Tag Archives: Running

Setting Goals

Happy Monday my friends! ….. Just kidding. It’s Tuesday. And yes….I completely forgot it’s actually Tuesday. Long Weekend Problems.

Today, I’m talking about goals. Life goals, fitness goals, pretty much any kind of goal. I’m the type of person who sets a goal, puts her mind too it for about 3 weeks, and then quickly loses motivation because pizza sounds so much better running.

But I know having goals in place can keep one accountable. So with Labor Day behind us, and for some reason summer back in full swing, I decided that it’s time to set some good, attainable goals for the next four months (until the end of 2014).

1. Exercise more. This has been a much-discussed topic in my house for probably…. well, forever. So, it’s time to nip it in the butt and get moving. I go through such spurts with fitness. Insanity for 6 weeks last year (granted, I had to stop because I injured myself… but I could have done other things), Running for about 4 weeks, gym for about 3 weeks, etc. I’m a start and stop kind of fitness person. I want to stop being that kind of person, and start becoming the person who incorporates some sort of activity into their life everyday. It’s not about vanity anymore; it’s about my health. Especially as I close in on the big 3-0.

What am I doing to kickstart this?

For one thing, I signed up for personal training sessions with a good friend of mine who is local. She knows how much I have struggled with my weight and fitness through the years (since high school!) and really wants to help. So next Tuesday, it’s off to a local park for some serious one on one personal training. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m anxious. But I know she’s awesome at it, and will push me just far enough beyond my limits to make it count.

What else am I doing?

I plan on going to the gym every morning. Even with personal training twice a week in the evenings. Even if it’s for 20-30 minutes of cardio. Just to keep myself in that mindset. If I don’t go to the gym, then it’s a 2.5 mile walk at lunch. And during the beautiful fall weather, I’ll STILL go for a walk at lunch, even if I worked out in the AM. I need to keep myself moving.

2. Lose 15 pounds. Considering the amount of weight I have to lose (like nearly 60 pounds to my ultimate goal weight), this is minimal. But, it’s a smaller goal. And doesn’t seem so intimidating. I’m giving myself 4 months to lose 15 pounds. That’s 3.75 pounds per month. I can definitely do that. And I’m hoping in the next four months, it ends up being a bit more than that. But I’m focusing on 15. And whatever else happens, happens.

3. Try new things. I’ve always been the type to avoid trying new things because I was intimated. Or I was scared of what others would think of me. But now, I want to push that to the back of mind and start living. I’ve already signed up to learn to Paddleboard. Maybe I’ll consider trying Yoga. Or joining a running group.

4. Run a 5K. This one may not be attainable in the next 4 months. I’ll have to see how I’m doing fitness-wise by October/November. And how the weather is. But if I’m not ready, I’ll run one next year. This has always been on every goal list, bucket list, resolution list, etc. and I really want to focus on achieving it.

5. Blog more. I’ve really tried to be better about neglecting this blog. I have gotten better. But I want to aim to post more things of value. Not just ranting posts. Or posts where I’m trying to be funny. Legitimate posts that people want to read and are interested in what I have to say.

6. Meet my 100 books read goal. I’m SO far behind on this it’s not even funny. I’ve read 58 books this year. I have 42 more to go. That’s 10.5 books per month for the next 4 months to hit my goal. Le sigh…. it’s a good thing I have lots of good books ready and waiting on my nook! I’m currently reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer . LOVE.

7. Cook more. I love to cook. I’m just lazy. Which means we eat whatever is easy. Which usually ends up being take-out. Now that’s not 100 degrees out (except for this week), I plan on cooking more dinners. One, it’s healthier. And two, leftovers. Which are always the best for lunch. We also recently purchased a Ninja, and I’ve been dying to use it. And I haven’t yet. But the first thing I plan on making…. homemade hummus. YUM!

8. Frame some of my photography. And not for my own use. To have ready so that I can start proposing art shows to local places around town. I have SO.MUCH. personal work that I would love to be able to sell, but without really getting it out there, it’s not going to. Yes, I love my Etsy shop, but it’s also not doing what I had hoped. So, it’s time to frame my work and hope I can get it at some local coffee shops around town. Maybe even sell a few pieces during the holidays.

9. Stop worrying so much, and start living. Hence my goals. If you notice, they are pretty generic.

And if I don’t hit them all, oh well. I’m not fretting anymore.

I’m no longer trying to use the gym for my appearance, but rather my health (although the vanity benefits rock too!). I’m not letting my fear or intimidation get to me, and allowing myself to try the things I’ve always wanted to try. I’m not worried about what others thing about this blog, instead I’m writing for me. That’s what this has always been. I’m enjoying reading, as opposed to trying to fill a quota. Yes, I’m trying to reach 100 books, but if I don’t do it this year, I’ll try again in 2015.

Setting goals is simply to help me organize what’s next for me in the coming months. To help keep me focused and know that I’m always doing something to better myself.

What are you doing in the next four months to better yourself?

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Why Horseback Riders Make Everything Better

Hello, all! My name is Susie, and I wax poetic about life, running, food, cooking, and how to live one’s life beyond expectations over at Suzlyfe.com. I am quite excited to be guest posting for Eryn today and especially to discuss a few of our favorite subjects, namely, horses, riding, life, and being freaking boss at all of it.

I rode and competed in hunter/jumpers and equitation from the age of 5 until 24. Riding, simply put, was my life. Looking back, there is nothing beyond sleeping and going to school that occupied more of my time–I rode just about every day of the week, multiple horses a day, and horse-showed on the weekends. The last 30 minutes of my time at school were dedicated to counting the minutes until it was time to rush to the car and get on the road, and I  can say that I can change clothes while driving. But that is neither here nor there.

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Riding was expensive, could be disappointing, infuriating, and even painful. It took me away from social engagements, put thousands of miles on my car, and seemed boorish to my peers. But everything that riding “took,” it gave back to me. All the heartache rendered from fallen dreams or the loss of a close equine friend, I got back in love, companionship, and the best of life’s lessons. Though I have not ridden in nearly 2 years, I take the education that I received in the barn, in the saddle, and in the paddock with me, and I have found that it has numerous applications to my life, and also to my pursuits in fitness.

Why Horseback Riders Make Better Everything:

We like to be on top. Riders are in the practice of pursuing perfection, but also knowing that there is no such thing–the hardest and best life lesson the equestrian must learn is that you are not perfect, though you may have the ride of your life. Sometimes, you can do everything to a t, and have it just not be your day; sometimes, you can do everything wrong, and it somehow just works.

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We know how to be early risers. No, this does not mean we are morning people. Also, we are the best road trip companions ever because we know all the good exits and we always have snacks.

Riding involves a variable and testy animal that may or may not want to cooperate. Like point number one, some times, your stomach just wants to buck and carry on, even when your legs are in perfect form.

Injuries suck. It is best to be preventative and aggressive in one’s therapy than to push one’s luck and end up in the stall for months on end. Soft tissue injuries really blow. But injections, alternative therapies, accupuncture, and massage can be very helpful.

Proper footwear, use of compression, and well-fitting equipment can take a so-so worker to a graceful athlete. And some are more naturally inclined towards to grace than others.

The early bird may have to feed, muck, and clean up, but they also get first use of the ring, the fences, and all the best brushes.

Carrots, apples, oats, sugar, and molasses are delicious.  And proper diet is key.

Cross training is indispensable, makes you a better athlete, hones your fitness, and prevents injury.

Waking up at 4 in the morning for a workout is made infinitely sweeter when it means being greeted by a friend. Speaking English at said hour is neither necessary nor encouraged.

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A good canter in an open field is terrestrial flying. But control is necessary.

Everyone needs a proper warm up and cool down, as well as a thorough grooming and washing. And equipment should be cleaned and well cared for.

Riding and running are both mental exercises in determination. Hold a sitting trot for extended periods of time, or post without stirrups. You’ll understand.

Sometimes the smallest muscle movements, and control over the smallest movements and weight shifts, are more effective than anything else in achieving desired results. Sometimes, you need a good thump for encouragement.

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Everyone needs a day off and a sense of a training plan.

Oh, I could go on and on, but I will leave you there, except for one last thought:

Riding, like running, fitness, teaches you to respect the beauty of life, of morning rides, of the crunch of feet on a path with no other sound. These pursuits teach us rhythm, sweat, dirt, polish, and panache. And though we may learn everything we possibly can about them, we will never master them. But we can keep trying 😀

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How have your pursuits prepared you for life and your other passions? What has left the greatest impression on you, that you still carry with you today?

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Top 10 Reasons to Try a Triathlon

Today on the blog is a guest post from one of my SweatPink sisters, Michelle at IronWoman Strong. And we’re talking Triathlons. Make sure to head over to her blog and show her some love :)

Triathlon.

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That is a sport for extreme athletes, right? Wrong. Very wrong.

I started training for triathlons a year ago after getting married. I went from couch to triathlon addict in two seconds flat! Since then I have grown both physically and mentally. There are so many amazing reasons to get into this sport but let’s just start with 10!

Here are the TOP 10 reasons you should try a triathlon.

1. Try something new

It’s always nice to get out of the mundane so if you have never raced in a triathlon it will be new and excited for you.

2. Sense of accomplishment

There is nothing more satisfying than training hard for a race and then crossing the finish line. It gives you such a sense of accomplishment. The great thing is that the accomplishment is yours forever. No one can take it away!

3. You don’t have to be great in just one sport

Triathlon consists of three disciplines – swim, bike and run. If you aren’t a great swimmer, then you can make up time in the bike or run. Or vice-versa in any of the three!

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4. Good influence on others

This is especially true if you have children. They watch and learn from you. If you are out there trying something new and working hard, it will show them that they too can reach for hard things. You never know who you are influencing and motivation when you are working out.

5. Never get bored

You have three sports to choose from when you are training. This keeps you from getting bored with doing the same workout over and over again. Already ran 3 times this week…bike or swim. It will break up the monotony of workouts.

6. Community

The triathlon community is extremely close and very welcoming. Find a local tri club to train with and you will never be short of training partners, advice and friendship.

swim bike run st louisMy local tri club is Swim Bike Run of St. Louis!

7. It’s cool

Who doesn’t want to say, “Oh, hey…I did a triathlon this weekend.”? Major cool points for doing stepping outside the box and doing something new!

8. Get into shape

With three disciplines to train, you are likely to feel healthier and fit. It is hard to eat bad food when you just ran 4 or 5 miles. Triathlon tends to clean up your diet without you noticing.

9. Expand your fitness

If you are a gym rat, then getting outside and running will only improve your overall fitness. Triathlon is great for cross training and allowing your body to build endurance.

10. It’s Fun

Seriously…triathlon is fun. You get to swim around, then go for a little bike and then a run. What’s not to love?

This is an official warning

For those brave enough to attempt a triathlon and do something awesome – triathlons are addicting.

You have been warned!

If you would like to know more about me and my journey on becoming an Ironman triathlete, please follow me!

Website/blog: Ironwoman Strong

Instagram: @Ironwomanstrong

Twitter: @Ironwomanstrong

Pinterest: Trispiration

Michelle

I guess I should have a routine…. right?

It hit me yesterday, on my 28th birthday, that I am now an adult. Well, I guess it hit me a couple of years ago. Actually, scratch that. I didn’t feel like a real adult until I moved out of my parents house, had to buy my own groceries and start budgeting my paychecks. THAT’S when I felt like an adult.

And last night, I realized that, much like an adult, I have a daily routine. And as I thought back, I realized that my life has been one big routine since I graduated with my Masters degree (in a good way of course!) Of course, my various routines have definitely shifted a bit as the years go by. Instead of morning coffee and TV, it’s now a morning run/stretching/water. Instead of quick and easy dinners of takeout pizza and subs, it’s… well, sometimes still takeout, but we always try for salads now! And instead of being up until all hours of the night, even on the weekends, it’s a bedtime of about 8 PM (on school nights) and 11 PM (if we make it there!) on weekends.

As I thought more about it, I have a very set routine…. every. single. day.

5:20 AM: Wake up, stare at the clock. Awake before my alarm, per usual. Grab my cell phone. Look at notifications on the lock screen. Unlock. Check Facebook notifications. Check Instagram for any notifications. Check e-mail super quick and try not to respond to anything while I’m still half asleep.

5:30 AM: Crawl out of bed, stretch, and meander around my apartment. Usually I’m trying to locate where my running shoes, my HRM, and headphones are.

5:45 AM: Head out to run the neighborhood.

6:15 AM: Drag myself in from my run. I either a) go in the living room and do some abs/squats/planks/foam roll for 15 minutes or b) jump right in the shower and zone out. There is not routine to this. This just happens based on how I may feel that day.

6:40(ish) AM – 7:15 AM: Check Facebook. Watch the news. Check my e-mail (again). Check Instagram and scroll through everything I missed overnight. Check the Barnes & Noble Nook Book Deal of the Day. Read the local news (The regional news or Good Morning America is usually on the TV). Check out the celebrity gossip magazines. Think about breakfast. Realize I’m starving. Continue to sit.

Sometimes depending on what’s been going on, I will also prepare some blog posts or edit some photos from recent shoots.

7:15 AM – 7:30 AM: Get ready for work. And by get ready I mean, throw clothes on, clip my hair up… and sometimes put makeup on. And then I usually run around the apartment gathering everything I need for the day (chargers, headphones, iPad, etc.)

7:30 AM: until I leave for work (usually by 8 AM): I usually stand in the center of my kitchen for a solid 2 minutes trying to determine what to bring for food with me. And I’m serious when I say stand in the center of my kitchen. Once I figure out, I pack everything up and out the door I go.

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM: Drive to work. It takes me 10 minutes to get to work, so this takes into account if I leave a little bit past 8. Sometimes I stop for coffee. Sometimes I run errands on my way. Either way, I’m at work by 8:30 AM every day.

8:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Work. Work. Work.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch time! Sometimes I walk at lunch, depending on the weather, sometimes I read, sometimes I get some blog posts created, but most of the time I eat and work. I’m plenty busy enough to get things done while I eat too!

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Work. Work. Work.

5:00 PM – 5:20 PM: Head back to the homestead. Fiance is already home. We usually go back and forth at least 6 times before I get in the doorway about dinner. I usually call my parents and check in too while driving.

5:20 PM: Home again! Time to figure out dinner. We’ve been better about cooking/making things we already have… but sometimes we still go get grilled buffalo chicken salads from our favorite neighborhood pizza shop!

5:45 PM – 8:00 PM: Eat dinner. Check e-mails. Faceb0ok. Instagram. Watch an episode or two of our shows. Edit photos (if I have any to edit). Read a book. Spend time together.

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM: My bed is calling my name. In bed I go, reading until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.

9:00 PM – 5:20 AM : Sleep until it’s time to do it all over again!

Exceptions to this routine include:

Riding: Tuesday night adult group every other Tuesday

Dinner out: With my parents, with the fiance, with friends…

The Weekends: Totally different routine on Saturday and Sunday, and Friday nights.

 

Positive thing to note: I currently love my routine. It fits me… and I’m sticking to it.

I’m FitPossible!

Happy Monday all!

Not only is today a BEAUTIFUL day (low 70s and sunny!), it’s also my birthday! It was a great weekend spent with family celebrating our fathers and my special day. Continuing the celebrations tonight with a dinner on the town with my other half.

I started my day with a run. I had no desire to get up and absolutely zero motivation to even work out. But I forced myself. I told myself to just free run. No program today. And just see how I feel. Well, I ended up running for 14 minutes straight! 3 1/2 minutes LONGER than I did on Thursday. I was so excited. I was so proud. I keep feeling better and better, and stronger every time I run. It’s such a good feeling! I’ll be starting week 5 of couch to 5K tomorrow, so I’m happy to know that 5 minute runs will seem easy peasy to me now. They used to be such a struggle.

Which leads me to something awesome I found out about over the weekend –

You are looking at one of the newest I’m FitPossible ambassadors! I’m so excited to join another community that’s so supportive, no matter your fitness level. And I know many of my SweatPink sisters are also ambassadors over there! I just love how the wellness community just overlaps everywhere!

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Hope you all are having a great start to your week!

I SweatPink.

Okay. I just want to say…..

I RAN 10.5 MINUTES WITHOUT STOPPING TODAY.

This could very well have made my day. This is something I have been working SO hard for. Like insanely hard. And I did it.

I couldn’t wait to share it with the world, and by world, I mean social media.

I wrote up a quick post on the SweatPink Ambassadors group page on Facebook and was astounded at the response I received. My milestone was huge to me, but I expected just a few people to like the status.

It’s not their victory. In fact, many of them have been runners for years. Running 10 minutes is a warm-up to them. I just needed to share it some place. And I knew that place would at least get my excitement. Even if no one responded. It was at least in the right venue.

And before I knew it, the alerts on my iPhone were blowing up.

Facebook Post

Over 180 likes, and amazing words of encouragement and congratulations, were being sent my way. And those numbers continue to climb.

Words reminding me that no milestone is too small or too silly. It’s a milestone and it’s MY milestone.

Words that reminded me to never compare my journey to others. It’s my journey, and no one elses.

Words that motivated me to do it again tomorrow.

Words that reminded me why I applied to be a SweatPink ambassador. Because it’s more than just being an ambassador; it’s a community of women who support, encourage, congratulate and offer advice. No matter your size, athletic ability, fitness level, running experience, careers, etc., this community rallies around their own.

And finally words that reminded me why I run. I run for me. No one else. I run because I can and because I want too. I’m never going to be out there winning races. Chances are, I’ll never run a half-marathon (I think I’d get bored… no offense to those that do. I just have a really short attention span.)

I run because I love seeing how my body builds endurance and can go for longer each time I hit the pavement. I love seeing the progress I’m making. I love knowing that just a few short weeks ago, I couldn’t run up & down one length of my street without stopping. And now I can run up and down it almost 4 times (Just about a mile).

I know that when that 20 minute run comes next week, I can push through. I can do it.

Because at the end of it, I know that I’ll be celebrating my next huge milestone, complete with another silly little post in the SweatPink community.

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Weekend Recap

Happy Monday my friends! I hope you all had a super duper weekend.

My weekend was amazing. Super relaxing and super fun. I felt ready to tackle the work week when I walked into the office today. Even with it being 80 out today. Bring on the work week! Here’s a quick recap for ya!

Friday: When 5 PM hit, I was out the door knowing that I was heading for a night out with my parents and other half. We were off the Elks Club for a Meat Raffle (and yes, it’s exactly what he sounds like!) and the big drawing for Joker’s Wild. The pot was up to around $7900, so we knew someone could win at any time. I ended up winning the 50/50 raffle during the Meat Raffle. I had to split with three people, but I still walked away with $50 bucks! A winner was drawn that night, and he took a pretty nice chunk of money home with him! We were happy for him, but were bummed it wasn’t one of us. A lot could be done with $7900 bucks!

imageThe sky looked so pretty on Friday night!

Saturday: I was out the door early to head to the barn to get stalls done and body clip one of the lesson horses in the barn before it go to hot and sticky. Ruby is probably my favorite lesson horse, even though I don’t ride her. She was/is the best teacher for any beginner students I’ve had, and she was a great show horse in her day taking many kids to blue ribbon rides. Now she lives the life of leisure teaching beginner students how to ride and just getting loved on. And she’s beautiful. I adore her so much that’s she is in my engagement photos :).

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Once I got home, it was time to grab some lunch. The other half was out cutting trees down with his brother, so I ran to get us some subs. We were having a gathering at the house that night, so I wanted to make sure we got something good in us!

And then it was the first party of the summer. And we had a ball! It was great company and we just laughed all night long.

Sunday: Up early to get groceries and errands done. At 9 AM it was already 70 degrees, and looking to be the first hot and humid day of the summer. I want to get everything done as fast as I could so I could be out by the pool the rest of the day. And that’s exactly what I did. By mid-afternoon, we came in and took off for a little bit. And got a Fisherman’s Platter for dinner.  I rarely eat fried food, but it was such a sign of summer to get one. Nom nom nom. Then we just relaxed and I read. I’m currently reading ‘The Death of Bees’. We were in bed early last night and it was the best being able to sleep with the windows open. Summer has finally arrived!

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This morning I was up early to get my run in. It was going to be to way to hot out at lunch today, and I don’t handle the heat too well, at least when it comes to exercise. Today was week 4, day 2 of Couch to 5K.

Pros – the run went well, no side stitches and no breathing issues… well, minimal issues. I’m finding it easier to run the 5 minutes now and that’s good.

Cons– my phone decided it didn’t feel like playing music this morning, so I ended up listening to the birds. I definitely found it harder to zone out and work on my breathing. Evidently, I rely on my music. But it was still a nice peaceful run!

Hope you all had a wonderful day!

And now for the winner of the Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer in Lemon-Lime….

Congratulations to Agnetha Foong! Please e-mail me at aglimpseintoerynsworld at gmail.com

with your mailing information so I can get your packets out to you!

Thank you to all those who entered!

 

Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer Review and Giveaway!

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As someone who usually needs a little boost for their workout, I was pretty excited to receive Vega Sport’s Pre-Workout Energizer in lemon-lime to give a try.

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About Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer

With all natural ingredients  like coconut seed, green tea leaves, ginseng root, ginger root, along with sprouted whole grain brown rice syrup, organic palm nectar, natural lemon and lime flavors and organic spinach leaf, I knew I would feel good about putting this into my body.  I’m really trying to focus on eating clean, so I felt great about using this!

With all of the natural things that  makes up this energizer, it’s sure to #fuelyourbetter when working out.

The Pre-Workout Energizer provides immediate and sustained energy, increases endurance, aerobic and anaerobic capacity and enhances mental focus, all while being plant-based, dairy, gluten and soy free, and without artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. All good in my book as I have been trying to cut back on the amount of dairy and gluten in my diet.

The Verdict

I tried this product before going on a run as well as before heading for riding. The product smelled pretty good, however, it definitely did not mix up well with just a spoon. I didn’t even think when I left that morning to bring a blender bottle with me. Or even just a closed water bottle I could shake this up in. Lesson learned. Stirring doesn’t work well; shaking does.

The taste is pretty mellow. You hardly notice the flavoring to it, making it easy to drink.  I followed the instructions; mix with 8 0z of water 20 minutes before your workout, however, I found that within 5-10 minutes I had a surge of extra energy. I wasn’t able to go for my run for another 15 minutes, and by the time I went, it had nearly worn off. Lesson learned. I definitely need to take it closer to run time.

photo 5Definitely needs more mixing.

For the second attempt, when I rode, I shook it in a water bottle, but drank it right before getting on my horse. I did find I had some extra energy and endurance for my ride, which was welcome after a long day of work. I’m also thinking the shaking of the product helped to ‘release’ more of the energy supplements making it more effective!

The one thing I really liked about this product was that it never really bothered my stomach or gave me the jitters. I have a pretty sensitive stomach, so it was welcome that I didn’t have any weird side effects. And I’ve tried others that made me feel super jittery and just weird. Vega Sport simply gives you a natural boost of energy that makes you feel good and ready to workout.

All in all, if you’re new to the pre-workout energizer drinks, I recommend trying Vega Sport. We’ve tried some pretty heavy duty ones in the past, so for me, this one was a bit too light. But if you’re never tried one before or you’ve had a hard time with others in the past, this is a good one to go with it. And it’s good for you too!

GIVEAWAY

One reader will be win 6 packets of the Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer (Lemon-Lime flavor)a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received this product from Vega Sport through an ambassadorship with SweatPink. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

What’s On My Mind Wednesday {6/4/14}

Happy Hump Day! Hope you’re week is going well. Before I head into today’s post let me just say HAPPY NATIONAL RUNNING DAY!

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I’m pretty excited that I can actually write and post this because for the first time in my life I feel like a runner. I’m not there yet, but with every step I’m getting closer.

Okay, moving on. Today is ‘What’s On My Mind Wednesday’.

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So what’s on my mind today?

Breathing while Running: I know it sounds silly, but I’m still having a lot of trouble figuring out my breathing. I’ve focused on patterns, on just zoning out, just not thinking about it, etc. I know I’m huffing and puffing because my lungs are getting used to the exercise, but there are times it’s more of I can’t catch my breath and I’m wheezing. It was a little better yesterday. I took it a bit slower, but pushed with more running. Every now and then I would push my speed, and see how I did. I think it’s getting better? But any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

iOS 8: I’m an Apple junkie. I mean, I have an iPad, iPhone, iPod (which I no longer really use), and a Macbook. At any given time, you can find me on at least one of my devices… if not two of them. So let’s just say, twice a year, when Apple has their developer’s conference and their product launch, I’m glued to the live feed. Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch it this year, but I did follow along with Mashable’s written feed.

Last year when iOS 7 was released, like most people, I was pretty excited. It was such a new look and new experience, it gave new life to the iPhone. However, recently, I’ve been missing the older look – the look that drew many of us to the iPhone. Was I disappointed with the iOS 8 announcement? Far from it. Sure, it looks the same, but it seems like it’s going to be more streamlined and you’re finally going to be able to sync all of your devices without too much effort. With new features like smarter keyboard, being able to send a map location of where you are in a text, family sharing with iTunes and iBooks, and having your photos now show up on all your devices, I’m definitely excited. It will breathe a bit of new life to my iPhone that is starting to seem tired and dull.

Which leads me too……

Apps: Being an iPhone junkie also means I’m an app junkie. I feel like I’m constantly downloading new apps, using them once, and deleting them (thank god for iCloud). But lately, I feel like I’ve grown bored with my apps. I use the same apps every day. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Mail, iMessage, Phone, MapMyFitness, Music, Couch to 5K, and so on. But I’m on the prowl with some new apps, whether they are useful or just plain old fun.

Now I ask you – what are you’re favorite apps? What apps can’t you live without?

Books: Since my ‘Five Things Friday Post’, I’m managed to start and finish two books, and start a third. Which is amazing. I love to read. I read constantly. But the last couple of months have been so busy, and we were glued to Breaking Bad on Netflix, I haven’t read nearly as much as I had been. My goal is 100 books for this year. I’ve tried for the last two years and have gotten very close, but this year is my year. So back to some hard core reading. Oh and the books? ‘Into the Darkest Corner’, ‘The Secret of Isobel Key’ and I am halfway through ‘Stronger’ by Jeff Bauman. bauman_cover_image2Source

MH370 – Okay. I won’t lie, and it’s going to sound awful, but I actually had completely forgotten about this. It was such a huge deal in March. It had literally taken over Newsfeeds, reports, twitter…. everywhere. And then the reports disappeared (no pun intended). I was reminded of it this past weekend when an alert popped on my phone from CNN that the pings that were heard in the Indian Ocean were now thought to NOT be from the black box, meaning they are now no closer to finding the plane then they were when it went missing. But needless to say, I’m finding a lot of reports about it now. A lot more than I had for about a month…. so now it’s back on my mind, and I’m back wondering what the heck happened to the plane? Also – I received a HARO (Help a Reporter Out) inquiry in my e-mail yesterday looking for experts or theorists on the missing plane…. which I found interesting….

How do you become an expert on a missing plane?

On that note…. Happy Wednesday!

40 Days Until Spain – The Countdown is On

Monday again! Seriously, is it just me or do the weekend fly by? It’s like one minute it’s Friday and suddenly, BAM, Monday morning.

However, this Monday starts a whole slew of fantastic things for me! In just under 40 days, I’ll be heading to Spain to visit my best friend and her husband, with my other half. Of course, that means I have 40 days to get myself in as good as shape as I possibly can.

Yes. I know. 40 days isn’t much time, and I’m not expecting miracles. I know I’m not going to lose 50 lbs in 40 days. I know that. But what I can do in that time frame is work out as hard as I can, eat as clean as possible and stay active. And whatever successfully comes off, both inches and weight, will be good news in my book.

Yep. We’ve had this trip booked since January, and planning it since probably November. Yep, I’ve had that long to get myself in shape. And no, I have not been sitting idly by, and just saying I need to do this. Since January, I’ve been focused on eating well and exercising. However, I’ve not been as devoted to either as I should have. What I’ve learned is that eating well and exercising 4 days out of the week, and then gorging myself on whatever 3 days of the week, completely counteracts all the good that went down during the week. So yes, I’ve been working at all of this well before today. But I have no one to blame but myself for the lack of results.

Having said that, our living room has now been re-made into a home gym of sorts. The other half starts back on Insanity, while I have a stability ball and a foam roller hanging out. I’m doing my Couch to 5K in the AM or at lunch, along with a workout plan created by Molly at In a Nutshell Nutrition. I’m focusing on low-carb, limited dairy (VERY limited dairy), and lots of good fats, protein, fruits and veggies. We did our measurements last night and will be measuring each Sunday to track our progress. And I will keep y’all updated.

On that note, this weekend was very relaxing. Friday night, we went to our local Elks club with my parents for a Joker’s Wild raffle. The pot is up to $7,000 and we totally want to win that! Saturday, I spent my morning at the barn (until about 2 PM) where I had the last of the High Tail Acres Mini Sessions. By afternoon, all I wanted to do was curl up and read my book. Which I did, by our campfire. I finished ‘Into the Darkest Corner’ and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you need too. It’s really good! Sunday, we went out to breakfast at The Hollow Cafe in Amesbury (Mediterranean Omelet! Yummmm!), ran some errands and then kicked around the rest of the afternoon. I even cleaned out my closet and drawers! Yay for spring cleaning.

Driving home from the Elks
Driving home from the Elks

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Now it’s back for a busy week…. but thankfully, the spring weather is finally here! Today actually feels like summer! Hope y’all had a good weekend!