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 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

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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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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A New Season, Time to Make a Comeback

Every season I like to make an assessment of where I am and where I’d like to be. Fall is a great time to reassess because it is the final quarter of the year. Whether you have had a great year or a rocky year thus far, you can always make a plan to be better. I am a football fan and nothing is greater than a fourth quarter comeback! Designing your comeback is easy. Executing your comeback is the challenge. Every great player or team has a coach who helps guides them to victory! Let these simple ideas be your coach to your fourth quarter comeback!

First, set a goal or a few goals. Don’t try to accomplish too much too fast. This is a three month plan to gaining a healthy lifestyle and your success. When you are trying to gain a healthy lifestyle it is important to look at what you are eating and what you are doing.
Create an eating plan which includes at least four small meals and two snacks daily. It sounds like a lot of food but once you start eating this way you will find that it’s easy and you are never hungry.
What you eat is as important as how much you eat. Your meals should consist of lean protein, vegetables, and whole grains.

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MyPlate.gov is an excellent resource to help you determine portion size. In addition to watching what you eat, cutting out sugary drinks including fruit juices and adding more water to your diet will aid you in your journey.

As important to your eating plan is your exercise plan. Exercise will help you develop overall fitness. A quality plan includes a minimum of three exercise session per week. You want to combine cardio and strength training in your plan. Keep in mind that you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to achieve your goals. Thirty to forty-five minutes per day five days per week is more than enough. Try to find an activity that you enjoy. Walking, jogging, running, skating, swimming, Zumba, hooping… If you find something you enjoy you are more likely to continue doing it. Going for a walk everyday is a great way to start. Some people go all out when they start and end up losing steam because it’s not sustainable. Consistency is the key to long term success.
Staying committed to your goals is a winning strategy. You can finish this quarter strong and stage the comeback of the year!

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Try this workout to jump start your plan!

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