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April Goals Update + May Goals

In April, I set some pretty light/attainable goals:

  1. Go Streaking: run outside every day in April (1 mile minimum)
  2. Grow my @healthydoseoflife Instagram to 550 followers.
  3. Self Care Sundays: Reading, running for enjoyment, Epsom salt baths, foam rolling, yoga, relaxing with a cup of herbal tea are all examples

So, how did they turn out? Streaking and Self Care Sundays were easy. Were there days I didn’t feel like running? Sure, but one mile is a small enough distance that no matter how sore I was or how hard it was raining, I knew I could do it. I loved it, but I’ll be incorporating rest days again in May. I like to be able to listen to my legs and take breaks when necessary (which would’ve been nice the day before and after my half).

As for growing my Instagram: I didn’t put as much work into this as I should’ve. I grew my account, but not by as much as I wanted to. Ultimately, the purposes of my @healthydoseoflife Instagram are to inspire people on their health journey, get people to check out the blog, and connect with other health/fitness enthusiasts. I need to prioritize the “connecting with others” aspect moving forward to achieve my goals!

April Goals (1)

For May, I’ve set a few more goals and am hoping to challenge myself with a few of them:

  1. Do 3 hours of yoga per week. I feel so great when I do yoga, but I’m quick to cut it out when my schedule gets packed. 3 hours/week feels very attainable to reap the benefits without making it a “chore”. I’d love to do more classes, but to keep my wedding budget on track I’ll be youtubing from home. I love Sarah Beth Yoga and Yoga With Adrienne – let me know if there are others I should check out!
  2. Do ab/core work every day. I usually rely on crossfit and lifting to target my core, butI’m going to spend some time outside of class working on bodyweight movements.
  3. Read 1 book for purpose rather than pleasure. I loved how this goal turned out in March, so I’m excited to revisit it! I’ll probably read “Start Where You Are” but would love to see your recommendations in the comments.
  4. Follow 3 health/fitness publications. I don’t read a lot of news or articles, but I’d like to change that. Starting with a subject I’m passionate about should help this become a habit down the road.

What goals are you chasing this month?

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Race Recap: Eart Day Half Marathon

As the weather here in ‘cuse is getting more enjoyable, I’ve picked up my mileage and made running a priority again. I started running when I was 11, and since then it’s never something that’s fully out of my life (the longest I’ve gone without it was one month due to injury). I do fluctuate on how much I prioritize it though, and it’s been taking a backseat to crossfit since I did the marathon in October. Marathon training takes a lot out of my body (and tends to make me love running less) so I needed a little break from high mileage training runs. Six-ish months later, I’m back at it and lacing up more often!

For the month of April, I’m actually doing a run streak: getting outside for at least one mile a day (most days range from 2-4). On day 23 of the streak, I headed out to Baldwinsville for my first half marathon since September.

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Since I’ve never really “stopped” running, I’m not very concerned about training for races. Aggressive training is what can make running feel like a chore instead of my mental break. Because of this, I don’t enter many races with the goal of winning or breaking my PR (of course there are exceptions to this). But today, I went in with the goal of enjoying the ride. For me, this means getting outside for a longer distance than usual and pushing slightly faster than my comfortable pace.

I also chose to run this race because I love the Earth Day Half Marathon and 5k. This event is in its 3rd year, and I’ve been there for all 3. Year 1 as a 5k participant, Year 2 as an event promoter, and Year 3 as a half marathon participant. Every year they’ve upped the bar, and this was the best year yet. A nice challenging course (country roads with a few hills) followed by BBQ, brews, and the best chia pudding in town.

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And as far as the actual running, I ran with one of my fellow Urban Lifers, and it made for a really fun race! My music wasn’t working, but having a fellow athlete to chat with and push me was great. We conquered every hill and picked up our pace for the last 5k, finishing at 1:44:52 (8:01 pace). I took third place for my age group and he took first for his, so we each won a six-pack of Southern Tier beer! Now I know I JUST said I don’t enter with the goal of breaking a PR or winning, but both happened today and I have to say, it did make the experience even sweeter. They say things happen when you least expect it, and this was a perfect example! Guess we’ll see where my next race takes me.

What’s the best race experience you’ve had? What races are you running this year?

 

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March Goals Update + April Goals

Last month I set some ambitious goals (read about them here) and now it’s time to check in on that progress while outlining my April goals.

March Goals:

  1. Grow my @healthydoseoflife Instagram to 450 followers. Check! I’ve been hovering just over the 450 mark. A more consistent posting schedule, following and commenting on other profiles, and some professional photos were a big help.
  2. Break my record for “most viewed post” on the blog. No dice. I fell out of rhythm with posting. I’m still trying to strike a better balance among my priorities, so this goal will likely pop up again later on when I have a better plan in place.
  3. Run 75 miles. This goal I actually decided to ditch about two weeks into the month because I realized it was a bad goal. I usually set mileage goals when I’m training for a race or looking to get outside more. Since I hadn’t registered for any races and the weather was not great, neither of these applied. I also found it counterintuitive to my larger priority of performing well in the open. This is another goal that I will likely mix into another month (maybe one where the sun shines?).
  4. Perform a muscle up. Check! This was without a doubt one of the most exciting moments of my life so far (below getting engaged, above completing a marathon). Now I work on them a few days a week after class so I can get more consistent. Once I’m more comfortable with the movement, I’ll try my hand at ring muscle ups.
  5. Read 1 book for purpose rather than pleasure. Check! I absolutely loved The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I’ve taken a lot of her advice to heart and intend on starting my own happiness project! As far as books go, I’m back to reading for pleasure for now, but will be dabbling in reading for purpose more often.

April Goals

April Goals:

  1. Go Streaking: A run streak, that is! I’m going to run outside every day in April (minimum 1 mile) since the open is over and the weather’s getting warmer. I’m also doing a half marathon later this month. It’s nice to mix it up and prioritize running every once in awhile!
  2. Grow my @healthydoseoflife Instagram to 550 followers. Same plan as before, just need to keep it up!
  3. Self Care Sundays. This one is more of a resolution than a goal. I intend on making self-care Sundays a regular habit (right now I’m a bit sporadic with them). Reading, running for enjoyment, Epsom salt baths, foam rolling, yoga, and relaxing with a cup of herbal tea are all going to be part of my Sundays. I push my body and mind pretty hard throughout the week and should give myself more time to recharge.

I’m keeping it pretty light this month since it’s my birthday month and a lot of my focus will be on fun + enjoyment, but I’m excited for new challenges and habits!

What goals are you working toward?

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March Goals

You know what they say about March weather: coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb? Well, in addition to the weather portion, March has come in like a lion for my personal life – stomach bug, wedding planning meetings, open prep. So I’m a little late with this post! But I’m excited about everything on this list and will be using this blog (in addition to my fiance and the goals outline hanging on my wall) to hold me accountable.

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So without further adieu, here are my March goals:

  1. Grow my @healthydoseoflife Instagram to 450 followers. My action plan is to post at least twice a day, follow 100 people per week, and take the time to comment on other peoples posts and connect with them rather than just liking their pictures and moving on. I really enjoy Instagram as a platform to connect with other like-minded people, so this is where I’ll focus a lot of my energy this month.
  2. Break my record for “most viewed post” on the blog. So far, my most popular post has been my 17.1 recap. This post even ranked in search engines for some terms about crossfit open tips which brought people to my site – a first for my blog. I think I’ll need to recap all of my open workouts to break this record!
  3. Run 75 miles. This is always a tough one to complete on top of crossfit. My runs outside aren’t very long (especially when the temp drops below 30) and the treadmill doesn’t keep me occupied for more than 30 minutes. I’ll also count the few elliptical miles I accumulate each month when the only way I feel like going to the gym is if I can read during my workout. So far I’m only 5 miles in and need to pick it up!
  4. Perform a muscle up. This goal has eluded me since I started crossfit. I tried for 7 minutes to get my first bar muscle up last night during 17.2 and failed, but got really close. I know I’m strong enough but my form needs work and I need to believe it will happen. The time is now!
  5. Read 1 book for purpose rather than pleasure. I love to read fantasy. My fiance loves to read sports biographies and motivational books. The more I see him take notes and learn from the books he reads, the more it makes me want to try it myself. So this month I took out a library loan for “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. It is SO good, I can’t put it down. I can’t wait to start my own happiness project after reading it – not because I am unhappy, but because I could be happier and more appreciative of what I have right in front of me. This goal is as good as achieved already.

What goals are you focused on? How do you keep yourself accountable?

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Friday Faves

Happy Friday! Here are my favorite things from this week:

  1. This little reminder about an amazing cuse win: http://www.diddukewin.com/
  2. These articles that provide calorie insight for runners:
    1. http://www.crazyrunninggirl.com/2017/02/22/calories-burned-running-the-reality/
    2. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/running-to-lose-weight
  3. This song by Coldplay and The Chainsmokers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FM7MFYoylVs
  4. This sunrise that greeted me before my morning workoutimg_0580

How was your week?

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Should I work out when I’m sick?

Great question. Let me start by saying I’m not a medical professional, so I’m not technically qualified to give you that kind of advice. But, as someone who doesn’t like to miss a workout, I have researched and read up on the topic.

I’ve been feeling sick lately myself – headache, congestion, fatigue. My general rule of thumb is to “sweat it out”, but solo. I don’t go to crossfit when I’m feeling sick. Bringing my germs to a room full of people and sneezing on shared equipment? It’s inconsiderate to other gym-goers. Instead, I stick to a home workout or an outdoor run at a slower-than-usual pace.

There are also certain symptoms that I don’t think are best helped by “sweating it out”. If I’m sick to my stomach or have a fever, I focus on rest. Generally, my body is way too tired to do anything when I’m that kind of sick anyway.

Still not sure if you should sweat or stay home? The following graphic from precision nutrition is really helpful to determine what’s best:

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What do you think? When do you sweat it out vs. stay in bed?

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Workout Playlist – Feb 2017

The right music can make or break your workout. When I need a push at crossfit, the right song can get me in the zone. Bumping beats can distract you from the pain and fatigue of a workout. Studies have shown it can even reduce perceived effort and increase endurance, allowing people to work out longer than they would without music.

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just about BPMs – the right workout music is different for everyone. I personally tend to perform best at crossfit and sprinting workouts when listening to fast-paced, intense rap and EDM. When running for distance, I actually prefer podcasts over music (like Ben Greenfield). Knowing this helps me plan and execute my workouts in a way I wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

If you’re like me, the following songs can take your hardest workouts to the next level:

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What music helps you make the most of your workout?

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I’m Loving Lately: February Edition

February’s here, and with it comes a new list of what I’m loving lately!

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Quote: “Worry is a misuse of imagination.”

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies: Preheat oven to 350. Mash 3 ripe bananas, 1/3 cup applesauce, 2 cups oats, 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, vanilla and cinnamon to taste. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy! *Bonus: since these have oatmeal in them, they make a great breakfast cookie!

Quick Workout: 5 minutes of burpees. Every 5 seconds, for 5 minutes, perform a burpee. You’ll end up doing 60 burpees at a pace that’s slow enough to maintain. This also works well as a warm-up.

Latte: Starbucks cascara latte with almond milk.

Song: Project T – Martin Garrix Remix

 

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Treadmill Workouts

Winter can be a tough time for runners. Sometimes I love a snowy outdoor run, sometimes it’s dark and blizzarding and I find myself on the treadmill.

I used to think of treadmill running as a chore – sometimes it can feel that way. For the most part, that changed for me when I started using the treadmill for running workouts rather than casual jogs. Outdoor running tends to be a sort of therapy for me: steady state, enjoying the outdoors. The treadmill feels more like a training tool – now I use it for setting intervals, pace goals, and inclines that would be harder to follow outside. I’ve outlined a few of my favorite workouts below and would love to hear from you if you try them!

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How do you stay interested when running on the treadmill? What workouts are most effective for you?

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I’m Loving Lately: January Edition

My first post of 2017 and it’s halfway through January already! It’s been awhile since my last post, so here are a few updates on what I’ve been up to/loving lately:

  1. Vitamin D – Syracuse is one of the grayest cities in America. I think this topic actually deserves an entire post, but for now I’ll leave you with this: if you live in a gray city, take a Vitamin D pill in the morning. I noticed a difference in my energy and positivity within 3 days and haven’t gone backward since!
  2. Lululemon 40/80 Strava Challenge – Strava is an app that tracks your runs and bike rides while allowing you to join challenges and connect with other athletes. I’m currently participating in a challenge presented by Strava and Lululemon where I have 2 weeks to run 40 or 80 km outside and will receive a free piece from Lulu at the end. Running 40 km over two weeks isn’t a big push for me except that I’ve been treadmill bound for a lot of this winter, which doesn’t count for the challenge. This has given me the push to get back outside. I even ran with a friend and fellow participant earlier this week which is SO rare to find in the winter. Even without the free Lulu looming, I’m loving this challenge.
  3. Aerie Leggings – who knew Aerie would have such cute, comfortable leggings that are great for daily wear as well as working out? I’m obsessed with this pair and need them in every color.
  4. Cold Brew Coffee Beer – I love cold brew and I love craft beer, so this is no surprise. I’ve tried both Saranac and Shiner and I can’t get enough.
  5. Sky Zone – Jumping on trampolines brings out my inner child while making me sweat buckets (and wake up sore the next day – who knew?). I went earlier this week with my fiance, sister, and her boyfriend and we were all exhausted within 15 minutes but had such a great time.

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What are you loving lately?