oWho's New Year isn't quite off to the start they had planned? It can be tough with all of the added pressure of resolutions, new goals and people around you kicking butt when you're feeling just a little blah. No? Is it just me? Is everyone else out there killing their goals without me?
I'm not really upset at how the year has gone so far. I think it's important to know that you don't have to be ON in all parts of your life all the freaking time. This little quote has helped me a lot lately. It's totally ok to be focusing more time and energy on some things than others.
"Nothing in nature blooms all year.
I started of 2016 with a lingering head cold, cross country road trip recovery and not a whole lot of oomph to do too much exciting. I've been really focusing on getting our home back in order and loving on little M (which needs NO apologies!). Needless to say, running has taken a bit of a backseat. I've got a half marathon on the calendar for June, but nothing before that so far - and I don't know about you, if I don't have a plan to follow or a goal to work towards I'm just plain lazy about running!
I really want to get back into the running groove so I thought I would share my 3 tips to get your running mojo back!
1. Register for a race
2. Get a running buddy
3. Sign up for a training program
Seriously, doing any or all of these things is sure to kick start your running back into high gear!
Like I said, I'm not doing a race anytime soon, I've already got a running buddy so it was time for something new. Somehow at just the right time, I discovered RunningMoms.com! The founder Karey is a fellow running mama, a health coach and a physiotherapist. She puts together killer running programs for all goals and abilities, and is also building an amazingly supportive online community of fellow runner mamas! I was asked to become a RunningMoms ambassador and help spread the RunningMom love! Not only do I love the FREE community for motivation from other moms, I've also started the 28 Day Faster & Stronger training program and you guys. It's AWESOME. I needed some variety and challenge and that is exactly what this program is offering. I love that I don't have to plan my own workouts for the next few weeks, and that there is a group of other women there to provide accountability and even be cheerleaders sometimes!
If you're needing some guidance, motivation or a plan for an upcoming race, you should totally scoot over toRunningMoms.com to check out their programs. There is also a community Facebook page for anyone looking for a little extra motivation! Since I'm loving this program so much - I wanted to offer YOU the chance to WIN a free registration into the program of your choice! Several programs just started this week - but you can still jump in if you're ready right now! You can also use yours for a future one if now doesn't work for you.
Here's what you've gotta do:
I'll be announcing the winner Monday morning! Good Luck!
This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing program or products through these links you'll be helping this running mama buy new running shoes and doing fun active things with her kiddo. I only promote products that I personally use and love.
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Eeekk! I feel like my 11 year old, Olympic obsessed self has just resurfaced! (Who am I kidding...she's never left!) Back in 1996 - I was a competitive gymnast and completely enamored with all things Atlanta Olympics. If you had told me that one day I would be interviewing an athlete in the 96 games I would have never have believed you! Well - it happened! One of my FAVORITE parts about having this blog is the amazing people I have "met" all over the country from it! Just last week, I spent some time on the phone getting to know the amazing Juli Benson. I'm so excited to spotlight her today!
Not only is Juli an amazing athlete, she is also a coach AND wife of a college football coach. Talk about a busy family! Juli is married to Bob Benson - the associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator for University of Pennsylvania. She is the proud step-mom of a talented 11 year girl and the loving owner of a special needs yorkie/maltese mix.
As an athlete, she was an All-American in the 1500m at James Madison University and graduated in 1992. Because of her love of competing she went on to run after college and represented the United States at the Olympic Games in 1996.
She currently coaches a group of professional runners based in Colorado Springs, but prior to that she was a NCAA cross country coach for 15 years. She coached at James Madison University, Georgetown University, George Mason University and the United States Airforce Academy. She has worked with multiple All-Americans, National Record holders and a World Champion. Soon she will be sharing her coaching expertise to women of all levels through her online run coaching programs!
How did you get started running?
Began running in elementary school. I loved it because I could run faster than all the boys!!
Have you always loved running best? Did you do any other sports?
I was so fortunate to be involved in many different sports and credit that, in part, to any success I found with running. I did not specialize in running until my junior year in high school.
What is your favorite distance to run?
My favorite distance to run would be the 400m. I absolutely loved all of the sprinting events but I was lucky in that I have always been surrounded by coaches that recognized my potential in the longer running events. I had a good combination of speed and endurance which suited me more in the middle distance events rather than the sprints.
What was your best memory of the Olympic Games?
My favorite moment was walking in the the Olympic Stadium for the first time at the Opening Ceremonies. That moment was truly magical, the realization that I really was a United States Olympian. During the Ceremonies, I was able to meet many members of the US Basketball team (aka The Dream Team).
Running has taken you all over the world. Where was your most memorable run?
I could never pick just one!! I have run in some spectacular places worldwide but I have to say, few locations match the beauty of running through the Redwood Forest right here in the USA.
Do you still compete?
I don't compete anymore and I do miss it. However, I am very focused on the athletes I coach and it does not leave me much time to train for any sort of competition. I had my time and I am very,very motivated to help other runners reach their pinnacle now!
If you're not running, how do you like to stay active?
I rarely have a day when I don't do at least some sort of activity. Unlike my competitive days, I love mixing it up and enjoy yoga, swimming, creating my own circuit training!!
What's your favorite pre-run fuel?
Yogurt and fruit or toast with peanut butter.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
"Don't worry so much about things you can't control" This was TREMENDOUS advice to me as a competitor but I have found it's so true in most aspects of life.
What is the biggest challenge in balancing running, being a football wife and mom and everything else you have on your plate?
By far and away, the biggest challenge is being separated from my family during competitions and training camps.
Tell me a little bit about YOUR coaching career.
I was lucky enough to gain some coaching experience while I was in grad school and became hooked instantly. Collegiately, I have coached at my Alma Mater, James Madison University, Georgetown University, George Mason University, and lastly at The United States Air Force Academy. I have worked with professional athletes since 2005 and continue to do so. My career highlights have been coaching Olympians, national record holders, and a World Champion. I have also coached 2 NCAA runner-ups which was incredibly rewarding as both athletes were extreme"underdogs". In each case, the athlete and I were so confident approaching the meet that big things were going to happen so when they were successful, we enjoyed the shock of the other athletes and coaches!!
Have many moves have you made as a coaching family?
We've moved 3 times!
Do you have a favorite motivational quote?
Any foods you absolutely avoid?
Olives but only because I don't like them!
It's a splurge day - what's your go-to food?
Homemade Chips and Salsa for sure!!
What is your favorite sport to watch? To participate in?
My favorite sport to watch are any during the summer Olympic Games, Penn Football, and Dallas Cowboy football!
What is your typical football game day routine?
I get a workout done in the morning to calm my nerves and I like to sit in the stands alone to watch, obviously this isn't always possible, but it's my favorite way to concentrate on the game!!
What would you tell someone who is just starting to run?
Be patient with yourself. Also, even the best runners in the world feel AWFUL some days and it is even tough for them to get out the door at times!!
Fit Life in the Spotlight is a regular feature on Home Field Fitness. I love sharing what fit and healthy women in the sports world are doing! They sure motivate me - and my hope is that they will motivate you too! If you know someone (or you yourself) that should be featured here - send me a message!
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Having a baby is one of those times in your life where people find it very necessary to give you all kinds of advice. Now, I'm notorious for hearing all of this advice and not heeding it until I've learned the hard way. Looking back on my pregnancy and my first 2 months of mommy-hood, I thought I would share some of the advice that really was true! I dedicate this post to Michelle and Aubrey, and all of my other future-momma-friends.
Note: Every pregnancy, baby and momma is different. This is just what I discovered!
Before we get into the TRUE stuff, I have to give my two cents about the one thing I didn't find to be true...
"GO TO BIRTHING CLASSES". Honestly, I don't think there is anything wrong with going to these classes and if you want to, by all means do it! But guess what?! Your baby WILL come out one way or another. There is no way you're going to know everything about labor/birthing/breast feeding/child rearing before you head to the hospital. You just won't. But don't worry, if you skipped child birth class or only read the back of that birthing book, guess what? Those Drs and nurses deliver babies all the time and are pretty good at telling you what to do and when. Read and educate yourself as much as you would like, but don't beat yourself up if you spend your last kid free days reading The Hunger Games instead of baby books. Trust me, you won't be reading for pleasure anytime soon so enjoy it!
Don't leave big decisions until the 3rd trimester. Seriously, my brain was incapable of making decisions in the 3rd trimester. In hind sight, I was pretty indecisive throughout the my whole pregnancy, but the end was the worst. I couldn't decide on what to have for lunch, let alone any decision of significance.
Do kegels. You really should DO ALL THE KEGELS. Amidst pregnancy brain overload, these kind of took the back burner for me. Like, when I would see it in my weekly pregnancy update email I would do 5 and then not think about it again until the next week. Let's just say laughing, sneezing and coughing may have been less traumatic if I had done a few more.
Bring some comfy things to the hospital. Having a baby is a messy, sweaty process. And you won't get to shower for some time afterwards! Take the advice of all the what-to-pack blogs and bring some comfy pants and a nursing tank. The moment I got out of that gown was the best ever. Oh and bring cozy socks! I read that somewhere and totally wouldn't have thought of it having a summer baby. I also brought my favorite bath products and lotion in travel containers which made my first shower extra nice!
Accept help. I can be super-independent and selfish sometimes, and I didn't think I would want much help when baby M first arrived. Boy, was I wrong! I had the unique situation of staying with my parents for 3 weeks post-baby and they were the best ever! I definitely think it played a big role in my quick recovery. Let people cook for you, let them hold your baby while you rest, let them run errands for you. This is your one free pass to act like a queen - live it up! Soon people will assume you've got it under control and stop offering.
Sleep when you can. Do this people. I had a hard time right away because I felt like there was so much to get done in the times she was asleep! This was one I learned the hard way. Now I've picked one nap a day to join Makena for and it's the best thing ever! Not only do I get some much needed rest, it's become a great cuddling/bonding time for us. Even Oakley loves nap time.That being said, what they don't tell you is that you can function quite decently on much less sleep than you ever dreamed possible. I was a solid 8 hr/night sleeper before I got pregnant. Between pregnancy pee breaks, general uncomfortableness and then newborn (non) sleep schedules, I am pretty stoked (and surprisingly energized) if I get 6-7 hours total.
It takes time to really get to know your baby. I didn't really understand this until a few weeks after M was born, and I felt like I finally was getting to know her! How could you not know this little human who you made and grew and birthed? Well, you don't totally and getting to know them is just another special part of this thing called parenthood. If some days you feel like you have a total stranger in your arms, relax. It's normal and you'll figure it out.
Buy nursing pads. For some reason I thought this was an optional item. Well they're not, so stock up! While we're on the subject, invest in some good nursing bras too. You're gonna live in these things until you stop breastfeeding. I know...not rocket science, but not something I really thought much about!
The #1 thing I heard from parents...
It goes so fast. Every person who has had a child has probably told you this and you probably brush it off as super sentimental. But really, it's true. Soak up every minute and look to each new stage as a fun adventure. Even when you're tempted to wish they would eat better/sleep longer/stop crying, just take a deep breath and give them a big kiss.
You got this. I read this on another mommy blog just the other day. Even after 2 months it's what I needed to hear.
how about you?
What's the best piece of advice you never listened to?
It's great to see you! I'm Alyssa and I blog about all the things I've found "essential" in my life as a fit mama and football coach's wife. You'll find all kinds of fun stuff here like workouts, oily info, football stories and more!
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I am not a licensed medical professional. All views expressed on this website are based on my own personal research and experiences. Please consult your doctor with any medical issues before beginning a training program.
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