Thursday, August 15, 2013

NYC Marathon Update, Week 5

So, as always, a lot has been happening!  My husband had to travel for work last week, and it just so happened to be within an hour of my sweet cousin's wedding.  Score!  We spent the last half of the week visiting family and staying insanely busy.  BUT I managed to fit in all of my training runs and do pretty well.  My long run in particular was fantastic!!  I set out with my incredibly supportive husband at 5am on Sunday in his hometown, and we went to the Riverwalk area to get in our miles.  He's training for his first half, and he's way ahead of schedule already.  He got in the first eight miles with me, and we did a great job of gradually increasing our pace throughout.  When he finished his portion, I was afraid that my motivation would lull a bit.  Fortunately, I'm very good at make-believe and I just pretended he was still there.  I didn't actually speak out loud (I'm not THAT crazy!), but I did constantly tell myself in my head that he would be saying not to give up.  It was working wonders, and as I was getting tired at mile 13.5 of 16, he showed up on a rental bike to finish the run with me!  How sweet is that?!  He pushed me through the last little bit, and I managed to hit my goal pace and finish strong.  Tired as shit, but strong.  He had even run my previous tempo run with me a few days earlier and had hit up the local YMCA (if you have a membership at one, most others will give you a few free visits/month while traveling!)  for an upper body weight session the day before.  You know you're jealous.

At my cousin's wedding.  Man, we're a good-looking family!

On another note, we're getting ready for the oldest to start back to school, eeek!!!  She'll be in the first grade, and we have our Meet the Teacher night tonight.  I'm more than nervous to meet her, and I'm hoping she's as fantastic as the teacher we had last year.  If so, we're all good.  My daughter will also be testing very soon for her blue belt in TaeKwonDo, which is super badass in my opinion.  The kid is so pretty, we need her to be tough so she can help me fight the boys that come around!  I'm also seeing about getting her into her school's Girls on the Run program a year early since I MAY be coaching it this year.  It appears they're in major need of more help, and I was planning on doing it once she was old enough anyway.  Let's hope they make an exception for the coach's kid, I think it'll be a blast!  If you have an elementary-aged daughter, you may want to see if you have the program at your school.  It trains the girls on not only running but also self-esteem and healthy living, culminating in a fun little 5k at the end of the year.  I adore the program, and it's spreading like wildfire.  Look into it, you'll be glad you did!

As for my youngest, we're getting him started in soccer soon.  Because we're apparently not busy enough.  But the poor little guy just sits and watches sister's activities so much that it's time he has his own now that he's old enough.  He's over the moon that he'll be on a soccer team, and I think he'll kick some major butt at it.  He's already better at dribbling than big sister!  I also plan on getting in some good mini hikes in with him and the pup during the lovely fall school days.  If I didn't keep him active, he would be content to play video games all day long.  He's already in nerd-boy training, but at least he'll be a healthy nerd like the rest of the family!

I've been working a bit and studying when time allows.  I think I'll be able to test for my Group Fitness Instructor certification by early October, and then once my marathon is over I can really dive into teaching.  I'm trying to get a small bootcamp class together at my studio presently (PT's can teach classes of 6 or fewer) and it'll give me some great practice for the future.  I'm stoked!  Now I just need to make my schedule allow for me to remember everything I have going on and allow for house-cleaning time!

How is your school prep and/or race training going?  I'd love to hear what this Fall has in store for you!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Marathoning Update, Week 4

I have been pretty bad about updating everyone on my training progress....fortunately, I've been MUCH better about training!  So far it is going quite well.  I did, however, miss my long run this past weekend.  Between Air Force drill and traveling, it was just too much to get a 17 miler in!  I did have a short run with some friends at drill though, and that's always nice.  And yesterday I made up for the loss of the run by doing absolute lower body destruction after my interval training run.  Lunges and squats and dead lifts, oh my!  My booty is killing me, and I love it.  The only runs I've struggled with so far would be my mid-length tempo runs.  They're still a little under my goal times each week, but I'm trying not to get too distressed about it.  I've been mostly blaming it on the heat in hopes that cooler weather will fix everything.  It will...right.....right?

In awesome news, I'm now officially studying to become a Group Exercise instructor!  I've been all talk for a while but I'm ready to dig in now.  I'll be doing most of my studying at the gym after workouts and while the boy is still in childcare.  No better motivation to study fitness than a good workout ahead of time!

I'm also seeing some fantastic improvements on my strength, just like I was hoping.  I've added in a lot of strength training, mostly for upper body since my legs are taking a beating anyway.  I do two days each of shoulders/back and arms/chest.  Sometimes the week gets hectic and I spend an extra long time pushing them all into one workout.  But I'm trying to make sure that no matter what the order, I always do at least twice/week for each muscle group.  I've also greatly increased my protein intake (and my everything else intake, due to added miles, hehe) and can really see some new muscle definition.  I'm so stoked!!  After my big race is over, I think I'll work even harder on focusing on the strength aspect.  But I'll never give up my cardio. 

Speaking of food--in an attempt to have a cheaper and super easy way to pack in more protein right after my workouts, I set out on an adventure to make no-bake protein bars.  I see them being boasted about everywhere, and I wanted to just make something out of what I already have.  I just ate my first one, and they are SO delicious!!!  I don't have a recipe because I'm more of a "just throw shit in there" sorta girl, but here are all of the ingredients I used for you to decipher as you will:

almond butter
protein powder (I use Raw Protein in vanilla by Garden of Life)
flax seed
maca powder
shredded coconut, pecans, and goji berries I put into the food processor
a dab of unsweetened cocoa powder
a few drops of vanilla extract
water as needed

I simply mixed everything together until the consistency looked like something that would harden well.  I got a brownie pan (8x8) and covered the bottom with parchment paper.  I dropped it all in there, smoothed it out, and put it in the fridge.  A few hours later I cut off a chunk and it was delicious!!!  I'm still working on how to get it less soft (I'm worried it'll loosen too much when I travel with it), but I'm guessing it won't ever happen since it's a no-bake recipe.  That's okay though, I think that if I wrap a chunk in parchment paper and put it in a container or baggie, it should be totally fine as long as it's stored indoors.  But it's honestly so much cheaper and tastier than any of the crap from the stores.  Other ingredients that could go great in there include oatmeal, PB2 powder, any sort of nut, and raisins.  Mmm!

And on one last note--if you live in the Charlotte area and want to do a 5k for FREE, check out a giveaway put on by one of the lovely coordinators of the Friends of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Rock & Read 5k.  She's giving away TWO free race entries, and her blog is just too cute.  Check out Arden's giveaway on Lipstick Makes Everything Better, and then check back here in the next week or so for another set of entries!  And if you don't get one of the free entries, register anyway.  The race is for a great cause, it'll be a blast, there are tons of activities for the entire family, and if anything the coordinators are awesome. ;)

Have a great day, and go do something active!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Marathon training begins!

Training begins this week!  I have taken a 16-week training schedule and added four weeks on to the front.  Basically because I know that A) I'll get thrown off at least twice in the process because of illness/travel/etc and B) I'm not a fan of track work and I need the four weeks of prep time to get in gear for it.  Plus, I'm leaving for Active Duty with my Air Force National Guard Band on Wednesday, and the next two weeks may just be ridiculous.  Here's what I have on schedule for this week:

Monday--Cardio Strength class
Tuesday--Track workout   4x400's w/200 rest intervals.  1mi warmup and cooldown.  Then upper body destruction!
Wednesday--5mi, 3 at 8:40 pace.  This was supposed to be Thursday, but Friday is our PT test.  We'll see how well I hold up for this after the track workout.
Friday--PT test.  This will include sit ups, push ups, and a 1.5 mile run.  I'm hoping to max out on each, but we'll see.  I'm a distance runner, not a speed runner!
Saturday--If I can get into the base gym, I'd like to do upper body again.
Sunday--10mi @9:15

So yeah, we'll see how much of that actually happens.  I found a Y with a decent track, though it's a bit of a drive.  We'll try it out in the morning before the heat sets in, but the earliest I can start is 8am.  Which will already be brutal.  Good times.

On a completely random and cute side note, we had an awesome little (gigantic) birthday party for my newly 6-year-old this past Saturday!  We got a huge bouncy water slide and put it in our front yard.  We ate burgers, smoked turkey, and pasta salad.  Then we tie dyed shirts and ate a delicious ice cream cake.  Aside from the cake (and the large amount of beer I drank after), it was a pretty healthy deal.  And we all had such a blast!  Once the kids all left, hubby and I hopped on the water slide with the kids.  Naturally.

Ridiculously huge slide
Singing with good friends

I hope you all had a happy weekend, and I'd love to hear what your training plans are for the week!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My body and my goals

I have been wanting to write this post for a while now.  I kept putting it off, but now that we've been given a challenge at work to identify and track one fitness goal, I've decided to pair the two together.

I am not completely satisfied with my body.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with a lot of aspects and I feel stronger than I've ever felt before.  I love many aspects of my body, and I am extremely happy with the results of all of my hard work.  But there is more work to be done, and what I want to do is take myself to the next level.

I've lost all of my "baby weight".  I'm actually trimmer than I was before getting pregnant, and I weigh the same as I did in the beginning of college.  Not something easily done, let me tell you!  I've literally worked my ass off.  When I look in the mirror, I see a tiny, lean little person without much muscle mass.  I've begun doing a few strictly strength workouts, and it has helped already in that I can see more definition in my arms and legs.  But I want more!  I don't want to just be the skinny trainer, I want to be the STRONG trainer.  So, here is my starting point right now:

It's hard to see from this selfie (I tried to get my oldest to take a photo, but she's a bit too bouncy for it, hehe), but I have a lot of very loose skin around my belly.  I grew out a lot in both pregnancies, and it left me with not only the "mommy pouch", but also a deep abdominal connective tissue separation.  Basically, my "guts" are unprotected.  I also have an umbilical hernia because of it.  So far, the only difficulties it has caused me is the occasional bellybutton pain and a lack of being able to use upper and lower abdominal muscles together well.  I can do it, but it's not as simple as it used to be!  What else it has given me is a very large complex about showing my stomach to anyone.  I can count the people on one hand who have seen my stomach since my pre-baby bikini days. 

Now, I know that I cannot fix this without surgery, but there are other things that I CAN do and WILL do for my body in the coming months.  As I said before, I've been accepted into the NYC Marathon and my training will begin soon.  So here are my two major goals for the next few months:

1.  Complete the NYC Marathon in under 4 hours (but not-so-secretly I'll be happy with 4:15)

2.  Lose no weight and actually GAIN muscle mass in the process.

The two don't sound like they go hand in hand, but they can if you go about it the proper way.  And I will make it happen!  Here's how I plan to do this:

--Incorporate a "run less, run faster" approach, with only three days of running and two other cardio workouts per week.  My other cardio will be a "cardio strength" combo, either a class or HIIT.

--Strength train hard 3-4x/week--2-3x upper body, 1x lower body, abs every time.  No cardio involved in these workouts, strictly weight training of 3 sets, 8-10 reps.  When 10 reps gets easy, I move up in weight.  Towards the end, I hope to be doing a much higher weight with 3 sets of 6-8 reps.  This will push my muscle mass up, and the leg work should increase my power (ie speed) also. 

--Eat, eat, eat!  Marathon training makes people eat like maniacs anyway, but I really want to make sure that I'm not burning calories that I don't have to spend.  I plan on greatly increasing my lean proteins, doing an extra protein shake a day, cutting back on the "bad" carbs that slow me down, and allowing myself one cheat day/week.  That cheat day will be for my sanity, basically. :P

--Document it all here as much as possible.  I need a way to stay accountable, because these are some lofty goals.  But I know that I can do it if I put my mind to it!  I'm tired of being "skinny", I want to be strong.  I want to be powerful. 

So that's where I am.  Even as a trainer, I am always and will always be striving towards something.  Life is more fun if we dream bigger, right!?  What are your goals right now, and how do you plan on reaching them?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Exciting news!

I've had all kinds of exciting things coming my way lately.  As I mentioned before, I've got a great new job at a small personal training studio, and I'm loving it.  I'm gathering a few clients now and gaining more confidence in leading them.  Yesterday I met a new client, and her eagerness to learn and feel better was SO inspiring!  When someone has been unhealthy and uncomfortable for a long time, it takes some major courage and motivation to make a change.  That first step is always the hardest!  But I'm so excited to see her transformation and that of the other awesome women I have the pleasure of working with now.  On top of that, we have a fun group class that we've put together a few evenings a week, where I basically get to kick people's butts for 30 minutes.  I got told on Tuesday that I was "the meanest one", hehe.  I also just got the go on designing a Family Health/Fitness seminar to teach people how to instill good childhood eating and fitness habits and work together towards becoming a healthier family!  I seriously love my job.

My next bit of exciting news is this:

Yes, I got accepted to the NY Marathon!  This was my third year applying, and I was honestly just hoping to get my name automatically put in next year (it's the last year they give automatic entry to someone who applies and doesn't get drawn for three years in a row).  But apparently third time's a charm, and I'll be going a year sooner than planned!  I'm so excited to go back up to NYC, visit friends in the area, see where we used to live, and run through the streets of my absolute favorite city in the world.  We're still not sure yet whether the entire family can come with me or not, considering that would require time off from school and money we may or may not have.  But we have time to plan and are already getting offers for places to stay, and I'm super duper stoked!  I'm working on my training plan now, and hope to share my weekly progress here.  It'll keep me accountable and give me a great outlet if I get frustrated.  I have 21 weeks, and plan to start my official training as of next week!  It will pair well with a challenge we're doing at work called the Trainer Trim Down.  I personally do not have a goal of trimming, but I'd like to build strength, muscle, and endurance.  I look forward to the next few months to come!

And as per usual, I'll be running for Endure to Cure.  It's my favorite cause to run for, and I like it because it's not like most pediatric cancer foundations.  It is amazing how much money people raise towards cancer research and treatments, I'm in NO WAY knocking that.  But I also think that these sweet sick children need some extra hope and a little bit of fun, just to get them through those hard times with a few awesome new memories.  Endure to Cure provides "miracles" to the kids via special gifts and experiences.  With all the amazing donations for my first marathon (thanks SO much to my awesome friends and family!), we were able to give a very special birthday party to a sweet little girl with brain cancer.  For one day, she was on top of the world!  I can't wait to find out what we can do for such a major race like this one!!!  Visit my personal page to find out how you can help.

And on top of all of this, I'm strongly considering getting my Group Fitness Certification and teaching a few classes at the YWCA.  Because I love them all there and apparently I don't have enough to do.  Right?!  Wish me luck over the next few months, they will by far be the most physically demanding months I've ever been through.  I can come out rocking it, or I can crash and burn on a few things.  Time will tell.  Thanks so much for all the support, and I can't wait to share this difficult but hopefully awesome journey with you all!

Now I leave you with some gratuitous cuteness.  Because it's been a while.

Yes, they're eating ice cream.  No, it isn't healthy.  We all have our naughty moments!

Friday, May 17, 2013

I've been absent....

But I haven't totally disappeared!  I would sit down to blog and then not be able to even formulate what I wanted to say.  For a short bit, it was because of a burnout.  Then it became because there were SO many crazy happenings and changes in my life that I didn't really wish to share them with the world.  So I decided to take a break and come back when I felt that I was in a good place to write again.  I think I'm finally there!

The past few months have had many negative points.  I was sick for an entire month and basically did nothing but whine.  The gym that I was set to teach in suddenly closed down.  A close relative had a very serious health scare (but is totally fine now). And by far the worst event was the loss of my father last month.  We had a very strained relationship for years, but we had finally fixed it and then I got the news that he wasn't going to make it.  Fortunately my sister and I were able to be with him during his final moments, we reunited with our brother, and I got to say all the things to my father that I'd always wished I'd said to him before.  I've been beating myself up for not getting closer to him earlier, but I know that he passed away surrounded by love and knowing exactly how much he was cared about.  That's all one can ever really ask for in life.
My dad with my sweet stepmom

For him, I dedicated a special run and a beach walk with my sister

I've also had many great moments in the past few months.  We finished building our house and moved in a week ago!  It's beautiful and big and comfortable and OURS.  We've never owned a home before, and it's really a great feeling!  I also rejoined the Air Force National Guard Band of the Smokey Mountains as an oboe player.  I originally joined it in 1997 as I was graduating high school.  It was great, but had to leave after 11 years when I moved overseas.  Now that I'm within driving distance again, I've gone back and am loving it.  I've also started up my own business as a Mary Kay beauty consultant, since I'm basically obsessed with their products anyway.  I started a running group at the local YWCA and have fallen in love with their gym, my fun little group, and the outreach efforts of the organization.  I ran my first sub-2hr half marathon and also got an AG award, my first ever.  And just this week, I began my first real gig as a personal trainer!  I'm at a fun little Christian-based training studio with just the functional training-based fitness approach that I love.  I have shadowed the owner a few times, and just yesterday I worked with a few other trainers on a fabulous new class that we just started.  Seeing the sense of accomplishment on the faces of all the clients is so rewarding!  I think I'm going to really love it there.
At the Kings Mountain HM, I felt and ran strong!

So yeah, that's why I haven't been around.  Life has hit me pretty hard, in good ways and really tough ones.  My spirit has grown more in the past few months than over the past few years put together.  I've gained strength and confidence I didn't know that I had, and I'm learning to let go of bitterness, stand up for myself, speak my mind more freely, become more organized and directed, and just be ME better.  I fail sometimes, but I'm winning so much more often.  It feels good!

So now, prepare to hear about my many gigs, read even more healthy eating and family fitness tips, and of course be bombarded by pictures of my cute kids.  Just like before!

Friday, February 1, 2013

"Let Kids be Kids"

Warning, part of this is going to be rant-y.  You may get mad at me.  I may not care.  But it will be productive in the end, I promise!

So, we always here people say "let kids be kids", but it can mean a lot of different things.  When I say it, it means that kids should be able to express themselves physically, verbally, and emotionally.  If they want to wear a Godzilla costume to Target, I don't care.  It hurts no one, and it encourages imagination.  Most of the time when people say it, it's aimed at letting kids play more, be louder, and be sillier.  Right on!  Today I heard it MULTIPLE times for something that just pissed me off.  It was in regards to a certain race series' Facebook picture of a young boy (maybe 6?) doing a crapton of burpees.  I'm not going to post the photo out of respect for the parents.  But it set. Me. Off.  And this is why.

The boy was doing the standard shirtless "showing off the guns" sort of photo, and he was obviously very healthy.  He has a little kid six pack and strong arms.  And for every "way to go, kid!" comment, I read two or three comments on how UNHEALTHY and UNNATURAL he was being.  WTF?  There was everything from "This is terrible parenting" to "This is going to ruin his body forever".  Um, no.  Neither of those are true at all.   And comments like these are the reasons that we have so many obese children in our country!  I'll expand.

First off, I honestly doubt that his parents forced him to do it, they weren't holding him back from "being a kid".  Just because he has muscles doesn't mean he's been overtrained, muscles are more visible on skinnier children.   I have two very skinny children.  I feed them well, but they're just built that way, as was I as a child.  I CANNOT find clothes for these kids!  I have to either buy pants with those elastic adjustments and pull them all the way tight (giving them massive bubble butt) or go to H&M and buy them European-sized clothing.  In fact, when we lived in Europe both kids were in the 50th percentile for height/weight.  Here?  They're around 5-10th percentile.  Why the huge difference?  Because they put their kids outside and keep them out there until the kids are tired.  Because they don't let them play x-box all day and instead make them walk/run to a playground.  Because there are very few fast food restaurants and most people actually COOK for their kids.  Amazing!  But nooooo, that's not good enough for our country!  We need more fast food, more nasty bags of frozen meals, and more video games/tv shows to stare at all day.  All this gets us is a country full of people who don't like to move, and it shows.

Most people don't know this, but the health recommendation for school-aged children is to get a MINIMUM of one hour/day exercise, EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Not the 30mins/5 days per week that adults should get, but seven hours/week.  Sound like too much?  No way!!  It doesn't mean that they should be in the gym, but instead just doing kid-play like going to the playground and participating in sports.  And they should do it until they're adults!  I know that most schools don't give a recess longer than 30 minutes, and PE isn't offered every day anymore, so this means that children need to be getting that extra exercise at home.  As responsible parents, we should be giving our kids time to play hard and doing it daily.  The stimulation that exercise provides to the bones promotes healthy growth and will lead to stronger, sturdier bones for life, not to mention the disposition to eat healthier and maintain a certain level of fitness into adulthood.  It's "letting kids be kids"!  The only things that are not good for young children are lifting HEAVY weights and running LONG distances.  And they probably won't want to do that stuff anyway, because it hurts. 

So, the question is now--How do we get our children more active, especially in the colder months?  Well, I have multiple suggestions:

1.  Take them outside anyway.  If it's not raining and the wind won't knock them over, they'll play in it.  Yes, that means lots of layers and parents having to sit in the cold with them.  But it's going to make them happier and healthier, so I think it's an worthy sacrifice.

2.  If you just can't bear to do that and you have the extra money, put them in a sport.  Martial arts are year-round and are amazing for not only health but teaching respect and responsibility.  Swim and dance classes are also offered year-round and give excellent fitness benefits.  Also, most local rec centers and YMCA/YWCA's will have basic fitness classes offered year-round.  Our local club just started a free youth class for children to learn aspects of yoga, pilates, zumba, and martial arts, as well as do group activities.  Look into it, they're out there!

3.  Let them play active video games on the really nasty days.  Kinect especially has some awesome kid games that will teach them dances with their favorite cartoon characters.  It gives them their video game time, but it makes them work for it.  And for older children, Zumba and Dance, Dance, Revolution are excellent options.

4.  Dance party!  We have a kiddo dance party almost daily in our house.  I put them in a room with a CD player and let them go nutty, usually with some dancing on my part too.  Yes, my ears are usually bleeding from Kidz Bop and Fresh Beat Band afterwards, but again--worth it.

5.  Family walks.  Walking IS considered an intense enough exercise for a child.  And it's wonderful bonding time.  Bring the bikes and scooters, and circle the neighborhood for thirty minutes.  Everyone will love it.

6.  Let THEM lead an at-home workout!  This won't work every day, but it will get you at least 10 minutes of activities from them.  Stand facing them and have them show you what they've learned in PE or other classes.  They love to show off, you get a bit of exercise time too, and you will probably be giggling by the end.

7.  Buy a few cute kid yoga/fitness DVD's and rotate them as the kids like.  It won't hurt to try different things out, and it's the perfect way to pump up a rainy day.  We've even done kid yoga on playdates before, so it can be fun any time!

8.  Lastly (and probably most importantly)--let them hear about and see YOU exercise and eat healthy too!  They'll learn that it's simply a part of daily life, and it'll never seem like a chore.  I can't tell you how many times my kids just ask to exercise so they can "stay healthy".  It's just like teaching any other value--it's best learned from emulating!

Now, I know that most people reading this probably already do a lot of this stuff, or you wouldn't be reading a family health blog.  I do get that, so I'm not as much preaching to you but asking you to preach it to others.  Please, please, please--PREACH this stuff.  If your child has a friend that you suspect doesn't get enough exercise, invite them over for an active playdate.  Show them how fun it is to move!  Show their parents how easy it is to get them to move with the right outlook! Get them to go to a local race or on a hiking trip and bring friends.  Share videos like these:

Doesn't that look like "kids being kids"!?!  Effing awesome!!  Help me to help kids around this country get off the couch and playing hard.  Our future generations will be so healthy AND grateful for it!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Random Thoughts on a Frosty Morning Long Run

I skipped the weekend long runs for a while due to travel, illness, weather, and hanging out with family.  Now I'm back into my marathon training and I'm being reminded of all the random crap that goes through one's head when she runs alone for over two hours in the cold.  Here are some snippets:

"Ooh, deer!  I need a picture!  Hmm, I'm only on mile 2, maybe they'll be there when I come back..."

"Note to self--don't sing aloud to Tenacious D.  That old lady didn't look like she enjoyed hearing me say the word chode."

"I hope the kids aren't being insane right now."

"Do I smell a cigarette?  At 8am?  On a trail??  I think I may hurl..."

"That dude totally didn't wave back.  Remember his face, he's getting the stink-eye on my next lap!"

"Lap one done.  No one would ever know if I left now and went to Starbucks....."

"Dammit, I should've gone to Starbucks."

"Man, I really think the kids are being insane right now.  Lucky me!"

"Am I chaffing?  It's hard to tell.  My shower may suck later."

"Ooh, the deer are back!  Now my fingers can't bend.  Deer are stupid anyway."

"I'm getting tired.  Omg, that chick is wearing a cotton tank and Vibrams, and she's avoiding the mud.  Got. To. Pass. Her."

 "I seriously think I may be chaffing."

"Poor husband, those kids must be driving him batty.  Maybe I should run farther."

 "Stop looking at my Garmin, stop looking at my Garmin, stop looking at my Garmin..."

"I'm so glad I'm reforming these calluses before sandal season!"

"That squirrel totally just tried to attack me.  Where are the damn deer now!?"

"I love seeing all these walkers out!  They're so much friendlier than the runners."

"Seriously, my hand is dead now.  Can't. Bend. Fingers."

"I'm so glad that I didn't go to Starbucks, that run was awesome!!  I hope the family wants to keep sitting around when I get home!"

Any you'd like to add??  Enjoy your Monday!  This is what we're up to today:

Floor picnicking and relaxing!

Friday, January 18, 2013

I'm Certified!

No, not certifiable.  Though some would disagree.  I'm actually certified--as of yesterday, I'm an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer!  This has been my dream for a while, and I'm over the moon that it's finally coming to fruition!

Last year as I prepared to send my oldest to kindergarten, I started to wonder what I was going to do with myself once they were in school.  I never finished my degree in music because I realized pretty late in the game that it was just wrong for me.  For a few years I worked in retail, and I was really good at it.  But I didn't really LOVE it.  As a part-time extra job, I worked mornings at a local all-women's gym.  It. Was. Awesome!  I loved everything about it--the healthfulness, the camaraderie, the ability to help women feel wonderful about themselves.  I quit my higher paying retail management job and started working at the gym full-time.  I had daydreams of becoming a trainer one day.....and then we moved to Germany.  Everything was put on hold for a while, and my fitness fell in the gutter as two kids came along.  Which was fine.  I still walked for groceries more than most people walk for fitness.  But upon our move back, I knew I needed more.  After getting in the best shape of my life last year, I started to think about it all again.  And becoming a personal trainer just made sense.  I could work part-time if I wanted to, possibly in the evenings without having to use childcare, I could maybe work at a gym WITH childcare, I could work from home, there were so many options!  So I ordered my training materials and got started.

I didn't tell anyone other than my husband about my test yesterday.  I was scared of failure.  I've been studying, but it hasn't come as easily as it used to.  It's been quite a while since college, and I just wasn't in the groove anymore.  It was hard!  But I registered for my test and knew I needed to be ready by that date.  Having a date for something is always a key for my success, I'm too lazy otherwise.  I've been a mess for the past week, and during the test I almost vomited from nerves.  Turns out, I aced it!! 

So now, on to my next step--a job!  I'm still unsure of where to start.  My ultimate goal is to run a small training facility for women.  Even if it's just out of my home.  But I want to work with pre-/post-natal, and even post-post-natal women who would benefit from not only fitness but a healthier lifestyle with much higher self-esteem for themselves and their families.  I would love to be a beacon of healthy change for so many women who are scared of being the best SHE she can be!

So where do I start?  Presently, I have a little thing lined up (as of a few days ago) to organize group running at the local YWCA.  It's not a paying job, just something to get the program off the ground and hopefully turn into something permanent and paying.  Which is fine with me.  I'll be getting childcare for the boy while I'm there, I'll be getting mileage in with other people (always more fun!), I'll be helping others meet new goals, and I'll be getting my foot in the door at an awesome pro-women's establishment.  I know I can't wait around there forever for a PT job to turn up, but I will try to make my mark.  I will also push the PiYo Strength idea since I don't see it on their class schedule, muahaha!

So yeah, that's what I've got right now.  I know what I want, I'm getting started, and I just have to make a path to get there.  But I'm on my way!  And I have even MORE reason to work out in the meantime, woohoo!!

Happy Friday!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy Friday!

I've gotten to run three days in a row this week, and I feel gooooooooood!  I have the "runner's high" that I was missing during that terrible stint of illnesses.  I ate fairly well for most of our Christmas trip (aka didn't go to restaurants but still had fudge at my family's house), and now I'm back on my game.  Next stop--two or maybe three Spring marathons!  I also have my Spartan Sprint in March, which wouldn't be as huge of a deal if it weren't paired with the Hurricane Heat.  Which means that I need a good bit of strength training put in with all that running.  Since I need to stay quite strict with my training right now I'll share with you my schedule, minus exact mileage, at present:

Monday--PiYo Strength home workout
Tuesday--Short run, HIIT
Wednesday--Mid-length run
Thursday--Short run, yoga class
Friday--2-miler (when I need the added mileage), weights
Saturday--absolutely jack squat!
Sunday--Long run

I have it all on paper and printed out, and that means it's real and happening and I can't get out of it now.  It feels fantastic!  If you have a fitness goal and you haven't done this already--PUT IT ON PAPER.  Post it to your fridge, hang it up at work, put the workouts into your phone, and tell people about it.  The more accountable you make yourself, the more likely it will happen!  Because if you don't do it, you'll feel like an ass.  And that's a great motivator at least for me.

This Sunday will be my 11-miler, and I'm already stoked.  It's been a while since I've hit the greenway, and my body is already anticipating the pavement-pounding.  What do you all have going on in your fitness training right now?  Weekend plans?  Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Three Things Thursday--Lots of Catching Up!

First off, I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays!!!  We had an absolute blast!  I'm going to attempt to tell you how it all went down, how we got a new family member, and what my plans for 2013 are.  (Wow, that sentence sounded like a high school English essay example.  Nerd alert.)

1.  We started our Christmas break here at our house, as the calm before the storm.  We spent a few days out and about at times, but mostly finishing last-minute gifts and just enjoying each other.  We attempted to eat healthy, but it's hard when you know you're going away for a week.  But we stuck with fixing things we could take with us.  On Christmas, the kids went nutty getting all of their awesome new stuff!  Then on the 26th we set out with a car full of clothes, presents, and leftover homemade pizza (our Christmas Eve tradition--made with homemade honey wheat crust and super good homemade sauce!) and headed to my mother's house.  After a few awesome days with my family, we went to my husband's family (1.5 hours south of there) and spent the last few days.  Then we ended the chaos on the 1st and headed back to our comfy condo.  Now we're just trying to readjust to the kids not being spoiled and the adults not being able to sleep in!  Oh, and there's another major (super adorable) adjustment we've had to make too.....

Snuggling with his new friend since the cats hate him
2.  We got a puppy!!!!!  We have been wanting a dog for a while, but we've not gotten one because of our impending move.  We knew it would be easier to move with one less wild body, and it would be less stress on this already messy condo.  But sweet little Murray had different plans.  We were driving to a cave in the middle of the country with my mother, when the little guy ran right in front of her car.  She stopped in the road, and from our car behind her, we could see him going under and just playing with her tires, begging for attention.  We picked him up and fell in love instantly.  Of course, we knew there was a chance that someone was missing the little guy, so we asked all the neighborhood people.  It's a very rural (ahem, redneck) community, and they all seemed to know each other.  But no one had any puppies.  So we figured he was dumped there, probably a Christmas puppy that didn't instantly learn potty training and got ditched.  He was cold and scared, his fur was in awful condition, and his swollen belly looked like he had worms, so we snatched him up and rescued him.  There were no promises to the kids that we'd keep him, we wanted to wait to check on microchipping and his health.  But considering we'd already named him (we found him on Murrayville Road on the way to Murrayville Cave, so Murray was perfect!), we figured he was becoming family already.  He took a full day to start acting energetic, and he was thrown into so many different homes over the few days, but he's been incredibly sweet and loving through it all.  He's been checked out, given medicine, and now he's already grown into his harness, has soft lovely fur, and is happy as a lark.  He's presently sleeping on our couch getting snuggled by my daughter.  We're over the moon about having him in our family!  The cats still aren't sure though.

3.  On a completely different note (this is where I'd get docked points on my English essay for lack of flow), I'd like to mention my resolutions for the year.  Last year, I didn't set many specific goals and I didn't pressure myself too much on any of them.  I think I'll stick with the same this year, as it kept me from feeling disappointed at year's end.  Here's what I plan on doing in 2013:

Drink less of everything except water
Eat healthier
Spend more time teaching the boy preschool stuff
Run 100 miles/month (Yes, this is specific.  But I won't beat myself up if life happens)
Finish my Spartan Trifecta
Get my personal training certification
Have more sex
Yell less
Make more friends
Get the entire family exercising together more

If I can accomplish half of those, I'll feel pretty dang good!  Some will be easy, some will be fun, and some will be very difficult.  But they're all going to be totally worth it!

So, tell me what you've had going on in life!  Any awesome holiday happenings?  Great gifts you got?  Resolutions you're looking forward to (or dreading)?  I wanna know!