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.

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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!

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.

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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!

A Moment of Truth

I recently had a moment of truth… After I reached my weight loss goals I kind of slowed down… I realize its normal to slow down but I almost came to a complete stop! I realized even more now than ever that this is not about the scale… My VICTORY is in the LIFESTYLE!

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Once the scale said what I wanted it to say it was convenient to use summer and family time as an excuse for stopping. However, I found that I was stopping all of the progress I had started and ultimately had not fully reached my goals. It is not enough to set a goal and stop once you reach it. To become a better person daily each day requires a new goal. It’s important to set SMART GOALS.

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In order to not be frustrated by your goals they need to be specific, knowing what you want to accomplish is half of the battle. For example I wanted to lose 50lbs. The goal needs to be measurable. I measured my success in reaching my goal by weighing in once a week until I reached my goal. The goal needs to attainable. Setting a goal that is impossible to reach is frustrating and will cause you to quit. I broke my larger goal into smaller chunks so that as I progressed I knew I would reach my goal. The goal needs to be relevant. Where fitness and nutrition are concerned, relevancy would be considered, doing things that will help not hinder you such as going for a 15-30 minute walk everyday. Lastly the goal needs to be time bound. You must know when you want to reach your goal. I gave myself six months to lose the 50 lbs. In the end it took me about seven months but goals can be reevaluated.
So now it’s time to set a new goal and get motivated all over again! Being fit and healthy is a lifestyle. It is a journey not a destination! Now that I have recognized that I need to continue to set fitness goals, I am on my way to living a life of full health and wellness! Always remember to be fit and have fun!