The Plan Is, There Doesn’t Always Have To Be A Plan

Many people often mention to me that they are interested in getting started with running but don’t know where to start and aren’t quite ready to hire a coach.  This is totally understandable.  There is an abundance of information available on the internet about how to get started, such as Couch to 5k Plans.  While these can be very useful, it is often difficult to read through everything and know what is actually helpful and what might not be such great advice.

The truth is, running doesn’t always have to be a science.  Sure, if you are looking to improve your speed or increase your distance for a longer endurance race, having a set plan or a coach to guide you can make the process much easier.  However, if you are simply looking to begin running, you can make it just that: running simple.

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As I have mentioned in other posts, running isn’t always easy.  It gets easier, but there will always be an element of challenge in nearly every run.  This is what makes you feel so invigorated and accomplished when you finish!

To make the process easier, it is often helpful to start with shorter distances and use run/walk intervals.  Set a goal of doing 10 minutes your first time.  Try running for a minute and walking for two.  You can gradually increase the duration over time, as your body begins to adjust.  If you prefer, the run/walk intervals can also lengthen out.  However, I have many clients and friends who use the run/walk method exclusively for all distances from 5k’s through the marathon.

A helpful tool to decrease your risk of injury is to follow the 10% rule.  When you feel that you have comfortably accomplished a certain amount of time or distance, increase that amount by 10%.  You should also start your run intervals at a shorter amount than your walking intervals.  Follow a 1:3 or 1:2 run/walk at first and lengthen or decrease as necessary.

Remember any amount of running is running.  There is no rule that states how fast, how far, or how often you need to run to be a runner.  If you run, you are a runner!

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Running is your own personal journey.  This is about you feeling good about you and the experience.  Remember that it will be challenging.  It will take time for your body to adjust and become more comfortable.  Give yourself the freedom to make it work for you.

With some time and patience, you might find that you are ready to start looking for an appropriate plan for you or to hire a coach.  Until then, just run as you wish.

How do you like to approach your running?

A Case For The Treadmill

Excuse my absence.  Apparently having two little kids, coaching, and trying to keep life together is a full-time job.  I don’t know how parents of three kids even get out the door of their house!

Spring running is finally in full effect across the country.  After a late April snow dumped 20 inches on our yard, I was starting to feel like winter was never going to leave.  We had a bizarre winter in Michigan.  It was cold at times, but also warm.  It snowed, but it often melted and there were days in February and March where we had green grass in our yard.  Then April turned into a frigid, snowy mess.

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Mary likes watching the turkeys roam in our yard.

Between the crazy winter weather, and being a mom of a now 2 1/2 year old and 8 month old, it can be difficult to fit runs in.  Lucy was too young to run in the stroller, and the weather was too cold to push Mary.  Quite often, my only option was the treadmill when the girls napped or at night when they went to bed.  Thank goodness for Netflix.

A week ago Saturday, I toed the line for my first true race since having Lucy in September.  I felt pretty out of place at the start.  I had no idea what to expect.  I hadn’t run with a GPS in months.  I didn’t know what my pace would be or how it would feel.  I had nothing to base it on.

Plus, it was freezing and the wind was blowing like crazy.  Thanks, April.  Glad to see you go!

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When the gun went off, I just settled in and started running at what felt like a good, but sustainable pace for me.  Imagine my surprise when I looked down after the first mile and I was running well over a minute per mile faster than I expected.  I was running way too fast!  But when I checked in with myself I was feeling relatively good.  I tried slowing a little bit, but as we came to the halfway turnaround of the 10k, I realized I was nearly at the front of the pack of the race and also the first woman.

Mile after mile, I was running paces that were faster than I had ever run.  I felt pretty good until mile 4 when the Pop-Tart that I ate before the race started to make me feel pretty sick.  Who would have thought?!

I was beyond thrilled when I crossed the finish with a 10k PR.  I ended up 6th across the line and in first place overall for the women.  It was a much needed boost for this running mom.

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This was a special race for me, as it was also where I ran my first 5k, 27 years ago in honor of our neighbor who lost his battle with leukemia.  A few years later, his dad passed away and the race now is done in both of their memories.  They were also avid runners.  At my first race, I won 2nd in my age group by default as there were only two of us.

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From my first 5k

It was also the weekend of our town’s yearly festival.  Despite being super chilly, and super windy, the entire family had a great time.  I also need to add a huge congrats to Rock and Lucy who placed third in his age group on Lucy’s first ride in the BOB!  Stroller running is no easy feat.

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Running on the treadmill can be a bit tricky.  It will never truly replicate running outside.  Every treadmill varies.  They all feel and work in different ways that make them unique.  You may have noticed this when some models feel easier or more difficult to use.  There is also no added effect from wind or changes in terrain that challenge our muscles and endurance.

Pace is also a tricky factor with treadmills.  It is virtually impossible to run at your normal speed on the mill.  I always encourage runners to find the pace that feels right on the treadmill.  Don’t let the numbers dictate how fast you must go or frustrate you.  Just know that what feels right for you, is exactly what you need.

While a lot of people will say that the treadmill has little to no place in a training plan, that isn’t always an option.  Personally, I feel that you need to do what works best for you.  That can mean giving yourself permission to get your runs in on the treadmill.  I wouldn’t recommend doing this for 100% of your runs.  But again, you do what is right for you.

I’m finally enjoying warmer weather runs with my girls, and that presents its own set of challenges.  However, I certainly have the treadmill to thank for keeping me sane and fit this winter.  You might even say it made me a better runner.

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What are your thoughts on the treadmill?

 

Thanks Kiddo

It is hard to believe that I have been a Mother Runner for almost 2 years now (21 months to be exact and we are 4.5 months out from meeting our next one!).  A lot has changed in those 21 months and I believe I have changed quite a bit myself.

Being a parent isn’t always easy.  There is no way to prepare for the true toils of becoming a parent.  First there are the sleepless nights.  I knew we would be up.  But I had no clue just how little sleep we would be living on during those first few months.

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I’ve spent a lot of time with children over the years.  We teach sports and activities for a living and I have had plenty of babysitting gigs.  Regardless of the amount of experience, you quickly realize just how clueless you are.  Getting to know your little baby and their personality, riding the random illnesses and sick days, and just plain figuring out how to juggle everything, takes time and patience.

I’d like to think we have figured out quite a bit so far, but every day has it’s changes and challenges.  In any given day I have moments where I think our little girl is the most incredible ever, and five minutes later I’m ready for a break.

New milestones bring new challenges.  Right now we are dealing with the start of those Terrible Twos.  Tempers are starting to flare.  The piercing screams and shouts this little munchkin can make are mystifying.  I’ve done my share of Googling and reading parenting sites lately.

But the truth is, being a parent and being a Mother Runner has made me a better person and also a better runner.  Sure, I have learned to live on a heck of a lot less sleep.  I have also learned to let go of a few things.  I love a clean house and a set schedule.  I have learned that things aren’t always perfect and sometimes a little mess or a bit of randomness can lead to a great time.

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Oh the messes!

When I was pregnant the first time, I worried a lot that my running would never be the same.  I watched as I got bigger and my pace got slower.  The good news for Mother Runners and Mom’s To Be, is that you can actually become a better and stronger runner than ever before.

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Having a child is no easy feat.  I once read that the act of labor takes you to the brink of where you think you cannot make it any further.  It is one of the biggest physical challenges you will ever face.  Being pregnant is a challenge in itself; 9 months of an evolving body is something else!

If there is a theme to this post, it is patience.  Pretty much anyone who knows me would tell you I fit the bill of a Type A personality.  Patience isn’t always my strong suit.   Being a new parent and a Mother Runner requires a lot of patience.

To come back from being pregnant and having a baby, takes a special kind of patience.  I needed to allow my body to adjust and relearn a few things.

I had to learn balance.  Finding the time to get a run in most days requires some skill (especially when both parents are runners).  Sometimes I have to do a shorter run.  Other days I have to hit the treadmill during nap time or after Mary goes to bed.  There is no time for messing around!

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For all the lessons, adventures, ups and downs, I am forever grateful to Mary for making me a mom and a Mother Runner.  She teaches me new things daily and brings joy to our family that we never could have imagined.  She’s hilarious and exhausting and I wouldn’t change a single moment.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!  What are your best and most difficult adventures?

What I Am Loving Right Now

Happy Friday!  For some reason, this week flew by.  We started with fabulous weather, got really chilly in the middle, and are just hanging on for the weekend now.

Today I thought it would be fun to share some of my recent favorites.  Spring is in the air and it has me feeling all sorts of fabulous.

Pinkberry Meyer Lemon

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If you live anywhere near a Pinkberry, run there now and try the new lemon flavor.  I know the frozen yogurt craze has been done and most of it is just okay.  But Pinkberry is the real deal.  They only have a few flavors at a time, with their original tart being the standout, in my opinion.  Real, fresh, tart yogurt without all of the sugary extras, it leaves you feeling far less guilty about this delicious splurge.

Lemon is the perfect spring-like flavor.  I tried it once with fruit on top and fell in love.  In fact, I skipped dinner the next night, ran six miles instead, and ended up at Pinkberry for a delicious serving of……well calcium. Right?!

Knockaround Sunglasses

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I lost my Oakley running sunglasses during our move.  Major bummer.  I know they are around, but I couldn’t find them in time for our trip to Florida.  I figured I would be fine without them, but the first time I tried running on the beach, I knew I had made a big mistake.  The glare off of the sun and sand was not a good combo on my eyes.  All of us runners should practice proper sun care and that includes wearing shades.

Rock loaned me his Knockaround’s and it was love at first run.  Most of these glasses will cost you about $20 and are polarized.  They are light, fit comfortably, and don’t bounce around when you run.  One of my biggest pet peeves with shades is if they fall off when you lean over or place them on top of your head.  These stay put but are light enough that you won’t even notice they are there.  At $20 a pair, you can afford a pair, or maybe even two!

Just Salad

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When the weather gets warm, I crave salad. During pregnancy I try to make sure that I eat a big bowl of veggies at least once each day.  Just Salad is my daily go-to place in NYC.  I love going down the line and picking different combos.  I also really like that they use as many local ingredients as possible from organic kale to fresh made bread, and cheeses.

Decent Fitting (Non-Mom) Maternity Jeans

H&MWhat is it with ugly maternity clothes?  Just because we are pregnant doesn’t mean we need to wear a box or a bag over our growing bellies.  I have been having serious jeans envy as I wander NYC.  Can’t an expecting mom get a decent pair of denim without breaking the bank?

I happened to check out H&M’s maternity section and snagged a great pair of boyfriend jeans for under $40.  And can we talk about how awesome the elastic panels are on maternity jeans?!  I seriously think everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits of a little elastic to hold them in!

Nice People

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It seems these days that everyone is in a rush and looking at their phones or worried about something else.  It can really start to get you down!

The other day I was running a loop of Central Park when a cyclist cut me off, and without looking crossed over into the pedestrian/running lane to stop.  I had to jump over their bike and just barely escaped an accident.  I was really annoyed and almost shouted at the person.  Instead, I hopped over the bike and tried to keep running.

A gentleman run up alongside me to check on me and we ended up having a really great conversation.  I had been struggling the last mile or so and was dreading a big hill that was coming up.  Instead, we chatted all the way up and I almost kept going with him.  To the minimalist runner from San Diego who was in town on business, thanks for reminding me that runners are a really great bunch!

What are your recent favorite things?  Does spring have you craving all sorts of new goodies?

A Lapse Isn’t A Relapse

Many of us head into the New Year with great intentions to get healthy or lose weight.  We often take on exercise plans, begin weight loss programs, or start a diet.  It is not uncommon to start off feeling very motivated.  We keep to our plans and see progress being made.  But as the weeks pass by we slip up a bit and sometimes the weight comes back on.

This can be frustrating and discouraging.  We think that we have failed or even consider ourselves to be failures.  However, part of taking on new programs or making lifestyle changes is making mistakes.

Many of us look around and see people who appear to have unstoppable amounts of will power.  They appear to be able to hold off from touching everything that seems tempting.  However, the truth is that each of us has a set amount of will power.  It is not an unlimited thing.

Will power diminishes as the day goes by, meaning that when we wake up in the morning, we are at our peak amount of will power.  This is why it is so much easier to make great decisions like eating well or hitting the gym earliest in the morning.  Later in the day, we have less will power and it is far more difficult to make these difficult decisions.

Stress is also one of the biggest causes of derailment from our healthy plans, quickly diminishing will power.  When we add this to our hectic schedules you can see that is very easy to find ourselves making poor decisions.

When this happens, it is important to remember that a lapse from your healthy plan is not a relapse.  One mistake or a few mistakes does not make you failure.  It does not send you back to square one.  We can all learn from these mistakes.

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Take a step back from your situation.  Why did you make a different decision from what you had planned?  Did stress cause these decisions?  If so, it is important to figure out what triggered your stress reaction and then find a way to plan for the next time this might occur.

When we understand our triggers, we can make a game plan to sidestep these potential derailments. 

Don’t get down on yourself.  You are not a failure.  Do not compare yourself to others.

We often look at celebrities and see how they always eat healthy and always look great.  While this may be the case, remember that this is what they do for a living.  They have a healthy living entourage to keep them on track.  Celebrities have trainers, nutritionists, and even cooks to achieve their goals.  And when all else fails, they have stylists and doctors to help them too.

Just as athletes need coaches and students need teachers, anyone who is trying to make healthy living changes needs a support crew.  That includes family members, friends, and peers at work.  Let people know what you are trying to do.  Ask for their assistance in supporting you.  Maybe a friend at work would be happy to join you in the lunch room instead of grabbing fast food.  Perhaps your family would join you for a walk after dinner each evening.  Enlist your crew.

Don’t forget your biggest asset.  You are the biggest and best support you could possibly have.  Don’t get down on yourself for making mistakes.  Remind yourself that this is part of the process.  When things don’t go as planned or you are having a rough day, be your best friend and sit back and help yourself assess the situation.  Figure out where things went wrong and help yourself determine how to make everything work better in the future.

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Enjoy life.  Learn from your mistakes and move forward.  Don’t dwell on the past and remember that a lapse is most definitely not a relapse.

How do you get yourself back on track when things don’t go as planned?

Take the NEAT Challenge

I sometimes feel a little bummed when the holidays are over.  I love decorating the house, playing music, and finding gifts for family and friends.  I get into the baking and festivities.  Then it all comes to a screeching halt.

The holidays are over and with it comes the reality that we had a little too much fun over the past week.  The parties, the cocktails, the extra helpings at dinner, and don’t forget the treats.  It can be easy to get on the scale and feel overwhelmed, discouraged, and upset with ourselves.  While the culmination of the past few weeks can make us feel like we did some serious damage, there are some very simple ways to get back on track.

What we eat and how we choose to be active can have large impacts on our weight gain and loss.  Eating a healthy diet and getting in regular exercise are ways that you can control your health.

There is one other factor that we often forget about.  Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy you expend from everything that is not sleeping, eating, or exercise.  NEAT is all of the tiny little actions you do during the day that add up in caloric burn.

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As a health coach I often hear that people don’t have enough time to exercise.  It can be difficult to find the time to prepare healthy meals.  These are both understandable and they are great reasons to meet with a health coach to find solutions to help you carve out time for exercise  and meal planning.  Yet, if you are someone who is pressed for time, NEAT is where you can make giant leaps in your healthy living process.

Take the NEAT Challenge:  For the month of January, find extra little ways to burn small amounts of energy.  Instead of searching for a parking spot closest to the store, grab one a few aisles back.  You will save time by parking sooner, and you will get a few more steps in.

Stand up every time you talk on the phone.  Pace, walk around your house, and march in place.  We spend a lot of time at home and in the office on the phone.  Use this as an opportunity to get a little extra movement.

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Plan a family activity each evening.  Try a walk around the block after dinner.  Go for a quick bike ride.  Make a snowman and have a snowball fight.  Too cold to go out?  Build a fort in the basement.

Set an alarm on your phone and make sure you get up from the desk every house for a lap around the office and a refill of your water bottle.

The great thing about NEAT is that you don’t have to plan out the exercise.  It actually isn’t even exercise.  You just need to move.  Tap your feet at the desk.  Fiddle your fingers.  All of those little things add up.

What little ways could you add some extra movement into your day?

Simple Ways To Enjoy The Holidays

It’s no lie that I love the holiday season.  If you were around a few weeks ago, you know that I had to exhibit some serious restraint in the holiday section of Ikea.  I love baking, gifting, and making things to share with others.

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I see the holiday season as a wonderful time to put up some lights, decorate the house, and a perfect excuse to bake treats for friends and family.  I love making things for others, as you noticed in my DIY coaster project.  Mary has also been making gifts for friends and family because I think it is never too early to share the giving part of the holiday spirit.

However, I do acknowledge that for many the holiday season can be quite difficult.  With the recent passing of a few of our beloved family members, I know that many people experience loss and sadness.  People feel alone.

Times are difficult for many.  Finding the resources to provide for family and share gifts can be a difficult and stressful time.

Others struggle with balance and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  This can weigh heavily on our minds.  As we experience office and family parties and are often gifted delicious treats, it can be overwhelming.

Below are a few ideas for finding balance during the holiday season:

Sometimes the best things are the littlest things:  I love that first section of Target.  Last year I found the most adorable mini cake platters for $3.  I made fudge and other goodies for family members.  One year I utilized my mediocre knitting talent to make small gifts.

This year I collected walnuts from our giant tree.  I have been slowly baking treats and freezing them. I also made coasters for my clients.  Mary decorated baked ornaments to gift to family.

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I found some really great gift ideas from fellow bloggers and even found a few used items on Amazon!  The gift itself is really thoughtful and the recipient will never even notice that it is used.  They will just be surprised by the idea.

Sharing and volunteering can be so helpful when we are at our lowest:  The greatest gift you can ever give to others and to yourself is sharing the holiday season with someone who needs assistance.  This doesn’t mean you need to shell out money.  I recently read a friend’s Facebook post seeking volunteers to help with feeding the homeless for a holiday dinner.  She mentioned that they have a wonderful homeless community and that being a server would be one of the most rewarding opportunities you might have.  Being able to share your gifts or talents with those who need help can be a very special experience.  If you are feeling alone or down this holiday season, this can be a great way to bring some warmth into your heart.

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Rock is getting into the holiday spirit as a snowman artist!

 

Food should never make you feel bad about yourself:  I had the most wonderful discussion with a client the other night.  At one point during our discussion we both had an “Aha moment.”  The holiday season is an epic time for eating.  There are parties and goodies in the office.  Friends are gifting treats.

We are going to find ourselves eating too much.  We are likely going to eat more decadent things at a meal or two than we normally would.  But here is the deal: You should never feel guilty or bad about yourself because of what you eat.  Food is a wonderful part of our lives.  It is a part of our culture, our families, our socialization, and who we are.

Just as we find a balance with everything else during the holiday season, it is important to find that balance with eating and exercise.  Step into your week prepared.  If you know that there will be an office party after work, try to get a walk or a workout in during lunch.

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It’s okay.  This is how I tend to eat pizza.  #scaryscenario

If you find yourself at a buffet, stick to a one plate rule.

If you are meeting a group at a restaurant, check out their menu ahead of time and stick to a plan when you walk in.

Life is meant to be enjoyed.  Find little ways to indulge and enjoy yourself.  Look for ways to stay active during the day.  Don’t ever beat yourself up over what you do or choose to eat.  The holidays are meant to be enjoyed.

Everything in life is about moderation from our holiday shopping to our holiday eating.

How do you try to find balance?  What do you enjoy most about the holiday season?

 

Cooking Inspiration and Recipe Revamp

Happy Friday!  The weekend is almost upon us and it might just snow here tomorrow.   While I am not ready for that, I do love cooking and baking when the cold weather rolls around.

Fall and winter inspire me to turn on the oven and start trying out new recipes.  Today I want to share a few of my favorite websites to visit for recipe inspirations:

Cooking Light:  I have been a subscriber of Cooking Light since I was in high school.  I even recall having all of my friends come over for lunch one day and try out a loaded potato soup that I made.  Even back then, I loved finding healthier versions of my favorite foods.  This site is easy to search.

This Brownie Cheesecake Torte from a 1997 issue is still one of my favorite treats to make!

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Six Sisters Stuff:  This is my absolute favorite website for searching recipes.  I honestly have never had a failed recipe from these ladies.  I love their slow cooker options and this is the first place I go to when I want to try a new soup.  Perfect place to visit for winter weather!

Their Nacho Grande Soup is a huge hit with our family and friends.  You can make it in the slow cooker or on the stove.  I make it with either beef or turkey and it always comes out just right.  I like to add a can of kidney beans and black beans to give it a bit more substance.

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Skinny Taste:  This is a great resource for healthy eating.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert ideas can all be found here.  I love being able to search the under 30 minute meals.  Having access to quick dinners keeps the excuses for takeout away.

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Foot Network:  Another magazine that I love to subscribe to is Food Network.  I love the variety of chefs and great ideas that come out of this magazine.  When I am not sure what to make for a party or special dinner, I turn to this site.  There are so many different types of recipes, you are bound to find something you like.

For the holidays, I love making these Peppermint Cream’s.  They are so simple and delicious.  These are the perfect gifts to share with family and friends.

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Finally, I love searching my favorite blogger’s sites for their shared inspiration.  I follow such an awesome variety of people, that my blogroll is full of great ideas.

I wanted to share my newish concoction with you.  These may not qualify as healthy, but they are the perfect occasional splurge.  These Pudgies showed up on my site several years ago.  I have since found a wonderful new twist for this fall season.  Jello-O makes Pumpkin Spice pudding mixes.  Swap the Banana Cream out for Pumpkin Spice and add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to your dry ingredients and you will have an incredibly delicious treat on your hands!  The flavor and consistency of this treat is a favorite around here.

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What is your go-to site for finding delicious recipes?  Do you have a favorite recipe that can’t be missed?

Life Lately

Hello!  Given the craziness that is going on these days with elections and marathons and all that nutty stuff; I opted for a little lighter post today.  I’m going to take a quick moment to catch up on what is going on in life lately.

I had the most amazing week hanging out with Rock in NYC.  We had a blast working our tails off and eating plenty of delicious food.  I even took a nice break from running.  I will have another post about this soon, but that hiatus and alternative active time left me refreshed and feeling great.  My mileage is back up and my pace is working wonderfully for me.  I’ve noticed that my stride is starting to get back into that great place it was at back when I was near the end of my training for the Poconos Marathon.

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My last morning in NYC. How about that for an office?!

When I returned to Michigan, it was so wonderful to see my Mary again.  But the reality of home ownership quickly settled in.  We have a great backyard with a gorgeous black walnut tree right off of our kitchen and deck.  I quickly fell in love with this tree and for a long time, I was collecting the nuts and harvesting them.

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If you are not familiar, walnuts are encased in a green hull that has a lovely, almost citrus fragrance.  However, looks and scents are deceiving.  If you touch the flesh of the husk with your fingers, they immediately turn black for days.  Therefore, I had to collect the nuts when they fell before Mary could get her hands on them and then harvest them while she was napping.

Harvesting these things requires running over them in the driveway with our car and then peeling the husks back and  drying the shell.  It is definitely a labor of love.

Imagine my horror when I came home to a yard full of walnuts!  My first day back, I picked up over 4,500 walnuts and dumped them behind our barn for the squirrels to forage for winter.  The problem with having a smart little toddler is that she once saw me picking these up and now grabs them herself.  Nothing like explaining to daycare why her fingers are all black!

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That’s over 4,000 walnuts!

One thing that I am super excited about is that I got an interview at the local YMCA in Traverse City.  I was online earlier this fall and saw that they were hiring a Health and Wellness Coach.  I applied and was thrilled to get a call a few weeks ago asking if I would come in for an interview.  Um, of course!  The interview was great and I left not only as a Health and Wellness Coach but was also asked to be a Personal Trainer.

I am so excited because this facility is practically brand new and has a few great locations in the area with over 10,000 members.  Working in a space full of wonderful people and incredible equipment is pretty awesome!  I have had a blast meeting with new members and getting them started on their path to a healthy lifestyle.

We spent Sunday glued to my phone tracking a few runners at the NYC Marathon.  Marathon weekends are always exciting events with us.  The season isn’t over yet with a few more races and runners in the next couple of weeks.  It’s always running season in our house!

I of course made it to the polls and did it Coach Sarah style.  I ran to and from the polls.  You have to love small town living when you walk inside and half the people know you and tease you for getting a run in despite the rain.  Happy to say I voted!

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We finished yesterday off with Mary’s swim class and then Subway for a lazy dinner.  We all hung out and watched the news for a bit and then some snuggles.  Life is good these days when we are all snuggled up together as a family!

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Did you run to the polls?  How about a fun life update?

 

Healthy Through The Holidays

Can you believe it is already November?!  Halloween has left us in it’s dust and we are quickly approaching Thanksgiving.  I keep seeing posts on Facebook pointing out that there are only a few weekends left until Christmas.  Where is time going?!

As a health and running coach, I read a lot about holiday weight gain.  To be quite honest, most of it drives me crazy.  It is true that many of us will put on a few pounds during the holidays.  We will all likely over indulge at some point on holiday treats or drinks at a party.  Most of us will overload our plates at Thanksgiving and again at Christmas (and probably a few other parties along the way).

What drives me nuts is how the fitness industry preys on this fear.  It’s almost like they lurk in the background waiting for us to feel guilty about our overindulging.  They wait until that guilt has set in and we approach the New Year ready to make resolutions.

There is no reason to approach the holidays with fear!

Gyms are just waiting for you to come in on January 1st, all giddy to lose weight and ready to fork over money not only for a gym membership but also initiation fees.  They know that the majority of people who come in with New Year’s resolutions, will quickly abandon them by February.

If you have a gym membership you know exactly how this goes.  Come January, the gym is packed.  You can’t find a treadmill or an elliptical.  You look around and wonder what the heck happened to your normal routine.  Then a few weeks later, the gym is back to it’s quite self and you can hop on just about any piece of cardio equipment your heart desires.

We all have best intentions in the New Year.  We want to make changes. We feel the pressure to make  these changes.  You think now is the time to lose that weight.  Now is the time to get healthy after a wild holiday season.

But what if we turned the tables?  What if we approached the holidays with a different mindset?  Take the notion of diets out of the picture.  If we stopped thinking that to be healthy we need to eliminate certain “bad” foods from our diet, and instead work to find a healthy balance, could we approach the holiday season from a different angle?  

Being healthy is a year round approach with splurge days along the way.  Food and drinks shouldn’t be “off limits,” but instead enjoyed in moderation.  Goals should lead us toward a life of happiness instead of a period of deprivation followed by a temporary phase where we feel “skinny” and accepted.

This holiday season, I am taking a healthy approach to exercise, eating, and well being.  I am going to enjoy exercise in moderation because it is a part of my life and it keeps me healthy.  I am going to focus on healthy eating and plan for some fun holiday celebrations along the way.

I have a special offer for you to join me in staying healthy and fit through the holidays.  Avoid the guilt from over indulgence.  Learn how to make small changes that lead to healthy results.  My Healthy Through the Holidays Plan is a 13 week program that begins next week and lasts through the first week of February.HealthyHolidayAd.jpg

Together we will explore simple ways to make moderate lifestyle changes that allow for both healthy eating and holiday indulgences.  We will practice ways to prepare for obstacles during parties and celebrations.  Learn how to prep meals to survive the holiday season a little easier.

Here’s what you receive for 13 weeks of Healthy Through the Holidays training:

Weekly newsletters and worksheets focusing on topics that will help keep you on track.

•Weekly personalized check-in e-mails from a Certified Health Coach to discuss your  personal nutrition and exercise needs.

•Simple, short, customized workouts that can be done throughout the day to fit your personal schedule.

•24/7 access to e-mail, phone and text to address all of your needs.

•Guilt free living to get you through the holiday season for 13 full weeks.  No need to make any resolutions!  My goal is for you to independently follow your healthy lifestyle after 13 short weeks.

•Nutrition, fitness, and behavioral approaches to ensure that we focus on the whole you; mind and body.

•Virtual training with unlimited phone calls, e-mails, and texts.

•Local participants can join me for a night of cocktails and weekly meal prep tutorial.  Stick around and dine!

Special holiday pricing of $150 for 13 weeks of Health Coaching and Training.

Sound like fun?  Reach out to me through my e-mail address or phone number on the website sidebar.

What is your best approach to surviving the holidays?   Do you tend to make resolutions?