Start 2016 With More Than A Resolution

This time of year always makes me cringe a little bit, especially when marketers try to capitalize on our insecurities by pushing “fitness resolutions.” Don’t get me wrong, getting healthy should most definitely be a top priority, but not because 2016 is upon us. It should be a priority because you only have one body and you need to treat it right. All year, every year.new-years-resolutions-seinfeld

My “resolution” this year is to recognize that my health, my mind and my body are a constant work in progress and I cannot accomplish everything at once. Just as I did in 2015, I will work on each of them but will not expect any certain results.

My Health: Anybody who knows me knows that I am a pretty unhealthy eater. This is an area where I have a TON of room for improvement. I cannot resolve to give up sugar, because I will fail. But I will consciously work to make more home-cooked dinners with more vegetables. The goal is simply to feed my body more of the nutrients that it needs to meet the demands I put on it.
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My Mind: This past March, I made the decision to leave a very toxic work environment. The decision, which was not a New Years resolution, was one of the most important choices I have ever made and has proved to be a very big step in improving my mental health. This year, I will continue to find ways to let go of unnecessary stressors, which will not only impact my mind, but my heart as well. Here are some tips on ways to improve mental health every day.

My Body: The biggest thing I noticed as my twenties passed me by was that my body is different day-by-day. The body I had when I was 21 is very different than the body I have now at 31. I can’t expect the same results, and I cannot make goals for my 31-year-old body that are based on 21-year-old me. These days, I am working on being more aware of how I feel. I am trying to see how my diet and stress may impact my physical output. I am always working on tightening and toning, but I am also thinking about recovery and proper care for my muscles. My roller is one of my best friends these days. RELATED: Have a Body-Positive New YearIMG_9382

Those are my “resolutions.” They’re not really measurable, and they do not have an expiration date. They’re fluid and always changing as I learn more about myself. So instead of a New Years resolution in 2016, I challenge you to take a holistic view of your health, your mind and your body. Self-improvement doesn’t ever end, and it is defined differently by everybody. #YouDoYou.23d45062-b649-4be8-b2d0-348c78b9be46

Happy New Years, see you in 2016!
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7 Holiday Workouts

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!

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Snowshoeing at Beaver Creek in Avon, CO
  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Run like the wind!: Gather up
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    Snowshoeing at Beaver Creek in Avon, CO

    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.

  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
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Short Term Goals

After last week’s Flywheel class I had a minor breakdown. I lost to James again, which I am totally at peace with after 1 full week, but I also finished in the middle of the class. The class wasn’t packed and I left feeling so discouraged. I thought to myself, I work my rear off and there is NO reason to not finish the class in the top 3!

On the way home I phoned my Dad and expressed my concern over not knowing how to push myself. He used to be a coach and always got the most out of his team, I figured he could provide some solid advice. His response, “Paige you run marathons, what do you mean you don’t know how to push yourself?” Bottom line, running long distances has become pretty easy and doesn’t require much extra effort on my part. It’s the nitty-gritty exercises that live outside my comfort zone that really challenge me. November Project, lifting weights, the list goes on…

We came to the conclusion that I need to set short term goals to reach my long term goal. Little baby steps and small achievements go very far mentally and give you something to hold onto at that current time and place. It is tremendously easy to get caught up in ONE bad run if you expect to see your long term goal in short term time. This is something that needs to be avoided before you fall down a rabbit hole that does not lead to wonderland. Set small goals to help avoid these hurdles.

Short Term August Goal – One track workout/one mile repeat workout per week

This sounds pretty easy, right? Negative. It is SO much easier to get outside and coast. Running is typically a one stop shop. Going to the track requires walking to my car, driving, parking, putting on all of my go-go gadget accessories, working out, getting in the car, driving home, parking, walking home, blah, blah, blah, such a process.

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Last night I attempted to run to the track for 6 x 800 meters but the running gods had another plan. The track was closed so I had to improvise and do RFK (don’t go after dark – it is a little slim shady) parking lot sprints. Improvise is not a great word for me. I always need a plan. After pouting to myself for a few minutes I found the longest straightaway and got to work. It was very hard to keep track of what I was doing so I let my Garmin run the entire time and analyzed the results after. It is very hard to keep track of distance, splits and recovery time on one watch. Too much math for me.

2.50 mile warm up

+/- .17 sprint – 5:40 pace x 13

Total Mileage – 5.40

Not bad, but not what I had in mind. I am anxious to see how it translates next week when I do a proper long distance sprint workout.  Because my distance/paces were ka-plunked last night, my scale for pushing myself was interesting. How close is Paige to throwing up? I know this is not the safest option but it was a good scale for me. I know I am getting a great workout and my heart rate is bumping.

Throughout the past two years I’ve learned a ton about my body and continue to do so every day. I encourage everyone to get out there and push yourself with me and let me know how it goes! I would love to hear your experiences and metrics when it comes to your personal satisfaction after a workout.

Get Over It

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I actually own this shirt. It speaks to me.

I’ve recently fallen into a bit of a running rut. I feel excited to get out on my runs, but then I just feel tired, and think of excuses to cut the run short. ’Oh look, a Starbucks, I could get some and walk home.’ ‘If I turn back now, I can totally take my dog on a quick run when I get back.’ ‘I’ll just run over to this bench and do some box jumps and call it a day.’

I have a few theories as to why I feel this way. But the important thing is that it isn’t physical. I am perfectly capable of getting out there and doing it, I just have to get over the mental block. This morning, that is exactly what I did.

I’ve been averaging three miles max for my runs recently, which is great, nothing wrong with that distance. But when I have the time, I’d like to get a couple more in. So when I set out on my run this morning, I made one important goal: GET OVER IT.

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Get Over It.

I wanted to go past the point where I feel like stopping and then past the three mile mark, and then let my body decide how much further to go. I decided that I wouldn’t watch my pace, I’d let myself take it slow, and if I needed to stop for a minute to stretch that was ok.

I ended up running five miles at a respectable pace and with just a few stops. But what I am excited about is that I’ve grown just a little bit stronger, mentally, and I know that the next time I want to accomplish a goal in a workout, it’s just a matter of climbing over that wall and doing it. I’m feelin’ great!

The Gear: Having new or fun workout clothes usually helps inspire me to get my butt out the door. So, I figured that I will include some gear information at the bottom of some of my posts.

  • Newton Running Shoes: About five years ago, while living in Colorado, a friend of mine introduced me to Newton Running Shoes. While I am always proud to support local businesses (Newton is based in Boulder, CO), I was hesitant to divert from my Nike Frees. But I gave the shoes a whirl, and five years later, I am on my sixth pair. They’re heaven. The science behind them is in the forefoot lugs. With 4-5 lugs (depending on the style) the shoe has a 0% grade, so the optimum part of your foot hits the ground first. Most other running shoes, including my beloved Nike Frees, has a much steeper grade, therefore you will either work harder to make yourself run on your toes, or your heels will touch down first, causing incorrect form and potentially some painful side affects. The shoes come in a limited color selection, but they’re bright and fun.
  • Nike 2” Rival Shorts: Last year, I visited a local Pacers store and decided to spend a little extra money on a new pair of Nike running shorts. I am pretty particular about the comfort of my workout gear. It paid off. I have since really fallen in love with the shorts and have them in a couple of colors. Sometimes the Nike outlet at National Harbor will carry them, which helps save a few. Don’t break the bank over clothes that you’re going to sweat in, but also don’t let discomfort be an excuse to skip a session. The shorts come in multiple colors and patterns!

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