Getting Back to Healthy

The beginning of the year always seems to be the time people look for a change. Everyone wants to be a better version of themselves in the previous year. They start off with so much hope and great intentions. But, unfortunately, they don’t tend to stay on the course.

Well, guess what…I’m joining those ranks (the ones looking for a change, not the one straying off course). However, I started my journey at the end of November.

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When I finally got a full-time job that allowed me to have a little more cash flow, I knew I immediately needed to get back into the gym. While I haven’t been in a “normal gym” for three years, I knew that I had to make the most of it, until I can afford to join a new CrossFit box. So I joined Anytime Fitness in my hometown. I chose this gym because it was close to my office, and open 24 hours a day. My plan has been to use my lunch break the days I work in the office to workout to get in short cardio sessions (25 minute hill or speed intervals on the treadmill). On days that I work from work from home I hope to hit the gym early in the morning before my husband has to leave for work for some weights.

It’s been so hard to be my normal self. When I lived in Lexington I had the support and community of Man O’War CrossFit. My guys were always looking for me every morning. Even after Baby A&W was born, I still managed to go almost every day. But that’s when she would sleep throughout our WODs, which made it more manageable. Our neighborhood was so perfect for walks of all lengths, and I would walk the dogs everyday after work (whether Baby A&W was in her carrier or stroller).

But now, I don’t have the CrossFit community for support. I don’t have the flexibility of a sleeping baby in her carseat to bring with me. I don’t have sidewalks, street lamps, or multiple routes for walks–country roads aren’t the best to walk on come dusk/dark. And the winter weather isn’t conducive for a baby to be out in the elements for long periods of time.

But I can’t continue with the excuses. I’m at a stage in my health that I never thought I would be at, and it’s frustrating.

So I looked for what I call “Forced Motivation.” Knowing that I’m paying for a gym membership means I need to make the most of it. For Christmas my sister paid for my registration in two half marathons (April 16 and May 7). Knowing that I have two big races. so close together, means that I need to be getting my strength back before adding the mileage.

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So, I’ve been hitting the gym more regularly now. I’ve set goals–not only in weight loss but also in ability when it comes to getting back to my old self. I’m already feeling a difference and I look forward to the workouts. There have been some exhausting nights with A&W not sleeping through the night, teething, or just being sick, not to mention that I’ve worked a lot of late nights trying to hit my freelancing deadlines. But those aren’t an excuse.

I’m thankful for Coach Taylor that he continues to post the weekly WODs for MOWCF on their Facebook page. When I’m preparing for my weight lifting days, I check to see what my old CrossFit family did as far as WODs and then try to see if I can do them in some form or fashion at my “boring gym.” Or, I’ll make up my own.

Here are some workouts I’ve done:

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I’m also going to get back to blogging more regularly, as I want to use this as an accountability tool again. I’m excited about the two half marathons I’ve got coming up, but also very nervous about training on my own and getting back to being fit.

Your turn: How are you getting back to being fit in 2016?

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My 2014 #HolidayRunList + ProCompression Discount

I can’t believe it’s already time to start making those Christmas lists, but here it is! As a runner and CrossFit fanatic, my family knows you can never go wrong with getting me workout gear for my birthday or Christmas. And even though I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant, that doesn’t mean I don’t still want workout gear, right??

As part of my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship, I was asked to put together my Holiday Run List with ProCompression and my favorites for 2014.

1.) BOB Jogging Stroller
Baby A&W is going to be on the go as soon as she/he arrives. I walk the dogs everyday, and I don’t really see that stopping with our new arrival. Plus I’ll be getting back in half marathon training once I’m able to to prepare for whatever race I sign up as my comeback race!

This stroller would be great for walks on the sidewalk or in the park and my short training runs.

This stroller would be great for walks on the sidewalk or in the park and my short training runs.

2.) UnderArmor No-Show Running Socks
I’m hard on my running socks, but after buying one 6-pack of these socks from the UnderArmor Outlet a couple of months ago, I’m in love with these. You can’t have too many running socks, I say!

3.) Nike Epic Running Capris
I love running in capris (unless it’s frigid, then you’ll see me in long winter pants), and the few that I’ve been comfortable wearing all the time are Nike running capris. They stay in place and feel like second skin. And now they’re coming in fun colors, rather than just black!

4.) New Running Shows
Who couldn’t use a new pair of running shoes?? Even if you just got a new pair, you still need a second (or third) pair to trade back and forth, right? Right now I’m loving my Mizuno Wave Rider 18s and my Saucony Ride 6s. If you’re not sure what you would wear, ask for a gift card to your local running store so you can pick out the pair that’s right for you!

New running shoes--because you can never have too many workout shoes, right??

New running shoes–because you can never have too many workout shoes, right??

5.) ProCompression Calf Sleeves
I was sent a pair of ProCompression Calf Sleeves as part of my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship and I was excited to try them! And now, I’m excited to add them to my list! I had already recommended the calf sleeves to my sister, who has been battling shin splints since she started running, but I had only worn ProCompression’s Marathon Socks. While these felt tighter than the Marathon Socks (thus making it much harder to put on), they stayed in place for my runs and felt great.

And here’s the best part–now you can try them! From now until Dec. 15, you can take 40% off at checkout when you purchase ProCompression Marathon Socks or Calf Sleeves! Use discount code “PINK2” at checkout. You could rock the purple sleeves (like my sister), or the conservative black (like me).

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If you put all these items together, you’d be unstoppable in 2015!

Remember: Use discount code “PINK2through Dec. 15 to get 40% off ProCompression Marathon Socks or Calf Sleeves–great gifts for the runner(s) in your life and yourself!

Your turn: What is one thing that’s on your Christmas list?

**Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge as part of my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship and was not compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Tapering Week Randomness

This week has just felt so unorganized, random, and unsettling for me. I hate taper weeks! You work so hard, trying to increase your mileage and your speed, push yourself to the limits, and train hard for months for your half marathon/marathon, then you’re expected to take a week off to allow your muscles to relax, restore, and be ready for the big race. But yet your mind is still reeling and thinking.

Less than 48 hours until I conquer this race!

Less than 48 hours until I conquer this race!

I ran 8 miles on Saturday and then 3.5 Monday after work. Since then, I haven’t done much. I did a Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD Tuesday morning, then did some heavy lifting after work (mostly my upper body, but I threw some squats in there). Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings have been long walks in the park with the dogs to stretch their and my legs. I’ve been itching to run, but worried that I want to have my legs for the massive hills I’ll be running on Saturday. Plus, I’ve been wanting to rest my knee. This am I did another yoga DVD to stretch my body and hopefully ease my mind.

But then I see tweets from people running in the same half marathon I am doing that are still running 3-5 miles this am, just two days before the race. I think to myself “Am I going to be prepared for this? Is resting up the way to go, or should I have pushed for a few miles last night?” You seriously can drive yourself mad doubting your actions during a taper week!

After work last night I was about to set out to the gym for some time on the elliptical and more upper body weights when suddenly I just wasn’t feeling it. It’s weird for me to just not feel like going to the gym at all, especially in the middle of the week, but I figured it was a sign and listened to my body. I drove straight home and M and I took the dogs out for a 2.25 mile walk instead. Then I cleaned the house to keep myself busy and my body moving.

I have a packed evening schedule today, but I’m suddenly wanting to get in at least 15 minutes on the elliptical to stretch the legs and get the blood flowing. I just gotta try to not push myself too much.

And now for the randomness…

There have been a few blog posts that have really stuck with me this week that I want to share.

Matters of Course (RunningHutch) – Tiffany put together a great blog about runners who CrossFit (or CrossFitters who run). It was fun to read the different views of people who “do it all” in fitness because I’d like to still try my hand at CrossFit, but I was worried it’d affect my running training.

Piloting Paper Airplanes – This post was something I needed after having some confidence issues this week. What Makes Me Powerful made me really think about what makes me feel powerful in my life. You know everyone has their lackluster moments, but it’s always good to read that there are others who have those moments (even the people who appear to have it all together) and how they handle those moments. I hope to do a post like this soon.

The Lean Green Bean – Finally, Lindsay has perfect timing when it comes to some of the things she puts together on her blog. She posted a follow up blog post on Things Blogging Has Taught Me today, and I really needed that. I’ve been inspired with my recent Sweat Pink Ambassadorship to do more with my blog, but I don’t really know how to get the ball rolling. There is a big world of potential when it comes to blogging and you have to really dig deep and be persistent to grow your own brand. I get inspiration from bloggers like Lindsay, Anne, Clare, and Tina, and I want to do more awesome things like them everyday.

Time to get my mind straight and focus. I’m hoping the rest of the week flies by.

Confidence Crushers

Confidence is such a sensitive thing. One minute you can feel on top of the world, and the next you feel like the world is crushing you as it walks all over you. You work so hard to build yourself up–whether it’s hours in the gym, tons of reading, or whatever you can do to build confidence. Once you start to feel it, it’s a great ride–you’re standing tall and you feel like you can do no wrong. Everything is better and goes smoothly for you.

And, yet some times, it takes one little thing to burst that bubble and tear you down brick by brick. You don’t see it coming–it’s actually like a back-handed slap that can come from behind your back.

I’ve been feeling confident about my race training. I knew I had to take two weekends off right before my half marathon coming this weekend, so I had pushed up my training and actually had run 12-13 miles three weekends in a row just in the past month. But it’s been the big break that’s concerned me. I’ve been working on inclines/hill intervals on the treadmill and running different courses with hills (even once on part of the actual course), thinking I’ve done enough to prep for the Run the Bluegrass. But suddenly today, as I’m reading people’s tweets and Facebook posts about the hellacious hills that “bless” the course (especially mile 9, so I hear) my mind starts reeling…did I do enough training? Can my knee (which has been bothering me the past few weeks or so) handle the 13.1 miles and the hills?

I’ve basically decided that I probably shouldn’t chance running in the Derby Half Marathon 30 days after the Run The Bluegrass because I don’t know how my body would handle it. A total 180 from how I was feeling previously.

Another confidence blower came to me in my confidence in my abilities as a dog agility handler/trainer. Without getting into too much detail (since I know the majority of you aren’t 100% up on your dog speak), I mishandled something in the last round of Nationals in Tulsa that I mishandled last year at Nationals in Reno. I didn’t learn from that mistake. And then this weekend, at an agility trial, I didn’t work the courses or the dogs like a handler who had just returned from Nationals. It might not mean much to some, but my ability to work an animal successfully (it’s the same with horses) is very important to me because it’s a part of who I am.

It’s things like that that makes you yearn for just a little affirmation that you’re still doing alright–that you still look good in those jeans, or that you’ve done some great things with your dogs. You know you shouldn’t have to need to push for those compliments, but they tend to make a difference.

So what do you do to give your confidence a little boost?

5 Things Friday — 3.22.13

Because of my trip, I wasn’t able to do a “5 Things Friday” last week, so this includes stuff from the past couple of weeks. So, let’s get going!

  1. Ten Miles Crushed I crushed my first 10-mile race a couple of weeks ago. I felt strong before, during, and after the run, even with the additional 3.1 miles I ran. That was also my last long run before the Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon that’s next weekend, so I’m hoping that was good enough to help me be prepared for the race.
  2. Loving Yogurt Bowls. I am loving making my own granola and then having a big bowl of Greek yogurt, a sliced banana, and granola for a meal. I have to thank my friend Nicole for the inspiration to make my own granola. I need to get different nuts and grains to change it up some.
  3. The Tulsa Experience. I had so much fun with my friends and Dally in Tulsa for the AKC National Agility Championships. Merinda and I had fun doing photo ops with the dogs on our drive out there. I got some great shots I can’t wait to get printed and framed to hang on our walls!
  4. Sweating Pink. While I was in Tulsa, I got an email announcing I had been selected as a Sweat Pink Ambassador! I’m so excited about the opportunities that will come with this program and I can’t wait to share them with you.
  5. Welcome Spring! Orrr…maybe not. Last week I was all about the sunshine and warm temperatures (heck, in Oklahoma it was in the 80s while we were there!), but this week Spring (which officially started on Wednesday) is being shy and won’t come out from under winter. WTH?? I’m hoping it’ll warm up before the half marathon next week!

M’s job schedule is getting switched up again. Now I know law enforcement isn’t the most predictable, but it’s hard when his schedule keeps getting switched every couple of weeks. I have no idea how he’ll be able to adjust to working midnight to 8 am and have a “normal” life on days off, but we’ll have to figure out something. This means that the am workouts we’ve been doing together will no longer happen, and he’ll just have to meet me at the gym after work now.

Speaking of workouts, last night I went to Complete Nutrition to get some more protein powder for me, and to start M on some. The guy working there, Tom, helped me out a lot, pointing out a couple of different powders for both of us. I decided to go with the V-Core ProComplete Vanilla Bean powder for both of us (I want to make sure M will be committed to using protein shakes before I spend big bucks on the one I liked for him). I like vanilla because it’s more flexible than other flavors when it comes to mixing it with fruits, etc. Tom even recommended mixing it with Trop50 for an orange creamsicle taste–great idea!

He also suggested a pre-workout for an energy boost mostly for M before he goes to the gym, but I can also use it throughout the day when I’m feeling a little sluggish. It was half-off, so I figured it’d be worth a try. He recommended drinking it right before going to the gym, or I can sip on it throughout the day. The only flavor left was the cherry pomegranate  but it’s pretty good! (I decided to sip on a bottle of it throughout the day to see how I like it.) I’m hoping it’ll help M start to achieve his weight loss goals a little faster to kick start his training for the police department’s physical test.

Sorry for the crappy photo, this was the quick snapshot I took to message M after I got back from the store.

Sorry for the crappy photo, this was the quick snapshot I took to message M after I got back from the store.

I’m going to give both products a try and let you know what I think of them. I’ve been using GNC’s Total Lean 25 vanilla protein powder before, but I am always up to try new things.

What are your favorite workout supplements?

I’m Sweating Pink!

While I was in Tulsa I received an email telling me I had been selected to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador! I’m pretty excited about it because it means that I can dive deeper into the world of health, fitness, and well-being with my blog and connect with a lot more young women like myself!

Sweat Pink is part of FitApproach, a community devoted to living a healthy lifestyle. I wanted to become an ambassador because I love inspiring people and I want to continue learning about living a healthful life, all while having fun and growing. The ambassador page asks: Do you have a passion for inspiring others on their journeys to health? Do you believe that strong is the new skinny, pink is the new black, and that a positive attitude and whole foods are a healthier route to happiness than self-loathing and 100-calorie snack packs? And I answered, “Yes!”

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I’ve already ordered my Sweat Pink tank top and can’t wait to received the signature pink shoe laces. The funny thing is, I’ve never been a big fan of the color pink, but I’m starting to see it popping up in my wardrobe and life more and more (namely when it comes to Dally’s agility colors–she’s a fan of hot pink and zebra print, perfect for a diva such as herself). I guess it’s me finally starting to embrace being a little girly.

I can’t wait to do more networking and hopefully get to attend events to learn more about healthy eating, living, and fitness. As things start to come around, I’ll be sure to share with you all about the program and anything fun that I do!

Until then, keep up the good sweat!