Friday, March 29, 2019

Fast Friday

Oh this week, this week has been so crazy. 

First, I got my hair done. It's been a while and my ends were feeling it.


Before

After


I got to run outside last weekend! I'm loving that the weather is warming up.


I wore a springtime outfit for church on Sunday.


Monday was laundry day and as I was folding laundry, I found this and I'm hoping it still works.


We had to go get the truck tire fixed on Monday because we got a nail in our tire...this seems to be happening more and more lately and it's very annoying. But we were super thankful that Discount Tires has a little play area.


Tuesday started with a strength training workout, thanks to Aaptiv, that left me sore for 2 days!


This little buddy has been such a trooper running errands with me and being patient as we go car shopping.  The transmission in our Pilot is on it's way out and now we are spending all of our free time car searching. But I guess he was sick of my choice of music when I took this picture.


My workouts this week looked like this:

Saturday: 3 miles

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Foam roll

Tuesday: Strength training

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 3 miles on the treadmill



And now I go to finish the rest of my to-do list before spring break happens.  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Who has spring break coming up?

What was your favorite workout this week?

Any non-van, family cars you love and suggest?

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Working Out on Vacation

The weather is finally changing and that means it's time for racing, and time for family vacations. There are a lot of us who are starting on training cycles for races. There are way more races this time of year to choose from and the weather is much nicer to train in. But it's also the time of year that we all like to take off once in a while and go play or vacation with families which means planning around schedules. Whether it's your first race or you have been doing this forever there one of the questions most of us wonder about is "what happens if I miss a run?"

Well, when you're in a training cycle it is ideal to get all of your runs in. Sometimes that's just not possible, and that's ok! If you know that you'll be missing some of your runs do these things first:

1. Look through your schedule and see if you will be able to get any of your workouts in while gone. If you have 30 minutes to spare one of the days, make that your speed workout. If you don't know that you'll skip that one.

2.  Plan ahead so you know which workouts you need to get in before you go.  If you're for sure going to be missing some workouts, make sure to get your most important runs for the week in before you go.  If you're doing a distance race, your endurance run is probably your most important run. If you're close to your race day and your endurance is already there, do your speed workout before you go. Figure out what workout is the most important for your training right now and do that one before you go.

3. Decide if your vacation is one that you're able to workout on at all.  Below are some good ideas for workouts you can use while you're on vacation.

So for starters, you have to take into consideration the type of vacation you're on.  Are you camping? Cruising? In the city? What type or surroundings do you have to use for a workout?

Camping

When my family goes camping, we almost always go to the same campground. Because of this, it makes it really easy to go on a short trail run.  Because we go to the same place, I know the distances and I know where to go.  Trail running is a fun way to mix things up. It also is a great way to use your muscles a little differently.  So that is a great option when it comes to camping and running. But what about other ways to workout while camping?

My family likes to take hikes, so when we camp, we hike at least twice in the week.  Hikes are great to count as a workout.  If you're counting miles for running, you can count half the distance of a hike for a run.


Camping gives you a great opportunity to try a work out like MovNat or to get creative with the way you workout. Climbing trees, throwing rocks (make sure you won't hit anything/anyone), jumping over a stream, there are so many ways you can use your body and surroundings to workout. (This is the lake I run to whenever I'm camping. Isn't it beautiful? This is only part of it too). 

Cruise 

When you go on a cruise, there is always an on board gym available.  My suggestion with this is to either wake up early and go before your daily activities or to go between your excursion and dinner. You can run, lift, or go to any of the classes, just like any other gym you go to. This picture was from our cruise a few years ago. Not the best view but not the worst one from the treadmill either :).

The view from the treadmill while we were on our cruise. It wasn't the prettiest view of the whole cruise but it was a great change from the norm. 

But there are other ways to workout on a cruise.  For example, cruise ships have lots and lots of stairs. This was my main way to workout while we were on the boat. We only took the elevator twice the whole time. Once to beat the crowd to dinner, and once to carry our luggage down off the boat. Everything else we used the stairs for. We had to go up or down several levels to eat or to go to any of the shows.  The other great thing about cruise ships is that they have an outside track around the boat that you can walk or run at certain times of the day. So you don't have to do it all on the treadmill.
The other way to workout on a cruise is to pick excursions that require moving. I'll talk more about our excursions soon, but just, for example, you can do snorkeling, Segway-ing, walking tours, swimming and several other excursions that require you to do more than sit on a tour bus. Look through your options and pick some that will also double as a workout

In General 

When you're staying in a city or town that you know well enough, you can take the opportunity to run outside and get to know it even better.  It's always fun to run in a new place and take in all the new surroundings. Just be sure to stick to the roads that you know so you can find your way back easily.
Instead of going on a long run, try switching things up and going on a walk or taking your kids to a local park. When we visit family in Idaho, we like to take the kids to a close by park. It lets them get some energy out and it gives us a chance to get a little bit of a work out in with our kids.


If you're staying in a hotel, most have some kind of gym available to you.  Check to see what equipment they have and plan to wake up a little early to get your run in!


There are many other ways you can squeeze in a workout while on vacation. And sometimes it's ok to just take the vacation time to relax and not worry about working out at all. If you don't have a specific race you're training for, it won't make a huge difference to skip the week. Sometimes after taking a little break from working out will actually help improve your performance when you get back.



What are your favorite ways to workout while on vacation? 

Monday, March 25, 2019

Feeling Stuck in Your Mileage

A question that I've been asked a few times is "How keeps you going when you run more than 1 mile?" Questions like this come up quite often and I can understand why. Every year around this time, while I'm just getting training going again, I struggle to get past about 2.5 miles too. So I think this is a pretty common thing that people who are either beginner runners or just coming back from a break or an injury deal with.

There are a couple of different answers to this question so I wanted to share what I do and give you some ideas that can help if you're in this situation.

The very first thing I tell people when I get this question, or questions about increasing mileage or being stuck at a certain mileage is that if you run outside it is WAY easier to go further. When you run on the treadmill, there is the big red stop button begging you to push it the whole time, but if you go outside to run, you don't have that option. You have to get home anyway so you might as well keep going. This tip almost always helps when it comes to increasing mileage.



Along with moving your run outdoors, sometimes it helps to focus on running a certain amount of time instead of miles. Sometimes running 3 miles (or more) seems like a lot, but a lot of times if you tell yourself that you're going to go out and run for 30 minutes, you'll be surprised to see that you're running further than you think in that amount of time. Each time you go out, try to increase your time frame by a few minutes and soon you'll be way past that mileage that you felt stuck at!

When I start to feel like I just can not get past 2 miles, or when I really want a long run but know I'm not going to get it done without a little distraction, I turn on my favorite running songs.  Some are upbeat and some are calmer. I just take my pace nice and easy and let my mind wander to something other than how hard my run is feeling. When I can distract my mind, I can usually push myself further.




It can be really frustrating when you feel like you can't get past a certain mileage but a lot of it is mind over matter. And once you push past it, you'll be able to progress a lot quicker and easier.

What is the hardest mileage for you to get past?

How often do you have this happen to you?

Friday, March 22, 2019

Fast Friday x 2

Since we have been having computer issues I didn't get to do a fast Friday post for last week, so this week's Fast Friday is a combination of things over the last two weeks :).

It's been warming up so we have been spending a lot of time outside.


And when it does rain/snow, J has been pretty insistent that she takes her umbrella to school. 



The other day I went down in our basement/crawlspace to find something and I heard V yell "Mom, grab on! I help you!" I looked over and saw that he had thrown me a rope to help me get out haha. That kid! 


While doing some spring cleaning, I found my old Gameboy Color and it still works great. So that's been entertaining. 


We have been doing more family night stuff lately and one of the things we talked about was working together. We had each kid try to roll Trevon over on their own and when no one could do it we had all three of them work together to roll him over. We love it when our lessons are easy to plan with these kinds of activities. 


V has never been a big book reader so it was a big deal when he sat down and let me read with him for an hour the other night. 



We've been eating a lot of these breakfast sandwiches lately and loving them.  We use the pre-cooked sausage from Costco to make it super easy. 



For Christmas Trevon got me a whole bunch of Sistema Tupperware.  It's awesome stuff. I love this one because it can fit a whole meal in and at warming food up with Sistema makes the taste and texture super fresh like it's the first time you cooked it. So anytime we have leftovers from dinner, it gets put in this and I have it for lunch the next day. 


We got to go over to my parent's house for a little while the other day and M just sat and played with these little animals for a while. It reminded me of what an awesome imagination this girl has! 


Then we spent more time outside because when it's 60 degrees outside you stay outside. 


My workouts the last couple of weeks looked something like this:

Saturdays --> outside running

Sundays --> Rest

Mondays --> Rest

Tuesdays --> Strength training 

Wednesdays--> foam rolling

Thursdays --> running and upper body workout

Fridays --> Rest

Getting closer to the start of training and I've been feeling a little better every time I run.  My IT band gets tight when I run outside but after foam rolling it feels better. All good signs! 


Do you normally have leftovers from dinner?

Is it warming up in your area?

How is your training going, or have you started yet?


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Early Results From Working Out Consistently and Why I Love It.

I get asked ALL THE TIME why I love working out. People who workout would understand all of my reasons pretty easily, and would probably agree, that the best thing about working out is that when I workout, I get results. I don't ever track my weight or how much body fat I have or anything like that, but my results come from the progress I make in my running and the way I feel when I workout.  Some people get discouraged because they can't see results (they are focusing only on the main goal) and they decide it's not worth the work. But what they don't see is that their body actually is changing, from day one, when they workout.

After a workout, your body sends out hormones and chemicals. These give you more energy, better attention and focus, and a happier outlook or feeling. That last one is one of my favorite things about working out and one of the biggest reasons I (and a lot of others) do it.



Working out helps me stay healthy and strong and, to me, the work is definitely worth that. I have a history of muscular dystrophy in my family and while I don't know if I carry that gene (I hope and pray I don't) but if I do, keeping my body strong by working out is one of the best ways to make sure that I stay as healthy and strong as possible. After just a week of working out, your body starts to adapt.  Your cells that create energy (remember the Mighty Mitochondria) work with your blood cells to help move oxygen to your muscles. That helps you feel like the weight you're lifting or the number of reps you've been doing not feel as hard as it was when you started. Every movement becomes more efficient. You will probably also have a decrease in resting heart rate which means your heart is getting stronger too.

Another reason I love working out is that it boosts my energy (I've talked about this before). When you workout, you sleep better which will give you more energy for the next day. You will also find that you feel way more productive after a good workout and you'll start getting excited about your next workout.



Along with an energy boost, it also boosts your mood (I've also talked about this a lot).   Those endorphins that we talked about earlier are more noticeable the more you workout. Not only am I happier and more playful with my kids when I workout, but I'm also calmer in stressful situations. And I can tell you that my whole family is thankful for a momma who's been on a run.

If you're someone who wonders why people workout because every time you start a new program you don't ever see results, don't feel discouraged.  Look at the other results that you've seen and not just the physical ones. It's much more likely for you to keep at it when you see those other results first anyway.  Finding something that you like about working out is the key to keep at it long enough to see the physical changes that you're hoping for.

What are the first effects you feel from a new workout program?

What do you love most about working out?

Monday, March 18, 2019

What to Know Before You Start Your Next Training Cycle

So it's time again to start a new training cycle. If you're in the same boat, or if you're starting your first ever training cycle, this post is for you. I'm sharing today the things that I learn/remember every time I start a new training cycle.

All training cycles are different. They vary from the distance of the race, your goal, and each person who's running them.  There are literally thousands of training plans out there for every single race and almost none of them are one size fits all.  Find the one that seems to work best for you, do your research, make sure you're not paying someone who isn't a coach or trainer for a plan that worked for them a couple of years ago.  Find a plan from someone you trust and make any adjustments you feel like you need to make it work for you.



Training almost never goes exactly as planned. So instead of planning out every step of the way, be flexible when you need to.  Your plan may call for a long run on a day that you just know there is no way you will fit it in. It's ok to switch your days around as long as you're making sure to get the rest days you need.



Take your training seriously. If you want to do well in your race, you need to train like it.  You can't expect to get a PR, or meet your goal time if you only half trained for your race. So make sure that you're putting the right effort into your training. There are going to be days that you don't hit your paces, there might even be days you don't feel like running at all. Give yourself some grace on those days but don't let it turn into a way for your training.

Give yourself the right amount of time to train. I don't have time in my day to train for a full marathon right now, it's not my top priority and I can't fit it in with family life right now, so I don't train for the marathon. I train for half marathons, 10ks and 5ks because the time it takes daily is more doable for me. Along with that, you need to make sure you start training far enough in advance.  The amount of time will also depend on the length of the race, and the training cycle.  Start far enough ahead of the race that you'll have a little wiggle room but not too far so that you overtrained and end up injured.



Strength training/cross training days are a must. A lot of runners don't think that strength training is important to their running, but it is so important! Adding strength training to your cycle helps you build stronger muscles (obviously) that will help you stay injury free. Strength/cross training also gives your body a break from running and helps your body recover faster. Not to mention that having strong core muscles help with running form.

Have fun! You signed up for the race, it was a choice you had. You GET to run, you don't HAVE to. So enjoy it! Put some music on to run/jam out to.  Run with a friend.  Do whatever it is that you need to do to make it fun. There is nothing that says you have to look mad when you run, and there's science that says that when you smile while running you actually do better! So have fun.


Are you running your first race?

What is your favorite race to train for?

When is your next training cycle?


Monday, March 11, 2019

Computer issues

Hey everyone,

This post is super quick and simple. Our computer had to get some fixing done on it so the post I had planned for today will be posted as soon as I get it back!

Have a fantastic Monday!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Fast Friday

Welcome to the weekend. We have had one really rainy week here. So that means not too many exciting things to share but I'll share some of the things we did anyway.

Last weekend started out with a treadmill run.



Trevon wasn't feeling great so he did a lot of resting, the kids did a lot of relaxing and I spent some time at my moms and running errands.

I wanted to share this little drawing pad that my girls got for Christmas because they have been really great for church.  I'm sure they would also be awesome for long car rides. J drew this picture of the part on Wreck-It Ralph two when he's feeding the bunny all the pancakes.



M has been working on her braiding skills lately, she practices braiding her puppy's ears.



The other day we needed to go to Costco. V was not happy about it but was more ok with it since I let him bring his umbrella.  We got to Costco and realized that I forgot my whole wallet at home (smh). So we just went on with our day instead and had to go back the next day.



While I got some work done yesterday, V made this little balance beam obstacle course and it kept him entertained for a while.



Then M decided to give it a try. I love when they find free ways to entertain themselves without technology!


Here were my workouts for the week:

Saturday: Treadmill run

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Strength training


Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 3 miles



What are you doing this weekend?

When was the last time you forgot your wallet?

Has it been warming up in your area?

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

How to Save Money on Race Entries

You always hear people say that they run because it's cheaper than therapy. I think that's only partially true, especially if you're someone who likes racing. Races are so exciting and fun and motivating, but sometimes races can be so expensive. For someone that is as frugal as I am, it makes it hard to do more than one race a year. And since the racing season is among us, I'm sharing a couple of ways to help you be able to afford racing more often (because we all love races).




Early Registration

The easiest way to save money on a race that you want to do is to sign up for the races as early as possible. The closer you are to the day of your race, the more expensive it is. Most races offer early-bird pricing for those who sign up early and in some cases, you can sign up as early as a year in advance.

Join a Running Club

Join a local running club or group. A lot of times races will allow a team discount for those who are in a running club or group that have several people who are planning on signing up for the race. But local running clubs are great for more than just the race discount. It's an awesome way to make friends, ask your running questions, and get some good group runs in together.

Follow the Race

Follow the race on Facebook. Some races have facebook or Instagram pages that they will share discount codes on every now and then.  It's also a great way to get in touch with the race directors and to ask your questions about race day.

Get a Sponsor

If you're a pretty good runner you can reach out to certain running gear companies and see if they will sponsor you in your race for wearing or using their gear. I've never done this personally but I'd love to give it a try!

Volunteer

A lot of races will offer a free race entry for the following year (or another race in their series) if you volunteer for one of their races. As a teenager, I volunteered at a lot of races and loved it mostly because I really loved the atmosphere. Trevon also volunteered a few years ago for a Spartan race and was able to run the Spartan race the next year. It saves money, it's a fun experience and you're helping someone out so everyone wins.

Ask for it

Do you ever get asked what you want for your birthday or for Christmas and not have any ideas? Now you do, ask for a race entry to a race you're really looking forward to! Someone else will pay for it and you don't end up getting something random that you'll never use.

Racing is a fun experience and it doesn't have to always be expensive!

When is your next race?

Have you ever gotten in a race for free?

How many races do you do in a year?







Monday, March 4, 2019

What To Do if You Are Sick on Race Day

Someone asked the other day if you should still plan on racing if you get sick. I think this happens more than most people would think. In fact, it happened to me just the other day. Not with a race but I was too sick to workout and ended up with extra rest days. It's pretty common since we've done the training and then during taper week our bodies seem to give in to sickness easier and then you end up sick right before race day.  I'm not a doctor or a coach, and it's always best to check with them in this kind of situation. But I'm happy to share what I've learned from my 20 plus years of running experience. So should you still race?



The first thing to do is figure check the symptoms to make sure if you're ok to run. If you're sick enough to go to the dr, you're probably too sick to run. Also, if your sickness is below the neck (stomach problems, chest congestion, fevers, or achy muscles) it's not best to run but you'd benefit more from sitting this one out. If you have a sore throat, a cold, or a runny nose, running is ok and may even help you get better faster.

Once you've decided if what you have is ok to run with, decide how bad do you really feel? If you feel sick and tired and you truly don't want to run, then it's not going to be worth running. If you feel like you're sick, or you're recovering from being sick, or you might be getting something but you feel enough energy to run, then go for it! Just know that racing while you're sick probably means that you won't do as good in your race as you expect or hope.



How long have you been sick? Most illnesses only last a couple of days. If your race is coming up and you feel like you're coming down with something, get some rest, stay hydrated, eat good foods and take the time off from training.  Your miles are already in the bank. Running those runs won't add anything extra to your training at this point and you may even benefit more from taking a few days off and running on rested legs than to do those workouts and wear yourself down even more.

 If my race was a lot of money, and I was too sick to run the race, I would definitely contact the race director and ask if you can defer the entry to another race or if you can transfer the entry to someone you know who would like to run it and then sell them the race bib. Racing can be so expensive and seriously, I'd be racing a lot more often if it wasn't that expensive, so especially if I spent a lot of money on the race I'd try to get my money's worth, or I'd do what I can to race it.



If you do decide to race, try to enjoy it and take in the scenery. You probably won't be PRing or winning this time, but you can enjoy the workout and the atmosphere of the race. Take the race easy, and have fun!

Have you ever been sick on race day?

What is your first sign that you're too sick to run or race? 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Fast Friday

Hello, Happy Friday! This week seems a little like a blur to me because I got sick with a cold and spent most of my time laying down somewhere. But here are some other things that we did.

Last weekend Trevon and I got a date night.


I skipped out on a run on Saturday and read instead.


We went to a friends house and V loved jumping on their indoor trampoline.


On Monday I played restaurant with M and V.


We also played a lot of games this week. That was nice because it allowed me to still be resting while we played.


We did a fun activity for family night. The kids made houses out of marshmallows and toothpicks and we put them on a strong foundation of rocks or a weak foundation of brown sugar (representing sand) and watched what happened if our foundations aren't on solid ground. Also, J always has her coat on. She won't take it off.


It warmed up some this week and we were able to spend a little time outside. I hope it stays warm now.


Yesterday I was finally feeling better and really needed a good run. So I got up and went to the clubhouse. I had a side ache the whole time but I felt so good otherwise and I can't wait to start training again soon!


Speaking of training, my first race of the year will be the AF 10k in June!

My workouts looked like this:

Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Rest
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Run
:)

How was your week?