Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

Sharing a Few Apps I Love – Oh and They are FREE

Yup there’s an app for that!   I am sure you have heard that more than once, I sure know I have.

There are a few apps that I love and use monthly, weekly and even daily.  I thought I would share some with you.  And did I mention they are all FREE 🙂  you’re welcome.  **(please note I am not associated or employed by any of these companies, I just really so use and enjoy their apps)

 


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MyFitnessPal (click to learn more)

A great app for tracking your calories and macros and it’s customizable for your goals.   They have a huge database of  food and a scanning option.  Plus it keeps track of things like your most common and recently added foods.  Plenty more features too, check it out!

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Charity Miles (click to learn more)

Why just run, walk or bike when you can earn money for charity at the same time!  Charity Miles offers a bunch of noteworthy charities you can earn money for every time your headed out.  From Alzheimer’s Association, Wounded Warrior, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Soles for Souls.  OK these are a few of my favorites but there are a bunch more.  Check it out.  This app works outside, but I hear they are beta testing an indoor version….Yippee!


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HIIT Interval Training Timer  (click to learn more)

A great interval timer app.  I use it for my treadmill HIIT and Interval training.  You customize the warmup time, work time and rest times.  Also how many rounds you want to go and your cool down time.  So much better than keeping track in your head (yes I have done that)

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Photo Grid (click to learn more)

Ever wonder how I make those totally kick butt Instagram and blog pics?  Ok maybe not totally kick butt, however this app is easy to use and fun!  Compatible with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter too!  Just create and link.  Easy and fun!

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P Tracker (click to learn more)

OK this one is for the ladies only.  P Tracker (aka period tracker)  Way better than keeping track on a calendar (or forgetting too at all)  and handy to whip out when you visit the doc for a totally unrelated reason and he/she conveniently asks when your last period started.   Ughhh, duhh.  I don’t know about you but I usually don’t keep the date on hand.

This app also features a calendar that shows your most fertile time of the month and ovulation (assuming you have a regular cycle).   Hit the button on the day your friendly “Aunt Flo” shows up and it keeps track of the days and will give you a projected start date for next months visit.   It also keeps a log of your average cycle.  For more features check it out.

Do you have a favorite app you would like to share?  Leave a comment, I love finding new and useful apps!

Like what you learned?  Please feel free to Pin it! Share it! Tweet it!  🙂

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Don’t Hate Me Because My “Fit” is Different Than Yours

** First let me say I am not a trainer, nutritionist or a certified anything.

I have completed 9 half marathons, numerous  5k’s to 10 milers.  I also lift weights and I enjoy HIIT workouts.  NONE of those things make me a bad person.

whatisfit

If you “run” in online fitness circles than I am sure a lot of you have been hearing negative talk about running lately, especially distance running.  I sure know I have.

Running is bad for you, running will make you / keep you FAT.

Running is the opposite of healthy?

What the???  

Although I have read numerous articles the thing that bothers me the most is the Runner Bashing!?  Now first of all let me say I believe everyone has their idea of healthy and fit.  And just like “un-fit” body types, in my opinion, there are also many “fit / healthy” types.  I like to think I fall somewhere in between the runners and the builders.  If you’re a fast-ass distance runner (not me btw) and that’s your passion than you’re not going to need / want a ton of muscle bulk.  On the other hand if you’re a beast in the weight department and that’s your passion than distance running is probably not for you.  Are either wrong…NO, NO, NO!!!

Let me explain.  As far as running goes for me

  • I love the way a good run makes me feel.  A speedy short run to a long slow distance run
  • Sticking too and completing a multi-month training plan takes determination and persistence.  That not only includes time, but sometimes that time is really, really early or cold, or hot, or humid (or all the aforementioned)
  • Crossing the finishing line of a half or full marathon is a high that people who have not done it cannot understand
  • To get to that finish line I must be diligent in fueling my body properly to get there
  • my heart is healthy as a horse.  My doctor said “You must be a runner” when she listened to it
  • if I didn’t love it, I would stop doing it

Now on the other hand  I also like….

  • Lifting weights. It makes me feel strong
  • HIIT training makes me sweat like a beast….and I like it
  • Watching my body change is very satisfying
  • Getting my body to physically change takes determination and persistence (hmm that sounds familiar)
  • To get change I must be diligent and fuel my body properly for the process (again…familiar?)

Do I personally want a more “fit” looking physic?  You betcha, but what I consider “fit” may not be what you consider fit, and you know what…THAT”S OK!!

So I guess what I mean is that I think its time to step back and give each other a pat on the back because whether you run or lift or both:

  1. your ass is not sitting on the couch
  2. if you are running or lifting or whatever,  you are taking a lot more interest in your health than someone watching tv and downing a bag of Doritios
  3. who said one body type is the perfect body type?
  4. Can’t we just all get along 😉
  5. And most of all “Are you finding your happy “Healthy” pace in life.  If you answered yes, then your on the right path for YOU!!!!!!

Just as the world has many different colors, nationalities and faiths of people, so does the fitness world have many, many different types of “fit”.  Is one better than the other?  I don’t think so.  If we were all meant to look and do and be the same, I am sure God would have made us that way.

Oh and did I mention I enjoy yoga?  Yup I do.  Hope that doesn’t make me crazy?  And lets not even get started on my “unhealthy” love for cupcakes, lol.

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Happy Pace Rewind

I haven’t had an official half marathon race since Nike in April.  Bummer.  However on the plus side I haven’t had a training plan since April, kinda cool.  I have more or less been on a continual training plan for a year or more.

My initial thoughts after Nike were “I am going to keep my long runs between 6 – 10 each week.”  That would keep me easily ready for my next half…whenever that would be.  Nice thoughts but that’s about all they were, thoughts.  My body and my mind had other plans.  The longest run I have had in over a month has been a 10K.  After Nike I suffered from some knee pain which I believe was from my IT band.  (There have been a string of IT band issues in my chapter of MRTT and I didn’t want to be out for an extended period of time so I backed off.)  However after a week or so I just couldn’t convince myself to go farther than 3 miles and I really pushed myself for the Virtual Cupcake 10k.  But when I took a step back I realized a few things.

It’s time for a….

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  • I was pushing myself and NOT finding my happy pace
  • It was kind of nice not to be following a strict training plan
  • I enjoy HIIT workouts
  • I am really enjoying weight training
  • Why do runs always have to be long?
  • Maybe it was time to relax a bit and find my happy pace again

Does continual training work for some people?  Of course!  But for me I just needed a mental and physical “break” in my running.   Its been a nice and relaxed time for me. I have been running 1 to 3 miles 4 days a week.  My short (less than 2 miles) runs have now become my interval runs, working on some speed.  I continue to do HIIT training.  I have one more week of the current program I am on.  I have also added more weight training.

So I set a few new goals…hey a girls gotta have goals.  I joined a Sub 30 5k group hoping they will help motivate me to get under 30…nope I have never done that.  I also decided that I really, really want to put on some muscle so I have been working on that too.

I have a few runs on the agenda.  Pretty Muddy in September and last week I did sign up for The Rock n Roll Half Marathon RELAY with one of my running buddies Allie.  I decided to not force myself to train for the half this year.  The last two VB RnR’s have been pretty brutal as far as heat goes.

However I want to smash my time in the relay 🙂  Hey, like I said a girls gotta have a goal…. or two 🙂

So what about you?  Have you ever had to rewind to find your Happy Pace again?

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Are you Moving Forward…in Reverse? Part 1

Moving forward in reverse?  What in the world?!  Let me explain.  I’m talking about working your butt off and not seeing results.  Talk about frustrating!!!!  Why is it happening?  Most than likely three words…your, eating, habits.  (and mine too!)

Although I have been active most of my life, in the past 4+ years I have really made daily exercise a priority.  I plan my runs, my workouts, my training.  I figure out when is the best time “get er done” as to not interfere too much with family time.  I sometimes run in the heat or the cold of the day because that is just when it fits in.  Some days I get up a little earlier to do HIIT, and when all else fails I just make sure everyone knows it’s “Mom’s time” and they need to keep themselves occupied for a while…or join in.

However one thing I have failed to take seriously enough has been my eating habits.  I hate the word “diet”  and in this case I don’t mean diet as in counting calories, etc.  I’m talking about eating healthy.  Being part of both Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador and Girls Gone Sporty as an Ambassador has really opened up my eyes to the importance of eating well.  It’s not like I never thought about it, it’s just that I never made any serious effort.

One of the biggest advantages of eating well….results.  You can run, sweat, lift, HITT etc but it’s true what they say:

  • Healthy bodies are made in the kitchen
  • killer abs … 30% gym 70% diet
  • and my favorite…”You can’t outrun a bad diet.”  

True, true and true.  In other words:

pointless

You’ll still move forward to a point. but if you are results driven, as in inches and pounds,  you HAVE to include a healthy diet.

So when I started my HIIT program about 2 months ago, I also started to take a much more serious look at my eating habits.  I had been kind of here, nor there on my diet.  I mean I didn’t eat bad all the time, but I also didn’t go out of my way to eat “healthy” every meal.  I am making a lot more effort now, but it’s NOT always easy.  (cause you know I loves me some cupcakes and apparently Smore’s because I downed a few of those this weekend)

I find it WAY easier to plan to exercise than to plan to eat well.  It’s definitely still a work in progress, but I am seeing results in how my body looks.  My next step is to try meal prepping for the week, but for now this is what I am doing:

  • I try to include lean protein and veggies at EVERY meal.
  • I drink water all day and when I am out I choose unsweet tea or water (lucky for me I am not a soda fan so no biggie here)
  • I include healthy fats sometimes refered to as MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acid) found in things like nuts and seeds, oils, olives, and dark chocolate.  Avocado is also a great one, but I am allergic 🙁  so sad as its an allergy I developed just last year, bummer
  • I limit my sweets…but I do eat dark chocolate IN MODERATION
  • for snacks I switched to things like greek yogurt, fruit and homemade trail mix
  • I eat a meal or snack every 4 hours max, but usually more like every 3, throughout the day

I also love these two ideas about what kind of food you should choose…”If it didn’t grow out of the ground or have a mother (sorry to my strict vegetarian friends and husband)…don’t eat it”  and “If you can’t pronounce the ingredients than why on earth would you want to put it in your body?

Am I 100% perfect with my eating habits….um NO?!  But I have made a much more concerted effort to be more careful about what, how much and when I eat.  Cause girl I am NOT going to turn a cupcake down all the time 😉  I’m sticking to the 80 – 20 rule of eating well 80% of the time.

But in the meantime I have found a few things I love:

I make my own trail mix.  I find store bought usually has extra stuff that I don’t like

Runfyhp Trail Mix – split into portion controlled sizes of 1/4 cup so I can take it on the go 🙂

  • all natural whole almonds (unsalted)
  • sunflower seed kernels (unsalted)
  • dark chocolate chips
  • and sometimes craisins (limited amount, but I like the little extra sweet)

Runfyhp Easy Post Workout Smoothie

smoothies help me get some extra protein each day 

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  • 8 oz almond milk
  • frozen strawberries (about a cup)
  • scoop of protein powder ( I love Raw Protein from Garden of Life)
  • 1 tablespoon all natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt  (I like Chobani)
  • 1/2 tablespoon flax seed powder
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of organic spinach

Coming soon…some healthy and easy “switches” to add to your diet

thanks to my Sweat Pink Ambassador friends!

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My Latest Adventure …. HIIT

OK as some of you may know I was doing the Chalean Extreme Program.  Well I am not anymore.  Now first and foremost let me say I LOVED Chalean.  But I stopped for a few reasons

  1. I need heavier weights
  2. Didn’t feel like I was improving with the current weights I have

The program is great, a little different than what I expected, but really fantastic.  And I will be revisiting it at a future date.  I did most of Phase 1 which was the Burn Phase of the program.

In the meantime I decided to join the world of HIIT.  OK, lets back up a little.  What is HIIT?

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Per Wikipedia HIIT is: High-intensity interval training (HIIT), also called High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise (HIIE) or sprint interval training, is an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 4–20 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning

Or as I like to call it my butt kicking for the day.  I never realized how sweaty, nasty and tired I could get in 18 minutes (or less) on the program I am doing.  No joke, it’s HARD!  But you know what I LOVE it!!  I am on my second full week and seriously I already see a difference, no kidding, especially in my mid section.  I’m over 40 so if your like me this is easily your problem area too.  You see I was starting to get what some consider “skinny fat” it can happen to distance runners.   OK what the heck is skinny fat?  Well let’s turn to the Urban dictionary for their definition….

skinny fat
A physique, while not overweight (and possibly underweight), lacks any visible lean, striated tissue.
While I was doing Jillian Micheals last year along with my half marathon training I was NOT skinny fat but I was very, very lean.  I am hoping to get back to that or better with HIIT.
So what HIIT am I doing?
I had been toying with the idea of doing HIIT for a while thru videos from BodyRipped.net.  Recently Kyla Gagnon ( An Inside Out Fitness’s Personal Trainer and Sport Nutrition Specialist), the body behind BodyRipped, came out with a series of Home Videos called Totality A2X.  This is a paid version of her workouts.  I like them a lot.  No fancy camera angels, no fancy set.  In fact its just Kyla doing the exercises with you on a home video.  This program is full body, using your own body weight for training.  Burpees, squats, push-ups, dips etc.
After doing research about HIIT on my own thru research on various websites I was sold on trying it out.
The premise is (in layman’s terms) is work hard (ok really freakin’ hard) during Interval (short bursts) training resulting in a better post workout fat burn and oxidation, improved strength etc.  If you want to know more detailed info you should google HIIT like I did.  There is a ton of info out there.
Please note I DO NOT WORK FOR NOR AM I OFFICIALLY AFFILIATED WITH BODYRIPPED.NET.  Opinions expressed here are solely my own and are my personal experience.
So I am planning on continuing with this program.  I have Nike DC Half Marathon this weekend.  So for the remainder of this week I will have to scale back the HIIT.  HIIT the day or two before long distance running….not a good combo, I learned that last week.  But I will pick back up with it next week.  Keep an eye out for updates!
 
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