Fitness Friday 02.21

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.

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 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 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 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 11.19

Hi Bees! I have to take a moment and celebrate. I’m in the middle of month three of finally getting back into a workout routine after my back flair up over the summer, and you know what? It feels SOOO good to be back.
FitnessFriday11.19-beelifeblogI knew getting back into a routine after being off for four months wasn’t going to be easy, but sticking with it and fighting through the moments of wanting to skip, have only helped to stay focused and motivated!  And now whenever I put on a pair of jeans I take little moments to celebrate how good I am looking and how good I feel! 

I’m happy to be back into a routine, especially with the holidays creeping in.  But at the same time, the holidays can easily kill all that amazing progress we’ve been making all year.  That’s why I like to revisit my tips for maintaining and not gaining over the holidays. And as important as our workouts are, our food choices go hand in hand with that routine — especially as the parties, alcohol and multiple family dinners begin!

So if you’ve been celebrating and kicking butt at your fitness routine — keep it up! Keep on celebrating and don’t let the holiday celebrating get in the way of those goals.

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My Week of Low-to-No Carbs.

CARBS. I love carbs. But carbs are also not so great for you – especially those traditional carbs like breads, granola, pasta, potatoes… I always try and eat as low carb as possible but I of course have my faults – a quick sandwich for lunch, toast for breakfast, the occasional pizza, granola bars so I wanted to cut out those quick easy fixes for a meal, especially since I haven’t been able to workout because of my back flair up.  My week of low-to-no carbs still included carbs, but not those empty carbs, I also kept my keto rules in mind for my eats! Here’s how it all went down…

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Fitness Friday 06.19

It’s June! Which means it’s our half-way point in the year where we can check in on our fitness goals, reassess if we need too and prioritize our focus.

Normally about this time of the year, B and I are gearing up to start training for a half marathon. Unfortunately for us, we have yet to be registered for our next half.  Timing and dates with a few of the races we want to do aren’t lining up with other plans, so we are still on the hunt for a half to run this year!  But working out has taken a bit of a halt for me recently…
Fitness Friday 06.19 - the bee life
I’ve been down and out from the workout department that’s why I’ve been focusing more on my food because that is the one thing I can control at this moment.  I’ve shared that I was diagnosed with chronic back pain when I was 16 – so I’ve always lived with back pain and restrictions, well right after our 10-miler, I grouted our bathroom shower and effed up my back! Perhaps the worst it’s been ever, the entire month of May I was out for the count, and struggling through painful everyday interactions. Resulting in a doctor visit, and now following up with physical therapy – I am luckily feeling better with time, but reluctant to get back into the workout game.

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