November Goal Check-In

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It’s hard to believe that just a little over a month from now we’ll be talking 2016. But for the time being, I’m focused on closing out the current year on a high note with respect to the goals I’ve been tracking the past 11 months.

Of course, things have been evolving with Baby H on board, but I wanted to use this post to check back in on my original plans for 2015. It’s never too late to shift course — even with 30 days left in this final push — and there’s no time like the present to figure out how to make the most of the upcoming month.

Read more about the five goals toward which I’m working this year.

Here’s the latest on my progress:

1. Seeking Balance

My original goal here was “quality over quantity” for the year, and I put it into practice this month while doing another round of travel. Long flights, time zone changes and family obligations meant that “training” had to be modified, which I used to view as a setback but now see as an opportunity to rest, recover and challenge by body in new ways (like keeping up with my toddler nephew in the snow!).

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Literally speaking, however, the “balance” theme has also been evolving to include learning how to use my new, ever-changing body. From knocking things off store shelves thanks to new dimensions to resorting to trial and error when it comes to which workouts work, it’s continuing to be a learning experience.

2. Training Smarter

My hope here was to experiment with my training repertoire to build on last season’s lessons rather than run myself into the ground doing things the same old way. I’ve been keeping up my functional fitness and cross training, but oddly enough it took getting pregnant to get me to finally slow my roll when it comes to doing one of my favorite activities: running.

All the massages, foam rolling, stretching, eating healthy and whatever other add-ons I’ve tried in the past weren’t helping to rid me of some lingering issues — namely plantar fasciitis and SI joint pain. So I’m trying to view these next few months of forced rest as something that will help me come back stronger next season.

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But just because regular runs are now off the table doesn’t mean that I can’t keep moving. On the contrary, I’ve been just as active as ever, delving into more baby-body-friendly classes, such as my MYMA Mama prenatal movement class, as well as the Mod-Mama class at Mod Physique, to help build those “mommy muscles” in anticipation of what’s to come this March.

3. Facing Fears

I declared 2014 as the year of #bikelove, but I wasn’t going to go so far as to use that same strong language for 2015 when it came to swimming. However, I’m happy to report that pregnancy has also been helping me out here; after months of talking about it, I’ve put my money where my mouth is and have been consistent with weekly swim workouts since week 20 of pregnancy!

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Of course, the purchase of a brand spankin’ new Coeur swimsuit to cover my growing curves helped. As did reading about all the benefits of swimming while pregnant.

Something that temporarily relieves me of the extra weight I’m carrying and can help keep side effects such as swelling and excess weight gain at bay? Sign me up.

4. Pushing Myself

Since I wasn’t in peak training mode going in, I knew that this pregnancy wouldn’t be a time to pursue that duathlon, next ultramarathon or century ride that I’d hoped this year would bring. But it hasn’t completely kept me from being competitive — even if my race-day game plans have gone from “Can I get a new personal record?” to “Can I run the whole way without walking?”

Case in point: Last weeks’ Corvallis Turkey Trot in which I opted to drop down to a 5k from my original 10k. It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but I’m happy to report that I was able to jog the whole 3.1 miles, despite having to pull over several times to adjust that darn pregnancy support belt!

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And, yes, although I said I was done with races for the year…I am still toying with the idea of a holiday 5k. Just for fun, of course, and schedule permitting! But we shall see where December takes us; right now, I’m approaching things one day at a time.

5. Giving Back

Technically, this goal was met and exceeded for the year back in October — BOOM! — but since there was a lot of interest, we’ve been holding biweekly LUNA off-season workouts. The lovely Vanessa has graciously offered to lead them in my absence, but I hope to get out there soon to join the ladies and head up a hiking group while they hit the trails for a run.

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We’re also taking applications for next season’s team leaders (just a few spots remain!), so email me at tlcportlandrun (at) gmail (dot) com if you’re interested. All levels are welcome (walkers, runners), and if you want to see what we’re all about you can check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

How are your 2015 goals coming along? 

Race Report: Corvallis Turkey Trot

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Although my pregnant running days are quickly waning thanks to a cranky ligament on my left side, I can never seem to resist a good pre-Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. So by the time our holiday plans were solidified this year, I was online searching for a local event for Ben and I to do before the traditional festivities (family, food and football watching) commenced.

Enter the Corvallis Turkey Trot, a family-friendly event in Ben’s hometown. A short race-morning commute, plentiful parking and a flat and fast course through surrounding neighborhoods made this one a no-brainer.

As race day drew nearer, however, my gut told me that my original pick of the 10k over the 5k was a bit overly ambitious considering my current condition. It’s never fun going into a race worrying about whether or not complete the distance, so at packet pickup I opted to drop down to the 5k distance instead.

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Ben stuck with the 10k group, which started at 8:05 am, so I stood on the sidelines to cheer them on as they took off. Then it was back to the car (ample race-day parking FTW!) for 10 minutes to stay warm until the 5k’ers took off.

The temperature was a “balmy” 27 degrees, so I spent my final moments trying to figure out what to wear because I still hadn’t decided whether I’d be jogging or walking the 3.1 miles. In the end, I figured I’d at least give jogging a shot, so I ditched my coat and gloves before I locked up and headed over to the start line.

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Here’s how the next half hour or so played out in my head after the gun went off:

  • Mile .1: Wheee! I’m running again! 
  • Mile .2: This feels AWESOME. Why did I ever stop running?! I should go FASTER! 
  • Mile .3: Hm, I think I might have to pee. 
  • Mile .4: Why am I so out of breath?
  • Mile .5: I definitely have to pee.
  • Mile .6: Pregnancy support belt has migrated from below belly to above waist and is now crushing my bladder. Pull over to re-adjust.
  • Mile .9: Strava crashes, my music dies, and now I can’t take any mid-race pictures. Bummer. 
  • Mile 1.1: Pull over to adjust pregnancy support belt for second time.
  • Mile 1.3: Why are my shins tight? Oh, that’s right; I haven’t been running in a few weeks, and now I’m trying to “race.”
  • Mile 1.4: I’ve really gotta pee.
  • Mile 1.5: Pull over to adjust pregnancy support belt for third time.
  • Mile 1.7: Yep, still have to pee.
  • Mile 1.9: Screw the support belt. Note to self: Never again wearing it over slippery spandex tights. Resort to tugging it down while running.
  • Mile 2: Only one more mile to go! 
  • Mile 2.2: Curse support belt while tugging it down. Again. Debate letting it just ride up and letting the belly fly for the rest of the race.
  • Mile 2.3: Seriously, is this baby using my bladder as a trampoline?
  • Mile 2.5: Slightly loosen support belt while shimmying it down around my hips. Stay put! Only a half mile more to go. 
  • Mile 2.7: Support belt, you are now the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE. Tug, shimmy, grimace. Repeat every 100 meters.
  • Mile 3: This feels AWESOME. What have I been complaining about?! I LOVE running! 
  • Mile 3.1: Where’s the bathroom? And the food?

Final time: 30:38 at a 9:51 pace, which was good enough for 12th in my age group.

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And that, my friends, is why I think this may officially be my last race — not only of 2015, but also this pregnancy. Of course “famous last words,” and I’ll never say never (especially when those holiday events come calling…), but as you can see it’s starting to be more trouble than it’s worth.

Luckily, though, I was done in time to get some water, grab Ben’s phone from the car and watch him cross the finish. His final time was 57:19 at a 9:13 pace, which placed him 10th in his age group (not bad, considering he had a porta-potty pullover that cost him a few minutes).

Racing and running aside, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for this year. I hope you and yours had a happy, healthy holiday, as well!

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Did you trot or not this year? Either way, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Baby H: 24-Week Update

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And just like that, this little wiggle-worm and I are starting the sixth month of pregnancy. Here’s where we’re at for the 24-week “bumpdate” for Baby H…

Month Six: Probably TMI, but here’s a fun fact: Apparently my uterus is now the size of a soccer ball and s/he is as big as an ear of corn, weighting about a pound and a half and measuring roughly a foot long if it were stretched out from head to toe. I’m pretty sure I’ve officially “popped,” although people don’t seem to feel quite comfortable/confident enough yet to ask if I’m pregnant…ha!

Weight Gained: Between 14-15 pounds, and my doctor says I’m right on track. She did issue one warning, though, that it’s a lot easier to pack it on in the second half of pregnancy, so I should be extra careful to not overindulge too much over the holidays (I won’t talk about Halloween’s candy-fest…oops). We don’t own a scale, so I don’t monitor my weight in between check-ups. Honestly, I thought I would feel the extra weight a lot more that I do, but I’m not sure if that’s because it comes on so gradually or if it’s just all the other bodily changes that are more distracting!

Workouts: I’m still keeping up my weekly cardio and cross-training sessions, as I’m trying to make the most of the energy I have while I have it. Of note this month, though, is that running is looking like it’ll be off the table for the immediate future. Following an incredible-feeling six-miler earlier this month with friends, I strained a round ligament on the left side of my groin and could barely walk. I’ve alternated rest and a few attempts at slow jogs since then, but frankly it’s becoming more trouble that it’s worth. My current plan is to give it a week or so of complete rest, and then my doctor said I could try doubling up on the support before making the final call to call it quits for the time being. It’s been an emotional process letting go of certain expectations, but I’m grateful for what I am still able to do, plus I’m taking the advice of this article to heart and keeping things in perspective.

Symptoms: Thanks to the bump making it’s official debut this month, it’s been all about the round ligament pain as my midsection stretches. Oh, and frequent bathroom breaks throughout the day.

Food Aversions: None. But my sense of smell is still super sensitive; I can’t stand the scents of cigarettes or any kind of alcohol on people’s breath.

Food Cravings: My sweet tooth has gone into overdrive, thanks to Halloween and the upcoming holidays. So I’m really trying to limit the treats and make sure I’m filling up on nutrient-dense foods and good fats first. Other than that, hot soups have been my jam now that Portland’s been cold and rainy for the past few weeks.

Sleep: I get up once or twice to hit the bathroom, but if I can MacGuyver a fort of pillows around myself each evening, I’ll usually stay relatively comfortable while dozing on my side.

Looking Forward To: The holidays! It’s always been my favorite time of year…and having our (very active) little jumping bean along for the ride is making 2015 even more special. What am I not looking forward to? The dreaded glucose test and a few shots at my next appointment. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

Boy/Girl Suspicions: Still no clue! But can’t wait to find out come March.

Any Fun Stories? Baby H’s movements (i.e. flips, kicks, flops and flutters) have become stronger, more frequent and even a bit more predictable. I can’t help but wonder if there are any early indication of his/her personality. Baby H always seems to be up right as I settle into bed, after my middle-of-the-night bathroom trip and again when my alarm goes off in the morning, so it seems like s/he doesn’t want to be missing out on anything!

Stay tuned for the month seven update in a few weeks…

How I’m Celebrating National Girlfriends Day

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No, really. It’s a thing!

National Girlfriends Day is commemorated every year on August 1st, thanks to the CDC. Not only is the day meant to celebrate female friendships, but it’s also about empowering your girlfriends to take health into their own hands and live a healthier life.

But (sorry, ladies!) there will be no cliché spa days or shopping trips this year. Instead I’ve got a different challenge for each of you: Focus on women’s health and the importance of getting necessary medical check-ups. Take a moment to show your girlfriends how much they mean to you by helping them stay safe and live well.

And no, this is not a sponsored post; I just love the information below from Oscar Health Insurance Company and wanted to help get the word out about doing something simple, yet meaningful, for the ones you love. Because you never know when a conversation like this could save a life!

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Will you celebrate National Girlfriends Day with your girlfriends?

Bright Idea: Summer Solstice Body-Weight Workout

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It’s almost the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere (2015’s sumer solstice falls on June 21) where 15+ hours will pass between sunrise and sunset in parts of the U.S. and Canada.

That sounds, to me, like a great excuse to soak up the abundance of daylight and celebrate the start of summer than with an outdoor workout.

Round up your friends and family, and hit the local lake or beach for an hour of body-weight work while the kiddos can play!

Photo via BrendelSignature at English Wikipedia

Photo via BrendelSignature at English Wikipedia

Hint: If you’re not familiar with some of the moves listed, simply Google the term along with the word “exercise,” and you’ll be able to find a description or video of it in action.

And, as always, remember to perform the moves at a steady pace and use proper form!

How are you taking advantage of sunny days this summer?

Happy Earth Day! Now Go Outside & Get Sweaty

Earth Day

Each year, Earth Day — April 22 — marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

Not only is it the largest civic event in the world, celebrated around the globe by a billion people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities, but Earth Day is also an opportunity to spend some time outside, celebrating the great outdoors.

It’s also why I’m challenging you to do two things today in honor of Mother Earth:

  1. Get off your computer/phone/iPad and do something nice for the environment, whether that’s picking up trash, teaching your child about Earth Day, taking your recycling in, planting a garden, installing solar panels on your roof or sending a letter to your elected representatives.
  2. Get off your butt, and do something outside to celebrate! Of course, my suggestion is exercise-related, which is why I created the body-weight workout below to be completed in your local park. So why not grab the family, talk about the importance of ecology and break a sweat together?

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How are you celebrating Earth Day this year? 

Fave Fix: GoodBelly 12-Day Belly Reboot

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The holidays tend out to bring out the crazy in all of us, right?

Case in point: After months of excess, we toss kale in our grocery carts and halfheartedly call it “eating healthy” (even though we’re buying roughly twice as many calories per serving in food now, as compared to the holidays, says this study) or commit to a crazy cleanse or restrictive diet that’s destined to leave us yoyo-ing throughout 2015.

Why abuse your gut in an effort to lose it?

My suggestion instead: Be nicer to your belly with a 12-Day Belly Reboot.

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The kind folks over at GoodBelly contacted me to check out their new program, which launched just in time for the New Year. During the Reboot, you drink one 8 oz. glass or one shot of GoodBelly a day for 12 days. Along the way, you’ll be able to track exactly what’s happening in your body and get extra motivation in the form of tips and coupons.

“Since probiotics do their work in the belly and beyond, there hasn’t necessarily been a way to see tangible results of their impact on overall health, ” said Alan Murray, CEO of GoodBelly. “Our new Belly Reboot was created to offer consumers a way to really track and understand how probiotics can impact the way they feel in just 12 days.”

Made with the well-researched probiotic strain, Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (LP299V®), GoodBelly supports digestive health. Unlike many other live and active cultures, though, LP299V survives passage beyond the stomach’s acidic environment in order to support the rest of the digestive system, and ultimately overall health.*

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GoodBelly offers multi-serving quarts and single serving shots, available in flavors like Blueberry Acai, Mango, Pomegranate Blackberry and Strawberry. Each serving packs 20-50 billion live and active probiotic cultures to promote healthy digestive and immune systems, as 70 percent of the body’s immune system resides in the digestive tract.*

I kicked off my  12-day test just as things got hectic around the holidays. The juice was delicious, and the shots were convenient (some sweet, some tart, depending on the flavor), but best of all? Between last-minute shopping stress, unusually decadent meals, lots of travel and — to top it off — an especially active cold and flu season, I was not only able to stave off sickness, but also keep my energy up and banish bloat.

If you’re on the supplement bandwagon, like me, you may already take probiotic pills. In that case, GoodBelly’s a great way to add some variety (not to mention extra vitamins and calcium) to your diet. And if you’re new to the idea, it’s an easy — and delicious — way to augment your healthy eating habits for 2015.

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“We believe that what you eat and drink has a direct impact on your overall health,” said Murray. “Which is why we’re committed to creating functional beverages in exciting flavors that are easy to drink and absolutely delicious.”

Now, that’s really going with your gut.

For more information on the GoodBelly 12-Day Belly Reboot, click here.

*Some studies suggest GoodBelly’s probiotic may help balance the bacteria in your gut when consumed daily as part of a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle. GoodBelly is a food product and not a treatment or cure for any medical disorder or disease. If you have any concerns about your digestive system, please consult a health care professional.

Race Report: LifeTime Fitness 2015 Indoor Triathlon

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Although I said I’d hold off on registering for another triathlon until I work on my swim, I couldn’t help myself when I found out that the Indoor Triathlon Hour powered by Life Time Tri and IRONMAN would be happening while I was in Michigan.

In an effort to inspire the community to consider and commit to racing triathlon in 2015, LifeTime Fitness created the event as a way to offer an inspirationally-charged, safe and indoor environment for athletes of all fitness levels to experience the nation’s fastest growing sport of triathlon.

I did a similar event last year at a different location, and while my distances were slightly shorter this time for the same time-frames (damn!) — 10-minute swim/30-minute bike/20-minute run — I can’t complain too much because my training has been consistent but not particularly focused lately.

My wave — the first of the day — started promptly at 8 a.m., so I arrived about 20 minutes early to check in, get my cap and number and get organized in the locker room transition area. And then it was go time!

Swim: 10 minutes = 17 lengths

Clean, clear water and only two people to a lane? Now, that’s how I start to get my swim mojo back.

And apparently my lane buddy, Eric, had the same idea. He’d done outdoor triathlons before but had a bad swim experience recently, as well, so both of us joked about just wanting to just get through that part of every race.

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Since the lap pool there has five lanes, they limited each heat to 10 people. By the time I had arrived, people were already starting to warm up, so I hopped in and swam one length to try to get the pre-race jitters out.

This is about when I also noticed that my wave-mates were a pretty athletic looking bunch. I was one of three ladies, and I could tell quickly that this wasn’t a group who was trying triathlon for the first time; these people were here to kick off their seasons, so I figured I’d just try to keep up.

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My adrenaline didn’t work in my favor because I went out way too quickly. And the combination of being against the wall (aka swallowing back-splash) and getting bumped a few times took me right back to my Olympic triathlon back in April, and I could feel myself start to panic.

This is where the giant countdown clock came in handy, though, because I’d raise my head at the end of the lane and think, You can do anything for five more minutes. Gradually, I got my rhythm back and, thankfully, the whistle blew for us to stop after I’d gotten 17 lengths under my belt.

Bike: 30 minutes = 7.7 miles

Although they gave us a generous 10 minutes to transition from the swim to the bike, the time flew by. I tugged off my suit in the locker room, threw on my Coeur kit and headed upstairs to the bike area that they had sectioned off by the cardio equipment.

For some added motivation, we could watch Ironman videos on the projection screen, so I snagged a front-row seat for the action. I didn’t have my bike shoes to be able to clip in, so I secured my running shoes in the pedals and prepped my nutrition: a bottle of water and a trusty Chocolate Peppermint Stick LUNA bar.

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And we were off again! The music pumping nice and loud, so I tried to ride to the beat and turned down my resistance as much as possible to gain some of the ground I lost in the pool.

I got the feeling that a few of my heat-mates train together because they rode in a group and were encouraging each other throughout the ride, which was inspiring to hear. We pedaled furiously as a small crowd gathered to watch us push onward, still dripping a bit from the pool, but smiling from ear to ear.

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I think the bikes may have been calibrated differently from last year’s race because my just-under-eight-miles seemed like a conservative estimate for how strongly I felt like I was riding (especially after getting a comment form one of my heat-mates to the same effect). But, regardless, I stayed pretty steady throughout, ate and drank consistently, and was proud of my overall effort.

The second wave came up to join us with about 10 minutes to spare in our ride, so we pedaled as a large group for the final portion. Their energy was a breath of fresh air after hammering away on the stationary bike, and just a few minutes after they got settled the whistle blew for our final transition.

Run: 20 minutes = 2.69 miles

We had five minutes to get from the bikes to the treadmills, but they were just a few yards away, so I grabbed a towel and got situated quickly because I already had my Hoka Conquests on.

My heat-mate next to me had a treadmill malfunction at the very last second, so he scooted over to another machine just as they started a countdown to the third and final portion of the event.

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Because I’ve been managing what I’ve self-diagnosed as some SI joint pain (note to self: must continue to work on my lack of ankle mobility, which is likely the culprit!) since my marathon, my plan was to run a conservative first 10 minutes and then gradually increase my speed over the next 10 minutes to warm up properly.

I started off at 6.8 mph and increased to around 7.5 when one of the volunteers came by, daring me, “I think can go faster than that.” Yep, she was right; I wasn’t really out of breath, so I pumped it up a few tenths of a mile every minute or two until I was up to 8.5 mph 15 minutes in.

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I was hoping to inch up the speed to 9.0 mph like last year, but I started feeling a little lightheaded with three minutes to go, so I gritted my teeth and ran on. Maybe increasing the speed wasn’t an option, but I sure as hell wasn’t backing down at that point!

When the final whistle blew, I ended at 2.69 miles. Not PR territory, but a solid performance with an average pace of 7:26/mile, so I’ll take it…especially considering I’ve eaten my weight in Christmas cookies over the past few weeks.

It was also a wake-up call: Fitness-wise, I’m close to what I was last March, so I’m happy to have been able to maintain. Training-wise, however, I’ve got to dial things in better if I want to progress. And, nutritionally, I think I did ok, but probably could have used some extra oomph for the run in the form of Osmo or Tailwind in addition to the LUNA bar.

All in all, it was an event I’d highly recommend, especially if you’re looking to kick off your training with a low-pressure race and get a baseline in place.

Congrats to everyone who participated, and cheers to a successful 2015 racing season!

6 Simple Tricks for Squeezing in Holiday Workouts

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Have you fallen prey to the “Grinch Who Stole Fitness” this season? Well, the good news is that there’s still time to turn things around before 2015.

If your goal is to celebrate without completely abandoning your regimen, I’ve got six simple strategies for staying on track so you won’t have to dig yourself out of a hole come January 1st:

1. Get the worm. 

Figuratively, that is. Being at the mercy of friends’ and family’s schedules isn’t always conducive to regular workouts, so force yourself to develop a healthy morning routine. Prioritize exercise, and not only will you be more likely to get it done, but you’ll also reap the benefits of extra energy throughout the day.

2. “Run” your errands.

Or walk them. Or park farther away. Or take the stairs. Or lap the mall. However you do it, the idea is the same: Incorporate some additional activity into your to-do list to kill two birds with one stone.

3. Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. 

I used to think I needed an entire hour in order for a workout to count, but that led to too many skipped sessions during the holiday time crunch. So now I take a different approach: Commit to just 10 minutes of cardio or one mile on the treadmill, and then reassess. If you’re still not feeling it, then stop, but there’s a good chance you’ll keep going once you get some momentum.

4. Make it a family affair. 

There’s no need to sequester yourself in order to break a sweat; instead, make a new tradition of embracing the great outdoors together. Whether it’s ice skating, snow shoveling, sledding or a snowball fight, the whole family can get in on the action. And give each other the gift of a healthy habit in the process.

5. Embrace bribery. 

Sometimes I’ll end my long run at the coffee shop or inspire myself to hit the gym by testing a new piece of gear. The trick is to find out what motivates you, and use that in your favor. Numbers-driven? Try hitting a daily pedometer goal. Competitive? Challenge a friend to a 30-day fitness routine. Bored? Commit to trying something new each day between now and the New Year.

6. Book a race. 

If you’re a regular reader here, this last one shouldn’t come as a surprise to you…because it’s my solution to almost everything. Not only can a holiday-themed race help keep you on your toes, cardio-wise, this time of year, but there’s also no better way to kick off the New Year than with a January race.

And when all else fails, there’s always another of my favorite holiday workouts…

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Happy, healthy holidays!

Dad Knows Best: Must-have advice for life…and working out

Dad

Happy Father’s Day to dads everywhere!

Moms may have gotten nominated as having the #WorldsToughestJob, but dads don’t necessarily have it easy either.

So listen up, and heed all those words of wisdom from over the years…if not for life, at least for your next workout or race. You can thank him later.

“Use common sense.”

Pause, even if just for a second. Think before you act, and respond rather than react.

Common sense is a biggie with my dad, and taking a moment to think something through — whether it’s a project at work, a plan with a friend or a race-day strategy — can help you avoid costly mistakes and missteps.

“Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

Sad, but true — which is why it’s important to prioritize and spend resources (time, money, energy) on what’s most important to you.

At first glance, it may seem limiting. But, in fact, it can be freeing to focus on quality over quantity, be it trips, toys or even race entries.

“Just try your best.”

You don’t really know what you’re capable of until you try. And in the grand scheme of things, as long as you know you gave it your all you can — and should — be proud.

In fact, there’s a great running quote about this that I love: “Dead Last Finish is greater than Did Not Finish, which trumps Did Not Start.”

“Actions speak louder than words.”

Another quote to consider: “There are wish bones, jaw bones and back bones. Those who dream about doing things, those who talk about doing things, and those who actually accomplish things.”

Don’t waste a bunch of time talking about things. Just. Do. It. (Thanks, Nike!)

“Eat your vegetables.”

A side effect of growing older (and smarter)? Coming to the realization that sometimes what’s best for us isn’t always the easiest or most appealing option (at least at first).

But you know what? A little delayed gratification can be good; in fact, it builds characte, strength and an appreciation for the process, whether you’re saving up for a special treat or training for months in anticipation of a big race.

“Always have something to look forward to.”

It’s easy to slip into a bit of a lull now and then — especially after a big life event or the completion of a major race.

So to avoid the blues, I always try to plan my next race or event as soon as possible. Make a game plan to improve upon past mistakes, and give yourself a new goal to which you can look forward and work toward.

“Never regret the choices you make in life.”

This one’s always a work-in-progress, but I’d like to think of life less as a path of “wrong” and “right” turns and more as a series of opportunities to learn.

Of course, this is often much easier said than done! But all you can really do is take what you know, and try to grow from it.

What’s your favorite advice from Dad?