fitness

Happy Friday! I AM BACK!!

Wow. It’s been almost a year since I blogged. Ouch. I guess life really did take over. I have missed this blog. I have thought of blogging often… then, a free moment happens, and well, playing with my dog, spending time with my love or my friends, seems to take precedence. Always. But, as I’ve said, I’ve missed blogging. So, I am working to restart the blog. Prepare better. To start, I am going to reintroduce myself.

Hello! My name is Angela… and well, from when I started this blog until today… I have grown and changed. So… who am I? I am 41 years old. I am an eastern PA transplant loving life in Las Vegas. I work in non-profit helping others. I am a runner. I am a girlfriend, a friend, a dog mom, a sister, a daughter. I enjoy yoga and working out. I love to cook and try new foods. I love Star Wars, Doctor Who, the Wizard of Oz, Buffy, Firefly… and well, am a nerd at heart. I enjoy hiking a mountain as much as I do curling up on my couch with a good book or some good TV. I have learned it’s the simple things in life that truly matter, and to take good care of myself.

My last few years have been a roller coaster. I switched jobs to one I truly love and feel at home in. Two of the research papers I worked on in my previous job were approved for publication in professional journals. I had a marriage end, sold a house, moved, found myself again, reclaimed my happiness. Found an amazing, one of a kind love. And it’s only getting better! I am moving again in 17 days (but to be honest, it’s the same building, just a bigger apartment!! EEK! (I should start packing). My job is growing and changing and keeps me on my toes. I love every minute of the chaos.

I can honestly say, that life in my 40s is truly amazing. I have found myself, my strength, my happiness… and work to make sure all of that continues to grow.

I run regularly… I race less often, but enjoy running, enjoy spending time out on the road with friends or my boyfriend (who is totally becoming a runner!!). We live in a great neighborhood with plenty of fun routes to run. I do yoga intermittently, and try to become more consistent with this. I have found some other workouts: combat fitness, HIIT, and resistance bands that I keep in the mix.

Cooking is one of my favorite things… and you will learn more about my favorite recipes soon!

So… welcome back to the blog about my life! My goal is to blog a minimum of once a week!!

Thank you for reading…

~live well, be amazing

Monday Happy Hour

As a new addition to my blog I will be writing a weekly Monday Happy Hour post… where I will share my wrap up of the week, highs/lows, plans for the weekend, etc. Because as much as I need coffee on Mondays, a post Monday drink is also nice. So… grab your favorite cocktail and settle in.

If we were at happy hour, I would tell you that my week was exhausting. We got back Sunday from Disneyland’s Star Wars race weekend and I relaxed most of Monday. As you have read, I have been dealing with a hip issue, so finally had the MRI on the hip Tuesday. On Wednesday, another doctor’s appointment for a different issue, which hasn’t yielded any results, but plenty of frustrations. I am not a fan of holding patterns.

At happy hour I would also tell you that work is very busy but in a positive way, I work for the National MS Society and our annual Walk MS event is coming up so I am busy getting participants, donations, sponsors, etc. I love the busy. But I am also terrified it won’t be a success.

I would also tell you that I miss my best friends… for some reason this week I just really wish I had them near me.

Then, I would tell you that my workouts are going… ok. I could be doing better, I could be running more days, but this week was mentally draining, so it was mostly yoga and walking my dog. I will catch up on core and upper body workouts this weekend! This coming month I am trying a Tabata program, Class Pass in Las Vegas, on top of my normal workouts. This will be fun and adventurous!

I would also tell you that I am excited for Huntington Beach/Surf City Half Marathon this weekend. It’s my third year running it which moves me to Legacy status and this past year, I was an ambassador for them! This event is one of my all-time favorite courses. Which reminds me that I need to finish my Star Wars race recap ASAP!

I would tell you that we celebrated the retirement of my former boss, mentor and great friend… I love that lady so much, and to celebrate this new chapter in her life was such an honor.

Lastly, I would tell you that I LOVE my new personalized planner I received from Plum Paper (on Etsy). I chose the family planner, which gave me seven rows I could label however I wanted. I picked: Work, Personal, Social Media, Workouts, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. A great way to manage my tasks, meals and workouts! I also ordered the blog section to help keep me organized there!

Oh! And I would suddenly remember that it’s almost the end of January and I am still not done with my first book in my monthly book club. Best get on reading “You’re A Badass”.

So… at happy hour, what would you tell me? How was your week and weekend? What do you have planned for this week?

Lifestyle Accountability Podcast

Hello everyone and welcome to 2014! I was fortunate to be interviewed for a Lifestyle Accountability Podcast, and the interview is now live! Check out my show as well as some other great athletes!!

Podcast

iBodyFit Review

Want even MORE good news? Good… because I am ready to share!!

Have you been struggling with how to eat healthy or where to start with exercise? Are you active but looking for a change? I was a little of both and found a great way to wade through all the information out there and feel grounded and knowledgeable enough to get a great start. Disclosure: iBodyFit.com provided me a free month of the Premium plan for review. Although I received the items, the views and experiences are mine and were not influenced by the gift.

A fellow FitFluential Ambassador Franklin created the iBodyFit.com program: an online program that can be tailored to help you meet your health and fitness goals. The best part… there are MANY options to help you figure out exactly what you need, no generic “do this” program.

Now I will admit, I have slacked lately in the world of health and fitness. I have been running, but not consistently. I am on target to reach my goal of 13 half marathons, so, I haven’t completely lost my way. I will also admit I have NEVER been a fan of strength training. I know its purpose, benefits, etc. but it was never something that grabbed my interest. Running: yes, Cycle class: yes, Yoga: absolutely. Lift weights… um, I have the sniffles was mostly how it went.

When I initially lost 60 lbs, I did strength train, but when my life gets hectic, it’s the first thing I cut out (judge me later). To say this year has been stressful is an understatement. Some has been good stress, some has been medical stress, some has been grief. I lost focus, honestly, I wasn’t even attempting to find it. I was more just trying to get through the day. (yes, I know working out helps with stress, but, hey, so does cuddling with my dog). By mid-April I didn’t even know what time zone my body was in anymore.

However… what I did notice: I was putting weight back on, my mood was edgier than normal, my fitness levels were dropping and my clothes didn’t fit as well. I knew I needed a change… but, was thinking, AGAIN?! I have to figure this out AGAIN?!  Since we are being honest here, I started my first routine in 2010 with a bunch of workouts cut out of magazines. Maybe not the smartest method, but it worked. Being even more honest, I have put back on 10 lbs. This is not helping my running goals.

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Time to change this body….

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… back into this body!

Why the lengthy, whiny back story you ask? Well… because at just the right moment an opportunity knocked. Franklin was offering a month of his program to interested fellow ambassadors to try out and review. I was excited to start this opportunity. So, I emailed Franklin and we got started. I sent him an email that pretty much vomited out this back story and some more info. He actually thanked me for all the info and got me started.

My month included access to him as a personal trainer (he may totally be regretting that now) a customized meal plan, customized workouts and help when needed.

I was torn between low-fat and Mediterranean diet plans so he gave me a combo of the two. When I looked them over in more detail, I was definitely more of the Mediterranean style as the low-fat had more packaged foods in it than I’d like (I’ll actually make a salad dressing vs. buy one). He was pretty helpful on what exchanges I could make if it was a food I didn’t eat, which was great. He also gave me some great insight into how to swap them foods properly. I also later remembered I added green smoothies into my day, and we adjusted as needed for those. So far, so good on the eating (okay, okay… if you follow my twitter/instagram, yes, I baked pie, but I shared it, a lot).

Next up, the workouts! The let’s go nuts side of me was like “let’s do this super intense challenge, 30 days of workouts, RAWR! Let’s do it all!!” he kindly and very smartly said… let’s start small to get you back on track and go from there. So, we found a great workout plan that won’t take hours to do and will work the total body. I can do this workout 2-3 times a week. He also gave me some exercises geared towards runners. The realistic side of my brain loves this.

So… I am off and running! I am in my second week so far and loving the workouts. Not too hard and not too easy. I definitely sweat and my muscles let me know they got a workout in, all while still being able to conquer my runs without exhausted legs. Also, the workouts change from week to week lessening my chance of boredom. The further I get into this program, the more I love it. You heard that right, I am loving the strength training in this workout. The other night I was EXHAUSTED and started the workout and realized how horrible my form was attempting squats. So, I called it and made that day my rest day. The next morning I was able to get the routine in since it doesn’t take an hour to do! I felt so accomplished before 7:00 AM!

Okay, okay… yes, I said good news. So, other than the fact that I am getting myself back on track what is the good news you ask? Well… Franklin at iBodyFit.com has offered to give one of you fine followers a free month of the Premium Program (the same program I am doing).  All you have to do is tweet us @solesisteronrun and @iBodyFit why you’d like to win with the #iBodyFit! Winner will be selected at random on May 29th! Good luck!!

Ready For A Positive Change

Disclosure: I’m part of a sponsored campaign for the Under Armour What’s Beautiful programand I’d love for you to join my team!

Hello everyone! Another piece of GREAT news… I am part of a wonderful campaign with Under Armour: What’s Beautiful: a campaign that celebrates and redefines female athletes and strength.

As a female who still struggles with the realization that I am an athlete, I love the concept of this campaign. Women who join set goals for themselves and with the support of the community work towards their goals. You can also create and join groups that have like-minded goals. Working to help Under Armour redefine the Female Athlete.

This campaign opportunity came at the perfect time for me. Stress in certain areas of my life is decreasing and I am realizing/admitting it is time for a change to get me back to my happy place.

The other day I was thinking to myself:  Here we are again. Really. For those that know me, in 2010/2011 I started working out and running and lost 50 lbs. I was by no means “skinny” but I went from 225 to 175. I was healthier, fitting better in my clothes and felt great. For the most part, I fluctuated between 172-180. I was running consistently but did much less strength training. I have never hidden my dislike of strength training. Yes, I know its benefits, but honestly, never really took to it.

Late fall last year things got stressful for me. We had just purchased our first home, work was stressful  and busy, my eye issues started, and holiday travel was coming up. I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I was running, but more to get the runs in than out of pure enjoyment. I rarely made it to the gym, my eating was all over the place.

Then… it continued. I couldn’t seem to reign myself in. At times, I just didn’t want to. I was stressed (seriously, I need to learn to say no). My eye issues were still around, and I set a goal to complete 13 half marathons in 2013, which, while I love this goal, it adds some challenges with the travel. My grandfather was placed in hospice and on Easter Sunday, passed away. The grief was overwhelming. I continued to not eat right, not exercise much and struggled to find the ambition to care.

So, here I am again. And this time, I am angry. I am angry that I let things get in the way of my health goals. That I put weight back on (I’m closer to 190), that my clothes don’t fit as well and honestly, angry that I have to start this, AGAIN. What didn’t I learn? Where did I go wrong?? Wait… I was human. That is okay. But I want to get back to this:

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One positive: I have been able to maintain my running. Maybe not 3-5 times a week, but I am out there running and have completed 5 of the 13 half marathons for the year. Right on track.

Well, this time I am more determined to make the changes that I will be able to maintain and turn into a lifestyle. I have learned a few things about myself in this journey:

 

  1. I enjoy being at home. After work, I want nothing more than to head home and play with my dogs.
  2. I am NOT a morning person (not even on race day, but I get myself there)
  3.  I do much better with a plan.
  4. I enjoy baking and treats. I do not enjoy making everything super healthy. In my mind, let a cookie be a cookie.
  5.  If I meal plan, I eat healthier.
  6.  I feel amazing after yoga and after a run.
  7. I can convince myself to strength train if it will be 40 minutes or less.
  8. I am human, life happens.

 

Okay, so what do I do with this information? Well, for starters, I am involved in a campaign that will help keep me motivated: Under Armour What’s Beautiful Campaign. The campaign goal is to redefine the female athlete and help women set goals to help them become healthier, happier versions of themselves. I’m in, are you?

For starters, I am NOT setting a weight goal. I am setting GET HEALTHY goals. I love yoga, but always struggle with Crow Pose, so, I have set a goal to be able to hold crow pose for 5 full yoga breaths; I have set a goal to improve my run time; I have set goals to be healthy and learn to love myself.

I have also created a team: Love Yourself! Where the goal is to make healthier choices and to learn to love yourself: body, mind and soul.

So… with the Under Armour Campaign, #IWILL:

 

  1.  Hold crow pose
  2. Complete a half marathon in under 2:20
  3.  Make healthier eating choices
  4.  Not deprive myself of anything
  5.  Add in strength training
  6. Learn to love myself: body, mind and soul

 

Want to join me? Sign up and follow me HERE and join my group HERE!  

 

What goals will you set for yourself to define #WHAT’SBEAUTIFUL?

The Sweet Feeling of a Mental Victory

As you saw from Saturday’s post, I tried a new workout Saturday with two friends. You also know that I am not the biggest lover of strength training. I am making an effort to incorporate it into my routine because of the benefits, but it is always a struggle for me. Well, Saturday, it was a challenge. the TRX system is a great challenge, and that hour session helped me realize where my strength training was, and how it could improve. It wasn’t easy, I was exhausted by the end and my muscles were shaking. But, I did it. A small victory!

So of course, after a workout like that, you know you will wake up to sore muscles the next day. I was set to run 6-8 miles on Sunday. I didn’t prepare well for it at all. Here is what my weekend looked like:

Saturday: workout at 10:00 am, breakfast of egg white veggie omelet and toast, cleaned the house, picked up groceries for dinner. Homemade pasta and chicken/turkey meatballs for dinner with a friend. Some drinks. Definitely not enough water. Cupcakes with ice cream in the middle. Stayed up late.

Sunday: woke up sore. Had french toast and bacon for breakfast, laid around, drank some water. Still very sore. Decided to try a run anyway…

So, I changed, had a Honey Stinger vanilla gel, filled up my water bottle, packed some Honey Stinger pink lemonade chews and my tunes and headed out. Seriously, walking out of my development felt weird (you know that sore muscle I think I’m walking funny feel). I realized it was pretty freaking windy. Great, let’s add that to the mix. So, after the first 3/4 mile I wanted to turn around and go home. I told myself well, that will be 1.5 miles, so you should just keep going and you can cut the route so you get at least 2 in if you don’t want to do 3. So, I ran up hill into the wind. (I swear in Vegas there is always a headwind) I at this point also decided to take walk breaks when I needed them, but to keep them to a certain number of light poles. If I was running and wanted to walk, I couldn’t until I passed a certain number of light poles, yes… I play mental games with myself to keep me going. Well, when I hit the point where I could turn and go home and settle for 3 miles, I told myself, head out a bit and at least get in 4. I knew deep down if I could get my feet to go that way, I would end up getting 7 miles in. I wouldn’t stop until I hit my scheduled turnaround point. So, I trucked it up to the park, filled the water bottle, had the chews and did a loop around the park. Heading out of the park I felt a sense of happiness and pride. My legs were exhausted and I knew I was slower than normal, but, I also had about 1.5 miles left until I hit 7 miles.

As I turned the last corner and finished my run at 7 miles I almost cried. Not from the pain (well, not entirely) but from the joy I felt for actually running the 7 miles when  I didn’t want to get off the couch. When I had every excuse to not go and did a good job of not preparing. I went anyway. I posted my run from the app to daily mile and said: “didn’t beat my time today, but beat my mind. Better victory”. I shut up the doubting side of my brain, I overcame the thoughts of negativity and self doubt and completed 7 miles. It wasn’t until about 30 minutes later I looked at my pace. Because honestly, I didn’t care. I ran to run, to beat my mind… and I did. And yes… my pace was slow, and I don’t care.

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So… remember the next time your mind is telling you no, and the self doubt is creeping in, that you are capable of more than you think. You will never know how much until you try. Get out there, take the first step and see where it leads. Mental victories are amazing… I honestly think that brutal 7 miles was more rewarding than some race finish lines. I challenge you to not just step out of your comfort zone but to destroy the hold that keeps you in it. Achieve YOUR mental victory!