Beginner Trail Running

A few months ago I decided that I would take on a trail run.  I researched races that would fall on my birthday and asked fellow running folks their thoughts and opinions.  I determined the Bobcat Trail half marathon was going to be my birthday present.  I love running on my birthday because I am grateful that I was able to run another year and spend another year with family and friends.  I am also crazy enough to run a 50 miler at Mohican next June with these crazy running friends.

Signing up for a race means you should prepare for the distance and the terrain.  If you know the race will be hilly, you need to practice hills.  If the race is going to be on trails and the most you’ve run is a towpath, you need to hit up some trails.  That is exactly what I did last weekend along with some fellow running friends.  We woke up and hit the road at 5:30am to arrive at Mohican Park by 7am.  By 7:20, everyone had stretched, hit up the bathroom and we’ve reviewed the trail map.  This bought us just enough time for the sun to come out and eliminate a need for headlamps or flashlights.

Just a few miles into our run we hit up the bike path.  The terrain quickly changed to rough, bumpy, and up and down hills.  It was AWESOME!  I was seeing how fast I could take the downhills without tripping over anything or mis-stepping.  The uphills, I walked or tried to jog here and there.  Although it had rained the day before, there weren’t many puddles or muddy spots to break in my Hoka Torrents.  They are still a bright orange with a tiny spec of dirt.

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We passed a small waterfall and then a bigger waterfall, made a wrong turn and ended up back at the cars after 2 miles.  After checking the map and getting a quick bathroom trip in, we set off to do another 6 miles.  It was during this portion of the loop we were given more information about the Mohican 100 trail race and how the course logistics work out from a four time finisher.  We were running to the fire tower when someone questioned the distance.  It was at that point the maps came back out and we realized we missed our turn.  Uh-Oh, we just added an additional two miles.  Once we got to the fire tower some chose to climb the steps, I decided to rest my legs.  We started to contend with mountain bikers as they were getting a long ride in around the park.  After 10 miles, we made it back to our vehicles!  It was a fun day, I wasn’t sore and I didn’t fall once during this run or my first official trail run either, but there is always next time.  Don’t worry, I’m carrying a band-aid.  I did miss my long run for the weekend, so I will need to make that up with my marathon relay.

I have definitely found something that is challenging and exciting that I will pursue more next year!  I want to continue to explore new races to have new adventures.  Even while I’m writing this, I am receiving messages about other trail races that will be opening registration soon.  Running friends can be very persuasive.

Get out there with your friends and family and explore your national and state parks!  As always, be confident, be fit, be you!

 

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Training has commenced

Uh oh! It looks like I fell off the blogging train a month ago and didn’t know how to get back on board.  Well, I haven’t figured out a schedule to sit down and write that seems conducive to family time, working, meal prepping, half marathon training and sleep.  Yes, that last one is usually the thing I sacrifice the most these days.  I knew my schedule would get tighter when I made a commitment to healthier eating and getting more physical exercise.

So, what has happened in the last month.  I joined Weight Watchers again.  I was very successful with the program a year and a half before I had my daughter.  I even lost all the weight relatively quick after delivery and maintained that for a little over a year.  Then we decided to expand our family and my food cravings were for anything and everything that did not include a fruit or vegetable.  Fast forward about two years and I still don’t fit into most of my pants.  So, I joined Weight Watchers a second time and have been committed to tracking points.

I signed up for onceamonthmeals.com and picked foods that were healthy and didn’t include processed foods.  My mom and I spent two days prepping 30 meals to have for lunches and dinners.  Most of the meals were insanely easy to prep and we’ve only ordered out once in two weeks.  That is a HUGE improvement for our family.  *disclaimer: we did go out to eat one night for dinner for a fundraiser*  The website provides a grocery shopping list, a prep day set of instructions, labels for the containers and cooking day instructions.  I plan to do this type of prep about every 3 weeks, just not at the extent of the first go around.

I started my training for my half marathon!  I signed up for this half last April for a seriously low price.  It has finally come to start training with a bit more intention.  I planning
found a training plan on pinterest that would work with my schedule and wouldn’t feel like I was only running on the treadmill.  There are numerous cross training days and I’ve got my beach body on demand ready to go to assist with that training.  I use my planner to track my workouts, water intake and successes/challenges for the day.  I feel ready to go and I have found some serious support in a virtual running group!

Hogwarts Running Club

Finally, I signed up for 7 virtual races with the Hogwarts Running Club that is run by the non-profit Random Tuesday Inc.  It has been the most supportive group of people to get me back into running and fitness in general.  The first race is scheduled and I’m even planning to meet up with local members to run as a group!  If anyone is interested in running the Nargle 9k, sign up here.  I encourage everyone looking for fitness support to join the Facebook group
@HogwartsRunningClub.

So, all in all I haven’t been slacking too much.  Just on this blog.  I hope to be consistent with it to provide updates on my training.  Until next time, what do you like to do while running/walking on the treadmill?

Be Confident! Be Fit! Be you!

This post does have links, but I receive no kick backs for clicking or registering.

 

Recap 11/11-11/17/17

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This past week had some success and some short comings with my goals.  I wanted to run/walk every day in order to assist my Quidditch team to the finish line and provide the winning pot of money to Back on My Feet.  I was also going to continue to write everything down and make sure I eat at least one fruit and one vegetable every day. So, let’s start with the fitness portion.

  • Saturday: ran 5.1 miles
  • Sunday: walked 2 miles
  • Monday: ran 4.8 miles, walked 1.1 miles on lunchIMG_2976
  • Tuesday: ran 5.2 miles, walked 2.3 miles on lunch, walked another .5 mile when I got home after a long day at work.  This was the night my team crossed the finish line and everyone was pushing themselves to their limits
  • Wednesday: Rest day
  • Thursday: Rest day- wasn’t feeling the greatest
  • Friday: Walked 3.2 miles

Overall, I would say a successful week with workouts.  The longer distances were a nice steady pace on the treadmill and I was getting used to completing longer distances.  After doing it a few times this week, it convinced me that I was ready for a 5k race again where I would be challenged by others.

Now, the food portion of the week was the less than ideal part of the week.  I started the week writing down what I was eating, but I stopped/wasn’t dedicated to it by Monday.  Then there was the fruit and veggie challenge.  The first day I fell short so the next day I made sure to get at least one in by the end of the day.  After the weekend the goal was just to start the process of eating healthier.  I had three salads this past week.  That is a huge improvement.  I hadn’t consumed a salad in quite a while before this week.  So, I’m going to just set this week behind me and start fresh with fresh fruits and veggies this week.  It definitely has to do with the preparation.  I went to the grocery store Friday and stocked the house with fruits and veggies that could be easily packed.  Over the weekend I will prep the food and make some food for my work day lunches.  I plan on making overnight oats for breakfast and adding some fresh fruit.

Overall, I saw success in some areas and some areas that clearly need improvement.  I didn’t fail necessarily, I fell short a few times and that’s okay.  I have an area for growth and I plan on focusing on that this week.  I’m going to continue working out in the morning and I’ll be adding back in a few days of weights.  Finally, I will be running a turkey trot race in my area on Thanksgiving.  I’ll be dusting off the old running watch for the first time in almost two years.

What are your goals this week?  Is there a Turkey Trot in your area that you can participate in with family or friends?  What types of foods do you like to pack for lunch to ensure healthy eating throughout the day?

As always, be confident, be fit, be you!

Weekly Recap 11/4-11/10

This week started the Quidditch tournament with the Hogwarts Running Club and let me just say, my team is #FawkesingAmazing!  This team is full of encouragement and great spirits.  The constant updates and stat breakdowns have been extremely helpful to see where we are in the tournament.  I can honestly say I have checked my racery team stats more than Facebook.  So, let’s get to the weekly fitness report.

  • Saturday: Vacation treadmill run plus 3 mile walk on the beach in the middle of the day!
  • Sunday: Treadmill run and walking Universal Studios Diagon Alley and Hogwarts for 12 hours.  Yes, we stayed in that portion of the part nearly that entire time.
  • Monday: 2.5 miles treadmill run
  • Tuesday: 3.5 miles in the morning on the treadmill and then 2 mile walk during lunch
  • Wednesday: 3 mile treadmill run
    • I seriously had no desire to get up this morning because I worked a 12 hour day on Tuesday and was woken up at 3:30am by our daughter who doesn’t sleep well.  But, I did it because my team was expecting miles from me.
  • Thursday: 3.2 mile treadmill run
  • Friday (AKA: my birthday): 2.3 miles- my daughter came downstairs at 5:30am so I had to stop sooner than I wanted.

Now, I will say I am doing far less miles than half the members of my team.  But, I am getting up every morning at 4:30am and getting some miles in to contribute.  The team goal to reach the finish line first and provide prize money to the Back on My Feet foundation is motivation.  I have really enjoyed this challenge and will definitely complete more of them in the future!

As I mentioned last week, I was going to start writing down my food I ate throughout the day.  All of it, the good, the bad and the seriously not healthy.  Well, I did that.  What I realized was that I was not only eating super unhealthy most of the time, but I was not eating any fruits or vegetables.  Like seriously, maybe twice this week.  I had a salad one day and that is all I can remember for the vegetables.  This is the one thing that will help me finally take off the rest of the baby weight.  I can no longer give myself excuses.  I need to start focusing on being healthy for myself and my family.

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This coming weeks goals will include eating at least one fruit and one vegetable a day.  This is something that will need to increase obviously, but I need to start with something attainable for the moment.  I will also continue to write down what I eat and participate in the second half of the Quidditch tournament.  What are your goals for the week?  Do you have someone to check in with or report back so that you are being accountable?  I’m happy to help!  Until next time, be confident, be fit, be you!

 

 

 

 

Wedding, Beach and HOGWARTS!

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This past weekend I was able to spend some time with my girl friends from High School.  We graduated High School 12 years ago and these ladies are still such an important part of my life.  That’s the bond a small, all girls Catholic school can create.

The weekend started on Friday when we met in Lake Mary, FL.  We just had a nice casual dinner and spent time catching up, not via texting, at Sonny’s.  It was some really good BBQ and conversation.  Then on Saturday, my friend took us to her childhood home and showed us around New Smyrna.  We met her grandma and had some great conversation.  Then we walked to the beach.  It was gorgeous and I was truly appreciative of the moment because I had been checking into the weather back home and it was less than ideal.  We took a long walk down the beach.  Like 3 miles or so to the jetty where we saw a lighthouse and I picked up some large seashells for my kids! We also saw some tortoises on our way back to the car.

It was time to head back to get ready for our friends wedding.  It was an absolutely beautiful ceremony.  The bride and groom had all of the bridal party and immediate family hold their rings for each of them to say a quick blessing, quietly, and share their love.  When they came back around, the rings would hold the love of everyone who touched them.  It was a really nice moment.  The wedding and reception were beautiful.

The next day, we headed to HOGWARTS!!! I couldn’t come to Florida and not go to Universal studios if I was less than an hour away.  We started first thing in the morning when the park opened and left when the park closed.  Yes, we stayed at Hogwarts or Diagon Alley almost the entire day.  We rode the Hogwarts express between the parks!  The day started with the ride at Gringotts, which was really exciting.  Then my friend and I had to get wands from Ollivanders.  I originally wasn’t going to get one, but then we found out they were interactive and had a life-time warranty so I was sold.  We were just like the little kids doing spells to make things move, stop or spit water!  We ate at the 3 broomsticks and had butterbeer, of course.  It was truly a magical day. I was so thankful that I was able to spend this time with my friends whom I hadn’t seen in quite some time.

If you ever get the chance to go to Universal, I highly recommend getting a wand.  At least one for your group but kids definitely would enjoy all of the interaction.  Next weeks blog post on Wednesday will be an updated Advent list for families.  I’m going to modify and adjust based on my time availability and my kids interests.  Until next time, be confident, be fit, be you!

Recap Week 10/13-10/20/2017

It’s that time of the week where I disclose just how successful or unsuccessful I was in completing my goals.  This week definitely presented some challenges and wore me out to a new level of tired.  I actually believe I’m learning to function on less and less sleep.  I have always been an 8 hour a night sleeper until now.  I’ve been able to get up and complete workouts with 6 hours of rest a night.  I’d definitely prefer the 8 hours, but I’ll take what I can get!

So, here goes.  I started the 15 day burpee challenge as mentioned in my weekly recap last week.  I have stuck with it every single day and am through day 8 as of yesterday.  There were days when I didn’t want to do the burpees, but I just reminded myself that I made a commitment to myself and to the handful of people that read this blog.  I didn’t want to let anyone down, including myself.  The first few days I reduced the rest time by 5 seconds and I quickly learned that I needed to slow that pace down.  So, for the last two days I’ve decreased my rest time by just 3 seconds.  As the challenge has gone on, my legs have started burning a little more and I’m starting to feel some of the muscles in my stomach I haven’t felt since before Hailey! In other words, this is definitely a rewarding challenge.

Break down for the rest of the week in regards to activity: Saturday toured the Fallingwater house and walked the grounds around the home. Sunday, rest. Monday treadmill run. Tuesday weight training. Wednesday and Thursday rest. Friday treadmill run.

I also signed up for a virtual quidditch tournament with Hogwarts Running Club (HRC) and will be running for a wonderful organization called Back on My Feet. This challenge will start November 6th and run for two weeks.  I joined HRC a while back and found it to be incredibly supportive in keeping me motivated. Here is a link to their Facebook page. The quidditch tournament is full, but they have a ton of virtual races and currently you can sign up for the all of the races for this year with the time turner challenge!

Overall, I am happy with my fitness this week.  This coming week I would like to increase to 5 days out of the week doing a physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes.  I will also complete the burped challenge at the end of this week! I am also going to limit my sweets to one day this week. I haven’t been able to cut the sugar since pregnancy and I just stopped breastfeeding, so I have zero excuses now!

Until next time, be confident, be fit, be you!

Baby is HERE!

Well, I’ve been out of the blogging world for a little over a month, but I feel like I have a decent reason.  I do not make any money to write this blog, so I am able to take time off to really adjust to becoming a family of four.  The newest addition joined our family on Oct. 4, 2016.  He was born perfect at albs 3oz and 19in. long.  The biggest surprise was the hair, oh the hair.  Our daughter was born bald and really didn’t have any hair until she was 18 months and it came in blonde and tight curls.  Our son was born with straight dark brown hair and lots of it.

As we adjust, I have a lot more respect for parents of toddlers.  The newest addition sleeps well and I’ve only managed to be peed on a handful of times in this first month! Totally feel like I’m winning! On the other hand, there have been a ton of changes for our toddler. We transitioned her to a full size bed, she’s showing signs of wanting to potty train, and her sleeping is absolutely TERRIBLE.  I’m more exhausted from her getting up at insane hours of the morning. Due to her lack of sleep, she whines all-the-time.  Seriously makes me want to pull my hair out.  I can handle normal toddler behavior, the whining I CAN NOT stand.  I’ve really had to learn how to mentally remain calm and try to talk through the emotions with her.  She is a wonderful and insanely polite kid, so I think we can get through this phase of toddler emotions.

Now, onto the workout front.  I basically stopped working out during this pregnancy and ate whatever I wanted.  I gained right around 35lbs and came home from the hospital already down 12.  As I approach 4 weeks postpartum, I have roughly 10lbs. remaining and I have a long way to go to gain my strength and stamina back.  I have started walking and I jogged a nice slow pace for 6 straight minutes.  My goal for this week is to jog 4x this week for 10 minutes straight (or more if I’m feeling enthusiastic).  I will also need to get my food under control.  I am breastfeeding and have a ravenous appetite for anything and everything in my sight.  However, I am going to start with just one piece of this health puzzle at a time.

How is everyone else doing with their goals? What is one thing you want to work on this week to make a happier and healthier you?

Be confident! Be fit! Be you!

PS: I plan to take a progress photo and I may become brave enough to post it on the
inter-webs.