INSPIRATION: New Running Skirt

Clothing is very influential on our self image and also on our confidence. I am sure you know that fantastic feeling you get when you think you look fantastic, well running should be the same way! I have found that preparing a great outfit for a race makes me feel special and excited.
Although there isn't a race for me in the next few weeks, I still ventured out to get a new running skirt.
Running skirts are one of my favorite things. I love the way they look and love the way I feel in them, it's fun to be girlie!
Here was the winner. A basic black running skirt. I had a blast trying on a million options (I chose black because I needed one that wasn't as loud and bright as my others, one I can wear with anything!!) Hehe I may have had too much fun shopping:

Early Rise! 4 miles

Being an early raiser has come to my advantage in multiple ways in life. One way has been early morning runs!
Austin is famous for its wonderful running culture and it is certainly contagious. This morning I woke up energized so of course I wanted to join the fun. Runners gather together around the Mopac and 1st Street. These locations host a little "water bar" with water coolers and cups. Here runners come together, stretching and talking. The mood is upbeat, perfect for starting a run.

This morning I got out of bed and did a 4 mile run at the lake. It felt great to have so many people on the trail with me. I even noticed something new to Austin, these cows. 
Aren't they fun! I love seeing new things at the Lake. :)


Closing time- 5 miles

It's summertime. Therefore peak running time for me happens at the day's "closing time". There is something so refreshing, so therapeutic, about an evening run. Today was a busy day until 4 and afterwards I was completely drained; I needed a run date at the lake!
It was a lovely 5 mile run, racing the sunset. I could feel the warm sweat down my face, the evening sun on my skin, and the breeze on my back. I honestly believe that running is my therapy, it is the closest I feel to total serenity. I am so lucky to live in this amazing city and spend the day's "closing time" in a positive mood.


Dealing with changes- 3 miles

I didn't get to get my run in like planned. In a last minute decision I made the choice to forget my usual trail run and head over to the treadmill. How is it that I have found myself on the treadmill so much lately?! I have been quoted many times saying how much I dislike it, BUT yesterday I ventured to the gym and got in "Treadmill Zone". I popped on the machine and ran a relaxed a 5k.
I was glad that I managed a run. This week has been so busy with moving and projects! I am never good with changing my routine but today was good for me. Instead of getting upset that I didn't get my 4 mile run at the lake, I made myself relax and change my plans. Instead of being frustrated, I made myself be proud that I managed to get some movement in on such a busy day.
It's not easy to change plans but I am working hard to relax and take whatever life throws at me, even if that happens to be ANOTHER treadmill run!

New Day

Yesterday was a struggle. I didn't have the best day and didn't get to work out. I am one of those people who uses working out as a stress reliever but yesterday I was unable to get out to the trails to run. Instead I decided to take the night off and settled for a movie in bed. I watched Just Go With It and my dog and I tried to shake off the problems of the day. I am back to running tonight with a run at the lake.
This morning has begun with a green smoothie and a new positive outlook on the day!


Treadmill date- 3 miles

Today called for a 3 mile run. I did a relaxing pace to help my knees stay pain free after yesterday's 7 mile run. I ran on one of the newer treadmills available today that is equip with iPod syncing, TV, pre-programmed workouts and coaching, and many other exciting features. They are comfortable to run on. Quickly I reached my 3 mile goal and was surprised at how pleasant it was, that of course was with the help of a little Project Runway rerun playing on the treadmill screen. 

Let me be honest, I have never been a fan of the treadmill. I generally refer to it as the "DREADmill", however I have been able to work past my fears of the treadmill and use it as a tool for when I need to be inside. 

Conquer the DREADmill:

Play mind games with yourself using intervals.
Use time and speed intervals. Maybe speed/slow down up every .25 of a mile, maybe add/decrease the incline for 20 second intervals, or maybe engage in a "self race" at top speed for the last .10 of each mile. 

Reward yourself.
Use rewards to get yourself excited about treadmill runs. Maybe buy new songs on iTunes or maybe schedule your run at the time of your favorite show.
I am starting to see that the treadmill will be a helpful tool!
I have a new treadmill crush, The Pro-Form Treadmill Trail Runner 4.0
Some of the perks of this treadmill include Wifi Capable 10" full-color touch screen to access internet, iFit Live that includes workouts generated by Google Maps, Jillian Michaels training programs, and customizable fitness programs. I am not in the market to pay the hefty price but I can't say I wouldn't love to have one of these around.

Anyways I am having a great time so far training for this year’s marathon. I have really made sure that this time around that I enjoy it since I no longer have my best friend here with me. We will be training with each other but from across the country this time and I need to make sure we keep on track!
However, between the “tourist” runs, tempo runs, treadmill runs, and all the random ways I can get my miles in, I want to make sure I am trying hard to enjoy it all- running is a hobby for me, after all, and it should be fun!

Green Machine Smoothie

At the beginning of college I was on a total health kick. I was working out a ton and heavily relied on food as my fuel. I was only putting the best of the best into my body and it was evident how much my body benefited. Now it has been a lot more of a struggle BUT I have kept one constant breakfast that helps jump-start my day, The Green Machine Smoothie.

Green Smoothie Recipe
1 cup Orange Juice
1 banana (preferably frozen)
1 handful of spinach
1/2 cup grapes
1/2 cup strawberries
2 (about) Ice cubes
(Optional: Vanilla Protein Powder)

I am trying to get back into being the healthiest that I can be. I might not have had a perfect day of eating today but at least I made one healthy choice!
Keep on blending those smoothies!


"Tourist" Run

Most of the time marathon training isn't kick started with a 7 mile long run, however I have been wanting to get in a longer run to start on and a "tourist" run seemed perfect for the night. The 105 degree weather isn't too conducive for running therefore breaks and excitement are very necessary to keep motivated.
A tourist run is basically a run that has mini breaks spread out. I took about 3 breaks, to embark in "tourist behavior". I took some fun pictures of the city, I did a little people-watching of runners and bikers on the trail, I took off my shoes at one point and put my feet in the lake; basically I made the run feel like it was an adventure. I suggest this for getting back into running. Sure we can run a 3 mile loop, be done, drive home, but there is something fun and refreshing when you embark on a tourist run and make your day feel like an adventure. Health and running should be fun, remember?!

Positive Creation: Becoming to person you want to be

Hi there! As a approach graduating and marathon training, I have been thinking A LOT! The future can be overwhelming, but there is something remarkable about the ability to be the person we each want to be. Who do YOU want to be? What do YOU want from your life? What do YOU want to use as your identity. This is where your life starts.
My greatest advice as an athlete in prep school and college has been to make a list of the things you would like to identify with and make them happen. You can do it, one step at a time, one day at a time.
For me, I love to be a marathon runner, I love to be an athlete, I love to be healthy, I love to feel the sweat from a hard workout, I love to make a conscious effort to make myself better- a better athlete, a better christian, a better student, a better worker, a better sister, girlfriend, daughter, friend.
Today marks the beginning of training for my second marathon. I am on my way. It won't be easy, it won't always be glamorous, but bring on the challenge to a better me.