Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hiking in St George For Our Anniversary

Over the weekend Trevon and I celebrated our 8th anniversary. My mom was so great and watched the kids overnight and my cousin and her husband were so nice to let us hang with them so that we could go see Newsies at the Tuacahn. Tuacahn is an outdoor theater and if you live in Utah or around Utah, I really think that it's a must to go at least once! Trevon and my favorite show we've seen so far there is Tarzan, but Newsies was really great.

While we were there, we also decided to take a little hike before the show. It felt really nice to get out in 70-degree weather to get a little exercise! Hiking is a great alternative to running.  It's a different way to strengthen or use the same muscles that we do while running. It also gives us a chance to slow down and enjoy nature and the fresh air.  Also, Trevon and I don't run together because he doesn't enjoy it like I do...and because I can't keep up with him. So it was really fun to get to spend time with him in nature and be able to talk and get some exercise.  

We hiked Chuckawalla trail for a little while. This is a fun, easy trail that breaks off onto other small trails so it's easy to decide how far to go or when to turn around.  They have outhouses, maps, and good parking at the trailhead. There were also a lot of people rock climbing randomly throughout the trail. (As a side note: My dad used to take us rock climbing all the time when I was little. I thought I was really really good at it but I'm pretty sure I wasn't. I haven't really rock climbed since then HA). 

It wasn't crowded at all. We saw a few people here and there but not many. We did go on a Friday in the afternoon though so I'm not sure how many would be around on a weekend. The trail is mostly flat and sandy so it's a good idea to take shoes that you don't mind getting sandy.  There is a lot of cool red rock for scenery. 

There were also a lot of fun trees and plants to look at along the way. This would be a really great and easy hike for families.

One thing we talked about while we were hiking was that we want to try hiking more with our kids. We want them to gain a real appreciation for the outdoors and love being in nature. We decided that next time we go to St George, we will be taking the kids and doing some hiking. 

The weather was so perfect there, so coming home to 50-degree weather was kind of a huge bummer. But this week is supposed to warm back up for a few days so I guess we will just enjoy that while we can. 

What is your favorite non-running way to spend time outside?

Who's been to Tuachan and what did you see?

What's your favorite musical?

Monday, October 16, 2017

Why Runners Should Take a Break From Race Training

Around this time of year, I start to taper off on training for races.  A lot of runners love to race this time of year! There are so many races to choose from this time of year, and the temps are cooler. But by this time of year, my body needs a little break. I start to burn out mentally, and I'm more prone to injury. So I take a little step back.  I still run but I'm much more lenient about how many times a week I run and following a schedule.

Race training keeps me focused on a specific goal, it helps me stay motivated and keeps me getting out the door when I don't feel like it. It gives me a something to work towards. But not having something gives me a reason to relax and not worry about how many miles I'm running in a week or how fast I'm going.

Taking a break from running makes running fun in a different way. Racing is exciting and fun and, let's be honest, a little bit addicting. When you run without a training plan it helps running feel more relaxed. There's absolutely no pressure when you take a break from racing.

Running without training for a race is more flexible. You don't have a plan to stick to and you can do whatever you feel like doing that day. You can add in whatever strength training or other cross training you want. In fact, this is a great time to add some cross-training into your routine. It's a great time to explore different workouts or sports you think you'll love.

Sometimes when you feel like cutting a run short or adding an extra rest day to your week instead of going on a run you don't have to worry about missing a day. You're no longer running for anything except for yourself.  While having a race gives you drive to push harder and go longer, sometimes it's smartest/best to give yourself a break from that to enjoy slow easy runs more than harder runs. For me, it helps me remember why I run and what I love getting from running the most. I love that I can do what I want, go as long or slow I want, take my time and enjoy it. It helps me gain the mental benefits from running as well as all the physical benefits. It helps my mind calm down and function more clearly because there is absolutely no stress involved.

What it really comes down to is that I think when you take a break from training for a race just helps you to use running for the emotional, fun, comforting side of it that we all love about it.  It gets you back to the basics of running. Taking a break from races gives you the breaks that your body needs to recover. Every runner should find some time to take a break from races. Not necessarily from running, but from race training.

If you're ready to take a break from racing, here are a few things to do to make sure you get the break that you need but also stay in shape:

  • Don't quit running, just step back from the intensity that you usually give. Slow your pace, take extra days off, or lower your mileage in a week.
  • Cross Training is a great way to stay in shape and strengthen your muscles that can even help you be a better runner next time you pick up the racing.
  • If you need a race to keep you motivated, sign up for one in the future. I usually take my racing break from late fall to springtime. 

When do you usually stop racing for the year?

What is your favorite way to cross-train?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Fast Friday Update

It's been a while since I've given an update on us.  So I thought I'd do that today. Last weekend we took a drive up the canyon as a family to see all the fall leaves. We stopped a few times to take pictures or to walk around for a little bit. This was one of my favorite pictures we got even though my kids look a little homeless haha.

My girls are best friends and I hope they always will be.  They stay up for hours after we put them to bed giggling and playing. It's been a hard adjustment for M to have J at school all day long, but it helps that she's in preschool now too. 

We also took family pictures over the weekend at my family's cabin. Our family has been trying to get this done for a month and we had to keep switching because of weather and other things that came up! So we were so glad to finally do it but it was so cold and it even snowed, which I was not happy about. But we got some good pictures of our family and got some big group pictures.  We didn't have a whole lot of time for pictures of the kids or anything but I'll get to those soon.

We went to the park yesterday because the weather was amazing! V wouldn't leave this tunnel. But after I saw a snake slither between my feet, we had to go to a different park. It took me a while to get off of the playground and it took my sister saving me by making sure the snake wasn't around. But I was on edge the rest of the time. V was really mad about leaving the park. 

While V napped and the girls were at school, I helped my dad get ready for a youth party (he's in charge of the young men in our church group) he's having this weekend by husking corn for him.  I don't know if anyone else had this problem, but growing up I was always nervous to husk the corn because my brother told me worms got in there sometimes. He was a big teaser and made it sound much worse than it actually is if a worm gets in the corn. But now I always think of that when I husk corn.

Also while V napped, I got a quick run in on the treadmill while I listened to THIS podcast. I've never been really into podcasts, but I really like this one because it gives me great ideas on how to make myself better. He gives so many great tips on time management and stress management so I highly recommend listening to it. The run was short but just what I needed for the day. 

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! I'll see you back here on Monday.

What are your weekend plans?

Are you scared of any animals? 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Why Runners Run

Why Run? I hear that question a lot. There are thousands of reasons to run. Somehow though, excuses are always there ready to stop you from lacing up your shoes. Today I'm here to share with you some of the reasons why you shouldn't listen to the excuses anymore. Here are some great reasons to start running now.

If you're looking for a way to get in shape that is cheap, it's running. The cost of running is the cost of your running shoes. You can run anywhere, no membership required.

It's healthy. All around. There are a ton of different studies that say that if you run, you'll sleep better, live longer, have lower blood pressure, lose weight and lower the risk of cancer. It also helps protect your bones and strengthens your immune system. (Just to name a few).

Running boosts your mood. Even if you don't feel it while you run, afterward it is pretty easy to notice a difference. Growing up, this was one of my mom's favorite ways to tell me I was in a bad mood, "Jen, maybe you should go for a run." I knew she was telling me I was being sensitive and needed to go get some endorphins pumping. And it worked. Every time. I think for me, it has something to do with running until I am worn out enough not to be so worried about whatever it is bugging me. I also think it has something to do with proving to myself that I can push myself harder than before.

To meet new people. 
Most of the runners I have met, I met at races. From high school on, every time I run a race, I meet several new people. Some of which I see at multiple races.  It's a really great way to make new friends.

To boost your memory. My mom likes to tell people that I have a really good memory. I do think my memory is pretty sharp and I like to credit that to running since I was 9. Sure there are crossword puzzles and sudoku. You could learn a new language, to keep your mind sharp. But there have been studies that show that physical activity is more important in order to keep your mind from declining.

To help relieve your stresses and helps with other mental health issues. It seems to me that any time I get back from a run, I either have the answer to a problem that was stressing me out, or I feel like I'm ready to sit down and figure out whatever the problem is. Sometimes the answers don't come to me right off, but a lot of times it helps me think more clearly. My anxiety levels are a little lower, my depression tapers off. And I just function better mentally overall after a run.

Gives you something to work towards.  I don't know about you, but when I don't have some goal to pursue, I start to get a little stir crazy. I love the feeling of progression in my life. And running helps me feel that. When I meet a goal of a certain mileage, time, or running a race, I feel that accomplishment. And It drives me to set more goals and to push myself further.

It raises your self-esteem. When you meet goals, when you see what you can accomplish, it gives your ego a boost. Not to mention the fact that your body starts looking fantastic. Your self-esteem and your confidence is higher when you're active.

There are many more reasons, there are no excuses. That's why, Go run.

What is your favorite thing about running?

Why did you start running in the first place?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Six Ways I'm Dealing With My Anxiety Naturally

My mind is a little all over the place today with this post so I'm not even really sure where it will all end up.  I want to talk a little bit today about anxiety and how I'm dealing with it naturally.

Anxiety isn't something that has been really prominent in my life. I've dealt with stress and maybe what you could claim as anxiety in a pretty mild form throughout my life and it's always something that I've been able to work through with running or taking a nice bath or writing things down, until recently.  Since April I've been dealing with a whole other kind of anxiety (maybe level of anxiety?) than I've ever had to deal with before.

Let me start out by telling you about when I first started noticing these little anxiety attacks.  I picked J up from school one day and she and M begged to go see my Grandma Ann.  It wasn't in our plan but after several minutes of them asking and begging and saying "it's been so long since we've been over" I told them we could go. V had already taken a nap early that day and I knew Trevon was going to have a long day at work so it would be nice to have an adult to visit with for a while. We visited for 2 hours. And I'm so thankful that my girls insisted on seeing her.

Long story short, the next day I got a frantic call from my sister, my very healthy, spunky grandma took a bad fall down the stairs and was in the hospital. She didn't make it.

I can't say that this specifically caused my anxiety, I had a lot of other things going on at that time too. But I think that the shock that it had on my mind and my body was kind of a breaking point for me.  I didn't sleep at all the first few nights. I would doze off and wake up in a panic every few minutes. I think that's probably really common for events like this. And after the funeral and having a little girls night I felt that things would be ok, they would go back to normal. But for the next several months I would wake up randomly with this same panicked feeling, like a huge adrenaline rush. I couldn't figure out why. It took months for it to occur to me that it could be anxiety. 

I talked to my cousin who has had anxiety for a few years and she said it sounded the same to her.  I didn't get it diagnosed by a doctor. I didn't want to go to a doctor. I didn't want to be put on medication. I wanted to deal with this naturally and not risk messing up my hormones (been there, done that, wasn't fun).  And, I felt like even though this was the worst anxiety I've ever dealt with it was still a pretty mild case. I felt like I knew that the root of the problem was mostly coming to terms with my grandma's death.  She had a huge part in my life!  So I decided to start researching ways to deal with anxiety and see what fit in with my life and what I could do.

Before I continue, please remember that I'm not a doctor or a specialist and I'm sharing things that worked FOR ME so far.  If anxiety is something you deal with, and if it's more severe than what I'm dealing with, it would be a good idea to get an opinion from a doctor. All that being said, here are 6 ways that have helped me deal with anxiety.

  • The first thing that seemed the most obvious was to work through all of this with a run. And I do a little of that, but something interesting happened and I'm not sure if it's because the weather is changing (the most probable reason) or if it has something to do with the anxiety, but my drive to run went down a lot in the last week or so. Running still can be a huge stress relief, for me, this kind of stress relief comes from an evening run when I can reflect on what has been bothering me throughout the day and use that run to work my way through the problem.  When I'm struggling with stresses in my life or when I have a lot on my mind, running in the evening seems to be the best time for me to clear my head.  It's a time for me to have some quiet time alone that I can pray and ponder and come up with some solutions to whatever I need at the time. 

  • Remind myself that I can't control what happens, I can control how I react to what happens and what I do with it.  This has always been something that I believe. I can't control the things that happened to me in my past. I can't change anything about them. I can't control that my grandma died, I can't control that my kids have a hard day, I can't control the weather etc, but I can control that I can learn from the past and remember it and change my life for the better. I can control that I remember my grandma and follow her example in life. I can control that I treat my kids with patience and kindness and help them feel better about whatever is going wrong in their day. I can control that I dress appropriately for the weather. Then, I do what I can to make the best out of bad situations that would make me panic or feel stressed.
  • Controlled breathing is a big way that naturally helps you calm down in an anxiety attack. You usually hear people say "take deep breaths" but taking deep breaths isn't really what helps. Controlling your breathing is what helps you. (I don't have any scientific proof for you here, but I think that one of the reasons that this helps you is because not only does it help your brain get oxygen and your heart calm down, but being able and aware of controlling something when you're going through anxiety helps you feel a litte safer. ) I like to take a long breath in for 4 seconds, hold it for two, and then let it out for 4 seconds. I do this until I can feel my body start to calm down and my mind starts to come back to the real world.
  • One of the best ways to avoid anxiety is to figure out what your triggers are. One of my big triggers is thinking about my grandma dying (as you've noticed by now). Not the fact that she died, but actually imagining what it would have been like to be in that room. It sounds morbid, I know, and I don't do it on purpose. It's part of me having a vivid imagination and this kind of thing has happened to me in the past.  But when I catch myself thinking about that, I do something to distract my thinking.  Singing the ABC's backward, talking to someone you trust or someone who understands, turning on a podcast, audiobook, or anything else that takes more thinking and concentration, anything to distract my mind at that moment can help me reset myself.
  • Finding something tangible that you can explain to others as if they were blind and had never seen it before. "I feel my sheets. They are soft and warm. They smell clean. They are heavy." I like using playdough for this the most and I always have. Not only can you feel it and explain it but working with your hands helps a lot too, to take your mind off of things."I feel this playdough. It's squishy and soft. It fits in my hand. The playdough is pink. I can shape it into whatever I want it to be." Those kinds of things also help you focus on something besides the problem and it helps you come back to the real world.
  • Talk about it.  One of the biggest things that have helped me in dealing with anxiety was admitting that I might have a problem and talking to someone who knew something about it.  That person may be a therapist or doctor. It could be a family member or friend. It could anyone that you feel safe with and have confidence in. Someone who you know will not take advantage of the situation, someone who is not biased if the anxiety is coming from the way another person is treating you. (You wouldn't go talk to a friend's mom about all the problems your friend is giving you because the mom is definitely going to side with their child).  

These are the things that help me feel safe and calm again after having a problem with anxiety. It comes and goes and I'm lucky to have a husband who will sit and listen to me cry or rant about whatever is bothering me so that I don't have to keep it bottled up. I'm lucky enough to have friends and cousins who understand what it's like and who are willing to help me when I need advice. And I'm lucky to have running to help me channel my feelings into something positive and give me the confidence and courage I need to solve my problems. Find what works for you! 

Have you ever dealt with anxiety before?

What are your favorite ways to relieve stress when you feel like its weighing you down?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Weekly Roundup

Weekly Roundup!

Monday: I took some time off from running and shared some other things we did over the weekend.

Tuesday: Our kids have been getting Little Passports subscriptions for a while and we shared what was in our latest box!

Wednesday: I used to do Currently link ups all the time but haven't in a while, so I joined in this month!

Thursday: Evening running can be hard for some for several different reasons. I talked about how to make sure you get the most out of your evening run! 

Friday: Tabata training is a HIIT workout that people usually incorporate into their strength training but I like to use it in my running too and I shared how I use it for speed workouts. 

Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Using Tabata for Running

The struggle to get out of bed for a run was real. The fact that it is now not just dark but cold outside when I get up makes me want to quit morning runs altogether. I already miss summer. But I got up and did some speed on the treadmill which I will talk a little bit about later.

I made this delicious omelet for breakfast this morning. 3 eggs, sausage, pepper, onion, tomatoes and a whole ton of cheese. 

The rest of the morning consisted of either taking garbage away from V so he won't eat it or cleaning up messes he was constantly making. He woke up mischevious!! We had a rough day. This picture is V throwing a fit because I was guarding the garbage so he would quit digging through it. 

After laundry, cleaning, guarding the garbage can/drawers, vacuuming and getting the kids lunch, I took a minute outside for some mommy time. I needed quiet and sun and nature. And when I can't get that in a run during the day I have to get it somewhere else. 

I take V up to my parent's house to work and let him nap while M is in preschool some days so that I have to leave to get the girls from school and he's still napping I don't have to wake him up. Today he fought that nap hard, and then he finally went to sleep so I went to check on him, he took his shirt off and fell asleep like this. He needed it. 


One of my favorite speed workouts to do is Tabata. You can use Tabata in so many different ways but I'm going to specifically talk about using it for running today. It's really self-explanatory and it can be used outside (my favorite) or on a treadmill. 

So Tabata is usually used in a strength training setting. It's a HIIT workout that splits certain workouts into a 3-4 minute interval where you go hard doing one move for 20 seconds and then take 10 seconds off.  It's a lot harder than it sounds. 

I use it for running too, though, in a couple of different ways.  Sometimes I plan it out for my speed workout.  I'll sprint, or go race pace (depending on how long my run is going to be) for 20 seconds and then slow down to a jog for 10 seconds. Other times I'll be listening to my music while I'm running and if my Tabata song comes on I just go with it. It helps me speed my pace, especially on days that I feel like I'm struggling, and it mixes up my run so that I don't get bored on a treadmill.

I think one of the trickiest things about Tabata can be knowing when to start and stop if you haven't done it before and it's a little annoying to have to keep looking at the time while you're running. There are a lot of tools you can find to make Tabata easier for you.  There are a lot of free Tabata timer apps you can download that will tell you when to push yourself and when to rest and when your workout is over. They make it really handy to use so that you don't have to time yourself on your phone or on your watch. There are also Tabata songs that you can use. This is my favorite Tabata tools to use because it has someone telling you when to start and stop and it has music with it to keep you going. You can download those HERE, HERE, and HERE.

If you're looking for a new way to incorporate speed into your workout. Tabata is one of my favorite ways to do that whether it's in between strength training or running. 

What is your favorite ways to make eggs?

Do you have a favorite speed workout?

Where do you go when you need a time out from your kids? 
     I've hidden in the pantry, bathroom, and backyard a lot.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Getting The Most Out Of Your Evening Run

We had such a nice day yesterday! It was warm enough to play outside without a jacket and it was heaven.  While V napped and we were waiting for J to get home from school, M and I played outside for a while. The HOA just mowed the lawn and there were lots of clippings sitting in the grass so we made a bird nest out of them. Did anyone else use to do this at recess? I use to make HUGE ones with a big group of friends.

Then M wanted to do some swinging for a little while.  I could do this girls hair several times a day, clip it back, use hairspray etc and it still ends up in her face. 

After J got done with school we went to the park and played with some friends.  By the V was awake and ready to play too. We are trying to soak up as much of the warmth as we possibly can before it gets cold.

Then when Trevon got home I got a run in before dinner. It felt amazing to run outside and have it be warm! I honestly think a big part of my lack in motivation lately is thanks to dark and cold mornings.


Since I ran in the evening I was thinking about evening runs yesterday and about how some people have a hard time fitting a run in during the day because mornings are already early and running in the evening seems difficult. So I wanted to share some ways to make sure you can have a good run even if it has to be at night.  

One reason night running can be hard is that you are fitting it in after a big dinner. If you can't go before dinner time try to have dinner early enough that you can have 2 hours between eating and a run so that you don't get slowed down with cramps or other stomach issues. 

Making sure that you are well hydrated.  Especially in the summertime. The evening can be the hottest part of the day and you don't want to forget to hydrate all day long and then struggle your whole run or even have to cut it short because of it. This is something I struggle with and need to work on. I always forget to drink water throughout my day. I'll drink well with meals but other than that I almost always forget to have water. Making sure you're well hydrated will help you do your best and get the most out of your run.

Sometimes running at night is hard because some people run or exercise at night and it gives them a boost of energy so they can't calm down and go to sleep, this would seem like the opposite of what you would think would happen, but exercising really does give you extra energy.  I'm one of those people who can't exercise past a certain time or I'm up all night.  So when I run in the evening or at night, I make sure I'm done no later than 9:00.  I wrote a post more about this you can read HERE

While I've been running more in the mornings and trying to become more of a morning runner, I have a hard time running in the morning when it's dark and cold. This is the time of year that I wish that I could run in the middle of the day. Honestly 3:00 is the perfect time for me to run right now, but because that's not the ideal time for a mom of young kids so that doesn't happen. I fit it in whenever I can.  

If you could fit a run in at any time of day, what time would you go?

What time is too late for you to workout?

How do you make sure to drink enough water during the day?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Currently: October

Today I decided to link up with Anne for her currently post. I used to link up all the time in the beginning of blogging and I haven't in a really long time. So I just thought I'd do it today for the fun of it. 

Styling: Family pictures outfits.  We have been trying for 3 weeks to get these done and it keeps getting moved back thanks to weather and family events and what not.  So getting clothes together has been tricky because when it gets pushed back, my mind starts to wonder if I picked the right clothes haha. 

Saving: I'm always looking for ways to save money. Always. Most of the ways I can find to save money in our lifestyle is in the grocery area.  We don't have any kind of monthly subscriptions or debt at this point.  So to save on groceries, I'm using coupons here and there, but mostly I use the Ibotta app to get a little money back from things I'll be buying anyway. 

Picking: Flowers from my garden. It's a little late in the season for this, but we have had quite a bit of rain lately and it's making my flowers so vibrant and I love it. So I picked some to keep summertime around a little longer in our house. We love summer. 

Searching: I'm not really searching for anything. I have been finding a lot of new podcasts to listen to. I've never been one to listen to podcasts but now I'm doing more of that.

Making: I've been baking a lot. I made banana bread today.  This time of year makes me start baking and wanting everything warm. Also, I made this really yummy tortellini dinner the other night and I was so glad that I had a few leftovers for lunch yesterday.  I made it with a lemon basil sauce and it was delicious and felt light and healthy.  

What is your favorite dinner that you make?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Little Passports USA Edition

The girls were so excited that this came in the mail!!

They have been getting Little Passports subscriptions for the last little while and they really love them. Little Passports is a subscription box company that sends your kids a box of learning tools that teach them about the world. I love this because it gives them a way to love learning.  For the first little while, they were getting the world edition that taught them all about the different continents and countries in our world. It talked about different food, culture, music, animals, and landmarks.  I decided to start getting them the USA edition because I feel like it's important that they learn and have pride in the place they are from.  The USA edition is geared towards a little older group of kids but M still thought these things were super neat.

The box came with a folder to hold all of your box's contents in. That is super great because it helps keep it all organized, and it's really easy to store so that I don't have such a cluttered mess.

Inside the folder, there was a map of the United States, a "travel journal", a scratch book, and a letter from Sofia and Sam (the fictional characters that write and send letters with every box you get).

First, we open the map and I had the girls find Utah.  Then we talked a little bit about a few of the states they have visited and that they have had family live in. And then we read the letter from Sofia and Sam which basically just explained the way Little Passports works and what they would be learning about.

Then the girls didn't waste much time breaking open the scratch book.  This is a fun little activity for this month. They send a new learning activity for every month.  The scratch book has several different pictures and stickers about the USA that you can scratch and it changes into sparkles or rainbow background. 

We talked about a few of the landmarks that were on the scratch art book, they were most interested in the Statue of Liberty.  But that is one thing I really love about Little Passports. It gets them excited to learn about the world, and it helps me know where to start in teaching them. They also liked to just sit and look at the map and at the different landmarks that they have on that. 

You can sign up your kids up for a 3-month subscription for Little Passports by going HERE. Another fun thing that the girls love is that the package comes in their name instead of mine. It makes them feel extra special that they get some special mail. 

We can't wait to see what comes next month to go along with our fun stuff from this month! 

What did you love learning about most when you were young?

What is something that always made you feel special growing up?

What is your favorite subscription box?

*Little Passports provided me with a subscription and sponsored this post. All opinions are completely my own, and we are so thankful for the subscription! Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Our Weekend and Time Off

Thursday started out our weekend (even though we still had school and work Friday) with a trip to some bouncy houses with some good friends of ours. We have known them since high school and we love when we get to spend time visiting while our kids play together. As you can see, it was a really fun time.

I've been deep cleaning lately. This happens when I start to feel like there is no room in my house that stays clean (I have a toddler so right now nothing is clean ever).  Since V is at the age that he pulls everything out of drawers and cupboards and anything else he can get a hold of, the only way I get cleaning done sometimes is by strapping him in the stroller and pushing him around while I clean from room to room. He thought it was great the first few times but as you can tell, he caught on to the fact that he can't run around undoing everything I'm doing and isn't a fan of it anymore.

We spent the rest of the weekend watching General Conference, which is a conference that our church holds for two days every six months. We stay home and watch it on TV or the internet and I love it. I love it because I feel very renewed and enlightened and because I feel like I can get a lot of stuff done while I'm listening. On Saturday I made the girls some playdough (I used a recipe my mom used to use for me when I was little), I cleaned out all J's school drawers, yes drawerS. She had way too many papers piled in there from the past 3 years.  And I cleaned out some of the toys that were broken or that the kids don't play with anymore while the girls weren't home and V was watching ABC songs on TV. 

On Sunday we got dinner going in the crockpot and then I made a cake. Trevon got me these really nice cake pans for my birthday, and with M's birthday coming up I decided I'd better give them a test run before I try making her cake. I'm an OK baker, but for some reason when it comes down to birthdays my cakes always have some fail that I have to doctor up. 

We had cake for dessert and then my mom let us know that she had made a pie and we could come have some. My mom's pie is the best pie. You can't argue because there's no one who makes a better pie. Marie Calendar's pie tastes like cardboard compared to my mom's. Ok, Marie Calendars is still good don't say no to my mom's pie. So I took the kids up and we had some and they ran around and played with their cousins. 


So if you read my posts last week, I talked a little bit about how I had a race this weekend and I wasn't sure I was going to run it. I didn't end up running it after all. Thursday and Friday I felt kind of burned out.  And while I really wanted to run that race and I really didn't want to take any time off, I decided to take time off anyway because my body needed it. It's much better to take a few days off when you're feeling some problems coming than it is to push through and be forced to take weeks or months off later because of injury.  

This week I'll add a little more strength training to my running just to help me mix things up a little bit, and take the time off when I don't feel like doing anything. Maybe mixing things up with get me out of a rut and help my body stay happy and healthy. 

What was your weekend like?

When do you get the most cleaning/organizing done?

What do you do to switch up your workout routine?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Weekly Roundup

Hello, weekend!  Here's our weekly round up

Monday: I ran a 5k last weekend and shared all about it!

Tuesday: Running on a team and solo are both great things, I shared the Pros and cons of team running.

Wednesday:   Morning and evening runs both have their place in my life. I talked about the differences between them for me and how they affect me differently.

Thursday: Effort is something that is personal and different for everyone. Sometimes it can be hard to tell what effort you're giving. I talked about how to judge your own effort on your runs. 

Friday:  Burnout is one of the most frustrating parts of being a runner (or just in life in general) I shared a few ways that I know I'm getting burned out and how I handle it. 

I hope you have a great weekend! If you're interested in getting emails from me that include extra tips, weekly roundups, products that I'm loving and just a little extra Running On Life over all, feel free to subscribe on the sidebar! I'd love to connect!

Friday, September 29, 2017

What I Do To Get Through A Burnout + Things From Our Day

The weather was amazing yesterday, so we spent some extra time outside. Trying to enjoy as much of this warm weather as we possibly can! M and I were practicing our gymnastics moves (she was doing summersaults). I'd really love to get this girl into tumbling or gymnastics or something.

After school, we all went to the park to play until it was time to make dinner. 

We got most of our fall decorations up last weekend, but I wanted to make a fall banner for our little kitchen window. So that was my project last night when all the kids were in bed. 

I just cut out different color and size of leaves with my Cricut and the sewed them together to make it. Super cheap, easy, cute way to decorate for holidays. 

While M was on her field trip at school today, I took V to target to get some stuff on our list.  He really loved the Halloween decoration isles today. Everytime we passed this he would point at it and when we would stop he'd get a little nervous but then want to go back. 


This morning it took everything I had to get out of bed and go run. There was not one part of me that wanted to run except that I knew I'd regret not going later. So I got up and went, and the whole run I was thinking of how tired I was.  I ran exactly a 5k and then I was done.  Maybe it's because it's getting colder and staying dark longer that is making it hard for me to get out on my morning run. Or maybe it's a burnout.

Here are a few ways that I know when I'm burned out:

  • It doesn't sound fun to run anymore
  • I'm feeling really sluggish and slow
  • I'm finding excuses not to get out and run
  • I'm feeling discouraged from lack of progress (This is probably the biggest one for me)

So if it is a burnout, what do you do when you feel it coming? 

For me, burnout happens a lot when I'm not seeing the progress I'm making. That's when I know that it's time to make a new goal! A new goal is a great motivation for you to get going again and enjoying it. Goals help you stay focused and remember why you run in the first place. And the feeling of meeting or surpassing a goal jumpstarts my motivation to keep going every time. When I see that I can do things that I wasn't able to do before, it always makes me want to see how much more I can give.  Whether it's signing up for another race or setting a new distance or pace goal, it helps a lot to be able to see progress in something. If you're not injured and your burnout is mostly mental, set a new goal for yourself and focus on that until you find the drive again or meet your goal.

When I'm feeling like a burnout might be coming, I start to plan around my fun runs instead of what I had scheduled. Running in a group or with a buddy, putting music on, doing intervals or tempo runs instead of just a regular run, finding a new route. All of those things combat boredom on a run for me. So when I get the feeling that I really just don't want to run (and I'm not feeling injured) I try to make my run as fun for me as possible.

Once in a while, the burnout doesn't last long and it's something that I can just put my music on a push through. Usually, after a few hard or discouraging runs, I'll start feeling better about things again.

Sometimes having a burnout doesn't mean you need to stop running altogether. Sometimes it just means that you need a couple of rest days. I have a race this weekend that I'm not sure I'll be running.  I'd like to run it, I'm just not sure I will because it might be one of those times that I just need a weekend off from running.  (We will see what happens there).  But taking a few days off, or a week off, from running doesn't mean you can't do other forms of exercise. It's probably best that you do something to keep you moving anyway.  This is a good time for hiking, biking, strength training, swimming, or even just going on some nice walks. 

If nothing seems to be working, and you just can not find the motivation no matter what you do, it is 100% ok to take a break for a week or two (or longer if you need) and find something else to do until your motivation comes back. Running is always there for you when you are ready for it. Running doesn't have a season or a cut off date, it's there all the time when you're ready for it. 

What do you do when you feel burned out?

What is your favorite way to cross train?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Judging Your Running Effort

Hello! How is your day going? I hope everyone is happy and being productive today. Somedays, I feel like I'm most productive in the mornings and then after that, I feel like I'm just making it through the rest of the day. Last night I did a treadmill run (that is based on personal effort and which I'm going to talk about further on in this post) while I watched This Is Us. I missed the first 15 minutes of it because I was putting kids to bed, but I'll rewatch it. Does anyone else battle with themselves between watching a show when it airs or watching it in your free time?  2.6 miles in 20 minutes for the day.

Today is my rest day and that is a good thing because I am EXHAUSTED! I'm normally in bed by 10:00 (I know sometimes that makes me feel kind of old, but it's true) but last night I stayed up for two extra hours because Little Adventures is having a big outlet sale that they extended to online. And I have a birthday girl coming up and she wants this a Merida dress, so I found one that was on sale that looks just like on the movie. The sale goes until the 30th and online is only while supplies last. So if you have a little princess girl who needs a dress, jump on that. They are amazing quality and they ship free in the U.S.

Yesterday J brought home her school pictures. I'm always pleased with how hers turn out. Growing up I had to get retakes every year from the time I was probably in 3rd grade until I was a sophomore in high school. So far J doesn't have this problem. Her pictures have come out great and I'm always jealous of her hair! 

For lunch today I remembered that I had some leftovers from a family dinner the other night and I made a really delicious sandwich with them.  I didn't have my normal sandwich bread but it was still good. Honey mustard, mozzarella cheese, and pulled pork toasted in the broiler for just until the cheese melts. Then I put bbq sauce on it. 

Then we shared some striped cookies after lunch. I used to love these as an ice cream sandwich. 

M has really been into jumping lately. So she asked me to take a picture of her doing jumps. I think I need to get her in gymnastics because she's constantly doing cartwheels and summer-salts too. 


I want to talk a little bit today about effort. This is something that is different for everyone. My best effort is going to bring different results than your best effort. Just like how pace is different for everyone, so is effort. And I honestly think everything that has to do with running is going to be different for everyone. 

So my run last night is one of those runs that is broken up based on your effort scale. You start out at a 65%-70% and by the end, you are going 90%-100%.  It can be tricky, though, when you're just starting out as a runner and you're not sure what your 65% effort feels like compared to you 80%.  So how do you figure out what effort you're at?

There are a few different ways that you can judge the effort that you are giving on a run.  And there are different levels of effort used for different runs. For now, don't worry about looking at your pace on a GPS or the treadmill. That will come later. 

I would say that warm-up pace is super easy. You can breathe through your nose. You can easily talk to people you're running with. It's just enough to get your heart rate up and your body warm. To me this is about a 50% effort. This is the pace I use for warm up and cool down. 

A slow run, for me, would be about a 65%. Here I can talk to people around me, I know I won't tire quickly, and my breathing is even and easy.  If you're running solo and you need to test your effort, try singing/saying two bars of your favorite song. If you can get through those talking almost normally, I'd say that's about 65%. 

A nice paced run that I use most of the time is around a 70-75%.  I can breathe easy and talk pretty well still but my heart rate is up and it takes a little more effort to talk.  Most of my runs are done at this pace because most runs should not be at race pace. You want to save that energy for race day. 

Then when I do speed work, that's where I start getting in the harder effort. I do my speed runs between 80-90%. You can't talk. You are breathing evenly but it takes work, Your muscles start to feel tired quickly, you can't run for long at this pace. I usually do intervals at this pace or I do fast finishes to my runs at this pace.  For me, this is about race pace for a 5k as well. 

100% for me, is the last half mile or so of a 5k.  I'm giving every last ounce of energy that my legs can squeeze out. Breathing gets hard and when it's over it takes a minute or two to catch your breath. 

Like I said earlier, effort is all relative. The best way to figure out what your effort range is is to try it of course. Get on the treadmill and do some intervals starting at a very low pace and work your way up. Run for as long as you can and take some breaks in between before going to the next level.  

Who was your favorite princess or Disney character growing up?

How do you judge your effort?

What is your favorite TV show right now?