Friday, February 28, 2014

It Takes a Village... build a happy runner!
Many bloggers have written in the past about the many people that work together to get a runner to the starting point...their doctors, coaches, PT, chiropractor, etc.  This post is different.  Yes I'm case you didn't know...because it's not like I talk about it constantly...but I'm not going to talk about getting over an injury.  Instead I have been thinking about the things that go into building up a happy runner! 

Yesterday I attended a preview of the new Spring line by Oiselle at a local running store, Bayside Runner.  As an aside, you should really check out the new line because it is awesome!  The fabrics are so soft and comfy while having really great style and colors!!  If only my wallet were thicker!  There were a handful of local runners there and we spent our time checking out the clothes while chatting up races...upcoming times...everything our families are tired of hearing day in and day out!!  When I got home I was wired...happy to have had a great time around some awesome lady runners! 
It got me thinking...thinking about when I first got started running...thinking about how being around other runners feels...thinking about what being a solo runner is like at times.  I know many runners, myself currently included (although I am trying to schedule that to change) who run solo all the time.  My BRF Jill is a rockstar and she is training in this harsh NE winter solo on her way to London this April.  However....
The miles pass faster...the weather doesn't seem as awful...the task ahead isn't quite as daunting if shared with others.  I know that my increase in speed before Aubs was largely influenced by my running group...running with others who are fast made me fast too!  When I am able to do my long runs with Jill, the miles click by, even in the craziest conditions, quickly.  Races seem more exciting and it's always fun to recap every step of a race with someone who is just as excited as you to listen. 

Sarah and Dimity call it a tribe...some call it a group...others call it family...whatever it is to you gather it together!  New runners check out local running stores for running groups or pub runs.  AMR Connect is also another place to find other runners in your area.  Do what you can so that when you need a village to get you out the front door...or to the starting line...or across the finish line, they will be there as all good villages are!!!

Do you have a village?  Or are you a lone soldier?  Anyone else get wicked amped up after being around other runners?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

TTT...Spreading the Love

It's Thursday and you know what that means....your weekly dose of randomness courtesy of Miss Fancy Nancy!  You're welcome!

Fighting the fight...Em woke up with strep on Monday and my high schoolers are like walking balls of germs so I am resorting to my old fav...
Pardon the roots...clearly time to get my hair did!
I swear by Airborne!  Each time I feel something coming on or I find myself surrounded by sickies, I take it 3 times a day and usually I am in the clear!  I'm fighting the good fight on this one!!

Copper me up...As part of a campaign with Fitfluential and Tommie Copper, I received a tank and tights from Tommie Copper.  If you follow me on Instagram....and if not then you saw me post this yesterday...
Yes those are chickie feet in the background...the only full length mirror is in our daughter's room!
I could honestly live in their Active Fit tanks!!!  This one is not only incredible comfy but it is a nice length that keeps me from having to pull it down all day!  A nice option for keeping my mom belly in check!  A full review is coming soon but I wanted to share the love!!!

Griddler...No this isn't the newest McDonald's sandwich but a gift from my hubby after being away this weekend!
 He scored a great deal at Kohl's and I couldn't be more psyched!!!  You can either grill or use the flat top.  This is awesome for me since I am convinced that if I try to fire up our outdoor grill I may singe every last eyebrow I have.  I'm able to use this to prep my chicken for the week without having hubs out in the cold....perhaps that was his alterior motive!!

Adding in one here!  Angela over at Happy Fit Mama is hosting a #HappyFitMarch Challenge on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter.  It starts March 1st...are you up for the challenge?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Let's Talk Training Week 7

Well this week should be easy to recap since there was nothing much of any movement going on around here!  I'm going to do a little more this week in terms of stretching and starting to do some core work until I am certain my back is a-okay!  Writing this I feel like it sounds like I'm milking it but after hurting it really badly several years back I know I NEVER want that to happen again!!  I also have my hubby making certain I don't try to push it too fast too early!  As I was packing to go visit my parents this past weekend, he saw a pair of running socks make its way into my bag.  He promptly asked, "Why are you packing any running stuff?"  Can't sneak anything!!!
Monday: The spin class that did me in...I was spinning with a friend of mine...loving the class and loving how I was feeling...loving life...and then with one song left...BOOM not good!
Tuesday-Sunday:  It took me 3 days to be able to walk and sit somewhat normally and be able to hold my daughter. 
I'm really starting to contemplate not running the half in March because I don't want to push too much and then not be able to run at all.  I have a lot on the schedule this year including Ragnar!  The only bummer is that I have run this race for the past 4 years and am bummed thinking about missing it!  I will see after this week off how I feel and go from there. 
Any yoga or core exercises you would suggest??
I'm looking for some things I can do to get my strength up...even if it's online or on-demand

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Motivation

This past week has been frustrating...temps finally rose above freezing and I had more time to run than usual since it was vacation week...but I couldn't run...I couldn't swing a kettlebell...I could barely lift my daughter!  Hurting my back has kept me from taking those step toward my could keep me from running one of my favorite races next month...but I'm not giving up!  I'm going to do what I can today to get my core stronger and my eating cleaner so that when I can run and swing the bells I will be ready...and stronger than before!  This injury is just a need to throw in the towel now!!
Have you ever wanted to just quit due to an injury?  What kept you pushing forward?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Let's Talk Training Week 6

I'm writing this now with an ice pack on my back because I didn't listen...I pushed when I should have babied...I went with how I felt instead of being smart and because of that it took me 20 minutes practically to get out of bed this morning.  Last night I decided that I was feeling pretty good.  My back was a little sore from carrying the babe around a birthday party yesterday, but overall pretty good.  I went to a spin class...sprinted...climbed...had a blast until the last song when my back seized.  This morning is rough...demoralizing...humbling.  I didn't listen and now I'm paying the price...dearly!  Here's a recap on last week....believe me this week is all about the resting!
Monday: 3-5 miles- 4 easy basement miles
Tuesday: Xtrain-Went to the gym thinking I could swing light kettlebells....NOPE slight back pull so I stopped immediately and sat on ice the whole way to work.  I then proceeded to ice for the whole day!
Wednesday: 6 miles tempo-I tried to play it safe and rest.  I even left work early trying to avoid a lot of getting up and walking around.
Thursday: 7 miles-Went to the gym and just did the elliptical for an hour.  My back felt really good once it loosened up.
Friday: fun workout-Rested and enjoyed my Valentine! 
Saturday: 14 miles-I figured I would play it safe and do an easy 10 miles thinking I would rather make it to the start line in 4 weeks!  This run was AWESOME!  I looked down after my first mile and saw 8:39 looking back at me and I thought...."Woah I need to slow down!"  After a few miles of the same sub 9 minute pace my message to myself shifted to "Let's do that again" for each mile that followed.  I had only one mile over 9 min mile pace and that was because I got my own neighborhood!  This was the run I needed!!! 
Sunday: Rest

My plan is this week to take the rest of the week makes me want to cry just writing that...but I know I need to stop if it is going to really heal.  I feel pressure because of the race coming up...the Dietbet wrapping up (I'm only 2lbs from my goal)...just not wanting to be sidelined.  If I don't rest is not going to be pretty come race day!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday Motivation

I've gotten myself lately into a pattern of getting discouraged when I don't nail a workout or my eating isn't perfect.  It throws me off my focus and keeps me from getting to where I'm trying to go.  I've seen this quote many times but this morning it is practically screaming at me!  Progress is the key!  I'm not going to always have the perfect run...but I am getting closer each time I get out there!  I'm not going to always have the best eats each and every day...but I can choose to dust myself off and do better with the next meal!  Injury will keep me from swinging heavy kettlebells...but I can do other things to continue to work my muscles!  Don't let the quest for perfection keep you from even starting!  Shoot for progress each day...make the best choices you can each day...and one day you will see your hard work!!
Do you ever let the quest for perfection keep you from progressing?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pity Party...Party of 1

After the past few days I have an entirely new level of respect for those of you out there...the ones who have been injured for a while and are rocking the rehab and staying calm.  I reinjured my back yesterday at the gym and this sign should be firmly pinned to my shirt...
I was at the gym and ready to do my kettlebell circuit...I had chosen lighter weights to be safe...was 4 exercises into the set when back firmly told me that there was no way this workout was going to happen.  Even above that...standing up straight or really walking for that matter was out of the question too...which is really interesting since I work in chairs that are about 5" off the ground making every move a deep squat!  Immediately I wanted to sit on the floor and cry...I felt bad for myself and panicked about New Bedford and my training...I was just starting to feel strong and ready to really push myself.  Now I just feel sad and frustrated.  I am going to see how today is...probably going to take a whole day off...mentally I know that this is the only thing that is going to make this angry toddler of a back stop screaming but oh the head game it plays with me! 
Any suggestions for ways to rehab a cranky lower back?  Any suggestions to stay on track while I'm sidelined?  Any exercises to do?  Any volunteers want to come over and remove the Valentine candy meant for my daughter's teachers so I don't eat it?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Let's Talk Training Week 5

Week 5 and I'm starting to feel that "hurts so good" feeling each Saturday evening!  This week I had the added bonus of a cranky back which had me walking around the grocery store like a little old lady!  Here is how it all broke down!  New Bedford Half here I come!
Monday: 3-5 miles- Ran 3.1 basement miles and 50 burpees
Tuesday: Kettlebells-Aubs woke up about 20 min before I needed to be up and out the door so it was just a burpee day for me
Wednesday: 6 mile tempo-Snow day/sleet day so I headed to the gym early and got in 8.2 miles on the mill...people watching is so much more fun than my basement! 50 burpees
Thursday: 7 miles-I swung the kettlebells by myself and ended up tweaking my back trying to NOT hit someone who were way too close!  Long story short I got in 4.4 miles before I remembered that I needed to walk the next day and pushing it with my angry back would not be pretty! 100 burpees
Friday: Xtrain-Back was stiff waking up so I tried some stretching after my 50 burpees.
Saturday: 10 miles-I was up in Boston again staying with Jill for work so it was a no brainer...up at 4:30 and out the door at 5am!  Let me just tell you this was an adventure (one my back is still not my friend about)!  Since they got far more snow than us we had to climb down snow drifts to get to the beach...then back up them to get to the trail...then skate our way along an icy and snowy trail...back down to the beach...and back to her house!  I seriously would have NEVER done it with anyone else!  Somehow when we run together everything sounds like a great idea!  With frozen faces and numb legs we even made up a song about how much we love running!  The sunrise was gorgeous and it felt awesome to be out there....frozen and all! Bonus 50 burpees
I love this one for some reason...glowing from the run!
Sunday: Rest-Woke up with 50 burpees and then "rested" aka cleaned the house and chased my chickies around!  I'm excited that I am cruising along though with the #ffburpee challenge with 750/1000!!!

**I'm going to be adding weight training and stretching advice from my trainer (aka the lady who got me obsessed about kettlebells) here each it a "What Would Mary Do" section.  My question to all of you is...What types of things would you like her to talk about?  Kettlebells...pilates...stretches...foam rolling...weights...ask away!**

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday Motivation

On my way to Boston this weekend, I was catching up on my AMR podcasts.  They were talking about the most inspirational thing someone had said to them; something that made them feel they could do something big.  It got me thinking about recently something that was said to me that has inspired me.  Over the summer, I was working out with a trainer (whom I look forward to working out with each week) and she told me that she was excited to work with me because she could tell I was an athlete.  Now at the time this new mother, 20lbs overweight, lugging around a much wider middle was a far cry from my days as a college athlete but little did she know that this was exactly what I needed to hear!  She saw something in me that I wanted to see too...that I wanted to get out...that I knew was in me!  I AM an athlete...we all have that in us somewhere!  See it in yourself and let it out!  Train like an athlete...fuel like an athlete...push limits like an athlete...reach your goals like an athlete!!
What was something inspirational that someone said to you?

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Coffee Date with my Mom

Last week I began thinking I would write a post like ones I have seen the past few weeks.  Thinking about sitting down with all of you with a nice cup of coffee...the thought just makes me relax!  Sitting...being able to complete a sentence while sipping something hot and yummy...ahhhh!  However life takes turns that we don't expect and some of those turns make us realize how short life really is.  This past week had one of those turns and because of that this week's coffee is going to be with my Mom!  Last Friday, I was getting the kids ready to meet my husband out for dinner with friends when my sister called saying our mom was being taken to the hospital in the ambulance.  The details pour out into my ear as I continued to ready the girls until one word made me stop in my tracks...cardiac.  My plans changed and as soon as my husband got home I took off for the hospital 45 min away.  Thoughts pour through my head during that drive....ones that I should say to my mom...ones I would say to her if we could sit and have coffee.

If I could sit and have coffee with my mom I would tell her that first and foremost I love her.  I am so thankful to have her as a mom!

I would tell her that she is my hero....and that I pray that I have even half the strength she has had her whole life.  She has taken care of a husband who has struggled with Crohn's for their whole marriage and has never complained a day.  She has gracefully faced challenges without even thinking twice.  Although I'm sure there have been days when she broke down she never let us see her scared or angry.

I would tell her that her heart makes everyone around her feel loved.  She takes notice of those around her and finds ways to love them...taking them meals...sending them notes...calling them...taking them in to live with her....her heart is big and compassionate!  I always get a big smile on my face every time I get the mail and see her handwriting!!

I would tell her that because of her (and my dad too) I felt like I could do just about I could leap off a mountain and they would be there to catch me!  She always says that Aubrey is just like me...pushing the limits...wanting to do it all.  I hope that I can be the mom to Aubrey that she was to me showing me that I was limitless!

I would tell her that losing her would leave a hole in my heart aches just thinking about it.  On that drive to the hospital I was upset I didn't call that morning (I always call every morning on the way to school)...upset that I wouldn't be able to talk to my mom friend.

My Mom is doing well and the cardiac scare was just that...a scare, but I promise it was one that made me remember that the time I have with my mom...with anyone I short and shouldn't be taken for granted. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Let's Talk Training Week 4

Week 4 and I'm finally feeling what I've been chasing...walking funny from sore legs and a good fatigue!  Overall it was a great week and I'm excited to see going forward where I can take it!  I'm working in my burpees each day (50 per day) and inspiring a gym to join in!  So here's the skinny on last week!
Monday: 3-5 miles with 3 min pick-ups...Ran 3.5 on the mill with pick-ups
Tuesday:  x-train...morning kettlebells with 4.3 miles on the bike to warm up
Wednesday:  1 mile warm-up 2X2 mile 1 mile CD...woke up fighting something...put myself to bed early with no run
Thursday:  x-train...morning make-up of yesterday's run and night KBs!
We put up our burpee totals on the board in my gym...well it has really caught on and now there are people adding their names!  Amazing what a visual can do to inspire those around you!  We are up to 350 now!
Friday:  3 miles...6 miles before work.  We had an inservice day which meant a later start for me.  I drove to school and ran around the town...loved it!!!
Saturday:  12 miles...Friday night we had a scare with my mom's health and I spent the night in the hospital with her.  Needless to say I woke up Saturday grateful beyond belief that she was ok but pretty much like a wet noodle (I'll post more on this later)
Sunday:  rest...12 miles in the foggy but oh so mild morning!  
It was so incredibly awesome to get out there and go long!!  Half way through I started seeing mile markers on water bottles.  It was then that I wanted to kick myself since I had completely forgotten about a local 10 miler!!  Next year!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday Motivation

I've used this quote before but I feel that I am at this point again with my fitness.  Yesterday I went out on a long run...12 miles which is my longest run this training cycle.  Knowing the hills I have waiting for me in New Bedford I met them head on today.  I pushed the pace...pushed myself...pushed my limits.  In my weight my running...with my eating...I'm done with good.  I know that great is waiting for me to go and get it...and I'm coming for you!
What good are you ready to give up for great?