Fitness Friday 01.21 – 2021 Fitness Goals

Do you make fitness goals? I love making goals each year, and think it’s important to split out personal goals and fitness goals – so we are about to talk 2021 fitness goals! Fitness goals are also super important for our mental health just as much as our physical health — it allows us to take care of our homes, gives us dedicated ‘me time’ and allows us to push ourselves to grow stronger.

Ok, so really quick before we jump into my new fitness goals, I’m going to grade how I did on my 2020 fitness goals. There were two goals that I completely failed at — goal #1: building and maintaining my core strength and goal #4: maintaining healthy food balance. But here are two that I did good with!

Goal #2 = Bootcamp 3X a Week | My Score: B-
I was going to rate this as an F, but I looked back at my Streaks app and I didn’t do as horrible as I felt — the workouts weren’t the same, but I was pretty solid for the first 6-7 months keeping a consistent workout routine. The last 5-months of the year, not so much!

Goal #3 = Finish 6 Runs in 2020| My Score: A++
Yes, this one was definitely the priority and easiest one to check off with each race completed. I ran four 5k’s, a 5-miler and a 10-miler race to complete this goal! Each race brought new challenges, no matter the distance, I struggled through the 5-miler, even a 5k — but breezed through the 10-miler, surprisingly with ease. It was a great accomplishment to complete this, gave us something to plan and look forward too even with them being virtual!

Now let’s get to what we are really here to talk about – my new fitness goals for 2021! Learning from my successes and failures, while also understanding the shift my fitness has needed to take over this past year and moving into this one, I’ve pulled together these three to focus on.

Finish 6 Runs in 2021 – including a half-marathon. Plot twist I want to still get at least 6-races in, but want to plan and get a half marathon in this year. I was hoping to do one this past year, but everything got post-poned for the larger, longer runs. B also wants to do this with me, so I’ll have a good running mate (as always) to work to accomplish this one!

Workout 3-4x a week. And for me a workout is at least 30-minutes of sweating, pushing myself and being physically active. I’ve recently purchased a Bosu ball, which allows me to do a lot of different types or workouts a little easier, and I’ve already found a fun Bosu workout on YouTube! I’m also hoping to add a few more hand weights, medicine balls, and step bench to my workout equipment to allow a bit more versatility!

Loose 15-lbs. I really hate goals like this, number goals, but sometimes they’re needed to help kick you in the ass. I know where I’m at, and I know where I should be, where I have been, what is attainable and still healthy — and I’m not there. Through better eating habits and more consistent exercise I plan to hopefully attain this goal, so I can then make a new goal of maintaining (because that might just be harder than loosing the weight!)

Are you making 2021 fitness goals? These goals are good to keep us grounded and focused to work towards the best versions of ourselves.

Fitness Friday 12.20 – 10-Miler Virtual Race Recap

It’s been a minute since I’ve shared a dedicated race recap on the blog, but this one was special — so I wanted to share. If you’ve been reading along on monthly Fitness Friday posts, you may have recognized a pattern and my focus on one specific fitness goal: running 6 races in 2020. Which all came from 2019, where we only ran one race and we usually do a couple!

The one race that we did run in 2019, was our annual 10-Miler race we always run in April. This is always a no brainer that we like to sign-up for no matter what and we always make sure to sign-up early in the year. And 2020 was no different, we were registered and then the pandemic hit. As the April race day approached, we knew it would be pushed… we kept waiting, and waiting, nothing in the summer came up and then finally it was rescheduled for an October date. Woo! October came, and the date approached and the decision to push indefinitely to 2021 was made. Runners could opt to run virtual or defer to next year. For B and I, we had planned to run this in 2020 and we were going to run it in 2020, so we switched to virtual and waited for our packets.

Welp! Long story short, I got sick in early November, we got hit with a ton of snow and now it’s December and we have this 10-miler race to still run… in December in the Midwest. We knew we would have to keep an eye out on the weather and plan quickly — which didn’t really help for me, who hasn’t been running, training or working out. And a 10-miler run, isn’t such a breeze when you’re not doing anything. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to running this and anticipated a lot of walking/running. But I needed to finish it and mark it off the list.

Two-Days Before the Run. It was Wednesday night, B and I have both been watching the weather separately and saw that the temps and conditions Friday and Saturday would be a possibility — but Friday morning was looking like the better option and without rain. Thursday, we confirmed that we would have to plan for Friday AM and account for at least 2+ hours. This was not a lot of time to mentally prepare, except that it was going to happen.

Race Morning. We woke up early, got ready and hit the pavement by 6:45am. I told B that we needed to start slow — the weather was surprisingly perfect around 41-degrees. And we stayed at a steady pace, didn’t have to worry about traffic, people or icy sidewalks. We continued at a speed for the distance we had ahead of us and stuck around an 11-minute + pace. Mile 8, I was feeling good and we took about a minute off with our pace and continued at a slightly quicker pace for the last two miles. As we hit mile 9, I started to get a bit emotional, I couldn’t believe we were still running and feeling decent and the end was in sight!

We finished at 1:53:10, with plenty of time to walk a bit, cool down and get back to the house before we started our work days! And even better yet, although I ended limping a bit and hunched over, I still had a smile on my face. This 10-mile race, went better than planned and as good as it could’ve went — I’m so happy that I was able to accomplish this. Now, I just have one more race to run before the end of the year to officially complete this 2020 fitness goal.

Fitness Friday 11.20 – Turkey Trot Recap

Morning, bee readers! How was your Thanksgiving? Ours ended up being a well rounded day, which was in many thanks to us signing up to run our city’s virtual Turkey Trot! This was also my fourth race of the year, as I’m still cranking towards my goal of 6-runs in 2020 (more on that at the end).

In fact, the last two weekends we’ve checked off two of our virtual races — which for me, both have been a little more of a struggle than I’d like, but I have also not been working out! Usually my cross training saves me when I’m not able to run as much, because it keeps me in shape and toned — but when you’re not doing any of that, I can only expect it to not be as easy. Last weekend, we ran a 5k and for our Turkey Trot we opted to a little 5-miler, because why not?!

It’s a little funny, because all of the races have been hoping to be rescheduled for in-person — that a lot of these turned virtual last minute, so we’ve been waiting for race packets and more specifically, for our annual 10-miler (that is usually in April). Which we just received our race packets a week ago, so now we’re trying to get all of these runs in, right as the weather has turned and grown more unpredictable. We’ve also pushed some runs even more, because I was also sick for a few weeks, so running with a cough and congestion isn’t really ideal and knew I wouldn’t be helping myself out there either.

Long story short, my 10-miler is probably going to be my 5th and last race of the year, making me fall one short of my goal of 6. And it’s going to be the hardest, because I know I am not in shape to breeze through 10-miles as I’ve done in previous years, so I’m feeling a repeat of 2017 coming in.

Our Virtual 5k Race from the Previous Weekend

I wanted to push myself during our Turkey Trot to get through 5-miles, because I know I have this 10-mile race looming that I want to and will complete. I’m also not sure if I want to get one or two more mid-size mile runs in before going after 10. I’ve trained and not trained for a number of half-marathons and 10-milers, and especially without my cross training — and I know, I’m not helping myself out.

So! As we jump right into Christmas, I’ll definitely be sharing my 10-miler journey in all it’s pain and glory within the coming weeks once I finally check that off this list.

Fitness Friday 10.20

News flash! There are less than 3-months left of 2020. Mostly that is a good thing, because this year has mostly been a disaster — but if you’ve been working towards any goals, it’s go time, to crank that butt in gear to check off every single one of those goals! I just took a peak at my 2020 goals, and per usual, my fitness goals are always a constant roller coaster – and this year hasn’t been any different. But there is one goal, I am bound and determined to check off this year.

The one fitness goal, I’ve been really focused on is getting six races in — which pre-pandemic was going to be a piece of cake, but all of our races have been postponed, rescheduled or turned virtual. So with a few races, JUST NOW turning virtual — our Q4 of running is quickly becoming jammed packed. As of today, two runs have been completed and two runs are queued up. Which means, I need to still sign-up for two more and just plan for virtual. I was really hoping to have a half-marathon included in my six runs, but our 10-miler will just have to do.

This past month I just finished my second race, which happened to also be our first virtual race! Have you run a virtual race yet? There were a lot of things I liked about running a virtual race, like we could plan and run on our schedule – pick your own location/route – we got the race packet and medal at the same time! Not to mention, this race was benefitting a organization that is near and dear to us, so that made it extra special. Some things I missed from a traditional race, was the crowd and team mentality — you sort of get amped up to run a bit faster than you might if it’s just yourself running through the park. We did make sure that we woke up early to run our race, because what would race day be without an early morning wake up call?

As I mentioned and you may see — our virtual run was a quick 5k, which helped raise money to support Friends of City Dogs Cleveland, which provides financial assistance to City Dogs is the adoption division of Cleveland Animal Care and Control which is an open intake facility – meaning they don’t turn dogs away. This nonprofit steps in and provides additional resources to support medical expenses like HW+, torn AC surgery, general enrichment and training. B and I also happen to volunteer for City Dogs and walk dogs – so we love this organization a little extra – but more on that, another day!

So as I work my way towards finishing 6 races, I encourage you to continue to work towards your fitness goal(s) to make a small part of your year a success!

Fitness Friday 09.20 – My Hike Life Lesson

As I was sitting and thinking about my monthly Fitness Friday post, my first thought is that I haven’t put in much work this month because of our trip and now quarantining post trip. But then, I thought about our trip and the good and hard hikes we took, and the one came to mind as a perfect example of life lately and often how our fitness journey’s may not always be perfect — so I thought I’d take a moment to share.

Before our trip out west, B and I put together a list of must-do’s that we wanted to make sure we accounted for! One of B’s absolutes was hiking Mt. Rendezvous – which is a hike we’ve done before. It’s a tough one — I instantly thought back to the first time we did it with my dad, the path wasn’t clear, we did some extra back and forth and it was long, with a decent elevation climb. I was instantly having doubts we wouldn’t be able to do it again, just the two of us. But the fun part about this hike is the waffle place at the top, which is the perfect post-hike treat and you get a free ride down from the Tram!

Our plans shifted slightly, as the Tram hasn’t run all summer due to the pandemic, meaning the waffle stand wasn’t open at the top, but instead shifted down to the Bridger Gondola stop where The Deck is (a popular sunset happy hour spot). So we decided to hike to the Bridger Gondola vs. the top of Mt. Rendezvous. Luckily for us the trails leading up are better marked since the last time we were there over 4 years ago and we could still get waffles and catch a gondola ride down from the Bridger Gondola spot! So after having our plan in place, we set our day to do the hike.

Now back to the meat of the story! We woke up early the morning of our hike to head to a popular sunrise spot to see the Teton’s in a reflecting spot of the Snake River (which was incredible!) — so we had a leisurely morning after that and I personally was pushing off our hike. But we finally got started just after the lunch hour, knowing we had at least 2 hours of hike ahead of us, and wanted to make sure we could catch the gondola down!

We started and the first mile or so was just incline, after incline, after incline — we had no breaks and I got gassed early on. It was hotter than I planned too, so I let the mental battle of defeat and my body feeling defeated get the best of me and I couldn’t stop complaining. I kept having to stop, catch my breath, blow my nose (allergies were on point out west), and continue to complain — B was not having it. But we kept going, and although B said after complaint #40, “Ok, we can turnaround.” — I quickly said “No!,” and kept hiking. I’m not sure if it was from that point on or just continuing to push through the discomfort and doubt… but after awhile my attitude and negative thoughts shifted and went away. I didn’t even notice it, we just kept going, took breaks when we needed, soaked in the views and chatted along the way.

Spoiler: We made it to the top! But the point of sharing this story is there are times when we just plain don’t want to do anything. When we don’t want to workout, don’t want to get out of bed, don’t want to adult or feel like we can’t. Those times when we already write ourselves off and consider something a failure — before it’s even done. This whole year has sort of felt like that, the whole year has just felt like a wash, I’ve heard it from many people, it’s been more of let’s get through this year and then we can go back to normal and do all the things next year.

But, when we got to the top, I felt so accomplished, I did it, B and I did it together! And it was pushing through the negativity and setting out to finish something we talked about doing no matter what. And it felt good! I was exhausted, but after awhile the pain and discomfort became part of the hike and something I worked with, until it wasn’t a thing anymore. This hike in a beautiful place taught me a little lesson, and that is to not write off defeat before it’s ever really started.

We’ve all been pushed around and down a lot this year. That’s why we need to remember and continue to celebrate our victories when we prevail through our own mental beatings and push through the physical pain. And we need to remember and acknowledge the fact that we are strong and can push through the pain, discomfort and doubt to accomplish goals — even if that is one day at a time, one workout at a time, or one hike at a time. And maybe, this year won’t completely be a wash.

Fitness Friday 08.20

Hi my bees! It’s time for a ray of optimism in a year that is seemingly turning out to be one shit storm after the next. And I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t been able to maintain the optimism as much as I was in the early months of quarantine.
FitnessFriday08.20-beelifeblogGoal #1 is to meet my running goal of 2020 and run six races. Since last Fitness Friday, I’ve been able to sign-up and add another race to our fall list — making a total of  four races (including my January run). Which makes me only two away from hitting my six! I was hoping to get a half in, but I’m not sure if that will happen — maybe it still will, we will see!

Goal #2 is to run at least 2x a week, starting tomorrow! I have been recently reminded that my workout routine has been less than consistent — and I need to lean in a bit more on fitness, exercise and getting outside more consistently than I have been, especially to help deal with my stress and anxiety in a healthier way (which FTR, has been through the roof 24/5 lately).

So I’m taking my race obstacles and anxiety obstacles and I’m going to step on them to more opportunities and reaching my goals and ultimately feeling better inside and out. What’re your current obstacles, and how can you jump on them to new opportunity?

Here’s to staying strong, staying active and reach our goals!

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Fitness Friday 07.20

July has been off to a heat wave start here in the Midwest — which makes a small window of outdoor workout time if you want to beat the heat. And after spending March and April quarantined, we try to be outside as much as possible when we aren’t working our 9 to 5 – especially with the beautiful weather.

During April and May and even early June, I was running almost weekly if not more with the nice transition of weather. But June quickly became a quieter workout month – as I mentioned in my Life Lately – June Update, it was a busy month and also a mental break month, although the hits just keep on coming.
FitnessFriday07.20_beelifeblogSo with the heat, running has come to a halt. But getting up and fitting in morning workouts has been our new go-to with the help of group workouts with my aunts! We’ve continued to do online workouts and with the help of my aunts hand weights and other equipment, we’re able to do a bit more than just body weight workouts or running which is a nice mix-up.  Sadly, I don’t think B or myself will be returning to a gym anytime soon — and for multiple reasons. One reason is, I believe there is a perception for some people that the less you expose yourself too, the more likely people are to be OK seeing you even if it’s outside and socially distant. Another reason, is I just don’t fully understand the mask, droplet thing, and how that works in a gym if you’re not wearing a mask.

I was excited to start running again, as one of my 2020 fitness goals was to run 6 races this year. Well, I’m stuck at one — they all keep getting pushed back or rescheduled. I think eventually they’re all going to become virtual. Which is fine, I guess, I’ll still run with B, as long as we get our race metals! So there is definitely some push that is going to happen here late Q3 or Q4 to get the 5 more races finished! So far 2, have been rescheduled.

So until then, and while this heat continues, I’ll be squatting and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated!

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Fitness Friday 05.20 – Mental Health Edition

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which I found to be pretty fitting as I’ve had a rollercoaster of anxiety, stress and mixed emotions, this month, about everything happening in our world as time continues to go on — and a few friends I’ve spoken to as well are feeling the same, anxious about doing things we used to never think twice about.

This past week has been tough. I’ve cried a bunch, dealt with my hamster wheel of thoughts and chest pains brought on by my anxiety. Even with all of that I’ve made sure to maintain one thing to help stay physically sound — my workout routine.  I’ve even started to do some virtual yoga with some friends on a weekly basis which has been a nice transition into different physical challenges and focused mental breaks.FitnessFriday05.2020In the midst of my tough week, I stumbled upon a LIVE White House Press Conference, which I don’t tend to watch normally, but I figured I would give a listen. Not long into the conference they transitioned to speaking about the mental health risks and had a Doctor speak about how these stay-at-home orders have and will affect mental health (Start watching at 31:52 – with limited Trump speaking). Her words, echoed fears that I’ve faced with slow interactions of getting back to ‘normal’ — I’ve feared that my anxiety is going to be amplified to the point that I may need to take medicine to just do everyday things, like traveling or visiting with friends/family — medicine is something I personally try to avoid, but understand it helps many people and glad that people utilize it to manage their stress/anxiety. I’ve feared that some of us might come out worse, than we went in, that maybe we won’t all be okay right away.

So if you’ve been struggling like me, I wanted to share some tips from the CDC for mental health, and specifically for mental health awareness month:

  • PAUSE. Breathe, notice how you feel.
  • TAKE BREAKS from COVID-19 news/information
  • MAKE TIME to sleep and exercise
  • REACH OUT and stay connected
  • SEEK HELP if overwhelmed or unsafe

Click here to see more how to manage stress from the CDC.

I would like to add, another way of seeking helping, it’s to talk about how you’re feeling with trusted family and friends. I’ve found that just sharing that I’ve feeling anxious and not great, takes those feelings out a bit, so they aren’t just pent up inside of me. The state of Ohio has started to open things up, and the walls are starting to come down, which has led us to face how we even just interact with some family that has caused some doubts, questions and unsure feelings.

I hope these 60+ days of ‘quarantine’ don’t lead to an ever life changing bout of increased anxiety for myself or others, but we just have to remember to take care of ourselves and listen to our bodies and minds when we’re not feeling okay. Stress and anxiety can really affect our physical state without us knowing — so pause and check-in with yourself and even others.

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For more resources check out the these Mindfulness Tools from Kevin Love and Headspace, Inspirational Instagram Feed, Mental Health America, Stress and Coping Resource from the CDC

Fitness Friday 04.20

Hi Bees! Looking back at last month’s Fitness Friday, we were just a week into quarantine, and the news of settling in and adjusting our lives and fitness routines accordingly was fresh and still settling in. Now it is very much a reality and further adjusting has been a continuous journey as each of the days passes. So now the real question — have you totally rocked your fitness routine or have you completely stumped it?
Fitness Friday_04.2020For me, I’ve been sticking to my workout routine pretty well — it’s of course been different, not as intense and shorter some days than others but I’m sticking to getting my days in. I missed a few days at the beginning of the month because I was having some bad medication side effects I was dealing with, but once I figured that out I was back in commission. I have even gotten a few runs in this month and pushing myself to slowly increase my mileage – this has been nice to get some extra calories burned!

One of my biggest hurdles is my new WFH gym. I have one kettle bell weighing in at 25lbs, one hand weight at 10lbs, a jump rope (that I can only use outside) and a yoga mat. I tried to order to hand weights early in the pandemic for in-store pick-up at Target, but those quickly sold out, hence after I ordered two — only one was available *face palm* So I’ve been reliant on body-weight and cardio based workouts and my runs when the weather is decent. Anyone else the same?
FitnessFriday_04.2020(2)Now for some real talk. I’ve been able to maintain a pretty positive outlook through all of this — but this week I hit a wall. Wednesday was tough. It was a long work day, I had intentionally pushed my workout to the evening — but by the time the day wrapped up I had no interest in working out. I wanted to cry. I was feeling on an island, feeling drained, and uninspired. So I sat and stared out the window for a bit, ate a pretzel stick and four animal crackers and debated with myself in my head. I finally got up, made myself go to my basement gym, put my sneakers on and queue up a 36-minute cardio workout. I’m glad I made myself workout, I needed it. I felt about 80% better, but it was definitely better than crying and feeling sorry for myself — although I know we all need those moments sometimes.
FitnessFriday_04.2020(3)Luckily, my Coach is still sharing and posting lots of free workouts on his YouTube Channel so if you’re looking for something new be sure to check out his page! I have also done some virtual yoga with my dear friend from Yogatta Give Back— she is hosting a donation based session every Tuesday. Finally, I’ve seen that through sharing my workouts and talking with friends/family we’ve all sort of kept each other motivated knowingly or not — so share your struggles and share your successes because you just might inspire someone to go for a run!

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Here are a few of my favorite Quarantine Workouts: The Big Nasty, Fitness Test, Giant Metcon Circuit