Monday Motivation: Take a breather

Rest. It's part of the program!This is not your typical Monday Motivation post. I’m not going to tell you to push harderfind balance or jump. Instead, I’m going to tell you to rest. Take a breather. Chill out.

Rest days are vital to you on your fitness journey. Your body needs rest to rebuild and recuperate. They also help you avoid injury so you can stay at the top of your game. But, a rest day doesn’t mean indulging in everything under the sun. Stick to your healthy eating and remember to still drink lots of water.

In order to cash in on all the training, get the rest. If you can’t run as fast as you want to, you haven’t rested enough. – Ted Corbitt 

Rest days:

  1. Rebuild and repair muscle tissue.
  2. Build strength.
  3. Replenish fluids and energy stores.
  4. Minimize fatigue.
  5. Refresh our mental energy.
  6. Reduce the risk of injury.

So go ahead, give yourself the day off. And get right back into it tomorrow! 💜

Monday Motivation: Find your balance

Balance is not something you find. It's something you create. Fitness and health is a balancing act. Balance allows us to remain successful in our efforts towards our goals. To remain sane and happy in our pursuit. Tipping the scale too much to the fitness side can be just as unsatisfying as tipping it too far the other way. But balance also requires patience and kindness. Trying too hard and too fast to get back into our fitness routine, to change overnight, will cause burnout. You have to have patience. Drowning yourself in guilt for indulging over the weekend will push you off course. You have to be kind to yourself.

Strive each day for balance.

Everyone’s balancing act is different and no one can tell you what ratio of fitness, life, and indulgence is right for you. You have to know yourself, know what makes you happy, to ultimately find YOUR balance. Once you find it you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals and living a healthy, happy life! 💜

[Life] Adventures Afar

Life has been a whirlwind of chaos the last few weeks. My workout routine was, for a while, less routine and more fit-it-in-whenever (if-whenever-even-happens) kind of schedule. Finally this last week I was able to get back into more of a routine and get back to what I love—running and working out (hopefully soon adding in cycling again). I’ve gone from the mundane of everyday to a new and exciting opportunity. I’ve had highs and I’ve had lows. But right now, I’m focused on everything positive and embracing all of these new, incredible opportunities and doors that have opened before me.

On that note, as I grow and change, so too does this blog grow and change. With the big new adventure my husband and I have embarked on—we headed south to St. Croix, trading the snow and cold for sunshine and warmth—I’ve decided to post a bit more of what I call ‘Life’ posts to this blog (or at least that’s the plan!). My family and friends already know this blog so rather than starting another one, I’m going to distinguish these posts by always starting them with [Life]. They are meant to inform and amuse family and friends of adventures and new life experiences. They will be a bit more like diary entries (fitting I think given my blog title!) and probably will be random musings and lists like Saturday confessions and A bit of this and a little of that.

So here you go:

  1. I have a fabulous new job!
    I LOVE this new job that I have, but I have to look at amazing food photos all day (bummer, right?!), which means I’m hungry all day long and wanting to go straight to my kitchen and whip up a batch of cookies, fresh bread, or whatever other wonderful concoction I happen to be looking at in that moment. I have to say that right now I’m extremely blessed. This is absolutely my dream job to have. If you’ve read this blog at all, you know that food is one of my obsessions. Being able to pursue a passion of mine combined with my skills is beyond exciting. (The photo below has nothing to do with my new job. This was just a super delicious brunch meal I had on Easter Sunday—Crab Benedict!)Crab Benedict
  2. Proud wife moment alert!
    My husband hates to run. He would rather clean than run (we clearly are completely different people). I don’t mean to say that he doesn’t like to workout. He very much enjoys lifting weights and biking—things he can see change with. But with our new adventure he’s taken up running with me. Just about every morning he has run with me at the beach or up and down the hill just outside our doorstep. In one weak moment he even ran next to me on a treadmill!Joe and Libby on treadmill
  3. I’ve been applying sunscreen and bug spray like some people shun carbohydrates.
    What can I say? Worrying is in my DNA; add in the fact that I’m blonde and you’ll understand why I feel the need to generously apply sunscreen all day long. I think the bug spray speaks for itself.
  4. We joined the cheapest gym and supported a good cause!
    For $20 a year, $40 per couple, Joe and I can workout and support a non-profit in our community helping others to get motivated and fit. The gym is only open from 3pm-7pm, but for us that works perfectly. We run in the morning and save the afternoon/evening for lifting weights (Joe) and a BBG workout (me).we rise by lifting others
  5. I’ve been using this running technique almost daily.
    When I use to run on a treadmill everyday (I just could never get myself to run in the Wisconsin winter cold), I would always have an action plan—speed, time, and incline. Now that I’m running outside daily I have to keep my mind occupied to push through. That’s where using the Attention Narrowing Running Technique really comes into play. If you haven’t tried this technique, I strongly recommend that you do. You may be surprised how much easier you can climb that hill when you focus ahead.running technique_ironwomandiaries

I feel like so much has happened these last few weeks that I can’t even remember it all in detail enough to share anymore. I tell bits and pieces to my mom and dad and the rest gets lost and mixed up amongst everything else that’s happening. But, anyway, I wish you all a wonderful week!

Stay tuned for your usual every other Monday, Monday Motivation post next week! 💜

Monday Motivation: Always be improving

compete with who you were yesterday_ironwomandiaries“To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.” -Steve Prefontaine

Today, reflect on how far you’ve come and imagine how far you will go. Be determined. Be focused. Always be growing and improving. You may walk the same road twice, run the same miles, bike the same hills, but always you’ll be in a different place in your life. Every day is different. Every day is a new day to give everything you have, to be your best, to improve on yesterday. You will be stronger than you were yesterday. You will reach your goals. Dare to be your best, to always be improving, and to chase your dreams one mile at a time! 💜

Run happy knees: Do this simple trick

runner on trackKnee pain. It can make for agonizing runs and even stop a runner in their tracks. I’ve talked about my own knee pain before and how wearing a compression sleeve or foam rolling may help. However, according to a recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, there may be a simple trick you can do while running to help avoid this pain altogether. (Insert happy dance here! 💃)

So what is this simple trick? Lean forward.
Leaning forward can alleviate pain by reducing the load on your joints. In other words, your knees won’t absorb as much shock from you pounding the pavement (or treadmill).

Perfect the technique: A subtle tweak
To perfect this technique, bend at your hip so that your torso is 7 to 10 degrees farther forward. “When you shift the center mass of your body forward,” comments lead author of the study Dr. Christopher Powers of the University of Southern California, “it reduces the torque at your knee and instead puts the weight into your hips.” He also cautions runners to not overdo it by leaning too far forward. Enlist the help of a friend to watch or video-record you running, to see that you are bending at the hip and not leaning too far forward.

Here’s to run happy knees! 💜