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Friday Five: Goals

25 Jul

This week’s Friday Five linkup (an awesome weekly event hosted by Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC, Mar @ Mar On The Run, and Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What!) is themed: Goals!  One of my favorite things to talk about since I’m endless making new goals for myself!!  I find that being goal-oriented is one of the only things that keeps me focused at getting things done.  I’ve always expressed my goals here, and mid-summer is a fab time to check in on their progress.

Friday-Five-Goals-7-25-14

1. Pittsburgh’s Great Race 10K – Last summer, I struggled with running.  I set lofty goals for myself and then sabotaged myself when I couldn’t handle the pressure.  I registered last year and talked a big game about how I was going to run in September.  Then, in one of the most disappointing moments I’ve ever had in myself, I sold my bib the weekend of the race because I just wasn’t able to run that far.  Not this year.  This year, I’ve kept my eye on the prize and I’ve all ready got my 6.1 mile leg of the Pittsburgh Marathon under my belt.  I’ve been more realistic with my training schedule, I’ve been more focused on nutrition, and I generally feel like I’m in a better place mentally with running.  The race is 10 weeks out and I feel like I’m right on track!

2.  Lucky # 12 – This is a goal I’ve really struggled with over the years because I’ve generally been a very lazy person.  BUT!  This summer I’ve finally pushed past my plateau and I think I may actually reach my goal.  By the end of the summer, I hope to be down to 175 lbs.  I’m only 12 lbs. away from hitting that milestone (a milestone which I haven’t seen since probably high school!) and I’m feeling pretty confident that I can crush that goal, too.

At my heaviest vs. last weekend!

At my heaviest vs. last weekend!

3.  4 Week Challenge Group – This one isn’t quite as serious as the other 2, but committing to a 4 week challenge group where you are asked to participate daily is kind of a big commitment.  The group happens in a secret Facebook page and I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful.  I’m getting tons of ideas and support from the other members, which is the reason I joined.  There have been MANY days in which I would’ve let the lazy get the better of me, but seeing the “sweaty” pics the other members posts pushes me to be active.  The challenge is over the first week of August, and I’m honestly going to miss it!

4.  Service – Back in April, I made a commitment to volunteer more.  And by more I mean period, at all.  The beginning of the summer sent my personal life into a bit of a tailspin, so unfortunately this goal got pushed to the back burner for a few months.  Through this awesome gal, I learned about this awesome program through the Animal Rescue League where runners volunteer to jog with the shelter dogs.  What an incredibly mutually beneficial program for everyone involved – the shelter dogs get personal human interaction, physical time in the great outdoors, and valuable social skills.  The shelter gets free man power and I get to be active while making a difference.  I mean how great is that?

5.  Pittsburgh Half Marathon – I basically started running so that I could run this race.  No pressure or anything.  It has been my goal race for years.  YEARS. YEARS!!!!!!!!!  2015 is about to be my year, I just know it.  I’m crazy superstitious about stuff, and I’m obsessed with the idea of running 13.1 miles for the 1st time the year I turn 31.  TRY AND TELL ME THAT’S NOT A SIGN….

girrrrrrl


I hope you enjoyed this Friday Five linkup, I had fun writing it and I can’t wait to participate in more of them!!

Training Overview #sftsRUNS

21 Jul

Welcome to today’s 10K Training Overview!  This is a weekly accidentally sporadic series in which I document my weekly accidentally sporadic running progress, nutrition, photos, and mileage as I train for Pittsburgh’s 2014 Great Race on September 28th.  If you are on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook – you can also follow along using the hashtag #sftsRUNS.   These overviews are intended not only for me as a way to document my fitness journey, but also as a means to inspire other newbie runners who are ready to move beyond the 5K distance.

Training-Overview-SFTSRuns

Weekly Overview:

As with everything I set my mind to, I got a little distracted.  HEY!  I’m an Aries!  Give me a break!  I’ve been running, working out, and eating clean but I haven’t been following my set training plan.  At all.  It felt fake to come here and try to BS my way through an update with what amounts to fluff.  Something has gone awry in training land, but I am determined to get myself back on track!

Weight Change:

My weight loss goal is 150 lbs.  By August, my goal is to be down to 175 lbs.  When I began this training cycle, I weighted 192.7 and I am happy to report that this morning I weighed in at 186.7!  That’s a -6 lb. weight loss since the beginning of June.  I am thrilled – that is about a pound per week!  190 was a plateau that I just couldnotbreakthrough.  I’m so excited to see my progress with a more regular cardio regimen.

Physical Condition:

This past Sunday, I biked downtown (22.56 miles roundtrip) to participate in some FREE yoga in Market Square.  It was gorgeous and so much fun!  Seriously, how beautiful is Pittsburgh?  Ugh…I love it so hard.  My body is completely sore in so many different places from yoga, which of course makes me want to go back every Sunday.  Loved it and hey! you can’t beat the price of free.

yoga-in-the-square-open-streets-pittsburgh

Mental Condition:

I’ve honestly fallen into another one of my “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” slumps and have been lacking any and all motivation to regularly work out.  My body has been itching for physical activity, I’ve just got to get my mind back on board.  I’ll get there. 😦

Nutrition:

My clean eating has been my only salvation lately.  The FB challenge group I belong to has helped with this exponentially!  Also, not buying junk food has helped.  I did fall off the wagon once over the weekend, but that’s only because I’m making it my own personal mission to keep the fro-yo place down at the Waterfront in business!  Every night I say a prayer that it will survive what so many other ice cream related shoppes could not.  PS – I don’t even feel bad for eating this because the topping is mostly fruit and the total was less than $3.00.  That’s basically imaginary fro-yo in my book.  ALSO, I absolutely hated the bottom flavor (french toast – it 100% tasted like a Yankee candle) so I didn’t even eat half the yogurt.

fro-yo-cheating

Non-Mileage Training (but still running related):

This has been the majority of what I’ve been doing.  Oops!  Lots of biking and walking, a little yoga, and a little running.

Impact On Real Life:

Clean eating has changed my metabolism and it’s really starting to pay off.  Seeing results without actually putting in much effort is huge and it makes me want to push myself this week.  I will get more results if I put it more work!  The only thing holding me back from being the person I want to be is ME.

Action Plan:

This week I need to stick to my training plan and get in all my miles.  I need to get back on track with running and I’m looking forward to more yoga on Sunday 🙂

 

Why You Should Try Something New

15 Jul

I did that thing again where I disappear for a few weeks, huh?  I’ve been taking the last week to recharge after 4th of July weekend.  Having an extra day off and a weekend full of festivities sure did feel like a momentum stopper.  The Monday after the holiday weekend, I started a 4 week challenge in a secret Facebook group.  It’s been really fun and honestly I’ve been seeing some really great progress.  Since we have to post in the group 2 pictures of food we’ve eaten during the day, 1 picture of us being sweaty (I don’t post very many of those!  #notphotogenic), and 1 picture of our protein shake.

The group has helped me in a few ways:

1.  It forces me to be accountable.  I would die of boredom if I was one of those bloggers who posted every day about every single thing they ate.  Snooze town, right?  The FB group setting has kind of a revolving door feeling where people just stop by and photo dump, then move on.  It’s a great place to get ideas, encourage others, and also BE encouraged by others in a way that feels like real-time.  It’s like a little positivity bubble!  I think that’s what has made me excited to reach my goals for each day, which are simply:  eat clean, hydrate, and be active.

2.  I’ve upped my water intake to a gallon of water a day.  Yeah.  The struggle is real.  The first week, I’m certain that I wasn’t getting my full water goal in.  I’m not denying that I was hydrated because HOOBOY was I hydrated, but why half ass it?  Based on a suggestion from one of the group members, I replicated her “Water Bomb.”

water-bomb-hydration-motivation

3.  I’ve been drinking protein-powder fruit smoothies every morning.  I’d never been all that consistent with protein powder.  If I remembered to drink a recovery shake after a workout, I remembered.  Usually not.  Since this challenge started, I’ve been drinking a fruit smoothie with protein powder every morning.  Having a full banana, a handful of strawberries, and at least 1 large handful of spinach (usually more!) has had DRAMATIC results for me.  I’m getting 2 full services of fruit and a serving of vegetables in 1 drink, not to mention all of the nutrients, calcium, and added protein.  My appetite is much more easy to manage during the day and I have had so much more energy.  Plus, I’m constantly wanting to try different variations based on the group member’s suggestions (tofu & avocado wouldn’t have occurred to me).

I lost 2 pounds the first week!  I can honestly say that I’m really glad I tried this – who knew that posting my pictures to some random strangers/ex-classmates would be what I needed to get through my weight loss plateau?!  It never hurts to try something new!  Don’t worry, I haven’t given up on my Monday Training Overview posts and I hope to be back on the bandwagon this week. 🙂

 

In other news, I dyed the underneath of my head peacock colors:

peacock-highlights-mermaid-hair

I’m kind of obsessed with it.

 

Wordless Wednesday

25 Jun

GAP-Trail-Ride-Waterfront-To-McKeesport

Rankin-Bridge-Great-Allegheny-Passage-GAP-Trail

Tunnel-Great-Allegheny-Passage-Duquesne-GAP-Trail

Great-Allegheny-Passage-McKeesport-Bridge-Monongahela

Great-Allegheny-Passage-GAP-Trail-Old-Bridge

Great-Allegheny-Passage-McKeesport-Monongahela

Great-Allegheny-Passage-Twilight-Sunset-Duquesne-GAP-Trail

Training Overview Week 3 #sftsRUNS

23 Jun

Welcome to the 3rd installment of my 10K Training Overview!  This is a weekly series in which I will document my weekly running progress, nutrition, photos, and mileage as I train for Pittsburgh’s 2014 Great Race on September 28th.  If you are on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook – you can also follow along using the hashtag #sftsRUNS.   These overviews are intended not only for me as a way to document my fitness journey, but also as a means to inspire other newbie runners who are ready to move beyond the 5K distance.

Training-Overview-SFTSRuns

Weekly Overview:

  • Liberty has been accompanying me on more and more – I can tell she really loves it.  I really miss my old running buddy, Hallie the poodle, but Liberty is becoming an old pro.  Except for when she gets distracted by her reflection, or stops to take a shit in the middle of a cross walk of a busy intersection (who does that?!)…or all the times she seems to forget what we are doing, so she basically stops right in front of me.  We’ll get there, Liberty.  I’m also slowly working on training a new little running buddy – Bea Arthur.
  • Bea-Arthur-Walking
  • The humidity last week absolutely sucked the life out of me.  The air has been so saturated it feels like there’s no oxygen.  Bumping my runs up to the wee hours of the morning has definitely helped this, along with taking way more walking breaks than usual.  The last thing I need is to pass out on the side of the road with Liberty attached to my arm.  I visualize her dragging me onto the train tracks while she chases bunnies into the brush.  That was disturbing.  Moving on…listening to my body seems to be working.
  • As of Friday we are 2 weeks out from the 4th of July!  I am registered for the Brentwood Firecracker 5K – will you be running with me?!

Training Plan:

Planned Mileage:  10

Actual Mileage: 10.45 <— BOOOOOOM!!!!!

Longest Distance:  3.09

Training Miles to Date:  24.28

Weight Change:

Last week I weighed in at 190.9 and this morning I weighed in at 189.2.  That’s a -1.7 lb. loss for the week!!!!!!  If you can read that and say “What’s the big deal, it’s not even 2 lbs.” then obviously you’ve never been fat.  I am ecstatic!!  I haven’t been able to break through 190 all year and I finally did!!!  HUGE HUGE HUGE motivator for me this week.  I want more more more less less less <– however you look at it!

Physical Condition:

No cramping, aching, stiffness, or other physical symptoms.  I felt extremely tired, but I think it’s just the weather.  Despite the fatigue, I stuck to my training mileage and I felt like I gave 100% all week.  I hope I’m being smart.  It’s never easy for me to discern smartness from my own laziness when it comes to running.  I’m terrified of getting injured and I’m basically flying blind with this whole running/training/fitness thing.  I think I’ve found a balance between being cautious and simply not having motivation to push myself harder.  Oh, to have insurance and not be consumed with these things.  That’s a lie, it would still consume me.  Anyway, my only complaint is bike seat butt pain from a long ride on Sunday.

Mental Condition:

Mentally, I’m in a much better place than I was the last 2 weeks.  Things are still complicated and stressful, but I’m not investing too much energy into stressing myself out.  Who knew it was that easy?  We are down to 1 vehicle while the other is in the shop, so I’ve kind of been forced to run some of my old routes around the Homestead/West Homestead/Waterfront area.  Don’t get me wrong, there are endless places to run with no shortage of things to look at.  It’s freaking awesome, BUT…after running the same routes over and over started to make me dread running.  Now that I’m a regular back at my old stomping grounds, it’s cool to see how much I’ve improved since last year and also how much I’m improving day by day.  I’m finding fun ways to challenge myself on my old routes by playing little games with myself and just generally trying to make it more mentally engaging.

Nutrition:

eat-breakfast

I hit the grocery store HARD last Sunday and I stockpiled tons of healthy options.  The theme this week was: Eat Breakfast,  Dammit!  I’ve been making it a point to eat breakfast every single day and it truly helps me make better decisions during the day.  Still struggling with chocolate cravings and Lord, do I want BEER.  Nice, cold, refreshing beer on these muggy summer days.

Non-Mileage Training (but still running related):

You can just give me a big “F” in the HIIT column AGAIN this week (- God, what is wrong with me?!)  I did go for an amazing bike ride on Sunday, so I got in my hour of cross-training and then some.  (More on that later in the week!)

via DailyMile.com

via DailyMile.com

Impact On Real Life:

I am truly loving the whole crack of dawn wake up call thing!  By the time I go to work around 10AM, I feel like I’ve all ready accomplished so much during the day.  I have the type of personality that really thrives in a structured environment.  When I start to get into the swing of a training plan, my entire life becomes more productive.  The dogs are getting more attention, I’m cooking more often, doing meal prep more often, my house is cleaner, etc.  I’m sure this may change as I move into higher mileage training, so I will enjoy it while I can!

Action Plan:

Strength train. Strength train. Strength train.  I may be getting away with not doing it now, but I will pay for it later!  My 5K is just around the corner and I couldn’t feel more ready.

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