rarely do. It’s needs work and it’ll become obvious why later…lol.

I was pushing the pace and felt good for most of it. On the last 2-3 miles of the run though my right foot, ankle, calf, hamstring…basically my whole right leg just ACHED and HURT. Like WOAH! This kind of pain was something I had not had since high school (ran cross country in high school, dealt with similar issues). I thought I just didn’t recover enough post seven miles, which was clear, but I also knew off the bat, I just pushed my body too far, too fast.

It’s been over a week since I had run last. I’m still having some issues with that side, and it’s annoying as hell. I’m doing my own rehab with help from my manager at work, plus foam rolling, and just taking it as opportunity to slow down. The universe has a funny way of making you just CHILL. It doesn’t hurt to walk, but any impact is questionable. I think it’s just overuse, but I know I also have tight calves and not so good ankle mobility. I’m getting new shoes this week so I’m hoping that will be a huge help!

Although I’m annoyed that I can’t just “go run”,  I’m using this little break to focus on other parts of fitness I typically by-pass. Aka: flexibility and cross training.

SO. Here I am, over a week of not running, but turning it around and making it a learning opportunity. Since I’m not on the run, I’ve decided since the day I hurt myself (10/22?) until the end of October to focus on flexibility. Keeping it simple and mixing in a combination of strength (balance, split squats, single leg deadlifts, towel curls for ankle/foot strength), mobility, gentle stretching, foam rolling, and yoga. I hate all of these things because they’re boring…being real here…but at this point, I know I need them all more then ever.

Among flexibility, I’m hopping on the bike more! I forgot how much I really like spin classes. They’re hard AF. I’m challenged the entire time and I get a similar movement pattern to running. It doesn’t bother my ankle or calf at all. I’m either at Soho Cycling (love the instructors and vibe there!) or the Peloton at work. I’d love to get in a pool too, since I miss that, but haven’t explored that as much yet. Among the bike, I’m also doing 2x per week strength training. Another thing I like, but not as much as I love cardio. Strength training is such a love/hate for me. 30 minutes is perfect and I feel SO SORE afterwards. I know my body is thanking me for all this change and less impact.

It’s funny, because now that I’m not running, I’m taking a totally different approach to exercise. Running is my love and will always be. But I’m seeing that there is more to life then just getting miles in. I’m enjoying the change of pace and I’m still being active, just in a different way. I feel more at peace and less stressed ironically. A few things in my life are taking on a similar perspective. If I don’t get “high intensity” activity in or my steps are less then 10,000…it’s a reminder that it’s not the end of the world. I end up focusing on other parts of my life that I enjoy like catching up with friends over coffee, organizing my new home, feeling focused and productive at work, and enjoying simple forms of movement like yoga or just walking.

Once I feel ready to return to running, I’m gonna ease into it SMART. A warm-up and cool-down will be a more regular part of my routine. Foam rolling and mobility will continue to make an appearance more often. I’ll either head over to Soho Cycle or the Peloton more often then every 3 months. I’m gonna enjoy the fact I CAN run and enjoy it and not always be so on pace.

As much as this has been a change for me, I’m kinda grateful I’m taking this bit of time off. I know it will lead to being better then I was before!

Happy Friday, friends! 🙂

 

 

 

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Ronnie’s Run 10 Miler Recap

Ronnie’s Run 10 Miler Recap

Third time posting in a month or so…WIN! I’m excited to be here more regularly lately, so let’s keep this going!!

Last week I posted about on how I was having a low key weekend plus the Ronnie’s Run 10 miler race. It was definitely low key and productive, which in the midst of all the condo stuff I’ve been doing lately, it was nice to switch the focus to something else for a change.

Let’s start this 10 miler recap from the night before, because I have a few things I like to do to get my head set for a race the next morning.

I worked until 7pm Friday night and came home knowing it was gonna be PIZZA night. I always have a high carb dinner the night before a long run or race and knew the Publix Margarita Pizza was sure to hit the spot (pasta, pizza, baked or sweet potato, something with rice alongside chicken and a small salad/vegetables are my go to meals before a long run). I laid low, watched tv (food network or whatever on Hulu), read my book (Sidney Sheldon is what I’m reading now…so good! combo or mystery and romance), and was in bed around ~9pm.  I never have any alcohol since it gives me headache and leaves me feeling slugglish the next morning (light weight over here) so I skip it altogether and save some for post race. Call me a grandma, but I love nights like this any day of the week. I feel relaxed and ready to tackle the next day with confidence. I did this same kind of thing before my first marathon and pretty much every other half I’ve done. Same goes for getting ready for work the next day, an event, just wanting to feel rested, etc. It’s proved a successful pre-run routine, so I’ve stuck to it ever since!

Ready to run, I woke up at 6am to drive down to Ft. Desoto. Ft. Desoto is a beautiful and historic area and state park. It has beaches all along the shore and nice flat gravel roads and sidewalks—perfect for running, walking, and biking! They have pavilions, piers, plenty of parking, cute cafes/sandwich shops, and all kinds of outdoor recreation rentals (paddleboards, bikes, kayaks, you name it!). Not to mention, the historic fort you can walk through and explore. It’s basically the perfect place for a race, and in fact—they offer triathlons and other races there throughout October-April.

I arrive at the park at 6:30am ish and park at the north beach. A lot of cars begin to arrive and runners and walkers start exiting their cars to walk, run, and warm-up. They had vendors near the starting line, bathrooms, and music so a bunch of people, including myself head over there. From there I warm-up and head back to the vendor area. I find a friend from my outdoor bootcamp days and graduate program, Liz of Liz Anthony Nutrition who sells protein bites (AMAZING by the way!) and we chat until we head over to the start together. There was a 5k race which she did and the 10 miles which I did. Both races started together until the 5k veered off from the 10 mile course. Another cool thing, was the fact that the 10 miler race had pacers. I don’t really use the pace groups, and wasn’t planning on using them, but I ended up sticking with the ~9 minute pacer for the first 5 miles. I felt good and strong. All the training group runs I’ve been doing since July were paying off!

It wasn’t until the turnaround point (~5 miles, an out and back course) that I felt I was slowing down. I became sluggish and my strength to keep up was waning. At this point, I had about ~4 miles left to go, and was having every negative thought get into my head. I finally talked myself out the negativity and reminded myself of positive mantras. Some included “one foot in front of the other”, “run your own race”, “you are made to do tough things”, “keep moving”, “you can do this”, and what felt like a million other little phrases of affirmation to get me through. I admit, the further I’ve run for this race was 7 miles, about the right time I felt sluggish with about ~3-4 miles left to go. I kept saying these phrases over and over and didn’t let the pace group I saw leave my view get to me.

As I continued to slow, I gave myself permission to walk through the water stops for the last 5k of the race. I never do this, and was initially hard on myself for “giving in” but I knew I wanted to feel good and finish strong whatever the clock said. I don’t think it took much time off, so it was definitely well worth it to give myself a mental break and get some water (it was starting to get warm out too).

I finished in 1:34, which I am pleased with and will take despite how I felt during the last half. I estimated an hour to an hour and a half, and I was pretty much right on!

The post race celebration was good yet simple. A no-frills type of finish. They handed out chocolate milk (YUM! hit the spot too) and water. They didn’t really have breakfast or food (like no bananas…hmm). It ended up being fine because I ended up leaving shortly after saying goodbye to my friend Liz and heading back home to get my new dresser delivered!

The one con of the whole event, was not the event itself, but the fact that I chafed like a mother f***** and I will NEVER wear shorts for that distance or longer ever again!! lol. I’m not being dramatic when I say that I was torn up and so uncomfortable for about 4 days. Thank God for nonstick antibacterial gauze pad and yoga pants LOL. I just started back running today (one week later). I bought those Nike biker longer training shorts so, if anything, I’m expanding my workout wardrobe LOL.

Moral of the story, I did this race because I wanted a baseline measurement before starting my half marathon training in a few weeks. I now know what I have to work on, and I am ready and excited to once again commit to the Hanson marathon method again!

Have a fabulous weekend friends 🙂

Reseting and Doing My Own Thing…Excited For my First Low Key Weekend

Reseting and Doing My Own Thing…Excited For my First Low Key Weekend

It feels like I’ve been here, there, and everywhere during the month of September. Which is good, because I got a lot done! Moving, continuing to get acclimated in my job, adding running back into the mix more regularly, eating healthy (can be hard when you’re on the go), showing and doing fun stuff with friends IN my new condo and in St. Pete, my mom visited to better help me organize my place, getting over the breakup (much better for it and happier), Junior League commitments, worked my other jobs (fitness desk at the Tampa Yacht Club and babysat). Yeah. That’s a lot both physically and emotionally.

But I also felt overwhelmed with it all happening. As much as I love being busy, I realized I am a 100% introvert. I love to be with friends and do fun things, and don’t get me wrong, I loved having people see my place and get involved with JLT—but I am learning I need to reset and do my own thing equally as much. I am still thinking about the breakup from time to time. The more I think about thought, the happier I am that I am not dating right now. I’m doing ME and I’m grateful in an odd twisted way that I am not with him (still hurts a little writing that though).

This is the first weekend coming up that I VERY minimal things planned! I have time to lounge around and just chill. I have a 10 miler race this weekend that I’m doing alone and I couldn’t be more excited to just focus on the race, do my own thing without knowing what to expect, and without the need to be anywhere right after. I do have something later in the day, but have time to sleep before that! 🙂

Let me tell you what I plan on doing with my chill time (I’m excited to share!):

Binge watch the first season of This Is Us (I’m late on the bandwagon but that is what hulu is for)

Meal-prep: I love to cook and be in the kitchen. Especially because I have a FULL kitchen! Give me something homemade and nourishing. On another note, send me your suggestions for meals you love. Would love to hear what you like to make in the kitchen.

Clean: Not really exciting…but whatever it has to get done.

-Running Ronnie’s 10 miler race! Really excited for this since I’ve never done a 10 miler. Not a half, but longer then a 10k/5k. It’s a PR no matter what right?

Some kind of workout Sunday with stretching and mobility: Not sure what I’m thinking…probably a short run. Definitely mobility and stretching at some point. My body really needs this lately. I make sure to devote time for this at work on slow mornings or before bed.

I’m excited to reset and enjoy just being me doing what I love to make me feel my best. These things bring me happiness (minus cleaning) and I’m good with that. Sometimes I feel we have to running around like a chicken with their heads cut off to look “productive.” I did that in September and it was too much. Excited to have a low key weekend in my little condo all to myself 🙂

What do you have going this weekend? Are you chilling, busy, or a mix of both?

 

What I’m Loving Lately + Life Updates

What I’m Loving Lately + Life Updates

Hello!!! It’s been several months since I last logged on here. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon my like page (aliswankfitness) last week and started that up again, but also so a post I wrote about rest and it all of the sudden hit me— I missed blogging/writing on here. I love reading other blogs, and thought to restart mine up again.

SO…I’m DONE with school woo!! I graduated in May with my masters in Exercise Science and Nutrition from The University of Tampa. I have a full time job as fitness specialist working through HealthFitness at New York Life. I love my job and can happily say I’m working in the field that I studied to be in.

My year started out great, all of the sudden on Memorial Day weekend, I had my heart broken, my AC went out, all complete with a terrible experience with my landlord. Thank God I have job to keep me sane and the most amazing friends I could ask for throughout the summer. Of course no one wants their heart broken or deal with heartache, but I couldn’t even live in my place because of no AC (which took a month to get back…long story for another day) to be alone or just be upset. My AC got fixed, but with other issues of the apartment come up later, I ended up moving out. My ex lived across the street and I saw and dealt with more cockroaches then I would prefer. At the same time, my running and exercise became sh** and I gained about ~20 lbs. My mental state was out the window.

Just being real, this was my summer. Sh** hit the fan, but I didn’t let it stop me. I simply honed in on people and things that made happy and cut the extra BS from my life. I took a week off exercise and several months of minimal to no social media. My parents came to visit. I traveled to Ft. Collins and Atlanta to see family I hadn’t seen in awhile. I learned who my real friends were and that people are truly kind and care. I journaled almost everyday. I joined the Junior League of Tampa and the Progressive Training Team.

Right now, I’m in a completely new chapter of life. Moving forward from this past forward, here are a few things I’m loving lately:

So I said I ended up moving…to St. Pete!! Right now, I’m in the process of decorating my condo…something so foreign to me! I look on pinterest all the time and shop around at home good, TJ maxx, Pier 1, even Goodwill for decorating ideas and furniture. I have a couch and side table…that’s about it! LOL! I do have a TV and an eating area but it’s pretty much bare bones.

I’m building back a base for running. Summer running went out the window. I hurt and I wasn’t gonna further stress my body. Labor day weekend I got back into and signed up for two races. I’m doing Ronnie’s Ron 10 miler and St. Pete Run Fest 10k. I’m running six days per week just to get time on my feet. Nothing intense. No long runs. Just a consistent amount of miles per day (3-6 miles). I add core or total body circuit at the end sometimes. I love my training group and the motivation and accountability it gives me. I’ve met new people and am getting faster so complaints there!

I joined the Junior League of Tampa. This is a great outlet for me since it is non-fitness related. If you’ve followed this blog for long enough or know me in real life, you know I’m all about fitness!! Having a different interest thrown into the mix has been so helpful. I’m tapping back into volunteering and networking with other girls I may have not met through running. Each person I’ve met has been so interesting and brings something to the group. If it hadn’t been for Junior League, I would not have met some of these women or participated in events I’ve wanted to do (Epcot food and wine festival, girl’s night night dinners and socials).

I’m working on myself again. Taking time to try new things, meet new friends, focus on performing my best at work, and self care other then fitness has been really important for me. I feel good when I eat and sleep well. I have said no a lot without feeling guilty (still takes a lot of work). AND…I’m getting back to little space again!

That’s all for now. I can’t wait to update you on all the things going on and coming up in this new chapter 🙂

 

Reflections Over Resolutions: 2018 The Year of Growth

Reflections Over Resolutions: 2018 The Year of Growth

Happy New Year!

I’ve been reflecting on 2017 for the past few days and have some pretty awesome accomplishments, memories, adventures, and people in my life. Alongside those amazing things, I’ve had some tough moments along the way too. Ya gotta take the good times with bad (or meh) moments right? A lot of lessons learned and struggles along the way too but I wouldn’t change those either. I focus on what has changed me for the better.

This year I can tell is gonna be a huge growth year for me. I’m super scared but excited! I enter this year with some hesitation honestly. But I know keeping good vibes in the front, the people that care and support me nearby, and a focus on the end goals, I will f***ing SHINE 😀

Ready to tackle:

Turning 25. A solid year. Also a quarter century old. Ha! I feel this gonna be a good point in my life to really invent myself outside of this runner girl-fitness junkie type persona I have. I will always be me, but with a few other goals, intentions, responsibilities, and [more] mature mindset.

Graduating with my Masters in Exercise and Nutrition Science this May from The University of Tampa. This is probably the most scary. I’m leaving the schooling world for good. No more being a student in a classroom. I love learning and believe you’re never too old to learn something. This time around though, it won’t involve being in a classroom or needing textbooks. I see the light and am ready to start the next part of my life! It has taken me two years to complete this program. I took this whole grad school thing slow because I truly wanted to leave knowing I had a direction after graduation. I had two internships. One was less then what I had hoped the other was the opposite and was completely full-filling. I have met more friends in the program and have become close with so many then I would have ever expected! Grad school is a completely different experience then undergrad. Extremely difficult academically but OH SO worth it among all the other things I have learned and gained.

Starting the process of making a career change to become a teacher. If someone said that I would look into becoming a high school health teacher I would have laughed. I thought it was a silly idea. With my experiences in Special Olympics being a health and wellness instructor, it has completely been a game changer for me. Sharing my passion of health and fitness with students is something I believe is so important to long term health and something I get excited thinking about. No other opportunity has given a sense of excitement like Special Olympics does or this idea of becoming a teacher. I’ve found that finding that “spark” means SO MUCH. This is a spark I’ve been looking for and think as of now, I may have found it.

Less group fitness and personal training. I’ve had this gig for the past two years now. I like it and it’s definintely a great fit for me while in school, but I see this part of my life stepping back a little this year. With becoming a teacher, I won’t have time to teach noon or mid morning group classes. Although I’ll have time to train some clients either still early or late in the day, I’m not sure if I’ll want to prioritize my time that for that if I have to grade homework or papers. Depending on my schedule, I may keep some clients that have been consistent with me because I enjoy working with them and seeing them progress in their fitness goals. I train facetime for some, so that could be an option I work more with versus in person training. I’ve also considered writing more training programs for people that they complete on their own and going about it that way. Hmmm…many options to consider! Whatever the case, I know I’ll always be ready to play the role as personal trainer or group instructor. Knowing me, I’ll probably have at least one class or client on my schedule whereever I am!

Balanced eating habits without binging, restrictions, guilt, or shame. This is one is odd to share in a sense because I don’t really talk about this much and am still working on. I definintely experienced some disordered eating this past year. Not good. I still remained healthy for the most part (I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder!) but I had habits that crept in and out and affected my thoughts on food and exercise. I did gain some weight and felt overall blah at points too. Sadly, I would punish and restrict myself because of this and deemed certain foods bad and good. Next thing I knew, I was binging on all the “bad foods” and it all became a vicious cycle. I knew this was something to change. Luckily this did NOT affect my health and only lasted a short time. Listening to podcasts, talking with my mom, logging my food, and journaling have been key components on some habits I’ve changed. I’ve created healthier habits that took time–about six months worth of work. My head is in a much better place now. I eat whatever I want. All mindfully. With *minimal binges and restrictions (hardest part still). Compared to how I was living the first part of 2017, this is completely different. I have good and bad days, but have SO MUCH control and a healthier mindset then how I started off 2017.

Saying YES to more often. One thing I learned about myself this year, is that I hold myself back. I tend to go with the flow and not make too much noise about anything. I said ‘no’ to fun things because I was afraid I wasn’t good enough or that it would deviate from my goals. I need to start LIVING life and have fun too. My balance wasn’t bad but needed some adjusting. Time to keep getting out of my comfort zone! I think this is something that is always a work in progress. Planning for more days of YES and less days of “I’m afraid and unsure.” 😉

 

My Experience Using The Hanson Marathon Method So Far

My Experience Using The Hanson Marathon Method So Far

MERRY CHRISTMAS! It’s so hard to believe that this year is basically through. Wasn’t it just Easter last week?? So many great adventures and memories this past year. Also, many challenges and struggles that go alongside. I’m almost through grad school…that alone makes me feel all kinds of things. One more semester! I am glad to be seeing the light I must admit. Excited to see what the last bit of the year brings and what new adventures are in store of me in 2018.

One thing that has been a big challenge for me that I started around the end of September, was the start of using the Hanson Marathon Method for the Best Damn Race- Safety Harbor Half. I had heard of the program through other runners I know and heard it was a great, yet challenging progrom. I figured I’d give it a shot. I’m all about breaking my time for a half marathon (1:51:51) and figured this would be the push I need. Long story short…it has!

The program I’m using is the Hanson Advanced Half Marathon program. I read their book, The Hanson Marathon Method (no affiliate link, just want to spread the love 🙂 ), which goes into detail about the purpose of each workout, benefits of them, modifying them, and their philosophy..”cumumlative fatigue.” After looking between the beginner and advanced half plans (no “medium” half plan LOL) I went with the advanced taking into consideration my experience with the half marathon distance (I’ve run 10) and being fairly fit enough to handle the speed work. One thing that made me the most nervous was not the workouts (although yes), but running six times per week. I came from running three to four with a few days of cross training and weights mixed it. I went into the first week feeling not to confident, but agreed that I would take it one day at a time. I didn’t look at the workouts within the first week because honestly, I was so incredibly nervous! I knew this program was gonna push me out of my comfort zone. But I was excited for the challenge and ready to be pushed. It was defininely a mindset change for me.

The plan is a total of eighteen weeks. I’m on week thirteen. I have never felt this challenged in all of my running life. Seriously! I’ve trained for two full marathons and other halves and my training runs have never been this strategic. Of six days of running, there are three easy runs, two hard runs (speedwork and tempo runs), and a long run. One rest day. I add on my own one to two fifteen minute bodyweight workouts after two of my easy runs. The long run doesn’t get added until about half way or into the program and that I would consider that an easy run even though it’s long.

I love how the easy paces are TRULY EASY…I look forward to those knowing I can take it as easy and there’s no pressure. I use music and have fun with it. The pace range is pretty broad here which makes it nice. My pace range for easy runs are between 9-10:30 per mile which depends on my goal finish time (the Hanson method comes with a pace calculator for your goal finish so you know which paces to hit for each workout).

The hard workouts are defininely ones you wanna show up with your GAME FACE on. Paces are important to hit, and they stress that. I let those kinda loom over me each week to be honest, but I tackle them anyways. They seriously are the ones I wanna curse at but I find that I need the hard ones. This are the workouts that are GETTING ME to my goal finish. I keep that in mind before I start them (and know that these workouts are tough, but they don’t last forever either).

Six days of running and I defininely feel that a rest day in crucial. I started with that day being a “easy bodyweight strength day”…yeah no. I need that time to rest for real!! I feel so much better and know it’s doing my body good to not be pounding the pavement.

Among all this running, I got serious about my stretching and mobility routine. I was so-so on it and kinda got away with the bare minimum. Now that my mileage is so high, keeping my legs fresh with mobility exercises helps out so much. I’m much less stiff and achey. My mobility routine usually consists of hip movements, rotation through the pelvis and torso, hamstrings, and calves. Other static stretching and use of the foam roller I use too. I’m thinking I’ll do a seperate post on my recovery routine since it is worth it’s own spotlight!

Now with the holidays here, I’ll be away so I’ll have to turn to the treadmill while away in Steamboat. I’m not quite sure if I’ll do more maintance running or if I should really follow the plan through. I know I will be doing some running each day as planned and go from there. UGH. I hate the ‘mill and honestly it makes me not too excited, but I’ve come so far and don’t want to lose out and any training! We’ll see.

Overall, I am seeing big improvements!! I was so hesitant on this program but knew I had to trust the process. I’m beyond excited for what the rest of the program holds (even though I’m quite frightened in a good way)! I’ll know I’ll be ready to crush my half in February with this program!

YOUR TURN:

  1. Are you training for any races in 2018
  2. What are some challenges or successes you had lately? How did you overcome challenges? How did you succeed?
  3. What are your goals going into 2018? Either workout or non-workout related?

 

3 Lessons I Learned When I Ditched My Garmin For A Week

3 Lessons I Learned When I Ditched My Garmin For A Week

First, let me just say that I never intended to run without my Garmin for a week…LOL. I’ll be the first to admit I’m attached to their watch just as much as the next runner is. I’m super dependent on it and rely on it big time since I’m in training for my next half…Best Damn Race Safety Harbor!

Quick back story…my original Garmin Vivoactive HR watch (read more about it here) got flaky over Labor Day weekend so I sent it back and was sent a new one—free of charge—within a few weeks thanks to Hurricane Irma. Yay! Two months later, the watch they sent me became flaky AGAIN…NOT a happy camper at this point…so I sent it back and gave Garmin a piece of my mind. I’m pretty sure this was the universe giving me signs to slow down or something since the week before I had a procedure to remove an ingrown toenail…sorry TMI 😛 Anyways, I’ll have my new watch—again free of charge—-by the beginning of next week. Hopefully. Luckily Garmin was great and was extremely apologetic on the phone. Seriously though…runners in training do not have time for watch malfunctions!

That being said, I learned a lot about myself and my training when going without it. I was pretty surprised actually. It kind of added stress I didn’t know was there. When the watch went away, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders! Some eye-opening things, folks.

  1. I learned I was very dependent on my pace or distance and letting that determine if my run was “good” or not. Typing that…I’m like really?? LOL. When you’re on a roll and pushing yourself, it feels good to see improvement. But after a while, it felt like the watch was dictating my life which I didn’t like. I’m hitting certain paces in my training which I like and gives me something to work towards, but the central focus on numbers in general definitely messed with my head. I realized I completely disregarded any sense of enjoyment or peace I was getting from my runs and knew that needed to change!
  2. Running for effort is just as effective as pace. Running for effort is something I don’t do a lot of because I always have my watch. But ditching the watch and letting your body be the one in control is pretty cool. Your body really knows what’s up and can tell you some important things if you’re not stuck in a numbers game! Another part of training that has helped take the pressure off.
  3. I am reminded of the original reason of why I run. I run because it makes me feel good, empowers me to work hard, gives me confidence, is a stress-reliever and therapy, and is just plain FUN.

SO, as of now, I still do not have my watch. I’m running the rest of the week without it until it arrives next Monday, the 6th. I’m embracing the fact I still don’t have it (convincing myself more like but you get it) but I must say it’s nice not stressing about pace, calories, or distance (I’m using Map My Run to help me with turnaround points). This training is for enjoyment as much as it is a PR.

Thanks to this inconvenience, you could say I’m “okay” with going without a watch for now. It’s kind of fun going back to the “old days” when none of us had these fancy watches. However, I’m looking forward to getting my watch back and seeing if I’ve improved without it! These couple weeks have been an eye-opener in a sense of going without the watch more often. This is something I’m going to implement going into the next few weeks of my training cycle. In the meantime, I challenge YOU to go without your watch for just one run and see how you feel. You might be surprised!

YOUR TURN:

Do you run by effort? Do you have a watch you rely on?

Do you run for fun or training for something now?

Why do you run?

Six Reasons To Use a Training/Workout Log

Six Reasons To Use a Training/Workout Log

Hey There! Hope you all have had a great summer! It’s hard to believe the summer is almost (if not already) over. I go back to school next week so this is my last week of summer. I’m ready to head back, although not being class these past few months have been nice. Last year of grad school, I’m ready for ya!

One of my goals this summer was to crank out three blog posts. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite happen. I was not really motivated to create a new topics or felt the need to share regularly to be honest—until last night!

Last night I was relaxing and saw my training log journals on my bookcase. I thought it would be fun to go over and read through them. I have journals from my training through undergrad, the summers in between, and my first marathon training…2014, 2015, and 2016.

As I read through them, I was amazed how much I accomplished and the runs/workouts I did everyday! I was very motivated, and still am, but I was a little excessive looking through them. It brought back some rough moments for me (excessive training and running so I could be “skinny”) and some great ones like beating my mile time! I can confidently say my time has drastically improved from 2-3 years ago. It’s so cool to see how things changed from one year to the next mentally and physically.

As of now, I’m not using a training log or journal. I’m not sure why…clearly it works! I know after looking through these logs, I’ll be jumping back to it. I think it was because I was relying on the logs to help me get to milage and stay consistent with training during my marathons. Now that I’m not training for a long distance that requires planning, I’ve found that being flexible with training is what I feel is right. Funny how you go in and out of certain habits!

Regardless if you’re using a training log to account for training milage or just trying to get into a fitness routine, logging is a good place to start.

The log I use(d) is The Complete Runner’s Day-by-Day Log 2017 Calendar by Marty Jerome. It’s simple to use and has enough space to be as specific about your workouts as necessary. I recommend it for everyone even if you don’t run!

OK! Here’s the scoop on this post: six reasons to log. Let’s get right to it.

  1. Boosts motivation. Simply put. Looking back at your hard work over a week’s, month’s, or year’s time is fun to see. It can re-motivate you to get back into shape, sign up for race, or get yourself to your same group class (or try a new one). Looking at mine, I did a lot of swimming and yoga on certain days. I realized I miss those workouts more then I realize and am considering hitting the pool again for cross training and plan on finding a yoga class that works for me.
  2. You see progress over time. As long as you’re *consistent* with logging and being specific to an extent, you can truly see changes being made! My mile time a couple years ago was around 9:00/9:15 per mile. Today I’m running around 8/8:15 per mile. They say progress takes time and it does!! My biggest takeaway with seeing this was that good things take time. Patience is key. Things don’t just happen over night! Taking a couple years of consistent work to make something happen is worth it.
  3. You learn what works and what doesn’t for you. My swimming and yoga workouts were on the same day and time that year and it worked for my schedule since I saw a repetitive pattern every week. Other workouts didn’t stick as well. That’s okay! Learning types workouts, best time of day, best day of the week, location, snacks/meals beforehand, music, the list goes on…can help you with establishing the best routine for you. Learning what doesn’t work too is equally important!
  4. A good reminder when motivation drops or inspires you to switch it up. Looking back, the swimming and yoga keep coming to mind. I realize I want to add this back into my fall workout schedule to keep my routine fresh. Cross training is something that has taken the backseat to and I’d like to add it back in. It also inspires me to keep my tempo runs and speed workouts on the plan to help me beat my half marathon time this spring. Seeing these parts of your training can help boost motivation to sign up for a race, try that yoga class because you know you need to stretch, or avoid Chipotle before your long run! (guilty).
  5. Repeat workout routines. Sometimes a workout routine in itself is enough to bring back. Maybe running Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8am was good way to get in your workout before work? Yoga in the evening was a good way to decompress? Associating these routines with feelings of accomplishment (or a bad experience in some cases!) is a good way to look back and add or take away certain routines.
  6. What still needs improvement or you still struggle with, what has improved from previous changes, and what stayed the same. This is like looking at your log in reverse. You can see what you still struggle with (e.g still can’t seem to find a good day to strength train–seeing options you already tried is a bonus!), what has improved (e.g seeing your mile time improve from your one time per week time trials) then seeing how you got there, and what you’ve kept along the way (e.g twice a week spin class at your favorite studio). Making note of what you’ve done to combat the struggle, what worked when hitting a specific goal, and what has been a priority in your fitness routine is beyond key to upping your fitness game or getting back to it!

I hope these six tips can be of help to you! Since last night, I feel ready to switch up my routine for some new found motivation. Sometimes we can find motivation, a new perspective, or the answer right in front of us if we take time to log. 😉

Your Turn!

Do you log your workouts? Do you find it works for you?

What has been an something you’ve learned about yourself having logged for a certain amount of time?

Do you have any fitness goals on the horizon this fall?

 

Be Fearless: Do What Makes YOU Happy

Be Fearless: Do What Makes YOU Happy

Have you ever thought about an idea or seen an opportunity and thought, “nah” and never went with it? I have more then ever this past year. No regrets or anything, but its like these ideas happen but no action has happened yet…and that’s OK. I find when the same idea or opportunity comes up more then once then that’s a sign there could be more to it AND worth going for it.

One thing in particular idea I’ve thought about the past couple months is becoming a PE teacher since the start of my Special Olympics teaching internship. I go back to this again (see last post) and say how happy and rewarding it makes me feel. The same feelings are associated with both completing two marathons (and other races), donating blood (need to get back that–a volunteer opportunity and goal I like to keep up with), my personal training business, and working towards my masters degree. Among Harrison, friends, family, running, this blog, the list goes on…all of which are rewarding and makes me feel like a million bucks.

There are also some experiences in my life that make me feel like the complete opposite and makes the job way less appealing. I’ve had experiences within the past few months that I feel I’ve out-grown (won’t say specifics) and just need to move on to bigger and better things. Unfortunately, these specific experiences make me feel unfulfilled and under appreciated. I’ve learned that YOU need to do YOU and if what you’re not doing is not cutting the cookies, you have the power to change that. It took me a good bit to realize this, and I have a lot more work to do in this area, but I know and realize this change which is HUGE!

Right now, seeing myself as a PE teacher in a high school setting is what I’m thinking. If someone had told me this is what I am thinking as a career, I would have laughed in their face. When I mentioned this idea to a few people, I didn’t get a lot of support right away. I was told to “go into corporate” but the same unappealing feeling from my current experiences hit home for me. Same thing when people said, “nutrition or physical therapy is where the big bucks are.” *Cue eye roll* Yes, all the above makes sense and I can see the benefits of doing all of the above, but none really seemed interesting or rewarding to me. That word, rewarding, kept replaying in my head. I associated it with my internship and that’s when I felt that teaching PE could be a good fit for me. I’m not in it for the money, but for the simple fact that these Special Olympics kids really make my experience teaching health education worth it. Doing this would allow me share my passion for an active lifestyle. Now, anytime I mention this idea to others, I get “you would be so good at that!” ;P

I am beyond HAPPY and feel so incredibly rewarded and appreciated when I go to my internship it’s like a breath of fresh air. Real life. Learning this feeling has been so important. It’s like the s*** experiences really pay off in the long run…kind of? I think so!

Right now, I’m challenging these same good vibes only feelings into other parts of my life and saying good-bye to them and other things that don’t give me the same feelings in return.

Whether it be a new workout, a step up in a current job, a volunteer opportunity, or a new recipe, don’t be afraid to take risks! You don’t know where it can lead or how much happiness it can bring to your life!

YOUR TURN:

1.) What was an experience that challenged you recently?

2.) How did you change something you didn’t like? Did you move on completely? Or do it differently?

3.) What was an “AH-HA!” moment for you recently?

 

Beet, Yellow Tomato, and Feta Salad with Citrus Dressing

Beet, Yellow Tomato, and Feta Salad with Citrus Dressing

Happy Friday!

You know what I love about summer? All the fresh produce in the stores! So many types of fruit and veggies come out of hiding (or at least I just notice them) and I feel so creative on what I can do with them.

This was one of the “AHA!” moments where I was digging through my pantry and looking for anything to use up in my fridge. I kept seeing my yellow tomato on my counter all week and went back and forth in my head: 1.) why did I buy it and 2.) what I could do with it besides just put in a sandwich or salad.

I had seen a recipe somewhere about a citrus dressing and the minimal ingredients it called for and once I put two and two together, I knew I had to just go with it and see what happened!

BOOM! This salad was born!

I feel this is the perfect way to welcome summer. Nothing says summer like fresh produce tossed together in a light, refreshing dressing on a hot summer day. Who want’s to be standing over a stove or in a hot kitchen this time of year anyways? If you’re like me, want something quick, fresh, and healthy so you can get back outside! Another reason this salad is great. It’s travels well so it’s great for picnics and BBQs too.

I used reduced fat feta cheese to watch the calorie intake and jarred beets since they’re packed in a tangy vinaigrette that enhances the flavor of the salad. Use what you have though. This is an easy salad that would sure to please anyone no matter what you put in it!

This makes one serving, so double up if you’re bringing for a crowd.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp of reduced fat feta cheese
  • 1 small yellow/heirloom tomato
  • 1/2 c baby carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 c jarred beets (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 medium celery branches, chopped
  • 1/4 c chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  • Mix carrots, celery, tomato, beets, chickpeas, and feta together in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper
  • Pour dressing over veggie mixture and toss together

Grab a fork and enjoy!

Your Turn:

What is your go-to summer side dish?

What are some healthy pantry staples you like to keep on hand?

What is your favorite thing you love about summer?