With New Years resolutions flying here and there, most people are focusing on who they can become, not who they were. Yet I sit here in the floor with my 8 month old daughter as she plays, still in my pjs at lunchtime and wondering why I ate a chocolate doughnut for breakfast not long ago (not to mention why I even had such crap in my house to begin with!). Rachel has become very clingy over the holiday break and won’t let me get a foot away from her for most of the day. Getting a shower on days when I’m home by myself with her is an achievement these days. So I’m sitting here feeling a little sorry for myself, though it’s been great hanging with my little mini-me and watching her learn new stuff everyday. People everywhere are focusing on making improvements to their lives, but I can’t help but find myself looking back to my old self, the one who would have gotten a great run in this morning, who would have had a yummy protein shake for breakfast, and who would already be in the middle of a fun new workout program. She would throw on her cute workout outfit whenever the mood struck her and get down to business. Or she’d lay around reading a good book after her morning run, enjoying her coffee and planning what to do with the rest of her last leisurely day off from work. She might go shopping, make a new running playlist, or work on a new painting. As a new mom, I feel guilty about even thinking this way. I love my daughter and have enjoyed the past two weeks with her. Though I no longer have the ability to focus only on myself for the new year, becoming a mother helps me to focus on a new type of resolution, one that isn’t so selfish. Because as much as I know that I still need lots of improvement, now my resolve is based on what’s best for my family. I want to unplug more, get angry and stressed less often, and show Rachel all the love and attention that is possible. No new workout plan can compare to the life-changing power of a sweet baby. Becoming mother is a far greater achievement than becoming hottie ever could be. The road and my running shoes will be there. Rachel will only cling to me for a short while. There will be a day when she won’t need to reach for my hand as she tries to stand on her own.
First Run of the Year January 2, 2012
just went for my first run of 2012, and it was actually the first run i’ve done in about two months. i haven’t really been feeling like running lately as much as i work, but i started a challenge on dailymile.com with my friends to help motivate us to run 400 miles this year. it was my goal mileage for 2011, but i really didn’t put out much effort last year. i’m hoping i can do it this year, though. 400 miles is only about 8 miles per week. this year, though, i am going to count all my mileage, so that includes any walking i do, too. see, i do this weird argument with myself. i usually convince myself that walking isn’t worthy of counting as mileage (because really we walk every day and everyone can do it, so it’s not that special right? so wrong!), so on days when i don’t feel like running but could easily get a few miles of walking in, i don’t because it’s a waste of time if it doesn’t “count.” so then i burn zero calories all because i think i’m too good to count walking as exercise. i mean, i am a tough half marathoner. i can run 14 miles without stopping. i can train in 95 degree mississippi heat. it’s okay for others to walk but not for me. i can run and run and run. i can’t belittle myself to get on the treadmill and walk for two miles. oh so silly reasoning. egos. our pride stops us from doing so many good things for ourselves. walking is a great form of cardio. you burn almost as many calories as running without the impact of running. i admit that i have listened to running elitists and let their distaste for walking or run/walk influence me far too long. so long as i am moving my butt off the couch, who cares what i’m doing??? with three jobs, i know that i will probably not be able to do 400 miles worth of just running, but i am determined to do 400 miles regardless. i’ll run when i can and walk when i feel like it.
so back to my first run of the year. i was really nervous (as i always am before a run, which is odd after 5 years of running…), so i procrastinated for a few hours. i needed to eat. then, the food needed to digest. then, my dog needed to go out. then, i needed to hydrate. then, my garmin needed to charge. then, i needed a nap. then, i…had no more excuses. i bundled up because this southern girl does NOT like the cold. and boy was it cold! i wore my thin nike livestrong wind breaker, which i love love love. it makes me feel like such a runner (why, i don’t know). anyway, i started my garmin and was off. i was surprised to find that i wasn’t dying like i thought i would after having not run for two months. i figured it was just the cold wind numbing my pain, and i kept going. coming up near the first mile mark, i started to feel a little fatigue, and it was so COLD. the wind was gusting at about 20 miles per hour, and the shady spots in the road were so chilly. i glanced down at my windbreaker, which is a gorgeous blue and along the zipper on my chest in bright yellow is “LiveStrong,” the trademark for the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research. when i look down, all i can see is the “strong” part of the logo, and it made me think about all those people out there battling cancer, living their lives day to day struggling much worse than i was out on the road today, and i picked up my pace. i resolved to finish the run with no walking, not because i was feeling snobbish toward walking but because i knew that i was strong enough to do two miles without a walk break. not only was i going to finish the last mile without walking, i was going to do it stronger and faster than the first, and i did. i am healthy, i am fit, and i am alive (in more ways than merely breathing). that’s what i have to celebrate this new year.
to join my 400 miles in 2012 challenge, join dailymile.com for free and join the FIT IN 400 challenge or click here: FIT IN 400 Challenge
Shakeology Experiment September 4, 2011
For about a year now, I have been hearing about Shakeology. I first heard about it from some of my sparkpeople.com friends. But I already drank protein shakes, so why did I need to pay more money for another type of protein shake? Well, after becoming a Beachbody Coach, I kept reading my Beachbody friends reviewing it as an awesome and nutritious meal replacement. Now, I am all about eating as much food as possible. I do NOT like to drink my calories, so I was still turned off about it. As a Beachbody Coach, I have the option of selling Shakeology if I want to. So I read up on what Shakeology is made of on my Shakeology website that Beachbody provides its coaches. It seems to be legitimately natural and very nutritious. Before long, I went on YouTube and just checked out some of the videos of people touting its effectiveness and making them feel better, lose weight, gain energy, lower cholestrol, fix stomach/digestive issues, etc. Well, I came to the conclusion that since it is a big part of the Beachbody brand, I should try it out myself if I want to sell it. After all, I am not one to push something that I’m not sure even works. I got into Beachbody because I believe in the products and want to help people. It’s not much of a gamble since Beachbody offers a refund if you aren’t satisfied with it. And I get free shipping to have it sent by Home Direct (automatically each month). So I thought I’d blog about my own experience with Shakeology as I try it for myself.
My Shakeology came in yesterday. I picked it up at the mailbox as I was taking my pooch to the pooch hospital for another kidney infection. Needless to say, I wasn’t thinking about meal replacement shakes when I made it home. Furthermore, I had a cookout planned and knew I was probably going to eat more calories than I should for the day, so I didn’t want to add to it. So today was the first day of Shakeology. I bought the combo box that has both Greenberry and Chocolate flavors in it, because I wanted to try out both to see which one I like best. I poured 8 ounces of almond milk into my shaker cup and added a packet of Greenberry. I have been really curious about what it tastes like. I shook it really well and to my surprise, really liked the taste of it! It is quite different from anything I have tasted. There is a faint fruitiness to it, but it mostly tastes like sweetened green tea and a flavor similar to the taste of bran flakes. That’s the only way I can describe it. I think blended with a few strawberries, a banana, or some fruity yogurt, it’d be outta this world good. Anyway, I didn’t feel particularly full after having drank it. I was starving after I came in from church, so I ate some carrots and a few deviled eggs from yesterday’s cookout after I drank it. Although I didn’t feel full from it, I haven’t been very hungry this evening, so we’ll see. This evening when I stepped out of church, a cool breeze from Tropical Storm Lee hit my face, and I instantly felt energetic and craved a good run. So I threw off my church clothes when I got home, quickly dressed, grabbed my Garmin, my red flashing caution light (as it was beginning to get dark), and my rain pullover and hit the door. I had some really good mile splits. I don’t know if it was energy from the drink or just from the excitement of some cooler weather for a change. A true test of its ability to increase energy will come during my busy work weeks. With three jobs, if anyone needs some extra energy, I do!
If you are interested in giving Shakeology a try, please click on the tab above that says ‘Team Beachbody’ and message me your contact info. WordPress won’t allow me to post a link to my Beachbody website, but I will be happy to email you my Shakeology link or answer any questions you may have. Thanks!
Easter April 25, 2011
when i was little, the whole family would go over to my grandmaw’s house for Easter. if i didn’t get to see my cousins all year, i knew they’d be there on easter. she’d have her entire table covered in dishes of homemade food. it was all so good, and then we’d sit around stuffed or go outside to play some of our meal off. she died several years ago, and since my immediate family doesn’t have any children, we don’t do anything for Easter. this year, i had planned to do a big meal like my grandmaw used to, but with jamie gone, i just wasn’t in the mood. luckily, my cousins from germany came to visit, and i invited them and their little 2 year old son to stay over the weekend. i didn’t do a big meal, but we did have a yummy chicken taco soup and cheese cake pie with pineapple. we hid plastic eggs with candy and money inside for Lenny, because he’s never done an Easter egg hunt before. he had a ball finding the eggs as we tried to tell him in English where they were and his parents translated. we came inside and he wanted to open each egg (there were over 30 of them!), and he would exclaim, “Auf!” which means open, when his little hands couldn’t hope them. he learned when he saw quarters or dollars to say, “Money!” it was really cute. i think i learned more German words this weekend than he learned English words. it was nice to have them and my parents over.
the next day, we headed over to the Cotton District Arts Festival, and I ran the Old Cotton Mill 5K. it was awesome weather for a race, and i came in at a decent time considering that i have barely run any this month because work has been so busy. after looking around for a while, we ate lunch at Grumpy’s and headed to Tupelo to do some shopping. my cousins love going to the mall while they’re here. my favorite part of the day was playing with Lenny in Barnes and Noble. we played hide and seek with my mom and his papa. and if i got tired and stopped hiding, Lenny would run away from me for about 15 feet, turn around as though i’d just found him, and come squealing to me to tickle and hug him. he is a definite heart-stealer! i will miss him until next year.
i concluded my Easter weekend by going to sunrise service at Tomnolen Baptist. i missed Jamie not being beside me, but i still enjoyed the service. we had a big, delicious breakfast in the activity building afterward, and i went home and slept for several more hours. the weekend had worn me out but in a very good way :o)
Music for Your Pace March 25, 2011
Finding upbeat music for your workouts can be difficult sometimes. I’ve recently started teaching a fitness class which I call Body Blast, and I spent a while coming up with a decent playlist for it to keep the participants motivated. As a runner, I know the benefit of having upbeat music while training or even during a hard race. Jog.fm is a site devoted to letting you know how many beats per minute a song is and gives you lists of songs according to pace. So for instance, say your goal is to run a 10 min mile in training. You plug that in and it gives you songs you can listen to that should help keep your running cadence that fast. If you don’t think you’ll run to the music’s beat, I challenge you to put a good song with a particular beat on and hop on a treadmill. For me, I run right with the beat. Jamie used to sit out in our workshop while I ran when our treadmill was out there, and it was so evident that I was running with the beat that he noticed and even commented on it one night. So this website could be really useful for someone trying to increase their pace or even for the fitness instructor or exerciser who just wants some playlists with a certain beat speed.
Here’s the website: Jog.fm
Running Collage March 5, 2011
Last semester I taught Creative Writing to a small class of high school students. One assignment that we did was the “headline poem,” which is where you cut out interesting headlines from newspapers, magazine articles, ads, etc., and manipulate the words to make a poem about whatever topic you choose. This is a really easy way to create poetry, but for some reason, my Creative Writing classes in the past have had a hard time with this, especially getting started on it. So this past fall, I made my own headline poem and created a collage out of it to have as a nice, complete example for them. Now it sits in my spare bedroom beside my treadmill as a bit of motivation if I need it. It reads:
“Why I Love to Run”
This is my happy hour,
Place of peace.
Breathe in, exhale.
Feel the burn?
Feel free to sing, wild thing.
Ponytails, crossroads, sunshine,
Sights and sounds of summer.
Bring on the cold.
Grab life on every corner,
It’s all inside,
Eyes on the prize,
Beating my own expectations.
My secret, I sweat like a pig.
I’m a runner.
Ta-da! Wonder found.
What are you hungry for?
A truly natural progression.
If you think there’s a problem,
Turning point, running.
Be ready for anything.
Chew on this S-L-O-W-L-Y.
Chip away the pounds,
Change a life,
Love your heart. (Use it daily.)
Bring home something truly priceless.
Celebrate smart choices!
The best new you has never looked better,
A sexy glow the old-fashioned way.
Recharged mind and body.
Live the life.
author: Cyrena Shows
Trying Out Bodyrock March 4, 2011
So after a little nudge from a friend, I tried out my first Bodyrock workout last night. I did the On the Floor Abs Challenge. The goal was to do as many sets of 20 mountain climbers and 20 toe touch crunches as possible in 10 minutes. It was intense, but it wasn’t so hard that I couldn’t do it. I ended up doing 160 mountain climbers and 160 toe touches (8 sets of each exercise) in the 10 minutes, not bad for my first try. I was already a little sore from Chalean Extreme this week, so I’m a good bit more sore today. It was actually really fun. I love trying new things, so I think I’ll like doing these Bodyrock workouts.
Someone on sparkpeople.com asked me what Bodyrock really was – cardio, bodyweight ST, what??? I really didn’t know what to tell them other than that it is some ridiculously intense HIIT (high intensity interval training) with ST moves, from what I could tell, so I roamed the site, and this is Freddy and Zuzana’s explanation of what Bodyrock is: How to Start Working Out with us at Home
Whatever you want to call it, if it can make me half as fit as that gal, I’m in! :o) I ordered a Gymboss Interval Timer, and as soon as it comes in, I’ll be all set to do some of the HIIT workouts that involve numerous intervals. No way I can keep up with it by my watch. I figure I can also use the interval timer in some of my running workouts that focus on intervals of intense and moderate to easy effort. And I feel like the intensity of the Bodyrock workouts will surely make me a stronger runner.