Tag Archives: health

Running More. And More. 

So. As you know, I’m training for a half marathon. The one I had originally chosen is apparently very hilly, and also it’s a little soon for me to feel great about running it. So I’m still training, but I think I’m doing a different race. Last week, I did some speed work (sprints in the wind are basically the worst) and this past week, my goal was to get really good rest. It’s not going well. Every member of our family is suffering from a “mini cold”. It’s not that big of a deal during the day, but when we lay down, the mucus is out of control, and no one is sleeping that well.

Evidence of my “windy” miles.

Naturally, I’m more tired than usual since babes are waking and I’m not getting quality sleep because of it. But I’m pushing through! I got 4.25 miles in yesterday afternoon while everyone napped. I’ve still been eating pretty well, and I’ve had less coffee than normal this week (I subbed it for green tea, which has HUGE health benefits). Today was definitely a cheat day-St. Patrick’s Day meant Hubby was playing a lot, coupled with me trying to work a lot but also trying to see him play- it was a lot of on the go. I only had one “real” meal today, at 3pm no less. But at least it was healthy?

Post-workout selfie with D since he came along Tuesday morning.

So here is my accountability. I am up to almost 8 miles, with a hopeful 8 miles in either tomorrow or Sunday (likely whichever isn’t freezing cold). I’ve been trying SO HARD to keep up with my workouts and good food, so hopefully the last five miles in the training will come easily! Wish me luck!

When you’re about to get REAL serious about running. 

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve signed up for a fitness challenge and I can’t decide whether I’m so excited I could jump out of my skin, or I’m so nervous I could… um… have to run to the bathroom. Like I’ll be doing in the middle of every workout because CHILDBIRTH KILLS BLADDERS.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you about where I am right now in my fitness journey.

I’ve decided to train for a half marathon. That’s 13.1 miles, in case you’ve somehow never driven behind that annoying person who’s got a sticker on their rear windshield. (And yes, if I am able to complete a half marathon, I will forever be that annoying SUV in front of you with the very same sticker. Because DANG THAT IS FAR.)

When I decided to train, I had been running 3-4 miles 3-4 times a week, plus at least one other weight-based workout per week, and probably some yoga. That was a little less than a month ago. During this month that I’ve thought about really getting my game on and running until my legs fall off, I started back up talking to a running friend of mine, who coincidentally leads a mom’s fitness group here in town called Stroller Strength (here’s the link if you’re local!). Melissa is amazing, encouraging and inspiring, and when I realized it was challenge time (I’ve done three of these babies before) I jumped out of my skin with excitement and anticipation.

There are definitely chemicals released when you work out (Endorphins, I love you.) and I think I released them immediately when I got on board with this challenge. Here are a few things that are involved with the challenge:
1. Friends. I realized that some friends I’d made during my stints with SS in the past were still going, and I’ve already met some new gals I’m excited to get to know. It’s always more fun when you’re not alone, and accountability makes a HUGE difference when you’ve set a fitness goal you’re trying to actually achieve. Melissa also puts us on goal-based teams, so naturally I’m on a running team, and I’m psyched.
2. Food/Exercise/Water/Rest Log. This baby is DETAILED, and we check up on each other’s logs throughout the 9-week challenge. We also have clean eating weeks (cutting out all processed foods) where we cut even more crap out of our diets for a week at a time. It’s magical (and so hard).
3. Extra workouts. This is everything from regular SS class (boot-camp style weights workout), “fun run” together, yoga, Sculpt class (for toning) and running my booty off on my own time until I achieve my goals. When I’m mid-challenge, I shoot for a workout of some sort every day, even if it’s short, even if it’s not strenuous. Get moving, burn calories and build muscle. Every. Single. Day.
4. Meticulous scheduling. I don’t usually work out at the same time every day. I don’t even work out on the same days a week. But this time, I’ve got a few more things going on if I want to make it to lots of classes and get my miles in. Obviously, the farther I run, the longer it takes, so I have to plan longer and longer into my schedule the farther I am able to go. Also, one of the classes is on a morning that I work, so I have committed to making it to the other two classes a week EVERY WEEK to make the most of them. Perk: I can bring the kids to class if I need to. Best thing about SS, ever. I’m gonna have to start sleeping in my workout clothes to save time.

I already feel like I’m in a pretty good place, fitness-wise, because I eat fairly healthy most of the time, I’m already working out regularly, and I’m enjoying this healthy lifestyle instead of being miserable in it like some folks are (shout out to you guys, because it’s tough to do it when you don’t like it). But my goals are steep. They’re things I’ve never done before, and that’s scary. Here goes…

Goal (9 weeks from now): Register for and run (read: survive) a half marathon. I will be adding a little bit about upper body strength to this, because that’s a separate goal that won’t necessarily just come alongside my runner’s training.

Halfway goal (so 4.5 weeks from now): Survive ten miles. In a row. I know right. That’s WAY more than half a half marathon. (Say THAT five times fast!)

For the past couple of months, my “goals” when I go out to run are to make sure every single mile is under 10 minutes, and to make sure my first two miles are under 9:30 or so. Those are loose goals, and I don’t always keep to them. But today at our baseline weigh-ins/stat recording, my timed mile was 8:31 and my 400m “sprint” was 1:39. I already started faster than I thought I would, but I think that has to do with being on an actual track. I typically run in my neighborhood, which is hilly, so my miles aren’t as accurate. I’m going to have to adjust my perspective on timing when I’m running on a track, apparently.

In other semi-related news, today while grocery shopping at Costco, I happened upon ONE LAST FITBIT Charge 2 in my size. It was destiny. I’ve been looking at those, Garmin running watches, and the Apple Watch, and just hadn’t decided what to get until today. So now that I’ve got a tool to use, I’m going to get used to it (and get it used to me) and be obsessed with it for the next nine weeks at LEAST. You’re welcome.

SO! Now that you’ve gotten a complete update on how I’m working on my fitness (cue the song that will be in your head all day) you can say you’re keeping me accountable. Is anyone else working on their fitness? Tell me your goals! Tell me your process! I’m open to suggestions and can’t wait to hear if you’re committed to a health goal, also!

I work out for me. 

This past week, I noticed that I was angry a lot. I was frustrated about every single thing, big or small, that might normally just annoy me. It’s really hot outside. It’s really hot inside. We’ve been busy, but not really in a fun way. The kids are messy, loud, and getting on each other’s nerves. I’m not getting enough sleep. The 2yo is acting particularly threenagery (let’s just say that’s a word) recently. All of these things are things I can usually take in stride. But the past week or two, they’ve been building up, clogging my good feelings and just plain stressing me out. 

Finally, I realized that I hadn’t been keeping up with my workout routine very well. Now, I’m not an every day-er, or even a certain days of the week-er. Maybe those are the reasons I hadn’t gotten any exercise in. But either way, two weeks of no exercise is not good for me, and I finally realized it. It was time to stop making excuses about my busy schedule and the heat. 

You see, I don’t necessarily put on weight or get flabby from not working out. I mean, if I didn’t for a long time, I’m sure I would. But I don’t immediately see the effects of laziness on my body. (Not that a SAHM mom of three under five should in any sense be seen as “lazy”.) But I temporarily forgot that my body, my mind, my soul, all need some exercise. 

Working out isn’t something I personally do to see a magic number on a scale, fit into a certain size, or or achieve a certain “goal” (screw the thigh gap). I do it for the way it makes me feel. It helps me work through frustration. It helps burn calories and energy, and exhaust me into sleeping better. It sets a healthy example for my family about the importance of exercise. It is “me time”. It sets the tone for my productivity. It even makes me feel great about that glass of wine that’s coming in the evening. In short, makes me feel good. I don’t need a better reason than that! I do it for me. 

I Choose to Run

Feet pounding the pavement. The rhythmic sound of my breathing. The fresh air, and the birds chirping. The stroller I push is heavy with my two big babies inside. But I wouldn’t trade this hour of my day for anything. The clear air clears my mind, lets me have a quiet moment, even if it isn’t exactly relaxing.

I can’t always plan this hour into my day. Now that I have three children, one of them needs to be occupied elsewhere. (Read: Hubby needs to be home.) But when I can get this time in, my body, mind and soul all feel better and freer. The rush of endorphins I feel is enough to make me want to do it again, even without the other benefits.

Getting back into running after this last pregnancy and delivery honestly wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, especially since I dropped off the exercise train way before I delivered. I was doing only yoga at the end – which is basically zero cardio when it’s prenatal yoga. My muscles were itching to get back to moving long before I actually could; I’m pretty strict with myself about waiting to start everything back until I’m 5 or 6 weeks out. My first run was a tough one, but I managed to get (running and a little walking) a mile and a half without too much struggle. The subsequent few runs worked me up to a little over two miles so far (I’m almost 7 weeks out). And (TMI – beware) I’ve been pleasantly surprised that my bladder seems to be holding itself pretty darn well… even better than a few months after I delivered J. I guess that just shows you how different your body can be from baby to baby.

My fitness goal this time around has changed a little. I’m blessed to be able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly and easily, and back in all my clothes pretty soon. So instead of using those as targets, I want to make a diet change (I let myself eat like a jerk – mostly increased portions and extra desserts – when I’m pregnant/nursing) and build muscle. So, here in the blog world, I’m claiming it: I want to be toned! That’s the goal. Running for cardio and legs (also mental and emotional well-being!), and I’m going to keep up with a little yoga since it’s good for my joints and my core, and I’m going to ramp up the arms. No teacher arms for me!

What have your fitness goals been recently? Have you instituted a diet change along with them? What works for you and your busy schedule?

Run Away.

Friends, this might be a long one. I’m going to tell you all about my fitness journey for the past couple of years. I’ll give you cliff notes today, and details in several posts coming up.

I haven’t really ever been someone who works out. I ran cross country in middle school, I played volleyball in high school, and I played beer pong and flip cup in college. (Can I get witness? Roommates? Hubby?) My journey to living a little more healthily started when I got pregnant with EK. It became a priority to me mostly because someone else relied on my healthy choices. If I ate healthy, so did the little peanut in my belly. I ate pretty healthily, did prenatal yoga (and LOVED it – Judi at the Yoga Gallery is my favorite) and took lots of walks – especially the last 11 days… past my due date. After she was born, I still tried to eat fairly healthy, but then I started thinking about getting my body back.

A friend of mine found this awesome group of ladies that worked out together, called Stroller Strength(find them on MeetUp.com in Winston-Salem and Jacksonville). You bring your kids and some toys and snacks, and the leader/trainer works your butt off for an hour. I loved this option because I had gone back to work, and I didn’t want to leave my daughter for another hour to go to the gym. I wanted to maximize my time with her. So naturally, I took to this group quickly and easily.

Twice a year, the group does a “challenge”, where we set goals, take measurements and starter statistics, and keep logs for an 8 week period. Right after I started attending was when the first challenge happened. I busted my butt for 8 weeks – ran, worked out even outside of class, did clean eating, and won the challenge! It was madness, and I have not been so proud of myself many times in my life. I have now had another kid, and done another challenge, and signed up for my third one, which started this past Monday. This challenge is all running-based. I’m running a 10k in late October, and I am terrified. But that’s what pushes you, right?

So anyway, I’m on an 8-week mission of running a lot, eating REALLY CLEAN (a la The Gracious Pantry) and doing some lifting to compliment my running. You will be updated!

Anyone else on a mission?