Get it Right, Get it Tight?

Hey Friends!

One of the main reasons for coming back to blogging is to hold myself accountable (I’ve said that far too much but I can’t come up with a better way of putting it) in terms of health and fitness. I read so many amazing healthy living blogs and one of the best parts is not only getting ideas from each other as well as tapping into the incredible online community.  Today I am going to share some of the goals I’d like to focus on this year.

2015 was a great year but I will admit it was probably one of my least health conscious years. I developed a love for running and being fit my senior year of high school on into college. I managed a happy balance for awhile but soon became a bit too focused on “fitting in” both physically and socially to my new life in Tennessee which lead to unhealthy decisions. I attempted to keep up with my passion for leading a healthy lifestyle but soon found it too difficult to maintain while balancing school and work.

Moving back to Vermont I always assumed I’d just pick it all back up where I left it years before but of course that isn’t how that works. While I’m definitely not on the inactive roster, I 100% want 2016 to be the year I shift my focus back onto a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of my goals:

Running: I miss running! I miss training for something! So I signed up for the RunVermont Half Marathon Unplugged in early April (my first time running this race) so that is my number one focus over the next two months. I ran for the first time for longer than a mile on Tuesday to begin my training program but more on that next Thursday when I pick up my “Training Day” posts!

Yoga: I continue paying for my yoga membership because “this is the week I’m going to go” but I freaking seriously need to actually go. I can already feel my back starting to ache from not being stretched out enough. Plus my noodle arms are far too flabby for their own good so my return is necessary.

Cycling: I love spin classes and I think they are a great way to cross-train for races! Unfortunately my attendance at my beloved Cyclepath has been less than consistent. I went for the first time in awhile last Thursday to a HardCore class which entailed 30 minutes of spin, 15 of core exercies and thought I was dying. I don’t think I’ve ever made such awful faces to the instructor- sorry Ian! I’d like to get to the point where I do not make these faces… as much…

Food: I need to start cooking/prepping again. I work a lot of night shifts and my schedule varies each week now which means many of my meals are taken care of at work. While this is great for the old bank account it creates far too many excuses for me to never have a single grocery in the house and gives me a very untrue “I can eat whatever I want” mentality. My goal is to just be more prepared for my schedule each week by having healthy meals and snacks to take along with me. Lord knows I have some rather unhealthy eating habits that I could stand to kick!

Sleep: Inconsistent work schedule = inconsistent sleep schedule. I hope that by changing my activity levels and cleaning up my diet I can fix some of the issues I have with getting into a relatively consistent sleep pattern but I definitely need to make more of an effort.

And there you have it, my 2016 (and many years to come) goals for a return to healthy me.

IMG_7896

Til next time! 🙂

Training Day: Jan 29th-Feb 4th

I’m so happy to report my workouts have gone from non-existent to sporadic to dare I say regularly scheduled! Holla! Here is this week’s success story…

Thursday: Flow @ Sangha

Last week was really great for my yoga practice, I made it to 4 classes and really started to get into a “flow” shall we speak. Thursday night’s class however was definitely a struggle. It was just one of those classes where I spent half the time just feeling entirely unbalanced and the other half of the time thinking about how unbalanced I was. I was frustrated but I just kept telling myself that if I just push through I’ll feel so much better and I really did. Everyone has those classes, Thursday was just mine.

Friday: Spinning @ Cyclepath

Maria and I made it to our weekly spin class date about 15 minutes early and had a really awesome chat with the owners. Little did we know the freezing cold temperatures kept everyone else away that night so we essentially got an hour long private class. They even played Bastille… you guys know how strongly I feel about that band, I was in heaven! Thanks so much to Ian and Kara for taking the time to help us sweat it out also thank you for not making us do push ups 🙂

Saturday: Slow Massage Flow @ Sangha

This was the first time I took this style of class which is described as being mellow, gentle and meditative. I was really excited about it because I love the instructor and I thought it’d be a great way to relax for an hour while still doing something good for myself. I absolutely loved the style of class and I’m so glad I went but I am hesitant about just how crowded it was. The studio is small and the weekend classes seem to be quite popular (such a great problem for them to have in my opinion) but I think I prefer my week day classes with a little bit more space.

Sunday: Rest

Aka Super Bowl watching and chili eating.

Monday: Rest

We did go bowling that night which was a blast but I’m not entirely sure that I exuded a lot of physical energy getting all of those strikes 😉

Bowling

Tuesday: Snowboarding

I took a random vacation day to finally escape up to the mountains for a day on the slopes. It was bitterly cold but the blue skies and sun shining were only slightly less attractive than the huge piles of untouched powder. There were no lift lines, no jam ups on the trails and absolutely no limit to how truly sore I could make myself in one day. It was perfect. We spent most of the afternoon in the glades and also made a few casual pit stops at the Castlerock Pub… because why not?

Sugarbush Mountain

Zach in the glades

Wednesday: Sore

So sore, just so unbelievably sore. I had really high hopes of going to my favorite yoga class of the week around lunch time but I just couldn’t have imagined that would have been very fun in my condition. Walking up the stairs to get to my evening class last night was the worst kind of torture. Oh well, it was worth it 🙂

On to this week’s plan…

Thursday: 30 minutes of Yoga at home

Friday: Spin Class @ Cyclepath

Saturday: Snowboarding with the family for the birthday!

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Flow Yoga @ Sangha

Tuesday: Spin Class @ Cyclepath

Wednesday: Flow Yoga @ Sangha

I’m really happy with how these last two weeks have gone fitness wise, they aren’t perfect but they are so much better and it’s amazing how great I feel just being more consistent. Hope you are having a lovely Thursday!

How is your fitness routine going?

Bowling: Exercise or not?

Studio 208: Pilates Class

Hey there people! I’m writing this post while eating a small box of junior mints, a box of junior mints I just earned finishing a brand spankin’ new (to me) fitness class over at Studio 208. For those of you who have followed along since the beginning (I’m looking at you Mom and Dad) you know that I took my very first barre class over at Studio 208 and it rocked my socks. I still get the feels over how much I enjoyed that class…

Studio 208So after a few weeks of writing their Pilates Plus class on my schedule I finally made it over there for today’s class and I am so glad that I did.

Pilates is one of those exercises that I absolutely love the way that it feels and how challenging it is but in all honestly I probably haven’t legitimately practiced in years.  One Christmas during high school I got a Windsor Pilates DVD and I did it so much that to this day I could do it from memory.  Let’s be real though, a teacher in person is far better for assisting my shaky form than a recording!

Having not done much by way of mat work in so long I was feeling pretty nervous that I would feel super out of place but thankfully that wasn’t the case.  Sure, I was incredibly inflexible when it came time to keep the legs up. Sure, I wanted to remove my shaking arms from my body when we were using 2lb hand weights. Sure, I was again sticking my tongue out to “focus” during the core work. But then there were those awesome times where my breathing was in check, my form solid (ish) and I was rocking a legit smile on my face.

The instructor was great, she had this bubbly personality and seemed to know everyone in there… regulars = sign of a good instructor. The class flowed in typical Pilates fashion not focusing on one thing for too long but making sure to work each body part out well.  When I got off the mat at the end of the class my legs felt like jelly and even only an hour out my arms are sore just typing this- it feels awesome!

I would highly recommend the classes at Studio 208. The next one I really want to try is Barre-lates so I can combine my rekindled love of Pilates with my new found love of Barre. Wins all around!

In general I really want to continue Pilates because a strong core of course helps with running  but it is also crucial for the upcoming snowboard season which I could not be more excited for!  Some people work out for beach season, I work out for snow season 🙂

Do you enjoy Pilates?

Have you taken a new fitness class lately?

Do you do any winter sports?

Not an Athlete but a Runner

I’ve never been much of an athlete. I have always played sports, I have always loved sports, but an athlete is definitely not the word I’d use.

BabyI have always been a baller though… case and point.

I was the kid that knew enough about the sport and was definitely decent enough to probably not mess anything up but I was never going to knock your socks off. In early high school (weighing in approximately 40 lbs more than I do today and 60 more than my lowest weight) I thought running was the worst punishment you could ever make me do. I would try anything and everything to get out of running…

“Sorry coach, my ankle is really bugging me- 2 miles just isn’t in the cards today.”

“I’ve had a stomach ache all day.”

I never really had to push myself, I just sort of let myself stay in this mode for quite some time because in my mind I was always going to be slow and I was always just going to be decent. I joined the track team (lol) and literally only did the 100 meter sprint because it was usually the first event of the day and once I finished I could just socialize with my friends for the rest of the meet (I’ve always been a talker, what can I say?) Then this funny thing happened, I joined a friend on a “long run” of a few miles… and I didn’t die. I was slow but I was doing it and I sort of even liked it.

Cut to senior year, still not in the best shape of my life but working towards it slowly. I completed runs without excuses and embraced the conditioning at field hockey practice. I would “run” frequently and it basically meant I would run and tell myself I could stop when I hit a specific mail box or when I got to the end of the road I could rest for a second. I just kept doing that on the same loop until I was finally able to run the whole thing without needing to walk or rest. I accidentally agreed to run half of the Vermont City Marathon about a month and a half prior to race day. I’m pretty sure everyone I told thought I was insane, I sort of thought I was insane. I knew I wasn’t “prepared” but I was just crazy enough to think that even if I cross the finish line walking, I still did it.

I completed my first half marathon on May 25th, 2008. It was hot, I was cramping, I was tired, my iPod fried itself on mile 7 when I ran through some mist (damn you, Apple) but I somehow became a half marathon finisher and that part was freaking awesome. Here is how I celebrated completing the race…

Senior PromSenior Prom with Meredith

Yupp- I went to my senior prom.  I danced until midnight, and then went to a post-prom bonfire and thought I was never going to be able to move from my folding chair. There isn’t a hot tub in the world that could have saved the way I felt the next day… except for maybe a hot tub time machine… I could go back and actually train 😉

Since then, I have had and up and down battle with getting myself motivated to run and be healthy. The next year I moved to Colorado and got into the best shape I’ve ever been in, eating well and working out daily and actually enjoying my very active lifestyle. I even ran another half of the Vermont City with Heather that summer.

VCMSecond VCM Half complete 🙂

The next few years I moved to Tennessee and kept the “shape” for a little while but lost all ability to be healthy. Eventually the weight gained and the running stopped altogether. Just over two years ago, after a “series of unfortunate events” I made the incredibly random decision to move back to Vermont. I thought back to my lifestyle growing up here and figured that I would just jump right back in to good health and being active but that did not happen. It took a few months for me to be able to learn how to run for longer than 5 minutes, I knew I had done it before but I just could not break the barrier.

Then, just as it happened before, the 5 minutes I was struggling with became 10 and just kept going from there. The biggest thing I’ve noticed in these last 6 years since my first race is how much more mentally tough I am and how much I appreciate that. Why I let myself go in these waves with running I really don’t know, it’s certainly something that I’m trying to make steady. Running is something that I care enough about to maintain but it’s also something that I’ve learned no matter how hard it gets, whether it’s a week since my last run or 2 years, I can and will pick it back up.

I have never considered myself much of an athlete, but a runner I am.

VCMIf I can do it, you can do it.

Were you a natural runner?

Have you ever struggled to start running again after you have stopped?