Isn’t it crazy how by mid-July, we’re already getting bombarded with “back to school” everywhere we go? I mean, didn’t school just get out? Oh wait, no…time flies and it’s already August. Craaaazy!
Anyways…it seems to me like people often take the “back to school” vibe as a brand new initiative to get started on a goal. Dare I say it’s almost as popular as the “New Year’s Resolution?” But the truth is, you don’t need a special day, week, or month to get started on a goal…you can get started RIGHT NOW!
And if your health and fitness is a personal goal that you’re working towards, then I’d love to help you get that head start with my online personal training. (Click to keep reading…) Read more
The Olympics sparked an interesting debate between myself and my husband this past week. Someone asked us, “If you could win a gold medal in any sport, which one would you choose?”
My immediate response?
My husband’s response?
Absolutely no hesitation by either of us. And so the debate began. My husband said he would want to be the fastest runner in the world – and apparently winning the 100m at the Olympics makes this so. I would want to be the fastest too – but in a sport that involves endurance, fortitude and mental toughness. Although he would probably argue that winning the 100m requires those things too.
He mentioned that there is no room for error in the 100 meters. A glitch at the starting line could mean you lose the race. But in a marathon, you have time to correct mistakes. On the other side, there is a lot more time for mistakes to be made.
It’s interesting that this debate is a tiny glimpse into who we are as runners. I’m all about distance. For me, it’s not always about how fast I run (although I do love a PR like anyone else!) but it’s more about how far I run.
My husband is all about speed. Just this morning he took off on his run and I said to him, “Run fast!” He responded, “Is there any other way?” He has no interest in running long distances – a 5k is plenty long for him. But you better believe he’s aiming to cross that finish line first.
So now I’m curious…what would your answer to the question be?
If you could win a gold medal in any sport, which one would it be? And what does your answer say about you?
I think it’s important for runners to also set non-mileage goals because – trust me – you can’t always be increasing mileage and speed. Even if you’re not prone to injuries like me, sometimes life gets in the way. Work ramps up or a new baby arrives. And sometimes, you just get burnt out on running and need time to focus on something besides the numbers.
When it comes to setting non-mileage fitness goals, I think it’s important that the goal is somehow quantifiable (or, in the very least, you decide in advance how you’ll know you’ve achieved it). Here is a list of non-mileage goals, some of which I’m currently working towards myself:
- Train yourself to do a certain number of push-ups or sit-ups.
- Do a plank for a certain amount of time.
- Take a 30-Day Yoga / Zumba / Whatever-Floats-Your-Boat Challenge: The key with long challenge like this is to build in room for error. Instead of saying you’re going to go to yoga for 30 straight days, say you’ll do 25 yoga workouts over 30 days.
- Learn how to do indoor rock climbing.
- Take dance lessons.
- Learn to do a headstand or crow’s pose.
- Become more flexible (for example, touch your toes or go into a split).
- Increase arm strength to the point where you can do a chin-up (or two).
- Regularly meditate.
- Learn how to swim.
- Start cycling for distance.
- Bench-press a new weight.
- Go for a walk every night before dinner.
- Last through an entire hot yoga class without having to take a break.
- Do all your housework to music and dance to the beat.
- Stand up every 30 minutes and walk around your office.
I also think it’s a great idea to set non-mileage, non-fitness goals during injury, such as reading a new book each week or learning to sew.
What non-mileage goal are you currently working towards?
A few weeks ago, I enlightened you to the caloric horrors of most alcoholic beverages. The good news is, there are so many alternatives out there that you can have your drink and you don’t have to feel guilty about it!
Sinless Cocktail Mix is one of those low calorie options that you can use and save lots of calories! Here are the facts on these mixes:
- Only 5 calories per serving
- Sweetened with Stevia Extract
- Sugar Free
- Made of All Natural Ingredients
- Comes in three flavors: Original, Strawberry, and Sweet and Sour
So, how does it taste you ask? Well, I certainly have a favorite! I actually thought I would like the strawberry better than the original margarita flavor. I did not! The strawberry was OK – just not my favorite! However, the original margarita flavor was yummy! It definitely did not taste like it only had 5 calories per serving! I adjusted the mix a little and did two parts tequila to one part mix and it was perfect. The recipe was so easy to make!
Their website has a whole page dedicated just to yummy recipes that you can use with their mixes! They also have a convenient store locator so you can buy some and try them for yourself! Just make sure you look in the refrigerator section of the liquor store!
Save yourself some calories and check out these sinless cocktail mixers! Have you tried them?
Now for my disclaimer – Be Careful How Much You Drink. I am a lightweight. After
a few drinks one drink, I am D-O-N-E. Then, five year olds get to have their way with you (and your hair). Here are the pics to prove it!
Jennifer writes about weekly weigh ins, healthy recipes, product reviews, and weight loss at It Sux To Be Fat. Follow her journey on Twitter or Facebook as she goes through life’s ups and downs and takes her new healthy lifestyle one day at a time.
In my mind, I look like a gazelle when I run… grace, strong, and steady. In reality, I’m sweating buckets, snot is pouring down my nose, and my thighs are chafing. Running is one of my favorite forms of exercise, but it isn’t always pretty.
The top 5 running gross-outs include:
- A nearly (and sometimes actually) uncontrollable urge to poop
- A nearly (and sometimes actually) uncontrollable urge to pee
Told ya running could be gross.
Let’s tackle the first gross-out: chafing. Chafing occurs when your body rubs against itself (like between your thighs or your breasts) or when your body rubs up against your clothes. Chafing hurts a lot and can actually sideline you for a few days if it gets really bad. The odds you’ll chafe are greater if you’re a salty sweater or are dehydrated, have sensitive skin, are running for a long time, or your clothing is worn or has exposed seams.
I chafe like no one’s business during the summer because I am a very salty sweater when it’s hot outside.
There are several remedies for chafing:
- Rub Vaseline or Body Glide into your skin to make it slippery and therefore less likely to burn as it rubs against your other body parts or clothing. Chap stick also works well in a pinch (and is easy to carry on long runs).
- Line your chafe areas with athletic tape. This creates a permanent barrier against your skin (I tend to sweat through Vaseline).
- If you chafe in between your legs, wear spandex shorts underneath your running shorts.
To read my solutions for running-induced snot, blisters, and – of course – urges to go number 1 and number 2, head over to Healthy Tipping Point: How to Handle 5 Common Running Gross-Outs.
It’s so easy to get intimidated by the summer heat and decide to just bring your run indoors on the treadmill. Summer running can be enjoyable, if you can avoid overheating. Running during the summertime makes you think of the sun beaming down on you and sweat dripping down your face.
Most importantly, when you think of summer running, you may consider the safety precautions that may be taken like wearing sunscreen. Whatever you think of when you consider summer running, it is always a great thing to do. Running outside in the summer gives you a chance to get some fresh air and a good exercise at the same time. (Click to keep reading!) Read more
Every once in a while, something comes along that touches your heart in a way you never felt possible. Maybe it’s because I recently found out that I’m pregnant with a girl this time around, but when I heard about Headbands of Hope, I immediately knew I had to help.
Last week, Jessica emailed me to tell me about this organization she started last year after an internship with Make a Wish Foundation. She got to know some young girls who had lost their hair as a result of the aggressive chemo treatments they had to undergo. She realized that headbands would be the perfect way to for these girls to keep their feminine identity and have a constant reminder that they’re not alone. Girls just like Tori, who is fighting neuroblastoma.
Jessica started Headbands of Hope to help provide hope for all girls who are fighting childhood cancer – one headband at a time. Not only does $1 from each purchase go to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for childhood cancer research, but everytime you buy a headband – another one is given to a girl touched by cancer. (Click to keep reading!) Read more
Running is an easy hobby to get into. The ‘entry costs’ are low – all a woman really needs is a decent pair of shoes (well, and a really good sports bra). But when I first became interested in cycling, I had no idea whether I would like it and stick with it. And cycling is not cheap – a new road bike can easily cost $750 – $1,000, and many other great options can cost even more. So instead of buying a new bike, I snagged a used one.
My Giant road bike originally retailed at $1,400… and I got it for $350.
Before you set out to buy a used bike, consider what type you actually want and need. Generally speaking, there are three types of bikes: road bikes (lightest frame and thinnest wheels; designed to travel fast on even surfaces), mountain bikes (heaviest frame and thickest wheels; designed for trail riding), and hybrids (in-between bikes designed for riding around the city on sidewalks). If you are interested in doing a triathlon, you’ll want a road bike, although you could probably get by in a sprint triathlon with a hybrid.
Next, consider bike fit. Fit is extremely important. Head to a local bike shop and get on some bikes; talk about fit with the salesman. Don’t feel bad about trying out some new bikes – you’ll be back for a tune-up for your used bike! (Click to keep reading!) Read more
A friend of mine posted this on Twitter last night:
A dream doesn’t have to be BIG to be a big dream. Big dreams come in all sizes
And it got me thinking about dreams.
I once dreamed I would become a pediatric oncologist. Then I realized math and science weren’t my forte and headed toward the law degree I now have. I dreamed about traveling the world – and have had some pretty amazing experiences realizing that dream. I dreamed about moving back to my hometown and becoming the Executive Director of an amazing non-profit – and that dream has come true.
On my fitness journey, I’ve had a few dreams too. I dreamed about doing a sprint triathlon.
I dreamed about running a half marathon.
I still dream about running a sub 30 minute 5k.
Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant and am “sitting on the sidelines” for the time being, but I really haven’t been thinking about big dreams lately.
Maybe it’s because part of me is afraid that I have achieved all this “wannabe athlete” is capable of achieving. Maybe I should leave the “big dreams” to others more athletic, more dedicated than me.
But then I remember that if I had that mentality when I started this journey, I still wouldn’t be able to run a mile. I wouldn’t know the thrill of crossing the finish line of my first half marathon. I wouldn’t know that I really am so much stronger than I thought I could be.
So maybe…just maybe…it’s time to dream big again.
What is your BIG dream?
Sure, running a race is the best, but spectating is pretty cool, too. And to be a great spectator, you need an amazing sign. Here are five of my favorite race signs from over the years.
Here’s a few posts about racing from Healthy Tipping Point:
- How to Select Your First Race
- The Bib Transfer Debate: Is It OK to Transfer Bibs? Or Bandit a Race?
- So You Want to Run a Half Marathon