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 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

Fitness Friday 03.20

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?
FitnessFriday032020-beelifeblogBut, 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!

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Fitness Friday 02.20

Happy Fitness Friday! Since the start of the year, I’ve been sticking tight on sticking to my workout routine and making sure I’m checking off the boxes each week. I’ve been feeling great, feeling slimmer and my jeans and clothes have been fitting great! Although, I was recently quickly reminded at how easy it is to fall out of a routine. FitnessFriday 02.20 - bee life blog
This Valentine’s Day we definitely over indulged on a few sweet treats and I also missed a workout or two, in addition to enjoying leftover cookie skillet for a few extra days (so good!)!  So what I quickly realized was that it’s easy to fall off a bit if, I’m not sticking to the workout routine that works for me.  I know myself, and I know I need to stick to a minimum of three days of a good workout, stick to a stricter diet and limit my cheat days — and any derivation of that hurts more than it helps!

Bonus is we’re only two months into the new year, so this reminder definitely comes at a good times, especially as busy season is quickly approaching.  I’ve been sticking to my goals and also know which ones I need to continue to work on, like my core strength!  What lessons have you learned about your fitness journey so far this year?

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Fitness Friday 12.19

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!
FitnessFriday1219-beelifeblogGoal #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!

What fitness goals did you conquer this year?

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Fitness Friday 07.19

Last month I shared an update of how my fitness routine has been pretty nonexistent because of letting my back heal up after having my worst to-date “flair up” over the month of May and creeping into June.  I finally went to a specialist, which led me to physical therapy.  And I was not happy that physical therapy was the answer to my back problems… it seemed like an easy scape goat and one I’ve heard before.
Fitness Friday 07.19 - the bee life
I was aphrenrsive about PT, but I really liked my physical therapist with my initial meeting and evaluation, and I ended up learning a lot in the process too. And luckily, by the time I got to PT, my back was feeling much better – so the goal of PT was to create a ‘maintenance plan’ for life and also to help combat those future flair ups. I did four weeks of physical therapy and have stuck tight to doing my exercises everyday – my physical therapist hasn’t put any restrictions on my physical activity, except for avoiding a few specific exercises when I go to bootcamp.  So guess what?!  I’m making a plan to get back in the game – first things first, continuing the strength my PT exercises and building my core strength.  Next up, adding in running.

Ironically, building my core strength and establishing a better running routine are two of my 2019 fitness goals.  Apparently the universe didn’t think I was doing a great job of accomplishing my core strength building and led me to PT – while I’m now grateful for and optimistic and feel better armed physically and mentally to combat and build my core strength.  So, now to keep things still safe and slow, I’m going to focus on running and get back to boot camp in time!

So I’m going to stop using this heat and humidity as an excuse, and I’m going to get out and run! What excuse are you pushing aside to reach your goals?

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