Tag Archives: fitness

Game On, 2015.

29 Dec

Well, folks.  I warned you to follow me on Instagram – and you still should, duh! (@MichelleSFTS)

I guess when the universe decides you need to take a break, then you do what the universe wants.  I’m feeling kinda like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire when he got shipped from West P to Cali to be honest.  Good decision on both of our parts, the Fresh Prince and I.  I’m not going to get into too many details because….well….it’s none of yo’ business really but my life is VERY different than it was back in October.  More details may follow if I feel the need to share them, but the most relevant changes to this space include:  I’ve moved to another part of the city and I’m back to working in an office.

For me, these changes have posed many new obstacles.  I mean, who can make time for anything really – it’s not like Trivia Crack is going to play itself.  But, I digress…First, it’s been incredibly difficult for me to stay on track with clean eating while working in my new office!  Between all the wonderful treats they bring in for us at work and the holidays, I’m ashamed to admit that I think I’ve gained 10 15 lbs.  If I don’t meal prep responsibly, I find myself eating Chipotle, Panera, or Chic-fil-a for lunch.  NOT good.  Second, I’m struggling to settle into a fitness routine.  This one is sad because there really isn’t any reason why.  I mean, yes I have a slight commute now but my hours allow for plenty of time for fitness.  Laziness and the holiday chaos are really the only things I can attribute to my suddenly sedentary lifestyle.

But, you all know I love a challenge and I’m goal-oriented, so….

  • I joined a gym near my house.
  • I’m not only registered for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in May, but I took it upon myself to register for ANOTHER half in September.
  • I’m made a base-building plan for the month of January.
  • I’m in the process of buying new running shoes (mine aren’t quite maxed out on the mileage and I’m still not sure which ones I want – open to suggestions though!)
  • I have a few new gym buddies.
  • I realistically meal plan and prep, usually creating around 3-4 healthy options for the week.  By eating leftovers for lunch, I don’t leave myself room for temptation.

Honestly, the only true solution is motivation, hard work, and self control.  We all know it.  But having a good plan makes it a hell of a lot easier, amiright??

So, what can you expect from SOLE For The Soul in 2015?

You can absolutely expect more healthy recipes being shared, along with tons of complaining about running!  Jk.  About the complaining, kind of.  Not really – I definitely will be complaining because half marathon training is probably way more difficult than I can even imagine right now!  Eeek!  I can’t wait!!  You can also expect tons of my usual antics.

Game on, 2015.

Training Overview #sftsRUNS

25 Aug

Welcome to today’s 10K Training Overview!  This is a weekly series in which I 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:

This week, I could feel myself mentally refocusing on fitness which is exactly what my goal was.  Actually, my goal was to not skip any training runs.  That goal was unreached this week, but I’m really happy with how the week went.  I tried to balance between the need to add mileage and listening to my body.  My body let me know pretty early in the week that we would not be logging too many miles too quickly.  I missed a few runs after all.  BUT, I’m happy with the quantity of miles I logged and also at the quality of my runs.  I’m feeling pretty confident going into this week!

Training Plan:

Planned Mileage:  13.5

Actual Mileage: 11.86

Longest Distance:  4.52

Training Miles to Date: 13.86

Weight Change:

I really dislike weighing myself when my monthly gift arrives because my body retains an unnecessary amount of water.  I have seen 10 lbs. fluctuations over the course of 24 hours, it’s actually insane.

Physical Condition:

I didn’t notice any issues this week, except that I think my shoes are nearing their end of life.  I was hoping they would last me through Great Race training, but I don’t know if they will!  I’m waiting a week or so to figure out if my feet are just readjusting to being active again, which is equally as likely right now.  Running in Pittsburgh is no joke, yo.  The unwavering humidity we’ve had, the endless steep or rolling hills, THE MADNESS.  Maybe I’m just not a summer runner…but I’m trying to be dammit!

Mental Condition:

My super power is that I curl up into a ball and wait for death every time I menstruate, so yeah.  I’m in my usual fog of complete and utter exhaustion, fatigue, hunger, and crankiness right now BUT I’m not letting it stop my fitness.  <- I actually talked to my doctor about this and she prescribed me a low-dose birth control which I will be starting soon.  Hopefully being on the pill will help regulate my hormones and I won’t be on such a crazy emotional roller coaster every month.  It should also prevent the hormone fluctuations which I think are causing my fatigue.  No more excuses!

Nutrition:

Somehow I managed to procrastinate grocery shopping for almost two full weeks, which meant scavenging for food when I was home and eating Subway when I couldn’t find anything.  I don’t feel like I ate particularly bad, but it wasn’t great either.  The summer heat does NOT motivate me to cook much, let alone eat much.  The good news is, I stocked my fridge and pantry back up so this should improve this coming week.  🙂  I had considered trying the paleo diet, but the doctor said that I should rethink it.  I’ve been reading a ton about macro-nutrients and IIFYM; I’m still sifting through all the info and I’m thinking this might be the one for me!  Right now I’m just focusing on preparing and eating healthy options.

Non-Mileage Training (but still running related):

Big zero in this column for the week!  I even skipped the last day of Yoga In The Square because I moved my long run to Sunday.  Ooops!

Impact On Real Life:

Someday I hope I look back on this post and remember this rookie mistake:  I started training for an end-of-September race in the beginning of June.  This makes absolutely no sense, but does explain why I was feeling so burned out by training by the time actual training was supposed to start.  I was technically training for a Firecracker the entire month of June, but mentally I was training for the Great Race.  A more experienced runner would’ve separated their 5K and 10K training into two different plans, with a few recovery weeks in between.  Hindsight being 20/20, I won’t make that mistake again.  But, last week I realized that I needed to reevaluate my training plan to get the most out of the time I have left.

Action Plan:

This week, I really need to dig deep and get every training run in. The only person who is going to be effected is ME, and why would I want to screw myself over?  I don’t want to screw anybody else over obviously, but I definitely don’t want to screw myself over!  I want to finish the Great Race, and honestly I’d like to run a better race than I did in the PM Relay.  I have a hundred thousand excuses for any and everything throughout the day – they no longer apply to my running.

Pre-The-Gift

Training Overview #sftsRUNS

18 Aug

Welcome to a half-hearted installment of my 10K Training Overview!  This is a weekly practically-defunct series in which I 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:

Well, well, well.  So we meet again Weekly Overview.  Tbh, I thought of you as my nemesis for a few weeks there, but it’s time to face those fears.  I literally (and by that I mean, in theory or probably or supposedly) have a psychological condition in which I put so much pressure on myself to do something that I freak out and sabotage myself.  I think I have a fear of being successful.  Sad, really.  The worst part of this psychological condition is that it’s made up, so the only remedy is to get over it.  Combine that drama with a few weeks of depression and it made for a whole lot of un-training.  Or counter-training.  Per my usual routine, I took a two-week break from running right smack in the middle of my training program.  I didn’t run a single mile from 7/27 – 8/9.   You know, just long enough to lose fitness and want to shoot myself in both feet.  Unluckily, I was born with the gene that loves to make myself suffer, but LUCKILY it came with the freakishly competitive gene that has to come out on top.  So my training program, my overview posts, my dignity, and my goal will all be salvaged.

Training Plan:

Since I’ve taken 2 weeks off, this section is insignificant this week.  I will be writing a TON here next week I’m sure as I reevaluate my training program yet again.

Weight Change:

My weight loss goal is 150 lbs.  By August, my goal is to be down to 175 lbs.  I weigh in immediately after I wake up on Monday mornings.  This morning I weighed in at 185 lbs.!!!  Only 10 lbs. to go by the end of the month.  Since I’ve been mostly sedentary, I know that reaching my summer goal weight is still very much a reality.  Over the weekend, it felt phenomenal to go shopping with my sister and know that I wasn’t relegated to the small sections marked “XL” anymore.  I actually bought a pair of size MEDIUM yoga pants from Victoria’s Secret.  Last summer, I couldn’t even wear the brand at all – this was a huge victory for me!!!  I’ve said it a hundred times and I will keep saying it:  progress happens in the kitchen!  Clean eating is 100% responsible for my continued weight loss progress.

Physical Condition:

I went for a 2 mile walk yesterday with my mom and I felt like it was the jump-start I needed.  I was actually winded from walking up a baby size hill and that scared me.  Turns out, I think it was just my allergies, but it lit that fire under my ass!

Mental Condition:

I’m getting there.  It’s true what they say:  the more active you are, the more active you want to be.  The reverse is also true, the more lazy you are, the more lazy you want to be.  I know that each decision I made to be inactive fueled the vicious cycle of inactivity.  Our habits really are just a series of decisions that create results.  It’s a big powerful thing when you realize that you pick the results you want by simply making the decision that matches up.   I think that’s why healthy living suits me – the practice of it follows the same principles that the practice of sustainability does.  Be mindful, be accountable, and think of the bigger picture.

Nutrition:

Even when I’m not sticking to my clean eating routine, I still eat pretty healthy.  Even on a bad day, I’m having a better day than most people.  Even though it took me YEARS of trial and error to teach myself how to eat/think about nutrition, the struggle is worth it.  The journey has been hard and it will never really be over.  I imagine that little itch, EDNOS and/or binge eating, will always be in the back of my mind, always too far out of reach to be scratched.  The last 2 weeks took a significant downturn for me and I was finding myself stuffing my face with Nutri-Grain bars (1 is healthy, 4 at one time not so much) and Chex Mix Muddy Buddies.  I ate my favorite meals over the weekend and now I’m mentally ready to buckle down.

I spent the weekend reading about the paleo diet and I’ve decided to give it a try.  More on this during the week!

Non-Mileage Training (but still running related):

I continued to attend yoga throughout my running break, along with riding my bike a few times.  This week, I’m focused on mentally pushing myself to get in every training run.  That’s my #1 goal for the week.

Impact On Real Life:

I’m just happy to not be curled up in a ball watching Lifetime movies at this point.  One day at a time!

Action Plan:

Obviously, I need to be very specific with my goals.  This week, my goal is to stick to my training plan 100% and not skip anything.  That’s all I can ask of myself right now!

 

Friday Five: 5 Things To Do In Pittsburgh This Month!

15 Aug

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:  Free Friday, which means we are all writing about whatever we want!  Open-ended topics are so difficult for me because I usually have about a thousand things on my mind minute to minute.  How am I supposed to narrow things down into 5 coherent tidbits?!!  After a lot of thought, I’ve decided to share 5 things I’m looking forward to throughout the rest of August.  This link-up is about to get link-heavy so get ready!!  🙂

Friday-Five-August-Events-Pittsburgh

1.  Yoga In The Square – Yoga has been extended through August!  Hooray!!!  This is seriously one of the coolest programs I’ve been involved in – free yoga offered in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh at Market Square.  I hope they find other interesting ways to offer free yoga (I know of another program in Highland Park on Sundays, but I’ve never been!) because I will support it every single week!  I love that there is a different instructor each week, because as a new practitioner it’s nice to see the different teaching styles.  I’ve all ready got a favorite and I will be searching her out at her home studio.

2.  Little Italy Days – August 21-23, 2014 – I don’t know if it’s the inner fat kid in me or the New Castle native, but I look forward to Little Italy Days all summer.  Give me all of the meatballs, all of the Italian flags, all of the cannolis, and bring your bocci balls while you’re at it!

3.  Savor Pittsburgh – August 21, 2014 – This elegant, end-of-summer fundraiser is worth the hefty price tag!  This exciting food competition and showcase, which will be held at Stage AE for the first time, includes an evening of bites, brews, and dancing shoes catered by Pittsburgh’s top chefs!  The event itself raises money for Magee Women’s’ Hospital, but it also gives prominent chefs the opportunity to bring their culinary A-game as they compete for “Dish Of The Year.”  You don’t want to miss it!

4.  DOG JOG!!!!  – Orientation August 31st, 2014 – I heard about this program through one of the current Animal Rescue League volunteers (my friend Cassie), and knew I had to get involved!  I’ve talked about the dog jog program before over here, but orientation is right around the corner.  I hope you are all looking forward to lots of pictures and stories because I am seriously bouncing up and down excited to spend time with those pups!

5.  Bikefest – August 8-24th, 2014 – The entire month of August is dedicated to biking events, thanks to Bike Pittsburgh.  I highly suggest checking out the schedule – there are so many cool free things coming up like group rides, educational tours, and speaker series on things like the future of downtown’s bike infrastructure.  Also, don’t forget to sign up for Pedal Pittsburgh on August 24th!

BONUS:  Sept. 1st – Doggy Dip @ The Dormont Pool!  I’m including this in August because the early-bird tickets end August 29th.  This is one of my favorite things about the end of summer!  Before they close the Dormont Pool, they host a giant dog pool party!  Tickets are $25 (early-bird) or $35 at the door. Make sure you check the schedule because there are different sessions depending on what you want (small dogs only, large dogs only, or open to all).  All proceeds benefit the Western PA Humane Society.

 


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 🙂

 

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