Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment #8

I’d be lying if I said I wanted to be writing this right now. It’s nothing against running. In fact, it’s one of the few things giving me peace at the moment. I’m just stressed and overwhelmed with life. There’s just so much shit going on right now and I’m pretty sure I’m reaching my breaking point. I know my shit isn’t any crazier, or more difficult, or dare I say smellier than anyone else’s shit. (Sorry, I had to!). And I am super grateful for all the good things that are going on. But still, I’m absolutely, 100% maxed out right now and it’s exhausting, it’s stressful and it’s putting me into full anxiety mode.

But you’re not here to hear me bitch and moan. So I’ll stop. But before I move on, I think it’s worth mentioning that even though now would be a really great time to throw in the towel on the marathon training, I will not sacrifice my goals and desires for someone else’s. And I mean that in the best possible way. I can’t be my best for anyone else if I’m not happy. And I won’t put myself on the back burner for anyone, or any job, or really… anything. My number one priority is making sure I can the best version of myself. And I sure as hell can’t be a great mom, a great employee or a great leader if I’m maxed out and drowning in anxiety.

And while my anxiety won’t disappear over night, it helps to workout and run. 🙃 So back to training …

I ended up treating last week as a recovery week. I backed off my mileage, I took an active rest day to stretch and foam roll, and I took a full rest day. My strength training workouts were the same but I logged the following miles on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday: 4.2, 10.1, and 4.2. It’s pretty common to plan recovery weeks into training programs. Although they’re not always popular, they’re really good for muscle recovery. Your body cannot be pushed to its limits every single day. It needs time to recover.

But now this week we’re back to increasing mileage!! The goal: 4-5 on Wednesday, 14-15 on Saturday and then 6.2 on Sunday. The plan is to do the Wednesday and Saturday run outside and finish up the week on Sunday with a treadmill run.

I’m excited to report how my long run goes this week. And hopefully by this time next week I’ll be in better spirits.

Until then, I’ll metaphorically run away from my problems. 🏃🏽‍♀️💨

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment #7

I’m a little behind this week. I really want to stick with recapping the previous week as close to the end of it as possible. Otherwise, I forget how I feel, what happened, etc.

Week 6 of training came to a close on Sunday, Feb. 13th. I had an amazing week with my workouts- I felt great! Thursday was a short run day. I wanted to do 3-4 miles and I ended up doing 4.1. On Saturday I was thrilled to see and feel the weather be 46 degrees when I started my run. It felt amazing! I set out to do 13.1 (a half marathon) and I pushed myself to get to 13.2. My legs were tired but they weren’t completely dead. I started blistering up on both of my ring finger toes. I ended up bleeding through my sock on my right foot. When you’re putting these kinds of miles on your legs and feet, you’re bound to get a little banged up. I think that over the course of the next few weeks that stuff will subside a bit because my feet are getting used to running long distances – the calluses and blisters will just be part of me and at some point I won’t even feel it. (I know, it’s so gross. But if you run, you understand). I almost forgot to mention that I used the water backpack thingamabob on Saturday too. It was a little weird to get used to but I liked it a lot better than the waist belt one. I’ll definitely use it again for my longer distance runs.

Sunday was a treadmill run day. I’m really enjoying going to the gym on Sundays to get my run in. I think it’s good for my breathing, good for my knees and ankles to get a little rest from the pavement and it allows me to play around with intervals a little bit. I had 5 miles on my training sheet but I ended up doing 6.2 again. I get a little annoyed because my Apple Watch and the treadmill are not tracking the same. I don’t know which to believe!

Something interesting I wanted to share because this comes up a lot. When I talk to people about running I often get the “I’m not a runner” response from people. And to that I say, I understand that running is not for everyone but it certainly can be for most people. I didn’t come into this life with a natural ability to run long distances. In fact, when I ran track in high school, I was average, at best. I’m not super fast. I don’t have super lungs. I just work really hard at it. I have a baseline of fitness that allows me to take 2 months off of a running and still be able to go out and run 5 miles when I want to. However, it took YEARS to get there.

To me, running is the ultimate test of physical and mental strength. If you are looking for a challenge, challenge yourself to run. Do a mile: jog for 1 minute; walk for 2; jog for 1; walk for 2. Over time, increase the time and flip those intervals to jogging for 2, walking for 1. You’d be surprised how quickly your body repsonds.

On the docket for this week: bonus active recovery day on Tuesday (stretching and foam rolling); 3-4 mile run on Thursday; 14 miler on Saturday and a 10k on Sunday on the treadmill.

Until then,

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment #6

Week 5 is in the books and it was a great week overall. I started a new strength training program that I’m doing on Monday/Wednesday/Thursday. Monday is lower body, Wednesday is upper body and Thursday is full body. I’ve done this program before and I really enjoyed it. The workouts are about 35 minutes long so it’s right in my sweet spot time-wise. It’s fast-paced, a lot of volume, and it gets my heart rate up. I decided that Tuesdays are going to be a cardio day- usually HIIT or some sort of callisthenic-type training. However, after this past week, I realized I might need to use Tuesdays as a second rest day (if I feel my body needs it). Thursday, Saturday and Sunday were my run days.

Let’s start with Thursday. Thursday has been a shorter run because I have to wait until after I drop the kids at school. I like to get it done as quickly as possible so I can get to work and get on with my day. This past Thursday was a little rainy but not too cold. I’ve been staying in my neighborhood for my Thursday morning runs. I have a big loop I can do twice to get me somewhere between 3- 3.5 mile depending on how big I make the loop. It’s been working out nicely.

I like having my rest day on Friday (well, not really. I’m not a fan of rest days from a mental standpoint, but I know my body needs it from a physical standpoint). My point is, I like having my rest day the day before my long run day. It stops me from coming up with an excuse about why my legs are tired during my long runs. I try to minimize the amount of things my brain can use as excuses. Even though I enjoy running and training, I don’t always want to do it in the moment.

I woke up Saturday with a GREAT attitude about my run. I was ready to take on 11 miles. When I went outside, I was hit with that 21 degree air and I wasn’t happy, to say the least. The rain turned to ice the night before so I knew it was going to be an interesting run the minute I started trotting down my street. I figured it wasn’t the worst thing in the world considering I was trying to keep my pace a little slower. The first 6 miles weren’t bad. I was trying out a new route which took me a long ways from home (on foot, in icy conditions). In hindsight, it probably wasn’t my smartest move, but I had to do what I had to do. I turned on Whiskey Road around mile 6 and the air felt like it got 10 degrees colder. I wasn’t happy. I continued until I reached my next turn where I spent almost 3 miles cursing– the wind started up and was cutting through my gloves, my shirt, my sweatshirt. I was freezing. I was miserable. I wanted to cry. I wanted to stop and call Nick or my dad to pick me up. But I knew my hands probably wouldn’t even work to make a phone call. By the time I got back to my house my watch said 10.75 miles. On any other day I would’ve ran past my house and made it an even 11; but I was so cold and frustrated that I just stopped at 10.75 miles.

It took my hands hours to warm up. Frostbite, maybe? I don’t know. They were red and not too happy with me. I decided at that moment that I wasn’t going to torture myself with running in conditions like that- especially for runs that were longer than 3-4 miles. After running some errands with the kids, I ran into Planet Fitness and reactivated my account. I knew that Sunday was going to be cold again and I didn’t want to run in 17 degree weather.

What I looked like on Saturday’s run vs. Sunday’s run

Sunday’s run was A LOT better considering I did it on the treadmill at Planet Fitness. I haven’t run on a treadmill in so long. It felt good to be back in a gym and it also felt good to utilize the treadmill for training. I was scheduled to run 5 miles on Sunday but after missing my goal on Saturday by 1/4 mile, I decided to go for a 10k (6.2 miles) on Sunday. It was good. My breathing felt so much easier inside rather than outside in 20 degree weather. I’m still going to try to do the bulk of my training outside. But on super cold or super windy AND cold days, I’m going to the treadmill option. There’s no need for me to be miserable. I want my training to be enjoyable. And while I understand that it’s not always going to be unicorns and rainbows, I don’t want to put myself in situations where my hands will get frostbitten.

On the docket for this week: a 3-4 mile run on Thursday; a half marathon (13.1) on Saturday or Sunday and 5 miles the opposite day.

In running gear news… I purchased new socks. I prefer no-show, ankle socks but sometimes when I run outside I get a piece of gravel or a pebble in my shoe and then I end up with cuts on my ankles (happened on Saturday). So I bought some news socks on Amazon that will go up over my leggings a couple inches, which will prevent gravel/pebbles from getting in AND will cover the 1/2 inch of skin that is usually exposed to the cold. A two-fer! Nick also let me borrow his water backpack thingamabob. I am not much of a water drinker while I run but I’ve never run more than a half marathon. I know for longer runs I’m going to need water. I want to try it out this weekend when I do the half and see how it goes. I will provide my thoughts next week. (-:

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment #5

Week 4 kinda blew. It happens. As I mentioned in my very first post about the marathon, I have a plan. And I’m super Type A so that means I really really really like to try to stick to my plan. However, life happens. Sometimes you just need to pivot and make the best of the situation.

My strength training went off without a hitch. Rarely do I have hiccups when it comes to my at-home workouts because I have control over that. The only issues I run into are when my kids wake up halfway through it and whine for the last 15 minutes about being hungry. Other than that, the only way I’ll miss a workout is if I oversleep. And that rarely happens because my body is so used to waking up early. (The power of habits!)

As for my runs, I only ran twice last week and they were shorter runs– 4.2 miles and 5.1 miles. Those used to be middle distance runs for me but when you’re training for a marathon, those are short. Thursday’s run was in 12 degree weather so to say it was a good one would be a lie. I don’t think I’ll ever love running in the cold. But on the bright side, if I can run in 12 degree weather, you certainly won’t hear me bitching about the weather when it’s 30 degrees. Friday’s run was a bit better- I don’t remember the temperature but it was warmer than 12 degrees. Then we had a blizzard on Saturday which led to a snowed-in weekend and therefore, no run. But 2 runs is better than 0 runs. And with that, we move on.

I’ve established a “starting loop” now. It’s the first leg of my runs where I go about 2 miles out and then branch off depending on the number of miles I plan to run. 95% of my runs start off with my starting loop. I like it. It’s my little thing.

We’re down to 17 weeks until the marathon. I’ve built out my training schedule for the next 6 weeks. I know that things won’t go exactly as planned, but I’m going to try to stick to the schedule as much as possible. I’ve scheduled in 3 runs per week but if I can get at least 2 in each week, 1 being a long run, I think I’ll be OK. My long run is scheduled for Saturday morning and I plan to run 11 miles. I am going to force myself to run slower than I am used to- about 9:30-10:00/mile pace. The one thing about running outside is that it’s hard to gauge how fast (or slow) you’re going. I appreciate running on a treadmill for the simple fact that you can force yourself to run slower by adjusting the speed of the machine. Running outside is different- having a the Apple Watch helps but it’s not the same as a treadmill.

Wish me luck as I embark on my longest run in about 2 months… (-:

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment #4

Week 3 of training was my best week yet! I was able to run 3 days and all my other workouts were completed without any issue. I think I lacked in some stretching and foam rolling but overall my body feels pretty good. I’m going to make sure to get some extra stretching and foam rolling in this week.

Last Thursday was supposed to be my 5k speed interval day. It ended up just being a 5k. I’m perfectly fine with that, as right now it’s most important for me to just get miles under my belt, speed is not that important. That morning was actually a great teaching moment. I was driving my kids to school before my run and Ethan says, “momma, you can’t run, it’s raining out.” To which I replied, “oh yes, I can. And yes, I will.” He’s 6. He doesn’t know that when it comes to runners, we run. Regardless of the weather. But his thought process is the thought process of many people. They see a challenge or obstacle and make an excuse out of it. I saw the circumstances, said to myself “this sucks”, and did it anyway. That is the difference between someone who wants something bad enough versus someone who doesn’t. It’s as simple as that. Even though Ethan probably didn’t get the significance of that moment, I’m hoping that if he sees it enough over his young lifetime, he’ll start to understand it: when we want something, we find a way; when we don’t, we find an excuse.

Saturday was my long run day and it was fantastic- I felt great. I ran 9.1 miles in 17 degree weather. But it was sunny so it wasn’t terrible. I’m still figuring out the right clothes to wear– how much is too much, how much is too little, which gloves work best, should I tuck my shirt in, do I wear leggings or swishy pants, etc. So far I’ve got this down: always tuck the shirt closest to my body into my pants; leggings > swishy pants; puffy vest is best; face shield helps keep my neck warm even if it does nothing for my actual face.

Sunday I skipped the Winter Run Series Race because I just had a lot of stuff to do and I was getting anxiety about losing those 2 1/2-3 hours of my day (I know, I know, I’m a little crazy). But I still got my run in- I did 3.4 miles. My legs were tired from the day before so it kind of worked out that I didn’t race that day- it wouldn’t have been a great time.

This week it looks like I have to do some shifting around to make things work. I don’t think I’ll be able to get my long run in (10 miles was on the docket for this week) but that’s OK. My goal is to do 5-6 on Thursday and Friday and then the final race of the Winter Run Series on Sunday).

In other running news, Nick and I signed up for the Lt Michael T. Murphy Run Around the Lake in June. I’m excited to do that race because it was the first race Nick and I ran together last year! (It was also the start of race fever for me.) Last year’s race was a 15k (9.4 miles) but this year it’ll be a half marathon. Woop Woop!

Until next week… ✌🏻

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment #3

Week 2 of training went as expected. I had 2 days of running scheduled- Thursday & Sunday and I was able to get both runs in. One thing is for sure, running in the winter creates a ton more laundry because you have to wear so many layers!

Thursdays run was cold. I ran 5 miles that day because I knew I wasn’t going to get a LSD (long slow distance) run in over the weekend so I wanted to get a couple extra miles in during the week. Sunday was the second run in the Winter Run Series. It was at Robert Moses State Park. It was about 18 or 20 degrees by the time the race started at 11 AM. I bought new gloves thinking they’d help with the cold and wind. I was sadly mistaken- there was barely a difference. My legs and feet were numb for the first mile. Luckily, 3.1 miles is over in about 25 minutes so it wasn’t too bad.

I came in 12th out of 281 females in the race and 3rd in my age group. One of the things that I love about running is that you can compete with others, but you can also compete with yourself. If I came in last in the entire race but I got my best 5k time, I’m perfectly fine with that. If I come in first in my age group but my time was 30 seconds slower than my best, I’m perfectly fine with that too. It’s different when you play other sports. A loss is a loss. You can say you played your best game ever and still lose and you still walk away with a L. It’s either a W or L. I’m never going to come in first place in a run. So I focus on beating myself. I rather get my best time ever then say I beat every female in the race.

Nick kicked butt again and came in 12th overall. His age group is highly competitive and he’s having difficulty getting into the top 3, but he’s getting closer every time. Running has been great for us. It’s something we can do together and support each other in. When Nick was training for his marathon, I was his biggest cheerleader. And him doing the marathon inspired me to add that to my bucket list and make it happen too. He’ll be running with me in May and it’ll be awesome if we can actually run the entire marathon together but we’ll see. Even though we enjoy running together, we’re both competitive with ourselves and others– and if one of us isn’t feeling it and the other is, well, we’ll see each other at the finish line because we’re going for it. I’ll probably never be able to keep up with him on the shorter runs but as the runs get longer, he gets slower and I am an endurance machine so it kinda works.

As far as my overall training is going, the workout program I’ve been doing has been leaving me sore. Not sore in a way where I can’t walk, but sore enough to know that I’m pushing myself and getting stronger. I’m not sure what week 3 will hold in terms of my running. I am scheduled for 3 days of runs- 3.1 with speed intervals, 9 mile long run and the 3rd 5k in the winter run series.

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment #2

I was hesitant about signing up for a marathon on May 1st because that meant that I would have to train during the coldest months of the year. Originally I wanted to run my first marathon in September or October– perfect running weather and the ability to do my hardcore, long runs as the summer was winding down and fall was creeping in. But once I thought about it more, I realized that I have the itch to run this thing now and if I put it off I might chicken out and come up with excuses why I couldn’t or shouldn’t do it. So, in spite of not wanting to run in anything under 50 degrees, I decided to put on my big girl pants and just do it. (And of course my first week of training coincided with some of the coldest temperatures we’ve had so far this winter. )

I am recapping week 1 of my training. To my surprise, everything went as planned. I did all the workouts in my plan– I ran Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Thursday was a 5k speed interval run. I use the term “speed run” loosely, as I haven’t done speed intervals in a while and I’m also not speedy. I warmed up for 1 mile and then did 1 minute intervals of a pace faster than my 5k speed followed by 1 minute recovery which was slower than my 5k pace. I did that 5 times and then I switched it to a 30 seconds and 30 seconds for the 2nd mile. It was cold and windy that day but it was over in 26 minutes.

Saturday was my long run day. I started with 7 miles and plan to work my way up 1-2 miles each week on my long runs. Saturday was a cold day- it was 20 degrees and icy outside (it snowed the day before) and when the wind whipped I felt it in my bones. It was a decent run considering the conditions and I’m pretty sure it was the first time I ran in weather that cold before. It prompted me to purchase gloves that are more conducive for outdoor activities than the $3 pair of gloves I have from Target.

Sunday was the first of 4 5ks in the Winter Run Series that my boyfriend and I signed up for. The first one was at Heckscher Park. My time was OK but I came in 1st in my age group and I was the 14th female out of 318 to finish the race. I was happy with that finish. I am not a fast runner. I’m more of an endurance runner. My best races are the longer ones. My time differential from a 5k to a half marathon is not a lot. My best 5k time is 7:55/mile pace whereas my best half marathon pace is 8:30/mile pace. That’s a 10-mile difference and only 35 second difference in mile pace. I would like to work on my shorter distance race times but that’s for after the marathon. Right now I just want to focus my training on endurance and getting the miles in. Once the marathon is over I can consider training to improve my 5k time.

Next week I’ll recap week 2 and report on how the second race of the Winter Run Series went. It’s supposed to be a cold one on Sunday so wish us luck!

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment 1

Up until last year I had no interest in running a marathon. Even though I’ve been a runner for a long time, “run a marathon” never made it’s way to my to do list. I was happy doing 5ks, 15ks, or even the occasional half marathon. Last year I ran nine races- which is far more than I’ve ever run in any given calendar year. I did 4- 5ks, 1- 4k, 1- 10k, 1- 15k, and 2 half marathons. It. Was. Awesome.

And while I trained for my first half marathon of the year, my boyfriend was training for his first full marathon. It gave me the itch, seeing him run 16 miles or 19 miles on a Saturday morning. I decided I would add a full marathon to my list… in a couple of years. But then race day came. I finished my half marathon in 1 hour 51 mins and blah blah seconds and then I waited. And as I waited, for 2+ hours, seeing the marathon runners cross the finish line with tears of joy, accomplishment, and probably pain, I decided I was going to run a marathon in 2022.

So here I am on January 3rd. All signed up for The Long Island Marathon on Sunday, May 1st.

And I’m scared shitless.

But I’ll be fine. Because I am always am. I have a plan. And I am pretty dynamite at executing plans so I’m not concerned because if things go awry, I’ll still find a way to make it work.

In a perfect world, my training would consist of 3-4 days of running per week, along with 2 days of strength training, 1 day or cross training and 1 day or rest.

But I don’t live in a perfect world. I have 2 kids that I can’t leave at home alone yet. So I have to get a little creative with when I run by asking for help, making the most out of nights there kids are with their dad or sleepint at grandpa’s house.

my top non-fiction of 2021

I did a lot of reading in 2021! This was the first year in a long time that I read both fiction and non-fiction. Today I want to share my favorite non-fiction reads of the year. They range from memoirs to business to personal development.

10% Happier by Dan Harris– This was the first book I read in 2021. Dan Harris, ABC News correspondent, wrote this book about how he found meditation after having a panic attack on television. While I’ve never been a meditator, I do know people that swear by it. Part of the reason I like this book is that Dan doesn’t try to tell you that meditation is going to change your life drastically or that it fixes all your problems. He’s quite real about, saying that meditation makes him 10% happier. Even though I didn’t become a lifelong meditator after reading this book, my takeaway was finding time to get quiet with myself. Instead of constantly being connected to something- on the phone, scrolling social media, reading emails, having a conversation, listening to music– it’s important to get quiet and listen to my thoughts (as scary or uncomfortable as they are at times). I also enjoyed Dan’s writing style as well as his candidness.

Believe It by Jamie Kern Lima– I had no idea who Jamie Kern Lima was before someone recommended (and gave me) this book. I enjoy memoirs of successful entrepreneurs because it’s inspiring and motivating. Jamie Kern Lima is a regular person, who had a dream and extreme grit, and made something happen for herself. She committed to utilizing QVC to sell her IT Cosmetics and worked tirelessly to make it happen. She eventually sold IT Cosmetics to L’Oreal for $1.2 billion. Definitely a worthwhile read for an aspiring entrepreneur.

Lessons by Gisele Bundchen– Another great read from someone I knew nothing about prior to picking up this book. Obviously I knew who Gisele was but I didn’t know her story. I saw that this book was on a list of recommended memoirs and decided to read it. I really enjoyed learning about her childhood, her modeling career, and now her work as a philanthropist and mother.

Now we’re getting to the really good stuff…

Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg– Habits, habit building, habit stacking- this is a topic I can talk about all day. It’s something I’m truly passionate about. I’ve read a bunch of books on how to build habits, how to break habits, and the science between why we can stick with some habits more easily than others. I absolutely LOVE BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model because once you see it, it makes so much sense. Ready for it? Ok, here it is:

B (behavior) = M (motivation) + A (ability) + P (prompt)

In order for the B (behavior) to happen, all three elements- M + A + P must happen at the same time. Fogg gives so many great examples of behaviors that are easy for us to do. For instance – stopping at McDonalds on our way home from work. Motivation- I’m hungry; Ability- I’m passing three McDonalds drive thrus; Prompt- my stomach rumbled. Those three things happening at the same time will lead us to the Behavior of stopping at the drive-thru. Fogg goes into how to change our Motivation, Ability, and Prompts to make it easier for us to adopt habits (or break habits). It’s truly fascinating stuff. He even helps you create a My Recipe card for habits. I would highly recommend this book for anyone that wants to build new habits or break old ones, or if you just like to nerd out on stuff like this like me!

Limitless by Jim Kwik– Known as the boy with a broken brain, Jim Kwik, who suffered brain injuries as a child had major difficulties learning and trouble retaining information as he went through school. As Jim got older he was encouraged to start reading a book a week, from there he delve into the topic of learning. He went from being the boy with the broken brain to someone he believes is limitless in his ability to do whatever it is he wants. Over the course of the years, he developed a model, call The Limitless Model. There are three sections: mindset, motivation, and methods. If you’re running up against a roadblock in trying to reach a goal it is because you’re experiencing in one or more of these areas.

He describes mindset, motivation and methods as follows:

Mindset (the WHAT): deeply held beliefs, attitudes and assumptions we create about who we are, how the world works and what we are capable and deserve, and what is possible

Motivation (the WHY): the purpose one has for taking action. The energy required for someone to behave in a particular way.

Method (the HOW): a specific process for accomplishing something, especially an orderly, logical or systematic way of instruction.

Think about that for a minute. What’s something you say you want to do? Are you lacking the right mindset? The motivation? Or the tools you need to accomplish your goal? This book goes into how to rid yourself of limiting beliefs, how to light your motivation on motivation and processes that will help you systematically accomplish your goals. Basically, Kwik helps you find the place where your mindset, motivation and methods all align so you can become limitless too! Such a great read!

Tractiong by Gino Wickman– I can’t say enough about how great this book was. For anyone that works in a small business or is thinking about starting your own business, this book is a must-read. Being a business school nerd, it brought me back to my days in MBA classes where we talked about topics that were abstract considering I had minimal business experience at the time. Now, 15 years into working (most in a small business environment) I see how important the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) is. Wickman identifies six components that make up the EOS- vision, people, data, issues, process and traction.

Some of the key takeaways I got from this book are:

  • Start with the vision. What is the 10-year goal of the company and then work backward to the 5 year, 3 year, and 1 year.
  • Develop your company’s language (or culture). Do we all use the same lingo, shorthand, phrases, etc. Do we have goals for the year? Or objectives? Are we a company or a firm?
  • Leadership team meetings should have an agenda and the agenda should be adhered to.
  • “The ability to create accountability and discipline, and then execute is the are of greatest weakness in most organizations.” Yes, yes, yes!
  • As the leader of the organization, you need to stop working in the business 100% of the time and work on the business at times. Me, taking it a step further- You will never be successful if you are too busy with day to day minutiae. You have to set aside time each week to review the week, look at the P&L, prioritize issues, etc.

Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins– If you want to read a book about someone who had the odds stacked against him but overcame struggles time and time again, this is the book for you. David Goggins is as strong physically as he is mentally (if not more so). I had this book on my shelf for about 9 months before I picked it up to read the week before my first running race of 2021. Perfect timing, considering Goggins is not only a Navy SEAL but also an ultra-marathon and triathlon runner- someone who has put his body through hell and back more times than anyone can track. If he can run 100 mile races, I definitely could run a 15k. (-:

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown- As someone who struggles with perfectionism and being enough I found this book to be inspiring. It offered me a different perspective, and gave me tools and ideas on how to deal with these feelings that will sometimes overwhelm me. A very common theme in many books I’ve read is to let go of what others think about you. While it’s easy to say, it’s not so easy to do. We all struggle with it to varying degrees. Other themes, in that same vain, are: to get comfortable with who you are, trust yourself more, and don’t be afraid to let your freak flag fly.

The High 5 Habit by Mel Robbins– I’m a big fan of Mel Robbins. Something about her high vibe, get it done, no excuse energy just gets me going. Mel is a lawyer, speaker, author, entrepreneur, coach, wife, and mother of three. And she’s pretty kick-ass. This book is about giving yourself a high 5 every single morning when you wake up. Which may sound a little silly and awkward but in the book she talks about how this positive little action every morning can change the trajectory of your entire day. Imagine if your first thought every day was “YES!!! I get to wake up and workout and go to work today!” rather than “Ugh, I don’t want to get up yet. Today is going to suck!” Well, the high 5 habit is Mel’s way of starting your day with a little jolt of “Go me!” energy. And it works– if you’re consistent and you go into it with the right energy.

The book isn’t just 200 pages worth of her selling her high 5 strategy to you. My two favorite chapters were the ones on jealousy and the one on, what I’ll refer to as, the universe conspiring. First, the one on jealousy. Mel says we shouldn’t ignore our feelings of jealousy, that instead we should lean into that feeling and ask why. Why are we feeling the way we do? If so-and- so has something we want, instead of assuming we can’t have it too, ask questions- get curious. If you are feeling jealous, there’s a reason. It doesn’t make you a bad person. In fact, to me, it’s a hint that there’s something out there for you to work towards. As Mel puts it, if you’re feeling jealousy or cattiness towards something someone else has, it means you want it but that you’re blocked by self doubt. #truthbomb

Next, the chapter on “everything happens for a reason.” I know that is probably one of the most cliche things you can possibly say in the world but it’s true. Mel describes an elaborate story of a painting that she saw at restaurant and decided that she wanted. It was way too expensive for her taste at the time but she never held out hope that she’d one day have that one of a kind painting. I’m not going to spoil whole story, but I’ll leave you with the paragraph that I loved from this chapter:

“You can always connect the dots in your life if you are looking back. The true art is believing that this moment right now is a dot that is connecting you to something amazing that’s coming in the future. Trust is a major component of that– trusting in yourself, your abilities and the divine nature of things. That everything in your life is preparing you for something that hasn’t happened yet. You may not be able to see how all the dots connect on the map of your life, but they do indeed connect.”

As you can see, I have a lot to say about these books. I started with a top 10 list but I realized this was getting a little long. A couple other recommendations I have are: Discover Your Dharma by Sahara Rose and Built Through Courage by Dave Hollis.

Would love to hear if anyone else has read any of these books and what you’ve thought about them. And please feel free to share your recommendations with me too!

Cheers to books!

❤ L

welcome back!

Welcome to my blog reboot. It’s the morning of December 26th and I decided, rather abruptly, to reboot my blog. Well, if I’m being honest, I’ve been thinking about coming back to my blog for a while now. I just wasn’t sure how or when I wanted to dive in.

Welp! Today is the day. So for those of you that are new here, welcome! And those that used to read my blog, welcome back. I’m excited to restart this journey. When I stopped it was because I was, just like a lot of people, going through stuff (my last post was May 2020). And even though I’m still going through stuff (that’s life), I am in a slightly better place than I was 18 months ago.

My blog posts will be different this time around. I’m not going to just focus on the two things that I think most people know me as– a mother and/or someone that loves fitness. While those are still the biggest parts of my life, those are only a couple sides of Lauren. There’s a lot that you probably don’t know about me. Like the fact that I get twitchy when my routine gets disrupted (ok, maybe you did know that). Or the fact that I am a complete book nerd (my dream house has a room covered wall to wall in books). Or that my favorite channels are Food Network (hate to cook) and HGTV (my walls are completely bare). Or that I listen to the sweet serenading sounds of Louis C.K or Chad Daniels or Tom Segura to fall asleep at night. Or that the flame I’ve held for running was reignited in 2021 and that I will add more fuel to that fire in 2022. Or that I lose my shit when people write the word lose as loose because they don’t understand the English language but it’s cool when walk around saying the word frustrating as fustrating because I too, don’t understand the English language.

Basically what I’m saying is that we’re all complex. We have different sides of ourselves. And weird idiosyncrasies that make us who we are. But (hopefully) we’re always learning and growing and becoming a better version of ourselves than we were yesterday. So my blog is going to be about anything and everything that I feel like sharing- what I had for dinner last night, or things I’ve learned, projects I’m working on, books I’m reading.. who knows! Because it’s my blog and I can do what I want with it.

So welcome back!! 🙂

❤ L