Friday, January 19, 2018

Fast Friday

The kids had a couple days off of school this week for MLK day and a teacher comp day. At first, I was dreading it because we just got back into the routine from Christmas break. But then I realized and remembered what I loved about Christmas break. I didn't have to rush J out the door in the morning to get her to the bus on time and I didn't have to remember to make lunch for her. I also remembered that it meant we could find something fun to do instead of going to school.

We went swimming! The girls loved going swimming with their cousins again and they loved it even more because it's winter.

I think they spent more time in the hot tub than in the pool (it's an indoor heated pool) but they all had so much fun.

Then we came home for lunch and V's nap and the girls played all afternoon while I did laundry.

I went to my parent's house for some strength training. It's been a very long time since I did any kind of strength training and it was time to start back up again. Hopefully, this is an easier habit to make than it was to break. My arms were like jello after my workout!

The girls played with some friends for a little while this week, M gave herself a "zombie face" with chalk. I'm not sure where she gets all her ideas from but she is quite the goofball.

We had pancakes for breakfast this week and I made myself a running shoe pancake. It might be a little sad that this is a highlight, but it was.

Lately, anytime I'm on the phone V and M will both immediately pretend to be on the phone too. V usually just grabs whatever he can find to hold to his ear and jabber along while I'm talking. In this case, it was a notebook.

This week's top 5 posts: 

Increasing your Endurance

What I'm learning about Meditation

Fixer Upper Season 5 Workout

Why Consistency is Important and How to Stay Consistent in Your Workout

What Happened When I Followed a Training Plan

Heres a few important questions for you,

What do you do to entertain kids when it's cold (but not snowy) outside and they have the day off of school?

What would you make a pancake out of with THIS pancake art kit?

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

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What Happened When I Followed a Training Plan

So I mentioned that I have a goal to run a 10K this year and not just do 5ks.  I'm honestly not sure if I'll ever be super interested in running a longer race than that. I did a 20-mile race with my cousin one time when I'd only prepared for 10 of that race and it kind of did me in for. I was hurting pretty bad for at least a week. I'm sure if I actually did prepare for the 20 miles it wouldn't have been so bad. And actually, I did train for a non-official marathon a couple of summers ago when the Iron Cowboy was running but we didn't end up actually doing it. But that's in the future, so we will just see how those things play out.

So anyway, my goal is to do at least one 10k this year and I've been working on some training for it. This is the first time ever that I've actually followed a training plan so it's been really interesting for me. I've learned a lot about following a plan and about training in general.

You would think that after 20 years of doing this I would have had a better knowledge of making a training schedule. Mostly I just followed the same routine that we did in high school: moderate run, speed, recovery, hills, speed, off day. Repeated every week and not paying much attention to my actual pace or anything like that. It just didn't work that well for my body. I did ok but I didn't improve much.  I could run far but I haven't ever been super fast.

Then I got Aaptiv and I noticed that they had a 10k training. So I decided I was definitely going to give it a try. Such a difference! There's a big difference in running what you feel like, (which is really nice and relaxing and therapeutic) and running to train for a certain race.  When I'm in training mode there's I focus a lot more on my pacing and my speed work. I don't let my mind wander as much because I'm always checking myself. Am I going out too fast? Can I keep this pace up for the run?  Am I pushing myself as hard as I should be?  Is my form off? All of those kinds of things are occupying my mind a lot more than when I'm not training for anything in particular.

I had set a goal at the beginning of training to finish my 10k in 48 minutes. I picked that time because it was my current 5k time doubled. I didn't have any clue how that would actually play out. In all of my running years, I've never raced a 10k, I've never trained for a 10k, I've never even really considered a 10k until now. So in hopes of speeding up my 5k, I figured that 48 minutes would probably be an average time. Halfway through the training, I changed my goal to finish under an hour. Turns out that this was a more "average" timed goal.

When I first started the 10k program on the app, I realized how little I've actually been doing speed work.  I didn't realize before that speed work is a lot more important than I thought it was. (Guys, I've been running 2/3s of my life and I'm just now figuring this out!) But the coach had it scheduled twice, sometimes three times a week with a tempo run and an endurance run.   And I think I questioned the training at least once a week wondering if it really was going to work for my body or if this would end up burning me out.  But I reminded myself to give the training a chance and be patient and push through the hard runs and pace myself on the endurance runs and everything else that I could remind myself.

So a couple of weeks ago, I finished the training and I ran a 10k as if it were a race by myself on the treadmill (all of my training for this so far has been on the treadmill because I hate running in the cold).  I was excited to see that my time was only a minute off what I had set my first goal to be. It made a huge difference to follow a plan than for me to do it on my own. Thanks to some quality training, I've got a new starting point and working towards my original goal.

Have you ever followed a specific training plan?

What are you training for now?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Brooks Launch Vs Mizuno Wave Riders

There is not one running shoe that's right for everyone and everybody.  I ran in Nikes to start out and after dealing with shin splints a lot I switched to Mizunos Wave Riders because they had better arch supports. I ran in Mizunos for a long time.  But my last pair of shoes were Brooks Launch 3, so I thought I'd do a comparison today.

 Brooks Launches and Mizuno Wave Riders are both a neutral shoe. So it was a pretty easy to switch over. I didn't have to worry so much about an injury when it came to switching shoes.

They both have some pretty good cushion. But not so much cushion that they are like the Hoka shoes (which I have also tried and did not like at all). Looking at running lab tests, both shoes provide an average amount of cushion.

They both have kind of a mesh material on the top.  But the Brooks don't have much stitching anywhere. Most of the brooks design is an inlay that is on the mesh.


These are both pretty light shoes, but the brooks are just a tiny bit lighter by about 1 oz. Honestly, I noticed a difference in that the first time I tried the Launches on.  And ultimately that was what swayed me to give them a try.

The Brooks are also slightly more flexible than the Mizunos. Which helps provide a better heal to toe transition. So that might be a big factor if you're a heel striker.

The wave riders have a rubber plate in the insoles.  I'm honestly not sure what this is for. I would assume there is a good reason for it. I just always liked the way it looked. It breaks the insole up so that it doesn't look so bulky.

My thoughts.

As you can see, the shoes are quite similar.  They are both really great shoes and easy to transition between even if you want to.

Launches are lighter and slightly more flexible, but I went back to the Wave Riders. I noticed that with the Launches if I ran in the rain or through a puddle they tended to hold water more.  Wave Riders will drain water pretty easily.

I also like the look of the Mizunos more. I felt like the color combo and the build of the Launches looked kind of like a 90's aerobics instructor haha.  Since the Mizunos have the wave plate that breaks up the insole, it made the Brooks look almost like platforms.

The Launches did last a good amount of time but once I replaced them (I wear them now for an everyday walk around shoe) the fabric started getting holes in them. The Mizunos last a long time for me too. You should change your shoes about every 500 miles, but my last Brooks and Mizunos lasted me quite a bit farther than that. HERE is how you know it's time for new running shoes.

Most of these things are all based on preference, and just about everything else does too when it comes to finding the right shoes. But these were the main reasons that I went back to Mizuno. And also maybe because I'm just used to them.

Do you have a favorite running shoe?

Friday, January 12, 2018

Fast Friday Update

It's Friday again so here is our Fast Friday update.

Only really two things to talk about today.

1. I've had a sebaceous cyst by my eye for a couple of years. Last year it ruptured and got infected and I had some consultations to get it removed but ended up waiting because they wanted to put me under for it and I didn't want to pay $6000 for a little bump to be removed. I got put on an antibiotic and the cyst went mostly away. You couldn't even tell it was there. Then a little over a week ago it ruptured again. This time it got giant size. It looked like a massive zit. I'm talking the size of a grape! In the middle of my face! So I got it removed and that's why all of my Instagram videos and pictures have a scar now.


The first picture is the lovely before picture that I sent my brother who is a doctor to see what he thought.  And the second is not a really great shot of my cut/scar but you can see that there is a scar and not a bump. The scar is healing really nice now and I don't feel like I've got a third eye.

2. We went to the Midway Ice Castles last night and it was so much fun!

V was really interested in the water fountain. It had dancing water with colored lights in one of the ice sculptures.

The girls really liked the slides (me too)

It was a fun evening and it wore everyone out! We were all ready for bed by the time we got home. The only thing I would change is that I'd go when it's a little lighter so that we would have been able to see it in the light and then see the lights come on while we were there.

If you missed them, here were the top 5 posts this week:

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and I'll talk to you on Monday! 

What are your weekend plans?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Increasing your Endurance

What do you think about when you hear the word endurance? Chances are that you think about a long hard road. And that's a pretty fair thought. Endurance isn't something that's easy to gain and you have to work hard and go long to work for it. But it doesn't have to be as scary or as daunting as that sounds. 

Endurance is important for running whether you're a long distance runner or not. Your body has to be able to stand to go a certain pace for a certain distance and that's where endurance comes in. So how do you gain that endurance so that you can meet your goals? Let's talk about this in list form, because that seems to be the way I'm doing things lately. 

1. The first step in gaining endurance is to make a goal of where you want to be and how much time you want to do it in.  It helps me to focus on the smaller goals and not bite off more than I can chew all at once.  I usually start working on strengthening my endurance by adding one mile extra at a time. Once I hit that goal, I work for one more mile after that. And that doesn't mean all in the same run. That means over the course of a week or more I'll work on that goal. Endurance takes time, so does growing your speed work. Once you reach your goal, reward yourself with something and then set another goal.

2. When I want to increase my endurance, I move my run outside. When it comes to endurance, and going further, I run outside as much as I can. Not everyone can do this, and thank heaven for the treadmill because some runs just wouldn't happen at all without it. But for me, it is so much easier to go further when I don't have a stop button in front of me. When I'm outside running and want to stop early, I remind myself that in order to get home, I have to run there anyway, so I might as well finish. It's also a lot easier for me to stay interested when I'm not staring at a TV, or wall, or the numbers on the treadmill. 

3. Slow down. This is hard for me to remember. I have a hard time running a slower pace because I start to feel like I'm not making progress. But, When you want to lengthen your run, you can save a little energy by running at a slower pace, and use that energy for your extra mileage. Adding mileage will, in turn, help you increase your speed on your shorter runs. I really think that everything in running is related like that. 

4. Get a buddy. Running buddies are good for more than just adding mileage! It is way easier to run further when you know someone else is counting on you and working with you.  You can help push each other through your hard miles. I also love working on endurance with friends because the longer your run the more time you have to catch up and talk.  This is especially fun when you're a mom and need friend time so you can talk to someone who is an adult and who can relate.

5. Plan out your run ahead of time. Sometimes winging it works ok for endurance runs, and sometimes that's fun too. If you want to make sure you're getting the right mileage though, planning out your run usually works better. I like to use the Footprints app for this. It lets you trace your route and then it tells you the distance. So you can know if you need to add an extra loop or one more block on to meet your mileage. 

6. Tell someone where you're going. Not only is this a safety tip we have all learned since we were kids, but this is a helpful little tip if you are driven by keeping your word. I always feel a little bit embarrassed (not too much because listening to your body is important too) when I end up cutting my run short. 

7. Increase your daily mileage. That doesn't just mean running. Get out and move more often. Park farther away from the store or work, Take an extra lap around the grocery store (although, I can see that being a little bit bad for your wallet). Go on walks or bike rides, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Even swimming is a great way to Cross train and get extra mileage for your day. 

8. Don't get discouraged. Sometimes when we want something so bad, we get discouraged when we don't meet our goals. I've had this happen so many times and it usually leads to a burnout. Remind yourself that everything good takes time. Recover from that run, remember that we all have hard days, and try again with your next run. 

What is the hardest thing about endurance for you?

What helps you reach your goals?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Why Consistency is Important and How to Stay Consistent in Your Workout

This time of year while most people are starting new workout routines and getting back into the groove of things, I find myself struggling a little bit with being consistent in my workouts. J and M are just getting back to school, V’s naps are off, it’s still cold outside and dark and I’m really struggling to find the motivation for afternoon workouts during nap time. Is anyone else having this problem?

Taking breaks and taking rest days isn’t really that big of a problem, but when you start getting into the habit of not working out, that’s a problem. Being consistent in your workout is one of the most important things when it comes to progression. If you want to run a 10k but you only run once in a while, you’re never going to finish that 10k.  You need the consistency in your training to get to that point.

Consistency is also important so that you don't regress after all the work you've put in.  You're not going to lose that progress overnight or with one to two days of break. You could even take a longer break without a ton of regression, but getting out or a routine and taking a longer break will make you lose all that you've been working hard for.

Being consistent in your workout helps you improve not only in endurance, speed or weight but also in your form. Practice makes perfect in this case. The more you do it right, the better you get at it. But you can lose that too if you don't keep going back to work on it.

All that being said, consistency can be hard. Especially when motivation is low, which for me it’s always low in the winter.  So let’s talk about some ways to make sure you keep consistent in your workout, even when you’re not feeling motivated.

Scheduling your workouts into your day. You’re much more likely to get it in if you have a time set apart for you to get it done. And you’re even more likely to get your workout in if you have a workout planned for a specific day.  This is something I need to work on. I am pretty good at knowing that I will be a run on certain days and strength training on the other days. What I struggle with is knowing what kind of run or strength training workout I will be doing that day.  But writing it down or scheduling it beforehand makes it way easier to get going on it instead of just thinking about it.

Being held accountable is also a big help when it comes to being consistent. Letting family or friends know, having someone meet you to workout, or even just having someone to report to on social media can help you become more consistent. (If you need someone to report to, you can report to me here or on Facebook or on Instagram.)

Think of the rewards: There are so many awesome benefits from any kind of exercise. Mental, physical, social, emotional. All these things can be affected by working out. Working out helps clear your mind and de-stress from your day. It’s been proven to help depression and anxiety. You can make new friends by running with people, or going to a gym class and meeting new people there. You will feel and look better and prolong your life with working out. Thinking of these things can help you remember why you need to work out in the first place and keep you consistent in your workout

Picturing and remembering your goal. Most people who work out set some kind of goal. Setting a new PR, running a race, losing an amount of weight or body fat etc... So put a goal reminder somewhere. Put it on your alarm clock, tape it to your mirror, put it on your favorite bag of sweets or on your freezer so that when you’d rather hit the snooze button, eat another cookie, have a bowl of ice cream you can have those reminders that you’re only going to accomplish those goals if you get out and do something about it.

Remembering the work that you’ve already put in will help you to feel motivated to keep going. When you’re feeling like progress isn’t being made or feeling discouraged with how long it’s taking to meet your goal, remember where you started. These things don’t change overnight. And everyone starts somewhere. Don’t compare yourself to others because that almost always leads to you lying to yourself about how you doing and where you are in your own progress.

Being consistent is one of the most important things when it comes to completing your goals.

How do you make sure to stay consistent?

Friday, January 5, 2018

Friday Favorites and What We've Been Up To

It's Friday! I wanted to share a few things that have been happening lately. And share some of my Friday Favorites.

V got sick with croup. I swear my kids ALWAYS get croup! We caught it early so it wasn't too bad, but still never fun to have sick babies.

The girls and I  went to the cabin for a Christmas/New years party with my whole family (Trevon stayed home with V).  I love that my family is close and still love to do stuff like this together. The pond was frozen over so we got to skate and play on it.  We had Chili for lunch and visited for the afternoon.

For New years eve, we spent the evening playing games at my sister's house. One of the games we got for Christmas was Speak Out so we played a couple rounds of that. V wanted to try it out. He couldn't figure out what was wrong with all of our mouths and kept looking at us very concerned.

J went back to school on Wednesday and I took M and V to Costco where we ran into Janae from Hungry Runner Girl!  I love her blog and we are from the same area but somehow this is the first time we've ever actually met - not on the internet.

And now for some Friday Favorites. 

So a couple of months ago I was visiting my cousin and I noticed how soft and comfy her bathroom rugs are. Weird, I know. But when you have panic attacks some nights that make you sick to your stomach so you spend most of the night in the bathroom, you notice those things. So I did some looking and I found this memory foam bathroom rug and I love it. I almost want to replace all the carpet in my house with this. You can find one like this HERE.

J got these clips in her stocking on Christmas. They are coated with silicone so that they don't slip around in her hair. These are the only clips that we have used that have stayed in her hair all day. I don't have to fix them at all.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about this cute hook shelf that I got from a neighbor asking where to put it. Well, this spot won, and this shelf has quickly become one of my favorite things in my house right now. It gives the kids a specific place to hang their backpacks so they aren't laying all over the house. It also gives me somewhere to put my stuff so I'm not carrying it all over the place.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Don't Forget Your Gym Etiquette

With it being the new year, resolutions are being made and gym passes are being bought. Whether you're new to the gym scene, coming back after a break, or you've been going to the gym all along, it's nice to review your gym etiquette. So let's talk a little bit about what gym etiquette means and how to make sure yours is good.

The most important thing for gym etiquette would be to read/know the gym rules and follow them. Not every gym has the same rules, so when you join a new gym make sure you know what the rules are and follow them.

When it comes to leaving equipment before your done with it (for example, you leave the treadmill to use the bathroom or get a drink) mark your territory by leaving something like your towel, jacket, or water bottle or something to say that you're coming back. And then make it a quick trip so that you're not leaving the equipment, and making someone else wait, for too long.

To go along with the last one, don't take other people's equipment. If their stuff is on it, if you just saw them walk away, if the treadmill is still on the treadmill, don't just get on and use it.  Here's a little story as an example. We have a very small HOA gym in our neighborhood. The other day I got there and got the treadmill ready and then decided I'd better use the bathroom before I start running. (I've had 3 kids...) So I left my water bottle and my coat on the treadmill and left the treadmill on but not running. When I got back in someone had gotten on the treadmill and started using it. I was gone for maybe 2 minutes. And my stuff was clearly on it. Then when I got back they didn't offer the treadmill back to me when I had said I wasn't done with it. I'm sure they didn't think much of it, they weren't trying to be rude. They just didn't think about it before they acted.  So I had to change up my workout so that I could still get something in for the day.  If you're not sure if someone is done with the equipment, ask them, if they aren't done, wait patiently for your turn.

Along with those two, don't guard equipment. Your gym pass doesn't mean you own the gym equipment. Just like pre-school, you have to share it. Take your turn, cleaning it up, put it back.  If you're doing circuits, pick to do things that are close together so that you don't have to wander too far from the equipment you're using. If you're done with it, clean it up, put it back or turn it off so that someone else can use it.

Keep to yourself. Not every person you see wants your advice on how to do their workout better (in your opinion). Yes, some people are less educated on how to do certain things, but if they don't ask, they don't want your opinion on it. So unless they are going to hurt someone or themselves, leave them alone and focus on your own workout.

Clean what you used. Just like at home, you have chores when you go to the gym. Wipe down your equipment, especially if you've sweat a lot or if you're fighting off a cold or something. If you don't wipe it down you're spreading it around. Everyone is at the gym to be healthy, no one wants to leave the gym to get sick when they get home. Plus it's just gross to grab a matt and find that its drenched in someone else's sweat.Clean your equipment and put it back where you got it.

Watch your language. You don't have to be a potty mouth to prove how good you are at working out. No one is there to listen to you drop the f-bomb or use other language. So whether that helps you feel tough or not, help others feel more comfortable at the gym by using good language and nice tone and don't be a jerk.

Remember that you're in a public place. While it might be nice to have your own gym or the whole gym to yourself, that's not the case. Others are using the facility too, so it's important to remember your manners and your volume.  Be kind, thoughtful of others, and encouraging. You can do that by following these gym etiquette tips.

Do you belong to a gym?

What is your biggest gym going pet peeve?

Monday, January 1, 2018

My 2018 Goals

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I know that every single person on social media has been talking about goals in some form or another lately. It's just that time. And while you might be bored of hearing/reading/seeing about 2018 resolutions or next years goals, I am going to talk about some of mine today. The reason being that I feel like if I write down my goals or tell someone else my goals I'm held more accountable than I would be if I just kept them to myself. Also, I'm hoping that me telling you my goals will motivate you in whatever goals you're wanting to set for yourself this year

This year I set several small goals for different areas of my life.  I feel like that's easier and better than setting one giant resolution or goal for the whole year. It's easier to set up a plan of action for each goal, it's not so daunting of a task, and it's easier for me to see progress in the areas I want to change doing it this way. So here are my personal goals for 2018.

1. Self Image: I'm not a very "nice" dresser. I wear jeans, t-shirts and old running shoes most days. And I'm not giving that up completely because I don't think there's anything much more comfortable and practical than a nice pair of jeans. And my running shoes are also very practical and fact, that's probably "my style" is practical/comfortable. But I feel like I should probably try to dress a little bit more stylish and not so mom-ish. This will be a hard one for me. But I'm going to give it a try.

2. Running: I'm going to do at least one 10k this year. In all my time running I have never raced a 10k and I'm not sure why. I think mostly 5k is just my comfort zone, but I really want to branch out and push myself.

3. Health: Drink more water. I have gotten so bad at drinking water throughout the day. Ever since having V, water just doesn't appeal that much, but I'm going to make sure to drink enough water to stay hydrated throughout the day.

4. Home: Teach my kids to clean up better. I know that at least half of the reason my kids hate cleaning is that I've been slacking in the cleaning department myself, so This year I'm going to work on that. Chore charts have been made, rewards have been put in place, and now it's time to teach. My home will be cleaner! "A clean home is a happy home" and I really believe that when a house is clean it's easier to be there together as a family without getting on each other's nerves so much.

These are my main goals. I might make changes as we start going through them, it's always good to be flexible, but I'm going to work on them! I hope this post didn't bore you but inspired you to make changes where you need them in your life.

Are you making resolutions?

What is the biggest change you want to make for you this year?