Tips to Keep Running

Often when I run, the second mile is the hardest. It doesn’t matter how long I am planning on running. It could be 3 miles or 5, but the second mile is ALWAYS the one during which I want to quit. After I make it through the second mile, I usually fall into my pace and really enjoy running.

On one of my last runs I made a mental checklist of things I do/think to just keep running when I want to quit.

It seems to fall into four stages:

1. Avoidance-Instead of acknowledging the fact that I want to quit, I try and distract myself by thinking of other things

-Focus on what I will eat when I get home

-Make a mental list of things I need to do

-Plan my outfit for the day

2. Mantras– These are especially helpful for me when I am running up hills, and I can no longer avoid the thought that quitting would feel really nice

-You quit when you are done-not when you get tired

-This will be the hardest hill

-You have to run for the race

3. Mini Goal making-If a mantra is just not persuasive enough, I try and trick myself into going just a bit further

-Just run to the next stop sign (block, stop light, etc)

-Run up hills and jog down

4. Peer Pressure– When all else fails, the fact that people around me will see me quit (even if they are mowing the lawn and totally not paying attention to me) keeps me going. 

-Why do I want to stop?

I am out of breath? (no), Does anything hurt? (no)

So…there is really no reason to quit

-Those people will think you are a wimp for quitting now, are you even sweating?

 

Do you have any workout mantras? What do you think about to keep you going when you just want to quit?

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No Bake Coconut Molasses Bars

These bars are the result of a mistake in the kitchen that ended up creating something quite delicious (which does not happen very often-remember the pancakes?). I was working on a no bake cookie recipe and decided to add molasses as the sweetener on a whim. I forgot that molasses is a very strong flavor and completely overwhelmed the peanut butter. After a bit of experimentation with other flavors, I found that coconut flakes  mellows out the molasses and creates a nicer presentation than brown squares.

I struggled in the decision of whether to post these or not, since they were not what I was originally planning on making. But when the family ate all 12 bars in under 12 hours, I felt like that was evidence enough to their deliciousness!

No Bake Molasses Bars

makes 12 one inch bars

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup molasses

1/4 cup dried coconut flakes

Mix the first three ingredients together until the batter is smooth. Firmly press batter into a 9×9 (or smaller) pan. Cut into squares and remove, the first one might get a little squished but it gets easier to remove them after the first one. Press the bars into the coconut flakes to coat every side.

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Also today is the first day of Lora’s Burpee Challenge! I started off with 15 burpees (with jumps and push ups) and the plan is to add one burpee each day. I will say that 15 was a challenge today, and I am glad I have some accountability to continue with this when it gets really hard!

Finding a New Fitness Goal

This morning I woke up early to fit in a five mile run before a day of studying. I have my first exam tomorrow for my Native American Literature class (random, I know-it fits a general education requirement) and I need to hit the books today!

After my run, I fueled up with a tropical green smoothie-but with a twist. Instead of water and orange juice, I added 1/2 cup of pasteurized egg whites to the blend.

I have always been intrigued by the recipe on the back of the carton for a protein smoothie. Sometimes the taste of protein powder can get overpowering and sickening, and I thought adding egg whites would be a great way to get the protein I wanted without the strong flavor.

Smoothie success!
I know it looks like green goop, but it tasted delicious

Now on to the next topic of today’s post: workout challenges. I am very goal-oriented in most aspects of my life, and I love to be challenged. I think this character trait is even more true when it comes to fitness, I love working towards a goal. Now that dance is over, I have 8ish extra hours in the week in which I am no longer active. I would like to either train for something or get a solid workout plan with some type of concrete result.

I am thinking about running a half marathon in the fall, but it is a bit early to start training for that race. My dad really wants to run one of the mud obstacle course 5ks with me.

Being trampled in the mud=my worst fear

source

I am not super crazy about the idea, but it will probably happen if there is one near Raleigh/Charlotte this summer.

I really want to run another triathlon. I’m actually think about doing one next spring and maybe a Half Ironman in the summer, which would be a serious challenge! However I promised myself during my hellish bike ride last race that I would get a road bike (not my comfy yet clunky commuter bike) before I attempted another triathlon. And since I do not have  a salary, a bike is really not in my immediate future.

Any other ideas for a good training goals/programs? Fun races?

Getting My Groove Back

Making the transition from vacation to real life last week was tough! It was so nice not having to even think about what food to prepare/buy/eat. I managed to squeeze in a couple workouts at the gym on the boat, and swimming in Nassau should count for something! But I basically only worried about what I would wear to dinner that night and how many appetizers I could order without being absurd (my max was 5-true story).

I returned to my apartment on Sunday evening to an empty pantry and full schedule. The next night I went to the grocery store and stocked up on tons of food to get me through the next six weeks-but let’s be real, it will probably all be gone by next weekend (especially the Cinnamon Crumble Kashi which maybe has two days left).

So while the eats were pretty good, the workout front was severely curtailed. Kath and I went to our favorite yoga class on Tuesday, and then I ran on Saturday…yeah it was that bad.

This week I am looking at a more normal workload, so I want to restart a few things that have fallen by the wayside in the stress and business that is school life.

-100 push-up challenge: oh right, I did start this like 9 weeks ago. And I was doing pretty well…until the workouts became so hard that I could no longer do them in the morning before class. I would be dripping sweat and my face was super red-not a great look. I think I am going to restart at week 3 and move the workouts to right before my shower at night, so it won’t matter how sweaty I get.

cycle: I miss my cycle class so much these past few weeks! Now it’s back to my two/week schedule 🙂

running? I am making a concerted effort to incorporate running more into my life now that spring is here. As I have mentioned before, I am a fair weather runner and have never run on a treadmill. For me the enjoyment from running comes from appreciating the weather and natural scenery, but since the forecast is looking like this:

running might not happen…I’ll keep you posted

Have a great start to your week!

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Also, I read this helpful post from Rachel Wilkerson about getting back into the swing of things after vacation and really liked her suggestions

PB & J Smoothie

After posting mostly pictures the past few days, I decided to actually write a blog post today 😉

Honestly, Day of Dance pretty much killed my weekend. I was not able to go to my Saturday morning cycle class, and all the dancing left me super exhausted with a small mountain of work to get through. Not many fun eats or exciting work outs going on! But this week I am really motivated on the exercise front, because SPRING BREAK IS NEXT WEEK!! (shouting is really the most appropriate way to talk about a 5 day cruise with 14 great friends, clearly).

Here are my workout goals of the week: running 3 miles twice, cycle class twice, yoga once, the last week of the Hundred Push Up challenge (these are so hard now), and 2-4 dance rehearsals depending on whether I have Friday evening rehearsals

On the eating front: As I have mentioned, I am attempting to eat mostly low sugar foods to prep for all that beach time :). This week’s meals will consist of a lot of the usual: Greek yogurt, smoothies, eggs, frozen veggies, as well as

Swai

Salads

Egg Muffins (recipe in tomorrow’s post)

And of course, several spoonfuls of pb (topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon)

On the subject of peanut butter, I made a PB & J smoothie this morning that was delish! It is inspired in part by my dad, who can eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at any time for days on end, and also by this milkshake.

PB & J Smoothie

Ingredients:

3/4 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup milk

1 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter

1 scoop protein powder

Blend it all up and enjoy lunch for breakfast!

Look out for my blogger book club review of The Paris Wife sometime this afternoon/tonight/whenever I want to procrastinate school work

Updates

Happy Hump Day (and Ash Wednesday)

Today’s post is going to be kind of random, but it includes several things I have been doing/thinking about. Although I don’t think that any of them warrants an individual post.

-Workout goals from last week: All in all I did pretty well with my workout goals from last week. I managed to sweat through two cycle classes, one 3 mile run, Simply Abs, Simply Arms, and three ridiculously hard days of push ups. I skimped on the second run and Simply Legs.

-Running felt a lot better than I thought it would. I actually might have enjoyed it? The weather makes the biggest difference in the world, but I also just enjoy the silence (I run without headphones) and chance to think about everything and nothing. Let’s be honest, usually I just have one stanza of a totally random song stuck in my head. For some reason, last week it was a Christmas song, “Happy Holidays” or something along those lines. I have no idea why.

-I started a pintrest account, and am still trying to figure it out. I hope it will be a great place to go for recipe and workout inspiration (as well as apartment decorating, work outfits, and of course, wedding planning ;))

-I am now growing a Kombucha SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast)!! It takes all my will power not to check on it every time I go into the kitchen (it is growing in a cupboard). I will let you know how it is progressing later on this week, they are supposed to be usable in 10-14 days.

-I get on the plane to Florida in 12 days!!

So.

Excited.

🙂