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?

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!

Running with No Music

Yesterday was a beautiful but crisp Sunday morning. So, before my kids woke and required my full attention I jumped up and got out the door for a run. Several things happened in my haste to get out the door. One, I only put on a tank top and a sweatshirt. Two, I didn’t charge my phone all the way and Three, I forgot my ear buds!!! I knew that after I started moving number one would not matter that much but two and three were almost enough for me to turn around and go home.

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I didn’t really want to be out there. As a matter of fact the last thing I said to my husband before I left was ” I don’t feel like doing this but…” It was cold and when I made it to the track and realized that I really wanted some music to help me along. There were two choices and I chose to just keep going.

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As I ran along, I realized that running with no music can be a great way to get focused and balanced. During the week, life can take everything out of us. It could be work commitments or family obligations or some other thing that has sucked the life out of your week. However, a good run can change your perspective. It may not change any of the situations but it can change your mind.

As I ran with no music, I began listening to my own thoughts. I was amazed at how many thoughts I had that told me to stop and quit. My mind was battling my body over and over again. I had to force my mind to quiet itself and focus on my surroundings, my breathing, my footsteps, my heartbeat. Anything but the fact that I had run less than a mile and I wanted to stop.

After I completed the first mile I started to feel a little better about being out there. I realized that the soundtrack for my run had little to do with the music I would have listened to as a barrier to my discomfort. I realized that feeling the discomfort and thinking through it was helping me to become stronger.

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I am thankful for those moments of peaceful surrender to my mind and body. As I continue to train, I can’t say that I will always run without music because sometimes that is the best way to push past the pain. I will say that over the next few weeks I will consider leaving my ear buds home a few more times and just enjoy the run!

Do you run with or with out music? What is some of your favorite music to run to? Leave a Comment!

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Here I GO AGAIN!… Let’s Run!

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I trained and trained and this past November I ran in my first five mile Turkey Trot! I felt great and confident and unstoppable! And then came this never ending winter and I lost all of my momentum.  So what did I do? I signed up to run in my first ever TEN Miler, the Broad Street Run… I am still in a small state of denial that I have signed up to do this. Despite the fact that I have only run a few times this entire winter, despite the fact that I have never run this far in my life, and despite the fact that I now have about six weeks to train and be ready, there is something in me that wont let me change my mind.

challenge your limits

So what is my plan to accomplish this new goal? I have been trying to find the motivation. I have pushed my self out the door to go for a run and so far I have not been able to create the consistency I know it will take to complete this run. I have had a friend invite me to the gym, I have made a public announcement on Facebook that I am doing this and yet I still have not been on more than a few runs so far… So this is what I am going to do.

First, I am going to stop worrying about failing. Worrying will not create the strength and determination I need to get this done. Between now and May, when the run occurs, I will have many small failures along the way. What I realize is that the only real failure will be if I don’t try.

Second, I am going to take one day at a time. Being a wife and a mom makes every day different and sometimes challenging. So if I don’t make it out the door to run I will not beat myself up but I will find a way to train at home. Endurance does not always come from miles and miles of running… I have become so much stronger  by doing some other types of training along the way.

Third, I will believe that I can do this! Believing in yourself has the power to transform a dream into reality, a vision into a plan and a thought into an action.  Nothing great ever happens without belief in one’s ability to accomplish a goal.  So what I have never run ten miles before. So what I have not run as much as I would like to feel comfortable about this…  I believe that I can do it and I will!

Here I go again… Running might not be my first love, but I love challenging my mind and body to do something I didn’t think I could do.

What new fitness goals do you have? Join the conversation and leave a comment.
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RUNNING ~ Week Four, Day Three: Anything Is Possible!

I must admit when I started this week with a declaration that I was going to run three times this week, I only half believed me. Today I can say ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IF YOU BELIEVE! I kind of surprised myself when I woke up at 6am and my first thought was “let me get ready for my run”. I didn’t immediately get up but the thought was there!

When I started this little adventure four weeks ago, I could only imagine feeling like this. Today it was cold but sunny, which made the first mile beautiful but a little challenging. Yet once I was able to control my breathing and convince myself that my legs were not falling off, I was able to surpass what I had hoped to accomplish today.

I had an unspoken goal of completing four miles by the end of this week. It was unspoken because I still had that little nagging feeling that I couldn’t do it! Once I ran three miles the other day, I began to think maybe it was possible. At the three mile mark on my run today I had to make a decision. Was I going to stop where I was comfortable or was I going to push my boundaries one more time?

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I made the decision to keep going… As I continued to run, I was thinking

Why am I doing this? Three miles is far enough… You still have to walk almost another mile to get back home!

Let me say the conversations you have with yourself in your head are the most important ones you have on a daily basis! No matter what anyone else says, if you are telling yourself negative information you will never believe.

So… I kept going, thinking “I will just run three and a half miles and stop.” Then this song came on iTunes Radio – “Nothing Is Impossible” by Planetshakers.

“Nothing Is Impossible”
[Chorus]
Through You,
I can do anything,
I can do all things,
For it’s You who give me strength,
Nothing is impossible
Through You,
Blind eyes are opened,
Strongholds are broken,
I am living by faith,
Nothing is impossible!
[Verse]
I’m not gonna live by what I see,
I’m not gonna live by what I feel
[Pre-chorus]
Deep down I,
Know that You’re here with me
I know that, You can do anything
[Bridge]
I believe, I believe,
I believe, I believe in You

I had never hear the song before but the words resonated with what I was trying to accomplish! ( A good playlist can work miracles for your workout…) Ultimately I ran 4.23 miles and walked another .91 miles.

I started this journey because I encouraged others to do some type of physical activity like a “Turkey Trot”. The Fairmount Park Turkey Trot is in 20 days, I haven’t registered yet but I will because I know ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

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Is there something you keep telling yourself is impossible? Tell yourself you can do it and accomplish YOUR goals! What goals will you set for yourself for next week? Leave a comment!

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HAVE A FIT and FUN DAY!

Determination is a Funny Thing!

I woke up this morning determined to get my run in. Well maybe not determined, I woke up because I had to go to the bathroom and once I realized that it was early enough for me to get my run in I pushed my way out the door! But… Once I got moving I was so glad I did! I ran TWO MILES TODAY after having only run one time last week.

Determination is a funny thing. It can cause you to push beyond what others say you can do and even what you think you can do! As I ran this morning I was able to enjoy the morning. I noticed the people on their way to work and school. I was able to think clearly and hear my own thoughts. But most of all I was able to find that space where I could clearly hear God.

When I run I listen to gospel/worship music. It inspires me to keep moving and continue this journey I started. As I ran a song called Shifting the Atmosphere by Jason Nelson played. This song helped me to shift from feeling like my run was a chore to really living the moment and appreciating the fact that I can run.

What ever you want to do in life you CAN do it! Shift your mindset to accomplish your goals! I saw this quote on a friends Facebook page, “Life doesn’t come with a remote control. You gotta get up and change it for yourself! – Tyler Perry This is so true so today I determined to change the channel in my life and watch something new!

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Getting out the door is half the battle but once you do you can conquer anything!

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