Happy last Friday of February, aka as the shortest and longest month of the year! Did you start the year off with grandiose fitness plans and then just complete fall flat, like me? I’m here to keep myself accountable and be honest with my readers that I have let my physical health continue fall to the wayside – but I’m going to share with you an inside secret that has helped me flip that around and might be able to help you too.
What is it you might ask? Planning!
It may seem pretty obvious — but there is a whole lot of planning that needs to happen in order to make your goals a reality, whether they’re fitness, life or work related! The first step of planning is outlining those goals, but the next step is how are you going to accomplish them? This is where it can include multiple phases of planning and where my planning fell short.
Here is where my planning fell short in accomplishing my fitness goals — I told myself, “I want to workout tomorrow” — but what I didn’t plan was what workout I was going to do. Was it going to be a run? Was the weather good enough for a run? Was it going to be a yoga class? A circuit workout? I quickly realized, I needed to have that actual workout planned and figured out going into my workout day. This allowed me to look for a workout ahead of time that was attainable, whether I had the proper equipment and how long I needed to plan for.
Since I started doing this – which sadly hasn’t been long – I have been 3 for 6 in my workout days, accomplishing workouts and have a lot of sore, achey muscles! But I know continuing to plan, will only help keep me consistent, on track and one step closer to accomplishing my fitness goals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So 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!
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?
For 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?
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.
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!
Hey Fitness Bees! How are we holding up? It’s almost one full week down of this quarantine — have you totally rocked your fitness routine or have you completely stumped it? Last week when all the news started changing within 48-hours and schools started closing, my gym proactively closed for the same amount of time. I figured if anything, at least we will be able to workout and stay healthy!
Needless to say, I was selfishly upset, angry and super bummed — I was doing SO good staying in a routine with my workouts, getting my days checked off each week, while also sticking to a good routine with my food and nutrition. And now, that was going to get thrown away with 3-easy weeks of no workouts… and later to become quarantined and even working from home. Anyone else feel the same way?
But, here’s the thing. I quickly changed that attitude into a mindset that I wasn’t going to let this 3-week (at a minimum) quarantine throw off my workout routine and all the progress I’ve made in the last 4-months. Sure, it’s going to change and look a little different and will be an adjustment — but I told myself I’m going to stay committed to getting my four workouts in each week. To help this first week, my coach and trainer has been INCREDIBLE and posting workouts every day, the first one ‘Corona FREE Body Weight Workout‘ was also clutch and I’ve been sore since Monday from it! This is definitely going to be a go-to for the next few weeks.
I’m also hoping to incorporate a few runs into the mix — of course, when weather permits. We are also making sure to get out almost each day to get Moz on a few walks. However, I’ve also come to realize and will again be faced with more fitness goal road bumps. I imagine and know that the two races we have planned in April will most likely get cancelled or rescheduled… meaning I’m again being pushed back from a few of my other 2020 Fitness goals that I felt like I was easily crushing.
It has been easier to get outside with Moz after I’ve gotten my work done by just walking downstairs — no commute home, no stops at the store, not to mention I’m ready for some fresh air! I’ve also been able to incorporate and be a little more flexible with my workouts, squeezing them in during lunch or late afternoon to adjust around work.
So, as a lot of us are feeling knocked down, we have to jump back up and push through stronger and focus on the positive, while taking care of our minds and bodies. We got this!
It’s the first Friday of 2020 and what better way to kickoff the New Year than planning out your 2020 fitness goals. If you read my last Fitness Friday of 2019, you saw I graded my 2019 fitness goals, and how well I did them — or not! I feel like I really bounced back at the end of this past year coming off a big middle hurdle and without a big wedding coming up, or other major motivations, my primary fitness goal is to not only maintain, but just feel good and happy with myself.
I’m going to be a little boring, but a lot of my fitness goals are going to be the same as last year. Why? Because they’re what works for my routine, what my body needs, and also what I enjoy doing. Although I’m going to tweak a few, include a few more specifics and guidelines to help make these more attainable this year!
Build and Maintain My Core Strength. My back injury was definitely a wake up call to how I not only need to build my core strength but I also need to maintain it. I learned so much about how different parts of my body help or overwork themselves to makeup up incompetencies in other areas. So I’m going to start focusing on integrating my PT exercises in 3X a week.
Bootcamp 3X a Week. This works for me. Waking up and getting my workouts in before I head into the office, ensure I get my workouts done and checked off for the week. Even getting all three done within the work week opens Saturday’s up for volunteering, a run, or just social time with friends!
Finish 6 Runs in 2020. Usually B and I are able to get a few runs in each year, this past year we only did one! So I’m putting a number to it, to plan better and have a goal. I’ve already signed up for two races, one is tomorrow, and looking forward to getting a few more in the books throughout the year.
Healthy Food Balance. I generally try to eat less carbs, so that is something that isn’t going to really change. But I want to continue to maintain a healthy balance of less snacking, mixed in intermittent fasting, and those delicious cheat days. Maintaining food balance, while not depriving yourself is key to loving yourself and not sacrificing with fad diets.
OMG! It’s the last Fitness Friday of 2019! And as I’m not completely ready to throw in the towel on my 2019 Fitness Goals — I’d say I can only keep doing what I’ve been doing for the last few months to maintain my routine! So I’m going to do a little early reflecting on my goals… as I already know I did not do so HOT on them… I even graded myself on how I did, take a look! Goal #1 = Run More | My Score = FAIL Yeah, this was a complete fail. It started out strong getting our yearly 10-miler run in and then slowly trailed as the next day I literally threw my back off which ended up being a 5-month shut down. Not to mention, all the races we wanted to sign up for we were out of town or had prior commitments, so this just didn’t happen. I did get a few runs in but not nearly to the definition of ‘Run more.’
Goal #2 = Build My Core Strength | My Score = C+ As I just mentioned above and in my July Fitness Friday my back threw me for a loop this year and led me to PT. I honestly felt like it was the universes sick way of getting me to accomplish this goal for 2019 — going to PT and purposefully working on my core strength. Well, I held strong for about a month, and then completely fell off the PT train. However, I know have the tools to build my core strength – so this goal will be coming back for 2020, since my chronic back pain is not going away.
Goal #3 = Carbs | My Score = B I didn’t do so bad with this one! Of course I had a few times when this was a bit heavier than others, but as I got back into my fitness routine this late summer, my eating fell more in line, even though I was lying to myself about being stricter on food in the months when I was out of commission.
Goal #4 = Remain Consistent with Boot Camp | My Score = A- I was pretty good for the first 3-4 months of the year took a 5-month break because of my back and then have been in the game since September going strong and feeling great. I’ve continued to take it easy, make modifications and get my ass out of bed each morning during the work week to maintain on track with getting my three days in. Because I’ve felt better and have been working hard, I’ve been more conscious about what food I decide to eat (and ruin my workout with) and also feel better in my own skin and my clothes. I feel more toned even if the pounds are staying the same!
I’m a firm believer of not only writing down your goals, but also reflecting on your goals and being honest with yourself on successes, opportunities and struggles. This year was definitely not what I was hoping it would be — which often happens in life, so I’m happy that I was forced to be patient, try new things and also continue to rebound and accomplish my goals!