To Work or Play

Can we all just agree that adulting is a little ridiculous sometimes…most of the time? I’m constantly in go-go-go mode so it’s really hard to break free from that. I accept that because of all the extra things I’ve taken on in my life, I will be busy more often than not, but that doesn’t mean I can’t and shouldn’t designate time for fun.

So when Tuesday was a holiday off from work, I knew that it needed to be fun day despite the rainy gloominess. I started off with a relaxing morning drinking coffee in my pajamas before taking Finn pup for a looooooooooong walk. He had a blast running around and wore himself out – so proud of this pup for working on his off-leash skills. We weren’t sure he’d ever get to this point when we first rescued him, but as always – he surprised us with his mad skillz.

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He also has mad napping skillz.

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Then after stopping quickly at my friend’s apartment to take care of her plants, I did a long yoga session.  I generally just have time for 10 minutes of yoga here and there, but it felt so good to take an hour and a half to really stretch out and then do some meditation on top of that.

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After spending some time signing up for two of three certifications I’m working toward this year, it was time for a run in the rain. It actually was kind of nice despite the crazy wind and rain along the lake.

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After that, Finn pup was up and ready for another walk so we headed out again for a second hike. I’m so lucky to live in such an incredibly beautiful place.

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I decided to relax a little under an electric blanket while I ate a chocolate peanut butter smoothie bowl with homemade granola on top and worked on school work.

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And then after a couple hours, I made dinner (Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai).

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Unfortunately on Tuesdays, I don’t see Damir until 9 at night so I put his dinner in the fridge, packed my breakfast/lunch/snacks for tomorrow, and cuddled up on the couch with the pup while doing some more school work. Then when Damir got home we all cuddled up together until I crashed into bed. The perfect way to end an active, relaxing, and fun day.

It’s so easy to get caught up in everything we “have” to do. Both my work and home to-do lists are miles long and never-ending, but that makes it even more important to take time to yourself. Sunday is designated as fun day in our house and sometimes no-phone Sunday which is incredible. Then when I have a random holiday or day off from work, I often just work through it, but taking the time to just enjoy the day was the right call. I highly recommend it!

Happy Wednesday!

 

Being Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

Remember how I threw out my running plan last week? Yeah I still don’t have one and I’m okay with that. This Vermont winter has been unforgiving with the snow, ice, and negative temperatures and while I run in it as much as possible, I also recognize when it’s not safe for my health to be out for extended periods of time. This has meant it’s been really hard to follow the running plan I designed for this first race of the year.

My training has been all over the place, but that’s okay. It’s the first race of the year and the first race helps you get back in the swing of things and remember what’s it like to race 13.1 rather than just run it leisurely.

Once the warm weather hits, it’s going to feel great to train again. Until then, I have a solid base of mileage that I’ve been maintaining. This week will be a 45 mile week! Crazy! Here’s the plan for the week that I literally decided two minutes ago (I had to move last Saturday’s 14 miler to the beginning of the week due to a wind chill advisory over the weekend).

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Sure, I’m going to want a PR in this first race of the year, but let’s be real… If you want to race at a certain time you have to train at that time too and I have not been until the past couple weeks. Recently, I pushed myself for about 5-6 miles of an 8 mile run to go at a fast pace I haven’t done since last year before my knee injury. It DRAINED me (shh don’t tell the fast people in my running group that… because you know… runner’s ego).

It felt great at the same time though. I miss speed work and pushing beyond my comfort zone with my running. The greatest lesson I’ve ever learned with running is to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. As soon as I embraced that (and it took me quite awhile to embrace it), my times started dropping considerably. If you don’t push yourself to that point, you’ll never know what you’re capable of in a race.

Of course, that being said. You should never push yourself through injury, sickness, or if something just doesn’t feel right. There are limitations and taking care of yourself is more important than a PR.

Happy happy Monday!

I Threw Out My Training Plan

Well I didn’t physically throw out the training plan as it’s on my computer, but I deleted it. A year ago, I would have never done something like this – I’m someone that will follow a training plan exactly after I make it, but this plan just wasn’t working for me. I found myself unmotivated, having to add rest days because of snow and ice or my knee, I often had to change the days of the week I could do my runs, etc. The plan just wasn’t working and I had to step back from it. And, you know what? It’s totally okay to do that…even if your stubborn runner’s brain is telling you otherwise.

I do have a race in about 5 weeks, so it seems like a weird time to reinvent a plan, but that’s what I’m doing! I’m also using this first race of the year as a stepping stone for the several other races. It will be a way to just get my body and mind used to racing again as the first race of the year always feels a little rusty.

Anyway, here’s the plan for the week. I’ll be making a plan for the rest of this cycle before my race later this week. Until then, I’m just going with the flow!

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Happy Monday!

Just Do the Best You Can

I had every intention of getting up at 4 am to run, strength train, and do some yoga before work yesterday. I even got myself to bed before 9 pm. Then life happened. Our rescue pup decided he didn’t want to sleep through the night or sleep in his crate and he let it be known. So when that 4 am alarm went off, it was mostly definitely shut off. Let’s just say I got to work without those happy running endorphins and looking almost as lost and confused as Finn does during the 5 am hour.

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Mornings are rough.

 

The point of this story is that life happens and sometimes plans needs to change. If I got upset over every time my schedule didn’t play out according to plan, that would be crazy because it happens several times a week. Instead, I just get creative with it and do the best I can.

Did strength training and yoga happen today? Absolutely not. Did I throw my running gear in my bag and do speed work during lunch? Yes. So I’m going to call that a win.

Some days yoga and strength training happen in 5-10 minute increments. Some days I sleep 5 hours instead of 7 or 8 and skip morning workouts.Some days my running clothes are the most ridiculously mismatched colors because I put the outfit together at 4 am (Green, teal, neon running shoes, and purple polka dot socks totally go together, right?). Some days I get so busy at work trying to help others that I forget to hydrate, eat, and take care of myself. I accept those moments, try to figure out a solution to the situation, and alter my plan accordingly.

 

If you’re not a professional athlete who can dedicate their life to training, then don’t beat yourself up that you can’t pull out the same mileage or fitness routine as them. Do the best you can.

Happy Wednesday!

Starting New After a Tough Week

Happy happy Monday. It’s a new week! Can we just hit the refresh button on last week and start new? I had a pretty difficult week with training, life-balance, and just feeling healthy in general, so I’m looking forward to a fresh start this week.

I felt really sluggish in training all last week. It could be numerous things so I’m trying harder this week to get a full nights sleep, fuel properly for training, and reduce stress so that I can focus on feeling stronger. My pace was really all over the place and my knee was irritated almost every run so I’ve decided now that Sunday absolutely needs to be a rest day after my long runs on Saturdays. If the knee keeps hurting then I’m going to cut down to a 4 day running/3 day cross training plan temporarily. For now, this is what the fitness plan looks like:

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As for sleeping – I just need to stop staying up to do schoolwork, photography work, wellness work, etc and accept that things will get done at a later time. So my goal for this week is to get enough sleep in hopes that sluggish feeling will go away. I’ll also be meal prepping for the week (check out a meal prep post later this week) so that will allow me to fuel properly and not skip snacks and meals.

The great thing about having a tough week is it really allows you to take an honest look at what happened and how you can make it better. I let myself get too overly stressed and overbooked. My work schedule had me out of the office and I skipped meals. My school work was very intense this week and had me working past my bed time. In the end my running definitely suffered and I didn’t get around to the strength training, yoga, or rowing. Now I know what I need to do this week to get myself back on track!

I’m feeling great about the week ahead though – it’s going to be a good one! What’s your method for getting back on track after a tough week?

 

 

 

 

How to Stay Sane with a Busy Schedule

Honestly, I don’t know that I accomplish this well every week. I do know that many people are in the same boat. So many of my wellness coaching clients come to me wanting to solve this issue in their own lives. If you can’t cut things out of your life, then what can you do to keep yourself from going bonkers when your schedule is booked solid from morning until night?

To give you an idea (and yes, I realize my schedule is clearly overbooked and I’m just putting the commuting, walking the pup, etc in there to give you an idea of my actual spare time), this is my schedule. I don’t have the meal preparation, cleaning, errands, extra Finn walks, etc in there, but that also happens during the week.

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Things you can do:

1.) Schedule You Time. I have little 15 minutes blocks scheduled that alert me on my phone to take a break. Yes, I have been known to ignore them in the past, but I don’t do that anymore after re-evaluating my stress level lately. Schedule 15 minutes here and there and then a longer break on days where you can find the time.

2.) Keep Up a Fitness Routine. Because I’m training, running can go from feeling like stress relief to another thing on the to-do list. I make sure to remind myself that this is also “me time”, socializing time, de-stress time, AND it’s certainly NOT a waste of time.

3.) Plan Ahead. I go as far as setting my work clothes and running clothes out for the week so I don’t even have to think about it in the morning. I throw my running clothes and shoes in a bag, put on my work clothes, and grab my prepacked work bag. These small steps make my life noticeably easier in the mornings.

4.) Meal Plan/Prep. I get made fun of for this sometimes, but if I don’t plan my meals and prep them ahead, my work week is that much more stressful. By meal prep/plan, I mean I have my snacks, breakfasts, lunches, and as much as I can prep dinner in advance. If I don’t do this, that means I’m sometimes skipping meals (can you say HANGRY?) and not able to get through my runs or work day well. Trust me, just jump on this band wagon if you’re busy. The couple hours over the weekend doing this is so worth it.

5.) Take a Mental Health Day. Seriously, if you can do this. It can do wonders and I’m guilty of rarely ever doing this, but it’s very important to take some time for you. When your feeling physical symptoms of stress on a daily basis, that’s a sure sign you need a break.

6.) Cut Unnecessary Items. Do you really need to do all the things you have listed? Can you delegate and take some of it off your plate? For example, this past weekend, my wonderful partner offered to go to the grocery store and clean up the kitchen so I could focus on my mountains of work.

7.) Re-evaluate. If life is continuously too overwhelming, it’s time to re-evaluate. If that commute time is too long, then speak with your job about a more flexible schedule and/or considering either moving closer to work or finding a job closer to home. Really take a close look at your schedule, think about the reasons why you’re feeling very stressed and overwhelm, then go from there.

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy the weekend!

Weekly Fitness Plan: January 29

You probably (or maybe you didn’t and that’s cool too) notice that I’ve started running my hill running group again. It’s such a difficult running group, but keeps me in shape and helps improve my speed. For some reason it never gets easier. Ever. I can’t quite figure out how that works. If someone figures this one out, please let me know!

In case you’re wondering how the hill running group works (and also the majority of the hill runs I do on my own) – we pick a very steep 1 mile hill. The first loop we run 1/3 of the way up, the second loop we run 2/3 of the way up, the third loop we run all the way up. After this, we run to another steep hill that’s about 1/4 mile and run a few repeats. I always total about 7.5ish miles for this run (I run to and from my car as well) and it always takes it out of me. This group has been incredible with helping me improve my speed though! My hope that is by incorporating this group every week and pushing myself to be comfortable with uncomfortable, I’ll be able to crush my half marathon PR this year.

Here’s the fitness plan for the week!

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Happy Monday!

 

Practicing Gratitude

I used to be great about writing in a journal when I lived overseas. I wanted to document my experiences and have these great stories to remember for a long time. After I got back to the States, I didn’t keep up with the daily habit. Lately I’ve been wanting to journal again and more specifically write down what I’m grateful for every day.

Practicing gratitude can be such a helpful way to relieve stress and appreciate what you have around you (which unfortunately many of us can lose sight of during our busy days).

This week hasn’t been pretty. Like many weeks my schedule has been booked solid from 5am until I go to bed. The stress from that, work, commuting, school, training, and recovering from an ill-timed cold got the best of me. Last night I was stressed beyond belief crying about how I’m coaching people in life balance and not practicing it in my own life and my partner made me point out things I’m grateful for. He kept making me point out things until slowly I started feeling better.

Though I’ve encouraged practicing gratitude with my own wellness coaching clients, I haven’t been practicing it as much as I should in my own life. I’ll be the first to admit, wellness coaches may know exactly what to do for a better life balance, but we also have trouble following through with it every week (we are human after all)! So this week, I’ll be starting a gratitude journal. Additionally, I’ll be trying to incorporate little moments throughout my day to do a quick relaxing yoga session, walk in the fresh air, and definitely schedule some much needed me time before I go absolutely crazy!

In case you’re wondering, today I’m thankful for:

1.) A loving, supportive, encouraging, sweet, inspiring, and all around amazing partner.

2.) A cuddly, sleepy, and often adorably grumpy puppy that loves to love and only wants to be loved.

3.) The weekend – even though it’s busy, there will be pockets of time to practice self-care, run, spend time with the pup and my lovely partner, and sleep a full 8 hours each night.

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