Race Recap: Hoosier Half

Hoosier Race Recap

First of all, I have to say Thanks to Hoosier Half for the free race entry.  In exchange for the entry, I agreed to mention the event on my social media platforms  and write about my race experience on this blog.  

This was my second time running the Bloomington, Indiana event.  (Any IU fans or alums out there??)  Back in 2013 I set out to run 13 half marathons (13.1!) in 2013.  The Hoosier Half was one of the events I did that year.  So having done it before, I knew there would be hills.  I was a little anxious with this hilly event being my first half marathon of the year.  I just haven’t been performing at the half marathon distance like I like to (I’ve been a sub-2:00 half marathoner for several years until a couple halfs last fall when I went into the 2:05~2:10 finish time).  Given that, the hills, and some injury and allergy/asthma issues earlier this year, I didn’t really know what to expect on Saturday.  So much so that I told my husband and son, who had gone to Bloomington with me (we stayed overnight even though it’s easily drivable for us!) not to meet me at the finish line.  I just didn’t want the pressure that they were waiting for me if I decided to walk halfway through (and walk I did!)!  Plus, it was unseasonably cold!!!  31  at the start, feeling like 22.  Yikes!  

We went down Friday evening and stopped at Chicago’s Pizza on the way.  I’m not a typical pasta girl the night before an event.  (I don’t really get into the “carb-loading” thing.)  I usually like to have grilled chicken and will add bread or a baked potato, but that’s the extent of differing from my normal eating.  The grilled chicken sandwich with a little buffalo sauce on the side worked just fine.  IU1

We arrived in Bloomington in time to pick up my packet and then stay at the Hampton, the host hotel.  They said it was “within walking distance”, but it was about a mile away, and given the cold temps my husband was nice enough to plan to get up early and drive me to the start line.  

 

After a less than stellar night’s rest (oh well, that happens sometimes!), I got up early enough for my pre-race routine (my normal morning routine actually) to stretch, read my devotions, and have my Energize.  

IU3

Like I said, it was cold at the start, and there was some wind to deal with, but the sun was nice, and with a couple of layers on top, I decided I dressed correctly for the race.  

IU2IU6

I ran with the 2:00 pace group for the first 3 miles, but all the memories of hills were coming back to me, and I decided around mile 5 that I was just going to #runmyrace.  This has been my theme this year, and I decided it was time to live by it.  I started walking the hills.  I walked them briskly but also recovered a bit and then ran the downhills and flats.  This worked for the entire rest of the race.  It finished uphill, and I finished in 2:15:43.  It was my slowest half marathon since 1999, but that’s okay.  

 

I was kinda kicking myself for having told my husband and son not to meet me at the finish line, because I had to walk back to the hotel (you know that mile I mentioned?  AND it had a hill to climb AND it was chilly!).  

 

I got a hot shower then we went downtown Bloomington to eat and explore the campus.  My husband graduated from law school there, and my counseling degree is from IU, so we always enjoy the opportunity to visit campus.  Kent likes to show Ethan around.  (I think he secretly hopes he’ll go to IU!)  IU9

 

 

It was a nice weekend, and at the end of it all, I’m reminded how grateful I am for a supportive family, the opportunity to run, and to be a Hoosier.

croppedIU

 

Tell me…

Did you race this weekend? How was it?

Favorite college campus? 

 

Why You Should Trust the Process

trust the process

This Saturday I’ll be running the first of 3 spring half marathons.  Saturday is the Hoosier Half in Bloomington.  The next one will be the Indy Mini (If you’re an Indiana resident and a runner, you’re sorta obligated to this one, right??), and I’ll wrap up my spring with the Michelob Ultra half marathon in Chicago.  (I’m running this one with Team Momentum, first time I’ve done a fundraiser run. More on this in an upcoming post!)

 

Today I want to take some time and talk about trusting the process.  I’m sure you’ve heard the quote.  Sometimes it can be a cop out, “well it’ll take time; just keep on keeping on”.  But you want results, right???  How long is this “process” going to take??  What do I do in the ‘waiting’?

You can’t trust a process you don’t even know.  You still need to identify your goals and how you’re going to get there.  It may be a training plan for a 5K or half marathon.  It could be some changes to your eating habits to lose weight or have more energy.  It could be a schedule change.  You may need a mindset shift.  Maybe you need to find a Bible study to follow.  

 

Just as the saying goes “April showers bring May flowers” so we have to do the work and spend the time to get the results.  

If you want to run a race, whatever distance it may be, you can’t just one day get up and go do it without having done at least a little training.  I’ve run over 50 half marathons and more than a dozen marathons, but every time I start a new training plan and am running 7 or 8 miles, I think “how am I going to be ready to run 13 or 26?!?!”  Well, I’m not ready on day 1 of training but by the 10th, 12th week, I’ve built up my mileage, and I’m ready to go.  

When you decide it’s time to make some changes in your nutrition, the first day you cut out your daily Coke or iced tea, you won’t lose 5 pounds.  But over time and replacing that coke with water every day for a week, two, or three, you will begin to notice a change in your body.  

The first day you set your alarm to get up early to read your devotions, you may want to hit the snooze and put off this new routine until tomorrow.  But once you get up Monday and then again on Tuesday and again on Wednesday and spend 10 minutes of quiet time, you’ll realize that these few extra minutes get you focused for the day.  You’ll face the day with peace and confidence.  

But all these changes don’t just happen.  The results don’t magically come as soon as you do something.  It takes time.  Time to figure out what changes YOU need to make (not what your best friend is doing).  Time for your body and lifestyle and mindset to respond.  

But just as these April showers bring forth beautiful May flowers, those changes you start making today will have results if you stick with it and trust the process.  

 

Tell me….

Are you having to trust the process in some area of your life?  If so, what is it?  

Do you have any tips on how to trust the process?   

8 Excuses Busted: Make One Change Today

no excuses

No More Excuses!  Easier said than done, right?  I mean, I don’t always make excuses, I just don’t  or can’t or won’t.  Anybody with me?

 

But there are definitely times when our excuses feel very real.  And honestly, they don’t feel like excuses.  They are facts of our lives.  They are real to us, and it’s hard to see a work around or another option.  Healthy eating?  I only have so much in my grocery budget.  Work out?  I only have so much time in a day.  Rest?  Have you seen my schedule???  Quiet time?  I pray when I’m falling asleep at night.  

 

Today I’m going to take on a few excuses, or maybe even facts of life, and bust them with some practical tips to a fit and healthy lifestyle.  

1.  Not enough time

  • As it relates to working out – For some reason we think that we must work out 30, 60, 90 minutes for it to “count”.  But that just isn’t the case.  Whether we do 10 minutes when we get up and 10 minutes at lunch or a 15-20 minute workout, something is better than nothing.  And those 20 minute workouts can give you some amazing results.  I recently reviewed some YouTube workouts that were only 10 minutes long, and they left me sore and sweaty.  Check them out here!
  • As it relates to preparing healthy food – Do you have a crock pot?  Do you have some time on the weekend or maybe one evening a week when you can bake ahead some chicken and put it in the refrigerator?  How about put snacks in a baggie or small container?  You can freeze a variety of dishes and pull them out to fix for dinner.  The key is to plan and prepare ahead of time.  

2.  Not athletic, can’t run, hate cardio – First of all, running isn’t the only exercise.  While some people (me included!) love it, others hate it, and that’s okay.  You don’t have to become a runner.  You didn’t have to be an athlete in high school to be able to exercise now.  There are so many workouts these days, I’m confident you can find something you’d like to do.  Do you like to dance?  What about Zumba or Cize?  Do you like hardcore bootcamps?  What about a kickboxing class or the new Hard Corps 22 workout?  Bike.  Walk.  Lift weights.  Yoga.  I can help you find a workout that’s right for you!  

3.  Weather – My husband has been known to be a “seasonal” exerciser.  I tease him about hibernating in the winter.  Lol!  I often say it’s not the weather it’s the clothes.  With the right clothes, you can get out in any type of weather (for the most part.  I know issues like asthma do make extreme conditions difficult.  Listen to your body!).

4. Too expensive

  • As it relates to working out – It doesn’t cost anything to put shoes on and go out the door for a walk.  But even if you want/need shoes and workout clothes, they can be found on sale all the time.  You can purchase one DVD with several workouts for a small amount of money.  There are several workouts on YouTube and Pinterest that are legitimate and easy to follow…and free!
  • As it relates to eating healthy – Places like Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Target know that people are interested in organic, gluten-free, and just all around healthy foods these days.  You can often find store brand for cheaper than name brand items.  Places like Amazon and Drugstore.com offer great deals on healthier versions of items.  Frozen produce or seasonal fresh produce are usually priced right.  

5.  My family doesn’t support me – This is often where it comes in handy to define your Why.  (read more here!)  Get your family involved.  Set the example.  If you have to, when they’re eating chicken nuggets and fries for dinner, have a salad.  Eat the protein and veggies while they go ahead and eat the starch.  Just choose smaller portions of whatever you have fixed for the whole family.  Take the kids to the playground and walk laps while they swing and slide.

6.  Healthy food doesn’t taste good – There are so many healthy Pinterest boards to follow with easy recipes.  One of my favorite websites is www.hungry-girl.com.  She has some great ideas on how to make your favorite recipes healthy without losing the yummy taste.  Seasonings are your friend.  Be willing to experiment.  Check out some ideas here.  

7.  I’m tired all the time – I know it seems backwards, but getting fresh air and movement will help your energy level and get those endorphins moving in your body.  Even if it means getting up 10 minutes early to go for a walk.  When you begin to replace sugary and starchy foods with fruits and vegetables and lean protein, you will notice improvement in your energy level.  

8.    God knows what’s in my heart – Yes, He does.  But He still wants time with you.  “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Just take a minute to really notice His presence in your life.  Write down 3 things for which  you are grateful.  Be purposeful in this time.  It will provide mental clarity.  

 

What’s next?  I know it’s not easy to bust these excuses on your own.  Accountability is key.  Support is critical, especially if you feel like you’re the only one in the house who wants to get healthy.  I have an answer!  Join my “Fight the Good Fight!” Facebook group.  This will be 3 weeks of check ins, encouragement, support, and accountability.  It’s free!  All I need from you is a desire for and a commitment to living fit and free!  It’s not always easy, but together we can “Fight the Good Fight!”  To get your special invite to this private Facebook group, please email me to let me know you want in AND what excuse you’re ready to bust!

 

Tell me….

Did I miss any excuses?

What other tips do you have to bust the excuses?

 

Turn Your Why into Action

How

We talked about finding your Why on Monday.  I firmly believe that this is the key to success in any endeavor…..health, fitness, business, etc.  (For our purposes, we’re focusing on living a healthy lifestyle.)  Still once you’ve figured that out, you need to figure out how.  

How am I going to exercise?

How am I going to fit it into my schedule?

How am I going to find the right workout for me?  

How am I going to structure my eating habits?

 

Your motivation is found in your Why.  You know exactly WHY you are choosing to get fit and healthy.  You have something deep within that is moving you towards health and fitness…..and it’s not a number on a scale or a pant size….it has to be more than that, because YOU are more than a number!   (If you still need help working through that, contact me.  I’d love to help you figure out your Why.)

 

The first step in the how, is to find what you like to do.  If you hate to run, then running isn’t for you.  Even if you think that’s the quickest way to weight loss.  You’ll never stick with it.  Even though getting a gym membership and a trainer seems like the right thing to do, if you can’t afford that or don’t have time to meet a trainer 3 times a week for an hour, then that’s not how to meet your goals.  So, what do you like to do?  

Do you like to be outside?  How about walking, running, or biking?  

Do you like to dance?  Ever thought of turning the radio on and just moving around for 20 minutes?  If you want more structure like a class or DVD, there are zumba classes everywhere and DVDs that can lead you in some dancing.  

Do you want to get strong?  Maybe you have a gym membership where you can go lift some weights or get hooked up with a trainer.  Or there are great DVD and online workouts like BeFit and Metabolic Effect that incorporate strength training.  

 

Once you figure out what you like to do the next step is to decide if you want to workout in the morning, lunch hour, or evening.  You can read all kinds of things that tell you working out in the morning is better than evening or vice versa.  But again, bottom line is you need to pick a time that you’ll stick with.  If you’re not a morning person, then exercising in the morning is likely not the best plan for you.  

 

If you still need help figuring this all out, you don’t have to do this alone.  Contact me.  I’d love to come alongside you and help you find your motivation and your soulmate workout.  Let’s do this!  

And to keep the encouragement coming, be sure to sign up for my email to be sent straight to your inbox each week.  I give even more tips and encouragement on following your why and sticking with the plan that is right for you.  When you sign up, I’ll send you my go-to scriptures and prayers that will get you started on that path to being Fit & Free.  

 

Tell me……

When do you workout?

Have you found your soulmate workout?  If so, what is it?

 

Your Motivation Can Be Found in Your Why

motivation

Let’s face it….it’s hard to do the right thing.  It’s hard to eat right.  It’s hard to exercise.  It’s hard to refrain from gossip.  It’s hard to smile and wave at the driver who cuts you off.  It’s hard to save money.  Life can just be hard sometimes.  Even a lot of the time.  We all have our areas of struggle and weakness.  Given that this is primarily a health and fitness blog, I’m going to focus on that part in the “life is hard” scenario.  

Why should I get up 15-30 minutes early so I can work out?  Why should I pass on a second helping?  Why should I strength train?  Why should I limit my sugar intake?  

 

Well, I don’t know, but in the question lies the answer.  The answer is “Why”.  It’s YOUR “Why”.

You see, all these things that are hard….. They aren’t necessarily things we HAVE to do.  I mean, you don’t HAVE to exercise.  You don’t HAVE to skip dessert.  You don’t HAVE to save money.  You don’t HAVE to be nice.  

But we want to do those things.  We desire to be fit and healthy.  We want to have enough money.  We want to be nice.  

So back to your health and fitness.  The key to doing these things and sticking to them is finding your WHY as it relates to that area in your life.  

 

WHY do you want to be fit and healthy?

WHY do you want to exercise?

WHY do you want to limit sugar intake?

 

You may have a history of illness in your family.  You may have small children you want to be able to play with.  You may currently have a health issue that needs to get in check.  You may have a wedding coming up.  

 

I don’t know what it is for you, but until you figure out your WHY, you won’t stick to the plan long term.  You won’t develop a healthy sustainable lifestyle.  

 

On my next blog post, we’ll talk a bit more about the HOW to of a fit and healthy lifestyle, but until then…..

 

WHY do you want to be fit and healthy?  

WHY do you want to be free from outside noises and distractions in this area of your life?  

 

 

Product Review and Giveaway!

Befit

As part of my affiliation with @fitapproach and #sweatpink I was given the chance to review the following products.  As always you can be sure that my opinions are all my own.  

befitproducts

I received a bundle of products from BeFit including BeFit Pre, BeFit Whey Protein, and BeFit Burn.  These were to be used along with BeFit workouts that can be accessed via YouTube video following a 30 Day Fat Burn Calendar.  

 

Supplement Review….

BeFit Pre is a fruit punch flavored powder that is to be mixed with water and taken 15 minutes prior to your workout.  The powder mixes very well.  I just put a scoop in a water bottle with 6-8 oz of water, shook gently a couple of times, and it was ready.  Taste was fine.  

 

BeFit Whey Protein comes in vanilla or chocolate flavor.  I received chocolate.  (Yay!)  Just like the Pre, this powder mixes well and tastes fine.  I didn’t notice that icky protein aftertaste that you get sometimes.  I actually stirred it into my coffee most days after my workout.   I also used the powder to make some protein balls, and they were quite yummy.  Made for a healthy afternoon snack.  

 

BeFit Burn is a supplement that is supposed to be taken about 30 minutes prior to your largest meal.  It claims to help metabolize or burn fat.  I always took mine before breakfast, because I didn’t want to risk any of the “stimulating” effect that may cause me not to sleep well.  (In general I don’t do caffeine or anything like that 11:00AM or so, because I’m quite sensitive to it.  Having said that, I didn’t ever feel like it caused any jitters or any negative side effects.  

 

Do the products work?  To be honest, I don’t know.  I have been using a Pre and Post Workout supplement for quite some time.  Therefore I can’t say if the Pre really gave me an extra boost or the Post helped in my recovery.  All I can say is that they tasted fine and mixed well.  I have no complaints.  If you don’t currently use a product, these may be something you want to try.  As for the Burn, I was conflicted in even taking it.  I don’t advocate for “weight loss support” pills.  I didn’t see any weight loss as a result of using them nor did I experience any change in my cravings as again I already have a nutrition plan that keeps me on track in these areas.  If you are beginning your weight loss journey and need support in curbing your cravings, this product may be helpful.  

 

Workouts Review….

The 30 Day Fat Burn Calendar includes 10 different workouts that can be found on YouTube that are 10 minutes in length.  The calendar lays out a schedule to follow and then about 2 weeks into the program, you double up and do 2 workouts on some days.  There are also rest days included.  Some workouts require weights, others do not.  A simple pair of 3, 5, or 10lb weights would work fine.  befitdvd

 

Following is a summary of each workout:

Dynamic Strength:  I was sore the following day!  14 exercises, 30 seconds each.  This is a kettebell inspired workout.  

Cardio Extreme:  This workout paired well with Total Body Shred the 3rd week of the program.  Cardio Extreme utilizes weights.  Great full body workout!  

Legs and Butt Shaper:  Nothing needed for this workout.  Killer on the lower body.  

Metabolic Booster:  No weights needed for this workout.  4 rounds of 4 exercises for 30 seconds but each time they get a little more advanced.  

Total Body Shred:  Need a set of 3-10lb weights.  The workout is 30 seconds of a body sculpting move followed by 30 seconds of power move.  Killer workout!

Cardio Burn:  Burn is key! I was super sweaty after this one.  45 seconds of weight training and 30 seconds of cardio.

Lower Body Blast:  This one is not even 10 minutes long, but it still kicks the booty.  45 seconds of low body move plus 45 seconds of a cardio push.  

Toned Abs and Arms:  This one resulted in some sore abs and arms the next day.  

Maximum HIIT:  Big focus on jumping jacks.  They come between strength moves.  

Cardio Crush:  This is basically an abs and cardio workout.  No equipment necessary.  

Summary:  I really liked the workouts!  The gals do a great job of showing modifications.  Nothing is difficult to follow.  Since the workouts are short, you could even view them before actually doing them just so you’ll be a bit more familiar with them.  I could easily see myself choosing a couple that I really like and working them in on days when I’m short on time.  I definitely felt like I was getting a good workout.  I felt it when I was doing it, and on some occasions I felt it the next day!  

 

So often we think if we don’t have an hour to spend working out then we shouldn’t do it at all.  But these workouts prove that with as little as 10 minutes, you can make a difference in your health and fitness.  I would suggest doing these even 3 times a week and adding in some daily walks.  I believe you would see and feel the difference.  

 

Now it’s time for you to get a chance to try these products.  This giveaway will go through Sunday night.  But don’t wait for the products, head over to YouTube and view the videos and give them a try. Let me know what you think!  

Click here to go to giveaway!

Giveaway restrictions:
  • U.S. only
  • One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from BeFit through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner.
Let me know…..

What is your biggest struggle when it comes to exercise?  Finding something you like to do?  Finding time?  Lack of energy or motivation?

Or….do you love to workout and never miss?

Are you exercising to eat?

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eating&exercise

“Because fitness is not a punishment, it’s a privilege” – Neghar Fonooni

 

I remember a time (in the not so distant past) that I logged calories in and calories out.  Basically I would workout so I could eat.  I did my morning workout, entered it into my handy dandy program, then I would plan my day accordingly based upon the calories I burned and what this program said I could have.  Of course, the more I exercised, the more calories I could consume.  Some days I would get off track and then I would feel I needed to add another workout just so I could eat dinner without guilt.  eat-exercise

Have you ever been caught in this trap?  Or maybe you’re in it right now?  Certainly no judgement on plans where you count calories and all that, but for me, it became bondage.  I couldn’t eat unless I went to the computer, and logged it into my program to see if I had “earned” that food….whether it was lean chicken or dessert.  I never listened to my body when it came to eating or exercise.  It was all about the numbers.  

Feeling pain in my hamstring signaling a strain?  So what.  I’ll deal with that later.  I MUST log these miles, or I can’t eat today.  

A piece of bread sounds good with my grilled chicken salad for dinner, but first I have to see if it fits into my macros.  

Everybody is going out for ice cream after dinner, but I don’t have any calories left.  Can’t eat that….not even a small vanilla cone.  No Sir!  

While I love running and my daily exercise, this type of “plan” was not freeing for me.  I was doing multiple workouts a day not because of a special event I was training for or even for the joy of a bike ride on a nice summer day, it was all about being able to eat without guilt.  

This madness had to stop!  

Exercise is supposed to be freeing.  It’s a privilege to move our bodies and see them at work.  To feel strong when we lift heavy things and feel accomplished when we cross that finish line.  

Food is supposed to be for our nourishment.  It is supposed to be enjoyed and savored.  

I stopped logging calories.  I stopped logging minutes running and riding. (This was so hard!)  I began to listen to my body. (This is a hard practice too!)  I focused on quality workouts over quantity.  I focused on fueling my body with food that gave me energy.  I also had food for pure enjoyment, but I didn’t overindulge (most of the time!).  

How about you?  Do you view exercise as punishment?  Do you exercise so you can eat?  Do you restrict calories if you don’t exercise?  

Believe me, I still struggle with these tendencies.  On days when I do a shorter workout or only lift or only do yoga, I struggle with a bit of anxiety around eating.  I have to remind myself that I’m not going to be as hungry on days my workouts aren’t as intense.  I just have to listen.  But I do have to fuel and be intentional on how I do it.  It’s still a work in process for me.  (I could write A LOT about this topic!)

So why not…..

  • Find an exercise that you truly enjoy doing?
  • Eat things that are beneficial for your body for strength and energy?
  • Be a detective and figure out how your body responds to various amounts and combinations of food and exercise and then HONOR that?

 

What about you?  Is this something you’ve ever struggled with?  Exercising to eat?