On Running

To commemorate hitting my own little PR this week, I decided to do a little write up about fitness. I know, I'm not that kind of blog. But aren't you a little curious about my exercise routine? Haha!

For the record, my PR was getting 29 miles of running in only five days last week. I'm pretty proud of myself. I feel strong, I feel more fit, I deserved the calories I ate that week, and the endorphins are keeping me pretty happy. The adrenalin rush I get from my heart pumping so fast and the cool air on my lungs is my only little piece of euphoria. 

Three times a week I wake up at 4:45AM so I can fully wake up before hitting the road at 5:05 to make the 20 minute drive to my old town to run with my friend and running buddy at 5:30. We usually run for an hour and fifteen minutes - getting about 7.5 miles in on our good days. Then two days a week I either meet another friend here in my new town at 5:15AM or on weekends or evenings to get a couple of recovery runs in. Every once in a while I'll get a good 4 mile run in by myself while I listen to a lecture for one of my classes on my earbuds. Throughout the day I try to get fifty squats and plies in - plus 25 sit ups and 15 pushups. 

Here are a few things I find motivate me to keep running:
  • Find a friend to run with. Getting to chat about your day with someone else who is beating it out on the pavement right with you will help the time go by fast and make you wish you could run longer. 
  • Whenever you feel like quitting, just slow down. It will give you the chance to catch your breath and is usually the right amount of a break to get you back in the game after a few minutes.  
  • Don't exercise for weight loss alone. You usually eat extra when you're burning so many calories with exercise, so you might not actually achieve any weight loss unless you watch what you eat. That can get discouraging. Focus on running for health and endorphins!
  • Sign up for a race. It gives you something to look forward to and is kind of like a reward for all your effort (the cheering you get at big races is seriously the best affirmation)!
  • Remind yourself that running will help you with your stress so that you don't skip it on stressful days.
  • Get the right gear so the elements don't inhibit you! (Click on the pics below to see where to buy the products):

I just bought this headband that works as a beanie or a headband. It wicks away sweat, holds your hair back, and keeps you cool in the sun and warm in the cold. You can buy it here http://www.lolewomen.com/shop/features/boxing-week/law0338.html (it's on sale!).

For summertime, I just use smaller headbands to keep flyaways out of my face while I run.

I run outside even when it's in the low double digits, and once or twice in the single digits. When the weather is that frigid, a face mask is the only way to go. The one below is breathable, sweat wicking, and converts to just a neck warmer for when your face warms up. My running buddy bought these for us for this Winter and it has been a lifesaver!

Sweat wicking shirts with the thumbholes double as extra warmth for your hands so in milder weather you can avoid gloves. I love the zipper at the neck so that I can keep my neck warm during the beginning of the run, but unzip later in the run when I need to cool off.

My favorite running tights are Gapfit when they go on clearance. They don't create muffin top, but yet they don't hang too low or ride up. The fabric doesn't look too worn or nubby between the thighs after several wears and washes and they always have the right size invisible pocket for keys and a phone on the side or back.

I usually get fitted for running shoes (I'm an overpronater). I've worn Asics, Brooks, and now I'm wearing these Nikes. I love how these look and I love that they still have great support but feel really lightweight and breathable. Something my Asics and Brooks didn't really combine.

Lastly, I LOVE my Apple Watch! I have the sports edition, which is great for handling my sweat. I bought a leather band to switch out to for when I'm not wearing it for exercise. This thing tells me the temperature, the time, my speed, my distance, a map of where I am, my steps, and shows all my iPhone notifications right from my wrist. I can also take calls, text, and listen to music from my watch as long as my phone is nearby. So convenient and makes me feel confident to just get out and run without having to figure out a route first.

I'm signed up for a half marathon this Spring with some friends and I can't wait for it! One of my favorite things about running is the fact that it's just for me - a time to get out and either be by myself or with my friends. A chance to have a break from all my chores and just listen to my heartbeat and the sound of my steps. 

Sometimes a run is the answer to most of my problems. :-)