That Motivation Problem

Last week, I was kind of a rockstar. I ran 22 miles including a 9-miler and 6-miler, did two OTF-style sweaty sweat seshes and went on my longest kayak adventure yet. It’s pretty easy to pull off when you’re feeling great, seeing improvements, oh and have a shit ton of spare time.

This week also started off great. I ran five fast treadmill miles. Who knew Like a Prayer and Turn Back Time could be such great running songs? Then I hopped on the elliptical because reading on it is one of my new favorite pastimes and followed it up the next day with another great OTF workout, a power day this time = lots of sprints!

Then, those fast days, plus probably the jump lunges, caught up to me and I was super sore. AND I saw an article about the importance of rest days and realized I’d been going strong for eight days, so I figured a rest day was probably in order.

My competitive, stubborn spirit usually has me striving for seven days a week and “rest” days are more often “too busy to fit it in” days. But, rest and recovery is important for your body. Not taking rest days can actually inhibit your progress.

If you obsess much, active rest is fine – a long walk with your Rigo perhaps or a good stretch session, a bike ride to dinner.

I obsess much, but I try to shake myself out of that by taking a real rest day and being okay with it. This week, my rest day turned into a lazy, treat yoself day, then a lazy, treat yoself two days. How did I go from 60 to 0 so fast?

I got my butt in gear today with another good elliptical reading session (currently reading: Love With a Chance of Drowning) and everything else was better. My brain clears. My day feels complete. My eating stays on track. I’m more productive. I’m calm. ALL that is so important all the time, and especially so now when I need structure.

Despite knowing that, I still have those days when I have that motivation problem.

Anyone else with me? Any tips to bust through that?

Having a training plan helps me, but then again, it’s flexible and I know it and I can go from hardass to softy real fast.

I like the rule about never going three days without a workout. I think that’s what got me moving today.

Also, those cliche Pinterest phrases: no one ever regrets a workout and an hour-long workout is only 4% of your day.

Lately, the lure of reading is a way to get me moving since I could sit on my butt and do it, or jump on the elliptical and do it just the same.

I also sometimes tell myself I’m just going to start and after 5 or 10 minutes if I’m still not feeling it, I can throw in the towel, which after 5 or 10 minutes I don’t feel the need to do anymore. I gave myself that out today, but ended up lasting almost 90 minutes.

Sometimes, it’s just taking a shower! After a workout I’ll shower and can start my day instead of procrastinating for no good reason. Just having a schedule usually keeps me on track, so I’m hoping when I do have a schedule again I can keep up with my new level of rockstarness (past two days excluded of course).

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Can’t Argue With That

My training has been a little off lately (feeling like a broken record with that one!)…I don’t have much to actually train for and life has gotten in the way of gym time.

But, after a great weekend trip to Sedona, I decided it was time to get back on track and my plan last week was to make like a girl scout and be prepared – prepared for wherever, whenever, however I could work out. My bag with yoga clothes that could double as running clothes and running shoes and everything I’d need to swim has gone with me everywhere to avoid continuing to give into getting home from work and never wanting to leave again.

Was I planning a yoga class, but left work too late? Cool, I can run. Is it too hot in the afternoon to run (or as was the case earlier this week, too windy, allergy-y and nasty outside)? Cool, I can swim.

My training plan goes with me everywhere too, but it’s more of a guideline and I’m more concerned now with what I want to do and what I can do because SOMETHING is better than nothing. It worked four out of five days last week!

Goals for the next couple weeks:

RUN – I’d like to do decently at Pat’s Run so I have to keep it up and while I’m disappointed I haven’t run a LOT this year, I’m happy I have at least some miles on every week.

Use the rest of my True Hot Yoga Groupon – I definitely already got my money’s worth and I silently scream in those classes, but it’s a decent workout and I’m stubborn so darn it I’m gonna finish it.

Booty Burn

This summer, I got some pretty cute…okay, really sexy…new bikini bottoms.  I had my eye on the ruffley Brazilian-style bikini for a while and after a year of training for a triathlons and practicing yoga, I was thrilled when I tried them on before my Vegas trip in April. 

I train for race results and endorphins, but I’m not complaining about what it’s done for my body!  Minus the previously-covered VERY white part of my booty that now showed, the bottoms looked hot.

Those bikini bottoms + my workout hiatus + a return trip to Vegas at the end of this month (the bottoms are very Vegas, obvi) = time to get back to it.

Last week, I did what any woman thinking about wearing a tiny bikini in public would do…squats and lunges. And I’ve been hobbling around ever since! Mostly my exercises seemed to target my hamstrings and that’s all good, but I REALLY wanted to feel it in my butt.

So, I pulled out my Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises and yesterday, I hit the gym for some hip raises, single-leg deadlifts (minus the lift), step-up squats (couldn’t find…maybe I made this one up?!), single leg lunges and lateral band walks.

That seemed to do it! I definitely have a pain in my ass today…the good kind!

What are your favorite booty exercises? Are you motivated to work out by bathing suit season or the thought of wearing pieces (bridesmaid’s dress, anyone? I’ve been there too!)? Is it so terrible to admit to a little bit of vanity?!

Five Little Minutes

My sister’s bridal shower last fall

My mom is celebrating Mother’s Day on an Alaskan cruise, so my MD was really just like any other Sunday. After some learning this morning, I took Rigo over to play at my parents’ house (and water their plants), then got to a much-needed (five days a week FAIL) hot yoga class  this afternoon.I guess it kinda wiped me out, so I took a little nap and woke up with a half-hour til the Desperate Housewives finale. Instead of wasting it, I got busy with all the stuff I’ve been putting off or would have put off and I was amazed that it only took five minutes to do each of the following:

  • Throw together this zucchini lasagna dish (healthy, ready-to-go leftovers for the week FTW)
  • Empty the dishwasher AND take out the trash
  • Give Rigo a bath because he got into something sticky at G-ma’s
  • Switch the laundry and change the sheets on my bed

By that point, the house was starting to smell delicious and I still had 10 minutes til my show!

Sometimes the little things seem like the hardest things to cross off the list because they’re so easy to put off, but I’m glad I’m starting my week at least a little ahead of the game!

What’s the best thing you’ve done with five minutes lately? Have you watched DH through its eight seasons? What did you think of the finale?! (It’s still on here, gotta go give it my full attention!)

A Busy (Healthy!) May

Oh hey. Guess who hasn’t been working out? Me! I’m not actually excited about that and I’m not sure why it required an exclamation point.

I was totally all, I got my mojo on, but then life got in the way. I went to Las Vegas, which was awesome, and I have not one bit of guilt for the delicious food I ate, alcohol I drank or time spent by the pool, at the tables and on the massage table.

I got back on Sunday and on Monday, things got busy. My company is ramping up for our big national conference in early June and some responsibilities in my personal life are shifting too.

Each day in May is planned just about morning to night and, while the days themselves are not CRA-zy, the sum of the parts is intimidating to me.

So, how did I celebrate on May Day? Cookies for breakfast, Cheetos (with a sammie) for lunch, attempting to get back to the gym, but forgetting pants and DQ after dinner (it was delicious). Eek.

I know it’s totally mental at this point and that I’m tougher than this, but I am slipping a bit. It doesn’t help that I emptied my fridge out before Vegas and haven’t had the time to restock with good stuff.

Having good options to grab for snacks as well as easily reheatable lunches and dinners is the best way for me to mindlessly eat well (because it’s so easy to mindlessly eat like crap). It’s as simple as that! I know I’ll feel better if I’m not crashing from sugar and caffeine highs and my early mornings and late nights won’t hit me so hard.

Part of my May planning was pre-scheduled workouts on 29 of the 31 days. Granted, I only skipped the first two days (and that’s important to remember that you can always bring it back on track…one bad day does not equal total ruin), so it’s still possible to fit them all in, but in those two days I’ve realized I need to adopt a something is better than nothing workout mentality – just for the month – then I can get back to my live to sweat mentality.

Instead of a hard and fast training plan, I’m taking on Caitlin’s workout guide she came up with during her pregnancy. (NO, I’m totes not pregnant, I’m going to leave that up to EVERYONE else in the blog world and a lot of women in my real life.)

My goal is to work out five days a week whenever it fits in, doing at least one run, one swim and one yoga class each week. You know, to keep me sane. I finally got back in the pool last night and it felt great!

Anyway, I had a roommate in college and ALL she EVER talked about was how BUSY she was and how TIRED she was and you know what? It was obnoxious. I’m excited about everything I’m busy with, and I’m not complaining!

How do you stay healthy and active when you’re busy or stressed?

Back-Handed Compliment

I had an awful thought today.

After learning that the twenty-minute run on my training plan the day before the race was more for psychological benefits than training purposes and getting the go-ahead that rest for my ankle was probably a better idea anyway, I swam.

The 1200-meter swim included eight 25-meter sprints and for the last four I decided to time myself and make each one faster. And I did – 22, 21, 20 and 19 seconds. Because I’m awesome and all.

And then I thought…I’m a good swimmer.  I’m much better at swimming that I am at running. I pretty much back-hand complimented myself!  I almost immediately realized it was a little rude and that I definitely don’t need those negative thoughts the night before a race.

My thought was that I haven’t seen much improvement in running.  I haven’t been able to tell myself to run negative splits and do it, they happen or they don’t, running, to me, seems much more of an “it is what it is” activity.

It might be the voice of my favorite yoga teacher in my head reminding me to focus on the positive…”wow, my right hip is really open today” or “I’m really strong on my left side in this pose” instead of thinking about what hurts or being frustrated about the poses that I’m struggling with, but I know I should have just stopped at, “I’m a good swimmer.”

Since then (yes, for all of the last five hours), I’ve been saying much nicer things to myself about rocking the race tomorrow. I’m carbo-loaded, my gadgets are charging, my outfit is laid out. Now I need to get some sleep!

Commandments, Intentions and Goals

Happy 2012!  I spent the long New Year’s weekend doing yoga (Bikram and a Lulu class in the great outdoors), enjoying our summer-like weather with long puppy walks and reading by the pool, cleaning/organizing/decorating the house and making resolutions (of sorts) of course!

I’ve been reading other bloggers’ resolutions and challenges and 2012 goals for the past week or so.  My head started spinning with all the different ways to go about it, but on NYE, the way that’s going to work for me kind of just came to me, so this year I set:

Commandments
(Ideals/mantras for the year.)

First things first and one thing at a time.
Say what you need to say.
Change ingredients as necessary.

Intentions
(Because you can’t break intentions.)

Unplug.
Grow relationships.
Take vitamins. Eat whole foods.
Write.
Be selfish and be selfless.
Be present.
Prepare lunches and plan dinners for the week.

Goals 
(One and done things to kick ass at and cross off.)

Take a ME vacation.
Spring and fall clean my home.
Be a GOTR running buddy.
Get into plow and standing leg balance poses.
Do a 30-day yoga challenge.
Learn to flow at home.

I set goals and try to be focused year-round, but love the fresh feeling of a new year and unlimited possibilities!

30ish Days at a Time

Holy hell did 2011 just fly by!  Here’s what my year was filled with:

In January, I started this blog because any day is a good day to take a positive step in your life. I also ran my first half-marathon in 2:09:06.

Come February, I embraced my athlete status and took a knee injury to a sports doctor.  When it started to feel better, I climbed the seven summits of Phoenix over a long weekend!

March was the perfect month to get a bike.  It was love at first ride.  I never got around to telling the how we met story.  Basically, I bought it off Craigslist from a super serious cyclist who bought it for his fiance who rode it once and hated it!  It was just my size and a good price for a starter bike, since I wasn’t sure how often I’d actually use it.

In April, I participated in a very Phoenix race and rocked a short-distance pace I never imagined I could (4.2 miles in 35:44).  When registration opened up on Veteran’s Day, my mom signed up for next year’s Pat’s Run before I did!  After that race, I injured my knee.  Again.

In May, I volunteered at a triathlon to figure out what they were all about and was majorly inspired.

Oh JuneI found yoga.  What started as a “well, this new studio is hosting free classes for their first two weeks, so I might as well give it a shot even though I’m probably going to hate it,” turned into a love…completely transformative for my body and spirit.  I’m also sometimes reminded that although I didn’t write about it, one Friday afternoon in June, I ran 12 miles for funsies.  On a treadmill.  I think about that when it feels like running is the toughest thing in the world and that I’m never going to get back to that level.  I was there once and I will be there again.  Things that are that great are worth anything.

July marked the beginning of training for my first triathlon.  I kinda rocked it.  I joined a fancy new gym that had everything a yogi triathlete could want. I was also slightly distracted in July and didn’t post very much!

In August, I deepened my yoga practice by figuring out the whole intention thingI turned 27!  And I visited San Diego and Las Vegas, which messed with my training plan a bit, but the change of scenery was a good thing!

September is another Oh month because I completed my first triathlon!  I also got involved with Girls on the Run as a coach to 10 wonderful girls.  Oh yeah, and I barely talked about it here, but I bought my first house (note to self: give the blogworld a little tour in 2012).  Yeah, I’d say September was a pretty good month.

In October I was still on a tri high and talked about it a lot.  Probably to distract from the fact that I was a little burnt out on training and was taking a breather.  This time the break wasn’t because I was injured, thank you, yoga!  I was in two weddings in October and visited my favorite city, Seattle and spent time with some great friends!

During November, I decided to pare down on my commitments as I took on a major one, my new pup, Rigo. I set a 10K PR, 1:01:50!

In December, I got a crash course in homeownership (the leak was found and everything fixed as good as new thanks to my HOA).  Girls on the Run ended so quickly, but I loved watching my girls cross the finish line of their 5K.  I also built my race calendar for 2012 and came up with a training plan.

The year has had its ups and downs, but as an eternal optimist, I choose to focus on the ups and think about the challenges in terms of how they strengthened me.

What I Wrote Wednesday – December

I love quotes. The right ones always seem to find you exactly when you need them. When they really speak to me, I write them down in my day planner. As the year wraps up, I’m going back to pull out what I wrote, month by month. It’s interesting to go back and think about what was going on in my life at that time, why those quotes meant something to me then and what they mean to me now.

December 2011 (most of it anyway)

How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours.

Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength.
– Mary Engelbreit

It is stronger to act than to react.

Everything in life is temporary.  If things are good, enjoy it because it won’t last forever.  And if things are bad, don’t worry, it won’t last forever either.

A woman is too precious to compromise her good time or her happiness because things haven’t gone her way with a man.
You can’t control how a man expresses himself.  Love him anyway.
– Kristine Gasbarre, How to Love an American Man

It’s never a question of can you, but will you.

Previous posts:
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011

October 2011
November 2011

What I Wrote Wednesday – November

I love quotes. The right ones always seem to find you exactly when you need them. When they really speak to me, I write them down in my day planner. As the year wraps up, I’m going back to pull out what I wrote, month by month. It’s interesting to go back and think about what was going on in my life at that time, why those quotes meant something to me then and what they mean to me now.

November 2011

Start where you are and just keep going.
Makeunder My Life

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.

Don’t approach today wearing yesterday’s glasses.

Happiness is not a reward, it’s a consequence.  Suffering is not a punishment, it’s a result.

Life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage.
– Anais Nin

If someone wants to be a part of your life, they’ll make an effort to be in it.  So don’t bother reserving a space in your heart for someone who doesn’t make an effort to stay.

Someday is not a day of the week.

Taking time to live life will only inspire your work.

Stop waiting for things to happen.  Go out and make them happen.

Previous posts:
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011

July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011