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    Reflecting on the 2015 XC Season

    Reflecting on the Cross Country Season

    Every season has its ups and downs and this season was extra challenging. I knew I would be out for a while when I had the baby, but the issues started back in the Summer. High schoolers are tricky, which is one of the reasons why I love working with them so much and one of the reasons they are so hard to work with. Some days I cannot stop laughing at them/with them and enjoy their big personalities and other days the two and a half hours  hours I spend with them seems like it takes days to get through a workout and they literally are on my last nerve. Motivation and consistency is so important when running and conveying that this is what makes a good runner is something I struggle with.

    There’s only so many ways to say the same thing over and over again and not feeling like a broken record. There’s a fine line with coaching where you don’t want to keep repeating the same thing because it starts to fall on deaf ears. I’ve been working on being more consistent with all of our athletes and trying to show them how to improve and tell them  stories that they may relate to instead of just yelling them over and over.

    We thought the boys team was going to be really strong this year and the girls team would have a rebuilding year, but it actually ended up being flipped. The girls came together and had a great year, while the boys continued to struggle because of some poor choices that hurt their training. It’s hard to decide what to do for discipline when you’re trying to prove a point but at the same time they need to continue to train.

    At the end of the season, it’s always nice to look back and see so many kids with new personal bests and motivation moving into track season. The best part of coaching is seeing my athletes understand why we push them, appreciate our efforts and improve. I love the coaches I work with and am excited to continue to build the program to new levels. I need to keep looking at the future and all the work we’ve put in to come to where we are today! Coaching is so much work and tireless but it makes me love running so much. I love the diversity and challenges.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.32.50 AMHere’s to a great track season and keeping a positive attitude!

     

    2016… Here we go!

    2016 - Here We Go! Running GoalsA fresh start is always nice and there is nothing like a new year to set new goals with a new mindset. When I look back on my first post of 2015 – I had NO clue I was pregnant and it’s funny to see what I wanted to do this past year! It was a hard year for me running wise because I was sick for 20 weeks being pregnant and had to wait over 10 weeks to get the clear to work out again and I still don’t feel 100%. I also had to forgo the Boston Marathon, a dream that I qualified for, which made the first half of the year very difficult for me. I was angry that I couldn’t run in general and so disappointed that I couldn’t run that race. Now that she’s here, I feel a lot better about missing it but do have hopes to qualify again and NOT get pregnant before the race ;)

    Over 2014 and some of 2015, I have found what kind of running mindset works for me. Working to make each run count. I don’t do well running miles without a purpose. When I create a plan and goals I keep “Running With Purpose” in mind because that is how I train the best. Even though in 2015 I only ran/walked 302 miles, I am happy I was healthy throughout my pregnancy and did what I could instead of giving up and laying on the couch all day.

    In 2016 I want to focus on getting back into shape and not being scared of being sore or how out of shape I am right now. One of the biggest things I struggle with right now is just going to run. Once I’m out there, I’m usually fine. I can’t exactly pinpoint why, but every time right before I run I get so nervous and it almost gives me anxiety. I know I need to build my confidence in my running and believing in myself. I need to relax and enjoy the time I have alone, or with the stroller and be proud of myself for getting out there. Every thing will come back, with time. I’m going to break my workout/fitness/running goals down to be monthly goals instead of a huge daunting task. One big goal I have is to run the Lake at Camp in August with the Team. It’s a 16 mile loop at a high altitude and I really want to be in shape to enjoy that run and complete it! I missed camp this past year and am really looking forward to going with the team this year.

    I know I’m a very competitive person. Example: When I had Cora, my doctor told me, “I think you’ll push for an hour to an hour and a half and you’ll have your baby.” I told him, “No, I can do this faster than that.” 30 minutes later she was out. When I first started coaching, I was so much slower. By the end of the 2nd season, I was running some of the fastest times of my adult life. Most of the time this competitive mindset works out in my favor, but sometimes, when I’m feeling down about myself, seeing other people run so much faster and further than I am running I get disappointed. It’s interesting because I usually don’t have the comparison guilt problem, but with running I do it to myself. I know I need to let that go and run for me and be proud that I’m getting it done.

    I have also bought a few things to make it easier for me. A few cute hats to wear so that I’m not paranoid about my dirty hair when I don’t have time to wash it. Two new sports bras to keep things in check as I have a little bit of weight left to lose. A new armband for my phone so when I’m alone I have something to hold it and I can listen to music.

    I know getting out there is most important right now, and creating reachable goals will help motivate me. I’m going to be writing more and tracking my progress so that I can look back when I’m feeling down and see how far I’ve come.

    January 2016 Running GoalsSo my goals for January are:

    1. Sign up for a race – I know this will motivate me to run more throughout the week and keep me from giving into the anxiety that I don’t want to do it.

    2. Run 3 days a week – It sounds like a small goal but with our new schedule, I will be so happy to get out there and run 3 days a week.  My hope is to do 4, but I’m starting out with 3 with one of those being without the stroller and a bit longer.

    3. Eat Healthy – this is hard for me because I forget to eat throughout the day sometimes. I need to get back into my routine of sandwiches, carrots, yogurts and smoothies!

    4. Blog 3 times a week – Writing and running makes me happy. I need to blog more about my life no matter what I’m blogging about.

    Here’s to a great 2016 and all that it may hold!

    Making running a priority for me

    So I started running again. It’s been a slow go to get back out there and to be honest, I was terrified to start running again. I wanted to so badly but I was so scared to try it. Many people told me it would just be different, and it is. Just like with birth stories, it seemed like I heard all negative ‘getting back into working out stories’, which were a bit intimidating. I waited two and a half months and for a complete doctors clear to start back up again. It was such a foreign feeling lacing up my shoes, putting on workout clothes that I’d actually workout in and opening up my runkeeper app, but I just told myself that I could do this and to focus on getting started again and nothing else.

    Getting back to running after having a baby. When I started I was really worried about not being able to control my bladder, which many people told me would be an issue. Thankfully, it hasn’t been so I am really grateful for that. I do feel my skin being more floppy, which is a weird feeling, and it’s hard to describe but my hips just feel loose. I mean a baby did jiggle things around down there, so I know it’s going to take some time to adjust to things and to lose the weight that I gained. I am really grateful I didn’t gain a lot but things have shifted.

    Many people have told me that I look really great for just having a baby, and I am really appreciative of that, but I just feel so different and my clothes fit differently. It’s hard for my self confidence because I don’t feel like my old self and running is a whole new world. I don’t know when I’ve taken almost a full year off from it. When I run now, it’s a tad disheartening to see my pace and feel so out of shape because I am a competitive person but I know it will just take time and consistency.

    Now, I’m looking to lose a few pounds and get back to feeling close to my old self. When I used to want to lose weight, I’d take extra time at the gym or when I was out running. It would only take away from B and I’s time and if he was at work I was free to do whatever I wanted. Now I have to plan my entire schedule around Cora which isn’t a big deal but just takes some extra time figuring out how it will all work. I also have been trying really hard to keep a clean home and stay on top of my work and chores so finding a balance has been something I am working on. Another thing to take into consideration is the STROLLER. Holy cow pushing that thing is way harder than I imagined. It’s so heavy! I love it but shoot it’s hard. I’ll be happy when she graduates from the car seat to being able to be in the stroller alone. I am very thankful B is home some days and that makes running easier because I don’t have to take the stroller.

    Getting back into running after having a babyNow that I’ve run four times and my legs don’t feel as jello-y as when I started, I’m ready to start really getting back into running but one thing I thought a lot about on my run this morning is that I have to make it a priority. It has to be something I want to do and I have to carve out the time to do it. Right now it’s normally 30 minutes because I am sticking to running 3 miles. I have to take the effort to be in my running clothes when she wakes up and after her morning bottle off we go. I’ve been making excuses but I just need to do it. Sometimes just making it out the door makes me proud and I know I am at the point where I am ready to do this for me. I always come home from a run feeling so much better and I need to remember that when I’m prepping to get ready to go in the morning. It keeps me sane, allows me to think and makes me an overall happier person.

    I’ve found that if I focus on time when I run with the stroller I don’t find myself as discouraged when I get home and look at the pace. When I run without the stroller, I want to focus on my breathing and enjoying the run and freedom.

    I know I can do this and I know it will take time but I’m officially ready both mentally and physically to start getting back out there on a consistent basis. I’m sure I’ll be posting more consistently since no one else wants to hear about how my running adventures are going besides the internet. Here goes nothing!

    Getting back into running after giving birthxoxo

    Running for Women Book Giveaway!

    Running-for-women-book.jpgI recently wrote a book and now want to give you a chance to win a copy! The feedback I’ve gotten so far has meant so much to me and I’m so glad people are enjoying it and finding it useful. To be honest, I was re-reading some of it the other day and thought to myself, wow man, this is some pretty good stuff! :)

    You can enter to win here:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    I’ll announce the winner on December 12th! Good luck!

    xoxo

    Cleared for Take Off!

    Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 2.28.14 PMEvery time I open my closet, I would see these brand new running shoes wrapped up in their tissue sitting in the box. It’s been 10 weeks since I had Cora and it took me a really long time to be cleared for physical activity again. Add that into the time I took off from running while being pregnant and you have one ansty person waiting to get back out there. At first, I was really angry about the whole situation. I really wanted to start running again asap and it made me feel restricted. It’s been a long time coming and to say I’ve missed it is an understatement.

    It’s been hard not being able to do something I’ve been able to do so freely and that I was looking forward to doing again shortly after I gave birth. You read all these things about how people are running right after they have their babies, but just like babies and birth stories, everyone is different and I just tried to focus on that instead of feeling so frustrated. I didn’t think that my recovery would take so long but I am glad I listened to my doctor and waited to get the final go-ahead. Finally, I got the okay!

    So here we are… ready to make a comeback. I think.

    Now… Where to start? When I walked out of the doctors office I felt like I wanted to just run down the street just to see if I could still run. I know I will have to ease back into things and make sure that I still listen to my body when I start back up. I think I will start this next month just running when I can and how far I feel comfortable with with no schedule, plan or certain mileage to hit. I’d love to sign up for a race in the upcoming months but I don’t want to put that pressure on myself just yet because I don’t know how long it will take me to ramp back up both endurance wise and distance wise. Maybe in the New Year we will see where I’m at and what distance I want to try first. I will say I’ve been itching to run another marathon.

    Another thing for me to figure out is how to run with a stroller. We go often for walks, but I know running will be very different and hopefully Cora likes it! I know if B is home, I can always leave her here and head out for a bit, but I do want to be able to run if he’s at work as. This is all a new adventure.

    Right now I’m just so excited to be able to attempt to run again and to figure out our new routine that will hopefully include some outdoor running time together! I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! We have so many blessings to be thankful for this year.

    xoxo