Tag Archives: motivation

HMC: Day 31 Staying Inspired in the New Year

superstock_1166r-4752_blow-angle-view-of-a-young-female-runner-crossing-the-finish-line-postersWow, the month came and went so quickly.  Tomorrow we get to start a new year fresh with no mistakes in it, as Anne Shirley/Miss Stacey would say.

Since I realize most people will be really busy today and tomorrow, you have until January 2nd at 9AM to log  your miles and comment on this post to be entered in the prize drawing.  The top two mileage for marathon and ultramarathon challengers will automatically receive a prize, and 3 challengers that comment will be selected at random to receive a prize. 

The questions, responding to one or both is fine!

-running goal for 2009? or

-your favorite running song of 2008?

So on with the post.  I have done a bunch of posts on inspirationand motivation, but here is one last wrap up with help from runners world to supplement my own thoughts!

Getting Started:

Sign up for a race: this was the definitive starting point of my running/jogging journey.  Find local 5k and sign up with a friend to keep you motivated, committed and excited.

Buy some good shoes-which will make all the difference in the world and give you the all important monetary commitment.  There is actually a great article on this in the Jan. 2009 issue of RW page 54,  Get Serious from the newbie chronicles.  My tips for finding shoes.

Join a running group or find a committed friend: Talking while running makes it about 4000 times more enjoyable!  Road Runners, Team in Training, Team Fox, Nike Town, YMCA clubs, the group options are endless.

Once you are a “runner” keep it going:

Set goals: Time, distance, or speed, pick one, identify your goal and give yourself a time line.  Of course, joining a marathon training group makes it easier because the training plan and workout times are set up for you.

Picking and signing up for a race (5K, 10K, half or full marathon) that you are really excited about or in a place you want to visit is a really great motivator! See Runner’s World Marathon 2009 guide for ideas.

Find ways to make it fun: If you are a gadget person, maybe a heart rate monitor or even a garmin will keep you excited.  Maybe mapping each run onmapmyrun or logging it on a spread sheet is enough.  If you are a music person, new tunes always get me motivated to don the ipod and block the world out for a few miles.  Or set up a standing running date with a friend.

Mix it up: if you aren’t lucky enough to be head over heels in love with running; in fact, if it is more a labor  than a love, don’t stop doing your favorite type of exercise. Make running a once or twice a week habit, or maybe you are a triathlete at heart.

Make it a group endeavor: a relay race is something I really hope to have the chance to do in 2009. I loved reading about Chandra’s Ragnar Relay, and I would love to do the New Hampshire Reach the Beach Relay in Sept.! If the more the merrier is your MO, than this could be the event for you!

Refocus each day: I don’t plan out my week or month exactly, but an hour or so before my workout or a few days before a long run, I give myself a pep talk, think about how great the run or workout is going to be, and plan my speed, distance or intensity goals for the workout.  This has helped me tremendously, a little visualization goes a really long, strong way!

Find some workouts you love: just having a few fun workouts in your arsenal can get you to the gym or the road when you feel like skipping it all together.  Find a few challenging speed or interval workouts you enjoy and put them in your backpocket on reservation for desperate times. Or download a few itunes nike + sport workouts, so you have someone to talk you through a run and keep you motivated! It’s great to have the motivation part done for you, so you are only responsible for moving your legs.

Happy New Year!


Marathon Challenge: Day 1


I decided to try to do the challenge and regular blogging on the blog.  I figure the info may be valuable to challengers and non-challengers alike.  However, if it is annoying either party, I will try a different approach.

BTW all the info is here, the most important thing is to log your miles here.  Huge congrats to Meghan with a pdr of 11.11 miles! 

Congratulations for making it to day 1! The hardest part is showing up and here you are!  It can only get easier from here.

Remember, you’re not alone if you are not always psyched to get out there and hit the road or the treadmill.  Even Haruki Murakami–author of What I Talk about When I Talk About Running–who has run many many marathons said when asked: Do you ever not want to go running?  “Every day”

So getting to the gym or to the road and making it through the first ten minutes is always the biggest hurdle, after that the endorphins kick in, your mind wanders and you day dream, you get into your music, and then you stop with the knowledge that you did it!  Even just for one day.  The problem is when you put off day 1 over and over.  By the end of the challenge you may just have to run a marathon, which you obviously won’t be prepared for! lol

So over the next month, I will try to give you tools and tricks to make “showing up” easier and even enjoyable.

I will sum this post up with a great quote by Victoria Moran: “Life Belongs to Those Who Floss”

Life is about putting in the extra little effort to make you healthier, happier, wholer and more centered.  Making the time and spending the energy to give yourself the love your deserve, to bring yourself closer to the charmed life all women should live.

So whether that is getting to the gym, flossing, taking your make up off after a night out before going to bed, not the next morning; winking at the cute boy across the coffee shop, dealing with an out of control eye brow situation or doing laundry instead of buying more socks, you are worth and the little things make a big difference.  Of course, you can’t tackle everything at once.  So even if it is just making the time to run mile or two a few times this week, you deserve it!


The other Magic Kingdom

Every so often you read or listen to something that profoundly influences you. Recently I listened to an interview with Karen Knowler on RawVeganRadio (interview 58) that really resonated with me. Are you scared to reach your true potential? Be it your dream job, the best relationships you can have, your best level of health or success in another area of your life, sometimes no matter how much you want something, the fear of what might happen if you truly reach your goals can be terrifying. Change is scary.

Rather than go into my opinions and thoughts, I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote and some resources to look into if you are interested in learning more. I think it is about time that all of us beautiful blog girls started living our dreams lives, simple and divine, and magical ones at that.

“Sometimes it can really scare people to get what they want [She then references a book called “How Much Joy Can You Stand] People don’t like feeling not good, but they are scared of feeling great.” KK

It is long, so listen while cleaning your room or download to your ipod and listen to it on the work.

Karen Knowler is one of the most giving people one the Internet. She produces free articles and does many interviews that you can access for free on the web. I have several of her ebooks and her print ones. I also had the chance to see her at Successfully Raw hosted by WeLikeitraw.com several months ago. I also think that she is so relatable and offers real ways to change that the habits are holding you back and deal with the emotional issues.

For more read here: Heart to Mouth: How to Deal with Those Raw Emotions

Karen, Sarma, and Natalia are my favorite authors on health, emotion, body-image, almost like fairy-raw-mothers. Sexy ladies wearing high heels not hemp!

PS In other very exciting news, a new organic market opened up in the bottom of my building today. It is EXACTLY like Whole Foods, except with way better produce prices and everything is locally grown. It even has cafe seating and great looking salad and food bars. Before we really didn’t have a good supermarket (just a couple smallish gourmet delis) within reasonable distance. Even the semi-sketch c-town was a good 10-15 minute walk, so I was hauling stuff from TJs on the subway. Now I just have to take the elevator down a mere 29 floors for an organic utopia. I have to admit, I am a little jealous of myself right now.

Goal Setting

More and more I find setting a workout goal to be a great way to ensure I have a good workout. It makes sense, an athlete would never train for their sport without a well defined plan of attack. I am sure Michael Jordan never just said, maybe I’ll dribble this ball around for a few weeks; it was probably something more to the tune of I have to make 50 foul shots in a row before leaving the court. (My dad often had me do 15 as a kid, I guess he figured since I was short, I better be a great shot.)

So while I don’t really write out a weekly plan. On my way to the gym, I check in with my body and set a definitive goal. Something as simple as, I am kind of tired, 30 minutes walking on the treadmill and watching the news, is more likely to result in at least 30 minutes, then walking for 15 and deciding you’ve had enough.

Since I have extended my workouts to 65 minutes, 5 times a week, a plan really helps keep me focused and on track, without a goal. If I just “went to the gym,” I would probably never make it! So whether the goal is run to this point or 30 minute run, 25 elliptical, 10 rower, I like having an objective in place.

Those last 5 minutes can be brutal (but also the most important), so saving your favorite song or two for them can help. Lately, Naughty Girl has helped me survive when the going gets tough. Rather than make those last 5 minutes miserable, make them glorious.

If I really have to pull out the big guns, I think of inspiring quotes, such as without challenge, there is not change or do or do not, there is not try. Obviously, I interpret these lightheartedly!

I definitely need to start defining my strength plan more clearly, I think that is why I often get bored and leave early, I have nothing to aim for.

So I encourage you to set some goals, maybe 10 minutes before you start your workout. Whether it be running at a certain speed for a 20 % of your run or making it half a mile further before you walk or just making it through an entire episode “So You Think You Can Dance” (at 75% of your maximum heart rate if you want to get hard core on me) on the elliptical.

I hope these ideas help you stay focused and enjoy your workouts more. Recognize your accomplishments and feel great about achieving your goals. And every once in a while, feel free to phone in a workout, just not from your razor!

PS Janet Evans was once my idol!

Workout Cravings

aka boredom…

I think I am over the treadmill/elliptical monotony. I love to do classes and try new things, but schedule-wise I seem to always be busy when there is a spinning class. Now that I don’t belong to NYSC, I don’t have access to free classes. Technically I have to register and pay for all the classes offered, and very few fit my schedule. I am pretty sure I could get away with crashing, but all the great spinning and hip hop classes I would like to take seem to be at the same time I have class. But taking classes is a great way to stay excited about working out.

Out of the blue I have been wanting to go swimming for weeks. Despite access to a nice pool, getting organized enough to go swimming has eluded me. It’s a lot of work, the suit, the cap, the goggles, the towels, the serious need to dechlorinate afterwards (although I do LOVE the smell of chlorine), and perhaps what I dread the most–having to shower before going in the pool. I understand it from a hygiene stand point, but having to be cold and wet for the 50 feet from the shower to the pool kills me. Plus, there is nothing like the feeling of diving into a pool, the point of entry is spoiled if you start out soaked.

Maybe on a weekend I can make it happen. It will allow me to truly clear my mind since I can’t use an ipod!

There is such a debate out on swimming for exercise and weight loss. Bob Greene says in Get with the Program that swimming is not effective for weight loss because your body never heats up. Plus it is anaerobic not aerobic.
I have read studies saying that the body keeps a layer of fat on your body to protect you from swimming in cold waters and others that claim swimming makes you hungrier than other sports.

As a former competitive swimmer and a lifeguard for many many years, I don’t really care what Bob G. or studies say. I love swimming, I think it is a great to get defined muscle tone and it’s great if you have any injuries. I just thought I would put the info out there for discussions sake.

Other strange cravings:

Yoga. I never really craved yoga until recently.

Also dance classes, I read this great article on dance classes in NYC, and I have been dying to take a Masala Bhangra class. It an indian dance class that is a great workout and so much fun! It is the class I am most looking forward to at Self Workout in the Park. Here is a schedule of classes in nyc, but you need to belong to NYSC or Clay for most.

Finally, striptease. My hot coworker takes it, and I have been dying to try…although super nervous too.

Anyways, I am going to try one of the three this week, so I don’t have to start dragging myself to the gym!

Oh, I am going to start posting my workouts everyday, and tagging them “today’s workout,” so you can see them all together. I’ll still do the weekly wrap up with comments.

So you want to be a runner? Part 1

Running is a very intimidating sport. But don’t be put off! For anyone who ever commented or thought, I could never run a mile, let alone 3, 6, 26, or more. Fear not, you can.

So this is the story of the little runner that thought she couldn’t…

Beginning in the early elementary school days, American Physical Education mandates that students run “THE MILE.” As if enduring one mile is a the hallmark of physical health and ability. Every year I suffered through the dreaded fall day, I would have to run until my little lungs were sore from the bitter cold air.

Every year I muddled through running and walking on the narrow dirt path that served as our course. By junior high we had to run the mile 4 times! My friend refused to run next to me because I wheezed horribly whenever I ran. For some reason, the only asthma-like symptoms I ever experienced were during running. My father, how is an incredible athlete, and at 65 plays on two golf leagues, a soft ball league and a tennis league, happens to be a horrendous runner. Even though he played soccer and baseball in college, he insists can’t jog more than 200 yards without stopping.

So I was happy to have running out of my life after high school. But I was annoyed that after running a quarter of a mile I was completely winded. However, I decided to leave well enough alone and enjoyed biking, swimming, spinning and so forth.

But then I read about the Revlon Run Walk for Women. Several celebrities would be speaking, plus you got a free t-shirt and raised money for cancer. I was in! The catch–its was a 5k (3.1 miles). So I recruited a friend and we signed up for the Revlon Run/Walk for Women. I figured I could always walk if need be. So I started by alternating 3 minutes of walking with a minute of running. Then 3 minutes of walking with 2 minutes of running. Then 3 minutes of walking with 3 minutes of running. Then 3 minutes of walking with 4 minutes of running, until I reached 3.1 miles.

If I was outside I counted driveways or street blocks.

Once I reached 3.1 miles. I started to alternate one minute running at 5.2 miles per hour with one minute of running at 6.o miles per hour. Slowly I began bumping up those speeds, until I could run a steady 6.o.

The race came and went successfully, and we have done it every year since. It seemed like such a major accomplishment back in 2003. 3 whole miles. I never ever dreamed I would run 26 miles. Who would want to?

I think the run/walk model is very sound and time tested.

Run/Walk Tips

*If you make yourself walk at a very fast clip, like 4-5mph, you will probably find that jogging is actually easier than walking. So you might just decide to forgo the walking thing and just keep jogging.

*On the flip side if you walk to slow, you might feel so comfortable that your body may not want to run. So pick it up, recover if you need to, but don’t be afraid of a little challenge. Pain is weakness leaving the body–lol.

After the initial race, I would run/jog occasionally. Especially one summer when I didn’t have a gym membership. But never more than 3-4 miles. Nevertheless, I had proved to myself that I could run. Maybe I grew out of the minor running induced asthma, or maybe it was all in my head. So if this sounds like you, try again things may have changes since the days of PE and sweaty pinnies.

So how did I end up a runner (of at least a person who runs)? That is part 2: So you want to be a runner: join the club.

PS If the post wasn’t enough inspiration, maybe this cover will be. :)