Thursday, July 30, 2015

Busy Minds

Do you ever feel like your mind just wont turn off?! That's how I have felt the past few days.  I'm not having racing thoughts, just an overload of thoughts. I'm constantly overwhelmed with everything I "HAVE TO DO" and feel so defeated when i cant get it done.  Today, I'm taking the morning off. That means there is no workout for me today, there is only the time to sit with my thoughts, to organize them, and to plan things out so I'm not overwhelmed- as much.  Yes, yesterday i posted about how things cant always go my way or according to plan, but that doesn't mean that i shouldn't make plans.  My planning today is centered around workouts for each day. With a ton of races coming up in the fall, I want to make sure that my body is in top shape and I don't have that as an excuse to justify a bad race.  There will be bad races, that is a part of life.  Every race cant be my best, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't train and try my hardest. 

I am a list person, a calendar person, a write it down and check it off kind of person.  I need to feel that little bit of accomplishment when I have completed something.  Today, I am planning out my running schedule for the next two months. My days are busier now though, so i need to plan accordingly.  I need to get out of bed and hit the pavement and not make excuses and push off a workout (kind of what I'm doing today).  I constantly find myself complaining about not being where I used to be, not having as strong of a pace when I run, having a weak yoga practice, feeling pain from being out of shape-  but I am not being as proactive as I should be to fix those things so that I don't have a reason to complain. 

That changes today.  There is not time like the present.  When you do something different and make a change, you can find yourself going out of your comfort zone, and my friends, when you leave your comfort zone, that is where some positive changes can happen.  

I spent the last 11 years drinking my life away- I had periods of sobriety, but numbing my mind with alcohol was comfortable. I didn't have to deal with my life. But I made my life hard and much more complicated then it ever needed to be.  Getting sober was not in my comfort zone, but I took the leap, I white knuckled it for a bit, and now I work a program of sobriety.  I went out of my comfort zone and the changes have been amazing. My life is getting better than I ever thought it could be.  There was a point in my drinking when I thought I was destined to die drunk and alone.  Now, i get to live, I get to laugh, I get to wake up, work out, go to work, be loved and love back.  Those are just a few things that I have gained- all because I went out of my comfort zone.  

I still have a lot of things to work on.  I have a lot of areas that are comfortable for me, and not necessarily good for me.  Slowly i am taking steps, reaching out, branching out, letting go. 

I had a whole different idea for today's post, but somehow, I've strayed from that topic.  Anyways, im going to go write up my running/workout schedule.

If anyone needs a workout routine, a training schedule or advice, please feel free to email me :) I would love to help.

Questions for you:

What do you do when you can't turn your mind off?

How has going out of your comfort zone positively impacted your life?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Whats Stopping You??

In my last post, i talked about facing life and going out of your comfort zone. Something that is not very easy for me.  I love structure and routine.  I like having things planned ahead- to the very last detail and minute. Sure, I can be easy going and one who "goes with the flow" but when doing so, my mind is having a mini panic attack. When things don't go my way, or the way i think they are supposed to go, i shut down, i give up, i cry.  I can revert to the behavior of a six year old.  Why do i act this way, why do i give up and shut down?  What is stopping me from moving forward and letting go?


I like things orderly and planned so that i don't have to worry about the unknown.  The unknown scares me- because i have no control over it.  I like control.  It's comfortable- it's part of my comfort zone. I like knowing when and where i am going to be eating ahead of a meal time- that way i can prep my mind for the menu, for the calories, and for the pep talk i have to give myself that eating is okay.  I need my Garmin watch to work properly at all times and to track my pace and mileage. I need to know exactly how far i have gone and at what pace so i can figure out what i need to work on to improve. 

Everything i just mentioned, doesn't always happen.  If I show up to an event with a group of friends who decide to go out to eat somewhere I've never been, then i have to go with the flow, or i can be anti social and no fun and go home.  Technology isn't perfect, GPS systems can fluctuate or have malfunctions, i can make errors and not hit start when i thought i did, but i need to learn that its okay.  I'm running and that's what matters.  I got up off my couch and hit the pavement.  That's more than others can say. 

My comfort zone may feel safe and having everything planned out may be comforting; however, its not always good for me.  I put myself in a position to melt down, to freak out, to give up.  I expect so much from myself that i forget how to enjoy the moment and live in the now.  To appreciate what i can do. And to be grateful for all that i have. 

I don't really know where i was trying to go with this post.  I guess i just needed to get my thoughts down.  I'm able to look at what I've written and reflect. 

This past week i was out on a run and my Garmin didn't unpause- it was my fault.  And i gave up.  I was stuck in my head.  I forgot to be grateful for the fact that i can still get up and run.  

Today, i registered me and my fiance for 2 races in September.  The Brigg's & Al's Run and Walk - its on September 19th and we will be running the 8K and the Brewers Mini Marathon + 10K on September 26th- running the 10K.   My goal is to run in 1 or 2 races per month, every month.  If i am going to do that, i need to remind myself to stay grateful and not take advantage of the fact i can run.  My knees are slowing deteriorating and surgery is a possibility on the not to far horizon, so i need to appreciate what i have while i have it. 

Questions for you:

What do you do when you feel down or in a funk?

Are you racing anytime in the near future?

What can you do today to get out of your comfort zone?

What are 5 things you are grateful for?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Food for thought

Today, im writing with an open mind.  I normally sit down with a topic or event I want to write about; today, i don't have one.  This morning, I had a long talk with my best friend.  It was one that left me feeling emotional and deep in thought.  What do i want from this life? What are my dreams? Why do i hold on to things that hurt me? How can i be a better friend to all? Whats the rush?  Those are just a few things on my mind, among many others.  However, these are things that i need to pause and reflect on- and then take action to change. 

I, like many people i know, have found myself many times saying "this isn't what i had planned for my life- i should have this and that by now and be doing something different"  But guess what, life doesn't always go as we plan.  There are trials and tribulations, there is love and heartbreak, there is success and failure.  We have to take the good with the bad.  Often i choose to get stuck on the negatives in my life and not focus on what the positives could be. Everything that happens is a growing experience and something that i can take at least one positive from.  

For example, i miscarried in May. Yes, it sucks, it hurts and its hard to deal with. I can choose to stay stuck on those negatives or i can find something positive. What is positive about something so sad? Well, it brought me and my fiance closer, it strengthened my relationship with my higher power, and it gave me the chance to work on my mental and physical health so that i can be ready to have a baby when God decides the time is right. 

Sometimes its hard to find the light in the dark, but if you don't seek that light, you will never find it. Being stuck in a miserable state of mind is not fun, trust me, I've been there. Disconnecting yourself from things you love as well as the people you love and who love you is very lonely and sad.  I lost myself the past few years and am slowly learning to reach out to others, connect to my loved ones, find what i love to do, and learn its okay to be happy. I am beginning to find myself again.

I constantly tell my clients, change happens when you go out of your comfort zone.  Today it was pointed out to me that I should try to leave my comfort zone.  Comfort zones are just that- comfortable.  But they are also a place where i don't challenge myself or grow.  Its okay to retreat to my couch here and there, but to set up camp and live on my couch is not acceptable. I want to be a constantly growing person- mentally, emotionally, intellectually! But im not going to grow if im sitting at home all day isolating myself from those who love me. 

Today, i ask all of you to find the positive.  To go out of your comfort zone.  To take a chance.

Questions for you:

What do you find helps you the most when you feel stuck or down?

How often do you reach out to others when you need help?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Run Fun

I've been really behind in reading my emails the past month- well i haven't really read them since mid June. oops.  Unless i know its something that is urgent and needs to be read right away, I've let things sit on the back burner. i subscribe to a few blogs so any time there is an update, i get sent an email. Normally i read them right away as they provide me something to think about or some motivation to get up and be active.  One that i subscribe to and LOVE is Hollie's (@FueledbyLOLZ).  

Hollie's blog provides me with constant motivation, running gear updates and someone i can relate to on many levels.  I do not know her personally, but i consider her one of my role models and someone i look up to, especially in the running world. 

In a past blog of her's, a survey and training, she posted a fun survey that she had gotten from a blog she follows.  So i decided i would have some fun and "take the survery" as well!  I would love to know what you would answer to the questions! You can email me your survery at or you can comment on the bottom!  Lets have some fun and learn about our fellow runners :)

Would you rather run along a beach path or a mountain trail?

I would rather run on a beach path.  When i was in high school, my Swim team would take a trip every other summer to Fort Lauderdale for an international swim meet and for a week of training.  Part of our training was getting up every morning at 5am before heading to the pool at 6 to get get in a 3 mile beach run.  The run would start on the sidewalk along the beach and we would end with sprinting in the the sand on the beach outside of our hotel. It was such a workout running in the sand and i absolutely loved it!

We trained at the International Swimming Hall of Fame and ran the beach right outside the pool :)

If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race's aid stations, what would it be?

I would love if they had strawberry-kiwi - however, i think that flavor was discontinued years ago.  I'm not a huge Gatorade person, but when i am racing i do choose the Gatorade instead of the water at the aid stations. 

If given a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing you would purchase with it?

Last year, i won a $50 gift certificate (from placing 3rd in a 5K) to Performance Running Outfitters, probably the best running store in the Milwaukee area. I immidiatley went and got my CEP calf compression sleeves.  If i won $100 i would either get a new pair of running shoes, or i would stock up on Feetures socks, cliff bars, and get some arm compression sleeves. 

Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide how far and how fast you want to run?

When i am training for a run, i will make a training plan and do my best to stick to it; however, life is messy sometimes and plans cant always be followed to the exact.  The last half i ran in June, i had a training plan set but i didnt follow it the way i had planned.  Or at all for that matter.  See Summerfest Rock N Sole for details.  When i do not have a race coming up, i just wake up and see where the day takes me.  Some days i have goals of a ten mile run and once i start running i realize 5 is the limit for me.  I tend to average 3-5 a day when i do run.  I would like to make my daily runs become longer and more consistent but i am battling severe knee pain and am currently looking into getting an MRI done on my knees to see how my cartilage levels are - or if im on the verge of having no cartilage left :/ Knee issues run in my family, so i have been aware that i would possibly one day have issues as well. 

Would you rather start you run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?

I would actually like my run to start on a flat service then go uphill and finish on a downhill.  I feel when i finish downhill after an uphill, especially in a race, i pick up my pace and feel more motivated to finish strong.  Something about having my legs go from feeling dead on the uphill to all of a sudden free on the downhill. 

When you can't run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

So many things!! Check out my Instagram to see all that im involved in! I do everything from swimming, yoga, weight-lifting, jump rope.  All of it!! I play softball on Sundays and that helps add a little workout for me too!  I just love being active and fit! 

Sample of some of my Yoga Practice

What is your preference--> Out and back, point to point, or loop runs?

It all depends on my mood.  When i run on the east side, its all over the place.  The way i run down there, if not along the lake, is green light to green light.  I just follow the cross walks that let me continue running.  Otherwise, where i live now, i like out and back, its easier and just more familiar to me. When i am not running outside, I'm tread training or cross training. 

If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be-->

I'm going to have to quote @FueledbyLOLZ here and say "A good pair of running shoes, that's all you need to run"  

I would also suggest a good distance tracking device. I love my Garmin watch, but the Nike+ app that you can download on your phone is one that i use as well. Both are great for tracking mileage and pace. 

Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?

Depends on where I'm running. I see the typical bird, squirrel, chipmunk etc. Very rarely do i see anything more wild than that.  I have seen a few deer on my runs but that's the most "wild" I've seen while out running. 

Ever gotten lost while on a run?

A few times, but since I'm home now, i guess i wasn't really lost, just confused on where i was for a little bit ;)  I just consider it an adventure. 

If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days...what would that meal be?

A lot of the time while im running, i think about chocolate milk.  Id like an endless supply of chocolate almond milk in my fridge, salads from whole foods salad bar, and maybe a cheese burger here and there :)

Capris or shorts...what do you run in most often?

SPANDEX!!! Nike Pro Spandex Shorts! Its my go to.  You will not find me running in capris unless it is absolutely freezing outside or i have a pile of laundry i haven't gotten to yet.

At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like its warming up and ready to go?

Depending on my run- if im going into a run only planning to run 3-4 miles, im going to go at a faster pace and will feel my body getting into groove at mile 1.5/2  if im going a longer run, normally 25 minutes or 4 miles is where i start to feel my body fall into groove and say, okay i got this lets not quit. 

What do you do with your key when you run?

When im running outside, i have it looped into a hair tie, and i wear that on my wrist with a few other hair ties over the key to hold it down and not distract me.  If my fiance is home while i go on a run, and isnt running with me, i leave my key at home.  When im at the gym, i keep a locker key on me and my house key in my gym bag, locked in my locker. 

If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one would it be?

I would actually go way back- to 2003.  Junior year of high school when i won the 800m at indoor conference.  I remember finishing that run and saying to my dad:
"I dont understand how people can do drugs, i feel so high on life right now"

wow...if only i had remembered that later in life- but that's a whole other story. 

What is your least favorite type of run?

One where i am lacking hydration, fuel and am injured. 

What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on?

Reading blogs from fellow runners, my fiance, the dream of getting pregnant again and carrying to full term and having a fit and healthy pregnancy.

When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start?

I leave right out my front door! (unless im heading to tread train).

When running in daylight--> are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?

I have never run in sunglasses.  I feel i would find them beyond annoying. I have recently started to run in a hat, even on non sunny days and have really enjoyed my hat.  For other reasons, if i wear the brim low enough, i can only see about 5-10 feet in front of me and when i hit big hills, i just have to think "one foot in front of the other" instead of focusing on a massive hill in front of me. 

When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting.

I think of my fiance encouraging me to push forward and continue.  He is the most amazing person in my life and that keeps me going.

questions for you:

Answer any or all :) would love to hear about your running!!