Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Some of my Favorite Speed Workouts on the Treadmill

Although spring is coming, it's still winter, and really cold, here. Because of that a lot of my workouts are still on the treadmill. One of the questions I hear a lot is people wondering what my favorite speed workouts are for the treadmill. So today I'm sharing a few with you!

There are so many options when it comes to speed. And doing speed work on the treadmill makes the treadmill time seem faster and more entertaining. So I actually really like doing speed work on the treadmill (although any run outside is far better for me). Here are some of the speed workouts I do on the treadmill.

Remember, while you're doing speed work that your pace is personal to you. That is why I didn't add a certain level on any of these workouts. Your tempo pace will be different from my tempo pace, your speed pace is personal to you! If you need a gage or an idea of where to start, your warm-up pace should be somewhere between a 5 and a 6, tempo speed should be around a 7, sprinting can be anything above your tempo pace. It's all depending on what level you are at. If you start there and it seems too fast for a warm-up, slow down. Remember that this is your workout and you are allowed to modify up or down according to what you need. 

Do you have a favorite speed workout?

Do you prefer running on the treadmill or outside for speed?

Monday, February 25, 2019

5 Steps to Create Good Habits and Achieve Your Goals

Let's talk about good habits. Just about everyone you know has been working on resolutions they made at the beginning of the year, maybe some of them have already forgotten their resolutions and goals, and how are you doing?  So much of goal setting has to do with creating healthy habits and it's something that seems to get overlooked quite often.

You often hear that a goal without a plan is just a wish, but I'd like to add that a goal without good habits is just a dream. Most of our goals start as wishes and dreams but they don't become much more than that without a plan to make healthy, good habits to make them a reality.  That goes for every kind of goal out there. Money goals need a good habit of saving, Health goals need a good habit of healthy eating and activity, Goals to start a business require good habits with discipline and time management. If you don't create those good habits, the goals will remain goals instead of reality.

So pick a goal that you want to work on and go through these steps to help you create the healthy habits you'll need to meet that goal.

1. Decide what the most important part of your goal is. For example, if I wanted to make a goal to save money to buy a house the most important part of that goal would be to stop spending so much money.

 If my goal was to run a half marathon, the most important part of that goal would be to work on my endurance running. And so on...

2. Create a plan to help you work on that one most important part of your goal. If I'm trying to save money, then I need to look through my budget and see what I can cut back on. Is there a subscription that isn't needed? A monthly Target run that isn't necessary (because, honestly who spends less money at Target, even though their prices are cheaper than other stores)?

For an endurance run, I would need to look at my calendar and decide what days would allow the best time for my running schedule.

3. Write it down. This is extremely helpful for any kind of goal. When you write it down it seems more real and more solid. But for this step, you need to write more than just your goal down. Write down your plan of attack on each goal. For saving money I'm going to write down how much money I want to save, what areas I can cut back my spending in, and where I'm going to put that extra money (like in a different savings account) so that it doesn't get spent somewhere else.

For running, I'm going to write down my goal mileage, the date of my race, how many times a week I'm going to be running, and schedule out my runs so that I'm making sure to get enough rest days and cross-training days in to not be injured.

4. Give yourself reminders for when you forget or have the impulse to fall back into your regular habit. Reminders, or triggers, to help you do better are the best because it's a visual reminder right in front of you that you're working for something. It can give you more drive when you're feeling discouraged.  If my goal was to save money, taping a picture of my dream house on my bathroom mirror so that I see it every morning might be enough. Maybe putting a picture in my wallet in front of where my credit card goes so that I see it every time I go to buy something I'll ask myself if what I'm getting is really worth it. Maybe using cash instead of a card will help me feel like I'm spending more and trigger me to save more instead of giving that extra  $5 up on a Swig cookie or something else that is an impulse buy.

For a running goal, a good visual is to write your goal time down on a piece of paper and put it on your alarm clock so that every time you go to push the snooze button, you'll remember that your goal and get out of bed.

Other reminders that work are putting motivational quotes up in random places at your house or in your car, setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to save, or run or do whatever that good habit would be to achieve your goal, and keeping track of your progress can help you feel more confident and believe more in yourself.

5. Surround yourself with people who are on board, and supportive of your goal. Nothing can kill motivation faster than being around people who don't believe in you. This step is huge when it comes to keeping yourself on track with your goal and creating good habits. It doesn't matter what goal you're focusing on if you spend your time with positive, supportive people you are more likely to achieve the goals you're aiming for.

With these 5 steps to creating good habits, goal setting and achieving become much easier! You'll feel way more confident going into any goal with these steps and a good plan of action. Write things down, tell those who support you to help you stay accountable and you'll achieve great things!

What goals are you working on this year?

What is something that always makes you stop working on your goal?

Friday, February 22, 2019

Fast Friday

Hello, weekend. I am so ready for a weekend this week. We had a short week for school and maybe that threw us off, but I feel like I had a hard week! Anyone else? Here are some of the things we did.

Last Friday was a pretty nice day (we still needed coats because the wind was blowing but it was 50 degrees) so we spent the afternoon at the park. V had a good time lining rocks up and jumping off the playground while the other kids played.

Saturday got cold again and even snowed a little. I ran on the treadmill but then I saw that the sun was shining so I ran outside for a minute and took some pictures.

My feet were cold all day on Sunday so when we got home from church I put them in the sink with some hot water. Does anyone else do that when they are cold?

The kids were out of school on Monday so we spent the morning cleaning the house. They did awesome with cleaning and there was hardly any whining! (It only lasted through that morning).

So once everything was done, we went swimming at our swimming pool with the cousins.

Tuesday morning was spent running all of our errands. And then we went to the library for the afternoon. I got THIS book and am loving it so far! By bedtime, we were all ready to sleep. V insisted on sleeping with his pop gun.

Wednesday V and I went back to Costco because we needed to take something back so we got this huge thing of sour cream (honestly we usually get this huge thing of sour cream because J has a thing for sour cream and we go through it pretty fast) and then after dinner it didn't get put back in the fridge so it went bad.

We also stopped by Trader Joes because I've heard that I needed to try their green beans so I grabbed some, and some flowers too.

Thursday started out with a run that made my knee a little mad. After icing it and stretching it started feeling better but it was kind of a bummer with the progress I was feeling. Then the rest of the day was a blur of fighting with a toddler and cleaning messes. It's just the phase I'm in. It's fine.

V refused to wear clothes so we dropped M off in his diaper and when we got home he told me he was cold, go figure.

Here were my workouts this week:

Saturday: 2 miles on the treadmill that felt really good physically but mentally were really just hard.

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Full body workout

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 2 miles on the treadmill again.

Hopefully, soon it will warm up again and I will be running more frequently outside (as long as my knee keeps getting better)

Who has a question for me? I'm happy to answer!

What are your plans for the weekend?

What was your favorite workout last week?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Consistency is Key

I've been running pain-free for a few days now and I love it! But, I found myself discouraged last Saturday when I did my run on the treadmill because after 50-degree weather it decided to snow again,  and I was having the hardest time running for more than 20 minutes. I was feeling worn out by the 15-minute mark and my goal was to run for 30 minutes total.  So I got myself past the 20-minute mark and reluctantly turned the treadmill off because the motivation to keep going was definitely not there.

Then I started thinking about how awesome my training was last year. Training for the half marathon and running it, I felt so good and strong and now I felt like it was just gone. I had to take the time off to heal from an injury and I lost a lot of my endurance that I had gained. That's totally normal. And I've been running long enough to know that this is a cycle, especially since I'm a runner who believes in taking a couple of months really easy or completely off from running to help my body get the rest and recovery it needs for the next race season. (And because I really don't like the cold).

But I tried not to let myself be too discouraged for a few reasons. First, this specific run could have just been an off day. I was hoping for a good outside run that would help my brain process life and let my body remember how to do a long run again, and this run was neither of those things. Also because I've taken things really easy with running and while I have kept myself conditioned enough to have a good start, it's going to take time and consistency to get back to where I was before.

Consistency is key in this situation. A lot of times when we feel this way or have this kind of thing happen, we feel so discouraged after a couple of hard runs and give up. But when we allow our body enough time to adjust, we start seeing the progress that we crave and that drives us to keep working.

Progress makes perfect, keep on trying, never give up...The thing that all of these sayings have in common is consistency. It's what lets our bodies learn how to make the changes it needs to in order to become better. It's what allows that change and helps us be ready to continue pushing ourselves and making other changes that are needed to achieve our goals.

Consistency in working out in general, consistency in the kinds of workouts we do, consistency in our training as a whole. It's how those changes are made. The one thing that guarantees you improvement in your fitness goals, is showing up every day and doing your best. If we don't consistently keep running, consistently keep working on our form, our pace, our goals, then we will always stay where we are. Nothing will ever change if we don't stay consistent in our training.

You might not see improvement all at once, but step by step, staying consistent will allow you to see a big difference in the future. Soon you won't be just running a mile. Soon you'll be running a mile at a time to finish at 3 miles or 5 miles or maybe even a whole marathon. If you stay consistent, that progress will happen.

When was the last time you had to give yourself a pep talk?

What is something you're really consistent in?

Monday, February 18, 2019

Having a More Productive Day

As a mom, I have recently been struggling with getting up and going in the morning. This is not something that I've struggled with in the past. I've always been a morning person (although I do love a good nighttime get together or game night).  But recently I've been feeling the pull to stay in bed a little longer and then we end up having a crazy morning, which leads to a crazy day.

Not anymore! I listened to THIS 3 in 30 podcast and it reminded me of the reasons I love being a morning person, and it helped me remember how to be a morning person. And I really encourage you to listen to that if this is something you struggle with, but I also wanted to share a few of the ways I make my mornings happier and more productive, which makes my days happier and more productive.

I wanted to share today a few tips about being productive through your day. These tips apply to anyone. Parent, Working mom, SAHM, doesn't matter. We all have the same amount of time in our day and most of this stuff is time management and priorities. So here are the tips, and then I'll explain each one. (they aren't in any order)

  •  Set yourself up 
  •  Break it up 
  •  Give yourself a time limit
  • Take a break

Set yourself up
How many of us use our phones as an alarm clock (I'm raising my hand right now) I use my phone as an alarm clock for a couple of reasons. It's convenient and I can pick what I want it to sound like verses hearing that obnoxious beep that doesn't just wake you up but gives you a heart attack.  But what happens when you go to turn your phone alarm off? For me, my phone is already in my hand and out of habit I end up spending the time, that I was supposed to be up reading my scriptures or working out or getting breakfast ready or just being productive, scrolling instead. Then I'm running late. I have to skip reading, skip the workout, get myself ready quicker, and nag the kids to wake up (why do they only sleep in on school days?) while I'm getting breakfast ready as fast as I can.  I don't have another alarm clock yet, so I admit that I still use my phone for that. But, putting your phone across the room so that you have to get up and turn it off anyway is a big help. Or, one thing that I've been doing is that I will put my phone on top of my scriptures on my nightstand the night before.  I turn my phone off, turn my lamp on and read scriptures in bed for 15 minutes before getting the rest of the morning going. Set yourself up for success by preparing what you need to for the morning. I lay my workout clothes out the night before. I have my kids lay their clothes out for the next day. I set my scriptures where they are easy for me to see and reach for when my alarm goes off.

Break It Up
When you try to pile as much as you can onto that list, and into your day, you start feeling tired and worn out, or bored and unmotivated to do anything on your list. Scheduling certain things out so that you're not doing it all in one day is smart! Make one day cleaning day, one day grocery day, one day for your other errands etc... Being productive doesn't mean getting everything done in one day, sometimes that just makes us sloppy. And I always tell my kids "do it right or do it twice".  This tip works so well for anyone. Decide what your most important, most pressing things are and do those things first. Break them up into manageable bits and get those things done before you do anything else.

Give Yourself a Time Limit
Sometimes, once I get the kids off to school, I fall back into that scrolling rut. And I get frustrated because then I don't feel like I'm getting anything else done like I wanted to. So I started to think about what chores need to be done every day in our house. Then I pick one podcast and give myself the whole podcast worth of time to get as many chores done as I possibly can (usually while V is playing or getting his TV time)  I clean the kitchen, fold laundry, clean the bathrooms, vacuum...whatever I can get done in that amount of time. By the end of the podcast, I feel like I've gotten a lot done and I'm ready to move onto another thing on my to-do list. I use the podcast as my little reward for getting myself to clean because as a mom of 3 young kids, cleaning is very monotonous.

Schedule It Out
I've felt overwhelmed lately with some changes in schedules and life in general that we are working on. So in order to help me keep things on task and not waste time I've been doing a brain dump of all the things that I need to get done on one paper. I do this on Monday mornings or Sunday nights depending on what time I have open. I make a huge list of things I need to do for the week. Even the small things, like making sure I eat meals, and then I put them on my schedule. You can read more about that all HERE. I don't have a planner, and I've never been much of a planner person, but I made my own "planner" out of a notebook to test this out with for a week. It's helping me know how much open time I have that I can spend doing things that I need to work into my list or that aren't as pressing as the things that are scheduled. It made a big difference in my stress level and helped me get things done!

Take a Break
Even when we are trying to be productive, we need to set some time aside to relax and do something that we want to do. Just like when you're running without taking rest days, you can get burned out. It's ok, and even good for you, to take a break from your to-do list and do something for you. Just make sure the break doesn't send you spiraling into an unproductive rest of the day :).

What are your favorite tricks and tips to keep you productive?

Do you have a real alarm clock or do you use your phone?

What is one thing on your to-do list that is stressing you out?

Friday, February 15, 2019

Fast Friday

How was your Valentines day, and the rest or your week? Here are some of the things we did this week.

Last weekend we went out looking for a second-hand chair to have V sit in at dinner. We aren't entirely ready to get a new table, but he is growing out of his high chair. We didn't find a chair yet, but we did get some things for the camper and that made me really excited for camping season. Then we got a car wash.

We spent Sunday afternoon making J's valentine box to take to school. She was excited with how it turned out and I'm glad we only had to make one this year.

V has been in a more independent mood lately and has been trying to get himself dressed. 

It's been kind of a snowy/rainy week so when the sun came out for a little while I tried to soak as much up as I could. 

M came up while I was doing some blog work and gave me a little massage.

I got some strength training in!

And then refueled with some Kodiak Cakes and their mountain berry syrup.

After running some errands, V wanted to go to the park. It was cold and wet but he didn't care at all and I was happy for some fresh air. So we played until he was ready to head home.

For Valentine's breakfast, we had heart-shaped pancakes. We use THIS pancake art kit and love it.

I've been taking it easy with the workouts lately because my knee has just been so angry. But I was feeling really good on yesterday so I tried a run. And I still felt really good after. So hopefully that is a sign that I'm ready to start training again.

Here is what my workouts looked like this week:

Saturday: Rest day

Sunday: Rest day

Monday: foam rolling

Tuesday: Strength training

Wednesday: Icing, stretching, foam rolling, Praying it gets better

Thursday: 2-mile run plus strength training.

Friday: Rest Day

Have a fantastic weekend!

How did you celebrate Valentine's day?

What was your favorite workout this week?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

How To Boost Your Energy, Naturally

How many of us would love to have a little extra energy during the day?  When most people start to feel a slump coming on in their day, the go get a coffee or some other form of caffeine. The problem is, when that becomes your go-to every time you are tired, you're going to become addicted to it and then it messes up your sleep habits (which leads you to be more tired), You start to get headaches when you don't have it, and it can also make you feel more anxious.  So, let's talk about some ways to give yourself some more energy without drinking the caffeine.

All of these things are things that you can do EASY! They are the obvious answers that we all know, but we sometimes forget or maybe don't understand how or why these things work.

First, obviously, get more sleep! Most people get around 6 hours of sleep at night, and that's it! We should be getting 7-9 hours every night. Sleep is the time for your whole body to rest, recover, grow and be ready to move the next day.  If we don't get enough sleep so many things stop working to the best of their ability. It's not always easy to get enough sleep, as a mom of 3 I know that well, but there are some things you can do to help you sleep better.
  • Get yourself a bedtime routine to help tell your body it's time to wind down.
  • Put your phone somewhere else. I use my phone for my alarm, so it's in my room, but Trevon and I both put our phones on the other side of the room instead of on our nightstands. 
  • Do a little relaxation meditation

Make sure you're hydrated. This is something I struggle with! I've said it over and over, but I do try to stay hydrated for more than just energy reasons. When you get dehydrated your body starts to feel fatigued. Your body needs that water to function. It uses water for literally every organ in your body. And if it's using every last drop of water that you have in your body to make it function, it's going to make you tired and feel like you can't keep going if you don't have enough in there to work. Much like a car running on gasoline. The amount of water that someone needs vary from person to person, so try to get at least half of your body weight in ounces every day.  Aim for that light yellow urine.

Water and hydration go hand in hand with eating nutritious foods.   Right now the world is obsessed with gluten-free everything, keto diets, and celery juice. There are definitely people who have intolerances to gluten, and I'm not telling you to stop your diets. I am going to tell you that carbs give you energy. Carbs are what your body uses to break down and make into energy and they are good for you if you can eat them. Be smart about the kind of carbs you're putting in your body, but don't be so scared of them that you don't eat them at all. Not just what we eat, but how much or how often we eat. This is another thing that people like to jump on the fads with. The thing is, there IS NO BEST DIET. Do what works for you! That's the answer. If you feel like you need a little extra snack in the afternoon, go ahead, just be sure to make smart choices with that snack. Don't reach for the candy or the cookies. Try some nuts or fruit instead.

Exercise! You might think that exercising makes you more tired, but the truth is, it boosts your energy! It gets your blood flowing and your heart rate up and it releases those wonderful endorphins that you always hear about! If you are feeling a slump coming on, get some kind of exercise. It doesn't have to be a long workout. Some push-ups and jumping jacks or a walk will do great things for you!

What do you do when you need some extra energy?

Monday, February 11, 2019

How I Organize My To-Do List and A Free Printable

I've never been a planner person. I usually follow a schedule but I like to be more spontaneous and open with what I have in my day. So Trevon was shocked when I told him I feel like I need some kind of planner lately. Not really so much to keep me on track hour by hour, but more so because when I have a lot going on writing it down helps me remember things and make me feel like I'm not overwhelmed with stuff going on. So I thought I'd share the process with you guys so that you can help your brain declutter too.

When I start feeling overwhelmed or like I have a lot to do, the first thing I do is a brain dump. I get out a notebook and write down every single thing I need to do that week. And I mean everything. From washing my hair to parent-teacher conferences and due library books. I write it all down in whatever order they come to my mind. Sometimes this alone helps me feel less overwhelmed. Sometimes there isn't as much for me to get done as I feel like there is. And other times, it helps me move on to my next step.

I started out just using a notebook, but then I found a planner system that worked really well for me so I made a PDF of it so that I could make it cute and have it ready for me to use any time I need it. I take the list I made and I schedule and fill in the most important things first.  Then I move on to the other things that need to be scheduled. Everything else that I need to do but doesn't need to be scheduled then become fillers. I put them in the reminder column and then when I have an extra hour or even a few extra minutes I can look at that list and make sure I start marking those off too.

The next section is for my intent of the day. This is something I did a few years ago that really, really helped me get through some tough days. Trevon was in school full time and working full time, we had a toddler and a newborn, and though I didn't really see it, I was dealing with some bad postpartum depression and was completely overwhelmed. The idea of setting an intention for each day was to give myself one thing to focus on each day so that I wasn't feeling so overwhelmed anymore. It could be as simple as "vacuum today" or it could be more broad like "be more patient" or "be productive". You can read more about that whole thing HERE. But after remembering that, I decided to add that section because it really did help lower my stress and lower my mom guilt for not doing the things I wanted to do each day. And every time I start feeling overwhelmed with my to-do list, I think of what I wrote as my intent for that day and focus on that!

Then I created a goal section. I think there is huge power in setting goals and when you write those goals down, they become more set in your mind and you work for them more. So, depending on the day, and on what I'm focusing on at the time, I write down a goal that fits for me. It could be a small goal that is just for that day, or a bigger, more long term goal that I've been working towards. It helps me see the big picture and helps me find more motivation to keep going.

If this planner is something that will match your needs, feel free to download a copy of each page HERE! It's free, so there's nothing to miss out on.

Are you a planner person?

What do you do when you feel like your to-do list is miles long?

Friday, February 8, 2019

Fast Friday

Happy weekend! I took a little time off from the blog and from social media for a couple of days this week. V has been extra hard this week and I haven't had time to get much done on here, but I also felt like a little break would be good for me. Social media is amazing and there are so many great friendships there, but it's good and healthy to take a break every now and then. Now I'm here and will catch you up on some of the things we've done this week.

Last weekend it was cloudy but it was warmer than it has been so I took advantage of it and went on a run outside.

When I got home Trevon had rearranged the living room (something we've been working on for a while)! We live in a small townhome as a family of 5, so anyway we can make it seem bigger or less messy we try to take advantage of. This set up is working out so much better, and it only took us 6 years to figure it out.

Tuesday was a strength training day and I did a full body workout from Aaptiv that left me sore for a couple days.

Then we went to dinner with Trevon's family. I channeled my inner Hungry Runner Girl to make this massive salad, and it was delicious.

Trevon's younger cousin is left for her mission the next day.  We will miss her but we are excited for her!

V and I went to Costco this week while the girls were at school.  We found cookies for samples and I was so impressed because after I ate them, I saw that they were gluten free and they didn't taste gluten-free, they tasted like a cookie. I don't eat gluten free because I don't have to and I like my gluten. But if you need to eat gluten-free and you want a cookie, I highly suggest Mrs. Hewitts.

We had a crazy Wednesday with this little guy! He decided to strip down to his diaper and run around like that all day protesting any clothes. But not just that. While I was helping the older kids with something he quietly snuck into the downstairs bathroom and filled the toilet with toilet paper before flushing a couple of times and flooding it. That was a mess, but there's more. While I was cleaning up that mess, with 4 older kids trying to help, he snuck up to the upstairs bathroom and did it up there too! Luckily I got up to that one before he flushed it enough to flood it. I didn't think much about taking a picture to document until he was on the run again and this is what I got. It does document how much energy he had, though.

My workouts this week were a little different than normal.

Saturday: 2 miles outside.

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Rest/foam roll

Tuesday: full body strength

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: upper body strength. I decided to give my knee an extra day off, though it's not bothering me much, and work on my upper body strength. It was a good change. And when I got done I felt like I had nice strong arms. The picture shows them normal though hahaha. 

Friday: Rest/Foam roll

I hope you all enjoy a nice weekend! We are supposed to be getting more snow, though I would highly prefer it to start warming up! 

What was your favorite day of this week?

What are 3 things you're doing this weekend?

Who has a toddler right now?