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Praise the Progress

Praise the progress has never proven more true during my recent challenge. I knew when I started this 30 day challenge it was going to be tough. Each day I pushed myself as far as I could push it and each day I went farther then I did the day before. It amazed me how on one day I struggled to complete the number for that day but then the very next day I went farther. And then the next day I went even farther. Then after a week I was well ahead of where I started. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to a 5 minute plank, but I was able to get to 160 crunches and 64 leg raises. Not completing the plank portion of my challenge is where praising the progress comes into play. Everyone and every body is at different fitness levels. I’m not going to give up. I know that I will get to that 5 minute plank and I will continue to be proud of the steps and milestones along the way.

On a side note I ran my first 5k after running the half marathon and my first in the cold weather.


I was nervous. Period. I don’t know why, it’s not like I hadn’t run what feels like gazillions 5k’s before. Maybe because I didn’t know how my lungs would like the cold air. Or maybe because this was my first time attending a race by myself. Regardless, I was very happy and surprised by my results. I realized two things that morning.

1. Running in cold weather isn’t that bad

2. Even though my time isn’t where I would like it to be, I know I will get there. Not because I will keep training but because I won’t give up.

So remember, when you feel like you had a bad work out day or when you feel discouraged, you are farther then you were the day before. Feel proud of how far you’ve come and how far you will go.

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Fitness goals

Well I have finally decided my next fitness goal. After months of training for the half marathon I took a much needed week break. After that week was over I was itching to get back at it. With the warmer weather (sadly) over I headed back to the gym. But I needed to make sure I had a plan. When I was training for the half everyday I knew how many miles I needed to get in. I didn’t want to walk into the gym and wander from machine to machine without concentrating on an area. After thinking about it on my week break I finally came to an decision….drum roll…

I am challenging myself to 2 of many 30 day fitness challenges.


I figured it was a short yet rewarding goal to work on. While doing this challenge I will still continue to run and occasionally switch it up with some arm and leg workouts. After this is complete I may consider doing another one or maybe during this month I’ll think of something else. Having any goal is very important. It helps you focus and you get to see the hard work you’ve put in a result. Plus having this blog (and telling people in general) helps you accomplish those goals you set for yourself. By telling others, it encourages me to not let hem, or myself down. Following through on something you set out to do is one of the most rewarding things. And when you can share that with others, it is that much better.

I am most excited about the fact that this challenge will help my running game. (Besides the wash board abs I hope to gain) Increasing your core strength is a huge benefit for posture and speed. With only a few days into the challenge I can already feel an improvement. And I will also say I have missed the gym (but not the treadmill).

What fitness goals have you challenged yourself to?

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Fall Goal Setting

I ran my first and only marathon in Chicago on Oct. 10 2014 (10/10/10). I was 23. I told myself, I would run one again at 25 but life got busy. I graduated with my M.A. in advertising that year, moved to Colorado Springs and started a new job. I was just trying to get a handle on life.

Four years later, here I am again thinking and plotting about running a marathon. I’ve moved to Washington, took a new job and getting married next year. I am contemplating another go at the marathon. The goal is to do another and PR by the time I’m 30.

It is really weird to see the number 30 and I know I am referring to myself. So much can happen between now and 30 and I’m nervous I will get side tracked. I know that even my upcoming nuptials will be a large roadblock. So I know I need to be deliberate in setting my goals.
Goal Setting
I’m not a motivational speaker or accredited in any way with setting goals. But, I have a nice way of thinking of them:
• Define
• Plan
• Do

So I have defined my goal pretty well-marathon before 30 under 3:59. The next steps are harder. I have read up on training cycles and consulted my online coaches (I do use an online training program). I am going to focus on short races building up to a half marathon next August or September. I am going to add in core work and cross training. Finally, I need to follow-up and stick to the plan. I know the next few months are going to be hard with the holidays, wedding and just adapting to a new place. I am going to continue to make sure to interact with my online group of runners and luckily, I’m joining up with a running group or two here. It is time to set myself up for success.

How do you set yourself up for success?


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Mental Strength

Training is not just training your body but training your mind. Your mental game is the most important thing when it comes to physical health. Your mind is what tells you to start, keep going, and finish strong. The decisions you make effect the results you see physically. For me, the best way to train my mind is to set a goal. Setting a goal, and completing it gives me the positive reinforcement to do it again. It can be difficult after a long day of work to find the energy to workout. I overcome it by telling myself once I’m done then I have the rest of the night to myself. Plus I already have to change out of work clothes, might as well be into workout clothes.

UR Tribe

Mental strength helps push you when you feel like there is nothing left. There were many times after a race where I felt like I could have pushed myself more. I felt disappointed or upset with myself because I felt that I wasn’t giving 100% of what I knew my body could do. Now every time I constantly think to myself ‘do I have more left?’ The answer is always yes. I’ll end with a few quotes that I find very true and motivational:


‘The best way to become a mentally tough runner is to believe you’re mentally tough runner’ -Ryan hall

“Your fitness is 100% mental. You’re body won’t go where you mind doesn’t push it.”

“Once you control your mind you can conquer your body.”


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It’s A Tough World for Those Poor Herbivores… By Audrey Fotouhi

I’m a vegan.  For those who don’t know, a vegan is a person who refrains from using any animal product whatsoever for food, clothing, or any other purpose.

Generally, when I tell people this (though I mostly try to avoid the topic) they become shocked and amazed.  “You’re a vegan?  Oh, wow!” and “how do you do that?  It must be so hard!” are comments I hear pretty frequently.  In reality, becoming a vegan was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  I doubt people are judging me; most people just find it difficult to imagine a life without dairy, eggs, or meat (fish included).

I became a vegetarian in 8th grade after seeing Supersize Me, giving up all meat cold-turkey (no pun intended).  As the years passed, I became stricter with what I considered to be vegetarian.  Eventually my diet had these rules set upon it in addition to “no meat”: no meat broth, no use of utensils that have touched meat, no food that has touched meat, no gelatin (which is from animal bones), no food cooked in the same oil as meat (no more fried food at restaurants!), the list goes on.  And by the summer of my senior year in high school, I’d given up most dairy products too.  Finally, I made the decision to become a full-on vegan.

I waited to make this “lifestyle change” until September 1st, the day that I moved into my dorm at college.  Being a vegetarian was only tolerated in my house, so becoming a vegan was something that could never happen at home.  I didn’t broadcast my new dietary preference; in fact, my father still doesn’t know officially (or even notice for that matter).

At college though, no one could judge my eating habits.  Eating in the dorms was a slight problem at first and I remember complaining to my friends about being hungry all the time during Welcome Week.  It took a little while to get used to, but after about a week and a half, I had no problem finding food to eat in the dorms and at restaurants.  (The key is to look at the menu online beforehand and ask a million questions unabashedly; make sure to make clear that the food you ordered has no meat, dairy, eggs, or gelatin.)

After I made this switch, my skin cleared up, my energy level increased and I dropped 15 lbs without even trying (though that might be attributed to the fact that dorm food, while it had a lot of vegan options, was rather unappealing overall and I just ate less in general).  I had more focus when studying and my headaches, headaches that had plagued me for years, became less awful; I no longer required Extra-Strength Excedrin every morning.

There are lots of challenges (oh, the horrors of dorm food) and dealing with public opinion is never fun (we’re all spoiled and sanctimonious elitists, obviously).  Oftentimes I do want to cheat and eat a Christmas cookie or fro-yo with my friends, and sometimes it is annoying to order at restaurants, and occasionally I really want an omelet.  Eventually though, the cravings for dairy and eggs will go away, just as they did when I became a vegetarian (and I did crave meat- I used to love steak!).  But I feel that the benefits of this lifestyle change outweigh the costs, and even though it can definitely get annoying, in the long run, I will be healthier overall.  There are many social and political factors keeping me a vegan (I’m very involved in the “green” movement); for me to eat dairy, eggs, or meat would be hypocritical.  Make sure that you know why you are doing it before you start and you will be fine (health-wise, if done properly).  Try it out and see how it works for you. I’m not making any promises that I won’t ever go back to eating dairy and eggs (I probably won’t ever go back to eating meat), but for now I am just fine as a vegan.