Category Archives: Running

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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Last Week’s Workouts

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Remember when I said I wish we would get more snow?

Guess what?

Wishes really do come true!

Last week my kids had 2 snow days and 2 two hour delays. Do the math and you’ll realize that they were home more than in school.

And today is another snow day with a good ol’ fashion blizzard. I even got called off from work.

Why not get ALL of winter weather in a two week period?

Despite the weather, I still got a solid week of training. I strayed from my training plan a little but I think I still put in a ton of effort. That counts for something, right?

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Monday: 45 minutes bike trainer, 30 minutes strength training

Cross training day! After a weekend of running, I always look forward to something different. And my joints appreciate it too. Hitting the bike for some no impact cardio always feels good. I followed it up with weights and balance work.

last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Tuesday: 7.28 miles

Tempo Tuesday is back!  It’s been forever since I did a tempo workout.  I’ve never been a huge fan of tempos. Frankly, they scare me more than a speed workout. My plan called for 3 miles at half marathon pace. I haven’t raced a half in over 2 years so I had no clue what pace to aim for. I thought 8:00-8:15 would be good.

Lori and I met dark and early for a snowy run. We picked a “flat” route which really isn’t flat because there is no such thing in our town.  It was the first time I had programmed a workout into my watch. I think it gave me a little anxiety to hear the beeping if I was running faster than my prescribed pace. But when I didn’t hear it, I didn’t like that so I kept running fast enough to hear beeps. I know, I’m weird.

Actual pace: 7:55, 7:49, 7:41

I was shocked to see that because the first mile actually felt harder than the third.

Wednesday: 5 miles

The snow continued on all day Tuesday and then switched to freezing rain overnight. Rather than dealing with a sloppy mess and a skating rink, I opted for the treadmill. This run was painful. I wanted to poke my eyes out from boredom. I go through periods of doing OK with the treadmill and not minding it and other days hating every single minute.

last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Thursday: 5+ miles snowshoe run

A Nor’easter blew in on Thursday morning. Basically the whole state shut down. Ron was called off from work so I was free to run whenever. Jess, Tony and I agreed to meeting up for trail fun. This was only my second time running in snowshoes. It’s hard AF when it’s a packed trail. But breaking your own trail in at least 4 inches of fresh snow? Hard AF x 1000. The snow was coming down fast. The wind was blowing. I was sucking wind. It was so fun!

My plan called for 8 miles with Fartleks. Not exactly the workout that was planned but I think I worked 10x harder. Oh well.

last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Friday: Strength training, Candlelight Vinyasa/Restorative Yoga

My plan called for a complete rest day but I had only got one strength training session in for the week. I got in a solid 30 minutes weights/balance exercises before heading into work.

In the evening, I enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing restorative yoga workshop at Bending Bodhi.

last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Saturday: 14 miles

Guess what? It was snowing, cold (13 degrees) and windy again on Saturday morning. Lori and I were going to run long on Sunday but at the spur of the moment switched back to Saturday. The roads were snow covered and sloppy. I wore my YakTrax for a little traction at least. It was helpful but my feet were still slipping. We kept the pace slow and steady because there was no way we could pick up the pace in that crap. It was a welcome relief to find patches of pavement to get back to a somewhat normal pace. But then a car would come and you’d have to jump back into the cookie dough snow. I was never so happy to be done with a run. Fourteen miles felt like 30.

last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Later that evening we met up with friends for a moonlight snowshoe walk. It was cold AF but so fun. Especially when the skies cleared and the full moon came out.

last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Sunday: 5.5 miles

Thankfully today was a recovery run because the roads were still just as sloppy as yesterday. See above for what slop looks like. I kept things s-l-o-w and worked out the soreness in my left glute. I’m not sure if it was from the weights on Friday or from Saturday’s run. After talking to a bunch of people yesterday, I think it might be from the run. Almost everyone that ran Saturday had sore glutes. Coincidence? I think not.

Another week down.

I’m looking forward to a cut back week in mileage and hopefully less snow on the roads but plenty on the trails.

How was your week in workouts?

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

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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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