Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dislike Group Exercise? Think Again.

Early morning Spinning Class.
Group exercise can be overwhelming at first. I've seen many people walk out of group exercise so I thought I'd share 3 ways to successfully to stick with a class that fits you:

• Stick it out for a while - Don't make any major decisions in the first 30 minutes of the class. Your body will complain and might not get adjusted for quite a while. Try to at least finish the class and come back two more times before deciding if you like a class or not. 

• Help! - Don't be afraid of asking for help. The assistance of a fellow student or instructor can make a world of difference when you're a newbie. I also encourage to help others when you get used to the class and its routines. 

• Think Benefits - I disliked Spinning 7 years ago but now it is my go to cross training exercise. I thought about the benefits: the time fits my schedule, I get an awesome cardio workout and it gives my joints a much needed break from hitting the pavement. Sometimes when you think about the benefits you are more likely to enjoy group exercise. 

There are so many group exercise classes out there and there is one for you. Remember to stick it out, ask for help and think about the benefits.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Running: Got it Done!

I had a pretty intense week personally so I'm calling this week the 'got it done' week. Here's the thumbs up after last night's 8-miler. 
8 miles and happy about it!
I missed my group run on Saturday so I faced the heat on Sunday afternoon and got it done thanks to my running buddy Janica and my husband of course. The breeze was nice out there, so that made the whole thing even better.  
Durward Davis (right) and our worship team
Easter Sunday was so joyful! Our special guest musician was Durward Davis. It is an honor to sing with our amazing worship team and our whole worship department. God is so good to us! Here is a family
I'm so blessed to have these amazing people in my life daily.
I cross trained a lot last week. I also focused on core training which is always good. My goal is to keep that up this week. While running outside one day, it was lightning. I have never ran so fast and prayed harder! Of course I didn't look at the weather forecast before going out and the rain looked like so far away but it kinda got close to me but never got me. Just for the records, no one should be outside in these weather conditions. 
This week I get to run the Green 6.2. The big surprise is that for the second time, my husband and I are running the same race. I ran with him during our church's first 5K last October and now we are going to be on the same race again. Zeke is my greatest supporter and sponsor (he pays for everything and keeps the kids while I train) so it will be so cool to run the Green 6.2 with him. We're both super excited! 
I pray you have a successful week. My dear friend Lauren asked me why I wanted to run the Chicago marathon so I recorded a quick podcast on the subject. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Measured Progress

I'm at that point in my journey where I hear people saying "you don't need to lose any more weight." The thing is, I've been here before and what I've learned is that this decision lies within me with supervision and advice from the person I call Doctor. My objectives are to improve:

my Health • preventable diseases are nothing to play with. I know for a fact that by having a normal BMI I will lower my risk of acquiring diseases that are preventable. I'm a believer of having regular doctor check ups and I've seen my numbers vastly improve as I continue to focus on my health.
my Quality of Life • every time I hear a compliment on my weight loss my answer is often "I feel good." Having a healthy life means that my husband has a healthy wife and my kids have a healthy mother. The quality of life I enjoy now compared to 7 years ago is like night and day. Jesus died to give me an abundant life on the cross but it has been up to me to enjoy it. Once I decided to take on this journey towards a healthier life, my quality of life has improved and I am able to enjoy the abundance that Jesus died to give me.
my Ability as a Runner • it is no secret that the leaner I am the easier it is to run. I enjoy running more as the extra weight does not put unnecessary pressure on my joints. The weeks I focus on drinking plenty water and getting the nutrition I need, I notice my body easily runs faster. I am not an elite runner but I am en elite wife and mother who enjoys the sport. I believe that a normal BMI will allow me to increase my ability to reach lower finishing times in my future marathons. It is my goal to run for life. I believe that I can achieve that and I am already working on this goal.

One of the greatest challenges I face is that number blinking on the scale. The trick is not be so focused on it that I forget all the benefits along the way. Numbers are not complete facts, they are just one out of many measurements of progress. Let's talk about measures of progress and how we can rely on them instead of a sole number on a scale.
Good Food Decisions Board, something new in my journey
I believe in getting used to having several Measures of Progress instead of just the scale. Here's how I choose to measure my progress:
Annual Doctor's Visit - my blood work will show me how I progressed in the past year. I've seen a great improvement over these past 2 years, thanks be to God!
Water Intake - being dehydrated is no joke. I make sure I journal my water intake for accountability. The benefits of water intake are immediate and they actually will help you in your health journey.
Rest - I've learned it the hard way but resting is a must if you want to live a healthy life. It helps your muscles to recover, it aids in stress management and there are many other benefits. You must rest if you want to life a healthy life. You can't put this stuff in a pill, it just must be done. I measure my progress by noticing how much rest I get at night as well as how much stress management I practiced during the day.
Speed • my running has improved the more weight I've dropped. I know that speed and endurance can't only be gained one way but I know that my current speed can be a measure of progress in my journey.
Good Decisions Board - I saw this on Instagram and decided to apply it in my journey. What you do is make a board and mark it every time you make a good food decision. Yesterday I passed on repeating dessert twice (or three times!) so I got a mark. Once I make 80 good decisions I get a Pay Off. My Pay Off is a gift certificate to Hobby Lobby. I have a couple of medals and running memorabilia that need to be nicely displayed in my house.

The goal of the Measured Progress Strategy is to remind you of all the good you are gathering in your journey. Instead of focusing on 5 meals and the number on the scale, you now have 5 different ways to measure your progress.

QUESTION: What are some of the ways you Measure your Progress in your health journey? How do you stay away from the 'scale only' mentality as a measure for success? 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Running: Tough Week

Guess what????
Chicago Bound!!!
Thanks to God I got in the Chicago Marathon through their lottery system. Chicago is my dream marathon so I am super excited and thankful!!! I ask for your prayers as I head into training for Chicago. As you can tell, my kids are just posing for this picture, they really don't know what's going on :)
walking with the kids 
 Last week training was super tough. I focused on speed but my nutrition was not on top shape. One of the highlights of my week was pushing 73 lbs of pure delight in one of my cross training walks.
A great thing to see, always. 
My long run was the most difficult run I've had in a while. I didn't eat well the night before AND it was super humid but thanks to my training buddies I made it through. My goal for this week is to be super strict with my nutrition and keep training smart. Today's cross training session was very successful. 12 days away from the 10K I am feeling thankful for all God has done and all He will do for me. 
Well, just wanted to share the good news! Happy running everyone!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happy Running: 10K Training Starts

I come with awesome running news! In 19 days I will be running the Green 6.2 Race (a 10K) and I am so excited about it! It’s been 11 weeks since the Houston Marathon happened, which makes it a great time to get out there and compete again.

My pre-marathon training strategy is: be ready to complete a half marathon at any point. After I rested from the 26.2 miles I earned, I started to build my miles back up. I kept the cross training going and paid a little more attention to strengthening my core muscles. My long runs reflect the mileage I'd run in order to be ready for a 13.1-mile race.

You must remember my race recap from last year’s race. The Green 6.2 has a special place in my heart because it was my first Texas race. I finished it in 1 hour and 5 minutes. I noticed that this was a Houston Marathon qualifier and I saw the pace team out there. This year I am going for a PR and if I am so blessed, I’d love to finish it in 51 minutes. I guess I’ll have to wait til race day so see how I do.
Crossing the Finish Line in 2013

For now, my training continues. I already know what I am doing as far as long runs go thanks to my running buddies who are the best - I appreciate them all! I am taking tempo runs more seriously for the next weeks before the race. I am taking them so seriously, I have even programmed my Garmin so that I know my pace. I have never programmed my Garmin before (Ha!).

As far as nutrition goes, I will make sure that I drink plenty of fluids daily and eat the best nutrition. My challenge is to stay away from the stuff that is not a necessity for my body such as added sugars. My personal challenge is to stay away from desserts and substitute them with grapefruits.
Move over desserts, we're sticking with fruit. I hope...

I love competing and I am looking forward to having a great time. I will not take myself and this experience so seriously that I forget to go in and keep a smile on my face while I race through beautiful City Center.

I want to invite you to join me. Green 6.2 is a run/walk race. I hope to see you out there but if you’re too far away to join me, come back for a big surprise, for 2 training updates and for my race recap.

Thanks for reading and Happy Running!