Category Archives: Life

What I’m Loving Lately

With yesterday being Valentine’s Day and love being in the air, I thought it was time to share what I’m loving lately.

Snowshoeing

I know I just mentioned this on Monday, but I am loving snowshoeing right now. Whether it’s walking at a snail’s pace with the kids (but secretly fuming because it’s taking FOREVER) or running and sucking wind at a what feels like at least a 6:50 effort but really is a 16:00 pace in knee deep snow, I love it all. I actually may even be able to sneak in a snowshoe race or two within the next few weeks. It will be a whole new version of sucking wind for sure.

what I'm loving lately | happyfitmama.com

Tailwind

Race day fueling and hydration is one of my weakest points. I always end up with severe cramping in my calves.  After listening to Jamie speak at Rise.Run.Retreat back in the fall, I reached out to her for some help. I’ve been putting her suggestions to the test on my runs lately and have been pleased. She suggested I try Tailwind (affiliate link) and I’m glad she did. So far, it’s worked great. As the miles crank upwards and so does the prescribed paces, I’ll be interested to see if it still serves me well. Fingers crossed!

Ultimate Direction 

I recently received some sweet gear from Ultimate Direction. After numerous friends raved about the Jenny Collection hydration packs, I wanted to give it a try since I’m hoping to be out on the trails more this summer and fall. I got the Adventure Vesta which so far, has been awesome. I haven’t needed to use all of it’s features yet. Which to be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever need the ice axe loops. This girl does not do vertical ice climbing! The best feature so far has been the Body Bottles. I thought it might be annoying to have two bottles filled and sloshing around while running. I thought it would feel like running without a bra.  Girls, you know what I mean. Amazingly, the bottles don’t move at all. Of course, you hear sloshing but there’s no bouncing. I’ve worn it on the trails and on the road.

What I'm loving lately | happyfitmama.com

I also received the Ultimate Direction Ultra Jacket. I was loving the hood on our snowshoe run last week. It was the perfect protection from the wind and snow. The built in FlipMitts came in handy on a run where I forgot my gloves. If you thought thumb holes were awesome, FlipMitts will blow your mind!

what I'm loving lately | happyfitmama.com

This is Us

Why do I love a show that makes me cry so much? Please tell me I’m not alone in questioning this.

Yoga

Hitting my yoga mat at least twice a week in yoga class has been much needed as the miles start to crank up in training. Every muscle from my toes to my head need it. I love that almost every class involves tons of Runner’s Lunge variations. Nothing feels better on my feet all the way up to my hips. As if I needed more confirmation that I made the right move to switch to Bending Bodhi in November.

what I'm loving lately | happyfitmama.com

Greek Yogurt Power Bowls

For years my breakfast staple was a bowl of oatmeal. I still will have one every so often but my new usual is Greek Yogurt Power Bowls filled with Stonyfield (of course!), granola, chia/flax seeds and fresh fruit. It’s filling and sticks with me for hours.

what I'm loving lately | happyfitmama.com

Pre Long Run Sweet Potatoes

A few weeks ago, the topic of pre long run fuel came up on a group run. One girl mentioned eating a baked sweet potato. That was one of my favorite snacks a couple of years ago but I grew sick of it.  I thought I’d try it out as a pre run fuel with cinnamon and a spoonful of almond or peanut butter. It’s been perfect and Jamie agrees that I should stick with it since it’s got the right ratio for fueling.

Cooper

I’ve never stopped loving Cooper but I’m loving that he’s feeling so much better lately. He had us really worried back in December that the end was near. But his new medication has worked wonders. He’s gaining weight and has so much energy. He went snowshoeing with us on Monday and acted like a puppy.

What I'm loving lately | happyfitmama.com

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and the Coaches’ Corner.

What have you been loving lately?

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How to Become a Morning Workout Person

How to become a morning workout person. happyfitmama.com

I get asked a lot how do I wake up so early to workout.

I’m always been one of those super annoying people that can jump out of bed and be ready to workout to matter how early it is and what season. My body is just naturally set to be a morning person. I think it’s in my genetic make up. Growing up, my dad would say the day was half over if you slept past 7 a.m. And no, I did not grow up on a farm.

When I went to college, I always chose the early morning classes. That was great for me but not so great for my roommate who thought an 11 a.m. class was early. Looking back, I think it was living with her that made me loathe the snooze alarm so much. I’ve never once touched the snooze button and never will. She would always vow that she was going to wake up early to workout, study or some other go-getter morning activity but then would proceed to hit the snooze alarm over and over and over and over again.

I had visions of throwing the alarm clock out the window of our 4th story dorm room.

But I understand that not everyone is like me. I mean if you asked me to workout at 6 p.m. or to go running at 10 p.m., I’d think you were nuts. My pajamas are most likely on at 6 p.m., especially during the winter. So the odds of a workout happening in the evening for me? Slim to none.

If you are a night owl, making the switch to early morning runs is going to be rough. I’m not going to lie – you’ll probably hate it. BUT if you make a gradual switch, you may find it you will actually enjoy it.

morning workout | happyfitmama.com

Plan, plan and plan some more. Set out your clothes the night before. Plan what you are doing for your workout. If you are strength training, know what exercises you will be doing. If you are running, know the distance, pace and route of which you’ll run. No matter if I do a basement workout or a road run, I always plan what I’m doing the night before. Or at least have a general idea of what I want to accomplish.

To take it a step further, I’ve even slept in my workout clothes. It saves time when you can roll out of bed fully dressed and ready to work it.

Go to bed early. Make sure you are in bed by 10 p.m. at the latest. Don’t get sucked into electronics. Leave your phone across the room (or don’t even bring it in your room), don’t turn on the TV. For me, those will keep me up later than I should be.

Do NOT hit snooze. That button should have never been invented in my opinion. Besides being the most annoying sound ever, laying in bed an extra 5 or 10 minutes won’t do anything for you. Seriously. Get rid of the snooze alarm now. It’s just an enabler!

Set your alarm for 20-30 minutes earlier than you normally wake up. Continue setting your alarm 10-20 minutes earlier every day until you reach the  wake up time you want. Baby steps are best if you don’t want to be the grouchiest person ever.
morning workout | happyfitmama.cm

Get dressed in the bathroom. Or at least away from sleeping family members so you don’t have any grumpy spouses or early bird kiddos who will throw a wrench in your plans. Although I think my kids have super hero hearing some days no matter how quiet I am.

Find a fellow crazy awesome morning workout person. If you know you are meeting someone, you are less likely to bail on the workout or run. If you think there’s no way anyone would want to meet to workout at zero dark thirty, think again. I’m part of an early morning Facebook running group that has people meeting up at the gym super early to run on treadmills together. Now that’s accountability!

Remember How You Feel Afterwards. I kind of get a kick of knowing that I started my day doing more than most people do their whole day. Yeah, I ran 10 miles before 6:30 a.m., what did you do?!?! Missing a workout or run in the morning makes me feel so blah the rest of the day. Getting a sweat session in first thing, sets the tone for the day. I’m more relaxed yet energized. And I don’t have to stress about how I’m going to squeeze in a workout in between meetings, appointments and family obligations later in the day.

moring workout | happyfitmama.com

Be persistent. On average it takes 21 days to form a new habit. If you don’t fully commit to making this new habit, it won’t stick. The good news is that if you stick with it, you’ll see that it will get easier and easier.

And soon you’ll be another annoying morning workout person.

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and the Coaches’ Corner.

When is your perfect workout/run time?  In a perfect world, 7 or 8 a.m. would be just right.

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Last Week’s Workouts

Last Week's Workouts | happyfitmama.com

This week’s workouts kicked off with my mantra for the week courtesy of Home Depot:

Let’s do this.

Simple but effective words. Enough of the FOMO. Let’s do this marathon training business.

Monday

I woke up Monday feeling like a million bucks. I didn’t need to have a death grip on the banister as I walked down the stairs first thing in the morning. Monday’s are reserved for cross training and that’s just what I did. Forty minutes on the recumbent bike followed up with 30 minutes of strength training that included my injury prevention essentials workout.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Tuesday

Tuesday morning was a run with Annie and Lori. We had not run with Annie in a long time so it was nice to catch up over some miles.

7 miles

Morning Flow Yoga class at Bending Bodhi.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Wednesday

What’s better than running hill repeats in the super early darkness?  Running hill repeats in the dark during a snowstorm! I was anticipating slippery conditions and having to walk down after each repeat but the road was actually not too slippery. I wore my Saucony Peregrine trail shoes just in case. Lori and I did an easy 1 mile warm up before hitting the hill 9x. My best time was 2:12 for the 13.81% grade climb two weeks ago. This time around, I improved to 2:11. I’ll take the one second given the snowy conditions.

Later in the day I squeezed in 20 minutes of strength training during my lunch break at work. A perk of working in a rehab gym.

5.51 miles

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Thursday

I opted for sleeping in instead of running first thing in the morning. When I was ready to run after yoga class, I was hungry and not into the run. I ate a little something but it did nothing to power me through the run. Easy pace felt labored. The top of my left foot felt weird. I was hungry. Basically, I wanted to be done with the run even though it was a gorgeous sunny and warm day. Not all runs are meant to be heavenly!

Morning Flow Yoga class

8 miles

Friday

A glorious rest day!

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Saturday

Friday’s rest day was much needed. I woke up Saturday morning with a sore throat. Looking back, maybe that’s why I had a blah run on Thursday as my body is/was fighting something? I went into this run with a feeling of dread. The plan was to run a super hilly route similar to one we did a couple of weeks ago. I felt ok during that run except the last 2 miles kicked my butt big time. I was slogging. This time around? SO much better. I felt stronger and had much more energy. The bad part? My brand new watch shut off on my twice during the run. Wtf?!?!?! And then at the end of the run, I somehow deleted all the data that I did have. I’m not sure if it was because there was less than 30% charge left on it. It couldn’t have been because of the cold because I’ve run in colder temps with it and had no problems. Btw – the hourly forecast was way off again. Predicted: 20 degrees. Actual: 13 degrees. HUGE difference. Especially on my poor butt at the end of the run. Ouch.

13 miles

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Sunday

I squeezed in some easy recovery miles before we headed up to the mountain for the kid’s last group ski lesson. My legs felt great running but I kept it super easy to flush out the soreness. I spent the rest of the day snowboarding and even got an hour of riding in by myself. It’s such a weird feeling to go out solo when I’m used to being with someone on the chairlift especially. Thankfully, this time around I didn’t get stuck with guys vaping like I did last year! Lol.

Btw – anyone want to guess how old my vintage snowboard is? :)

4 miles

Linking up with Ilka/Angela and Hoho/Tricia for the weekly workout wrap up.

How was your week in workouts?

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