I started 2016 with three main objectives for bettering myself (I will not use the “r” word), and before I talk about 2017, let’s check in on how I did this past year. Although I would like to start a dumpster fire with much of 2016, there are definitely reasons to feel accomplishment and pride. Let’s have a look.
My Health: I still ate too much sugar and about 300 too many bagels, however I prepared healthy, home-cooked meals for dinner more nights than I ate out. Let’s call this a win.
My Mind: Nothing is without setback, but I am pleased to announce that I have recently accepted a new role at my company that I am absolutely thrilled about. My work life was great in 2016, and I was lucky enough to be a part of some epic activations. I dealt with some pretty big emotional hurdles in my personal life, but I feel stronger because of them. Another win.
My Body: My body and I worked together to accomplish some awesome things this year. I PR-ed in two 10 mile races, and for the most part felt great all year. In the past couple of months, I’ve noticed some new old lady aches and pains, but I’m taking them in stride! It’s a draw.
I can’t say that I’m sorry to see it go, but I can say that I am excited for 2017 and the endless possibilities it holds!
Hey friends. I typically try to keep my posts informative and playful. This is a fitness blog, so many posts focus on getting stronger in the gym or on the track. But recently I had the rug pulled out from under me, and my personal life is in a tailspin. The intimate details of what I am going through are not important. At times like these, what’s important is to remember that strength doesn’t equal bravery and little doesn’t equal small.
Strength vs. Bravery:
I was lucky enough to be taught, from a young age, that little girls can be strong and fearless. In my house, both my sister and I were forces to be reckoned with. But in all of the lessons that I’ve learned and all of the teachings about pushing for what you want, somehow I began to mistake strength with stubbornness instead of bravery. I thought that being strong meant absorbing everything that was thrown at me and carrying on despite it all. I missed the part about how walking away can be incredibly brave.
I hope that all of you reading this can recognize that, in life, bravery is doing what’s right, even if you think you can muscle through the pain just a little longer.
Little vs. Small:
In the situation that I’m currently in, I am constantly reminding myself that I am not insignificant. I am worthy of all I desire and no small mind should crush my huge dreams. I have to keep telling myself, despite what others may say, I am not a small girl waiting for a fairy tale ending. I am a petite warrior battling for what I believe in.
If anybody or anything has ever made your life or your dreams feel silly or wrong, I hope this helps you to remember that you, like me, are capable, brave and significant.
You’ve all heard the jokes about women and their “yoga pants as real pants.” Well, I am a culprit of wearing my running tights even when I am not running. Currently, I am sitting in the middle seat of a four-hour flight, and the one thing that isn’t driving me completely insane…my running tights.
So I figured this was a good time to write a quick review about a new line of Nike tights that I found in the past year. The Nike Epic Lux are miracle pants in more ways than one:
Muffin top, be gone! – Because of the thick waistband, these pants never cause any muffin top.
Nobody needs to see your ASSets! – The thick and quality material means that these pants are never see-through.
So many options! – The pants come in tights, crops and capris. In addition to three lengths, they also come out with TONS of awesome designs and colors (see pic below) to spruce up your workout wardrobe.
One size always fits! – One of my biggest pet peeves is when you buy multiple colors of the same article of clothing and each fits different. I’ve got 2 capris, 1 crop and 2 full-length tights in the Epic Lux and each fits PERFECTLY.
You move, they don’t! – No matter what activity I am doing, running, lunges, planks, dead lifts. These tights stay in place. They don’t twist, or droop down. I’m never at risk for plumber crack or even worse, the ol’ camel toe.
As with all Nike products, the Epic Lux can be a bit pricey. They range from $95 to $110. Nike’s running tight range is $50 to $150. Although, if you’re a savvy bargain shopper, they’re occasionally on sale at places like Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx and even right on nike.com. But let’s compare them to a few other pricey alternatives:
Lululemon Running Tights – $98 to $298. $298?!?! You kidding me??
Under Armour Running Tights – $45 to $180.
Brooks Running Tights – $85 and $165
Pearl Izumi Running Tights – $65 and $145.
CW-X Running Tights – $65 to $200.
What it comes down to is loving what you’re wearing. The comfort, the performance and of course, the way it hugs your curves. Happy shopping, y’all!
So, I wanted to share the training regimen that I have put in place to get myself into the best shape possible for my race on April 24. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a trained fitness coach, and if you follow my below plan, please please please always listen to your body, trainers and/or doctors for expert advice.
Running vs. Lifting + Stretching:
During the five or so weeks leading up to a 10 mile race, I will cut my lifting down significantly, and increase my mileage each week. Also, it can’t be said enough, but stretching can mean a world of difference. I try to use a foam roller to massage my IT bands every single day.
During the weeks that I am training for a race, I will reserve two days a week for lifting. 1 day for legs (never maxing out) and 1 day for arms/chest/back. Both days, and some of my non-lifting days, will include 5-15 minutes of core.
The hard part for me is pacing. I am not a distance runner by nature. My body wants to run fast, but then I can’t maintain the speed while increasing my miles.
With that in mind, I have three little tricks that I employ to help me combat this common hurdle:
Mileage: I do 3 runs during the week that are between 3-5 miles, depending on where I am at in my training. Then I do one 5-8 mile run on the weekends. I do not pay too much attention to my pace, but I try to stay within a :30 margin. By race day, I am comfortably running more miles and a much quicker pace and it wasn’t even that painful to get there.
Track Workouts: I have recently gotten into track workouts, which are full of benefits. They open your stride, boost your endurance, change up your routine and drum roll….. they help increase your speed! I jog to the track, stretch and then do one of the following: Sprint 1 lap, jog 1 lap. Repeat 4-8 times. Or, run 80% pace for 2 laps, jog for 1 lap. Repeat 4-8 times. I also sometimes do pacers down the long side of the track. Start at 50% pace, increase to 75% pace, increase to full sprint. Do a few of those. They feel AMAZING.
Hills: They’re the devil. But the best advice I ever received was from Mr. Mahoney, my high school cross country coach. He told us that we should always work to pass people on the uphill. If you train for hills, there will be no issues come race day. You’ll be cruising on up as other runners are struggling and wondering if you’ve got secret jets hidden in your shoes! My standard hill workout: Jog to the hill, stretch. Then I do pacers up the hill, starting off with a slow and open stride leading up to the base of the hill and then try to run about 75% pace to the top. I jog halfway down, and walk the other half. Once at the bottom, jump right back into the next one. Depending on the hill grade and length, I will do 5-10 of these before jogging home.
If you’ve got a race coming up, I hope you find my training tips beneficial. Always feel free to reach out to me in the comments below if you’ve got any questions! Also, follow me on IG for training tips, fun pics and weird outfits. 🙂
Each morning, I awoke to reminder message in my iPhone. The reminder took me directly to that day’s workout plan. So seamless! The program gave me a balanced workout that was thoughtfully prepared and included stretching and rest days. Those Nike folks must know a thing or two about fitness.
THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:
200m sprints: It’s been years since I had a proper track workout and it felt amazing to stretch out my legs with these 200 meter sprints.
Drop Squats: Start in the standing position, drop down to a squat touching one hand to the floor while the other stretches out behind you. Jump back up. I love squats, nuff said.
Lateral bear crawls: This exercise isn’t as difficult, coordination-wise, as it sounds. But it kicks your butt (and back, and core, and hips)!
Chest press with dead bug: The dead bug may make you look silly in the gym. But combine it with a couple dumbbells and you’ve got yourself a hard-working move.
Rear foot elevated single leg squat: Put your back leg up on a box or curb, it doesn’t need to be high. Squat down, similar to a lunge and feel the burrnnnnn!
Diagonal bounds: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. These little jumps (or slides, if you have the proper equipment) are a daily must.
As with any workout, there were a few things I avoided. Burpees, for instance. I fail to see the true benefit of burpees. Without perfect form, you’re much more likely to hurt yourself than do any real good. Burpees = the plague. Keep back! Another activity that I was cautious with was sprinting at the track (surprisingly, this was also my favorite activity). But I am 31, and about 12 years past my last track workout, so in the early morning cold temps, I was pretty nervous about pulling something while trying to prove that I was once a good sprinter.
All in all, I’d say that Nike’s 21 Days of #BetterForIt was a success. I learned a ton of new activities to add to my workout regime, and there was something motivating and exciting about having a little personal trainer in your phone that wakes you up with new workouts each day.
If anybody is interested in doing the 21 day routine, I’ve got all of the workouts saved and would more than happy to send you the details. Comment below if you would like me to share them!
LOVE YOU ALL!
Follow me on IG for workout tips, pics, vids and more!
If you do not follow Nike or Nike Women on social media, then you may not be aware of 21 Days of Better For It. I stumbled upon it on Nike Women’s Instagram yesterday, and started my workout plan this morning! There are a few things that make this effort truly awesome:
No Purchase Necessary: You may complain that Nike prices break the bank, but their series of workout apps and programs like this one are 100% free!
Tailored for a Better Fit: The initiative, which lives on nike.com, asks users a series of questions which lead them to the best workout plan for their fitness level.
Seamless Integration to Your Smartphone: Once your plan is selected, 21 days of workouts are loaded to your calendar with reminders for you. The workouts range from sprints to yoga to weight circuits and, when necessary, links you to Nike Training Club and Nike+ Running apps. It also helps design workout playlists through Spotify. The entire process is quick, simple, and leaves little room for excuses.
A Learning Process: I think the part about this program that I am most excited about is that I will learn a few new workouts or movements. For those who are new to regular workouts, you will learn so much in 21 days and be able to build off of those workouts once the program is over.
I am off to take on the plan that Nike built for me, and I encourage you to do it too. I’ll follow up with a blog post at the end of the 21 days and let you know just how much better I am for it!
Follow me on IG for workout tips, pics, vids and more!
If you’re anything like me, the holidays are a time to eat as if the calories don’t count. Another serving of cheesy rolls? Yes, please! More wine? Duh! Donuts or cinnamon rolls? Both, por favor! But that sort of carefree eating can start to bring you down, so here is the secret to enjoying the holiday feasts without regretting it later.
The Holidays are not an excuse to stop working out!
That’s right. You heard me. Holiday vacation is a vacation from work or school… not from your health and wellness. But this is part of a larger shift in your attitude toward exercise. It’s time to stop thinking of it as “work,” and start to think of it as “me time” or “play time” or “the best damn 30 minutes of my day!” Ok, that last one might be pushing it.
Once you make this shift, you’ll find yourself looking forward to working out, even when you’re on vacation. So, this holiday season, maybe try one of these fun ways to keep yourself and your family members active in between feasting!
Take a hike!: Hiking is an activity that all family members can enjoy, including our furry friends. Depending on the hike you choose, it can be a quiet nature walk, or it can be more rigorous, like mountain climbing. Get the family outside to enjoy a healthy activity together! Tip: If it’s really snowy, find someplace to rent snowshoes!
Make a cameo!: Visiting a relative who has a membership to a gym? Find out their policy on guests and have a gym-date. One of my favorite things to do when I visit my mom, is to go to the gym with her. We take turns picking a workout or weight machine and we both come away with new activities to try and very sore muscles!
15-minute jam!: Busy holiday schedule? Lazy family members? Not a problem. The Nike Training Club app has tons of 15-minute workouts that are perfect for getting in a quick, but effective workout without needing any equipment. Tell mom to stop complaining about her knees; tell your sister so stop worrying about her kids’ meal schedule. All you need is 15-minutes and a good attitude. More on Nike Training Club.
Run like the wind!: Gather up
your fitness-minded friends and family and take them on a group run. One of my favorite, recent Christmas memories is of running around my boyfriend’s hometown when we were visiting his family. We ended up at his high school and spent a while roaming the halls while he shared some pretty cool memories with me. Check out my post about running while on the road.
Grab and go!: If you’re road-tripping to your holiday destination, there is no excuse not to bring some exercise equipment with you. A couple of easy-to-pack items include TRX gear, a jump rope, resistance bands, a yoga mat, or P90X dvds. In addition, you could always pack a set up dumbbells, a medicine ball or a kettlebell.
Lend a helping hand!: What if you could win Daughter/Son-of-the-Year status AND get in a great workout? All you’ve gotta do is offer to help rake leaves or shovel for your parents, grandparents or their neighbors. Seriously, put in 1 good hour of raking leaves and then try to tell me your obliques aren’t on fire.
Go sledding!: If you’re going sledding with friends and family, try running up the hill after each turn. The snow, coupled with heavy boots and bulky layers will prove to be a great leg workout. You’ll quickly feel it in your calves and quads. For an EXTRA good workout, take a lazy friend or a young kid with you and PULL them up the hill. I did this with my nephew last year and let’s just say that I was pretty embarrassed how sore I was the next day. But he had a blast and so did I!
So there you have it. Don’t stop enjoying the home-cooked goodness of a holiday meal. Don’t turn down a refill of a great Malbec. Just find some time to enjoy a bit of exercise while on break, and avoid having to play catch-up when you’re back to reality.