My Fitness Truths!

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These are my personal truths about how I feel about fitness. Some of them I’d happily yell from the rooftops, and a couple are my little secrets.

  1. Running is my medicine.  It allows me to burn off stress and keep my spirits up.  I start to feel really lethargic and out of sorts if I don’t get to run.
  2. I really don’t like resistance training.  I do it because I know it’s good for me, but it’s not my first choice.  Oh, and I need guidance/instruction, otherwise I’ll cut it short.
  3. I’m really thinking about quitting my gym.  I don’t think I get my money’s worth.  I prefer to run outside, and there are so many great exercises you can do at home with minimal equipment! Plus, then I can try some ad hoc classes and not feel guilty.  I think fitness should be convenient and affordable!
  4. Looking good is half the battle. I’m more inclined to workout if I have a cute (but functional) outfit.  I’m embarrassed to say that how the shoe looks sways my purchase.
  5. I don’t want to do a full marathon. 13.1 was more than enough for me.  I think I’ll stick with that, thanks 🙂
  6. I’m scared that pregnancy will take my fitness away from me and I’ll never recover.  I’ll be so sleep deprived and ragged that I’ll never bounce back.  I’m also worried that people will think I’m shallow for being scared about that.  Good thing I have a couple of years to come to terms with this!
  7. I’m intimidated by all the awesome fitness bloggers who seem to run so FAST and for so many miles!  Sometime’s I’m embarrassed by my 9-10 minute miles.
  8. Oh, and my #1 fitness truth?  I NEVER regret a workout 🙂

This post is inspired by Fit Bottomed Girls.  I found the exercise to be very cathartic, and somewhat challenging.  Regular exercise and staying fit are so ingrained in my life that I don’t often stop and think about what fitness means to me.  So thank you for the opportunity!

Please share your reactions below, and check out other FBG’s truths!

5K to 13.1: Autumn Race Planning

St Pauls Church at Jarrow

Fall has always seemed like a time of new beginnings, anticipation, and optimism. Although I no longer get new pencils and spiral bound notebooks, I still get the urge to plan for the upcoming months. The weather is cooling off, the air is fresh, and I want to RUN!

I’ve come up with a preliminary plan of the races I will participate in this winter, building in distance from 5K to half marathon. One race an old standby and the others new experiences!

  1. 10/22/11 Run for Your Lives! – This is not your average 5K; it’s a zombie infested 5K obstacle course! The zombies will do whatever it takes to chase you down and grab your health flags (think flag football). If you lose all your health flags, you die, and the zombies win. We certainly can’t have that happen! Also, I just noticed that a portion of each registration is donated to the American Red Cross. Even better!
  2. 11/24/11 Bethesda YMCA Turkey Chase 10KIt’s always good to get out first think Thanksgiving morning and burn some calories. Gotta earn that pumpkin pie! This will be my 3rd time participating in this race. Now that my husband and I host Thanksgiving, it will likely be the 3rd of many! Can I set a PR?
  3. 12/3/11 Hot Chocolate 15KAny race sponsored by Ghirardelli has got to be good. The race begins and ends in DC’s National Harbor, which is always very festive at wintertime. The post race party has chocolate fondue and hot chocolate! I better register soon to ensure my commemorative windbreaker.
  4. 2/26/12 Disney Princess Half MarathonI’ve already talked about this before, but this race sounds like a blast! It will give me an excuse to go to Florida in the winter, and be my first women’s oriented race. I am so looking forward to earning that commemorative tiara for finishing. I just hope I get to see Chip and Dale. They’re my fave!
Whew! That’s a big list of races. I certainly have my work cut out for me. I love having goals to keep me motivated though. What keeps YOU motivated during the winter?

Speed Work Saturday!

A track and football field at the stadium at N...

Image via Wikipedia

I had originally planned to do a trail run this morning, but an emergency vet visit threw a wrench in that plan. Good think we took him in, because Cecil ended up having pancreatitis. He’s now on an IV drip and being watched over night. The vet says we caught it really early and it looks like he’ll be home tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed!

Since we were pressed on time, we decided to swap out a longer trail run with speed work. Now I’ll admit, I’m still learning about speed work and make it up as I go along. Here is what today’s workout entailed:

  • 3/4mi jog to a neighborhood school track.
  • 4 laps (1mi) strides. I up my speed to a challenging yet not all-out pace for the straights and jog the curves to recover.
  • 5 x 50m sprints. I’m approximating the distance here. It’s about half of one of the straights. This is a full-out, as fast as you can go sprint. I walk back in between sets to recover.
  • 3/4mi jog back home.

Door to door, this workout took me 34 minutes. Total distance was probably 3 miles or so. I don’t stress about total distance in my speed workouts, but focus on the quality of the intervals. Got to get that heart rate up!

So that was my workout. I try to do speed work once a week to mix things up. I think it’s helpful in pushing the boundaries and increasing my speed.

What about you, do you train for speed? What is your favorite speed workout?

Run like a Princess?!

Disney pincess

Image via Wikipedia

A coworker is running the Disney Princess Half Marathon on February 26.  It is her first ever half marathon!  She has invited me to join her.  Needless to say, I’m seriously considering it.

Cons:

  • Cost. Not only registration, but also airfare and accommodations.
  •  A late February half means I’ll be doing most of my training in dreary January and February.
  • 13.1 miles is so much longer than a 15K.  (OK, so this is probably more a psychological barrier.  I can be a wimp.)
  • I’d have to use at least a day of my limited vacation time.
Pros:
  • It would be my second half marathon!  Meaning that my first one wasn’t a fluke!
  • Orlando is warm but not hot, and FLAT. 🙂
  • Running through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot with Disney characters cheering me on?  Yes Please!
  • An excuse to travel and escape for a girls weekend with new friends.
  • I’d have a goal that would drive my fitness through the winter.
  • I would feel AWESOME!

The Pros have it.  You can tell where my heart is leaning.  Guess I should start saving!! Methinks it’ll be totally worth it 🙂

New magenta kicks!

Nike Structure Triax+I bought some much-needed new running shoes this weekend. I’d been running in the same style of Sauconys for years. My latest pair had seen better days, and the shoe just didn’t seem to be doing the trick anymore.

So I headed to our favorite local running store — Potomac River Running (better known as PR Running). PR Running is all about customer service and finding the right fit. They have you try on shoes and watch you run on a treadmill to see how your foot lands and transfers weight in the shoe. If you have a store in your area, I highly recommend going. Having the right shoe for your needs definitely makes running more pleasant.

I tried on a pair of magenta Nike Zoom Structure Triax+ 14 running shoes, and it was love at first sight. The shoes supported my high arches and controlled my overpronation. And, they totally won style points. HOT!

I took them out for a spin today, and I swear I ran faster. I will look forward to running just so I have an excuse to wear them. And that’s a win.

Fact: You NEVER regret working out

As much as I know that I’ll feel better once it’s done, it’s often difficult to find the motivation to go for a run or head to the gym. It’s tempting to just relax and skip that workout after a long day of work or a less than stellar night’s sleep. In these moments, I remind myself that I will feel so much better (in body and mind) if I can just push through it.

I use several tricks to up the odds of success:

1. Have a set goal per week of the number of times you’d like to work out.
For me this is usually 5 (3 runs and 2 resistance), although I don’t get too rigid with what gets done on any specific day. Having a weekly goal serves as motivation and leads to a sense of accomplishment if achieved. If you need visual rewards, but a calendar on the fridge and give yourself gold stars. It worked in Kindergarden, and it’s surprisingly effective now too.

2. Wear cute, functional clothes.
I swear, looking like an athlete is half the battle. It boosts the confidence and makes you want to act the part. Figure out what clothes work for you. Comfort is key. For me, I hate running in shorts, so tights or knee pants it is. A pocket on the back of my shirt is helpful for keys or iPod. A watch is essential. I need to know exactly how long I’ve been running. Figure out the things that matter to you and then invest in appropriate gear.

3. Try it for just 10 or 15 minutes.
Sometimes I tell myself that I just have to run for 15 mins, instead of the usual 30 plus. It is always the case that once I’m out there, I feel better and end up going the full time. Even if that doesn’t happen, 15 minutes of exercise is definitely better than none!

4. Find a buddy.
Including someone else in your plans increases your responsibility to follow through. You can’t just bail on a friend. If you don’t actually enjoy working out with another person, just coordinate schedules. My husband and I frequently workout at the same time, but he might go to the gym while I run through our neighborhood. When I see him changing to go workout, I don’t want to be the lazy one who wimps out. My butt gets kicked in gear to get out there also!

These are some things that work for me. What works for you?