The 12 Days of Fitmas-Day 6

On the 6th Day of Fitmas…

STAY DISCIPLINED

As cliche as it may be, Nike's right.

As cliche as it may be, Nike’s right.

I think one of the hardest things to do when you start a fitness plan is sticking to it. You start to get tired, lazy, unmotivated. You have one bad day and then that one day turns into two. Then you’re like, well hell, I’ve already messed up I’m just going to stop trying.

It’s happened to me.

But, even though you might have an off day or two or three, it’s important to still believe that you can do it. Sure it takes discipline and that might be something you haven’t mastered yet, but with practice and some strategizing, it’s possible to make staying healthy become a part of you.

Some things that have helped me:

Outlining a Plan—I knew once I started training for my marathon I’d have a day to day plan of what I would have to do. This reeeally helps me because I just look at the calendar and oh, it says I have 4 miles today? Sounds good! I just do what it tells me no questions asked. It disallows for negotiating. The calendar says 4 miles. That’s it. Do it.

This can work even if you’re not training for a race. Let’s say you want to work out at least 3 times a week. Choose three days of the week that work best for your schedule and just do it. It’s Wednesday, your calendar says it’s gym day cardio—go! I find it best to also have something specific in mind. Again, it prohibits you from having to think too much about it.

Tell Someone—A lot of moms in my online group tell me that the biggest reason they’ve been able to stick with it this time is because of the daily check-ins we do. There’s something about knowing you’ve said you were going to do something that makes you do it.

So, tell your husband, tell your best friend, tell your co-worker, tell anyone that you’re planning on working out later. The chances of you going increase because if you don’t go, even if they don’t even ask, you know that you didn’t keep to your word.

You can also tell that person to call or text you to see if you actually went. Or, ask them to go with you!

Have (realistic) Goals—Working towards something helps make sure you stay on track. For me, it’s fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes. You’ve seen glimpses of my closet; I have a lot of clothes. There is no way I’m going to let my wardrobe gather any more dust nor did I want to invest in any clothes not my pre-pregnancy size. To the gym I went. I’m pleased to say I’m exactly 10lbs away from pre pre-pregnancy weight (remember, I’ve had two kids in less than two years!). It’s taken a lot of work but I have this goal engraved in my head. I wanted to do it the right way, the healthy way, and I’m almost there!

Have Fun—When it becomes boring, monotonous, an inconvenience, sticking to a fitness plan isn’t going to happen. So, make sure to spice it up. Buy yourself some workout gear. Find a race to sign up for. Challenge a buddy. Do different things in your workouts so that you look forward to them. It could be as simple as using a new machine at the gym, mapping a new route for a run, making a new playlist—there are so many ways you can liven things up so that you’re always having fun.

This is going to sound weird but just the other day, to spice up a treadmill run, I used a treadmill on the opposite side of where I usually go. That was it. I had a different view and that helped spice things up for me that day.
At the end of the day, the most essential part of staying disciplined for me is allowing room for error. I know I’m going to have some rough patches; I’m a stay at home mom! But, knowing that tomorrow’s another day keeps me going. I might miss a workout or two here and there—that’s not going to ruin what I’ve started. The important thing is to actually start.

–What helps keep you disciplined with your fitness?

–Is this something you struggle with?

Fiesta Bowl 5K Recap and 12 Days of Fitmas-Day 5

Wow. All I gotta say is wow.

These past 4 months that I’ve been running has just been amazing. I ran my last race of the year on Sunday and it. was. awesome.

When I previewed the course, I saw that it was a flat one in the city. Phoenix roads are structured like a grid so the roads are pretty much all straight. This course was basically a rectangle.

My previous 5K PR was 25:44 at my hometown’s Turkey Trot. I was hoping that maaaaybe I could set a new PR with the Fiesta Bowl seeing that it was relatively flat and I had a few more weeks of training under my belt.

25:05!!!!

My goal of course was to PR, but I had a secret sub 25 goal way back in my head (Do you ever do that? Have goal you don’t tell anyone because it might be slightly unrealistic and you don’t want anyone to laugh at you?) Anyway, you better believe I was still thrilled with my time (and my splits!!)

Mile 1: 8:04
Mile 2: 7:59
Mile 3: 8:06
Mile 4: 0:57

The morning was cold (again, Arizona cold) and I was decked out and covered head to toe. About 20 minutes before the race, I ditched the gloves and jacket.

The race was a 5K and ½ marathon and had two different start lines for each with only 5 minutes separating the gun. There were quite a few people confused and standing at the 5K line when they should have been at the ½. I let people I saw in the wrong place know they better get a move on to their correct spot.

The Fiesta Bowl race coordinators had partnered with Girls On The Run because their race had been flooded the month before; this made the start line particularly crowded and there were no corrals. I tried to shimmy my way close to the front as best I could but I still had to dodge around some people at the beginning. It worried me because there were a lot of children in the race and I could see people brushing them as they ran past.

Once I was able to navigate the crowd, I was on it. I looked at my watch to check out my pace and made sure to stay at 8:15 and under. At the time, I couldn’t believe that I was even saying that to myself!! “Helly, stay at an 8:15 pace.” Seriously, I never thought that would be possible for me!

After the first mile, I felt warmed up and told myself to push a little harder. I had that lofty goal of sub 25 in my head. 7:59. Yes!!

Mile 3. Okay, I was starting to get a little winded. Considering I had never ran this fast in my life, I was hanging in there but I really really wanted to finish strong. It became a mental challenge for sure to keep pace and I managed at 8:06 but I knew that my under 25 goal was likely not going to happen at that point. I ran towards the finish line like a madwoman. It took me a second to pause my Garmin (literally, my official time was 25:05) and I walked towards my run club’s tent wanting to collapse.

I looked down at my watch and saw 25:06—soooo close!!! I had to really talk to myself about not getting down on not reaching my secret goal. I was disappointed I was so close and hadn’t reached but I kept telling myself, “Helly, you freaking PR’d!!!”

Right in front of my run club’s tent were screens with the finisher’s times (I think this is pretty cool race feature btw). I kept a close eye to find my name and there I was—48/331, 10th woman overall, and 2nd place in my age group!! That news definitely helped alleviate any sadness I had over not finishing under 25.

It was the perfect ending to the year and leaves me with so much motivation for 2014. You bet I’ve got a 24 something 5K on my to-do list!! :  )

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The 12 Days of Fitmas

On the 5th day of Fitmas…

DON’T NEGLECT YOUR CORE

One thing I keep hearing throughout my training is that if you wanted to improve as a runner, you gotta work on your core.

Confession: In my recaps to you, I haven’t been completely thorough.

I run and you know that because I write about it but I’ve also been doing ab videos at home. My buddy Salt, whom I’ve mentioned before and will again and again, referred me to Blogilates on YouTube for good ab workouts. There is no way I can repay Salt for introducing me to this awesome person that we call Crazy Cassey. (She’s the one heading the videos.) They’re short, intense, awesome workouts. I’m obsessed. You heard me. I’m obsessed with working out my abs. (Who says that?!?) But seriously, these videos are actually fun, mainly because Crazy Cassey is hilariously entertaining. She has quite an abundance of ab workouts but she also has videos targeting all areas. Do a quick search of Blogilates legs and you’ll find a number of options. Same thing for arms.

I’m not too familiar with YouTube and what it has to offer as far as workout videos are concerned, but I do know that these are working for me. I’ve seen a significant improvement in my running since I’ve made my core a priority. I know that by continuing to include core work, along with diet and consistency in my training, I’ll continue to improve. It’s worked for Salt too—check out her abs!!

12 Days of Fitmas-Day 4 and Marathon Training Recap Week 5

On the 4th Day of Fitmas….

 REST

One of the things I’ve learned in my training is the importance of rest. I’ve been the most motivated I’ve ever been in my life these past few months that anyone suggesting I stop running (to help heal my leg) are met with raised eyebrows from me.

But, I’ve realized that resting will let me run. Not resting will mean no running. I have one complete rest day in my week when I do absolutely nothing but hang out, which is Friday, and Sunday and Tuesdays are cross training days. I try and make Sunday a chill cross train day and Tuesday a more challenging one. (I have to add that with the Runner’s World Streak I’ve been running every day. However, on “off days” I take it more slowly)

Another factor in resting is making sure I’m doing all I can to re-energize. After each run, I try and make sure to foam roll and ice. This doesn’t always happen but definitely more often than not. If you haven’t invested in a foam roller, I highly suggest it. You can find one in your sports store but also in places like Target, Ross, and TJ Maxx for around $15.

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Making sure I take it easy some days allows me to look forward to the days I know will be challenging. If everyday were difficult, I think I’d eventually become frustrated, bored, and burnt out. And, it also helps my family because I’m definitely in a better mood if I’m decently rested :  )

Are you good about allowing time for rest?

What are your rest days like?

 

Marathon Training Week 5

This was a really busy week.

On Sunday, I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k which was awesome!!

On Monday, I ran a recovery mile and took it easy.

On Tuesday, I was back at the gym but I switched things up and instead of doing my usual hill intervals I ran my one streak mile and biked 10 miles.

Wednesday was track day—speed work. You know I love track days and this day was just…wow. I won a BOB jogging stroller valued at $380!!! A runner in my run club owns a baby store and raffled the stroller to only members. At the start of practice, he drew names and mine was picked!!! You have no idea the look of shock on my face. My husband too, could not believe we had won when I called him!

Thursday was a 6 mile treadmill run and Friday was a chill one mile streak run.

Saturday I rested and ran a one mile streak one as I had my last race of the year the next day—I will recap it tomorrow!! :  )

This week’s total mileage: 21.65 miles and 10 bike miles. Overall a good week and now that my last race of the year is in the books, I’m preparing for a ½ marathon mid January. Very excited for 2014!! :  )