Thursday, January 7, 2016

Bad Weather Blues

"I'll begin to love the rain as soon as it goes away." -- unknown

Unless you have been living under a rock, you've probably heard that California (where I live now) has been experiencing a drought. This is not good. Our water tables are rapidly replenishing, and our lakes are going dry. Everyone is taking measures to conserve water, and we all pray for rain. And still? Not super duper thrilled about the rain. Do I like how it smells? Oh, heck yeah! Do I like how it cleans our air? Absolutely! But rainy days mean indoor training days, and I hate running on the treadmill (first world problems, I know). 

This week was the start of what runners refer to as tapering... and no, I didn't know that was a thing when I ran back in college. :) Tapering is when runners slow down and recover just prior to their big race. It usually follows their last and longest training run - for me, this was after my 13.5 mile exercise on New Year's eve. Tapering doesn't mean that you stop training, it just means that you reduce your mileage. I should be doing at least two or three 3 mile runs this week, a longer run (around 4-5 miles) this weekend, and two more 3 mile runs next week. SHOULD be...

I did 3 miles on Sunday, and woke up on Monday sick as a dog. I took it easy Monday night, only to wake up even worse on Tuesday. Feeling a little better yesterday, I forced myself to do at least a couple of miles in the gym last night. I hate indoor running, but I did it... and I beat my PR for the 2nd mile. I went to the gym feeling a little better tonight, and a little more confident, but...

My run sucked. The gym was packed (for the first time this year), and I was lucky to snag a treadmill. I got on, turned on my interval timer, and started my workout. I was a good three minutes in when my bluetooth headphones died. I'm usually pretty good at not comparing myself to others when I'm on the treadmill, and kinda tune the whole place out, but tonight I got to hear what the crappy girls next to me had to say. Did they really just make fun of my interval pace? Um, dude... I'm 5'2". And chunky. Going 3.5 miles on my walking interval is not turtle pace. Did she seriously scoff that my run/jog interval is only a minute? UGH! Mind your beeswax, ladies!

While the cattiness of my treadmill neighbors should have motivated me, it just made me upset. I was already having a hard time breathing (thanks to this cold and my asthma), and my legs were tired. These mean girls managed to make me less motivated, and I finished only 1.5 miles of my planned 3 mile run. I think I literally slapped the stop button when I decided to end my workout. I jumped off, sprayed down the machine, and went to the locker room.

Why do we allow other people to impact how we feel about ourselves? These girls children are immature. Neither of them were doing any more than I was doing. Did they do 13.5 miles last week? I don't know. Have they ran over 55 miles since December 1st? Maybe they have, maybe they haven't... but regardless... I DID. After I finished stretching in the locker room, I splashed some water on my face and took a cold hard look at myself. One year ago, I wouldn't be complaining about "only" doing a mile and a half run - I would have been celebrating it. Two years ago, I wouldn't have even tried. 

So, before I left the gym, I decided to not walk away with my head down. I didn't "just" do a mile and a half, I did a mile and a half! That's more than a lot of people do! So I took a smiling selfie before I left the locker room to remind me of this moment. While I do not have to be more than I already am, I know I can and will do better. I don't have to live up to other people's expectations - I just need to live up to and exceed my own. People are all different, and we all work a little differently. If I do nothing else in 2016, I will at least be kinder to myself. I owe it to me... and to my nieces and nephew that look up to me. I challenge each of you to consider doing the same. Be kind to yourself... and one another.



PS: This website was a good resource for me as I trained myself how to properly taper. Thought you might find it useful too! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 - The Year We Were Fit... Occasionally...

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." -- Oprah

Well friends, it's 2016. Can you believe it? Last year blew by so fast! When we started this blog in January, we had some pretty lofty goals. We had planned to blog regularly (um... sorry about that), and we were going to make 2015 the year we went from puff to buff. Well... life had other plans. Natasha continued staying busy with motherhood and preparing for PA school, and Becky got promoted. We both traveled a lot, and both trained for races (so we went from weight lifting to running... why not?). While neither of us fully met the goals we set for ourselves in 2015, we had a pretty fit year! This is particularly true for Becky since Natasha was already running races and being generally awesome :) So what follows is a quick recap in the year that was! In our next blog post(s), we will post our fitness goals for 2016. If 2015 was the year we tried to be fit, maybe 2016 is the year that we actually become it! Haha!


Natasha started the year out with a bang, completing the Love Rox Half in Richmond, VA in just over two and a half hours! Way to go!

MARCH 2015

Natasha made it a family affair in March with the Maritime 8K. Natasha, her husband, her father-in-law, and her daughter all took part in race day fun. And check out their awesome hardware! A fit family is a happy family! Well done!

APRIL 2015

Natasha visited Becky in California in April, and the two attempted to have a fit vacation. Natasha succeeded more than Becky at that, running every single morning during her stay. The two attempted to hike twice - finally succeeding with a very short hike in the Sequoias. It was so good to be reunited... it was sad to depart after four short days.

MAY 2015

Natasha rocked the Mother's Day 4 Miler in May... Just another casual run for Natasha ;) (Note: This is not a picture from that race. Natasha, unlike Becky, does not photograph every race because she's done so many. Ha!)

Meanwhile, Becky got her steps in while exploring Spain and France. Every single day was a 25K or more day, with hundreds of stairs and hills climbed. Fitcations are fun! 

JUNE 2015

Another month, another race for our dear friend Natasha! She completed the Twilight 4 miler in June, in 90 degree weather no less. This was the same week that she complained about being out of shape... smh... this girl... LOL.

Meanwhile in California, Becky conned her friends into a 6.5 mile hike up to and above the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. This hike took place shortly before the Dodger game, leading her friends to think she is a sado-masochistic torturer. For the record, you might want to confirm plans before making them with Becky... Ha!

JULY 2015

Natasha started the Oxygen 90 Day Challenge in July, encouraging (?) her family and friends to participate. She also continued her love/hate affair with cardio... but we all know she's staying committed to that :)

Meanwhile in California, Becky was continuing to torture her poor friend Emily with even more hiking while on vacation. This time, the two tackled the "strenuous" Ocean View/Fern Creek trails in Muir Woods near San Francisco.  The hike was harder than planned, but it was totally worth it. 


Becky finished the Dodger 5K in September with Shika, learning exactly what she needs to work on before her half marathon in January 2016. Natasha continued to rock her 90 Day Challenge, but started to get understandably frustrated with other participants (nothing tastes, better? really?). 


October saw the beginning of half marathon training for Becky, and Becky used that as a motivation to push herself and her friends into a challenge in honor of her upcoming birthday. Natasha and Becky crushed it, exceeding the 36 miles in 12 day challenge! Woot!


Becky discovered the Hogwarts Running Club in November,  and quickly signed up for and completed the Platform 9 3/4K virtual race. This was her first virtual race, but hardly her last. With friends spread far and wide throughout the country, this is one way that she and her friends can race "together" while living far apart. So cool! She also challenged friends and family to compete in a Thankful Thirty Trot challenge on Facebook. This team smashed their goals, running/walking over 700 miles! Wow!


December brought back-to-back 5Ks for your favorite (?) fitness bloggers. Natasha completed the Run with Santa 5K in Virginia...

... and Becky completed the Holiday Toy Run in California on Christmas Eve. Becky's half marathon training saw back-to-back long run weekends during the holidays, completing 11 miles on Christmas Day and another 13.5 miles with Shika on New Year's Eve! Woohoo! 

As we close this post, it's probably worth mentioning that before we wrote it, Becky was feeling somewhat disappointed in her fitness in 2015. Was she fitter in 2015 than she was in 2014? Absolutely! But she was still far less fit than she had hoped to be. Did Natasha feel like she crushed her goals? A quick review of her posts in 2015 will show you how often she doubted herself or her commitment to fitness during the year. We are far too hard on ourselves... 

This year, we challenge each of you to be kinder to YOU in 2016. As we mentioned in the beginning of this post, we will be setting up goals for ourselves in 2016, and we encourage you to do the same. Will we all meet these goals? Probably not... but that doesn't mean that the year was a failure. I mean, look at how much we accomplished in 2015! Yes, we were only occasionally fit, and loosely committed... but we still made healthier choices this year, and that is something to be proud of. 

What will YOU do in 2016? We can't wait to hear from you!


Becky and Natasha

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Join Us on Facebook!

While I know I'm supposed to be too old to enjoy social media, I've found it to be a remarkable tool. As I mentioned in previous posts, I've found a wonderful online fitness community using Instagram, and experienced a great sense of community by challenging my friends and family to join me in running challenges on my birthday and before Thanksgiving. While talking to a couple of friends over the holidays, some encouraged me to add this blog as a page on Facebook... so here we are! 

So what can you find if you follow us here? Well, for the handful of you that actually follow this blog, it will give you a way to hear of new posts outside of signing up via blogroll or subscribing via email. We will also use the page to invite people to join us for virtual events like the aforementioned Thankful Thirty Trot or our upcoming Run the Year challenge. We will also use it to share helpful fitness and health links and articles that you may enjoy. Don't worry - we're not trying to sell you anything. That's not our focus... our goal is just to get as many of our friends and family to enjoy healthier and happier lifestyles!

Join us! Head over to FB and "Like" our page at Hope to see you there! I'll try to write a real post later this week. Until then, have a great week!