Training Tip Tuesday: 10 Minutes

Training for the NYC Marathon is getting tough.

The financial commitment is looming out there on the horizon. And even the logistics of navigating the city on race day is starting to burden me down.

The running itself has had its ups and downs, too. My 17-mile training run left me wobbly and sore for days; I was convinced I’d made a mistake and would never be able to finish the race. However, my 18-mile training has left me feeling strong and ready to take on this challenge. Strange how much can change from week to week. Even day to day.

Some days, getting in a 5-miler is no problem. Easy-peasy. Other days, it can be extremely challenging to get inspired to lace up – especially when life is throwing curve balls (like floods and fires) at you.

But, to succeed on November 3, I have to get out there and do it. Right? (Yes. The answer is yes.) And for you to achieve your goals, you’ve got to keep going too, right? (Also, a yes.) So, how can we get out there and do it day after day even when we’re tired, sore and unmotivated? What is there to do when sheer will, determination and stubbornness have worn off?

My suggestion: Trick yourself.

It works for me just about every time. If I’m having trouble mustering up the motivation to get out there and run, I just tell myself I’ll only go for 10 minutes. And if, after ten minutes, I still feel like I don’t want to run then I can stop.

Over the course of my running history, I think I’ve actually stopped once after tricking myself with this method. Every other time, the little bit of energy produced from that 10-minute warm-up (and the creeping endorphin rush) took over and I completed my full workout.

It’s kind of silly because deep down I know that I’ll go for longer. But, saying it’s okay to stop and take a rest day when my body really isn’t responding to a warm-up seems to get me going every time (except maybe that once). And, quite honestly, if your body isn’t responding after ten minutes, you likely really need the rest day!

So, next time you don’t feel like running, walking, or participating in your chosen physical activity, just try doing it for ten minutes. I bet you’ll surprise yourself by how often you get in a complete sweat session. It totally works.

So, how about you? Do you trick yourself into a workout? Does it work?


Image Source.

Sick Lists


That was me all weekend.

Except I was under a bright purple slanket (Snuggie to those of you who don’t love Liz Lemon). And the couch was covered in dog hair. And a baby was poking me in the eye. Also, I only got to actually lie like that in between running regular weekend errands and chasing a surprisingly fast rug-rat. But, basically, the picture above describes how my days ‘off’ went down.

Being sick is the pits. I was grumpy and achy and just plain miserable.

And isn’t it always when you’re sick that suddenly you feel the need to do everything in the world? While sick, I looked up half-marathons I wanted to run, admired charities that other people have recently started, planned every little detail of the baby’s first birthday party, and pinned all sorts of home improvement tweaks and decor ideas. It’s like as soon as I know I can do nothing but sniffle and sneeze, suddenly I want to do it all. And it makes being sick so much worse. (Insert world’s tiniest violin.)

Of course, now that I’m in the foggy aftermath of Nyquil – walking that fine line between under-the-weather and feeling grrrreeaat! – I can feel reality settling in. My long list of ‘When I get better I’m gonna …’ is quickly losing it’s appeal. Meh.

I’m hoping to hang on to a shred of motivation to do a few of the things I planned, but for now I’m just happy that I can breath with my mouth closed.

How about you … do dream big when you’re sick?

Image via ebb & flow via Patterson Maker.

Thankful Thursday: Motivation

Happy Thankful Thursday!

Today I am thankful for motivation!!! And I’m finding the inspiration to get motivated in all sorts of places….

First, I’m reading this book, Eat that Frog! It couldn’t be more perfect for me. It’s all about how to stop procrastinating and get things done. And do you know how? With lists!! Glorious lists! Lists of monthly ‘to do’ items, lists of weekly tasks, lists of today’s activities. It talks about prioritizing lists, listing your goals, listing the steps to achieve said goals. Oh, it’s just oozing with list-love.

I love it. My notebooks are full, my pen is out of ink and my fingers are sore, but I’m ready. I’m motivated to get it all done… from buy a teething ring for the baby to writing a book.

Bring it, hopes and dreams. Bring it.

Second, I read all about this race. And then I got three of my besties to commit to doing it with me!

Of course, I can’t be unprepared now can I? So, I’m motivated to work out and run my not-so-little-rear-end off. We’re gonna get in shape and feed the hungry. Let’s DO this!

And last, but never least, let’s not forget this guy:

He, who motivates me to be better person, is on the Thankful list every.single.time. Love that little looker.

Happy Thankful Thursday!!

What motivates you?

Motivated Monday

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a delightful weekend!

Last night, I was kind of dreading Monday….dreading my ever-growing task list and very uninspired at the idea of getting out of bed early to work. But today that’s all changed! Thanks to a green monster and finally not feeling sick anymore, I’m ready to take on the week!

Today’s motivation is stemming from a few other sources as well. The spouse and I are in the middle of some home improvements (to prepare for our baby boy) and it’s inspired me to do a few other things around the house that I’ve been putting off.

Plus, I went to an excellent Junior League of Fort Collins fundraising training over the weekend. There was a strong emphasis on relationship building that got me thinking seriously about ways I can make a greater impact in some activities that I’m involved in.

And to top that off, I read this article today from Huff Post that reminded me how important attitude and attention to detail really is. A shift in attitude has turned my dreaded task list into a welcome list of opportunity.

I’m ready for a busy week both in the office and at home! Hope you’re feeling motivated today, too!


To Do / To Stop

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

The spouse and I had a lot of fun exchanging gifts by the fire on Christmas Eve and watching our dogs get excited about their presents (they were ecstatic!). We spent the rest of the weekend visiting with family and friends. It was nice to catch up with so many people!

Alps, Germanyvia A Well Traveled Woman. Original on Flickr.

This week is a weird combo of back-to-the-grind and holiday-events-continued. I’m taking advantage of a quiet week at work to get caught up on all sorts of projects and finalize plans for my maternity leave. But the spouse and I are also looking forward to the weekend to see my Dad for a late Christmas and of course celebrate the arrival of 2012.

For blog posts, we have some catching up to do, too! I have a book report for you and photos from the baby shower my family hosted for me to share. And I’ve been working on wrapping up 2011 goals, making ‘Best of 2011’ lists, and contemplating 2012 New Year’s Resolutions. These will be making an appearance soon, too!

While in this list-making, catching-up, still-celebrating mode, I’ve stumbled across a couple of articles from Marc and Angel Hack Life that I thought were particularly fitting for this time of year. Hope they inspire you and this last few days of 2011 are productive and fun!

Happy Tuesday!

Be Awesome!

via Yum & Yuk.

Last night,  after watching the finale of the Next Food Network Star, I was inspired. Not to be a celebrity chef (I consider every meal that doesn’t result in fire alarms a success) but to find and be the very best version of my self that I can – the most awesome version of my self that I can.

Both of the finalists on the show discussed how they really found themselves and their passion on the journey to the final episode. Now, I’m no fool. I am certain that reality tv writers fed them full of that good-feeling talk to win over suckers like me, but even with that thought in mind, I was inspired.

Watching someone literally take charge of their life to make their dreams come true by taking risks, working incredibly hard, and using constructive criticism to improve themselves over and over, left me wanting to be better, to try harder, to achieve more. I don’t know if you watch the Next Food Network Star or took away the positive vibes that I did but I wanted to share a little of the inspiration I felt from it with you.

You can accomplish anything you set your mind to! Go out, be awesome and kick some ass this week! Have a super Monday!

Feeling Inspired

Today, I was lucky enough to attend an event honoring the Northern Colorado Women of Distinction. Thanks to a friend at the Poudre Valley Health System Foundation (the keynote sponsor), I enjoyed breakfast with several hundred people to honor eleven amazing women.

The Women of Distinction Award is given women who have given their time and talent to make our region a community of excellence. The awards are given in several categories including Nonprofit – Human Services, Exceptional Volunteer, Business and Business Services, and Education (to name a few).

The event was fantastic! Not only was it nice to meet a few new people (I didn’t know anyone I sat with…totally out of my comfort zone but so worth it!), each of the award recipients shared a story about what inspires them. To hear eleven talented, motivated, strong, and hard-working women share what inspires them was truly uplifting and motivating. I left the event determined to make an impact in the world – what that impact is, I’m not sure, but determined I am!

I’m so thankful to be able to witness and be apart of the vitality, strength, and power of women in the Northern Colorado community. I took so much away from the speakers who shared quotes, beautiful stories of companionship & sisterhood, and personal battles. Their incredible victories over cancer, losing family members to addiction, and being some of the first women in their fields left me awestruck. Of course, my new personal hero is the woman who somehow managed to mention Christmas three times during her speech and slipped in the little fact that she puts up thirteen Christmas trees every year. I was impressed on so many levels.

All in all, my favorite bit of advice shared this morning is the quote below. So, go on! Get out there! Do something scary and exciting and inspiring! One day we’ll be honoring you….

Via Pinterest

Work-It-Out Wednesday: “But, I Don’t Want to…

workout. However, I will take another box of Hot Tamales. Oh, and…uh…why don’t you go ahead and pour me another IPA?” ~ Me, for the last 7 DAYS!  

In related news, I gained three pounds. Candy and beer triumph once again over running.

How does this happen?

Well, it starts with excuses….You know, “I’m too tired”, “I’m too busy”, or “I’m too drunk”…to run, lift, or do yoga. Then the excuses go away because the body gets used to doing nothing and instead of craving a sweat session, I crave sweets or carbs, and I start to dread the workout.

Then the excuses are replaced by empty promises, “Well, I’ll start again fresh tomorrow,” or “Today will be the last day that I eat Swedish Fish for breakfast.” And then the next day comes and sure enough, those addictive crimson swimmers have found their way into my grubby paws and my packed schedule looks even less promising to squeeze in a cardio-sesh.

What happens after all these excuses and empty promises (besides gaining 3 lbs)?

A workout week like the one below:

  • Wednesday 6/15 – 30 min yoga
  • Thursday 6/16 – 3 mile run
  • Friday 6/17 – Off
  • Saturday 6/18 – Walked around some gardens…Uhmm, Off.
  • Sunday 6/19 – Off
  • Monday 6/20 – OFF, Again? Really?
  • Tuesday 6/21 – 30 mins yoga

I’m embarrassed.

How can we triumph over these obstacles? Can’t they just stop making Swedish Fish already!? Or, can’t someone else do my To Do list so I can shed a pound or two?

No. No, that’s not gonna happen.

So, you just have to do it yourself. You just have to push past the candy aisle, pencil in ‘workout’ on the To Do list, ignore the excuses, and strive to achieve your goals. Everyone will run into a day or two when there really, truly isn’t enough time or the craving for a sweet treat or homebrew is just too strong (and go ahead, you should ENJOY life! Hello!) but we have to make sure that we aren’t creating habits or slipping into old ways. One day off (or even a few) and an enjoyable snack is vital to living a healthy balance, but be sure not to spiral into Lazyville. As you can see, I quickly become Couch Stacey – queen of gelatinous candy and ruler of micro consumption. Not pretty.

So today, I had my green monster for breakfast and I’m squeezing in my run over lunch to make sure that I get back on track. And….AND, I found a wonderful flow chart that will definitely help next time one of the “But I don’t want to…” excuses finds its way into my brain for the fourth day in a row.

Hope you like it!

Via Carrots ‘N’ Cake. Created by No More Bacon