Ugg!

Uggg! I am Not a Winter Runner!

I really want to be one those cold weather beasts that get out there at the break of dawn despite the 20 degree temperatures and the wind chill in the teens. I have images of myself running along a picturesque pathway lined by snow covered trees, seeing my breathe with every step forward. But, alas I am not a cold weather runner. In fact, I am really not a cold weather person. In the winter months I become a hermit who only goes out for the necessities.

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I don’t envy those that love running so much that no matter the weather they are out there. I do however, wish for the warmth of spring so that I can once again hit the pavement and push my limits. Certainly, my love-hate relationship with running will continue when the weather warms and the days begin to feel a bit longer. So what am I doing over the winter to maintain my fitness? Honestly, I have had fits and starts where I exercise for a dew days and then weeks of sitting on the couch. (Well, as much as a mom of two preschoolers sits on the couch…) Despite that I have a plan.

I have decided to practice yoga in the morning via the Do You Yoga? 30 Day Yoga Challenge and do weight/strength training in the afternoon or evening. Having heard that yoga can be as beneficial as other aerobic exercise I am ready to give it a go. I also enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from a good strength training session. I will not pretend that this plan is not going to require commitment and dedication. It is going to require a lot of both but in the absence of running I am willing to push through any obstacles that may come. I will let you know how it all goes.

Are you a winter runner? What are your best tips for staying active during the winter?

Turkey Trot4

Turkey Trot Training: Run #4 Confidence is Coming

After my horrible run the other day in the cold wind, I jumped back out there today ready to redeem myself. And redeem myself I did! My first mile was much better than the other day. My music was working, my legs were strong, and my breathing improved. I was able to find a comfortable pace and keep moving forward. I guess one could say I had…

“Relentless Forward Motion”

While my body reminded me that I still have more training to do to be ready for the five mile run on Thanksgiving, I could feel my confidence coming back. With every step forward I was able to envision myself running farther and farther. It helped that I challenged my old time again and again my “Little Virtual Trainer” gave me “race” updates. This time she congratulated me when I had passed the “competition” by saying, “Your competition has fallen behind, great job!” There is something about that little voice that just makes me giggle. She actually has a bit of a British accent and it makes me smile.

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As I finished the first mile, I was still “ahead of the competition”. I ended the first mile with an 11:42 min/mile pace. I knew I was going faster than the wind run but I was really not expecting that much faster. This is where the confidence started to build. I was able to keep pushing during the second mile. The second mile, I was comfortable in my pace and relaxed. I tried not to focus too much on how much farther I had to go or too much on technique. I just wanted to finally be able to enjoy a run.

At the end of the second mile I was tired but not exasperated. I ran 2.1 miles at an average pace of 11:42 min/mile in 24:09minutes. That is a whole four minutes faster than the wind run the other day and two minutes faster than Training Run #2! It was a great feeling to know that I was able to challenge myself and win. That is the thing about running. Even if you have a running partner, or run with a group, your real competition is YOU! Even if you never win a race, there are always personal records to break. I am no where near my fastest mile but because I have done it before, I know that I can do it again.

What personal bests are you trying to break? Join the conversation…

If you missed Turkey Trot Training Run#1-3 you can find them on the Team Fit Mommy Website here:
Finally Running Again
Turkey Trot Training Run #2
Turkey Trot Training Run #3: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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Finally Running Again: How a Beautiful Fall Day Inspired Me to Run

It seems that it takes the fall to be in full swing for me to get myself in gear and start training. It was at this time last year that I decided to embark on training for my first ever five mile Turkey Trot. So just in time for the cooler weather to give me every excuse to not get out of bed in the morning and go run, I decide let’s do it again! Fortunately, this weekend was beautiful. So when my husband asked me what I wanted to do and my mother in law so graciously wanted to visit with the kids, I said “Let’s go for a run!” He was a little surprised and admittedly I was also a bit surprised that those words came out of my mouth. I mean, who decides to go for a run on the most beautiful fall day that happens to be the first time in forever that you and your husband have a babysitter? Yup, ME!

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So we dropped the kids off at his moms and made our way to the trail to get in a quick run. The trail was full of all kinds of people riding bikes and running, walking and enjoying the day. We parked at the top of what is called “The 100 Stairs” and started from there. In order to get to the path we had to descend the stairs so that was a mild warm up. We stretched at the bottom and got going. Considering I had not been running in about two months, I decided to keep the pace light and easy. Immediately, I knew that this was not going to be the “easy” run I thought it might be. My legs were screaming at me to stop but the beauty of the day, my heart and my head said keep going. On top of that, as we were running, my father-in-law appeared on the path coming towards us. He was in the midst of his 7 or 8 mile run but decided to change course and join us. So here I am running with my husband and his father. There was no way I was going to stop running and walk. I determined that it didn’t matter how slow I went I was going to keep going. There was a point at which they were barely in my view but I told my husband to keep going and I would catch up. They reached the turn around a minute or three ahead of me and we reconnected to head back to the stairs. My father in law ran ahead to keep his pace and my husband jogged along with me. I told him to keep his pace but he decided to hang in there with me. He was conserving his energy so he could run those stairs.

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The beauty of the day was matched by the fact that I ran 2.34 miles in 33:50. That was an average speed of 4.1mph and an average pace of 14:29min/mi. I am proud of those numbers as a restarting point. I intend to run for the rest of the fall to train for a 5 mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving in November. What is encouraging about my first run of the fall is that I know that with a few more runs under my belt I will be back in stride in no time. I am grateful that my husband is so supportive and that is what “Team Fit Mommy” is all about!

I will be writing updates on my progress until I run the race in November. Come back and check my progress. Are you training for an upcoming race? Join the conversation, tell us about your training.

BIG NEWS & Thanks for Joining the Team!

I wanted to take this time to thank all of you that follow the Team Fit Mommy Runner Blog! When I decided a few months ago to expand to a self hosted site I didn’t want to leave all of you great folks who have supported me so I have migrated my followers to the new site, http://www.teamfitmommy.com You will get the same great content and a few more items that I could not offer here! Although I will still be posting here, you will see even more each week on the new site! So thanks again for following and I hope you will stay tuned for more fitness and more fun!

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Stephanie
Team Fit Mommy
Founder & Editor

Can a Walk Be as Good as a Run?

Yesterday I decided I and my children needed to get out of the house. It was mostly a mommy trick to tire them out in hopes they might take a nap. No luck on the nap but we did walk 2.39 miles. I was amazed that my three year old was able to keep pace the entire way with out needing break. (Except for the moments of wonderment like picking up fall leaves or noticing some mums along the way…) However, the walk got me thinking. Can a long walk have the same benefits as a run?

Some believe that a walk actually can be better than a run because it is less harsh on your joints and you reap the same benefits of building endurance, muscles and strengthening your heart. I know that running enthusiasts may be thinking, “Nothing beats a good run.” Yet, I realized it took almost the same amount of self motivation to go for that distance with a two year old and a three year old in tow. It took more effort to hold a little one’s hand while pushing a jogging stroller. Ultimately, it was a better experience because I got to share it with my children.
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As parents, sometimes we are so busy figuring out how to get things done without our little ones we forget that by including them in our daily routines we are teaching them valuable lessons of self-discipline, consistency and a healthy lifestyle. So the next time you are thinking of reasons why you can’t exercise, slow down and consider talking a walk with your kids. It can be a time of bonding and discovery that you both will treasure!

How do you involve your children in your fit lifestyle? Join the conversation. Leave a comment! Subscribe to Team Fit Mommy for more fitness and family fun! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for daily fitness motivation.

Is it What You Are Eating or Is it What’s Eating You?

Losing Weight

Often when we struggle with things like our weight, it is not really about the weight. The weight is often a symptom of some under lying issue that we need to address. It could be a lack of self control, a medical issue, depression, or an unaddressed hurt. Whatever it is, if you challenge yourself to address it, you will see the results you are looking for. Here are some steps to take:
1. Stop Relying on Your Own Strength: God is the one who made you so God is the One who can strengthen you. Pray and ask for His Love to surround you, His Strength to uphold you and His Wisdom to Guide you. Stop using will power and use His Power!
2. Stop Trying to Do it On Your Own: Isolation is not your friend. Reach out to others for their help. Find a friend or a support group to hold you accountable to your goals. Whether you choose an online group or an in person group or just one person that you can call when you need to talk, find someone to support your goals and help you reach them.
3. Take One Step at a Time: Often we want to see 50 lbs. come off in a week knowing that it did not go on in a week. Take the first step then take the next and then the next. Before you know it you will be running along and will have reached your goal. If you don’t know where to start try drinking more water everyday, going for a walk everyday or making one healthy food choice everyday. If you can do all three even better. One step leads to the next and you will find success at the end of your road. You can DO this!

Summer Running, the Affair Continues

My husband has discovered my secret affair. What’s crazy is that he is ok with it and has joined me. I didn’t expect it, but I am so happy he has decided to develop his own affair with running!

Since the last time I ran I have had a hip injury, gained five pounds, lost five pounds, done lots of mountain climbers, burpees and squats with a 45 pound weight bar. Then my husband says, “So, when are you going running?” Hmmmm… I wanted to say never, but I knew that in my heart my love hate affair with running would continue.
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To my surprise when I stepped on the track for the first time this week, I felt like I was home. My husband decided he would start running too, so we waited until it cooled down a bit, loaded our 2 and 3 year olds in the car and headed to the track. We decided we would start off with a mile since neither of us had run in a while.
The first 400m was a little bit of a push but not as challenging as I imagined it would be. I found a good rhythm and was able to keep a good pace. Overall I ended up running 1.15 miles in 13.46 minutes. Not bad for not having run since April. Our second night out I ran a little slower but felt more in control of my breathing and pace. Let me just say all of the conditioning I have been doing in the form of strength training and bodyweight exercises is paying off. I was able to run and feel confident about my running for the first time ever.
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All that is great but the part that motivates me the most is the fact that my husband has decided to join me. We have worked it out that while I run he entertains the kids and while he runs I entertain them. It worked out well. Another great benefit of this plan is that my children get to see and experience their parents being active and maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle.

I am happy that I am continuing this affair. I hope it lasts a lifetime!
Are you having an affair with running too? Tell us about it. Leave a comment!

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