Friday, November 30, 2018

Fast Friday

In case you missed it, here are the latest posts:

Keeping Yourself Safe on a Solo Run 

Is It A Hard Run or Junk Miles

What a week this has been! Thank heaven it's Friday.

The week started out by me making a new soup in my attempt to eat more veggies. I found a butternut squash soup and not one person in our family took more than a few bites. It just wasn't our thing. Plus it was an awful lot of work for not liking it haha.

We got a new Christmas book (affiliate link) this year from my uncle Guy Francis. He is an illustrator and I love his work! 

We went to church on Sunday and the girls were best friends the whole time.

Tuesday started out with a bang when Trevon went to lock the door and his key broke in half. 

When we went to get our keys copied and while we waited for Trevon (No way was I unloading all the kids for 5 minutes and then loading them back up again), the kids entertained themselves with dancing to Christmas music. Then when Trevon got back, we discovered that our car battery randomly died and we had to get it jumped. 

I went to pick J up from school one day this week and we got to see a turkey in disguise she made for November. She disguised it as a hiker, which made me happy, but I'm pretty sure the astronaut under hers won the turkey that didn't get eaten award. 

It doesn't matter who chili it is outside, V wants to ride his bike. We spent the morning riding/walking in circles until it was time to go pick M up from preschool. 

V has recently learned how to give kisses and will randomly pull any of us girls close to give us a kiss and a hug. It's super sweet but I might be a little worried about his future haha. 

Here's a blurry picture of some giant size grapes we had for dinner a couple nights ago. 

I got some good runs in this week. No pain in my knee and I feel like I'm ready to push myself a little more even though I'm not really training for anything. I'll probably start adding some more miles but taking the pace easy for now. I've also been working on my arms and core strength more than normal. 

What was your highlight of the week?

What are your weekend plans?

Stay tuned for some really fun things coming in the next little while! I will be doing a month-long wellness challenge soon and you don't want to miss out on the fun and the prizes! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Is It a Hard Run or Junk Miles

How many of us have heard the term junk miles?  I used to think that junk miles weren't really a thing but as I've learned from years of running, there ARE junk miles, most people just don't understand quite what junk miles are. So I wanted to talk a little bit about the difference between junk miles and bad runs today.

To me, a bad run doesn't mean they were junk miles, a bad run just means that it was a hard run where you struggled.  A bad run still does you good. A bad run makes you stronger in the end and makes you fight and struggle mentally so that you will be stronger on race day.

Junk miles aren't all that common, in my opinion. To me, the only junk miles that exist are miles that are doing your body more harm than good. Miles that injure you or prevent you from healing. Those are the miles that make it a waste of time and energy to run because, in the end, you're going to have to take more time off recovering.

All those runs in high school that I would do when I was told by the coach/trainers to take a week or so off to heal, those were junk miles. And I could have saved myself a lot of injury by taking the time off instead of running those junk miles.

Sometimes we just have bad running days and it's hard and frustrating. So when you're out for a run and you're struggling and wondering if the run is even worth doing ask yourself these questions before quitting:

  1. Are you injured?
  2. Are you sick with anything from the chest down?
  3. Why is your run feeling hard? Is it bad pain, breathing problems...?
  4. Is your pace too fast?
  5. Are you dehydrated?

These five questions will help you decide if you should really quit your run or if you should push through your run.  Listen to your body, do what is best for you. 

Just because you're feeling like your run is extra hard or maybe you get back from your run and don't feel like you were challenged at all doesn't mean you just ran junk miles. Sometimes hard runs happen, and easy runs are a good thing! Like with a lot of things in running, it's important to listen to your body and adjust what you need to.

How do you know when it was junk miles or just a hard run?

What is something about running you're still learning about?

Monday, November 26, 2018

Keeping Yourself Safe on a Run

Being a women who runs alone a lot something that is on my mind often is safety.  Not just in the listening to my body, making sure I feel good while I run, keeping myself injury free kind of safe, but making sure I make it home kind of safe.  I'm really lucky to live in a really safe area and I'm comfortable being outside and letting my kids be outside and all of that, but safety something that as a mom and a runner I feel like I should take responsibility for. I also feel that something every person should know is how to defend themselves and keep themselves safe. So today I'm sharing a few tips on being safe during a solo run.

In college, I took a women's self-defense class.  I only took it once, and it was a quick course but I felt like it was something that really helped in making myself feel more comfortable.  At the time my cousin was a good running buddy for me and she always joked around that every time we passed someone she pictured me yelling at them to stand back. That never happened, but I won't lie and say that the thought didn't cross my mind once in a while. Having a basic knowledge of self-defense helped me feel more confident that I could, at very least, stall and get someone's attention for help. If you haven't taken a self-defense class before, I suggest finding one near you to enroll in. Even the basics can save your life if that time ever comes.

Some of the simplest ways to keep yourself safe on a solo run are: 

Run in a popular area: Running in an area where there are a lot of cars and people can be a pain sometimes but the likelihood of you being attacked drops.  And if you were to get attacked, there would be enough people around that if you screamed, or put up a fight, there would likely be someone there to help you out. 

Run on the sidewalk: I prefer running on asphalt instead of the sidewalk because it's a little bit softer for your joints. But when it comes to running on a busy street, it's better to be safe on the sidewalk than risk being hit by a car on the road. Along those same lines, you should be running on the right side of the road so that cars can see you when they are driving by you. You can also buy a lot of different kinds of reflective gear to help cars see you at night. 

Run when its light: Running during the day is not always an option so when it's not an option, try your best to stay under the street lights and in well-lit areas. It not only helps you see your surroundings more but it helps other people see you.

Carrying some sort of self-defense weapon with you.  My Husband got me some pepper spray (affiliate link) to run with that is super convenient because it has a nice handle that you strap on over your hand.  And later he also got me a tactical pen. The pen is a little trickier to run with unless you have something to put it in that is also easy access, but I love my tactical pen! You can use it in so many different ways (and believe me, it would hurt to get hit with it) and you can take it on a plane with you. You can find a tactical pen similar to mine HERE (affiliate Link).

Those are all simple, well-known ways to keep yourself safe on a run, but there are some other things you can do to keep yourself safe that most women don't normally think of.

Be friendly: When you pass someone, smile at them, make eye contact and say hi. We've been taught our whole lives not to talk to strangers, but the truth is that doing this one thing, can sometimes save you from an attack altogether. When you make eye contact and acknowledge someone, you can always give a good description of that person.  It also makes the other person know that you're not scared or intimidated by them, that you're alert and aware of them and your other surroundings and that you're confident in yourself.  You don't have to always say hi, even just looking someone in the eye and smiling will work for this. 

Be alert and aware: Don't run with music if you can help it.  Music is a great help for running sometimes, but it's better to be alert and aware of your surroundings.  If you do run with music, make sure it's quiet enough to hear other things around you.  Don't zone out and forget about your surroundings. Pay attention to where you are, the people around you, the sounds you're hearing, where the cars are etc. 

Know where you are: Run in a neighborhood you're familiar with. If you feel like you're being followed, you will know what roads to turn on to cut your run down or to lose who ever is following you.  If you think you are being followed, go to someone's house near by that you know and are comfortable with, somewhere you know you'll be safe telling someone. If the attacker sees you knocking on a door or going into a house, odds are they will leave you alone. 

There's no reason to be scared or paranoid about running alone. These tips can help you feel strong, safe, and empowered instead of worrying.  Sometimes despite the things we do bad things do happen. There isn't a repellent for attackers like there is for bug spray (unless pepper spray is one but that is usually used during an attack and not to prevent one).  I'm not a professional at this, but I take it very seriously.  And I hope it helps you stay safe out there.

How do you keep yourself safe on a run?

Who has taken a self-defense class?

Do you have a favorite self-defense weapon that you carry?

Friday, November 23, 2018

Fast Friday Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a fantastic week this week and a great Thanksgiving if you live in the US. Here's a fast Friday of some of the things we did this week!

V must be going through a growth spurt lately because this little boy, who always refuses a nap, has fallen asleep randomly throughout the day almost every day this week.

This is his idea of helping with laundry.

By some miracle, M wanted to help vacuum. Ok, so to be completely honest, She was fighting over one of those popper toys that they think is a kid vacuum with V, So I told her to stop fighting and she could use the real one. I'm not sure that will last, but I was glad that she was interested in it at least once.

That same night she lost her second tooth within a week.

We spent a lot of time playing games. I'm very thankful for a grandma who taught me to love games. 

Thanksgiving started out with a run for me. I made it 3.2 miles and 3 of those were pain-free! Then we got ready and headed out to my family's traditional turkey shoot. 

I'm so thankful for the family I have and for how close we are! We genuinely love being together. We love each other, have fun together and always make each other better.  This isn't all of us, but a lot of us. 

Then we went over to my parent's house for Thanksgiving lunch! Let's all be proud of how many vegetables are on my plate. :)

Then we went over to my father-in-law's house for game/pie night.

I got this shirt from Inspiring Dreams Apparel and I love it! 

Have a great and safe weekend! 

Did you celebrate Thanksgiving?

What's your favorite tradition with your family?

Is anyone braving black friday?

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

At Home Workout Roundup

This time of year gets so busy! And we all start to fall off the workout wagon a little bit as we adjust to weather, timing, holiday parties and everything else. But working out is still important, and is a huge help in battling stress. It's something that I still consider a necessity even if time is short. So today I'm sharing a round up of so many different at home workouts that you can try even if you feel like you don't have time to do a workout. All you need is a half hour or less!

First though, Anything on my Aaptiv app! Seriously, they have everything! You can pick from any kind of workout, length of workout, level of workout etc. They make it so easy and the trainers are so amazing.  You can filter the workouts down by time so you know you'll be able to find one that fits in the amount of time you actually have to work out and not have to cut it short.  I can't say enough good things about Aaptiv! Check them out HERE.

If you're someone who likes their gym equipment and have access to equipment easily here are some great options for all kinds of workouts that include gym equipment:

Workouts for the Injured 

7 Bosu exercises to add to your next workout

Here's one to do at home with a set of dumbbells!


This one has one move with a kettle ball but other than that it's all body work! It's easy to do at home and it would be easy to adjust if you don't have a kettle ball at home.

Here's a Quick and Efficient Full Body Kettlebell Workout.

Show how thankful for your body by fitting this Turkey Burner into your Thanksgiving day activities

This post is awesome! It has workouts with equipment, and some without and they are all quick and efficient

If you're the competitive sort, this one is fun to do with friends, family or to compete with yourself.

These next workouts are some that require no gym pass and no equipment, just you and some room around you.

Quickie 10 minute No-Equipment Workout

Time is no excuse with this 8 minute Holiday Hustle.

Here is my go-to Tabata Workout

My Anytime Workout can fit into your day any time and pretty much anywhere.

Core Work is important for any athlete and this workout will help you gain a strong core.

My Insanity workout.

Choose Your Own Adventure Workout

Who doesn't love fixer-upper?  watch some reruns of Chip and Jo while you do this Fixer Upper Workout.

Here are some Basic Running Workouts that every runner should give a try.

Let your holiday spirit show (and help entertain your kids during Christmas break) with these 5 Christmas Themed Workouts.

Strength Training as a runner is important to keep yourself strong and healthy.  This post talks about some of my favorite things I use for my strength training and one of my go-to workouts for it.

Too busy to workout is not an excuse anymore. Here are 3 Workouts for Your Busy Schedule .

If you're sick of planks but want to work more on your core, here is a workout with No Planks Core Workout 

Workout while your kids play doing 20's at the park.

Include your kids by doing these things that aren't workouts, but that will give you a different kind of workout in the end!

If you want to do quick workouts but are unsure what to even do or how to do it, I suggest following these amazing people on Instagram.

Kayla Hall @bodyremix is awesome! She's such a powerhouse and a certified trainer. She posts daily workouts on her instastories which makes it super easy to know what moves to do and what your form is supposed to look like.

Kaite Later @katielater_fitness. She is a mom of 4 and she's so cute and fun to interact with. Plus she has amazing arms! She posts lots of stuff on fitness.

Amanda Brooks @runtothefinish is a running guru! She has so many helpful posts and tips about running and fitness. She also does challenges to help you out!

Monica @runeatrepeat is probably one of my favorite Instagram friends! She shares so many fun and random things about life and running on her Instagram. She also has a great blog! Definitely check her out!

And, of course, you can always follow me there too!

I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for all of you and thankful for the friendships I've made through this blog and through social media.

What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving?

Do you find it harder to workout during the holidays?

What is the thing that affects your fitness the most during the holidays?

Monday, November 19, 2018

Stop Comparing Yourself

Injuries are humbling, aren't they? I'm going to be completely honest here and tell you about how I used to be so super judgy.  Without even knowing it, I'd see another runner that was going slower than I could or whos running form wasn't perfect (by the way my running form is F A R from perfect) and my initial thought would be "I could run faster than that!" **insert embarrassed face here**. I was usually really good about catching myself and reminding myself that I don't know their story. But sometimes I was just flat out rude, in my mind, about it.

I realize that makes seem like a terrible person. It's not like this happened all the time, just every once in a while I'd notice a thought like that. Sometimes I get a little bit too proud of myself (which I think is pretty normal and even ok unless you're putting others down or being extremely cocky about it) Then something happens, and I get injured, or I have a baby or whatever, and I am back to square one myself. I  found myself thinking about this the other day when I ventured out for my run outside instead of on the treadmill. I hadn't run outside since my half marathon. Partially because I'm a baby when it comes to the cold, and partially because (even if I didn't want to admit it) I didn't want people to see me taking walking breaks.

As I started thinking about all of this, I realized that it's not fair to judge anyone you see out running, INCLUDING OURSELVES.  Comparing myself now to how I was doing a few months ago isn't fair to myself because I've been injured. I've been dealing with an injury that I didn't have then, and one that I've ever had before. My running now is totally going to be different from it was before because I've been dealing with different things than I ever have. I've trained for a different race, I've used a different training program, and now I'm coming back from a completely new to me injury. I'm not the runner I used to be, but I think there's really good potential for me to be better than I used to be if I let myself forget the runner I was and focus on the runner I want to be.

If you don't know a person and what they've been through it's not fair to compare yourself, for good or bad, with them. Maybe they are just starting out. Or maybe you haven't been able to run due to injury or sickness or something else and you're not where they are right now because they have been able to keep it up. Our bodies are all different. Our lives are all different. No one has the exact same circumstances that add to our days. You don't need to, and shouldn't compare yourself to anyone, including a former you, because that's not where you are right now.

Take your running one day at a time and do it for you and for nobody else. When we do that, running becomes easier, more exciting and more fun.  You'll see your progress and you'll also be happy for other people's progress.

How do you deal with comparing?

What is something you're working to change?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Fast Friday

It's the beginning of the weekend again. Here's our Fast Friday post!

On Sunday we went over to my Uncles house to celebrate my cousin coming home from his mission.  M spent most of the time playing with their dog. This dog was so sweet and let M put these glasses on her over and over for an hour or so.

Monday was my mom's birthday! So our whole family got together for dessert on Monday evening. We took a picture with her and all the grandkids because it's been a long time since we've had them all together.

We spent some time at the park this week even though it wasn't super warm. We all needed some fresh air and I needed some vitamin D! So we bundled up and went out. We were all much happier afterward too.

M lost her first tooth the other day!

I've been working on eating more Veggies because I don't really care for them but I know I need them. So I asked my followers on Instagram to DM me some of their favorite veggie recipes to try and these carrots were one that someone sent in. They were pretty good, I thought, but the only one who agreed with me on this was M. So we will probably keep these to lunchtime veggies so I don't have a lot of people complaining. If YOU have a favorite veggie recipe, send it my way or leave it in the comments!

While I was cleaning the house this week I saw this little gem on the stairs. The girls can turn anything into a bedroom for their toys. I love how they get creative!

I was able to get some running in this week. Not a lot but more than I have so that's a step in the right direction. 3 miles on Saturday, 2.5 miles on Thursday. So It might be pretty small but it's progress 5.5 miles this week!

Do you like vegetables or have a favorite vegetable recipe?

Has it started snowing where you are yet?

Who has a November birthday?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Creating a Killer Workout Playlist

A great playlist can change everything.  I've always been someone who loves music. I don't really play any instruments or sing or anything. I took piano lessons as a kid but never really kept it up enough to actually be good. But, music has always been something that I turn on when I'm feeling sad or confused or happy or all of the emotions.  It's amazing how fast a song can turn your mood around or how you can connect with certain songs and lyrics.

Working out is no exception to this.  Sometimes a good workout playlist can get you through your workout or even just make your workout that much better. The other day while I was doing my strength training workout, the coach from Aaptiv had put together an awesome playlist that made me enjoy my workout even more. Did you know that when you smile while you're working out you do better?  It's 100% true. When you're smiling and enjoying your workout and when you're having fun doing it, you work harder and more efficiently and you do better!

My first thought when I decided to talk about your workout playlist was to share the songs I like to workout to, but then I thought that it wouldn't be much help to you if you don't like the same music as I do. So instead I want to give you some tips on how to create the best workout playlist.

When creating a playlist, obviously you'll be looking through the music you like and listen to the most. My first tip is to find what kind of music really pumps you up and makes you want to move.  Usually, this is the music that also makes you the happiest.

If the tip before still seems too broad, narrow it down by which music makes you feel depressed, or angry. Those would not be the genres to start with.

Make a list of your favorite songs from your chosen genre. Make it long enough to get you through your workout without a lot of repeats and with being able to skip songs you're just not feeling that day.

Change it up every couple of weeks or so. Sometimes adding new songs or just different songs will help your workout keep feeling fun and fresh instead of feeling normal or boring.

Put it on random this will help you feel like it's less repetitive every time you get out.

Have a cooldown/stretching playlist too with calmer music.

Those all seem like pretty obvious tips but sometimes when you stop to think about it, it really is that simple. Here's an example of the songs I like to workout to.

Counting Starts -- One Republic

Danger Zone --

Light Em Up -- Fall Out Boy

Billie Jean -- Michael Jackson

The Way You Make Me Feel -- Michael Jackson

Golden Years -- David Bowie

I Had You -- Adam Lambart

All this being said, I do not always listen to music during a workout. Especially while I'm running. It's not always safe to run on your own with music, and I feel like it kind of makes you reliant on music which you also don't one. But every once in a while, it is nice to have something to push you along.

Do you run with music or have a go-to playlist?

What is your favorite genre of music?

Monday, November 12, 2018

What Helped Me Become a Morning Runner

A few years ago when I wanted to get back into racing a little more seriously and not just now and then, I decided the first step would be to take my running a little more seriously. I also needed to make running more regular than it was at the time. I needed it for my emotional and mental health as well as my physical health. So I decided that in order to do these things, I needed to be better about running in the morning and not running some evenings when I had time. I wrote a post about all the things that I was going to do to become a morning runner. And now, a year and a half later, I want to share what actually helped me become more of a morning runner.

Before we start on all of that though, I'll just say that I do not run every morning, and not all of my running happens in the morning. There are still some days where it doesn't work in the morning or that I want to run with someone and I'll end up going in the evening. Trevon and I switch days for who gets to work out in the morning and the other one has to find time during the day or in the evening. I also have to say that right now my running isn't super consistent because I'm coming off of an injury and I usually take things a little easier in the winter time. But the majority of my running does happen in the morning now.

The first change I made is that I started going to bed earlier. We put the kids to bed, I give myself about an hour-hour and a half to start winding down and I'm usually asleep between 10-10:30. I need a full 7 hours of sleep, at least, to be a happy mom. And running makes being a happy mom even easier, so getting 7 hours of sleep before waking up to run means I will have a much happier day!

I make a plan for running ahead of time. Not just that I'm going to go running, but I planned out a route, I laid out my clothes, I told my husband where and when I was going to be running. This always makes getting out of bed way way easier! When you don't have to think about anything but can just get up and go, it's much more likely to happen. On the days that I'm not sure where or how far I'll be running or what strength training workout to do, it's a lot harder for me to get going in the morning.

I started running solo more often. I take all the safety measures I can, and I run on my own instead of with someone. Most of my running buddies are not really morning people, and when you have things to do after your run, you only have so much time to wait around before you start running. So I save running with others for my evening runs.

I took it slow. When your body is used to waking up slow and getting your heart pumping faster later on in the day, it's not the most pleasant feeling to switch it up and go full out all at once. I took my morning runs slower than normal for the first little while and gradually sped up as I felt better.

Now that I run more often in the mornings, I really enjoy those runs! I love that I am able to use those runs as a time to think and meditate. I've used those mornings to speak with God and really listen for His answers. I started looking forward to that peace and it helped me stop having to listen to something every time I ran. I love that running in the morning helps me start my day off positively. I'm not running late because of sleeping in. I don't feel stressed or grumpy in the mornings. And I end up accomplishing more overall during the day.

Running in the morning might feel a little daunting at first if you feel like you don't have time but you might end up really loving it once you start giving it a try!

Are you a morning runner?

What do you do to make getting your run/workout in happen?

What make morning workouts the hardest for you?

Friday, November 9, 2018

Fast Friday Favorites

Who's ready for the weekend?  We are over here! Here is our Fast Friday!

M came down with a stomach bug early this week so we spent a lot of time sitting around.  Once M started feeling better, J said she didn't feel well enough to go to school. She didn't seem too sick but I let her stay home so that we wouldn't risk spreading something that didn't need to be spread. By lunchtime, I knew she was feeling fine, but I had already excused her so I didn't want to take her. She learned her lesson though because staying home because you're sick means staying in bed all day. Not that fun, especially when you're not really sick.

We started a fun project around here for the girls.  I talked a little about it before when M started it, but now J started it too. When they need something to do, and I need some time to do work or cleaning or whatever I tell them they can work on their rocks. They spent some time gathering rocks, cleaning them, drying them, and now they are painting them.  Once the paint is dry we write something happy on them, and then they can hide them around the neighborhood for someone to find and hopefully it will make their day happier.

V has decided that his part of this project is to organize the rocks. I've found a few rock lines and piles like this.

I was really happy to get a few really good workouts in this week! My knee is feeling so much better and I'm going to slowly start adding some mileage on and walking less often.

We've been raking and jumping in leaves every chance the weather is nice enough to do so. 

I also spent a lot of time this week cleaning and organizing.  Our house has felt really cluttered lately, and with the thought of Christmas/ new toys/ extra decorations around our house, I have wanted to de-clutter as much as possible. On a project that got tackled while the girls were at school was their toys.  I grabbed an extra box and a bag.  I went through their toys and took all the ones they haven't played with in a while and put them in the box and put that box in the basement. Then I gathered all the garbage and torn up papers and threw them away. If they don't ask where the toys are in the next week, I'm selling them or donating them. If they don't play with them every week or even every couple of weeks, we don't need it! We will see how that goes.

And now for some Friday Favorites. It's been a while but here are some of my favorite random things lately.

THIS bowl that we got from Amazon is really great for reheating leftovers. And leftovers are a big deal for me at lunchtime. Leftovers mean I don't have to think twice about what to have for dinner, I also don't have to spend a lot of time making lunch for myself. That means I eat a little better.  This bowl is great because it heats everything up really nice and it keeps the food all tasting fresh and it doesn't dry it out like most things do in the microwave!

J has needed to read 20 minutes a night each night for part of her homework. It's been a struggle to find a book that she will do that with.  But Lulu seems to be a big hit with her. If you have a 2nd grader, these books are funny and cute and have a good lesson and story! Check them out!

This lotion. We got this lotion when we got married and I loved it! We haven't been able to use it because, it's been gone for a while, but I kept the bottle so I'd be able to find it somewhere to replace it. Cleaning out the bathroom this week I decided to throw away the bottle, but I took a picture. If anyone knows where to find this lotion, please leave me a comment and tell me!

In case you missed any, Here are the 3 most favorite/popular posts from this week:

22 Ways to Get Your Workout In With Your Kids

Making Mealtime Quick and Easy with Eckrich Deli Meat

Ideas for Kids Who Say "I'm Bored"

Have a fantastic weekend!

I want to know who has fun plans this weekend?

Do you have something you love but can't find anymore?

How do you clean out your kid's toys without fighting them?

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

How To Find Motivation to Workout

How to find motivation or how to stay motivated are probably the questions I get asked about the most.  And this time of year seems to be about when the motivation for exercise leaves us. There are so many reasons this can happen, and it's really normal for it to happen.  But it doesn't have to happen! There are ways for you to stay motivated, or get your motivation back if you've already started to lose it, to exercise and stay healthy.  Especially at this time of year when food is at every gathering, and all you want to do is curl up and stay warm! 

First, find the reason you're not motivated anymore.  These are some of the things that de-motivate me from running:

Bad weather. I hate running in the cold so winter kills me in the motivation area of running.

Not enough sleep. I think anyone who isn't well rested doesn't feel enough motivation to do anything.

Burn out. This happens when I push myself too hard too fast or when I don't take a day off now and then.

Lack or running buddy. Sometimes when my running friends are not able to run, it makes me want to just skip for the day.

Bad eating habits. I never feel good when I don't eat the right amount of food or when I eat nothing but junk. I know that the run is going to feel awful so I never want to do it.

Time of day. For some reason, my favorite time of day is around 2:00-3:00 pm. I really struggle to want to get up and run at 6:00 AM when it's still dark outside, and if it gets too late (especially now that it's getting dark at 5:00 at night) I'd rather read a book or watch tv.

I think a big part of feeling unmotivated comes from bad habits we start making, especially this time of year. We get in the habit of watching extra TV or eating extra candy. We sleep in longer. A lot of people don't want to go out in the cold to do anything (myself included 100000%) Nothing about being cold sounds fun to me. So if we can break those habits motivation will usually follow. "A body in motion tends to stay in motion". So what do you do when you don't feel motivated to run? How do you find that motivation? Here are a few ideas for you.

  • Make sure you get a good nights sleep.  I usually try to make it in bed by 10:30 pm, if not earlier.  Especially on the days I know I'm going to be waking up early, then I try to get to bed by 9:30.  It might make you feel old and boring when you go to bed that night, but your work out, and the rest of your day, will feel much better if you get a good amount of sleep. I try to shoot for 7-8 hours every night. 

  • If the weather is bad, you have two options: Suck it up, dress for the weather and go anyway.  And go running inside. The treadmill can be boring. I know, I feel that way sometimes too. But if you hate running in the rain or snow or any particular weather, running inside can feel ok.
    If the treadmill makes you crazy, schedule your run during your favorite TV show or podcast and watch/listen to it while you run. Make it your little bribe to yourself. 

  • Make a new goal. I don't think there is anything quite as motivating as seeing the progress that you're making towards a goal. And I know that once I hit a big goal, I tend to fall out of any motivation and want a break. Breaks are fine, but long breaks can turn into bad habits. Making a new goal for you might be exactly what jump starts your motivation again!
  • If you feel you're approaching a burnout, it's ok to take the day off. Try not to take too much time off, you don't want to lose everything you've gained in running. But, it's ok to take a day off if you need it. Let yourself rest, maybe do some low intensity, at home work out. Do some stretching and take the break.
    If you have a hard time eating right, there are so many things out there that can help you.  I like to have the junk food now and then, and I don't feel there's anything wrong with that. But most of the time, I try to stock my house with good, healthy food so that I have healthy snacks for us. And leftovers from dinner are usually my healthiest and easiest lunches. 
  • Make sure you eat every meal. And I don't just mean a granola bar and juice for breakfast. Eat something that will sustain your energy and help you eat better the rest of the day. When you have a good, healthy breakfast, it's easier for you to make smarter eating choices the rest of the day. 

  • If you do best at a particular time of day, try to make that time of day work. If you can't always make the time work, then plan a time for your workout and remind yourself of it all day long. Tell yourself you will do your workout at that time. Remind yourself throughout the day how great it will be to finally work out later. Or if you struggle getting up in the morning to work out, remind yourself when your alarm goes off how much better and more productive your day will be after. Then stick to it. When you get that great feeling of accomplishing your workout, you can use that for other days when you need extra motivation. 
  • If you're struggling with motivation in general, get yourself a work out buddy. Or at least someone who would hold you accountable.  If your running buddy can't make it, call or text them to let them know how far you're going to go. That way you'll feel like you need to do it. If you feel like you still don't want to do it, sometimes you just have to force yourself to do it. "The hardest step for a runner is the first one out the front door." It's not always true for me, but sometimes it is. And when I have those days, I find that if I just buck up and do it, I feel so much better once I get going. 

What makes it hard for you to find the motivation to working out?

How do you stay motivated?

Monday, November 5, 2018

Our Halloween Costumes

Lots of people have been asking, so I decided to post about our halloween costumes this year. Growing up my mom always made our Halloween costumes and for the last few years, I've had help making our kids costumes. But this year I decided I would do it. Especially after seeing that one of the costumes cost $40 for the cheapest costume ever made. I'm not spending that kind of money on any costume that will be worn for one day.  Anyway, I thought I'd share what we all went as today since it is Halloween.

J wanted to be Mal from Descendants. And we had the option of buying her costume for over $100 at the Disney store, no thanks. We could also buy it at Costco or Walmart for $18 which I initially did. But once I got it home and found that the smallest size was giant on this tiny girl and that the costume was not good quality and almost didn't even look finished, I decided to take it back and attempt to make it.

We found a faux leather jacket (this was a size 3T but she squeezed into it because that's all Savers had!) and then we followed THIS tutorial to paint the jacket-- it was super easy and cost me around $5 for everything.

Her pants were old ones we had that I cut holes in, and I got some black leggings to go under them. And then we sprayed her hair purple. The chain she has is a belt that my Great Grandma used to wear!  I think I spent a total of $11 on her whole costume.

M wanted to be Jessie from Toy Story. We found a white button-up shirt in the little boy section of Savers for $2. I bought some cow print fabric from Joann's and used an old pattern from my mom for the chaps. And then I bought some yellow felt, cut it and drew swirls on it. Then I glued it on with THIS.  If you have girls and you haven't ever heard of Girlie Glue, please check them out. It's the most convenient thing to use for hair bows, and clearly for costumes :).  I also found M a red cowboy hat to wear. I think for this costume we spent around $15 because everything was on sale or used.

V was easy. He's really into Super Why right now and my brother and sister in law had a costume his size so that was free and I didn't have to make it! You can find a similar one HERE

Then there's Trevon's costume. This is a costume we've been anticipating for at least a year. He had to dress up for work so we decided this was the year. We made him a wacky inflatable tube man costume. He is super tall so we had to get 3 collapsable laundry baskets, that was the most expensive part. Then we found a king size sheet that was on sale instead of buying all the fabric. And then we found these googly eyes on Amazon.

We followed THIS tutorial and stitched the baskets together top to bottom (after cutting the bottoms off). That was super tedious but not hard. Then we measured the sheet and sewed a big tube for the body. Trevon's mom came and helped us measure the arms and cut where we needed to and then we sewed sleeves onto the tube. We glued the eyes on with hot glue and instead of sewing the top closed, we just put a hair tie on top so it looks like a top ponytail. It turned out to be really funny!

I hope you all had a fun Halloween!

What did your kids dress up as this year?

Do you dress up for Halloween?

Do you buy your costumes or make them?