Tuesday, April 10, 2012

If you think you've done enough, do just a little bit more

Apparently that's what I like to do, after running a nice 5 miler yesterday with a dear friend, and then letting her talk me into running up a particularly steep hill, twice, just for kicks.  Kicks in the tookus.  And then, deciding I needed to lift, doing a powerful lower body set followed by 80 squats, and some abs for good measure.  Enough already, right?  Guess not.  When the husband got home later in the evening, he suggested the three of us go for a walk after dinner.  So we did.  Our walk turned into a trail run with the little guy who kept begging me to "run, Mama, run!"  How can I say no to that?  So, I probably tacked on another 2 miles running around with him, plus the walk back to our house.  Was I pooped last night?  A bit.  Was I sore this morning?  You betcha.  And it hurts sooooo good.

I've found that the times I see (er, feel) the most results shortly following a workout are when I've pushed myself beyond what I planned to do, or beyond what felt like enough.  How do we ever really know what IS enough?  In my opinion, you've gotta listen to your body.  If something hurts or feels off, it's probably a good idea to stop when you planned to stop.  But, if you're just feeling tired, 95% of the time your body can take more, so give it a little more and see what it does for you.  See you how feel the next morning.  See how you LOOK the next morning - you just might like what you see in the mirror.

Enough ISN'T always enough.  Push yourself and you'll be surprised at just how far you can go.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Scheduling time for exercise

My life is about to get a whole lot busier, at least for the next 9 weeks.  I've taken on a part time freelance gig that I honestly couldn't be more excited about...I'm over the moon with anticipation and glee and the thought of getting some precious office time and meaningful conversation with other adults, not to mention a chance to utilize my skills and talents outside of the child rearing realm.  Call me crazy, but I am SUPER excited at the prospect of going to work.

That being said, I just spent the last hour trying to put together a workout schedule for the next 9 weeks.  I'm on the verge of hitting "print", knowing that the schedule will likely change a gazillion times, but I'm the kind of person where if I don't have something scheduled on the calendar, it's not going to happen.  And not running or working out is just not an option.

So, over the course of the next 8 weeks (I decided the last week in May would be a good, solid time to end my schedule, rather then venturing into June), I will be running 3 times a week: on Mondays, I will alternate between a tempo run and a "fun run", where I intersperse things like pushups, mountain climbers, planks, lunges, etc. along the way.  On Wednesdays I will be running trails (woo-hoo!) and Saturdays will be my long run days.  I am also going to attempt a Pilates workout at home on Wednesday evenings.  Tuesdays and Thursdays will be Zumba and strength training, alternating between upper/arms and lower/abs.  On Fridays I will work on my yoga home practice and do the 20/20 workout or another HIIT type workout, and on Sundays I will do Pilates.  Sounds ambitious while working 20 hours a week and taking care of a 3 year old full time, no?  Well, ambitious I am.  And somehow, I will make it work.  It's just that important to me.

I would love to get advice and thoughts from those of you who juggle employment/parenthood/exercise on what has and hasn't worked for you.  I know I will have to be flexible, but I also know that exercise is a top priority.  So, how have YOU made it work?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Running trails in a skirt

There's something I like about running trails in a skirt.  Maybe it's the juxtaposition between rough and rugged and flirty and feminine.  Maybe it's feeling light on my toes as I leap over roots and branches, my skirt flapping in the breeze.  Maybe it's the surge of power that I get, knowing that beneath my girly purple skirt is a pair of strong legs capable of climbing the hills at a fast clip.  I didn't intend to run trails when I put on my running skirt the other day, but I traded the pavement for the path about 3/4 into my run and never looked back.

I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a girly girl, though I did go through the Laura Ashley phase many years back (c'mon, who didn't?)  Growing up I was more of a tomboy.  I played in the woods, had lizards for pets and chose softball over cheerleading.  I was never really into Barbies or princesses.  Instead, my heroes were Dale Murphy and Mary Lou Retton.  I could shoot a gun, hit a target and catch a fish.  I played a mean game of badminton and caught frogs in the back yard.

Don't get me wrong, I adore the color pink.  I could dance all night long.  I devour love stories like chocolate, and designer makeup is my guilty pleasure.  But sit me in a kayak or take me to a trail and I will feel right at home.  The sky will always be my roof and the dirt will always be my carpet.  I would happily give up TV forever in exchange for a cottage on the water.  I may wear a skirt when I run, but peek under my manicured toenails and you'll likely find some dirt.  That's just the way I like it.