Stronger than the Fear: March 2020

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March was a doozy, wasn’t it? It didn’t start out well for me, not feeling well. I get a non specific virus like this often in Spring (relatively sure it wasn’t COVID19 but we’ll never know). I rest, I get better, then out of the blue I feel a little worse, and back and forth for weeks.

I was a little disappointed because I’d really tried hard to clean up my nutrition. For the record, I was never very sick. Maybe that’s the clue — while I still got sick, it was extremely mild. Maybe due to making an effort to eat healthier because I know that this time of year I’m always vulnerable.

Truthfully, if my family and loved ones come through this okay, if we have a roof over our head (and four walls, please!), and enough to eat, missing some racing is a small price to pay.

These lyrics from Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” (which I’ve always loved) seem very appropriate to the times:

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone

Especially the part about not being lonely when I’m alone. I know that a lot of people are really struggling with the lack of social connectedness right now, and I am sorry for the many that #thestruggleisreal.

It doesn’t mean that I love doing everything alone — no. It’s just that I’m okay being on my own. I’ve had a lot of practice, having lived far away from relatives for many decades (until now, although still far away from my brother and my MIL), and also spent a lot of time separated from Mr. Judy over the decades due to his work.

I think it’s a good thing to be comfortable with being by yourself; not trying to be preachy here, just that it’s a good life skill no matter what’s going on in the world.

 

Running all the hills right now anyway

 

Getting in scheduled runs
Except for the one week I was sick, I kept up with running 3 x week. Missed one long run. Didn’t really matter as I ended up not being in training mode anyway.

Grade Earned:  A

Recording my runs
Again I got spotty with recording my runs. I’ve been working on a big project for my YouTube Channel (which you can visit here), and it’s kept me very busy. Then there was that pesky COVID19 thing.

Grade Earned: B-

Dynamic Warmup
It’s (mostly) getting warmer, so I’ve been doing well with my dynamic warmup — as I wait for my Garmin to find a signal.

Grade Earned: A

Getting back into more frequent foam rolling. Does a body good.

 

Foam Rolling
I have actually been doing well with foam rolling, too. Even occasionally foam rolling on days I don’t run. My long run on Friday was physically very tough, and my hamstrings were complaining. I did yoga, I did a long foam rolling session, and I was very surprised (and happy) to wake up feeling okay the next day.

Grade Earned: A

The hardest part about delivery is finding healthy options. This wasn’t so much healthy, but it was yummy!

 

Nutrition
My weight is hanging steady (even if it’s a few pounds over where I’d like it to be). I really have to stop doing my long runs at lunch time, though! By the time I get home, even with a post run snack, I’ve got a serious case of the rungries. It isn’t pretty.

Grade Earned: A-

Support

  • Massage? Nope. We all know why.
  • Chiropractor Appointment? See massage.
  • Do I need a hair appointment? Again, see above. It’s probably going to be a while. It’s been about 6 weeks since my last cut — even though that’s the “correct” amount of time for me for a cut, I very rarely get it done that often. Sometimes I go months. And I do like to grow it out a bit in the summer to braid it.

Grade Earned: B

Cross Training
I’ve been riding the stationary bike fairly regularly. I was getting back into some strength training too, though somehow I fell off of it the last week of March. I’ve done a little pilates here and there. So hard to squeeze it all in!

Grade Earned: A-

March 2020  gets  . . . 
. . . an A-. There’s always room for improvement, but March, despite the craziness, went pretty well.

March Goals:

  • Strength train 2 – 3x week. Y. I’m going to say I met this goal — when I felt healthy. I felt meh off & on in March, so I rested when I needed to.
  • Continue running 3 x week and maintaining my base. Y. Again goal met when I was feeling good. I only had one week with just one run, and only one missed long run.
  • Begin to write half marathon plans. N. No reason to yet.
  • Start practicing at the Yoga Studio that’s close to me. N. For obvious reasons that didn’t happen..
  • Foam roll when I’m able. Y. High five for doing it pre-run and some non-running days too.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Y. Weight is staying pretty stable, but it’s on the high end. I wouldn’t say I’m overindulging in sweets, but I would say there have been more than I need (or burn off). Need to get a handle on that; clothes are just a tiny bit snugger.
  • Meal plan on the weekends! Y. Not only did I meal plan, I even began to meal prep too. Until COVID19 hit . . . then simple grocery shopping sucked up a lot more time than usual.
  • Maybe a shorter race? N. Again, not my fault. I had actually planned to try for a new-to-me race; it was not to be.

Which leads me to April Goals:

  • Strength train 2 – 3x week. I’m really shooting for those 3 x week, even if one session is just 10 minutes.
  • Continue running 3 x week, adding in more mileage. I’ve slowly been adding distance to my runs, both the long runs and the midweek runs.
  • Plan out long runs (in case I run the June half). I like to look at the race date, and work backwards from there. Even for the June half, it’s time — starting early gives me that wiggle room.
  • Release my 21 Days of Yoga Challenge! Um, maybe. Depends on what happens in life. I’ve been thrown some curve balls with this, again, but we’re getting closer to it.
  • Foam roll when I’m able. Would love to foam roll at least occasionally on days that I don’t run.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Although I’d love to drop just a little weight, I’m still maintaining fairly well.
  • Carve out a time to read non-fiction daily. I read fiction (for the most part) before I go to sleep. I have a lot of nonfiction books waiting for me. Something always seems to get in the way of setting a regular time during the day to just read. Maybe the first step is to decide how long I will give myself.

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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So You Can Only Work Out at Home

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I know so many of you rely heavily on gyms. It may be the social aspect, it may be the competition, it may be the equipment, it may simply be the variety. Most of us can’t go to the gym right now. I have belonged to gyms on and off, but hadn’t been a member of one for a while. Fitness pros are taking to the Internet in droves! There are so many ways to work out on the cheap at home right now (and many are free!).

Today I’m simply sharing a few resources for working out online:

  • My YouTube Channel here (gotta toot my own horn, although I’m sure you’re kinda tired of that by now)
  • Pahla B Fitness here. Her workouts are fun, hard, and plentiful!
  • AMR Stride Through Social Distancing here, 3/23-4/26 for $10 — get ready for racing again — yes, we will race again! — for only $10.
  • ZOOMA Fitter Stronger Faster Challenge here. A 6 week challenge to get you stronger to run faster. It’s totally free if you don’t want swag, and it’s reasonably priced if you do want the swag. Tough decision!
  • No Meat Athlete has a free 30 Day Fitness Challenge here. Free 15 minute workouts daily!
  • Final Surge Free Virtual 5k. More info here.
  • Merrymaker Sisters are offering their membership for free until April 1 (no credit card required) here. Pilates, Yoga, Meditation. They’re Aussies, so the accents are fun, too.
  • Lauren Roxbourgh’s Immunity Boosting Movement Medicine here (also no credit card required). Yoga, foam rolling, meditation.
  • Skirt Sports Women Who Move FB group here. Live workouts and inspiration to get moving.
  • OrangeTheoryFitness daily workouts on YouTube here. Thanks, Kim @ Kookyrunner!
  • Danette May offers some free workouts on her blog here. HIIT, Yoga, Fusion.
  • Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner’s list of a year’s worth of challenges here(seriously, Deborah, how did you know we’d need this?).
  • Debbie @ Debruns cross training and bootcamp workouts here.
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Almost four years later — still using it!

What’s in my gym
I thought I’d share what’s in my home gym:

  • Treadmill
  • Stationary Bike
  • Free Weights
  • Kettlebells
  • Resistance Bands
  • Yoga Wheel
  • Yoga Mat
  • Yoga Blocks
  • Yoga Strap (Resistance Bands work just fine, too)
  • Foam Rollers

You can get great workouts with nothing at all — just your own body! At the minimum I’d suggest some resistance bands and weights. I still love my FitDesk (Amazon Affiliate link here and review here), especially that it doesn’t require any electricity and can be fairly easily moved around. No power? No problem!

What resources can you add? 

What’s in your home gym? 

Are you still exercising outside? As long as I can, I will!

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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That Made Me Stronger: February 2020

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I was not familiar with Stevie Nicks’ song, That Made Me Stronger. It’s true, though, that the tough times we go through make us stronger. You have to go through it; no one else can do it for you — they can only support you.

The last 6 months? Hard. So hard. Did they make me stronger? Did they change me? Time will tell.

Can you write this for me
He says no, you write your songs yourself
That made me stronger
It made me hold on to me

Getting in scheduled runs
I kept with my 3 x week runs. Which is not to say February didn’t make it challenging. Much less travel — but still one trip to my mom’s. Not much snow — but plenty of ice. I’m pretty proud that most of those runs occurred outside. I began to lengthen the long runs.

Grade Earned:  A+

Recording my runs
After the intensity of January, I fell almost completely off journaling the first couple of weeks of February. I did run, obviously. I have the blog to go back and fill in the blanks. Which is part of why I write a detailed recap of my runs on the blog. It’s my backup.

Grade Earned: B-

Dynamic Warmup
It gets done. The length varies, but I do move my body before running. Cold rubber bands break when they’re stretched. You don’t want to break your legs, right?

Grade Earned: A

Foam Rolling
I haven’t moved back to more frequent foam rolling, but I really am committed to foam rolling before I get out there and run. If I wait til afterward — well, the stretching doesn’t even always happen afterward.

Grade Earned: A

I think my family was trying to fatten me up!

Nutrition
There was more eating out than normal in February, especially my birthday weekend. Not only did I have 2 cakes, chocolate covered strawberries, and pizza, but there was sushi, too! Plus some of my husband’s tempura veggies. The secret to indulging? Don’t wait til the proverbial Monday to get back to healthy eating.

Grade Earned: A-

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I got a haircut for this class, but it kind of back fired. I’d have been better off waiting. I ended up pulling it into a ponytail to tame it anyway.

Support

  • Massage? No. No birthday massage for me. 😦
  • Chiropractor Appointment? Still no.
  • Do I need a hair appointment? No — I actually had 2 in 2 months! My hairdresser seriously thought that second appointment was a mistake. And that is the last time that will happen!

Grade Earned: B-

Cross Training
My recent bone scan (my first) came back with mildly low bone density. I’m sure that my very low Vitamin D levels are to blame. I am really making an effort to get in that strength training 3 x week! I was successful this month.

In addition, I have also begun to ride my stationary bike before breakfast several times a week. When I run on the treadmill, I also use it as a warm up. Obviously there is lots of Yoga.

Grade Earned: A

January 2020  gets  . . . 
. . . an A-. There’s always room for improvement, but February went pretty well.

February Goals:

  • Strength train 2 – 3x week. Y. February was a busy month. But I really committed to trying to get in more strength training and was successful.
  • Continue running 3 x week and maintaining my base. Y. No, I didn’t add in a fourth day, and probably won’t for a while, but I did begin lengthening my long run.
  • Start practicing at the Yoga Studio that’s close to me. N. Let’s just say life has thrown a few more curve balls my way so it didn’t happen.
  • Foam roll when I’m able. Y. Still just pre-run, but that’s the most important to me.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Y.There was more eating out than planned in February, not to mention those dreary end of Winter days are testing my resolve, but I am proud of continuing to maintain my weight intuitively. People who’ve never struggled with their weight will never understand why it’s even an issue for anyone, but others will get it.
  • Meal plan on the weekends! Y. Are you shocked? Yes, I started to meal plan on the weekends again! If you fail to plan, you plain to fail, never forget that!

Which leads me to March Goals:

  • Strength train 2 – 3x week. I’m really shooting for those 3 x week, even if one session is just 10 minutes.
  • Continue running 3 x week, adding in more mileage. If I’m motivated, maybe I’ll add in a fourth day. My guess is that won’t happen anytime soon. Still. Other fish to fry.
  • Begin to write half marathon plans. I like to look at the race date, and work backwards from there. Even for the June half, it’s time — starting early gives me that wiggle room.
  • Start practicing at the Yoga Studio that’s close to me. Um, maybe. Depends on what happens in life.
  • Foam roll when I’m able. Would love to foam roll at least occasionally on days that I don’t run.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Although I’d love to drop just a little weight, I’m still maintaining fairly well.
  • Meal plan on the weekends! Planning makes almost everything better. Just sayin’.
  • Maybe a shorter race? It’s been months since I’ve raced. Time to remind these legs that they can turn over faster.

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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