My Recent Vacation and Exercise

I got back rather late Sunday night from a very fun, slightly tiring, trip to Austin, Texas. My number one reason for going was to visit a very dear friend whom I’ve had since I was 7, and his partner. My number two reason was to be able to get a break from the cold Nebraska weather. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get away from the cold. I kid you not when I say Sunday it was 32 degrees there, with a “feels like” of 22 degrees! When I flew in on Thursday evening, it was fairly nice, with the temperature in the 50s or so. Friday it got up into the mid 60s, but it was a bit rainy as our night went on. Regardless, no coat needed. Saturday and Sunday we wore coats. NOT what I expected from a state and city that far south in the United States! My friend said it is the coldest winter he can remember since moving there back in 2005. This does not surprise me in the least, especially given I visited in January of 2014 and never had to wear a coat!

Regardless of the weather, it was a great time. I’m amazed by the diversity and all the things to do in Austin!

Friday was a nice relaxing day (I was on vacation, after all), and my friend and I walked to an outdoor area where we sat and had a drink and chatted about life in general. It’s nice to get a break from the demands of life to go spend time with a friend that you grew up with. It does not escape me that not everyone has the benefit of a lifelong friend. I happen to have two of them-the other friend was unable to join me for this trip, but she has gone with me in the past!

So, knowing this friend for 31 of my nearly 38 years, we always have some interesting conversations-and this trip was no exception! It strikes me how very different our paths have taken, yet we do still share many of the same thoughts on what I consider important things. It’s important to treat people equally and be kind. It’s important to stand up for what you believe in. It’s important to be yourself and not let others try to make you what you aren’t.

While I write all this thought provoking stuff about my friend, I will add that he already told me he still has not read my blog. 😉 In fact, we are that good of friends that he admitted he probably won’t ever read my blog. Honestly, this doesn’t bother me in the least-my blog isn’t for him. The blog is for me, and for whomever decides they would like to read it. To have a friend that you are close enough with that they can be honest with you like that is something that some people will never have in this lifetime. It’s profoundly refreshing when you actually have that.

I did a lot of walking while I was in Austin, though unfortunately, several days leading up to my trip, I was ill and didn’t get a chance to run. Which brings me to today. Remember that 10k I was so excited I did in my last blog post, and I knew I needed to do more consistent running? Well, Tuesday was the first day I finally ran since that day! In fact, my first day back to lifting was Monday when I attended Body Pump class.  But due to all the walking I did, getting back into my routine this week hasn’t been too difficult.

So, since I know I won’t be traveling anywhere for at least a couple of months, it’s time to get back into that routine I mentioned before! I have a 10k race on March 3rd that I hope to be ready to run, otherwise I just need to maintain a reasonable amount of running until I can finally go outside on a more regular basis!

Plan for the week: Monday: Body Pump (check), Tuesday: Running (check), Wednesday: Bodypump (check), the rest of the week: TBD. While I don’t know 100% what each day will bring until I’m actually in the day, I do know that whatever curve ball may get thrown at me (sickness, schedule changes, demands at work or home), I will modify accordingly and make my week work. Even last week while on vacation I made it work-I did a lot of walking, which is certainly something I will count as valid exercise!

As I have said before, if something on your schedule changes, just change around your week to still hit your goals. One of the most important things I’ve learned through goal setting and planning for road races, it’s that I don’t need to run every single day to reach my goals. Again-everything in moderation…yes, even running! There are those people out there that set the goal to run every day of the year, or every day for 100 days, or every day for a month. I am not one of those people-yet I feel that what I do is largely successful simply because I change things up. As much as I love running, I have other demands that call my attention. I have three children, a loving husband, and a very large extended family. I also work full time outside the home. Those of you that actually follow my blog and have read all of my entries are already aware of all of this. But I will reiterate for those that have not read some of my other entries, that it is not necessary to run every single day to reach a race goal. Even a half marathon. And staying fit doesn’t just have to include running. In fact, it’s important to include strength training (again, see previous posts).

If you need to set a daily goal in order to make yourself run, then that may be the way to go. However, I strongly discourage running daily just for the sake of saying you ran (this doesn’t even work for me, and I enjoy running). If you don’t like running, find something else you love to do that is healthy-even power walking. Or swimming. Whatever makes you happy. Don’t focus on the weight loss component, either-though I realize this is hard to do in some cases. If your goal is to tone up or lose weight, whether it be a lot of weight or just a little weight, sometimes it can become a main focus which takes away from the overall goal of a healthy lifestyle, which to me is happiness. Unfortunately, those that are facing the hurdle of needing to lose a lot of weight can get discouraged when they start an exercise program and then are unable to see a change in the scale. So my call to you: start an exercise program that first makes you feel happy.

Sometimes when you start working out, you may actually gain weight. You should speak to a dietitian for tips on how to eat properly while exercising. You will want to be sure you have healthy options put in place, otherwise, you are just replenishing your body with potentially unhelpful calories possibly not rich in nutrients. In other words, don’t eat five oreo cookies after kickboxing class (for example).

So, in summary, be kind to others, stand up for what you believe in, and be yourself…and focus on what makes you truly happy when seeking a healthier lifestyle.  I think if you stick to a consistent schedule, it will become such a normal part of your life, you will then notice a remarkable change in yourself whether it be in the way you look, or just the way you overall feel. This can then bring a profound feeling of satisfaction and happiness. At least, this is how it has worked for me.

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