I am notoriously not a morning person, or wasn’t. I did have a job where I started at 4am for a couple of years but that was more like a night job since it was still dark and I was off by the time the real commotion of the day started. No, I like sleeping in and all things not morning. But races, most of them are in the morning (boo) and so I needed to work on a morning mantra and start to get moving earlier in the day.
But since we’ve been eating and fueling our bodies with nutritious foods and giving up junk food, not loading down on carbs and focusing on being good to our health. Mornings are coming easier, way easier. I mean seriously, look at that smile on my face!
Now in light of full disclosure, I had planned on being up at 5am and meeting with the Running Turtles for a pre-dawn run, but, you guessed it, I slept in. But I was up at 6am, laced up, downed water with lemon and was out the door with my hubby. Snapped a few photo’s of the morning moon and we were off!
And you know what? It felt amazing! I guess the saying “workout early before your body knows what’s going on” is true. I felt strong and pr’d my time for that distance. Granted I was breathing hard and giving my lungs and heart a serious workout pushing myself out of my comfort zone, but it was everything a workout or run should be!
But beyond that, after the run I was more awake mentally than I ever am at 6:30 in the morning. And my mood was elevated (part endorphins, part wow I just did a super early morning workout). But here its is 2pm and I don’t have any sluggish afternoon drowsy feelings. Hubby and I are planning to a yoga session from the 3 Week Yoga Retreat that we’ve been doing. We’re almost at the end and we plan on restarting again on Monday. Then June 20th I will be doing another round of 21 Day Fix with my hubby and others. The last time I did this program I lost 6.5 pounds and several inches. The 21 Day Fix is a HUGE help with getting not only nutrition in check, but portion control too. I am excited to see what we will be accomplishing by the time summer arrives!!
“I felt like I was breathing like a freight train and everything hurt, [but] somehow it didn’t bother me. The joy of moving and getting started overwhelms the negativity.” – Lauren Fleshman
So yesterday, I decided to journey out for a bit even though my knee is still hurting and mobility is still limited. I wrapped my knee pretty well and enjoyed getting out for a short walk, a very short walk. And yep, I suffered a bit for it but wrapping, icing and elevating is doing the trick. I’m pretty sure by tomorrow I will at least be able to get some yoga in to stretch the muscle and relieve some of the pressure.
Trying not to get too down about the setback. Today it rained/snowed/slushed a bit outside and I knew all weekend friends were running Shamrock (8k, Half Marathon, and Marathon), and I was stuck sitting staring outside at the bleakness of the day and re-wrapping my knee.
Shamrock was to be my first Half Marathon, one because of lack of training I wasn’t prepared for physically or mentally. But was still bittersweet that I was ill-prepared and then sidelined due to injury. But life is about lessons and introspection and all this has shown me how important doing training is and how important strength training is to aid in preventing injury. And has given my a HUGE reminder that I don’t have to push myself to failure.
You see a while back I realized I lack self compassion. Oh I have had a ton of dislike for myself from time to time. But I never gave myself a break. I don’t mean rest break. I mean I not giving myself permission to fail. So when I inevitably did (we all do) I didn’t handle it well. I would get angry with myself for not being good enough, not being as good as _____ fill anyone or anything in the blank.
I was doing this to myself.
I tended to look at the end of things instead of the present. I looked far into the future and would prepare myself for the possibility of failure, the inevitable defeat of ones self. Thinking if I prepare myself for the failure I won’t be as hurt, or disappointed, or as crushed. But seriously all this was doing was defeating myself before even starting.
When I was training for the Shamrock Half all I saw was the end game. And all the self doubt hung on my shoulder every day. So when I went out to train I carried that self doubt along the way. I may as well have given up the day I started. I didn’t give myself permission to fail, or even to just enjoy the journey. Instead I presumed I wouldn’t make it and I would be swept off the course.
But you know what I learned? Who cares if I would have been swept off the course? Who cares if I was dead last? That isn’t the point. It never was or should have been the point. I have learned a lot this past year about myself and life. The end of the story doesn’t matter if you aren’t enjoying the beginning or middle of it. Because even getting swept off a course means you put in your training and you showed up for yourself. Look at all that IS achieved, all the training and all the miles. And maybe, just maybe next year you won’t get swept, you’ll make it a little further, just maybe.
So to myself a reminder, and to all of you reading who may need to hear this….
GIVE YOURSELF SPACE
Space to face the fear of failure, confront it and move forward without it. Take control and put that fear in it’s place. Space to freely choose the direction you want to head in. Is it something you really want? If it is, go at it as if you already won. If you put the effort in, you already are a winner.
GIVE YOURSELF COMPASSION
Consider this. If your friend were afraid of doing something, something they reallllly wanted to do, but was afraid they would fail. Would you tell them, “go ahead, quit”? No, no you wouldn’t. So remember to treat yourself as you would your best friend, your parent, or your spouse. Love yourself as you love them. Give yourself the same pep talk you would give them. The same cheer squad so to speak as you would be for them.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY
Don’t focus on the end game. Enjoy the process. Because if you aren’t enjoying it, why are you even out there doing it? Enjoy every aspect of it. Go where you feel inspired. Go at things in YOUR pace, not anyone else’s. Dress yourself the part and stand tall because you are putting yourself out there to improve yourself. And that alone is the best win of all.
TACKLE IT WITH INNOCENCE
Be the child. Children fear life much less that adults do. They don’t have that fear of failure (unless instilled by those around them). So instead of going out and thinking “I can ONLY do 2 miles”, lace up your shoes, walk out the door and think “I wonder how many miles I can do today”. Yes, there are specific training plans you should consider when you are training for longer races. But if you’re just starting out. Don’t limit yourself by your own imagination. Like a child with innocence in tact, let your imagination be limitless. And this we should do with life in general. Not just running.
SET MINI GOALS
Don’t set massive earth shattering goals. Set attainable goals that step just a wee bit outside your present ability.
And most of all….
BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF
People can spend years worrying what others will say, or what they’ll think of something. But they aren’t living your life. They don’t wake up with your dreams or your ambitions to focus on. They have their own lives to live.
Something my adorable and wise husband tells me all the time is to not worry what others are thinking because they are usually to worried what someone else is thinking about them and won’t see whatever flaw I am seeing that in my eyes is so HUGE. That by the way, is never HUGE. We all have flaws. We all have things we may not be as good at doing as others. But at the end of the day those unique qualities we all possess of failure and accomplishment balance out with humanity as a whole. That’s why friends are able to help friends and co-workers can help the guy in the next cubicle. So stop being so hard on yourself. We all a gift to the humanity no matter how small or insignificant we feel that gift may be, to others it may be everything. You never know who you may be inspiring, or who’s life you may be helping to change. So be yourself, life isn’t a competition with anyone 💛
So once again I’ll be training but this time I will train in the present and not looking ahead too far. I’m thinking my next planned first time half marathon will be in about a year. But even that, I’m not stressing about. I made myself hate the process and now it’s about falling in love all over again. I have 5k’s, 8k’s and a couple 10 milers I plan to do this year but none with anticipated goals. It’s about the journey and so far, even with a big bad boo boo, I’m loving the journey!
Bright sunshine, warm but not sweaty warm, great day to be outside. Great day to be alive. And looking good in my INKnBURN Bee Tech if I may say so 😊
Life is why I train to run. Why I like to walk and hike. Why I strength train. Computers, TV, desk jobs, cars, etc.. I always remind myself if I didn’t motivate myself to get my training in, I would always be on my butt. Sitting will not add years to my life. Only getting up and getting it done will.
Last night I was up late, very very late. And that led to waking up very very late. Which led to wanting to just make it a lazy couch potato day. Or what I will call, the dark side I’m not your average happy runner. I’m not a natural athlete. I’m much much more like Simon Pegg in Run Fat Boy Run. It’s hard and I get frustrated. But I’m determined and will do it.
Back to wanting to be be lazy and the dark side trying to take over ⚠️ I knew I had a choice to make. So I decided, “don’t think”. If I think, I will give myself excuses and self assurance that taking a day off will be just fine. Well, remember when I did that a few months ago, and yeah I stopped training for nearly three months. So I didn’t think about it. I just skipped morning coffee, drank some water with lemon and laced up my shoes and went right out the door. I don’t need your cookies, and if I want a cookie, I will earn a cookie! I was grumpy as I headed out the door. I wanted my coffee lol. But once I was out there, I had zero regrets. I felt physically better and was proud of myself for not caving in. And I didn’t get a cookie, but I did stop and get a coffee on my way back 😉
No, I didn’t just lay down on the floor lol. I’m keeping busy today. I did a 55 minute Les Mills Pump routine. I highly recommend Les Mills OnDemand if you can’t catch classes at a local gymand/or have a limited budget. Today I did Bodypump, but they have video classes for a vast array of workout styles. Dance, Yoga, Cycling, and different styles of resistance body weight training. I love Les Mills at the gym, but when I can’t get out or am on a time crunch, this fills in perfectly. It covers everything running doesn’t cover. Plus great music and trainers to lead the way!
I also did the stairs (in the pic below). I didn’t count my reps, it was an add on, but steps is an easy do since I just have to walk outside. So I throw this in a bit every day, even on run days. Later I’m going to do a bit more elliptical work but for now, dinner is in my near future! Be on the lookout for my Bean & Rice Soup recipe!
I personally think my Unicorn Hunter Hat helped make this workout extra awesome, what do you think?
Power naps – 10 to 15 minutes will do. It will recharge your batteries and give you a boost. Don’t make the naps too long or it may have the reverse effect. You really have to tweek this to suit you. So start with 5 to 10 minutes. Some times if I shut my eyes when I am really feeling fatigued, within 5 minutes I wake up feeling refreshed.
First thing in the morning where does everyone usually go straight to? The bathroom! Decorate in yellows and or reds in your bath area. These vibrant colors stimulate your mind and wake your senses. You can use this trick at the office or before a run or any time you need a mental boost, just focus on something red or yellow.
Not only will yoga & stretching lengthen and strengthen muscles but will also give your energy levels a boost while helping to increase your metabolism. You can even find simple stretches to do at work.
Focus on your posture. Better posture, sitting up straight, burns more calories, boosts metabolism and keeps energy flowing through your body. Ever notice mid-day you start to slouch? Focus on that posture!
Go outside and breathe in some fresh air. Take a brisk walk, a couple times a day even. This will give you some amazing benefits and get you in the habit of motivating to get out from behind the desk, or off that couch! I love walking the beaches. The sand acts as resistance on your muscles giving you not only a relaxed view, but a great workout.
Eat magnesium rich foods. Like almonds. They will give you a boost and fill your tummy with a healthy snack all at the same time
Change up your exercise routine. Muscle conditioning can get even your muscles bored. switching things up gives muscles confusion and they have to work a bit harder.
Speaking of exercise. Don’t just run or walk. Throw in some strength training. Adding lean muscle helps you burn metabolism harder.
If you sit at work, do portions of your day standing. Whatever tasks can easily be done from a standing position, do it. The benefits far outreach just a metabolism boost or upping your energy levels
This isn’t my recipe. But it is a recipe I’ve used a few times and is a staple in my kitchen now. We don’t use energy bars often in our house. But hubby likes them when he does long runs and they are awesome for when we hike. This is my very favorite bar recipe!
Raw Superfood Energy Bars
Cherries and goji berries are soulmates in the dried-fruit world—I often make trail mixes that pair these two red beauties. Here, they’re friends again in these wholesome, cacao-nib-accented raw bars. Packed with all kinds of antioxidants, these bars appear to be “only” sweet treats, while undercover they are anti-aging workhorses.
Author: Julie Morris
Serves: 8 bars
¾ cup raw almonds
½ cups raw walnuts
½ cup dried goji berries
¼ cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
In a food processor, combine the almonds and walnuts, and process the nuts into the size of small gravel. Add the goji berries, dates, vanilla extract, and cinnamon powder, and process until the mixture forms clumps and begins to stick together. Add the cherries and cacao nibs and process briefly to incorporate the ingredients, but leave some small chunks for texture.
Place the dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Press the dough into a compact rectangle, then wrap it tightly in the plastic, compacting it even more. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a ½ -inch-thick layer.
Unwrap the dough and cut it into 8 bars or smaller bites, as desired. These superfood energy bars will last several weeks unrefrigerated and covered, or keep them in the freezer for long-term storage.
There are many many reasons TO run races. They can be really very motivational and being surrounded by so many amazing and supportive fellow runners can be a great experience and very inspirational. But during my mini hiatus from running I considered the race I have coming up and the pressure that can put on me. I signed up for that race long before my injury or my dog passing and all the other stresses life’s thrown at me and us over the last few months. And it’s a length I’ve never even tried before, a half marathon. I’ve done one 10-miler before but usually I do 5K’s, maybe a couple 7 or 8K’s thrown in through the year. But not even in training have I ever done a half marathon. The last time I even walked something that distance was likely the slow walk we did through our Disney excursions. So a half marathon is a little intimidating.
There is something to be said to be in the crowd waiting for the horns or whistles to start a race. There is an energy that can be addictive. It has nothing to do with competing. It’s the vibe of all these athletes (yes you are an athlete if you are in a race, or even running for that matter) who have trained, prepared, anticipated and usually woke very early to line up with everyone in the wee hours of morning. It’s a camaraderie. And it gets your adrenaline pumping.
That preparation you do before a race is a huge motivator for many. For me it’s been both a source of inspiration and specific time to focus on improving my pace and form. It’s the thing that makes you lace up your shoes on days you’d just like to stay in bed with the covers over your eyes. Those cold mornings can be rough, and the hot afternoon sun mid summer is brutal. But still, you have that date ingrained in your head and you gotta keep pushing.
Most races your entry fee is for a charity and that for me is a big reason to do races. I think I do races more for that reason than any other. It’s such a win win. You help a charity with your entry fee and yet you get a shirt, a medal, a piece of fruit, or more (hot chocolate races are awesome from what I hear) AND you get to race yourself, test yourself and your capabilities.
LIVE music! Or at least radio stations playing music. What a rush that is for me. Music is a big motivator for me. I only wish that the Rock & Roll was done more towards the winter months. Great music, but sooooo humid usually. And I don’t take the humidity well. So instead I usually volunteer for that one, and many others in the dead of summer heat. I am not a summer runner!
Some people actually thrive on running neck and neck with another in a race. For a few it really is competitive, especially when you become one of the fastest in an area, or a specific race. But still, it’s usually that competition with self. But running alongside others can be a push for you, especially when you start to drag. Usually I always keep someone who stands out who is going just a little faster than my pace, and I make myself keep up with them. And if I pass them, I focus on another who stands out. It all helps with focus, especially when I start to hit a wall and my legs just want me to stop. I look for that person and it becomes tunnel vision until I get over that hump.
Camaraderie! When you run with a team you don’t all necessarily run “together”. But you do have team members spread around the course who are out there giving you support and keeping an eye on you. Plus before and after the race, getting together with your team makes for a double the fun of the day! Some teams train together. The RWB runs together, and does cross-training together. Some times we do rock wall climbing or yoga too. Many bigger races have training teams for half marathons and marathons.
I love race expo’s! Packet pick up day is a fun time. Especially if you like shopping or trying out new gear. Often you can grab a great deal and learn about new advancements in gear and tech.
Or Not To Race
Some people shouldn’t run races. Plain and simple. For some it’s added pressure that takes away from the shear joy of the run. And the spontaneity of place and distance. Many runners and I’m one of those, especially when on a trail like to stop and take in nature, snap some pictures, enjoy the experience of feeling the air around me and the sights before me.
For others signing up for a race, no matter how much you know you’re only in competition with yourself, let the pressure of others running along with them dull the experience of the run. Then what’s the point of even running? You have to find joy. Or as RunJunkEes® say, “Find The magic In The Misery”. If it’s not fun, you’re just going to stop, so don’t do what makes you unhappy with your run.
I’ve talked to a few who just don’t like the crowds or the noise that events bring with them. While others feed off the rush of all that energy around them. I am a huge fan of the music. I like music when I walk or run. No chatting, just me, nature and music. Usually races like half marathons require a training schedule of some kind and some people just enjoy their runs to be more spur of the moment and unplanned. A free spirit approach, letting the run flow where it will free of constraint.
Weather can be iffy for some people living in certain areas making training for races difficult. Some see this as opportunity to toughen up and face the flurries or downpours. Not to mention some areas get pretty humid in the summer months. If I lived in Florida I would only run at night. But some see these weather obstacles as difficult to try and juggle specific training plans.
Not every charity is one you may want to donate to. I have one I will not run (no names will be mentioned here) because I personally don’t like how their monies are allocated through the charity. So I never run that race, ever. I don’t even volunteer for it.
And finally, my big pet peeve with races. I am not a morning person, not one bit. And getting up early for anything other than my job is always a constant mental battle with me. Most races you have to be out there before the sun even comes up. And on the weekend some times, that is just not sounding fun to me.
So seriously, do what makes you happy and what makes you love your run and find excitement in your training. Running or race walking is trial and error. To run pavement or trails, races or no races, method of run training, etc… It’s all about makes you enjoy what you do. Running is not a competition and it’s not something that should be scary or torturous. It should be challenging yet fun. So get some good quality shoes fitted for you and lace up and get out there. Every step you take is another accomplishment and better health. Adding years to your life and life to your years. Above all else…
personal opinion from personal experience – Not advice from an expert 👍🏼