Back At It

Exploring

Exploring

I had a goal of hitting 550 miles for the year last year but I came up shy by about 6 miles. In the end I was okay with that. The flu, some big life changes & a whole lot of holiday travel prevented me from having any form of free time the last few weeks. On top of all of that Winter finally hit the Midwest. I draw the line at 20 degrees for running outside.

Today we had a random 40 degree day, the snow started melting, the ice disappeared and I decided to do a little exploring.

Not really knowing where I was going I just headed out for a run and discovered that I have a whole lot of hills around me. I was not planning on a hill workout but that was what my run turned into!

In the end I think I wound up doing 3 “major” hills and then a few little rolling hills throughout the run. I was used to having maybe one major hill in my run and sometimes would add in two more. It was a shock!

It’s been three weeks since my last run but damn it felt good to be out! It was pretty windy out so it was a little bit of a rough run but it felt great to stretch out. I was even a little sore tonight after it. The hills might’ve had something to do that.

Training for half marathon number two starts in a few weeks. I’m still trying to figure out how and when I can fit those runs in but I’m still excited to start. I won’t lie, I miss my long runs!

How was your holiday? Back at running? Dealing with winter?

#SweatPink #NoExcuses MadLibs

Sweat Pink

Sweat Pink

This month I have hopped on board with the awesome #SweatPink team for the #NoExcuses challenge! Kicking off this week we’re doing a MadLib challenge. Interested in joining the Sweat Pink Challenge? Sign up here!

Today we’re kicking it off with some MadLibs. I loved these as a kid.

  • Hey 2015, it’s me Kristin (nickname, spirit animal, real name, blog name)

  • This year I would like to run a half marathon, stay in shape, and run 12 5ks (MAYBE one a month!).

  • It would also be super duper awesome if I also blogged every few days this year. It’s not a resolution, though, just a reminder to myself to try and have the best year yet because this year I am focusing more on me.

  • The thing I am looking forward to most this year is keeping my family fit.

  • I’ll use the one thing that truly gets me out of bed in the morning is knowing that my workout is waiting and ill feel better which is to help me get up, get active (verb) and get after my #NoExcuses 2015.

  • Speaking of excuses (ahem), my very favorite excuse is little man was up all night and I have used it to get out of doing morning workouts and evening workouts on more than 1 (number) occasions.

  • I vow to move my body and be more healthy this year even if it means I have to keep moving when i don’t want to.

  • Even if my alarm clock gets eaten by the dog in the middle of the night, I’ll still get my butt in gear.

  • I will stop blaming little [ex: kids, dog, husband] for eating the rest of the ice cream when everyone knows it was really me.

  • My busy schedule [job, hair, car, husband, kids] are not the reason I make excuses. I will show my busy schedule [same as before] who’s boss this year and get my run [type of sweaty activity] on

  • I know that running [type of workout] is better than nothing [noun]

  • I will reward myself by feeling better overall

  • No Excuses 2015 has just begun and already I am imagining myself a winner. I can’t wait to rock a tank (article of clothing) from Augusta Active. I can’t wait till my sweaty friends are jealous of how fresh, clean and energetic (adj) I am between workouts with help from ShowerPill body wipes. I can see myself rocking burpees [yoga pose / workout move] in new capris [article of clothing from Actio926] from Actio926 and looking fit and fly while doing it. And of course, I’ll be taking my workouts to the next level and improving my runs [noun] with my new ActivMotion Bar to help me train for my next  half marathon [distance] race with Sasquatch Racing.

  • Oh, and let’s not forget how amazing my workout gear [article of clothing] will smell in my / during my runs [favorite type of workout] after washing with some WIN Detergent. And lastly, I’ll keep rocking my 2015 with clean eats and nutrition from Beaming with Health!

2014 In Review

Preface: This is going to be a long & emotional post. There will be rambling, there will be gloating, there will be good times, there will be bad times. I wanted to look back on 2014 & look at how much has changed. 

"I'm Not The Same"

“I’m Not The Same”

I started this blog December 10th, 2014. It was on Tumblr & the whole point was a place to record my workouts. It still mainly is my random thoughts & a place to record workouts but I’ve evolved in a lot of ways.

On December 18th, 2013 we weighed in for our work fitness challenge. I remember weighing in and laughing knowing that I probably would not participate but it was fun to think I would.

One year later I am down 35 pounds & exactly 8% body fat.

I would have never believed you if you would’ve told me that would’ve happened.

Working out has changed me in a lot of ways, but for the better. It’s my sanity, my break from life, my “me” time & my energy.

I used to live off of coffee & now its 80+oz of water a day and two cups of coffee. Starbucks was my best friend. I loved all kinds of pop (or soda), pizza, Chinese food, “lean cuisines” were all staples in my house.

Now it’s so different.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my bad days. I splurge, I stress eat. Hot chocolate makes it’s way into my life way more than I want to admit. I’m okay with that.

for the most part I’ve been in maintenance mode since mid-July. Give or take 3 or 4 pounds I have done a fairly decent job of keeping the weight off. I have also found a way to tone up a lot.

Running

Dawn of the Dunes Half Marathon Finish

Dawn of the Dunes Half Marathon Finish

About a year ago I started working out again. On February 1 I hopped on the treadmill because I didn’t like the elliptical at a different Y I was visiting. Out of curiosity I wanted to see how far I could run.

I ran 1 mile and it took everything out of me, but that day I wrote down that my goal for 2014 was to run a 5k by the end of December.

If you would’ve told me a year ago how much running would play into my life, I probably would’ve laughed at you. (Actually Timehop even reminded me last week that I posted “I justified a second piece of cake because I worked out for the first time in two years). I have learned so much about eating, nutrition, running, training, stretching, not to mention the fun of anticipating a race.

Between growing friendships, making new friends, spending time with other friends, lots of training & “sanity runs” 2014 definitely changed back in February when I rediscovered running. Thanks to all of my girls who I had the opportunity to run with this year.

I topped off the year with 9 5ks, a 5 mile race & a half marathon. I broke my high school personal record by 4.5 minutes & had a great time doing it.

Activity Name Date / Time Watch Time Avg Pace
Ringing in the Spring 5k Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 27:56 -
Superhero Dash 5k Saturday, May 31, 2014 26:34 -
Happy Trails 5k Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 26:09 8:27
Footloose 5k Saturday, Jun 28, 2014 27:03 8:42
Friendship 5k Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 25:48 8:17
Popcorn Festival 5 Mile Saturday, Sep 6, 2014 41:29 8:16
Race for the Cure 5k Sun, Sep 28, 2014 25:12 8:04
Dawn of the Dunes 1/2 Marathon Sunday, Oct 26, 2014 2:15:01 10:10
Jingle Jog Thursday, Dec 4, 2014 28:16 9:06
Smoke The Turkey 5k Thursday, Nov 27, 2014 24:33 7:45

I think I hit my goal.

Motivation

If No One Thinks You Can...

If No One Thinks You Can… (credit nike)

I have read a lot of inspirational quotes over the last year. I probably drive some of my Pinterest friends CRAZY with the ones I save. Looking back on this year, there is no quote that sticks out more than this:

“If No One Thanks You Can, Than You Have To”

Running started out as a way to lose weight. It became fun, I became competitive. Along the way I found doubters. People who said that I was crazy, couldn’t do it, full of myself and at one point was told to “eat a f@#$ing cookie”.

Days like that I became more motivated.

We joke around a lot that one of our biggest motivators in this whole weight loss process was spite. Not going to lie, it was…. at the beginning. Once I started figuring out the amount of energy I was getting, how much better I felt & the long term benefits, I kept going.

So yes, spite & proving people wrong are good motivation but you have to keep pushing to prove those people wrong.

2014 Wrapped Up

December 17, 2013 | December 17, 2014

December 17, 2013 | December 17, 2014

Pounds Lost: 35 (give or take one or two depending on the day!)

5k PR: 24:32 (official time) @ Smoke The Turkey

Half Marathon PR: 2:14:00 (official time) @ Dawn of the Dunes

Most Fun Race: Smoke the Turkey & Dawn of the Dunes. For two very different reasons! I had an awesome support team at Dawn of the Dunes and at Smoke the Turkey I got to run with a friend I hadn’t run with in years!

Race I Want a Do-Over On: This ties in with my favorite honestly. As prepared as I thought I was going into Dawn of the Dunes, there were many lessons to be learned at my first half and I would change a lot of things. Then again… I get another chance in April at my second half!

Total Miles Run: 544.07mi (SO close to 550, but the flu and moving kinda set me back!) 

Biggest Lesson Learned: Outside of nutrition, I would say my biggest lesson is that the only person who can take care of your health is you. You have to want to see results & be ready to put in the work. I wouldn’t be writing this if it weren’t for my best friend. Don’t get me wrong. She and I have pushed each other to limits with running, weight loss, etc…. At the end of the day you don’t get the results from the workout you didn’t do. The only person who can do it, is you.

53 Degrees in December…. What?!

5 Miler Sunday

5 Miler Sunday

Most days lately I’m layering up and trying to convince myself I’ll warm up when I get outside.

I had a nice surprise today, 53 degrees on December 14th…. IN THE MIDWEST!

If I could order up perfect running weather year round, this is what it would be. It felt so good to just get up and going. I stupidly thought I would need gloves and even threw on an extra layer for wind. Who was I kidding?

I Felt The Need for a Selfie

I Felt The Need for a Selfie

Way over dressed!

By the end my sleeves were rolled up and I had my gloves tucked away.

I even got to wear my favorite Old Navy Compression Capris today! I’ve missed running in capris. Jacket is from New Balance (Similar).

I’m fighting off a cold/cough but couldn’t resist running in this weather. I really had no plans other than to destress my mind so 5 miles is what happened. I was at 4.9 when I got to the end so I added an extra loop around the block to hit 5. Do you ever do that?

What is your ideal running weather?

 

Two Weeks Before Christmas – Workouts of The Week

T25

T25 Workout

Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through the house, lots of creatures were stirring….

Just kidding.

Kind of.

That’s about where my sanity is right now!

We have had a crazy few weeks and things are about to get a little more crazy. I might be a little MIA for a few days in actually logging workouts, but pretty soon life will settle down. I’m trying my hardest to continue them through these next few weeks!

This week I started T25 Beta.

I can honestly say I LOVE IT! I thought I would be so incredibly sore but I think Alpha did an amazing job preparing you for what was to come. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I do so far.

If anyone is considering the program, I highly recommend it. There were days in Alpha I highly questioned how I would make it, but it really prepared me for Beta and is a great start to my day.

Wednesday Lunch Run

Wednesday Lunch Run

Wednesday I went for a “lunch run”. I had planned on going Thursday as well but woke up fighting off a cold. With 30 degree weather I decided it probably wasn’t the best idea.

I forgot my gloves on Wednesday so I came back with very numb hands. It was 34 degrees outside but the “feels like” was only 24.

Anyone else ready for summer or warmer running weather back?

Cold Hands

Cold Hands

Another fun hobby I recently picked up is recreational volleyball. It’s safe to say I won’t be joining any Olympic teams anytime soon but it’s a lot of fun and a nice “mommy’s night out”.

Now it’s time to undo all of the hard work this week at our company Christmas party!

Just kidding. Kind of.

What did you do this week?

Good Day For A Long Run

Since the half marathon I haven’t been doing a ton of running. This week was my first week back to a regular schedule and I can’t wait to keep moving forward with it. Not gonna lie, I’ve missed them!

I Miss My Long Runs

I Miss My Long Runs

I decided to just go out and see how I felt and how far I could go. My knee has been feeling a lot better lately and I wanted to see if it was just because I haven’t been doing long runs or if it was actually getting stronger.

7 Miles On Saturday

7 Miles On Saturday

7.18 miles & no knee pain! It felt amazing. I felt great just running and seeing how fast my pace would hold up. For the most part I stayed around an 8:30 pace. It was a VERY windy day out. Despite being 40 degrees it felt very much like 27 at some points!

I will never understand how regardless of what direction I’m running, I’m running directly into the wind. There were a few breaks in the wind here and there but for the most part it was pretty windy.

One thing I missed most about longer runs was the chance to clear my head. We’ve had a lot of crazy going on lately and it was exactly the push I needed for things to clear up. Thanks running.

Do you enjoy long runs? What is the best part about a long run for you?

Jingle Jog

Jingle Jog Outfit

Jingle Jog Outfit

Tonight was officially my last “race” of 2014! So incredibly crazy. My friend and I participated at a Jingle Jog at our local university. It was not timed, no numbers but a fun run where you can choose to run 1, 2 or 3 miles. I decided to go for the full 3.1 so I could top off my 5k’s for the year!

The run started at 5pm, which here means it was already dark out. While we had fun antlers they didn’t really stay on for more than 10 seconds so we carried them instead.

I ran the first lap (mile) with my friend and then she told me to go on ahead of her. Even if it was fun and not timed I wanted to try and stay at a lower split for the last two miles and I was pretty happy with how it ended.

Splits

Splits

After the race they served hot chocolate, cookies & peppermints. My kind of finish line :)

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

All and all it was a fun run. I was sad that we signed up two days too late to get the t-shirts because they were cute long sleeved ones. Oh well, not like I NEEDED another shirt for my collection.

What is your favorite post race treat?

Holiday Gift Guide for A New Runner

Holiday Gift Guide For a New Runner It’s that time of the year, the gift guides are everywhere of what you should and shouldn’t buy. Are you shopping for a new runner? A new runner looking for ideas? Instead of the typical “what to buy for any runner” gift guide, I thought I’d break it down to some things I’ve found helpful over the last year as I returned to running & had to rebuild my stash of everything.

Warmer Clothes

Chances are if your favorite runner started running again earlier this year they don’t have a good stash of warm clothes. The tank tops and short shorts have been put away in exchange for a few hundred layers of clothes.

My favorite top is my new Nike Element top that my husband bought me for my birthday. It’s thin enough that on a fall day felt great but has been awesome as an extra layer now that it is getting cold. You can’t go wrong with compression pants or fleece lined pants either!

With the cold air lately, they would probably appreciate a pair of running gloves or fleece headband!

Race Entry Fee

Race’s get expensive. Really fast. Chances are if your new runner is signing up for races left and right they are adding up in cost. Sneak in and find out any races that your runner might be thinking about signing up for & surprise them with the entry fee or having them be signed up!

iTunes Gift Card

Lots of running means lots of music, audio book or podcast listening. Music can get expensive so an iTunes gift card might be an easy way out but something your runner would truly appreciate.

Gift Card to a Local Running Shop (If You Have Them)

We have a few local running shops and when I can I choose to support them in buying my shoes. Shoes are extremely expensive and depending on how often your runner is running they need to be replaced every 6 months or so.

Running Jewelry

Is your new runner extremely proud of what they’ve accomplished this year? For a lot of people it takes a lot to get started running & it is definitely something to celebrate! There are some awesome people who sell lots of jewelry on Etsy but I would highly recommend checking out BamaRy Stamped Necklaces as well. Lots of cool stuff & ways to support your runner. Just saying, I wouldn’t complain if one showed up in my stocking.

A Way to Display Their Accomplishments

Not sold on jewelry but want to help your beginner runner share their accomplishments? There are some awesome race bib holders on Etsy! A few of my favorites are the bib holders with medals, bib holders with ways to display a PR (personal record) & the bib holders with quotes.

Running Belt

Depending on where your runner is doing their workouts, there is probably a dilemma of where to hold their keys, their water, their phone, etc. There are some awesome running belts out there and I’ve had my eye on a FlipBelt for awhile.

Running Watch

Phones die, apps don’t work, signals die…. sometimes runners get frustrated with the iPhone apps. They’re awesome for starting out and a great way to track milage. As your beginner runner is becoming more of a seroius runner they might secretly have their eye on one of many Garmin Watches. Track miles, times & sync with Garmin connect. You’ll instantly be their favorite gift giver.

What is your favorite gift you’ve gotten as a runner? Any other ideas to add to our list?

(Un)Officially Winter Lunch Run

Lunch Run

Lunch Run

With winter in just about full swing, I need to get my butt in gear for a winter running routine. Chances are my best run times will be during the week which means lunch time runs. I’m completely okay with that, it makes for a nice break in the day and forces me to take that break!

Today was a brisk 25 degrees (21 according to the sign I passed!) so it was time to layer up and head out.

I’m still trying to figure out what is right to wear for winter and what is not.

My mom gave me a cool gortex jacket to try out so I wore that along with my Nike Element top that I wore for my half marathon. I have a very old under armor top & fleece lined pants (we’re talking 15 years old here) and decided to wear those with it. I was a few layers too heavy. Next time I’ll try something different.

What are your favorite winter running clothes? I’m always looking for something new to try!

Smoke The Turkey 5k

IMG_8405.JPG 13 years ago, also known as the summer before my sophomore year of high school one of my friends approached me about joining the cross country team. In order to compete at our city championships we needed 5 members and they were a few short. I decided to give it a try.

In my three years on the team I made it through about 2.5 seasons. Between ankle injuries and other problems I wasn’t the most successful member of the team by far. My high school pr was 28:10 and I achieved it on my very first race my sophomore year.

My friend went on to run marathons while I went on to other things. She took a break for the last few years and started back up this summer. I started back up this year too. I noticed our hometown had a “smoke the turkey” race on thanksgiving. It’s one of the only weeks of the year were both in town so I emailed her and we signed up! Our first race together in 12 years!

It was a really fun and really well organized race! I think it is safe to say that I “smoked my pr” that I set at race for the cure earlier this year!

My time was 24:32 and was 40 seconds faster than my pr! I was shocked! I even pulled off negative splits. They were as follows:

IMG_8403.PNG

I was super excited with the results and had a lot of fun. I did run into one issue. In the cold weather my phone decided it didn’t want to work so it died before the race :( my first time in a long time running without music!

It’s safe to say that a 5k goes by a lot quicker than a half marathon!

Happy Thanksgiving friends! Time for that extra slice of pie!