Race Recap: Fox Valley Winter Series Trail 5K

The first race of 2016 was a fun one! When Jen and I talked about doing a race a month this year we were really nervous about weather conditions for the Winter ones. January probably being the most intimidating month. What if it was zero degrees and we had 3 feet of snow?? But we got lucky. 

For a Saturday morning in January, 30 degrees is downright warm. (That might be sad, but it’s true.) We got to the race over an hour early to pick up our packets, but that took all of about five minutes so we went to Starbucks. I’d never had pre-race coffee before, but I figured for a 5K it would be fine. And I just wanted to wake up a bit. 

  

The group of people at the start line was great. Most people looked like they had done this race before and they were excited. We didn’t know what we were getting in to, but the sun was shining and it was “warm” so we were happy. 

Jen and I stuck together the whole race. She led the way and I was able to take some action shots. These trails were no joke!! The snow make it slippery and there were way more hills than either of us expected. It was tough. But I couldn’t get the smile off my face the whole time. 

  

We finished in just under 33 minutes. It felt like a lot more than 3.1 miles, but in a good way. It was a great morning for a race that felt like an adventure. 

No shirt or medal or anything, but I’m still glad I paid for the race. I wouldn’t have gotten out on those hilly trails otherwise!

  
One month down, eleven to go for our 2016 goal of one race a month!

My next race is less than two weeks away. Tybee Run Fest- February 5-6th. Can’t wait. 

Early morning workout? No sweat. Tips for actually getting up & getting it done. 

It’s 5 AM. Your bed is more comfortable than it’s ever been and you’re finally relaxed. You’re just drifting back to sleep. Then your alarm starts blaring. 

This is a daily struggle for me. My alarm clock and I are not friends. I’ve never been a morning person. Never. I always liked mornings once I actually got up, but there has never been a morning where I’ve been like, “Yes 5 AM I feel completely energized and ready to be awake!” I didn’t have to get up at 5 AM in college, so this whole adulting thing was a new world. 

In order for me to get a solid workout or a run in before work I have to be up at 5 AM and in the shower by 6:15 AM. If I turn off my alarm then I have to workout after work, which usually means 7:30 PM. So, morning workouts are much more ideal. I always have better days when my workout is already done. I have more energy and I’m more motivated for the day. I’m forcing myself to be a morning person. And I wanted to share with you a few things that help me do so. So, here you go:

1. Sleep in your workout clothes. Okay this might sound weird. But I usually sleep in at least a sports bra so that when I wake up I’m like “Ugh I already have a sports bra on so I have to make use of it.” Because why else would I sleep in a sports bra? It sounds silly, but it actually really helps. I’m more motivated to just throw on my workout shorts and get it done. It saves a step and reminds me why I’m waking up so early. 

2. Tell yourself you’re going to get up early out loud before you go to sleep. Again, this might sound weird. I heard this advice from an MTA podcast and I’ve been doing it ever since. When I’m setting my alarms right before I go to sleep I will say out loud, “I’m waking up at 5 to run 4 miles before work.” Or whatever the workout might be. If I say it out loud it has to happen, right? Maybe not. But I hold myself accountable. 

3. Focus on the coffee you can have after your workout. It’s not a secret that I’m a coffee addict and I know I’m not alone. Sometimes I will spend an entire early morning run thinking about the cup of coffee I’m going to drink afterwards. This might not be normal, but my mind isn’t always exactly functioning at this hour, so coffee is as focused as I get. It helps. Run faster? Coffee sooner. 

4. Play music right when you wake up. I can’t listen to the new Justin Bieber songs without wanting to move my body. I usually have a little one song dance party as a warm up before BBG. The music gives me energy and wakes me up a bit. Waking up in silence is much more difficult. Trust me, throw on some Bieber and get to it. 

5. Have a best friend to Snapchat who is also up at the ass crack of dawn to workout. I can’t stress how much this helps. Carly and I snapping each other that we don’t want to get out of bed, or can’t workout, or hate our lives in between BBG circuits is a daily occurrence. The fact that both of us are up and “doing it together” helps a lot. Even if you’re not a snapchatter, find another person to help hold you accountable. Text your mom, your boyfriend, anyone just to let them know you’re up and killin’ it. Bonus points if they’re working out too. Or better yet, meeting you to workout together. Strength in numbers my friends. 

Hope these tips help! Being an early riser really helps my entire mindset for the day. I still don’t love my alarm, but I love my productive mornings. If I can do it, so can you. I promise. 

New Year, New Goals

I’m not exactly sure how it’s 2016 already, but it is. I like January because it gives me a reason to set new goals for myself. I constantly set new goals throughout the year, but January is always when I set the year long ones. This year my goals are big. I love having something to really work towards. They say if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough. And I couldn’t agree more.

So, here they are. My goals for 2016:

  1. Run 1,350 miles
  2. Half Marathon Personal Record
  3. Marathon Personal Record
  4. Move to the city
  5. Run 1 race a month (at least)
  6. BBG 1.0 (again)
  7. Watch at least one documentary a month
  8. Add 2 new states to my 50 state goal
  9. Run Streak – Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day
  10. Incorporate more yoga
  11. Go on two vacations (hand-in-hand with the 50 state goal)
  12. Be able to do 10 unassisted pull ups
  13. Write a new blog post every week (for work & personal)
  14. Read 20 books
  15. Strength train twice a week
  16. Make a Boston Qualifying attempt

My goals are mostly running related, but there are a few others mixed in. I never call them resolutions because I don’t think of themScreen Shot 2016-01-05 at 12.29.34 PM that way. I’m not necessarily working on changing myself, just working on getting more out of my life. I think that’s what goals do. They help us strive to enjoy life more.

 

Getting a Boston Qualifying time is my ultimate goal for this year. Many of my other goals will be helping me work towards this one thing. It will be okay if I don’t. I know this is no easy task and it might not happen this year, but I want to at least make an attempt. I feel like I’m the strongest I have ever been and I want to really test myself. My motto for this year is “Well Why the Hell Not”. That is the attitude I have decided to have. Want me to do extra tasks at work? Why the hell not. Spontaneously go on a vacation? Why the hell not. Try to run a marathon at 8 minute pace? Why the hell not. Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 12.39.57 PM

I’m going to say ‘no’ as little as possible this year. I want to try new things. Get out of my comfort zone. And attempting a BQ will definitely push me out of my comfort zone.

I have high hopes for this year. I’m ready to put in the work and become the best version of myself. 2015 really will be a tough year to top, but I want 2016 to be even better because…well, why the hell not? 

 

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