Running on the Treadmill Without Losing Your Mind

I have a love/hate relationship with the treadmill. I tend to go through phases, and luckily for me I am currently in a “love” phase. Maybe it’s because it’s getting hot outside, or maybe because I am finally seeing some speed and progress because of my indoor adventures, but whatever the reason, it has been working for me lately.

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I really run well in hot humid weather (but really, who does?), and Bobby doesn’t like me running out on the highway alone, so I have been logging a lot more gym miles this spring. Here you will find my best tips for treadmill running without losing your mind. Trust me, it cane be done without you wanting to throw a kettle bell through the gym window, and the results will be well worth it.

1.) Watch TV: I know this is not possible in all cases, but if you have a treadmill at home and can position it in front of a TV, or watch one at the gym, it can really help pass the time. I am lucky in that each treadmill at my gym has their own TV, so I can plug my headphones in and watch whatever I want. I tend to long run best when a good movie is on, so I try to schedule my time when I know something worth watching is going to be on. Also, streaming movies on Hulu or Netflix can help pass the time, and you may not WANT to stop running!

2.) Intervals: The great thing about a treadmill is controlled speed. I sometimes spend my time playing games with intervals. For example, warm up, run five minutes at a 6.0, the 2 minutes at a 7.0, etc. etc. It makes the time go by a lot faster constantly changing up your speed and keeping your mind off of the drudgery.

3.) Race the person next to you: Come on, you know you do it too. If there is someone next to me going just a little faster or farther than me, I pretend like we are racing. I tell no lies. My gym stays pretty busy so there is always someone new to “race!”

4.) Distract yourself: This could mean a lot of things. I sometimes start thinking about all the things I have coming up that I need to do, things to get at the store, etc. I have heard of people planning meals for the week, coming up with business proposals, or drafting e-mails in their head while they run to pass the time. I also like to pray when I run.

5.) Work on your form: When I get tired, I tend to lose my running form. My shoulders slump, my feet drag, my breathing is erratic, and I expend more energy than necessary. Treadmill running is a great time to work on your form, and tweak those minor issues that can make a big difference in time and injury prevention.

6.) Hills, hills, hills: This is especially good if you live in a flat area. Being able to raise and lower your incline on command is a great way to train for a hilly race or to work on your endurance and leg strength. It will make flat running seem like a piece of cake!

*A huge thank you to those who signed up for my newsletter + free printables yesterday, and especially to those who responded to the first newsletter by answering the question in it. I so appreciate those that shared! It’s not too late, you can still sign up and get your goal and fitness tracking printables!

QOTD: What do you do to pass the time on the treadmill? What is the longest you have ever run on a treadmill, I have run 16 miles!

runDisney Princess Half Marathon Packing List

It’s almost time! The runDisney Princess Half Marathon is upon us! Since I planned this trip so last minute, it feels like it was snuck up on me so, so quickly. After only running the half marathon last year, I am so excited to be doing the Glass Slipper Challenge again.

runDisney Princess packing list printable

I started thinking yesterday that there are a lot of things to remember to pack for the race itself, so I started making a list, and realized I wanted to share it with all of you, too. I started typing it out, but then decided it would be fun to make it a printable so you can print it off, and check off the boxes as you go. I also left a section for notes where you can add things I did not put on the list that may be specific to you, so have fun and good luck! I hope to see some of you in Walt Disney World over the weekend! I arrive Friday and will be at the expo that afternoon, and am staying in WDW until Tuesday morning. The weather is looking promising, it’s sure to be a great time!

Click on the words or photo below to go straight to the printable.

runDisney Princess Half Marathon Packing List Printable:

runDisney Princess half marathon packing list

I hope my Princess half marathon packing list has helped you!

QOTD: What would you add to this packing list? Will you be at Princess?

Having a Training Plan

I have discussed training plans a couple of times on my blog lately as we move into the fall season, so these tips from Jeff Galloway came at a great time! I hope you find them as helpful as I did.

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WHY SHOULD I HAVE A TRAINING PLAN? When using a proven strategy, a runner gains control over fatigue while improving motivation. Those who follow the right training plan, for the individual, tend to improve more, with less injury risk.
WOULD BEGINNERS BENEFIT MORE FROM A PLAN Unfortunately, most beginners “run as they feel” or follow conflicting advice. This leads to confusion and more aches and pains. The right schedule will systematically increase the type of running needed for a goal, with strategic rest for rebuilding.
KEY TRAINING ELEMENTS:

1) A longer run builds endurance, 2) a hilly run builds strength, 3) Scenic or social runs insert fun and keep you coming back for more.
WHAT IS ADDED TO A PLAN IF THE GOAL IS TO RUN FASTER? The right training plan will gradually increase the speed repetitions needed for the individual goal. Easier days and rest days must be inserted before and after speed workouts. To avoid injury, the pace and the increase must be realistic for the individual.
EVERY OTHER DAY! Most runners—especially beginners—run best when they run every other day. This allows for the “weak links” to heal. The very slow long run is usually on the weekend, when there is more time available. Hills and fun days can be run on the short runs during the week (for example,Tuesday and Thursday)

SHOULD I EXERCISE ON NON-RUNNING DAYS? While you don’t have to exert yourself on non running days to improve your running, exercise will energize your mind, and improve your attitude and vitality—while burning some fat. So I recommend any exercise that does not fatigue the calf muscle, such as recreational walking.
DOES VARIETY HELP? Changing things a bit can improve motivation. You don’t have to change the “mission” on specific days, but alternating some of the courses or running with different groups can make each day more interesting.

WHAT ARE VARIOUS MISSIONS, FOR VARIOUS DAYS? Each type of run bestows a different benefit. Hill runs build strength. Drills that work on cadence, gentle acceleration and gliding will improve your running form. Long runs produce stamina and endurance.

WHAT SHOULD I DO THE DAY BEFORE AND THE DAY AFTER LONG OR FASTER RUNS? Take it easy on these days. Do little or no exercise, don’t over-eat, drink 8 glasses of water/sports drinks, and focus on how you will enjoy the next run.
SHOULD I SKIP THE REST DAYS—TO IMPROVE MORE QUICKLY. Not Recommended! It is during the days off from running that the running body rebuilds and improves. While some runners can get away with running short and slow runs on rest days for a while, these “junk miles” can compromise recovery and lead to injuries.

IF I DON’T LIKE A WORKOUT CAN I SUBSTITUTE? Following a consistent plan is more likely to lead to success and improve motivation. Those who pick various elements from different schedules experience more burnout and injury.

QOTD: Anything you would add to this?

***Register now for the Jeff Galloway 13.1 Half Marathon weekend from December 11-13th.

  • Jeff Galloway 13.1 – Sunday, Dec. 13th
  • Barb’s 5K Presented byBeeCause – Saturday, Dec. 12th
  • NEW Fit Kids Run/Walk -Saturday, Dec. 12th

****Register now!

*As a Jeff Galloway blogger I receive these tips to share with my readers.

Celebrating Your Birthday in Walt Disney World

My mom turns 60 on Christmas day. Her one wish was to have a fun girls trip in Walt Disney World. Since her birthday falls on the day it does, she has NEVER gotten a lot of”” “hoopla” for her birthday. Sure we know better than to wrap her birthday gifts in Christmas paper, and not get her a red and green cake, but let’s face it, everyone is so busy with the holidays it’s hard to focus on a birthday other than that of baby Jesus!

Anyway, when she told me she really wanted a quick girls trip to Disney to celebrate her birthday, I sprang into action to plan for the most FUN birthday bash ever. After all, she totally deserves it as the most selfless giving person ever! When I started making our October plans and doing some research, I got frustrated trying to think of things and having to hop all over the internet to find different things, so I thought I would come up with a list of fun birthday things to do in Walt Disney World for adults (kids at heart, right?) Hopefully this list will be helpful to some people looking for fun ways to celebrate!

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1.) Mark your reservations: Be sure when you book your vacation that you mention there is a celebration going on. That way, it can be marked on your resort reservation and your dining reservations. There is no guarantee, but resorts and restaurants have been known to sprinkle a little pixie dust for birthday guests.

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2.) Birthday button (and hat, shirt, etc): Stop by city hall at the Magic Kingdom (or at guest relations at other parks) or ask when you check into your Disney resort for a birthday button. Wear it with pride and watch the magic happen! Cast members and guests alike will tell you happy birthday and make you feel extra special. The button is a freebie, but if you want to pay for a little something extra, you can purchase a birthday ear hat or have a shirt made at Downtown Disney letting everyone know it is your birthday.

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3.) Cake: Let me tell you, Disney makes some AMAZING cakes. You can call the cake hotline and have a customize cake made and delivered to your resort or at certain restaurants around property. I have been lucky enough to be the recipient of several cakes throughout the years thanks to my fellow cake fiend Jen, and they are so worth it, and such a fun surprise!

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4.) Spa treatment: There is a spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian resort, and also at Saratoga Springs resort. Jen and I actually had pedicures done on my birthday one year, and it was so fun! They have a full spa menu if you are looking for some extra pampering.

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5.) Fireworks dessert party: Disney knows how to light up the night sky, and they have been wise enough to pair their amazing fireworks with dessert parties, fireworks cruises, and the most recent addition, the Ferrytale Fireworks dessert cruise during Wishes. So many fun things to choose from (book well in advance for these events!)

6.) Guided Tour: There are a plethora of tours around Disney property, ranging from a behind the scenes Magic Kingdom tour, to a wild Africa trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I think most people would be plenty excited to get to take part in a special tour on their special day.

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7.) Recreation: A lot of people don’t realize there is so much more to do at Walt Disney World than go to the parks. A birthday is a perfect occasion to do something special. Some examples are: play a round of golf, rent a boat at one of the many marinas, parasail, rent a surrey bike, or take a horse drawn carriage ride.

QOTD: Have you ever celebrated your birthday in Walt Disney World? What did you do?

8 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Run

Let’s be real here. There are some days that I wake up and the last thing I want to do is go for a run. I have a million excuses I have used, ranging from the weather to a busy schedule to not feeling well. However, nine times out of ten, my excuses are not legitimate, and I just need a little push to get out the door. Below are eight ways to motivate yourself to run that have helped me over the years when I am having a hard time getting motivated to run for whatever reason.

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1.) Buy some new gear: Running in new shoes or wearing cute new capris always makes me feel lighter, faster, and happy. Try wearing something new and see if it motivates you to get out the door.

2.) Find a new route: I have the attention span of a gnat. I am constantly jumping from thing to thing, so as you can imagine, running on the same roads over and over again gets really boring to me. If I know I am going to be bored, it is so much harder for me to lace up for a long run, so I try to pick different neighborhoods to run in to keep things interesting.

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3.) Start a training plan: If I am running aimlessly without a goal in mind, I will quickly lose focus and purpose. I am not one of those people that can just go out and run thee miles four times a week with no end goal. Finding a training plan where I am running different distances and speeds every time helps to keep me form slacking.

4.) Sign up for a Race: I don’t like to waste money. If I pay for a race, gosh darn it, I’m going to run it, so I may as well train for it.

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5.) Join a running club: This has been a more recent development for me, and I have done several runs with our local Fleet Feet. It keeps things interesting, and the idea of prizes and free drinks at the end of a run is very motivating!

6.) Tell everyone: I love this one, because it is the whole reason my blog got started! I started it as an online accountability journal while I was getting ready for my first half marathon. I knew if I put it “out there” on the internet that I was running a race, I would have to actually train!

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7.) Reward yourself: I personally don’t like using food related rewards, but something fun like a pedicure or a new running top could be a way to reward yourself for sticking with your training plan for a week or a month. Try it!

8.) Learn about yourself: Sometimes I “think” I know myself, but turns out I was wrong or that my preferences have changed. Are you hating your runs because you are trying to do them all at night, but you are a morning person? Try to learn about yourself and see what the underlying problem is as to why you don’t want to go on an individual run and see if it’s something you can fix or change.

QOTD: What is your best tip for motivating yourself to run?

Getting Over Gym Fear

A lot of people really don’t like the gym, but I’m sure you already knew that. I totally get it. A lot of gyms can be intimidating, especially if they are large, or full of super star looking athletes throwing weights around and grunting loudly (not knocking superstar weightlifters, but you have to see how it can be intimidating to some folks), or are filled with perfect looking young women who don’t look like they have an ounce of fat on them, and are always in the most perfect gym outfits.

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My parents are some of those folks. They are 60, and want to stay fit but don’t fit in with heavy lifters, or young moms in spandex shorts taking classes or playing tennis (again, nothing wrong with those things, but it intimidates a lot of people!) They used to go to a very large, fancy country club type health club simply for convenience (it’s right across the street from their house), but they slowly started going less and less because they just didn’t feel comfortable working out there. This made me really sad, and I am really glad my parents did some research and found the type of gym that works for them.

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That’s the great thing about the gym industry and it’s growth right now, there are so many options! Something for everyone! There are 24 hour gyms, country club type gyms, crossfit boxes, Koko fit club (where my parents go) among other things. So what if you don’t have a lot of options? What if you have one gym to go to, and you just have to make the best of the situation, then what? Below are some of my best tips for getting over any fear or anxiety you may have about going to your gym.

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1.) Schedule some time with a trainer: One of the biggest reasons people don’t use machines at the gym is because they don’t know how to use them and don’t want to look stupid if they can’t figure something out, or are using a machine wrong (this used to be me before I started strength training!) A lot of gyms will give you a free hour with a trainer or employee to get you familiar with all the different machines, and help you to know how much weight you should use, and how many reps you should do. This is a great resource!

2.) Go with a friend: When I first started lifting, I would go with my husband and he would help me get going. Not being there alone really helped to build my confidence in the beginning.

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3.) Avoid busy times: Early in the morning and after work are very busy times for gyms. You may not have a choice, but if you do, try to go in an off peak time so there will be less people in the gym to make you feel awkward.

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4.) Mentally prepare yourself: Remind yourself that there are probably other people nervous to be at the gym, too. Remember that most likely no one will ever even know you are having any anxiety about being there. Also, most people are so busy and into their own workouts that they don’t even notice other people (I don’t notice most people at the gym, I’m in the zone!)

5.) Suck it up: You have to decide what is more important to you. If getting to the gym is your top priority, then you just have to do it. Most likely, the more you go the more comfortable you will become and soon your fears will be gone. Take a step out of your comfort zone and just do it, one time. The second time should be easier, so it’s just taking that first step. You can do it!

QOTD: Do you like going to the gym? Were you ever intimidated by going?

Falling Off the Training Wagon

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. Between spending five days in Oklahoma, and then coming home and taking over the local Orange Leaf, it has left little time for running. I am really frustrated by this, because when I chose my fall half marathon training plan, I was DETERMIND to stick with it. You see, I am not so great at following through with training plans and typically end up doing my own thing at some point along the way.

So you can imagine my frustration when I went to finally get in a good run yesterday, and I could only manage two miles because I pulled my back. Then, this morning I woke up sick with a cold. Seriously? I don’t think I have been sick since before I was pregnant! Bobby thinks I pushed too hard running around trying to work at the shop and then do my other two jobs at home + caring for the baby and the house, but eh, I’m not sure. Could just be coincidence. Either way, I’m sick. As in I want to rip my nose off my face because I can’t breathe, and I have chills and that all over icky feeling…so who knows when I will get back to running.

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It’s really tempting to just throw my hands up and say “forget about it, I’ve already blown this training cycle”, but I have big goals for myself, and I know that isn’t the proper attitude to have. So, this is what I plan to do to get back on the training wagon:

1.) Get well: I know I am no use to anyone while I am sick and/or injured, so I need to get better before I jump into my runs again and potentially prolong this cold. I know I need rest rest rest (I actually napped TWICE yesterday during Emma Kate’s naps), and even though it makes me feel unproductive and sluggish, I know it’s best for me right now.

2.) Rework my training schedule: Now that I have missed several runs, there is no way I can hold the paces I am supposed to run for long runs over the next couple of weeks with the speed level I am at right now. I may take a bit longer to reach my goals now, but that doesn’t mean I have to forget about them completely.

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3.) Run!: Once I have done #1 and #2, I plan to jump back into running, knowing that I am going to have to up my game a bit and run a few extra miles and push a little bit harder. I think a couple weeks of missing some runs is ok, but if I fall off the wagon for this long again during this training cycle, it would be hard to recover. So, even on days I really don’t think I have time, I have GOT to make time and just get it done.

That is my plan of attack, and hopefully it works well for me. Now, where are my tissues and chicken noodle soup?

QOTD: What do you do when you miss several runs during training?

5 Tips for Running When you Travel

Hi everyone! When you are reading this I may very well be on the road. Bobby and I have to make a quick trip out of state for a business venture I will tell you about tomorrow! There is a lot going on in our little world, but I did some blogging ahead of time and will be on social media @HeathersLG. Since we will be staying at a hotel and I have started half marathon training, I knew I was going to want to get some running in while we are gone. There is some planning that has to take place before you go, so I wanted to share some tips/my thought process with you.

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1.) Research the area: It’s not wise to just take off running from your hotel without knowing a bit about the area. Maybe you could even try to connect with local runners on social media and ask them their favorite routes. Traveling is a great time for exploring a new place! Maybe find a route that has a convenience store you can stop at along the way for a bottle of water, or a park with a scenic trail.

2.) Pack well: I know there are a million thoughts going in and out of your head when trying to pack for a trip and thinking about running gear may be the last thing on your mind, but if you have everything you need all together in one bag you may be more likely to actually go for a run when you reach your destination. I bring a drawstring bag with my GPS watch, headbands, GU, body glide, sunglasses, etc. whenever I travel so there is no excuse. Then it’s just a matter of throwing in a couple running outfits and my shoes!

3.) Be safe: Always tell someone where you plan to run and what time you will be back, even if it’s a text to a friend or a front desk worker at the hotel. Be mindful of your surroundings! I never run with headphones when I am running somewhere new. I know I need to be on the lookout, especially in a bigger city where I am crossing streets and what not.

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Stopped at a crosswalk on a group run in Boston at the Healthy Living Summit.

4.) Make time: This is a big one for me! Travel wears me out yall. The last thing I want to do after a long day of driving or flying is lace up my running shoes! It is important to look at your schedule and pencil in a time to hit the hotel gym or run the roads, or it may not actually happen.

5.) Call the hotel: Hotel workers are your friend! Usually they are super knowledgeable of the area, and can hopefully tell you areas you should probably avoid, or a place where runners go on the weekend to log some longer miles. They may even be able to give you the number of a local running store you can call for help as well. It never hurts to ask!

I need to be held accountable while I am away from home to stick to my plan, so ASK ME on social media if I have run yet while I’m gone. I will be taking my tips to heart and getting my workouts in.

QOTD: What is your best tip for running in a new place? To you venture outside or stick to the hotel gym?

Jeff Galloway Tips: Dealing with the Heat

Hey friends! These tips for dealing with the heat from Jeff Galloway could not have come at a better time! We are in the middle of a serious heat wave here in the south (our daily heat index has been around 107 with high humidity) and running has been difficult. Please enjoy these tips:

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Training through the summer can not only be grueling, but down right dangerous.  Here are some tips to train safely and as comfortable as possible in the hot summer months.

Slow down by 30 sec/mile (20 sec/km) for every 5F temperature increase above 55-60F ( every 2.5C above 14C)

When the temperature is over 70F (21C) you may take a 5 minute “cold shower break” every 25-30 minutes to keep cool.

Try to complete your run before the sun rises above the horizon.

More frequent walk breaks during hot weather can lower body temperature increase.  If you used to run 3 minutes between walk breaks, run only 90 seconds (walk 30 seconds) at 70F (21C) and at 80F (26C) drop to 60 sec run/30 sec walk or 30/30

When you start to heat up more than normal, take a longer walk in a mall or indoor AC building

Pick shady courses on hot days.

Don’t wear a hat!  Pour water over your head

Have an indoor alternative—treadmill, etc

Run in the deep end of the pool, using a flotation belt

QOTD: What is your best tip for running n hot weather?

Disclosure: As a Jeff Galloway blogger I am given special tips to share with you, my readers. No compensation has been given to me.

Tips for Running on the Beach

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a few days in Destin, Florida. Not only did I get excited about the sun, sand, and crashing waves….but I was stoked to have a new scenic place to run. Let’s face it friends, Jackson Mississippi isn’t exactly a “pretty’ place to run. No mountains, no beach, not many trails. This is why when I go on vacation or work travel, I try to take every opportunity to go for a run in my new surroundings.

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Below I have complied a few tips to help you make the most out of your ocean side run.

1.) Run on an even surface: There are a lot of slanted places at the beach, it hurts my ankles just walking on the slanted parts after awhile so I can’t imagine running like that! Sometimes, depending on the tide, this means I can run in packed sand right down by the water, and sometimes it means going up a bit further to find that flat land.

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2.) Wear Shoes: I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this one, and that’s ok. Personally though, getting a shell in my foot or stepping on a jellyfish barefoot do not sound like a good time. I especially recommend wearing shoes if you have arch or foot problems, running shoes for plantar fasciitis are still needed even when running on sand. I require a more stable shoe due to weak ankles and high arches so I most definitely need shoes on the beach!

3.) Keep your run short: It may be tempting to run forever in such a scenic place, but if you aren’t used to beach running, you will realize that you get sore and tired MUCH more quickly than usual. It’s a great calorie torching workout, but don’t overdo it.

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4.) Protect yourself from the sun: In Destin, the sugar white sandy beaches are beautiful, but boy does the sun reflect off of it! I am always careful to wear sunglasses, and depending on the time of day a hat as well. I also wear plenty of sunscreen when I run on the beach, even if it’s early in the morning. No one wants to be red for the rest of their trip!

5.) Body Glide your feet: One thing I quickly noticed while taking my running shoes out to say hello to the ocean was that sand. gets. everywhere. It’s inevitable, so to protect your feet from getting blisters, try wearing dri-fit socks and putting body glide on your feet to help with rubbing.

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Happy running and enjoy the view!

QOTD: Anything I left off? Do you ever run on the beach?