Bird is the Word

I’m not usually one to participate in group challenges, online or otherwise, but when Oiselle’s “Chase the Bird Challenge” popped up on my Twitter feed, it hit me at just the right time. We’re in the middle of selling our house and I’ve also taken on a boatload of new responsibilities this fall, so getting my workouts in has been a challenge. Throw in the “sugarfest” that starts at Halloween, I knew I needed to grab onto something so my fitness didn’t come completely off the rails.

Oiselle’s Chase the Bird Challenge is simple enough: it’s a 26-day fitness streak to help prevent us from rolling into Thanksgiving feeling like a stuffed turkey, and to reinforce the habit of making health and fitness a priority even in the midst of all our holiday madness fun. All you have to do is some type of exercise for at least 15 minutes every day until Thanksgiving.

In order to hold us accountable and share our fitness mojo with others, Oiselle is asking us to post our workouts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I thought I’d post the first 5 days here too. It would be fun if you’d join the challenge with me. It’s never too late as far as I’m concerned.

DAY ONE: Squeeeeeezed in a quick little 3-mile run through the neighborhood on a beautiful autumn day. This was between 5 loads of laundry, dishes, homework help, house hunting and grocery shopping. Sometimes we have to take what we can get, right? The best part of my day was a sunset stroll on the beach with my sweet girl. I have to admit, I was highly unmotivated to make this happen after a busy day, but thankfully my daughter was persistent. It was gorgeous and relaxing and a wonderful time to enjoy each other’s company without distractions. Aaaahh.

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I also loved watching my carefree little dancer take flight.

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Love this girl!

DAY TWO: 40 Minute trail run, push-ups and core. Nothing complicated about this workout. Just a nice cruise and time to chill out in my own little world, forgetting everything on my To Do List. It was also fun to bump into a flock of friends on the trail today!

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DAY THREE: 60 minute Continue reading

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The Magic and Mayhem of Numbers

Most runners I know are obsessive, myself included. And the thing we obsess about most? Numbers, of course. After all, that’s how we quantify many of our goals, challenges and accomplishments.

  • NumbersThe number of miles we run per week.
  • The number of races we participate in each year.
  • The numbers we need to hit to qualify for Boston.
  • The numbers on our Garmins or Fitbits.
  • The numbers on our scale.
  • The numbers on the treadmill.
  • The numbers we want to add to our long runs.
  • The numbers we want to chisel away during a race.

Numbers can be just the motivation we need to keep us fired up about reaching our ongoing and ever-changing running goals. If you’re like me, you love them, but maybe sometimes a bit too much.

I began thinking about all of this number business when I saw the “Run 2015 miles in 2015” challenge floating around Facebook. My first instinct was to say, “Hell yeah!” even though I knew this was a bad idea all the way around for me.

As much as I love the idea of a challenge like this, by focusing purely on numbers instead of being smart about recovery days and listening to my body, I know I’d be setting myself up for a litany of injuries.

So instead of zeroing in on mileage this year I have decided I want to focus on celebrating numbers in a different way. I want to say “Booyah!” to things like…

  • JesusitaTrail12515The number of times I try new things—new trails, new groups, new races.
  • The number of times I stay in the moment during a run, listening to my body, knowing I’m pushing myself at exactly the right pace and distance for where I’m at on that particular day.
  • The number of big sweaty hugs I give.
  • The number of times my heart explodes with admiration when I see 80+-year olds still running, always looking happy and always sporting a warm smile.
  • The number of times I get a newbie excited about running or convince her that she soooooo can run that first race.
  • The number of times utter waves of joy wash over me as I coach my kids running teams, seeing that little spark ignite in them.
  • The number of times I laugh so hard I cry with friends who share their lives with me on a run, knowing that what’s shared on the road always stays on the road.
  • The number of times a challenging day becomes an “Abso-freaking-lutely YES” kind of day after a run.
  • The number of times I’m filled with gratitude because I can run.
  • EllwoodTrail_JenM_12715The number of times I push myself outside my comfort zone.
  • The number of times I return home from a run feeling happy, exhausted and invincible.
  • The number of times I say, “Good morning!” to another runner on the road and mean it heart and soul/sole (after all it is a ‘good morning’ when we get to run).
  • The number of times I make a smart food choice because I know it will make me a better runner and a healthier person.
  • The number of times I work on strength, core, and cross-training in order to support my running goals, and more importantly, my running longevity. After all, I want to be one of those 80+-year old runners who inspires all those young farts!

Continue reading

December Monday Motivation–Week #5

Here’s to finishing December strong and reminding ourselves why fitness is so fundamental to who we are. After all, aren’t we better versions of ourselves when our bodies are in motion, sweating, and flying high on endorphins than when we’re sedentary, working too many hours or simply managing our daily lives? I know I am. I’m more patient, grounded, focused, optimistic, and energetic. That’s why no matter how crazy life gets, I will always carve out time for exercise.

For fun this Monday morning, care to join me in doing all five of these December 5-minute work-outs in a row? There’s nothing like finishing strong! Start on Week #5 and work backward (the other links are below). Go!!!! Then swing back and tell me how you did.

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Monday Motivation Week #4
Monday Motivation Week #3
Monday Motivation Week #2
Monday Motivation Week #1

December Monday Motivation–Week #4

December is turning into one big, beautiful blur of holiday cheer…something I love, yet also struggle with as I battle to maintain health and fitness in the midst of all this “special-ness.” Special food, special parties, special “secret shopping errands”…the list goes on and the hours in the day never grown any longer. Here’s to making fitness just as special as all the other “special-ness” and carving out time to fit it in…NO.MATTER.WHAT.

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I‘d love to know how you are all managing this time of year! Are you thriving? 

December Monday Motivation Week #2

Being consistent and making fitness a priority during this time of year can be a challenge (to say the least), but it’s also a great opportunity to change it up a little and focus on fundamentals. Keeping it short and sweet and making it doable will not only add freshness, but fun. Most of all, it’s important to find balance so you have time to savor the holidays instead of just survive them, and still feel good because you haven’t completely neglected your health.

I’ve decided to keep it simple and do what I can, when I can, this month and celebrate each little victory along the way. In between taxi’ing my daughter to all her Nutcracker ballet rehearsals, coaching, shopping, party-planning, house-decorating and occasionally donning my domestic goddess hat, I’m simply squeezing in 3-6 mile runs (or cross-training equivalents) every other day and throwing in some weights and 5-minute work-outs along the way, like the one below. So far, the balance feels right.

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How are you staying on track this month? What are your go-to work-outs? And how do you like these 5-minute work-outs?

Yeah, Baby! Let’s Get This Party Started!

You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be greatWelcome to my blog–a place where I hope to share advice, thoughts and inspiring stories about running and life in general.

My aim is to create a welcoming community for all of us like-minded crazies looking for motivation, support and camaraderie as we celebrate a life of running and fitness.

So what do you say? Want to join the fun? Leave me a comment. I’d love to know what your next big running goal is in 2014!