Motivated by love

It seems so simple right? You hit the gym day after day and maybe you’ve seen some great results. You love that you’re finally getting healthy, something you have wanted for so long. This is when you need to step back and ask yourself, do you love yourself?

For countless men and women, this is actually a huge challenge. Many of us find ourselves lacing up our shoes and heading to trails or the gym for all the wrong reasons. People think “I am so fat,” “I need to look good for spring break,” and so on.

We all begin working out with a variety of reasons behind it. It could be a personal choice, a hobby, a living, and a variety of other reasons. While I cannot argue regular exercise is damaging, but I do argue that there is a lot of self-hate behind why people choose to join a gym or buy that exercise tape.

There are many extremes to this age old question so let me just share a personal anecdote to explain. I’ve been working out since I was eleven (so just over eleven years). Though the act of working out was a very healthy life decision, the mind set behind it was quite the contrary.

I think as women, we find ourselves hating what we see in the mirror. With the hate, many of us become motivated to lose weight. Often times weight loss can be a very healthy fitness journey and other times it may not. Many, many people, myself included, can get lost in this.

I started working out not to get “healthy.” I was not motivated to nourish myself. I was not motivated to love the person I was seeing in the mirror.

I was motivated to change the number in the scale. I’d see myself and think “I’m so fat and I still have SO FAR to go.”

So far to go, so far to go, so so so far to go.

I believed that once I lost the weight, once I reached that “goal number,” once I wore that size I would be pretty. I equated that weight loss with my beauty and my beauty with my worth.

After each workout, I’d look in the mirror and suck in my stomach. I’d poke what I saw as imperfections. I’d take measurements of my body. I’d weigh myself. Above all, I’d hate on myself.

Never during this journey did I feed my mind with positivity. I was exercising so much commitment. I’d make it to the gym 5-6 times a week for 2-3 hours a day. I was obtaining my goals, faster than I imagined. I was growing stronger.

None of that mattered because it was never enough because I was never enough.

My sophomore year of college I returned to the gym after my 5 years of running cross country and track came to a close.  One day while I was on the elliptical, I came to this realization that though I had unstoppable commitment in my past, it was for all the wrong reasons.

From that day forward I knew it was time to make a change. It was time to change my thinking.

It begins with goal setting. We set goals to give us something to work for. This is something that persists throughout all aspects of our lives. While setting a goal weight can be a very good thing, you cannot allow that number to become you. You are so much more than that number. The person you are should not be defined by the weight you are now or the weight you want to be.

Along with goal setting, you cannot let media misrepresentations be your motivation. This is something I struggle with. When all you see is beautifully thin women, you begin to get it in your head that to be a beautiful woman, you must also be thin.

Thin does not equate strong. It does not make you healthy. Thin is beautiful and women who are naturally thin should not be ashamed of what they were born with, but you should not be the sole motivator behind a weight loss journey. I’ve been there.

When I was motivated by being thin, I hated myself. When I shifted my focus to getting healthier, I began to learn to love myself.

Instead of thinking “how far I have to go” you should reward your efforts towards a healthier life. Think about “how far you have come.” Each day you make it to the gym, or you put in exercise, you did it. It should be a feeling of accomplishment.

While pinterest may be full of motivating graphics, some of these “motivating graphics” shame the fat, shame the thick, and shame the thin. These may motivate you to get off your booty, but don’t let them run your life.

All in all, if you’re out there working out and a journey to get fit (or whatever your reasons may be) you should be proud.

You’re actively making steps towards a healthier you. When you feed your body, you’re also feeding your mind. When you feed yourself with positivity on a consistent basis, you will slowly begin to believe it. Your mind, body, and soul equal you.

Advertisements

Training Plan 13.1 – Revisited

Going into half marathon training, I did not have any idea of what to expect out of my fitness and ability levels. I have always been a 5-6 day a week runner and sometimes even 7 days during my first year of college. After 1.5 years of a roller coaster of fitness and a few scattered 5ks, my fitness was minimal. I did some researching on training plans and had my two friends in mind when creating it (who are not runners, but were athletes throughout high school). I went to basics. I just wanted to have the fitness level to finish the 13.1 miles.

My time did not completely matter, though I did want to finish under the 2:15:00 mark (20 minutes slower than my first half…3 years ago). Now that I am almost finished with week 4 and have been adding in supplemental runs because they just feel good, I have my mind set on a goal. I came in to training more in shape than anticipated and really haven’t been feeling too sore these last two weeks. Suddenly, a PR became a more and more realistic goal.

The training plan I put together (adapted from Pop Sugar Fitness 16 week plan) me and my friends on is a 15 week one. With almost 4 weeks down, that still leaves me 11 weeks to get miles under my belt, 11 weeks to incorporate speed work, and 11 weeks to get my booty in shape to run my best half marathon yet. In 11 weeks, I can tackle a whole lot.

I still have to do some thinking about my half marathon plan as more speed work should probably be incorporated, but I have to do more research on what that speed work should be. I ran a 1:54:01 three years ago and thus any time under that mark would technically be a personal best, but I would like to hit 1:49:59 or under. To break 1:50:00 would be a huge milestone. I would be elated.

I have the goal to run a marathon before I am 25. I think that’s pretty realistic. I would ideally like to cross that finish in 4:00:00 or under (I would really like to BQ (Boston Qualify) in one of the marathons I run…yes I intend to run at least 2 or 3, now those intentions may change after I actually run that beast). Consequently, I need to do major work on my half marathon racing. Now is as good of time as any to start! So without further adieu, here is my newly revised training plan. I crossed out the weeks that have already passed. Half Marathon Revised

Once I finish my research on speed work, I will probably incorporate short speed workouts, possibly even hill workouts before strength training on Tuesday’s. I will have to modify a few things here and there but we will have to wait and see what unfolds of it! If you would like to see my training plan before I changed it up, check out my post, Training Plan – 13.1. I am loving running and even have some new shoes that feel wonderful! shoes

**Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, registered dietitian, physical trainer/therapist or fitness expert. The purpose of my blog is to share my stories and experiences with running, fitness, and life. When it comes to your health and fitness, do your research and consult a health career professional.**

 

Back at it!

Decided it’s about time I dust off the ol’ blog (trying to be funny here…). Just because I have not been blogging often (try since September) it does not mean I have given up on fitness. I have however been slacking.

I spent my summer in Colorado as a camp counselor and was running every morning, hiking every afternoon, doing yoga a few times a week, hiked a mountain, and even core workouts with my campers in the evenings. Towards the end of my summer, I stepped wrong while running and kind of reactivated a back injury of mine.

I kept running through it because running in the mountains on those chilly mornings is invigorating. It continued to worsen. But I have never been one to listen to my body until it shuts me down. So I kept hearing it, but ignoring the issue. I ran, moved bunk beds, was on my feet all day, did lots of jumping around, you name it. My back just kept feeling worse and worse.

Finally, I got back on my plane to Missouri. It was on the plane ride that the pain was excruciating. That evening I went to the restroom in the middle of the night. When I went to pick up my little 20lb dog who followed me out of my room, my back went out. I couldn’t stand back up. I sat there, silently screaming as not to wake anyone. I eventually got back on my feet and hobbled into bed (probably a bad decision). No position felt right. I was uncomfortable all night.

Of course, just three days later I was going to travel across the state and move back into my apartment. I was useless for lifting. My boyfriend had to carry everything in and place it where I wanted it. That proved frustrating as well due to my OCD. It was a hassle and a huge hit to my fitness enthusiast ego.

At that point, I thought getting into the pool would do the trick for me. I spent about three weeks consistently swimming, but life got hectic so my workouts were limited to bike rides and elliptical workouts. Then, I got the bright idea of training for a half marathon in just 6 short weeks. I was going to train with my boyfriend and we were (keyword, were) going to run this half marathon on our 6th anniversary.

Well, low and behold, I strained my quad about 1.5 weeks into training. It was awful. I had to take two weeks off and at that point I was just so done with the whole process. I hit the gym about twice a week for pathetic cardio workouts and would do a circuit or tabata video here and there. All the while, my anxiety was through the roof and I was just allover a difficult person to live with.

It’s like I cannot function properly without regimented exercise. I began to lose weight (which I am not complaining about) due to my anxiety. The anxiety was all due in part to not having my release, exercise.

It just so happened, the week of me and my boyfriend’s 6th anniversary (this is covering quite a span of time…) I saw an opportunity to run a 5k on campus for free. On a whim, I decided I would run it. Worst case scenario I would walk most of it. There was nothing to lose. So the morning of our anniversary, we bundle up, me to run, he to cheer me on, and head out to my campus.

The race was nothing special, but it got me excited. It began and I started out with a light run. I felt good so I decided to pick it up. It did not take long and I was in first place. I came up on my first mile in 7:45 (a mistake the would later hit me). It was near the end of my 2nd mile I had to stop running because of a freight train. As I stood there hopping around for two minutes, not another person was in site. Just as the train finished passing by the second place person had almost caught me.

I sprinted off (another mistake) and tried my best to keep my lead. The person caught me, he was a pleasure to talk to and without him I would fallen back much further because at that point I had hit the wall, As we approached the finish, I tried to start my kick but I had nothing left to kick. The guy who caught me sped off, but stopped short of the finish line. He tells me “you earned this, I would not have caught you had the train not stopped you.” That gesture made me day.

The 5k I ran on November 15th, 2015.

After this 5k (that I ran with next to zero training) I still was not doing much of anything. I wanted to, but it was hard to get out there. I reached out to some friends, asking if they would be interested in running a half marathon with me. To my surprise they seemed excited about the opportunity. I found us a training plan, a race, and now here I am two weeks into the training and feeling like I can conquer the world.

Getting back to it definitely comes with aches and pains!

It hasn’t been easy, but I am elated to be back in the routine again! Check back soon. My next post will get into the training and how I am feeling.

I will also share my training plan and the race I decided on!

Base before Pace

So I was sick for a while, blah, blah, blah. I was told not to run for 2 months blah, blah, blah. I was heartbroken. I usually run 6 days a week. I got depressed. I felt useless. Then I got lazy. So two months passed…and then another month and I still was not exercising consistently. I was having ups and downs and was riding an emotional rollercoaster with my self-confidence. Every day was THE day…and then it wasn’t. As I grew soft, I grew sad.

IMG_2607

A little throwback to my freshman (HS) year track and cross country.

For about a month now I have been far more active than the past three. I have been walking all over campus, walking to stores, walking my dog, and playing with my dog. Though all that is great, it’s a start, but it’s not enough. I am not a pleasant person when I miss my workout. Unfortunately for my boyfriend, I was going onto my 4th month of being unpleasant.

I don’t even like to be around myself when I haven’t worked out so it was TIME FOR CHANGE. Time to get moving, sweat, and be sore! I have made an effort the past two weeks to really get my butt out there. I have been on the Stairmaster, the elliptical, the bike, and my favorite, running.

About a month ago, I made a horrible mistake. I went running with my GPS watch and could not, absolutely could not; stop staring at my darn pace. Each step I grew disheartened. I was working hard, but my pace was SO SLOW. I felt like I was running fast, but the numbers said otherwise. After growing accustomed to seeing 7:30 pace as a comfortable pace, seeing that pace turn into 9:00 per mile really brought me down.

Yesterday was lovely. I ran with my dog for about 10 minutes, swung by my apartment, dropped him off and continued on. I ran to the track, did some stairs, and then continued running. I did this little loop that adds up to about 4 miles. It was perfect weather and I felt amazing. The best part was, I left the GPS watch back home and just stuck with my stopwatch.

Base before pace.

Before I can start beating myself up for my pace, I need to form a solid base. Of course pace still matters, but its relative. If I am doing a speed workout or tempo run, I just need to run fast. Sure, sounds simple. If I am running comfortably and want to integrate speed, I just need to pick it up for a specified interval of time.

Until I have developed a solid base, until I have grown stronger, watching my GPS watch like a hawk will not be any benefit to me. Beating myself up mentally is perhaps the worst thing to do. I always like to think, when running, my mind gives out before my legs.  If I am forcing all this negativity into my head, my running will suffer. I ran 7 years without a GPS watch; I can certainly run a month without one.

For now, I am working on a base. I would like to do 5 days of running and 1 day of cross training. Of course my distances will vary and veer towards to lower side, but that’s okay! I have to remind myself, it’s okay to be out of shape. It’s okay that I cannot run 8-10 mile runs on the weekend for now

I will get there, it’s only a matter of time, but filling my life and my workouts with negatively will not help.

I fully intend to run a marathon by the end of the year and I have to start somewhere. So, there it is, build a base, then focus on pace. Now is the time to be stronger, faster, and better than ever. The mental strength is just as crucial as the physical. It’s a hard lesson and will have to fight those voices as they creep in, but I can do it.

As I run up that steep hill, as I do my speed work, as I get up early, I will fight those voices!

 

Poll time! Opinions wanted!

imageHello lovelies! Anyone else have a case of the Mondays? Right now I should be working on a research paper, studying for an exam, working out, and cleaning my apartment, but instead I have created my first poll! Yay…err..uhm..yeah!

In an effort to increase my followers, change my blog up, change my routine up, and post more often, I want to hear from you! Any of you. Whether you’re a runner, a boxer, a yogi, a cyclists, a heavy weight champion..you get the point! I need to hear from you so I can get better at this whole blogging thing. So, there you go, a poll! Whatever wins will be the subject of my next post.

If no one votes, then you’ll get to hear about my belly button lint. Just kidding. That’s gross. Just vote!

Happy Fitness!

Oh and stay tuned, I will soon be doing my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY! Eeeek! Now vote!

Fit And Limitless

image (1)Formerly Holding the Pace. — yes I changed my site name. It has its pros and cons, but overall, this name feels more inspiring to me.


MY VALIANT RETURN! I apologize for my absence and better yet, my name change. I made an oopsy and need the blog world’s help. I changed my blog name and did not think about the fact that I would lose all my loyal, lovely readers.  Any advice on how to attract new readers…quickly? Okay, so I really didn’t know how to lead into my actual post. So, formerly Holding the Pace. I bet you’re wondering why the name change? Why Fit and Limitless? What am I doing here?

Well folks, let me take a crack at it. Why did I change the name? Well, I felt like I needed to start anew. Mentally, it seems motivating to me (I know I am weird). I have had a bumpy fitness journey the past 12 months. A switch flipped one day. It was time for change. Time to get on track. Time to overhaul…this time for real!

Why didn’t I just change the name of Holding The Pace? Well, you see, I kind of didn’t think that decision through. OOPS. Live and learn. I imported all my old posts..for your reading pleasure (you’re welcome). BUT I HAVE NO FOLLOWERS. Wahhh. Time to promote, promote, promote!

Why Fit and Limitless? The sky is the limit that’s why. The human body can accomplish great things. Amazing things. I want to inspired and be inspired. I want to motivate and be motivated. I want to love myself and help someone else love themselves.

What am I doing here? Well first off, I am a runner. I love running. I love sweating. I love the feeling in my lungs. I love the soreness. I love racing. I love the gratification. I love pushing myself. I am here to share my workouts, share my pitfalls, share my accomplishments, seek advice, share my workouts, my recipes, my indulgences. I want to extend my stories so that people in my shoes know they can do it. They can be fit. They can be happy. They can be crazy busy and still make time for themselves.image  I am here for me, but more importantly, I am here for you! So a few days ago, I got inspired to change my site name. Instead of “holding my pace,” I am pushing it. I have no limits. As a runner and an athlete, it’s important to revamp it all from time to time. In addition to this name change, I have revamped my diet, revamped my workouts, and am pushing myself to be positive. The weather is great, the roads are open, its time to run.

What have I been up to? I am always busy…and I could complain, but I love it. I love the go-go-go. I love the planning. I love the activities that fill my day. That being said, being busy also means junk food is very tempting. In an efforts to “eat clean,” I have discovered that meal prep is key! Whether I prep my snacks, my veggies, my fruits, breakfast, lunch, or dinner, its planned. Not only does that stop the “what are we having for dinner” crisis (yes, it is a crisis, I am not a pleasant person when hungry..I’m hangry!), but it stops the binge eating on junk. Maybe that’s just me, but I have my weaknesses!

The lunch and snacks I brought along to work yesterday. I actually filled up before finishing it all!

image (3)I am on a journey. The goal isn’t weight loss, its fitness and if losing some weight happens then great, but its not the focal point. I am focused on getting stronger, faster, and healthier and with dedication and hard work it WILL HAPPEN. To keep me on track I will be posting here. I will be posting for advice, to brag, to brush off a bad day. My readers will keep me accountable and that is comforting!

If you look at the photo on the left, that was about a year ago when I knew changes needed to be done. I made great progress and back tracked. I feel like the photo of me at my peak is not necessary, it is motivating to me though. The photo on the left is me now (well yesterday, but nonetheless). Why am I posting this? To keep me accountable. I have made progress, it is visible, but the journey continues. I won’t stop until I am rocking some fab abs ( kidding, I won’t ever stop, its lifelong!!)

This brings me to a question for myself (this whole post was questions to myself…) what motivates me? What is it that pushes me to accomplish things myself?

I am motivated by running, by personal records, by finishing runs, by running farther than I ever have. I am motivated by thought of being healthier, stronger, and more fit. Most importantly, I am motivated to inspire. I am motivated to help others preserve. Fitness is a long journey and sometimes it can be disheartening. I am here to help others push through the rough times and to help them learn to love themselves.

I know, super cheesy. I am sorry. I am a walking cliche. I hope you come back, I hope you reblog me. I hope you enjoyed my post!

Happy Running (or whatever fitness/recreational activities you do!!) Come back soon 🙂

Busy Little Bee

BUSY, BUSY.

Lately, I’ve just been a busy little worker bee, buzzing around. I have had so much to do that I have found myself falling asleep in my classes…which is totally unlike me. At the moment I am in between this and that so hello, world! I have made a not so triumphant return!!

Yada, yada, yadaaa…

As a working college student life presents its own challenges, but I can honestly say, despite being exhausted, broke, and stressed, I wouldn’t have it any other way. My goal, over the next few months is to really buckle down and get devoted to posting regularly.

Let’s face it, many of you don’t even know who I am, you just randomly stumbled upon this post hoping for hilarity, advice, or enlightenment. Spoiler, you may not find that in THIS post, but come back soon and I promise you will (yes, even pinkie-promise, its that serious).

If this is your first time here, I aim to keep a fit and balanced life. I love to eat healthy and develop recipes. Smoothies are my passion. Running is my addiction. Colorado is my favorite place to be. Nature is my heaven. My family is my everything.

I also took on a commitment almost 5 months ago to run my first marathon AND join The National Children’s Cancer Society in an effort to raise money for those children and families in need. While I did grow ill and withdraw from the marathon, I still am raising money. I need your help. I know, I know, I am harping on my soap box. Another fundraiser? Another person soliciting money? 

I get it. I do.

I don’t have bountiful cash to throw around, but just $10.00 can be the difference. I have 31 days left to fund raise. Just 31. I would love if some of my newly founded readers could play a part in something big!

I just wanted to note, you may think “oh I don’t need to donate, someone else will.” Trust me, not as many people are contributing as you think. It’s something I have realized. People do not like parting with their moneyyyy. I sympathize. BELIEVE ME.

31 days. $60.00 left to reach my goal. I need your help!

One more thing, follow this link if you want to find out more about my fundraiser AND to donate! You will also see around my blog there are links that can also direct that way! To donate or learn more click here!

Now before I go let me leave a quick summary of me!
I am a sophomore. My major is undecided (four major changes later I realized maybe I was undecided afterall). I workout. I eat MOSTLY clean. I have been dating my boyfriend about 5.5 years. I love my family. I am going to Spain and Colorado this summer. I love life. I am a little very crazy and I hope you come back soon! 

Be prepared, soon I will be posting recipes, workouts, recaps, and more!