Monthly Archives: January 2014

Letting go when things don’t happen as planned. (#winterstormleon and a pep talk!)

January has been a really hard month for me when it comes to fitness. First, I was almost starting over again with working out, since I’d slacked off during the holidays. Then I had a stomach bug. Next came winter storm number one. Now we’re in the midst of storm number two. But you know…I think it’s going to be okay. The cold weather is out of my control. Sickness and snow is out of my control. All I can do is MY BEST in the circumstances. And that I believe I’ve been doing.

So it’s Wednesday, and I’ve only run 6 miles this week. But my car is literally snowed in (I don’t own a shovel, either). I don’t have a treadmill at home. I can’t run through a foot of snow outside with the jogging stroller, and the base gym is closed. It’s out of my control! What I can do is a home workout DVD to get some cardio in, and I can lift weights.

It’s easy, I think, for myself (and probably a lot of people) to get focused on what you can’t or didn’t do- the FAILURES. But there’s no point, especially if it’s out of your control. Even if it was in your control, if it’s done and over with…move on!

Focus on what you can do, even if it’s not what you planned. Be flexible. Stay active- play in the snow with your toddler or bounce around to a free online YouTube dance workout video. Do some crunches while your dinner is cooking. If I keep this mindset, my active lifestyle will be a SUCCESS.

I’m not going to stress over meeting my Winter Miles Challenge this week. The whole point of the challenge is for people to stay active when the weather is cold and nasty. You don’t have to be on the track or treadmill for that to be true. Make do with what you have.

And I’ll leave you today with some photos I took this morning, here in Virginia Beach:

#Winterstormleon #VABeach

He’s so light and skinny, he doesn’t even sink in!

Finally getting some use out of these Uggs.

 Do you find it tough to let go when things don’t go as planned?

Too few calories and not enough sodium?

Wow, it’s almost a week since I last posted! Rather than recap everything I did last week, I’ll just direct you to my Fitness Friday (1/24/13) post on my other blog, It was an okay week. Not super fantastic, but okay. The weather has definitely made things difficult.

This morning I had a 5.4 mile run with my running buddy, and then I walked around leisurely for 45 minutes or so around the playground while Baby J got some exercise. By the way, walking is how I lost the biggest chunk of my pregnancy weight. You don’t have to be a superstar to lose weight. Just watch what you eat and be active! In just a few minutes, I’m going to do a light workout with adjustable Bowflex weights as well as some calisthenics-type exercises.

Organization is not my thing, but it really needs to be. I think I’ve settled on making MON, WED, FRI my big cardio days with light strength training. Then TUES, THURS, and SAT I’ll focus on building muscle and just light cardio. Sunday will be a complete rest day.

It’s doable, but my diet is a bit of a concern right now. Since I’ve been losing weight for a while now (really, almost 2 years), I’ve had MyFitnessPal set at 1,500 calories forEVER. Other than my weekly cheat day (when I have one), I rarely go over my calorie limit. It’s worked thus far. I’ve lost all but a few stubborn pounds around my middle. Well, as I’m working out more, I’ve found my appetite is even less. I’m full at 1,000-1,200 calories a day. With trying to build muscle, that’s not going to cut it. I need to figure out a way to eat more, but it has to be the right types of food.

But then I also wonder…shouldn’t I keep restricting my intake, since I have fat to lose? Or will the fat eventually melt off, even at a high calorie limit…as long as I’m working out/building more muscle? I just don’t know enough about this stuff. I mean, I know how to eat right, but building muscle is new to me. I don’t want to make all this effort and not see results, because I’m going about it the wrong way.

When I worked out with my running buddy at the YMCA the other day (I came as her guest, but that was my only freebie, booooo), I felt really sick in the beginning when we were doing sets of ab exercises along with push-ups. It took about 45 minutes before my stomach settled. I was really pale and felt lightheaded and nauseated. After some Googling, I have self-diagnosed myself.

My mother has hypotension, and I’ve always had great blood pressure, no matter whether I’m in shape or overweight. In fact, I had “beautiful” (<my OB’s exact description) blood pressure during my pregnancy, even though I gained 70lbs or so. I think I’m genetically predisposed to hypotension. Add on to that the fact that I rarely eat processed foods. It’s amazing how little salt you consume when you make things from scratch. Well, I usually put a Propel Zero packet in my water when I run. This time at the gym, I didn’t. So I think my BP dropped real low, especially because my head was on level with my heart and feet. Now I know I need to always have access to electrolytes when I’m exercising. I may need to increase my overall sodium intake too.

So that’s about it. I’ll leave you with a picture of my littlest running buddy from this morning:

Running with my toddler-

Do you think I should up my calorie intake or wait until I’ve lost the stubborn last few pounds?

Brrrrrr Baby, it’s cold outside!

The last day I posted was Saturday, when I had an encouraging run. Sunday I took the day off. Then Monday morning, I ran with two friends (and Baby J, of course). We did two laps together, which is 5.4 miles. Most of that was jogging, but we did walk a little bit…perhaps a mile. After my friends left, I did another lap…mostly jogging, but some walk/sprint intervals. I wanted to change it up a bit for once! So it was a total of 7.2 miles.

Today, Tuesday, I planned to workout at a Navy gym. One of the local bases has a family workout room in one of the gyms. I haven’t checked it out yet, but I heard they have a sort of gated area, where you can stick your kid, with treadmills, bikes, and weights next to it.

Turns out a friend treated me to a movie (and some delicious theater popcorn)! Her husband watched our kids while we were gone. I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie in the theaters! Between the 2.5 hour long “Catching Fire,” nap time, and baby sitting this morning, there wasn’t time to make it to the gym.

There’s snow on the ground right now! First time this year. If it’s still cold tomorrow (and it’s supposed to be), I’ll have to make some indoor plans. If the bases aren’t closed (two inches of snow freaks everyone out around here), I’ll head over the gym there. Another option is to meet a friend at the YMCA. I get one free day and childcare, as a guest. Might cash it in tomorrow!

I’m upping my winter miles challenge this week from 10 to 20 miles. I think I can do it!

How was your weekend and the beginning of your week?

Finishing strong

I’m encouraged. Yesterday, I had a great run. I ran at least 6 miles and without my running buddy. I never run well alone, so I was thrilled that I made it that far without her. I’m sure I could’ve done at least another 2 miles, but poor Baby J was getting really antsy. Every time we passed the playground, he started getting upset, because he wanted to play. I kept telling him, “Soon, soon,” and he was being so good about it that I couldn’t do any more laps. Not fair to him!

As far as the distance, it might have been 7 miles. You see, when my running partner and I started training in the fall, we had several people tell us that a particular track was 2 miles around. Well, when I started using RunKeeper a few weeks ago, it told me that 2 mile stretch was actually only 1.8 miles. That’s a little depressing! I need to verify that, maybe with the MapMyRun app. In the meantime, I ran what we used to consider 6 miles, and then threw in an extra 11 minutes of jogging, just in case.

My view on the trail

I have to be honest and say that I did stop during my run. I had a bathroom break after the first 2 miles, and then had to stop several times quickly to adjust my son’s gloves, and once to tie my shoe laces.

Also it was pretty slow, so “jog” would be more accurate. I didn’t time myself, but I’m sure it was at least a 10 minute mile. BUT all that said…I did run the entire distance, so that’s really encouraging. I think at this rate, my long run can be up to 10 miles in February, which definitely puts me on track for the half-marathon in April. It’s going to be okay!

There’s a 5K next Saturday that I really want to run, but we’re trying to be frugal right now. The registration fee isn’t expensive, but I can think of several things that I should spend money on right now before a race, so it’s probably not going to work out.

I’m going to head out in a bit with Baby J to go run some more. Can you believe it’s 15 degrees colder today than yesterday? The weather here is so back and forth. I’ll probably put Baby J in a snow suit, so he can stay warm even with the wind. I’m very jealous of those of you with treadmills and ellipticals at home, by the way!

I just need 2 miles today to meet my Winter Miles Challenge goal for this week. Oh, I’m behind on my push-ups. I’ll have to do them twice today.

Yesterday I blogged about Fitness Friday on my other blog. You’re welcome to swing by and tell me about your goals!

Also on, I reviewed the Armpocket, and I’m giving one away. This armband is awesome! There are several models to fit different sizes of phones, and some of them have storage room for gel packs, lip balm, IDs, etc. It’s really cool! You can check out the review HERE and the giveaway HERE. And I’m also participating in a giveaway for the Bowflex Boost fitness tracker. Super jealous of whoever wins that one!

How was your Friday? What does your weekend look like?


So I have not been motivated this week. I blame the lack of sleep! My son was having some issues (maybe night terrors?) where he woke up several nights in a row, several times a night, just screaming and crying each time. It lasted 45 minutes or an hour usually. The last 3 nights have been good. Also, he’s back in his crib again, so we’re finally both sleeping better! I love sleeping next to my snuggly toddler, but I do get more rest when he’s not kicking my ribs all night!

I’ve only run once this week, and it was only about 2 miles. I did do some hill running, so that’s something. I guess. I really should go out now. Maybe I’ll get myself out the door in a bit. It’s too late to go to my usual running spot, since the park closes in an hour, but I can run around the neighborhood.

It’s been cold too. That’s my other excuse for not running. If it were just me, I’d throw on my ColdGear, but I have to run with my son while Hubby’s away, and it’s SUCH A HASSLE. When it’s cold, I layer him up and put a snowsuit on him (it’s possibly overkill) with gloves and a hat.

I realize, of course, that all of this is just excuses. If I really want to run or exercise, I’ll MAKE it work, no matter the hassle. *sigh*

I’m just so tired this week. :/

Oh! Some fun news- I reviewed the Armpocket on my other blog. I LOVE mine! Best armband ever! It’s really comfortable and has storage pockets for my essentials. I also like that it comes in multiple styles and colors, AND you can choose the strap size to fit your arm. Did I mention there’s memory foam? So comfy =D Check out my review here.

How have you been holding up this week? Better than I am?

An easy weekend

I planned on both Saturday and Sunday being rest days, but some friends of mine wanted to run. So yesterday morning I ran a couple miles at an easy pace with them, and then we walked a couple more. Today, Sunday…no running. Hopefully my legs will be well rested for tomorrow. I’m meeting three friends; it’ll be a fun run!

In other news, for some reason I thought my push-ups app was a daily thing, but realized you’re only supposed to do it three days a week. I’m going to do arms Mon-Wed-Friday then, but I’ll add in some free weights.

Abs I’ll probably do Mon-Fri. I’m wondering if there’s some sort of online fitness tracker, or if I should just use an Excel Spreadsheet.

Anyway, not a lot to report, except I did meet my Winter Miles Challenge for this week, woohoo! About to head over to Run with Jess to report that.

How was your weekend?

TGIF and I’ve joined the Winter Miles Challenge. You can too!

Winter Miles Challenge Button

I’ve signed up for the 2014 Winter Miles Challenge hosted by Run with Jess! This free challenge is to motivate us all through the toughest two months of the year- January and February. Although it doesn’t get really cold here in Southern Virginia, I still can use the motivation.

You don’t have to be a blogger to participate, so check out the link above for more info and to sign up. The challenge is open to everyone, and you can pick how many miles you plan to run each week (and change that at any point). And there are prizes you could win!

I knew this week I’d have trouble getting mileage in, so I picked the beginner goal at 10 miles of running a week. We’ll see how I do, but hopefully by February I’ll be in the next category, which is intermediate.

On a different note, today I blogged a Fitness Friday post on my other blog, My Life: A Work in Progress. If you’re interested, you can pop over there and read my current fitness goals as well as view some photos. I even posted my measurements (scary stuff- for me!). You’re also welcome to join me over there every week for Fitness Friday, and you don’t need a blog to do so!

Today’s run was the third this week. And I’ve gotten progressively slower. But I ran a little farther, so I’m not depressed about it. It balances out, right? I figure it’s going to take a few weeks before I get back into the swing of things. I will be able to run faster and farther…it’s just going to take some time to build my endurance and speed back up.

To recap:

  • Wednesday, I ran 1.8 miles at an average pace of 9:36.
  • Thursday, I ran 2.15 miles at an average pace of 9:39.
  • Today (Friday), I ran 3.62 miles at an average pace of 10:58. I actually did run/walk intervals for a couple miles after that, but I wasn’t tracking the time or exact distance.

I was very stiff and sore today, and really struggled to put one foot in front of the other. Just have to keep working at it! I haven’t done any ab or arm exercises yet today, but I’m about to run my push-up app.

How was your day? Did you meet your goals this week? Are you working out this weekend or taking a break?

Rough, but I did it.

Went for a second run this week. It was a little warmer out. I ran a little farther, and a little slower. Not going to lie; it was HARD for me to even make two miles. Tomorrow I’ll be running with my training partner, now that she’s feeling better. She’s a much better runner than I am, so she motivates me to keep going! I was depressed today, but I’m feeling better knowing that I’ll show progress running with her.

I definitely broke a sweat!

How was your day? Did you run? How did it go?

The PushUps Coach app (free version)

Push-ups are another one of those things I’ve always hated. Possibly it’s because push-ups are a popular form of punishment in the Army, especially during training. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “FRONTLEANINGRESTPOSITION…GO!” I’d probably own a nicer car.

The official term was “supplemental PT (physical training).” The unofficial was “getting smoked,” as in your working so hard, there’s smoke coming out of your ears. “Make the walls sweat” was also a term I heard often. Of course, there were other activities involved in these smoking sessions like the overhead-arm-clap (doesn’t sound bad, until you’ve been doing it for an hour), the cockroach (painful and embarrassing), front-back-go (my least favorite EVER), the low crawl (most effective when you’re doing it across 50 feet of sand or clay), or forward lunges for a 1/2 mile with your rifle over your head.

But I digress. Sorry! I don’t get to tell my training stories very often anymore. One of these days, I’m going to dig my old letters out and blog them. I wrote my family every day, so I did record much of what was happening.

It’s probably not true to say I HATE push-ups. I like the long, lean, and toned look they give my arms when I’ve been doing them regularly. I’m just not a fan of actually doing them.

Last night I came across an iPhone app called “The PushUps Coach.” I currently have the free version downloaded. The app is designed to go from being able to do just 6 push-ups consecutively to 100 in a row. That sounds good to me! The most push-ups I’ve ever been able to do in a row (real, Army-standard push-ups) without stopping was 30 in two minutes. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was a great improvement for me. When I started Army basic training, I couldn’t even do 1 “real” push-up. I have the muscle memory now, and I know what good form feels like, so even though I’m out of shape…I feel like I’m ahead of the game compared to a few years ago.

The free version of this app allows you to do a bunch of things, including:

    • Track your push-ups
    • Track calories burned
    • Share your results (if you want) on Facebook and Twitter
    • Custom push-ups reminder
    • Push-up plans
    • Custom plans
    • And more

Push-ups Coach.

Today I did Week 1, Day 1. That was 5 sets: 6 push-ups, 6 push-ups, 5 push-ups, 4 push-ups, and 5 push-ups. It was pretty easy, especially since there are timed cool downs in between each set. I’m going to look into a custom plan and see if I should make my own, because I do feel that this is easy. I mentioned above that the best I’ve ever been able to do was 30 consecutive push-ups. Well, I only got to that point by doing one handed assisted push-up sets throughout the day for several weeks. I think to see the improvement I want, I can’t just do this once a day. I realize that the plan will get harder over time, but I think it’d be more effective if I was doing it a few times a day, when possible.

So I’ll have to tweak the custom plans, and see what I come up with!

How many push-ups can you do? Do you like doing them? Know of any great push-up apps?

Starting over

I always claimed to “hate” running. This fall I just got tired of my negativity over it and decided the only way to beat my attitude was to run a half marathon. Basically, just make running a part of my lifestyle. After just a couple months of running I went from running barely 1 mile to being able to run 10. It was quite a difference for me! Over the holidays with travel and family gatherings, my training slowed down. I’d determined to only run twice a week, and I did just that. It was a mistake. I’m basically starting over now.

I was able to run once last week. I’d intended to run several times, but ended up coming down with a stomach bug. So now my training and this blog are starting about a week late.

Today was rough. I’d hoped to do 6 miles (3 laps), but stopped after just 2 miles (actually less). The Canada Geese poop was all over the trail, and no matter how I tried to dodge it with my jogging stroller, it did end up on my tires. So disgusting! I couldn’t take it anymore. Starting tomorrow, I plan to run the boardwalk at the beach, until it rains and the bird excrement is washed off my usual course.

So the positive:

  • I got out and ran, even though it’s cold.
  • First run since being really sick.

And the negative:

  • I’m slow. My average pace was a 9:36 minute mile, so I have a lot of work to do.
  • Today I used Run Keeper for the first time. According to the app, the track I’ve thought was 2 miles for a few months now, is actually 1.8 miles.

Jan. 8, 2014 run

Calories burned are most likely off, especially since I pushed a jogging stroller with a toddler. He’s a skinny toddler at less than 23 lbs., but it’s still a little extra workout.

My race is in April, and I’m a bit concerned. I know I have a lot of work to do. Hopefully my running partner will feel better soon (she had the same bug), and we can start training together again! I always do better running with someone else than alone.

How was your day? Did you meet your fitness goals?