Are You Selfish?

I was talking to my Mom the other day and she said “you know, I am just going to have to be selfish and take care of myself.” I immediately got defensive, and it isn’t her fault. I just hate that our society has skewed things so that when we take care of ourselves it is considered selfish. It isn’t that this is a new trend, it is just that I am more aware of it, and I despise it more the older I get.

unnamedYou know what’s selfish? NOT taking care of yourself. Not eating well. Not moving your body. Not taking time for yourself. Not resting and recuperating. Knowingly engaging in these activities: that’s selfish. It is one thing if you are trying your best to eat well but are simply misinformed. It is another thing to know you should take some time for yourself, but not doing that. It is one thing to eat a cupcake or some nachos from time to time. It is another thing when you know that sitting down and eating a pack of Cinnabons is terrible for you, but you do it on the weekly.

When you don’t take care of yourself, someone else will eventually have to take care of you. When you don’t take the time to nourish your body, your kids and family will miss out on time with you. When you don’t take the time to de-stress, you have less tolerance for those around you and have a shorter fuse. You are also probably spinning yourself into a ball of stress, making you pretty tough to be around.

Outside the logistics of being a normal human being, is it selfish to train for big events, such as a marathon, Ironman, Crossfit regionals, or really any kind of competition/race? I think it definitely takes a level of self-absorption, but why is that negative? Training is very consuming. If you don’t train properly your biggest risk is injury, and you are also looking at a longer recovery.

For example, when I trained for my marathon, there were several aspects of my life that were impacted. I had less time to work, but I had a lot more time to brainstorm (when you are running at least an hour most days, a lot of brainstorming happens. Especially when you run without headphones). At the time, I was only able to do exactly what needed to be done to keep my business afloat, but at the same time, I have implemented so many new programs and ideas since training, which I thought of during my training. My family was also impacted. I spent 2-3 hours running on Saturday mornings. Even though I would leave early in the morning, I was usually returning right around the time my son was going down for a nap. Then I had to stretch, shower, eat, and hydrate. Our Fridays also revolved around my runs. This takes a lot of time away from my family, but it also gave my husband and I time to ease back into living together after 6+ months of him being on deployment. When we had discussed it, I thought I was choosing a poor time by not devoting all of my energy to his return. He disagreed and thought it would be good for him to spend time one-on-one with our son. This worked out great for our son. He got special time with Daddy; he got to see his Mommy put in the work to meet her goals; and he got to see us being smart about our time back together. So yes, there is definitely a level of dedication and self-absorption that comes with training for something, but I don’t think that is entirely selfish, or that the level of self-absorption is negative.

unnamedI think it is so important that we as adults put in the time and effort to take care of ourselves. Where else will our kids learn to care for themselves? Our kids learn from what we do (not what we say – very disappointing, I know). I am not saying you need to make fancy, gourmet, healthy meals every night, or that you have to spend six hours on Sunday making 30lbs of grilled chicken to have with steamed asparagus and brown rice everyday. I am saying, eating General Tso’s chicken EVERY NIGHT because you can’t be bothered to find something more nourishing (whether you find it eating out or cook extras throughout the week) is selfish if you know you don’t feel well after and that it is not good for your health.

I am saying that it is not selfish to take 30-60 minutes most days for yourself. Whether you use that time to workout, or just relax, everyone deserves time to de-stress and that is not selfish. I am saying that despite the level of dedication it takes to train for a big event, as long as you have an honest discussion with your family before plunging in, it is not selfish to set a goal and work toward it. I am saying that it is appalling that when we decide to take care of ourselves, we feel the need to apologize.

What do you think? On some level is it selfish to take care of yourself, or is it more selfish to disregard yourself and take care of others?

Leg Exercises For Runners

Here’s the deal: when you are a runner, it is important that you keep your whole body strong. You need a strong core to run. You need strong legs to run. You also need strong arms to run, especially longer races. While tallying up the miles is certainly important as you work toward running longer distances, strength training is also important. You need to strength train for injury prevention. You also need to strength train to become a better runner.

You may know most of the basic leg exercises to try: squats, lunges, deadlifts, etc. In this post I will share some of my favorite leg exercises, many of which you may already know. I will also share an example workout with these exercises, as well as a workout from my PR Half Marathon Training Plan. If you are getting ready for a race, in the winter or spring, I encourage you to look into this training plan.

Some of these exercises I will go over may be difficult if you are already in the height of training, especially if you have never done them before. If you find some of these exercises are too high impact with the mileage you are running right now, try incorporating them during your “off” season so that you can strengthen your legs and increase your speed.

Leg Exercises

Kettlebell Lunge – You can do these walking, or alternating. Use a kettlebell (or dumbbell) and pass the weight from your right arm under your left leg while you are in a lunge. Return to your starting position then pass from your left arm through your right leg. Always be sure to pass from opposite arm through opposite leg. I like these because you need to use different stabilizers to complete this motion than you would for a regular lunge.

Overhead Walking Lunges – Again, you can do these alternating or even as static lunges. I love overhead lunges because it puts weight right through the center of your body, keeping your core strong and strengthening your quads. You may feel this in your glutes too, but I love the focus on my center of gravity for this exercise. You can use a barbell, body bar, or plate for these.

Split Squats – I love these! These are one of those love to hate them moves for me. They burn so good. I love these because again, you need to keep your core strong throughout this movement, and it really helps you to isolate one leg at a time, ensuring that your stronger side does not overcompensate for your weaker side. This movement also uses different stabilizers than a lunge or squat will.

Kettlebell Squat – For this one I like to go a little heavier than I would for a kettlebell swing or lunge. The center of gravity of the kettlebell is why I like this exercise so much, but you can always use a dumbbell for this exercise as well. Stand in a squat position, feet hip width, and point your toes out slightly. The slight outward pointing of the toes will help target your inner thighs. Hold the kettlebell and let it drop straight between your legs as you keep your core tight and hips back like you’re sitting over a public toilet.

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Wall Ball/Medicine Ball Toss – These are great for total body and for getting your heart rate up. These will not only strengthen your legs, but will help with your fast twitch muscles, which are important for sprinting (think to the finish line). You want to make sure this is as explosive of a movement as you can make it. Use your legs to explode up and do most of the work. They should propel the rest of your body so it barely feels like your arms are doing much to throw the ball. If you have a wall to squat and throw a medicine ball up against, use it. Otherwise, you can do as I do in the video and just toss it in the air and catch it.

 

Jump Ups – These are a little different from a box jump in that you want to keep your jumps low and quick. These are intended to get your heart rate up, work on your fast twitch muscles, and add endurance to your legs.

Squat Jump/Lunge Jump – I am grouping these two together because the concept is similar. The jumping motion is again designed to work those fast twitch muscles and to help build endurance in your legs. Obviously running is going to be the best thing you can do to build endurance in your legs, but adding these explosive movements will help you become a stronger runner. You can pace these or do them as fast as you can for a short amount of time. I usually go for the latter, working on going until I am about to break form, pushing past discomfort.  This has really helped to strengthen my legs and improved my paces.

Workouts

Here is a workout from my PR Half Marathon Training Plan incorporating a couple of these exercises:

Warm-up: 100 jump rope

Superset 1×3

  • Curtsey Lunge with bar on back – 20
  • Lunge Jumps – 1:00

Superset 2×4

  • Deadlift, 5
  • Jumprope – 100

Superset 3×3

  • Barbell back squats , 15
  • Squat jumps – 1:00

Hip Thrusters with Barbell x3

Here are TWO workouts incorporating some of these moves, to strengthen your running. Remember, if you are already in the height of race training, you may wait until you are between races if these are a higher intensity than what you are used to. Be sure you warm-up before your workout and stretch afterward.

WORKOUT 1

Complete 2-5 rounds depending on your fitness level. Adjust reps as needed until you can work up to these reps.

  • Walking Kettlebell Lunge – 20
  • Squat Jump – 1:00 (work as fast as you can within the minute, resting as needed. Work away from pacing yourself on this)
  • Split Squat – 10 each side
  • Medicine Ball Toss – 1:00
  • Overhead Walking Lunge – 14

WORKOUT 2

Set a timer for 10 minutes and complete as many rounds as possible:

  • Lunge Jump – 10 (total)
  • Kettlebell Squat – 20
  • Medicine Ball Toss – 10
  • Jump Ups – 20

Keep in mind, you do not always have to do circuits to get in a good workout. I like circuits for efficiency (they take less time) and because they work my lungs more than any other workout I do. Let me know if you try any of these workouts!

What I Did To Finally Reach My Goals

It took me a long time to truly find balance when it came to living a healthy lifestyle. I have always wanted to have a fit look about me, and I spent a long time counting calories and spending hours working out. I also spent time attempting “body acceptance” where I just ate whatever I wanted and accepted that I would just never be fit again. Neither of those extremes worked for me. What did work for me was accepting where I was in my journey, while working toward a stronger, healthier self.

unnamed-6This will sound so basic, but the first thing I did to accept myself and move forward in my journey, was to buy clothes that fit me. For pretty much all of my life, I would hang on to clothes that used to fit, in the hopes that they would fit again someday. There’s nothing terribly wrong with doing this, but I was hanging on to clothes for 5 years at a time that still did not fit comfortably. I was shaming myself for not fitting into my old clothes. Once I let go of that expectation and bought clothes that fit me comfortably, I stopped feeling so uncomfortable. This is so basic, and yet such a difficult step! Nobody wants to buy bigger clothes. Sometimes though, getting clothes that fit and help you feel more confident, help you to have the courage to take control of your situation.

The next thing I did was take responsibility for my actions. I am responsible for what I put in my mouth. I am responsible for the excuses I make or for pushing myself beyond reason. I am responsible for my rest. Nobody else. These are my responsibilities for taking care of myself. I am not responsible for the insecurities others may feel when I take care of myself. This was the biggest phenomenon for me. I worked at a gym where I was constantly criticized for bringing in my own meals and nourishing myself. It made me feel really small and like I had to change my habits. Then I realized I should not be apologizing for taking care of myself. I should not feel bad for eating healthy food, for eating a lot of food, and for moving my body. This was so so hard for me to learn, but I did eventually realize that I deserve to take care of myself. I should not make myself smaller because taking responsibility of my life made other people uncomfortable.

Next, I got real with myself about what I wanted and buckled down. There seems to be this trend where wanting to look a certain way or wearing make-up or taking care of yourself is shameful. I think it’s OK to want to look pretty. I think it is OK to take 45 minutes to do your hair if you enjoy that. I do not thinkthat taking care of yourself to feel your best should cause shame. I may not wear make-up or do my hair often, because that is not where my priorities lay; however, meal prepping and working out are priorities for me. I decided that I wanted to have a strong look, and that I wanted to see what kind of limits I could take my body to. I like to run, but I decided to run a marathon because it just seemed crazy. I still have so many things I want to try because I am unsure if I can do them, and I just want to continue to push my comfort zones. Also, I just want to look good (my version of that for me). I want to feel strong and have an outer shell that reflects that strength. Again, for a long time I was not real with myself about this.

unnamed-3Be intentional. My number one priority is always to feel my best. I cannot be a good mom if I feel lethargic most of the time. I cannot be a good wife if I am consistently in a bad mood. There have been times where I tell Pat “I think I will cut back on this part of my workout, but I will probably still run a few days per week” to which he usually responds “please do.” Running genuinely affects my mood that much. Not because I feel like I have to run or I will get fat, or any of that. It just really does give me those endorphins that help me to be a more patient person (I need all the help I can get when it comes to patience). Back to the point though: be intentional. It is all well and good to decide you want to be healthy, but you cannot just wing it. You cannot decide that some days you will eat well and other days you will eat an entire pizza in one sitting. The first few months you have to be really intentional. Write out your meals. Prepare your meals. Write out your workout schedule. Don’t skip it. Get all of your workout gear ready the night prior. Get your post workout meal ready the night prior. Actually sit down and eat your meals instead of eating on-the-go. I know that sounds like a lot, and at first it can be overwhelming. Be intentional about your goals though. If you want to be healthy, take the time each day to being a healthier person. If you have 30 minutes to watch TV or 10 minutes to be on Facebook/Instagram, you have 10 minutes to sit down and be intentional about what you are putting into your mouth.

Crowd out less nutritious food. I have watched a ton of food documentaries and one of the best bits of knowledge I took away from these was to crowd out your less nutritious food. First of all, I don’t like to label food “good” and “bad”. That gives food too much power and it’s just not that serious. If I want to have some nachos, I will make the choice of whether or not I will eat them, then I will stop when they are no longer satisfying. It does not have to be all or nothing, and food does not have to be so black and white. Certain foods nourish me more and give me more energy, so I prefer to eat those most of the time. What I did for food crowding was I began filling my plate with nutritious food first. I always start with my veggies, piling them on. Next, I add my protein source. Next I add my carb and fat sources (generally my fats come from the generous amounts of oil in which I cook my vegetables). Now I have vitamins, as well as all of my macronutrients. From here, I will add in anything extra I may want. Say some chips, or an after dinner dessert. I listen to my body first though. Am I full? If so, I will hold off on dessert. I won’t die without the dessert, and it will be there tomorrow. If it isn’t there tomorrow, I am sure I can find it or something similar.

unnamed-2Overall, being honest with myself and listening to my body is what helped me the most. I would always read people saying they just lived this lifestyle and they did not want a quick fix and I thought they were smug. Truly, I hated reading stuff like that because I just really could not relate. I wanted to lose weight first THEN work on the lifestyle. Once I was finally able to change that mentality, it really helped me to reach my goals and become a much healthier person. One of the questions that I often ask myself is: is this a life or death situation. I know that seems extreme, but putting things into perspective like that really helps. Eating Doritos on the couch all day everyday, that is life or death, because it will not help you live a nourishing life. Missing dessert once in a while isn’t life or death. Gaining 5lbs over two months isn’t life or death. Your jeans fitting a little snugger over a long period isn’t life or death. Missing one workout isn’t life or death. Consistently engaging in some of these behaviors can definitely take away from your health, but giving it perspective may help you not get the “F its”. You know what I’m talking about. “Oh, I already had a piece of pizza. F it, I might as well eat a whole cake too.” One piece of pizza won’t make you fat. Having this mentality everyday, will. This takes away from your health and your energy.

Have you tried any of these in the past or are you currently trying any of them now? Let me know what has worked for you!

Upcoming Goals

It has been a super busy weekend of getting settled, birthday festivities, and fan girling. Pat and I spent all day Saturday unpacking the last few boxes we had left and setting up the garage – mostly my workout section. We worked hard all day so we could play all day Sunday, which is exactly what we did. I started the day off with my 30th birthday workout, which I will share below. After that, we headed down to Denver to enjoy brunch at Snooze, which was amazing. They had cream cheese hollandaise, which is life changing. I had an eggs benedict variation with salmon, capers, and gluten free toast, with a side of hash browns. After my workout I probably could have eaten 5 more eggs! We spent the rest of the day at a street fair and hanging out on our back deck chatting. Yesterday, I got to meet Juli Bauer from Paleomg and it was so fun! Pat set up a coffee meeting for us and we got to chat and I picked her brain a little bit about her business. I tried not to be a totally crazy fan, and I think I was pretty collected for most of our time together. She really was just as fun and nice in person as she is on her blog and social media.

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Of course, turning 30 got me thinking about future goals I have: for my family, my fitness, and my business. I am so proud that my fitness is far superior to where it was even three years ago, meaning age is just a number. I know so many people get caught up in their age and use it as an excuse, but it is not a great excuse. The older I get, the more important I feel it is to take care of myself. I find it important to eat healthy and make sure I am eating enough, because I want to have the energy to be around for my husband and my son. I want to be able to keep up with my family!

As far as my business, I want to continue focusing on helping people gain confidence and strength. With my online community, we have a program and support forum designed specifically for fat loss and strength, including added core strength. Through that, I want people to gain the confidence to try things they have never been brave enough to try before. We have members who began playing hockey after a few months in the community. Other members have signed up to run races. Still others are literally gaining the confidence to invest in professional and fashionable clothing outside of leggings (no judgement here – I live in yoga pants). I hope to continue to grow our community in such a way that lifts these members up and boost their confidence while continuing to offer the resources and tools they need to be successful long term.

I have completely overhauled how I work with my online clients, and they seem to be extremely pleased with that. There is a lot more interaction and dialogue, and it is helping me to make a program that is more suitable for them. We have found a way to work toward their goals, stay in communication, and keep things fresh. I want to continue making this as easy to follow as possible while helping clients get the results they need.

Finally, for Fitness With Kristen, I want to put together some more at home programs like I have with my PR Half Marathon Training Plan and Lean Body e-book. My goal is to get an understanding of what people need, and put together comprehensive resources so that people can meet their goals!

Moving on to my fitness goals. Now that I have checked a marathon off of my list, I want to train for a triathlon sometime in the next five years. I realize that seems like a lofty amount of time, but when I train, I train 100% and I am unsure when we will have the time for that type of dedication any time soon. I also want to sign-up for a few races in the next few months, just to experience the excitement of running and racing again. I really love to run, but it is lowest priority when I don’t have a plan in place. From November through May I ran my little heart out getting ready to train, then training for my half marathon and marathon. Getting a few short races on the books will help me prioritize my running better. I also want to try Crossfit again! I have been to a few classes, but if I ever have time I would love to get into a class once per week or so to supplement the workouts I am doing at home. I just genuinely do not feel like I have time to dedicate one hour to a class, plus the time to shower and be a respectable human afterward.

unnamed-1Overall, in the next few years, I want to grow my fitness, family, and business. I want to grow my business in a way that is helpful for others, not just profitable for me. I want to empower others to be the best version of themselves, and I want to continue to push my own limits to find out how strong I really am!

Here is my 30-year-old celebration workout, including the weights I used:

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2 rounds for time

  • 30 Barbell Thrusters (just bar)
  • 30 Air Squats
  • 30 Burpees
  • 30 Kettlebell Swings (25lb KB)
  • 30 (total) Overhead Walking Lunges (25lb plate)

Finished in 20:37. Let me know if you try this workout!

Long Run Nutrition

While there is definitely some information out there about nutrition and running, I am shocked by how little that information actually amounts to. Just about everyone who has purchased the PR Half Marathon Training Plan has inquired about nutrition during their runs. Often, when it comes to running and nutrition, you have to play around to find what works for you. I ran and PR’d a half marathon with just breakfast. Others need to have 1-2 full gu packets for a half marathon. It all depends on your goals, and what your body is used to. Below are a few of my tips for preparing for longer runs, and what I have found to work and not work.

-I have a big LUNCH the day before my long run. This is so I have the energy the next day for the run, but early enough in the day that everything has worked it’s way through my system… Basically, I don’t want my BM to rear it’s head halfway through my run. Probably TMI, but we are all adults here! If I have the bigger lunch I usually have my BM before my run at the latest (but usually at night).

-I always drink an electrolyte drink the night before my run (I like the Nuun tablets that I can add to my water, but play around and see what works for you) then I also have a Nuun tablet in cold water AFTER my run. It took me a long time to implement the electrolyte water the night before, but I have noticed a significant difference, especially in the heat.

-The general rule of thumb you will find is to ingest about 50g of carbs for every hour you run. A nutritionist told me that you do not need to change how you eat for anything under 6 miles. This means your calorie intake for the day does not need to change if your mileage is below six. Therefore, let’s say you ran 10 miles in an hour and a half – you probably want an extra 50g of carbs. This is a little under one cup of oats. If you are newer to running, you may need to increase calories a little for less than six miles, but there’s no need to go crazy. A four-mile run will never warrant a pint of ice cream, no matter how new your body is to that mileage.

-Remember that everyone is different so you will have to play around with a few things before you find what works for you. If eating a full cup of oatmeal makes you sick, don’t force it. I usually do long runs on Saturday, but my body does not digest well until Sunday. So I have extra on Friday to prepare for my run, and eat a little more Sunday because that is when I feel hungry.

-I also recommend protein in your post run meal. My favorite things to eat after my long runs are usually eggs, bacon, spinach and mushrooms, and an ezekiel english muffin. This was a decent amount of protein as well as slow digesting carbs to replenish my depleted nutrients. I also like oatmeal and protein powder, but I usually eat oatmeal before my long run so it’s rare that I would have oatmeal twice in one day.

-During my first 1/2 marathon training, I realized that if I ate too soon after my run I would basically flush everything out. I learned to slowly nibble on a banana after my run then eat my meal about 30-60 minutes later. This helped me retain my food vs rushing to the toilet as soon as I consumed it.

-Under six miles, I can run on an empty stomach (not recommended, just being honest). Once I got serious about my running and performance, I began eating a bowl of oatmeal or oat bran (if you are new to oat bran, I would eat it on non-running days first – it has the ability to clean out your insides pretty quickly!) about an hour before my run. Usually I would add peanut butter, and/or a banana. It is really going to be dependent on what your body uses for energy. Fats and carbs are your body’s main energy sources, but some people struggle with fats as an energy source since we live in a low-fat society. Play around and see what works for you.

unnamed-Everyone is different during runs. I was a dumb-dumb and didn’t start fueling during runs until I marathon trained. That means I ran three half marathons on just my breakfast! You may consider not doing this because it’s silly. For a half marathon you may try 1/2 gu around 5-6 miles then the other half between mile 10-12. Again, this is something you have to play with. The idea is to have your serving BEFORE your muscles start aching. It took me a lot of trial and error to figure out what worked for me. You may not use Gu either, there are TONS of other energy products out there, so play with what works for you. I liked Gu, my SIL swears by the energy jelly beans, and still others love the honey stingers. There are a lot of options.

I know I mentioned poop about four times in this, but it is just a reality of running (and being human…). What have you found works best for you when it comes to nutrition and running?

The Three Steps You Need To Take To See Results

Fall is looming and summer travel is becoming a thing of the past. If you have been working hard all summer and not seeing results, you need to take these three steps to reach your goals. If you have been easing up over the summer and you are looking to get back into your routine, keep these three steps in mind and you work toward your goals!unnamed

  1. Push Yourself Harder (faster and heavier weights) – DURING your workout you should be pushing yourself. Do not be afraid to use heavier weights. You want to be using a heavy enough weight to challenge you without compromising form. If you have higher intensity workouts, push yourself to work faster. Move away from pacing yourself. HIIT workouts are all the hype because they WORK. Crossfit is so popular because IT WORKS. You push yourself really hard, in a short amount of time. Knowing that your workout won’t last for two hours helps you to push harder. Either way, pushing outside your comfort zone is how you yield results – whether your goals are distance running, fat loss, strength, etc.
  2. Nutrition – Take a good hard look at your nutrition. Are you actually eating well? Are you energizing yourself and nourishing yourself? This means eating ENOUGH food – not overeating and not starving yourself. This means consuming vitamin filled, nutritious food most of the time. Ditch the diet food, the shakes, the detoxes, and eat real food. Your body is designed for real food. Take a hard look at what you are consuming and determine if it is actually energizing you.
  3. Rest – Pushing yourself DURING your workout is important. Pushing yourself all the time is counterproductive. In fact, if your goal is strictly fat loss, your cortisol levels are going to play a huge role in your ability to lose fat. In order to keep those levels balanced, true rest is important. Further, if performance is your goal, you STILL need rest. Your body HAS TO recover from the strain of difficult workouts. I see people all the time saying “I was supposed to take a rest day, but I worked out anyway”. I know that seems hardcore, but in reality you are hindering your fat loss and performance goals by decreasing your body’s ability to recover and thereby work harder during future workouts. Lack of rest also leads to burnout. If you push too hard all the time, you will burnout and your adherence to your program will decrease or become non-existent.

Implement these three steps this month and watch your goals become a reality. Be honest with yourself. If you need extra support join our Fitness With Kristen members for monthly workouts, encouragement, recipes, and nutrition help.

 

Wedding Weekend + My Workouts

This weekend was so much stinkin’ fun! My husband and I flew out to Virginia for a friend’s wedding. Originally our son was supposed to come with us, but after our travel before and during our move, we knew he needed to be in a stable environment. We got on the horn with Grandma and begged her to help us out. After tons of arm twisting (because no Grandma wants to spend time with their grandkid) she obliged and flew out to spend a week with out little guy. Please note the sarcasm. She has loved every second of it.

unnamed-4ANYWAY, this friend is one of our friends from when we lived in North Carolina. Our group of friends from there are a tight knit group and we all absolutely loved being together there, and getting to see each other out here at the wedding. Everyone has mostly dispersed from that area, so it was amazing for us to all get together!

Pat and I woke up early on Thursday morning to catch our flight. I packed some egg casserole, Kodiak pancakes, an Ezekial English muffin, a banana, and tons of Dayquil because I was sick. Perfect timing. I chugged two bottles of water on the way to the airport in hopes of being somewhat hydrated. Flying kidless meant actually sleeping on the plane, which I forgot was a possibility. Our flight arrived around 1:30 but we still had about four hours of driving ahead of us. Once we got to the hotel I basically threw my bags into the room and ran down to the gym so I could get my blood flowing. Pat had his distance learning class and some work to do anyway, so I had to get out of his hair. Here is what I did for workouts while we were here:unnamed-1

  • Thursday – 1 mile slow run to warm-up
    •  5 progression sprints (each sprint was faster than the last) 30 seconds sprint, 1:00 rest)
    • FWK Bonus Core workout for September

I finished all of this in about 35-40 minutes.

  • Friday – FWK Circuit
  • Saturday – The treadmill was occupied and there was a storm outside so I did:
    • Burpees – 10 rounds of 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest
    • Abs – 3 rounds 30 seconds Russian Twists, 30 seconds reach to feet in air.
  • Sunday – Leisurely bike about 2 miles.
  • Monday – FWK workout and short run.

As you may recall from past posts and from this post, I don’t spend a ton of time working out. I like to keep my workouts (bar running) under 30 minutes. I have only been running up to four miles lately, so even with running everything has remained under that one hour mark. Since I got to travel alone with my husband this weekend, I did not want to waste any precious time on our trip! We were able to spend some quality time together (mostly consisting of me staying up until 1:30 AM reading a book, then describing the entire book in detail to Pat the next day – talk about partying!), and I was able to get quite a bit of work done. Further, we had a lot of friends to catch up with, and a 10:30 AM wedding to hit up!

unnamed-6I didn’t photograph any of my food, but I mostly focused on nutrients when I ate. I looked for anything that offered fruits and vegetables, followed by anything that offered protein. I had an amazing mini gluten free muffin at the wedding, which I am pretty sure was coffee chocolate, but I have no actual idea. At brunch yesterday I had a frittata with veggies and some sausage. It was delicious, amazing, and chock full of nutrients. I also enjoyed some pizza, mimosas, a healthy amount of sushi, and multiple gallons of coffee. I never ate enough to feel sick or bloated, and I never felt guilty after. I do work really hard to eat energizing food even when I travel, because I work hard at home to be fit and healthy. I also want to be balanced, so when I have a chance for a mimosa and pizza, I am going to ENJOY it. I do not find overeating enjoyable so I usually try to take my time and stop when I no longer feel hungry. This is a tough balance, and I had to be VERY conscious about this in order to make it a habit. It is a habit now though, and I rarely actually think about it. I just stop eating when I am no longer hungry. I know I have mentioned this before, and I know it feels vague and frustrating if you are not there yet. I encourage you to be conscious of your eating. Be conscious of stopping when you are no longer hungry. Be conscious of the feelings you associate with food and work toward not feeling guilty after you eat. Even if you think you ate something “bad”. Guilt usually leads to the “f its”. The “f it, I already ate pizza so I might as well have ice cream” mentality. It does no good, so be conscious of it and work away from it. You can do that!

Fabletics Review

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I am a Target girl all the way. I always buy my workout clothes at Target, especially running shorts. I decided to branch out and try Fabletics. When I initially wrote this I was under the impression that I would gain nothing from anyone purchasing from them, I just wanted to tell you all what I thought of the pieces: I bought two sports bras, a pair of capris, and a top. I did receive this link though and I am not sure if it gives you more of a discount than you would have already received for being a new member, but it might.

ANYHOW, the clothes. I traveled in the capris and long sports bra (+ a tank and sweatshirt) for over eight hours and it was SO comfortable. The capris were like butter. I do have other workout capris I like traveling in, but they usually aren’t super practical for working out. They ride down and I cannot do any jumping motions without having to pull them up every four seconds. These capris are super comfy, I can jump and run in them (I ran a mile, did sprints, and burpees) without them falling down, AND they are flattering.

unnamed-3I purchased this elongated sports bra because I always end up taking off my shirt two minutes into a workout, and I wanted to have a little more coverage while still being able to be cool and comfortable. Plus it is just super fun! I love the design, it’s comfortable to workout in, and it stays in place so I don’t have to fuss with it.

I also got this neon yellow sports bra with a super cute back and a tank to wear with it. I am a function over fashion gal, so I usually go for a piece that is more functional than fashionable. These two are actually cute but they are good for working out too, staying in place and not needing to be fussed over.

I ended up going crazy and signing up for their VIP program. I am not usually impulsive, but it seemed worth it. Again, I am just reporting my experience. How I understand the VIP program, your first outfit is only $25. Shipping on your first VIP order is free, and shipping on anything over $50 is free. Once you enroll, they send you outfit recommendations the first of each month. You can purchase or SKIP between the first and the fifth of the month. You can skip as many times in a row as you want. If you forget/choose not to skip, your card will be charged $50 BUT you can use it as store credit. You also get discounted prices, and up to 50% off regular prices. You also get 2 points for every dollar spent, and 20 points for each review you do of your purchased products. You can use redeem your points on articles of clothing. I just purchased more clothing this month, so I cannot comment on how difficult it is to skip. So far though, I really love the clothes and the company! Have you heard of Fabletics or ever tried their clothes? I would love to hear your experience!

What I Am Loving Right Now

I wanted to do a round-up of things I a loving right now. I know this will end up being one day too early as I just ordered a bunch of stuff from Fabletics and I am hoping I love those too. They are scheduled to arrive tonight, so I can just do a separate post on that order and how I liked it! ANYWAY, here is what I am loving RIGHT NOW:

unnamed-1Colorado – Duh! This place is beautiful. We live right near a lake and there are some beautiful hiking trails near it. Running is also fun and challenging right now because I am adjusting to altitude AND there are actually hills here to run! We have already found so much to do, and cannot wait to explore a ton over the next year. We definitely plan on hiking a good amount while we are here and we want to get down to the Red Rock Amphitheater a few times. There is a ton here for kids to do so my little guy and I have been exploring the Children’s Museums and libraries. I am also debating signing up for some shorter races, but my running is so pathetic right now, I want to wait until I feel like myself again.

unnamedArctic Zero – I am not a huge sweets person, so if you need something REALLY rich to satisfy your cravings, this might not be for you. Every once in a while I crave something sweet, and it is usually because I have not been consuming enough carbs, I tried this yesterday and it hit the spot. I wanted some ice cream, but honestly I always feel a bit queasy after eating real ice cream, because I don’t usually stop when I am full. I also, don’t really like frozen yogurt. This was perfect for me.

Bai – I try to limit my caffeine to one serving per day. With our move and our little guy being sick right now, some days I am not sure I will even make it until noon. I love these Bai dirnks because they are tasty, they are not super sugary, and they have a kick of caffeine in them

unnamed-7Heavier Weights – After marathon training, I had lost some of my upper body strength. I was still lifting throughout training, but it was different than our Fitness With Kristen workouts. Now that I have been back at them for a few months and we are in a more stable environment, my strength is coming back and I am able to lift heavier weights! It makes me really excited to feel strong again.

IMG_6698PR Half Marathon Training Plan – I know this is a bit of a shameless plug here, but I am just so excited to have this plan put together. I tracked everything I did during my half marathon, where I set a TEN MINUTE PR. I put everything I did, as well as tons of resources, together in this plan for you guys. It has already been so popular, which is so exciting! Fall/Winter races are coming up so this 10-week plan is worth looking into. It is as detailed of a plan as you can get without hiring someone to actually personalize it!

I am really loving all of this stuff right now! Let me know if you try any of these things, and what you are loving right now.

A Day Of Eating + 3 Workouts

This was our first week back in a normal routine. That meant getting to workout on a somewhat normal schedule, and cooking at home. I have made some of my favorites, including breakfast casserole, roasted brussel sprouts, vitamin loaf, mustard chicken, and carrot fries. I even made a meal plan on Sunday, writing down what I planned to eat and what I really ate. I mostly stuck to my plan and my energy is through the roof. Our son is also happy to be in a stable environment. He has been eating us out of house and home again, and is sleeping so much better. My husband has started his classes and we are figuring out a schedule. Being back in a stable environment and comfortably moved in has helped with sleep and being able to give my best effort in my workouts.

unnamedI tell you all this to share a day of what I have eaten back in my stable environment, and a few workouts for you to try. I will put that carrot fries at the bottom of the post because they are super simple and my little guy eats a TON of them!

A Day Of Eating

On Tuesday I rolled out of bed and went for a run. It is hit or miss if I eat before a short run. I would prefer to because honestly, my energy is better for my run when I do. Sometimes I am too impatient to wait for my food to digest though. I did not eat before this run. I did a very slow 3-miles (elevation is no joke!).

Breakfast – ¼ pizza frittata + 2 Zodiak cakes

LunchVitamin Loaf + Brussel Sprouts + Roasted potatoes

Afternoon Snack – Orange + Nonfat plain Greek yogurt with quarter scoop cookies and cream protein powder

DinnerTurkey Burgers + carrot fries + Brussel sprouts

I usually have one more snack in there, but I had breakfast later in the day and did not feel hungry after dinner. I am a big fan of just listening to my body. It is not always that simple, but I consciously focused on listening to my hunger signals for years, and now I don’t have to really think about it anymore. Also, you can see that I am obsessed with brussel sprouts.

This first workout I did on Wednesday night because I had so much built up frustration. Our son spent the whole day crying, from 11:30 AM until 5:30 PM. He took a brief break for about an hour to nap. He wasn’t hungry, no teething, he was just tired and moody. It happens, he’s a kid. It doesn’t make me any less frazzled. Different people deal with frustration in different ways. I have always been someone whose emotions play out physically. When I was younger I would throw things when I was upset, or scream. Obviously, as I got older I found more productive ways to deal with anxiety and frustrations. I tell you all of this to tell you that this workout was so fast and brutal that all the wrecked nerves I had from listening to my son cry for six hours without being able to console him disappeared.

unnamed10 Minute AMRAP

  • 10 burpees over kettlebell
  • 20 kettlebell swings

I did this as a stand-alone workout because I had already worked out Wednesday morning and I don’t usually double up. As I mentioned though, I needed to get rid of my excess energy. I warmed up with 20 kettlbell swings.

This next workout is one of our Fitness With Kristen member workouts. If you have been wondering what kind of workouts we do, now you know and can join this amazing group!

Set a timer for 20 minutes and complete as many rounds as possible. Push hard until you need a break. Rest until you can push again.

  • Push-Ups – 1:00
  • Chest Press/Bridge – 12
  • Step-Ups OR Jumps – 1:00
  • Curl/Press – 12
  • Weighted Squats – 20

The final workout is one of my favorite workouts from my PR Half Marathon Training Plan. It is a hard leg workout, which is necessary for keeping your legs strong to get through race day.

Warm-up: 100 jump rope

Superset 1×3

  • Curtsey Lunge with bar on back – 20
  • Lunge Jumps – 1:00

Superset 2×4

  • Deadlift, 5
  • Jumprope – 100

Superset 3×3

  • Barbell back squats , 15
  • Squat jumps – 1:00

Hip Thrusters with Barbell 10×3

Carrot Fries

unnamed-1Cut carrots up into matchsticks. Toss in bowl with olive oil and garlic salt. Spread on flat baking sheet. Bake on 350. Set timer for 20 minutes. Continue for 5 minutes at a time until carrots are soft like fries.