Run at Work Day

 

I’m so happy that I randomly decided to pack my running clothes this morning before I headed off to work “just in case” I had the chance to get out for a run. When I realized that it was “Run at Work Day” later this morning, I was even more determined to make it out for a run today! There’s nothing quite like taking 30 minutes at lunchtime to run through the beautiful ranch – where touches of fall are starting to pop up everywhere. The air was cool and the sun was bright and I really couldn’t have asked for a better run! Why don’t I do this more often?

Here are a few views from the run:20130920-121427.jpg

 

 

 

 

The horses were all out to pasture today, so not much to see at the corrals!

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Fall leaves and flowers are so beautiful! 

 

20130920-122156.jpgThe Great Sand Dunes are a breathtaking backdrop no matter what the weather! 

 

Did you know it’s Run at Work Day? You still have a few hours to hit the road (or the dirt) before the weekend hits! Didn’t bring your running gear? Go for a quick walk break or turn a Friday meeting into a walking meeting…you will be so happy you did! 

 

Where does YOUR workday run take place? 

 

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A Weekend Trail Race – The “Run” Down

This weekend I had the chance to head out of town a little bit and participate in a trail race in Pagosa Springs. My friend and I initially signed up for the half marathon distance this spring and between her getting pregnant, me getting injured and running programs getting slightly de-railed…I ended up doing the race with another friend, and the 10K distance. A lesson in listening to your body and being flexible I guess.

We couldn’t have asked for a better day to run. We headed out of town bright and early (it was actually DARK and early) and headed west to Pagosa. Fueled with waffles with peanut butter and coffee to-go…we were ready. The fun part about this race is through all of our ups and downs in this training period, we were really just there to have fun and get a good run in. Living in the valley now, I don’t often get the opportunity to run trails or hills, so I knew it wouldn’t be a PR race by any means.

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We pulled off the road during our drive to soak in the beautiful morning scenery around Wolf Creek Pass. The low clouds and the trees were almost mystical! It was a good stretch break too!

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Once we got into town, we checked into the race and got our socks. We are totally “we run for the shirt” kind of girls, so it took us some time to get excited about dancing chilies socks they gave us instead of t-shirts. But we decided to wear them and join in the spirit of the Mountain Chili Cha Cha! We huddled in the car for a while to stay warm, and then did the typical pre-run bathroom stop, running shoe/people watching and a little warm-up stretch before we took off up the trail. It was about 60 degrees and slightly overcast: the perfect running weather!

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 We love our Brooks Running Shoes! 

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The race itself was challenging but completely beautiful. While I was huffing and puffing I had such a huge appreciation for trail running, and the experience made me yearn for those weekend trail runs I had become so accustomed to. We walked some on the hills, and there were times we were a little backed up on the single-track trail, but overall, we just really enjoyed running somewhere new and giving ourselves a new challenge. Trail runners are a special group of people and it was fun to be running with a group so encouraging and friendly.

We both actually realized halfway through the race that although we have both spent most of our lives in CO – this was our first real TRAIL race!  While we were clipping (ok – sometimes plodding) along, we both agreed that we were SUPER glad we weren’t doing the half marathon! Quite a bit more training would have been required for that one, and the 10K was the perfect challenge.  We finished strong, as the last mile or so was either flat or down hill, so it felt good to push it across the finish line and not feel like completely wimps. We placed about halfway through around 60 participants so we were pleased with that too.

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Jamie and I at the finish line! 

I spent most of the race (ok all of it) absolutely starving so we headed out to find some post-race grub after enjoying the finish line water, oranges and potato chips (heck yeah Cha Cha race organizers…yum!) While waiting for restaurants to open for lunch, we walked along the San Juan River and even spent some time soaking our tired feet in the chilly waters! We didn’t visit the hot springs resort – but we smelled them and walked by to check them out.

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It’s not a race unless you celebrate with a margarita – so that was the first thing we ordered when we finally got seated on the beautiful patio overlooking the river. We enjoyed our drinks and some grub, and then walked around town a little longer before heading out.

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On the way home, we stopped for a mini-hike up to see Treasure Falls at the base of Wolf Creek Pass. It was just a short walk from the parking area, but it made us realize how much we had worked our legs! I think the people we walked by thought we were completely out of shape because of how much we were dragging! It was fun to see the falls though – another chance to experience the beauty of Southern Colorado!

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Once I got home I showered and took a nap – the early wake-up call and challenging run sure wiped me out!

All-in-all we had a SUPER-FANTASTIC day. It was great to visit somewhere new, do a race with a great friend and running buddy, and enjoy the challenges of trail running again. It motivated both of us to make more of an effort to head out to the trails on the weekend, even if it means a drive!

20130825-154124.jpgI came home to a package on my front step with new running shoes (two pairs…that’s right), some running shorts and leggings. Talk about a reward! What a great motivation to keep running and working towards the next big race! I can’t wait to try out the new(ish) Brooks “Pure” line. I ordered the Pure Flow and the Pure Cadence. I’ll be sure to give you a review once I put some miles on them!

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What about you?

Do you trail run? What’s your favorite trail race?

How do you reward yourself after a race? Margaritas? New Shoes? All of the above?

Disclaimer – I am not sponsored by Brooks and I was not provided with any of the shoes in this post. I’m just a big fan! 

 

 

From a Perfect Weekend to a Prepared Week

Happy Monday! I have learned that my Mondays are much happier when I have had a fun, productive weekend with plenty of sleep.  We had a wonderful weekend filled with relaxing at the pool in the sun, long walks, dinner and drinks with friends and more. We even did some yard work and house cleaning! While having fun weekends is awesome – taking a little bit of time to do some prep for the upcoming week is totally worth the time for a smooth transition into a healthy, happy week.

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views from my weekend fun run – yep – I was stalking my hubby at the golf course – creepy!

I have been a slacker this summer when it comes to meal prep and planning, and injuries have derailed my running training so there have been times that I just feel like I’m trying to keep my head above water, stay active and eat something besides potato chips.

It’s amazing how a little planning can really set you back on track quickly…here are a few things that helped me get on track this weekend:

Workouts

  • Did something fun and active each day for at least an hour. River walks, fun jog, morning yoga!
  • Printed out some strength circuits to use this week – less thinking is best when a busy schedule is on tap!
  • Made a general outline of this week’s workouts. This week’s workouts include 3 runs, some cross training cardio, strength circuits on 3 days, and some new ab workouts. I’ve found that making a list of the workouts you want to complete, and picking them each day helps keep you on track but keeps you flexible too. As long as they are all crossed off by the end of the week!
  • Woke of this morning and RAN! It was so tempting to cuddle in and snooze for another 30 minutes – but I knew that starting the week with fresh air and a workout was the key to a successful week. So glad I did!

Food

  • I did all my grocery shopping early on Saturday morning to avoid the crowds and to get it off my weekend to-do list. By 8:30 am I had healthy food for the week bought, unloaded, washed, prepped and put away.
  • Make ahead: I made fresh batches of protein bars and granola Saturday morning. I always make something up when I make granola – and this batch was my best one yet! I have to remember what I did and get the recipe posted to share with you guys! I also made a big batch of quinoa that I turned part of into an Italian salad and kept the rest to add to meals and salads all week.
  • Plan some meals: I didn’t do an exact meal plan this week – but I picked 4 meals that used some overlapping ingredients that can be used for dinner or lunch this week. We love leftovers so I try to make big batches and use up all of the fresh produce early on in the week so nothing is wasted.

Overall, I’m feeling pretty good going into the week. My best friend is coming to visit and I can barely contain my excitement! I’m confident that I can stick to my workout plan this week and I’m excited to try some new recipes too!

Have a great week everyone – and if you didn’t manage to do healthy-week-prep this weekend don’t get discouraged! Take a few minutes tonight to write down a healthy meal or two you want to make this week, and your goals for working out for the rest of the week!

What about you?

Do you meal plan every week?

Do you stick to a set workout plan?

Treadmills – not just for winter anymore

It’s Friday! I’m actually having a TGIF kind of day because I’m actually working this week! After 6 weeks of wonderful “me-time” filled with moving, unpacking, organizing, crafting, cooking and  Ellen show watching…I’m back to work. I’m experiencing a whole new world of ranching and hospitality with my new position at Zapata Ranch! It’s a big change from always being involved with health and fitness for work, but I’m ready for the challenge and excited to keep 1 foot in the fitness world with this blog and my own healthful pursuits! And besides, who can complain about an office view like this!

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While adjusting to the new work schedule, I’m also having to re-think my workout schedule for the week. I’ve been spoiled with complete freedom to do whatever workouts I wanted, when I wanted in the past month. But now it’s back to reality and like most of the rest of the world,  my workouts have been delegated to either before or after work. It’s still windy season here in Southern Colorado (they tell me it ends…I’ll believe it when I see it), so I prefer to run in the morning to avoid the gusts and dust. I also like getting out in the morning because it’s a great way to start the day, and minimizes that excuses that can come up after a long day at work.

Yesterday however, sleep won and I decided to save my run for after work. With the afternoon came wind (imagine that!) and complete dread of running through 15+mph gusts.  So I did what I rarely do…hit the gym treadmill. When I do choose to ditch the beautiful outdoors for the boring ol’ treadmill, it’s usually because it is below zero, or too icy outside to be safe, but I learned yesterday though that it can be totally worth it sometimes to avoid less than optimal running conditions. I ran harder than I have in a while, the change of scenery was actually kind of nice (hello evening news) and I didn’t come back wind burned and wiped out. And it’s much easier to keep a positive attitude when you aren’t focusing all of your power on moving forward instead of backwards or sideways.  I think the fact that I use the treadmill so minimally makes it’s kind of fun sometimes! I don’t think I could use it regularly though, so this wind better get outta here soon.

I know as well as you how boring a half hour of running in place can be, so I created a workout that pushed me and made the time fly by. I call it “3-2-1 Style”, because I run a slower speed for 3 minutes, faster for 2 and then even faster for 1. Repeat for 30 minutes! Don’t forget to warm-up and cool down too. I have my speeds from yesterday below, and I went exactly 3 miles. Feel free to adjust the speed up or down…whatever floats your boat!

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What about you?


Do you like the treadmill? Or are you willing to run in any & all  conditions?

How do you fit your workouts into a busy day?

 

Disclaimer: Although I am an AFAA certified Personal Fitness Trainer, you should consult a physician before starting any exercise program or diet. If you choose to do any workouts on this website, you do so at your own risk. 

W.O.W. #7 National Running Day!

Photo May 26, 9 39 28 AM - Copy-001Happy National Running Day! The running community is such a wonderful thing to be a part of…pulling people together from all over the world with one common goal. We experience together the highs and the lows, and every mile builds us into the person we are becoming.

Today’s quote comes to you from Amy Marxkors, the author of “The Lola Papers” (one of my favorite running books) and contributor to the Fleet Feet Newsletter.

“Running is such lovely illustrator of life, human nature, and the many and diverse facets of the two. In a single race, we can see qualities that are attractive, qualities we’d like to emulate, qualities we’d like people to see in us, and qualities that we wouldn’t. We learn about ourselves, and we learn about others. We learn that no lesson is isolated to the miles, but that our decisions and actions carry over into every other area of our lives. How we are molded and shaped on the road is not undone when we kick off our running shoes.”

~ Amy Marxkors

 

How are you celebrating National Running Day? I rode my spin bike this morning…I know. Shame on me.

I am a Runner

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Oh! Maybe this is how you can tell a runner from a jogger?!

Just last week, I was running with a friend when she told me that she didn’t consider herself a runner. She has completed two half marathons and multiple other races, and goes running regularly. Of course I responded with my personal trainer auto-response of ” if you run, you’re a runner”. Jeez…how clichéd can I be? I hate when I do that.

But it got me thinking, what makes a person a runner? Do you call yourself a “jogger”? What makes a jog, a jog? At what speed does a jog become a run? Does it really matter what you are called?i I think I have pretty much always called what I do running, although it is a slow run. I don’t know why, but I feel like “jogger” has negative connotations sometimes! Like, people who aren’t confident in their fitness call it jogging instead of running. Heck, honestly when I hear the word jogger…I think about the stroller my dad pushed all of my younger siblings in while he ran when they were little! Maybe that’s just me…I don’t mean to offend if you call yourself a jogger.

I know once in a while I will tell someone I’m going for a jog because I don’t want them to think I’m very good. Why do we do this to ourselves? We should be proud of what we do, no matter how fast we are moving, or how long we’ve been doing it. If you are a jogger and proud of it, then you should rock that jog. But if you just don’t think you are good enough to call yourself a runner, think again. If you run, you are a runner. I say it again because it is true.

Today, I read a hilarious article on Runners World about the “Curse of the Jogger” and the perils of even being around a jogger! It made me smile, and is just another reason that we should all just be runners.

If you need another article to convince you, here is the link to one from 2007 called “I am not a jogger”.

No matter what you call yourself, be proud that you are moving, be happy that you are doing something good for yourself, and be confident that you are lapping everyone who is on the couch!!

What about you?

Do you call yourself a runner?

Did it take a moment/race/speed to help you cross over to the “runners” side?