Could approaching the days with a sense of What If? help you reach goals. Because what if you imagined your best life and really got into the emotion of feeling you have accomplished that? Especially if you are currently struggling with making a lifestyle change, I recommend visualizing the outcome. Sometimes some of us have to make drastic changes to our lifestyle to stop suffering from poor health. What is severe enough for you to change? What are the benefits of changing? Focus on that. It won’t be easy, but keeping that end goal in mind and staying grateful for the journey can lead you back on the path if you fall astray.
For me, it’s been through running where I’ve gained that commitment towards goals when I set them. But that’s not the only way to gain confidence in your abilities. You have to take some time and find out what will work for your highly unique self. For some, it can be through art, mantras, different types of physical activity or exercise, breathwork, sound work, something that lets you turn your logical mind off and be present in the action of just being. It’s in that magic space where you can ask yourself how much this goal means to you and even strike a deal with yourself to accomplish it. Because if you are trying to achieve a goal for someone other than your fabulous self, the challenge becomes even more difficult. If you are fortunate enough to reach that milestone, it may not be as fulfilling as doing something you challenged yourself to do.
Over the years, I’ve always pondered, what if? Early on in my fitness journey, it started with what if I ran for a couple of minutes, which led to a mile, then a 5K, and so on. Each time I accomplished one of these distances, it increased confidence in my abilities outside of fitness. Ultimately, I ended up wondering what if I ran a marathon? What could that journey teach me about me?
So many lessons, there is just something humbling about breaking the body down mile after mile to do something powerful with your mind, which tells your body to keep going. When scientists have looked at what leads to exhaustion in exercise, they have found the mind quits before the body does. That’s powerful, and which is why it’s also critical that we are filling our minds up with good wholesome thoughts. It goes hand in hand with making changes to achieve goals.
So if you have found yourself in a spot like myself where you have to make significant changes to your diet, start by focusing on what you will be able to eat, not what you have to give up. Of course, it will take some will power but it’s far easier to think in terms of abundance instead of lack and it will also help you stay the course.
I’ve struggled with severe eczema that's lowered my quality of life, especially in the Summer for the last 2+ years. I’ve seen three dermatologists, one allergist, one Nurse Practitioner who consulted others for my visit, had two biopsies, and no answers. I took matters into my own hands and changed my strictly vegetarian, bread, and pasta rich diet into a more paleo style of eating. I eliminated gluten, grains, legumes, nightshades, dairy, nuts, added sweeteners, and inflammatory oils. After a few months of doing this, I had seen some improvement, and my hair grew back (that's another blog post about borderline Anemia) but the eczema hasn’t gone away entirely. Even after strictly avoiding gluten outside of three or four indulgences the entire year. I’ve even stayed away from nightshades, legumes, eggs. I just don’t know what I’m consuming that is creating the reaction. This is especially frustrating because, I am consuming a nutrient dense diet rich in fruits and vegetables and staying within all the guidelines already covered.
Fortunately for me, my friend that is going to nursing school and mentioned my situation do a Pathologist that thinks I could be sensitive to histamine and suggested a low histamine diet. After connecting a few other dots, this may be the answer and I’m going to implement this lifestyle realistically and commit to it for the next few weeks. Because What If this was the cure I have missed all along? To give you an idea of some foods that are high in histamine that I will have to avoid includes, avocados, bananas, vanilla bone broth protein powder, blueberries, strawberries, pumpkin, and spices like cinnamon, cloves, and even nutmeg. Of course 2020 is the year I find out I should try to avoid pumpkin spice because I love to mix plain canned pumpkin into oatmeal around this time of year. But I do plan to add eggs back into my diet, so I’m stoked about that!
What If Hippocrates theories regarding health is the best path towards health? While I haven’t been able to pinpoint what I need to change yet, What If this is the thing?
“If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he/she (I’m going to add she & her) is ready to do away with the reasons for his/her illness. Only then is it possible to help him/her." Hippocrates
I have stayed committed to believing in my mind I will heal, so this connection that shed's a new point of view that I should look at for my health is no coincidence. There have been many times when I was ready to be done avoiding this or that, still eat nutrient dense foods but add some of the stuff I've been avoiding back in, like hummus and peppers. I mean the Dupixent commercials are pretty convincing, right!? But that would be the easy way, and taking shortcuts in life do present their own set of consequences. When it comes to medicine it might be side effects that I’m not willing to take a chance on, especially if it's any sort of immune compromise. What if I’m the 1% of the population that is hypersensitive to histamine and I’ve been fueling my disease this year with bananas, avocados, dates, dark chocolate and more. Mastering gluten-free, just gives me courage to take the next step in the journey towards healthy skin. Maybe I can have gluten after all, which would be pretty dope cause it's in everything and just gives bread the texture it should have.
What If my favorite type of exercise is also inducing a histamine response? I'm an endurance fanatic and love getting lost in the stride of running, with music in my ears. And since I’m now blessed enough to call Colorado home, I’ve gotten into hiking more, which is also aerobic. I spent almost four hours in the mountains this weekend climbing to 12,000 feet. I was sore AF when I got back, but then I wondered if I could do a 14er, What If? I guess it might be something to think about for next Spring...
With any change we make with health, it’s hard for it to be sustainable if it’s drastic. My plan is to gradually phase out any high histamine or histamine inducing foods I currently have at home. I will continue to train for an in person live 5K race in a few weeks that I’m beyond excited for. Then I will focus on foods that are lower histamine while staying away from foods that should be avoided on a low histamine diet. My fitness plan includes reducing my cardiovascular training with lower intensity activities and ramping up my yoga practice and resistance training through things I can work with at home like free weights and a TRX. I remain grateful that this change can be made as the months will get colder and perhaps make running outdoors less appealing.
While I may be a fitness professional that can find a formula to help you reach your goals, I’m also a human that knows how hard it can be to make the changes needed to get there. And I’m also on a journey alongside you, even if it looks different than yours keep in mind I'm also making some tough changes. So if you are struggling with health challenges, don’t stop looking for answers and seeking opinions even if they don’t seem to line up with the traditional healthcare model. Seek other reasonable opinions and try new things when they are presented to you. Because What If? You found a way to help your amazing human body tap into it's own ability to heal through lifestyle modifications and were freed from that feeling of being trapped with poor health.
Now that you’ve put yourself in that What If? scenario you have to get your mind on board. According to some mind-body research …there is no real division between mind and body because of networks of communication that exist between the brain and neurological, endocrine, and immune systems.
Whether it’s taking the time to sit in stillness and get to know yourself on a deeper level, or taking the time to explore the mind-body connection through movement, or simply taking the time to make mindful choices, you have the power within to choose to turn that “What If?” to “I did”...
I’m just an average woman that started running to get in shape, and after a while of toughing out the first miles, my “torture” became something I looked forward to. There's more to the finish than just knowing you knocked out some miles, there's also a feeling of elation that you get from your own body’s natural feel-good, pain-reducing meds like epinephrine and norepinephrine or adrenaline (1). That’s the rush you feel when you cross a finish line or even stop your watch when you're out on your own.
1. University of Montreal. "Why does running make us happy?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150831085456.htm>.
2. Heijnen, Saskia et al. “Neuromodulation of Aerobic Exercise-A Review.” Frontiers in psychology vol. 6 1890. 7 Jan. 2016, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01890
The 2010’s gave some lessons around the five domains of health. So what are the five domains of health and how did someone like myself who for the greater part of the decade appeared and felt healthy actually not be?
First off, the five domains of health are emotional, social, physical, mental, and spiritual. I laser-focused on physical health but it was not balanced with the right diet. While I wasn’t eating what is typically thought of as unhealthy food, I was doing silent damage all these years by eating an unbalanced vegetarian diet that included loads of gluten and highly processed but tasty faux meats. Under loads of personal stressors outside of the demanding physical stress I was enduring racing, eventually, my body broke down and I was crippled with the worst case of eczema that has taken a huge toll on my self-image.
While there is tons of evidence that support physical health and activity or exercise is correlated with improved mental health, and may even help prevent depression. Without going into details, let’s just say I’ve had my share of trying times, traumas, and loss but never “felt” them affecting me as I would escape through exercise. And it really worked, up until it didn’t. I ran some of my fastest paces and longest distances under a tremendous amount of non-physical stress all while stressing my body to its limits at times to escape the reality of my situation. My body paid a price for all the race bling, but I still wouldn’t trade all my running for the world. But I am now wiser and prioritizing creating balance among these dimensions in my life.
After multiple doctor visits, two biopsies including one that was sent off to two different universities for opinions I remained a medical mystery. Blood work I ordered all came back for inflammatory markers and of course, I was also under stressors from dealing with the aftermath of dealing with a deceased loved one’s possessions, things getting shaken up in my career and even something good like a Surf trip to Nicaragua that added to stress because eustress is still stress even if it’s a good stress. Not to mention a less than smooth bucket list move to a new city to top it off.
Now that things have settled down just a bit in my life when I’m not frantically looking for something since moving, I’ve taken some time to revisit work on emotional, social, mental and spiritual health. Some of that work took place early in the year but was placed on hold as I was going through a lot of transitions and staying resilient through it all. Let’s just say I’m really good at taking on more than I should at any given time and have tended to get ahead of myself sometimes. Even I forget how important it is to step back, slow down and take time for yourself to work on the health dimensions outside of physical health because it’s all interconnected.
Finding balance in these dimensions can test you because finding balance always means you are making a trade-off which is usually time. The concept of time is so abstract but it should be used wisely and. Take time to foster the right social connections, doing so is important because social health can impact the other dimensions of health.
Another challenge with prioritizing emotional, spiritual, mental health is that it can be somewhat of a metaphysical process that causes you to take a look inside at something that may be hard to find because it’s not tangible. In a world where we are constantly bombarded with things and schedules, it’s hard to get to a place where time does not exist, find belief in a higher power or higher self, and practice being kind to yourself. But the time to look is now because you are worth it. Running at an easy pace can be a first step in getting to that state. If you’re a new runner and don’t believe in an easy pace, just be patient and stick to your training and it will follow.
Much like physical health, you won’t get instant gratification but if you are consistent and don’t run away from your fears you’ll be pushed towards being your best self. When in that headspace, you’re setting yourself up to achieve great things for yourself and live your most authentic life. In other words, start showing up, showing vulnerability, and it could be painful but it’s more painful is living a life around pleasing others or not putting yourself first.
Finding gratitude in all situations good and bad, along with realizing the only person you can change is yourself is the key to being ok with whatever life throws at you. You can’t control anyone else, but the one thing you can control is your reaction. Once you’ve mastered the art of accepting all situations, it becomes second nature to seek to understand instead of criticizing. Getting to this point takes a lot of work on yourself but no one said this marathon called life is easy. You have to believe in yourself and that the universe has got your back, no matter what. Write it down, meditate or pray on it, get quiet, breath, shout it hey whatever it takes to talk yourself into it. Only you’ll know what works best, or you will learn something about yourself.
The great thing about the realm of running is that there are multiple dimensions in which you can practice the sport and foster emotional, spiritual and mental health wellness. It’s probably the glue that held me together over the years. As I look back, I was taking on too much, as I was working towards being a more competitive runner setting PR after PR on multiple 5K’s, and half marathon and finishing it off with a first marathon.
After the marathon, life got tough and I had to keep running. I went on to run three half marathons that year and ignored the other facets that are vital to running such as rest, nutrition, strength, flexibility, and mindfulness. By the beginning of last year, my eczema was so out of control on my legs, I didn’t run much for obvious reasons. Additionally, I was also dealing with career transitions, relocating and adventurous service trip to Nicaragua. Part of it was learning how to surf, and while I didn't do that well, it taught me a lot which I'll share in another blog. Also, it gave me the opportunity to just be still and be hypnotized by the majestic ocean.
Going into 2020 with a clear vision because I’ve learned you will find clarity on whatever situation or circumstance if you force yourself to step away from it to think about it. With that said, I’m ready to step back into a balanced running routine by creating goals for myself that nourish mind, body, and spirit. Of course, that will include a reasonable time goal, but this year I won’t be chasing competitive PRs for myself. Not to say I won’t again someday but it has to be a time when I can dedicate the amount of stress that places on my body and life.
This time of year always forces me to look back, and even more so now that the calendar turns to a new decade. Realizing how fast ten years can blow by, had made me even more fierce about putting things in motion to create the best life for myself possible through helping other women get into this wonderful empowering sport.
I’m eager to help develop you as a runner, especially if you are new to the sport. Be warned though it can be like a drug, and if misused it will hurt you. But since I’ve already learned all of this the hard way, and immersed myself in studying the sport and exercise physiology leave your training plan in the hands of an experienced professional running coach. I will look at your motivations for training, unique fitness level, lifestyle and develop a balanced plan to help you reach your goals. My goal is to give you all the tools and knowledge you need to get started or take you to the next level of running.
Let’s keep in touch, reach out on email for plans and pricing or sign up to receive a sporadic email with running tips and whatever others feel good, live good tips I come across.
Happy New Year!
Well, I’m back and feeling like myself again, ready to dive back into blogging and prepared to get to work as a Running Coach! Let me tell you, life has given me one thrilling roller coaster ride since the last time I’ve sat down at the keyboard to share my perspective. A year ago, after everything I had gone through, I was in one very dark place, but I didn’t stay there. No matter what life is handing you, allow yourself to feel it, and work past it because the only thing we can count on in this crazy life is change. Everything is a season and will change.
I rang in 2019 with an agenda book that always looked at me with the words “Amazing things will Happen 2019. While this year wasn’t all amazing and I definitely had some shit handed to me, but it pushed my limits, and that’s exactly what I needed to get to this season of life where I’m ready to focus on how my experiences and knowledge can help women like you overcome life’s setbacks or reach that bucket list running goal.
It took failing multiple times to arrive at this pivot point in my life. When I look back, I’ve failed in every area of my life at some point. Giving up would be easy, but to do that, it would have to be something that I’m not passionate about. So I’ve challenged myself to give it one more try and learned that you have to fail before you earn success.
This very principle also reminds me of the most basic strength principle that boils down to working the muscle until failure. It doesn’t matter if you’re lifting heavy, light, or placing still resistance on your body; it still has to be worked to the point of failure to be effective. Rest and repeat, and if your consistent and set yourself up with some proper nutrition, you’ll build muscles and get stronger.
I’ve failed as a runner, entrepreneur and failed my body into some health issues by neglecting self-care, and I’m sure countless other things. It’s easy to brush off failure when it’s something that doesn’t matter and walk away. But failing at something that sets your heart on fire makes you get back up on those feet and give it your best shot another time. And when you do, look out world! Sure, you could totally fail again, but one day you’re going to come out on top when you reach whatever success looks like to you.
Are there any New Year’s resolutions you’ve failed to meet? Maybe a new running distance you’ve always wanted to conquer but gave up on. Whatever you might be thinking about for the new year, why not kick off the new decade by coming back to that goal you once failed to achieve. Let me guide you with a running coaching program that will be custom made to integrate with your life to make it achievable. Start by joining my email list, and I’ll be sharing running coaching program information before this decade is over!
Guest Post from Self Caring
Self-care is one of those words that, even though we hear it all the time, we don’t really think too much about it. When we have to meet work deadlines, get dinner on the table, and meet our workout partner for lifting or running, who has time to pay attention to self-care?
That kind of thinking can not only hurt your fitness goals, but it can also hurt your overall life goals. For example, what happens when you overcommit at work — when a coworker asks you to consult on a project that you know you don’t have time for but say yes to anyway? You might miss a few deadlines, take risky shortcuts on a project, or act stressed out around your colleagues. Something similar happens to your fitness goals, too. You could be too tired to run at a decent pace, get behind on your lifting workouts, or snack on processed foods because you don’t have the time or energy to prep healthy meals for the week.
So how can we keep self-care — or, really, a lack of it — from ruining the progress we make in our workouts? First, you have to make self-care a priority. Don’t wait or hesitate. Here are a few easy ways you can get started right now.
How to Manage Stress at Home
Your home is your sanctuary, but all too often, we forget to leave stress and worry at the front door. Studies show that stress gets in the way of physical activity, leaving us too tired to work out and our blood pressure too high to safely pursue workouts we love. When trying to establish self-care habits, explore changes you can make at home. If you’ve been feeling the weight of work at home, check your smartphone, laptop, and tablet at the door. Also, carve out a meditation space. You can use a spare room or a spare corner, just so long as you will be free from interruptions. If you can, decorate the room to encourage mindfulness — natural lighting, soft colors, a comfortable chair or cushion, and relaxing music can all help with meditation.
How to Get Deeper, Longer Sleep
The success of your fitness goals hinges on a good night’s sleep. We cannot stress enough how important rest is for recovery and rebuilding muscles. On top of that, poor sleep has been shown to increase the risk of obesity — one study showed that people who get about five hours of sleep a night put on an average of two pounds a week. Making sleep a part of your self-care routine means making sure you get both the right quality and the right amount. Not only will your muscles repair more quickly after a heavy lifting day or a long run, but your mental fortitude will also strengthen. With regular improved sleep, you’ll wake up feeling more rested and eager to take on a new workout, run a new trail, or bike even longer than before.
How to Take Care of Your Whole Health
Exercise alone isn’t enough to keep your body working the way it should, at least not in the long run. For example, a healthy diet that satisfies not only your cravings, but those of the microscopic organisms in your gut, has been proven to improve your metabolism, help you maintain a healthy weight, and reduce stress. In addition to eating well, you should take care of other aspects of your health, like your teeth and mouth. Regular dental visits not only give you a smile you can be proud of, they prevent periodontal disease, which has been linked to heart disease. If you’re one of the many people who hate going to the dentist because you’re worried about the pain, cleanliness, cost, or just plain inconvenience, consider finding a new provider. It’s imperative for your continued good health.
How to Schedule ‘Me Time’ Every Day
Have you ever walked into the gym and felt suddenly like you were about to start doing chores? Or maybe you’re seated on your yoga mat but the last thing you want to do is practice. When exercise is our only “me time,” even that can start to feel like work. That’s why you need something else — another hobby, activity, or passion — that you can spend 30 to 60 minutes on every day. If you enjoy reading, take a book with you on your next run and end it in a park, reading under a tree. For people who enjoy baking, you can put on some music and experiment with heart-healthy, whole-grain recipes. No matter how simple — from a warm bubble bath to knitting a scarf — self-care can help prevent you from burning out on your workouts.
Self-care sounds selfish until you understand what it really means. An old proverb says, “You can’t pour from an empty cup” — and that includes pouring for yourself and for others.
Find more resources about self care at http://selfcaring.info/
2018 was a very messy year, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that. As I reflect and think back to January of this year, I had an opportunity to attend a leadership workshop where our instructor had us set a one-word theme for the year. Running my first marathon was just a few short weeks away so naturally, the word fearless came to mind.
So as I made my way to the start line, with a head full of fears about so many things ranging from would I be able to finish? And also anticipating what kind of hell is this year going to put me through, knowing this could be a life-changing year. For more on that check out the blog post on my first marathon. But something so small as writing down that one word, kept it forefront when I needed it the most. In my mind, I switched gears, was so grateful to be in Surf City, put trust in all the hours I spent training for this very moment and fearlessly went for a 26.2-mile run.
When I did cross that finish line, I definitely felt like I could take on anything after that, but it still didn’t mean I wanted to. Life seemed unfair to be dealt this stack of cards. Why me? What will happen when we get back? Maybe this is the rock bottom anticipated before things turning entirely around for the better? Deep down, although deep down I knew better. When we returned I had to be fearless after I heard the news that my SO had maybe 4 to 6 months to live. I had already heard this once in 2011, so I was stuck between feeling like the last 7 years was a time debt that had reached its limit, or maybe he could pull out of it again, and there would be many years of greatness ahead. I always knew we were on borrowed time since 2011, and while his closest friends, family and myself wished he would have made changes to live healthier, it wasn't up to us. It would've had to be his decision alone. Think about it, how much success do you have with goals, when you pursue them for other people and put yourself on the back of the list?
Change happens from within on your terms
Sadly this was it, time to say goodbye forever and how could I ever find anything positive in having to do that? But I forced myself to and what I saw was very slim but mighty. In flipping my perspective of this situation, I did see some things to be grateful for such as actually being able to say goodbye. How many people lose loved ones suddenly, without that option? I was also glad I had a journey through marathon training first. All those miles help set your mind up to face life’s pain causing obstacles. Don’t get me wrong, it still sucks, hurts and is totally unfair if you ask me. But I’m learning to live with that, and am slowly evolving into a stronger person from it. Just like there are sore and tired muscles in training that you have to teach your mind how to deal with it to get faster or run longer.
The outcome of pain is
Reflecting on my running accomplishments, this year I successfully completed my first full marathon, then went on to PR (2:06) a half marathon in the middle of the year, was a no-show to a half marathon I had planned to run in October and committed one of the running sins for a half I ran in November. But how else would you run a race in Vegas, right!? I'm such a rebel, sometimes!
Obsessing with running, or anything for that matter. Don’t get so obsessed with running that that is all you are doing to achieve fitness. Sure to become a great runner you must obviously run a lot, but it’s essential to balance running with other dimensions of fitness such as strength and flexibility. Oh, and you need rest, DO NOT skip rest days. While it may sound counterintuitive, resting is where you build up from all the breaking down running does to you.
Adding too many miles, too soon (another life lesson in disguise). Let’s face it running, is a tough sport and gravity is working against you and all of the precious joints in your body especially in places like your ankles and knees. The human body is amazing and can adapt to running many miles, but you have to have patience and give it time to adjust.
Avoiding the weight room like the plague, because you might put on muscle weight. Strong muscles help you sustain all of that running and keep you healthy or injury free. Sure you might gain some lean mass, but that’s just going to make you a more powerful force as your feet glide more effortlessly against the pavement.
Running should not hurt. Yes, running is hard, and sometimes your muscles will be sore during and after running. However, it’s critical that you make sure you are not ever running through anything that just plain hurts. Even if the pain stops after mile one or two, you need to get to the root of what is causing that pain. When we run our bodies release a lot of neurotransmitters that act as pain relievers so in a sense you are under the influence of these and may think things are ok but could be putting yourself at risk for an overuse injury. Stop, rest, do some cross training, or get it checked out before you keep chasing running goals.
Never wear brand new sneaks to any major race of any distance if you are putting your body to the test, so if you’re traveling don’t forget your shoes! The event itself will be enough to leave you sore, and wearing a pair of kicks that hasn’t been broken in doesn’t do your feet any favors. I’m speaking from experience in my last race at the Rock N Roll Vegas half marathon. Last minute decided to wear the tye dye series shoes I picked up at the expo. I guess it was my idea of gambling and YOLO!
It was a painful run in sin city, but it wasn’t the first time my feet have suffered for a pair of shoes during a night out in the city. At least I came home with some bling!
Where do I start! In February, which feels like years ago I successfully completed my first marathon. Yeah, a whole 26.effing 2 miles I conquered all on foot! The event I choose to take on was the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach, CA. The setting was everything I love to set my eyes on like ocean waves, surfboards, and a VW bus show during packet pickup. What made it even better was being there with the people I love, my Mom, best friend, cousin and my love of 20 years Chad.
Since I was off to a rough start before the race started, I set my playlist to some chill beats to make sure I was taking a relaxed pace in the beginning. There were a few things stacked up against me such as tired legs, not fully acclimatized to the warmer weather, and there were a few mild hills. I was under the impression it was flat, but their definition of flat differed from my Midwest version of flat I had envisioned.
It was a long journey home traveling with someone that is so ill. He was in such bad shape, the airline ticket agent gave us all TSA Precheck. But we did finally make it home, which meant off to the hospital where we found out he only had maybe 6 months but probably closer to 4 to live, and ended up being around 2. Looking back, it was one of the longest darkest 2 months I had ever spent.
A full marathon is no joke, it´s so far, such a long trip and words just cannot describe the feeling of crossing that finish line. But after hitting most of the aid stations for gels, and sports drinks along with a shot of beer around mile 22 or so from the tailgaters at the beach I finished! It´s kind of a shock when you reach the finish line, maybe you get an extra dose of endorphins that rush in once your body stops and mind processes you are done. I'm not sure what exactly happens but is so surreal like a massive, slowest yet fast rush you could ever feel. It's intense but very short-lived, although you do ride the afterglow endorphins aka "runners high" for a while longer.
I wouldn’t wish this bittersweet marathon experience upon my worst enemy, but it's the cards I was dealt so I had no choice but to face the tragedy, survive and come out stronger counting my blessings.
What did this teach me?
1. Time passes quickly, cherish the present because soon all you will have is a memory.
2. Life knocks you down, but you'll stand up on a stronger foundation.
3. Change always happens, adapting is not easy but once accepted is the best thing for your peace of mind.
4. But there are some things you can never change.
5. Running a marathon will change you because you have so much time to yourself in training. It will not be easy but you will get through it, and it's the best feeling in the world!
I'd love to hear about your marathons, (running or non-running related) that changed you this year!
And I am going to be rolling out some new things on here to help you run further and stronger in races and life. Be sure to hit join so you don't miss out!
Without going into a ton of detail this year forced me to say goodbye to some exceptional individuals, go through a roller coaster ride that went through hell and back with a loved one, and even a clumsy running injury. Not an overuse injury, just tripped on my feet. I am hopeful since the last week has been pretty smooth that it will be a nice sail into 2018 and that the year brings more balance to contrast 2017's craziness.
I taught my first ever community education class about running. It was a good experience, and I'm reflecting on how to make this class even better the next time around. I was also able to complete the required continuing education classes just in the nick of time to recertify as an Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. I’m also excited to share the things I’ve learned from the American Council on Exercise Sports Conditioning Specialist Program.
However, education is only part of the equation when it comes to running, so I’ve also had an excellent opportunity to experiment with my training in trying to achieve some personal bests this year. I was able to run my heart out in 17 races in and around my hometown, and am incredibly grateful to the Platte River Fitness Series for putting on so many great events, so these opportunities are accessible to us in a small community. I was able to get some personal bests in the 5K, 10K and half marathon this year.
What I learned is that it takes time, consistency in training and a can-do mindset to achieve personal bests in running. And by consistency in running, I don't just mean run more. Of course, you will naturally spend the majority of training time running, but you can't neglect strength training that builds you up as a runner, balance and mobility work, flexibility and rest. I’m happy to have accomplished all of this without any overuse injuries, only one klutzy injury that was entirely preventable.
As I say adios to 2017, I look to moving on to bigger and better things for 2018. I will set out to try and finish 26.2 for the very first time. After this feat, I look forward to having more time to spend on creating content for Miles and Munchies and the ability to deliver online training running coaching programs. These will be individually tailored to help you be the best kind of runner you want to be. Whether that’s just starting to incorporate running into your fitness program, tackling a brand new distance or nailing a PR, Miles and Munchies will be able to get you there.
While the slight competitor in me loves to push to nail a PR, it's never worth it if you end up driving yourself to the point of losing the enjoyment of running. I want to help you find the balance that leads you to find joy in running. That's why the programs I develop are balanced to help you get better at running without overdoing it, mainly how to train smarter not harder.
Running has helped me overcome many obstacles in life over the 12 or so years we’ve spent together. If you can power through the initial tough part of starting anything new, make it a habit, and find flow, you will find bliss in running, and it can become your lifestyle. Sadly, so many people give up before they even get close to that point and I think it’s because they try too hard.
A common mistake a lot of people make when starting anything new or some type of change in their life is that they make too many changes all at once. This new lifestyle becomes very overwhelming because everything is so unfamiliar. It's just easier to go back to old ways and forget about the big picture.
So as you are setting out on new goals or resolutions in 2018, keep it simple at first. With a major goal such as losing 50 pounds, getting organized or running a marathon make sure you begin that journey with small steps. Start out with something simple like adding more fruits and veggies to your diet instead of completely overhauling your diet and eating a bunch of stuff you are not used to. Or decluttering a drawer versus trying to declutter your house all at once or alternating running with walking when you are first starting out. Chances of successfully meeting your goals are higher when you start out this way because once you have some success (no matter how small), you can continue to build on that one step at a time because you have some confidence that you can succeed.
So instead of diving into your goals with an all or nothing mindset, try changing your approach to make small changes that will have a lasting impact.
So cheers to saying goodbye to 2017 and ringing in a new year full of opportunities to be your best self!
Another small thing you can do to help you reach your running goals in 2018 is joining the e-mail list. You'll stay up to date and be the first to know when Miles and Munchies rolls out new programs and running tips.
An easy fix to one of the biggest dilemma's women face whether you're headed out to the water or putting on shorts for a run!?
Getting in the pool can be a great form of exercise. Swimming or running laps in water increases your heart rate and strengthens your muscles, not to mention it’s the most refreshing form of exercise when the mercury is high. Another great form of exercise is Stand Up Paddleboarding. When you’re first starting out with this sport, it serves as a strength workout as you work on pulling your bodyweight out of the water after you fall off of the board. Once you get the hang of it and spend more time out of the water, your core muscles work to keep you upright on the board, and your obliques go to work as you paddle forward. Eventually, you can paddle your way to a great cardio workout!
The only downside is those activities send many of us ladies into the bathroom for a razor and shaving cream before we head out. Precious time and water lost having to jump in a shower to shave before you go and then having to shower all over again. What I’ve been guilty of doing in the past is quickly running a razor over dry skin (ouch!), or using conditioner which leaves a film that just doesn’t feel right! I’m so glad ran across this breakthrough product from Busy Beauty that is a showerless shave gel, perfect for this warm weather dilemma.
At first, I was hesitant to try it because right before it arrived, I ended up with a poison ivy rash thanks to my dogs. The last thing I wanted to do was try a new product that would be in between my stinging skin and razor. After reading the product label I took a chance, after all, it was labeled sensitive skin and also contains natural essential oils like tea tree oil, ginger root oil, eucalyptus and clove oil which are all work as skin antiseptics and protectants.
I applied the product and shaved as I usually would, with one difference I wasn’t using any water! The gel didn’t have an overpowering scent and was clear which made it feel nice and clean. When I was finished shaving, I simply used the excess left on my skin as a moisturizer. I’ve always had very dry skin, and after using this soothing product I noticed my skin was very soft, this was probably the best post shave moisturizer I’ve ever tried! This gel is going to be a staple in my toiletry bag from now on!
Another thing I liked about Busy Beauty showerless shave gel was that it is an environmentally conscious product because it’s paraben, alcohol, and cruelty-free. The product container is conveniently 3.4 ounces which makes it, purse, small bathroom cabinet and TSA friendly. So the next time you find yourself on an adventure, I recommend having Busy Beauty Showerless Shave Gel on hand.
Enjoy the rest of the warm weather, and if you want to simplify your beauty routine like I did with Busy Beuty showerless shave gel you can find it here
Also be sure to keep in touch by joining the
Miles and Munchies e-mail list.
Exercise physiologist aka: fitness Geek, loves running and being adventures. marathon & sprint tri finisher. music and veggie fanatic
Nancy Flock is a wellness enthusiast that's crazy about running, veggies, animals and living life to the fullest.