I’m a Centergy Groupie

Happy Monday morning everyone! Congrats to everyone who raced this past weekend! This weekend provided some much needed “me” time. I relaxed, exercised, and spent some QT with my family.

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Hubby has decided to be “Billy Bass” the hanging wall fish for Halloween this year. (super popular 10 (?) years ago) I decided this year to make it easy and be a cow. I purchased a headband and tail to wear from Amazon. I will be wearing this Nike Dri Fit shirt that I think resembles a cow. The less I have to buy, the better!

unosFriday night, hubby and I went to one of our most frequented restaurants, Uno Chicago Grill. Normally, Uno is known for having some of the worst food for you, including the deep dish pizzas. However, I have found some better for you options including the Field Greens with Goat Cheese & Glazed Walnuts salad and the Mediterranean half pizza on five grain crust. We also were some wild and crazy kids- I ordered a water and hubby ordered a root beer. The 21 year old me would be screaming right now.

BTSSaturday morning we had the opportunity to try the new releases for Body Training Systems Group Core and Group Centergy. I actually got hubby to try Centergy (yoga+pilates) with me!!! He did great, although some of the routines go really fast if you’ve never done it. I’m loving the new release as it’s totally different from the last one.

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I had the chance to do Centergy TWO times this weekend (Sat & Sun). I’m a lucky girl. My glutes are feeling a little sore and I love it.

wineMy drinking lately has almost exclusively been wine. We used to enjoy some drinks (vodka+soda) at home on the weekends, however, since I’m focused on running and exercising, I don’t want to drink because a) I don’t want to be hungover and not able to work out b) I don’t eat as well when drinking and c) I don’t need those empty calories in my body. This is such a huge change from a couple years ago, but I’m happy with it. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I was drunk because it’s been that long. Orchard Country Winery Autumn Harvest is one of my favorite full flavor wines. If you can find it- buy it!

After a crazy week at work with late night parent/teacher conferences, I’m looking forward to a more typical week ahead. This week we have a couple things to celebrate- our 2nd wedding anniversary is Tuesday and hubby’s birthday is Wednesday! I’m looking forward to a great week & I hope you are too!!

P.S. Grab your kicks lost the wordpress.com! You will be redirected to grabyourkicks.com from now on 🙂

What restaurant do you frequent the most? What’s your favorite wine?

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A Goal Without a Timeline is Simply a Dream

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend! This week is parent/teacher conferences so I am gearing up for some late nights at school ahead of me. Luckily, I was able to get some much needed rest and relaxation in this weekend!

Friday night hubby and I watched one of our favorites shows- Shark Tank! I love to see what people invent! I’m still trying to come up with some brilliant, innovative idea to get us on the show. I’ll let you know when that happens. 🙂  As we were watching the show, Robert Herjavec said this great quote.

Obviously, the runner in me was screaming, “YES!” because this completely applies to training for any kind of race. I will file this under my motivational running quotes.

Saturday was rainy and dreary here. I started my morning with BTS Group Core, which is a 30 minute class. It’s quick and dirty. Even though I’ve been attending regularly twice a week, it still makes me sore some days! I am definitely feeling it in my glutes today.

2013-10-05 09.30.32Saturday afternoon I hit the mall to do some shopping for my husband’s birthday and our anniversary (both next week, ekk!). I used to go the mall all the time as a teenager, but honestly, I couldn’t stand it. It wasn’t even the holiday season and the mall was packed. People walk way to slow for my liking. I didn’t exactly know what I was looking for too, which made it worse. I ended up heading to two stores and then high tailing it out of there. No thank you. I will stick to my smaller stores rather than the mall from now on.

One of the stores I stopped at was Target. I contemplated getting this Gaiam pressure point massager. Ever since I tried “the stick” at the Fox Cities Marathon expo, I’ve been thinking about picking on of these up. However, I already have a Trigger Point foam roller, so I’m not sure if it’s necessary. I don’t want to be collecting a bunch of exercise equipment that I think is a good idea at the time and then never use it. Although, I think I would use it, so we’ll see. My birthday is coming up….

2013-10-05 14.28.44Murphy has all but destroyed every soft, plush dog toy we’ve gotten him. I know he loves soft toys, so I decided to give it another go and picked him up a soft duck. It had less stuffing than a normal toy, but of course, it didn’t make a difference.

2013-10-05 16.38.33I’ve should have read that smiling face to mean, “I’m about to destroy this toy waa haaa haaa,” because that’s exactly what happened. All that’s left now is the “skin.” Live and learn, right.

I also picked up some fall candy, mostly to bake with. I made oatmeal cookies with the pumpkin spice M&Ms and am planning on using the pumpkin spice kisses in Janae’s Rolo cookie recipe (replacing Rolos with the kisses). The Werther’s caramel apple filled candy I’m planning on just eating. 🙂

2013-10-05 15.45.26Sunday morning I headed to Centergy class for some much needed yoga. I am in love with this class. The instructor is always challenging us to not be comfortable in poses and I really feel a difference in my strength. We do a lot of body weight strength training in the class. I’m finally able to do a standing split, flying warrior, and corpse pose (oh wait, you just lay there for that one ;)).

2013-10-06 07.58.10I had another great run to finish my Sunday off that I will recap tomorrow.

I hope everyone takes some time to invest in their physical and mental health this week. It’s so important! I give you permission to feel good about yourself!

What is your favorite inspirational quote? Anyone have “the stick” or something like it? Is it worth it?

What are you doing this week to invest in yourself?

My Butt Needs Work

Hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Saturday morning I completed my last long training run before the Fox Cities Half Marathon this month!! I ran with the PaceSetters, which is a local running group here. We had 11 miles on the schedule and though some miles were mentally tough, I did it! At about mile 9 it really hit me that I’m doing this and I’m going to do it well this time. Last year’s half was a bit of a disappointment because of my body, but this year I have new determination to not only finish, but finish strong. I’m pretty excited about the race on September 22nd. I tend to get overly excited during races where I just want to slap high fives with spectators and yell to everyone around me, “We’re doing it!!! We’re almost there!” I wish I could bottle that feeling, that sense of accomplishment I get during races.

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The best part of my run was meeting a new running buddy (keep finding new ones at every run :)), Debbie. We were both keeping a 9:30 min/mile pace and just fell into sync next to each other. We ran and talked the last three miles together. I learned that Debbie has been running for 20+ years and has completed 12 half marathons. She took second in her age group last year at the Fox Cities Half Marathon. I was guessing her age to be in the later 40s…only to find out she’s 61! I couldn’t believe how great she looks! When we finished our run, Debbie mentioned every run she writes down someone’s name and runs one mile for them, every mile except for that last one that is. Debbie said, “That mile is always for me.” 

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Debbie and I after 11 miles.

Running is so much more than running. Running gives you a connection to other runners, an understanding that you’re a fighter, you’re driven, you’re willing to put effort into something, you’re willing to keep going even if it’s difficult. A running mindset, that I can accomplish my goals if I just keep trying, can be applied to many facets of our lives. That’s what I love about running. Debbie noted running helped her through many difficult times in her life and I can relate. I had just met Debbie and already felt open enough to discuss my mom’s passing and she shared that she lost her mom when she was 20. We all have heard the phrase, “Running is cheaper than therapy.” True that.

After my training run, I took advantage of the physical therapists they had on hand. I mentioned to the PT that I have been having hip pain once I get about 6 miles into my longer runs. I have ben trying to strengthen my hips (i.e., Centergy classes) and increase my cadence. She questioned how I increase my cadence. Honestly, I just try to think about taking short, quick steps and repeat in my head to “pick up you feet, pick up your feet.” (Read more about cadence and good form running here) She checked my hip alignment which was good. Then she checked my glute strength. I’ve been so focused on strengthening my hips, I didn’t think about my glutes being weak. Sure enough, when she asked me to resist while she pushed, I folded like a weakling. I have a weak butt! She recommended resistance band exercises and doing plank jacks.

We spent the rest of our weekend at my parent’s cottage on the lake soaking up the last sun of summer.

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Pro compresh and leg draining in the car.

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Murphy basking in the late afternoon sunlight.

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Murph loved kayaking with us.

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Tomorrow is the first day of school for the kiddos, so I’m back to working full time. After a summer full of running, getting my body on track, farmer’s markets, trips, and seeing friends/family, I’m ready for the challenge of a new school year. I haven’t been present for a first day of elementary school yet, so I’m looking forward to the excitement!

Enjoy the rest of your labor day!

Do you get overly excited during races? Any suggestions for good exercises or videos to strengthen glutes/hips? What did you do over the long weekend?