Good morning and happy Friday! Today’s post is a little different but it’s a huge part of my life! And I probably wear more workout clothes than regular clothes some weeks so I wanted to share that part of me too! I started running probably when I was about 11 years old. My siblings and I were homeschooled, and when it came time to decide what we would do for P.E., running was the natural answer because my dad is a runner and would run nearly every day after work. So we all just followed suit. At first getting through a mile was tough, but as I kept doing it, it got easier, and then the distances got longer. I can honestly say I probably haven’t ever gone a week without running except when I was sick since junior high. Something about the feeling running gave me really stuck. It’s both soothing to the soul and exhilarating all in one. There’s something victorious about thinking you can’t run one more mile and then doing it anyways. You feel like you beat yourself. Like you pushed your body to its limits, and it in turn showed you it was capable of more than you thought. I love that feeling. I loved it so much that about four years ago, I signed up for my first marathon. My goal was simply to run the whole thing without walking and to finish. And I did just that. My time was 4:23. Two years later I decided to try my hand (I mean my feet :P) at another marathon and to do better. I ran the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Fransisco (my favorite race to date), and shocked myself when I qualified for the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:33 (I later qualified again with a time of 3:25). Earlier this year, I had the honor of running the first Boston Marathon after the bombing, and it was an experience of a lifetime. I have run a total of four marathons, and while I don’t have one on the books right now, I’m sure I will do another one in the near future!
I am also an avid CrossFitter. I started CrossFit on a whim and a groupon about 2 years ago. My friend suggested we go for the month, and I decided to do it. I only planned to go for the month and then stop because I couldn’t see myself paying a monthly rate that was much higher than any gym membership I had ever had in the past. But a month into my CrossFit experience I was already seeing results. As a runner my whole life, I was fairly small, but not toned. I tried to do sit-ups and push-ups at home but never got the exact results I wanted. So I HAD to keep doing it. Within three months, my body had completely changed. And six months after I started CrossFit is when I qualified for the Boston Marathon. I attribute most of my improvement in my running times to CrossFit. The other appealing parts about CrossFit are the community and the competition. It’s so fun to see friends day after day at the gym who are as passionate about fitness as you are. And to beat those friends at the WOD (workout of the day) might be even more fun. 😉
Below are a few questions I was asked via Instagram and a few extras I added in!
How do you wear your hair when you workout?
My hair in the above photos is thrown into a messy bun (with two hair ties because it’s heavy!), and I had LITERALLY just finished a five mile run when I took these photos. As in I made my hubby meet me on the trail, and I was still all sweaty kind of just finished. I wanted these photos to be real snapshots of me in real life! So I generally wear my hair how it is in these photos. I also sometimes will just wrap it into a tight bun on top of my head, not super cute but it’s functional. I HATE wearing a ponytail because it hits my neck and bugs me. Plus it usually gets more wet from sweat, and I’m a firm believer in minimizing how often I have to wash my hair because it’s just too much work! (If you’re wondering how I work out and then don’t wash my hair, I literally just let it dry out and sometimes put dry shampoo in my hair, and it works just fine for me.)
What are your favorite workout clothes?
I usually wear spandex type shorts, a sports bra and a tank when I run or go to CrossFit (I also will wear looser running shorts when I go running but I don’t like them for CrossFit because they make it hard to get my squat on. :P). And when it’s extra hot like this day ^^^ I ditch my shirt too. 😛 When the weather cools down, I switch out my Spandex for my favorite black Nike running leggings!
What do you eat before a workout?
I almost always work out in the mornings. I wake up and have a piece of Ezekiel bread with all natural peanut butter (Target’s Market Pantry brand is my fave and so cheap!) and a drop of honey. I also usually drink coffee before I go to. I think because my am workout routine is so consistent, I’m able to eat and run or go to CrossFit basically within minutes of eating. I know a lot of people have to plan the timing of what they eat but for me I’m able to just go right after I eat. I do occasionally work out later in the day, and I try to have at least an hour or two in between eating and working out because my other meals are usually things that are harder to digest like meat etc. And then if I’m hungry but heading to workout, I’ll usually make a quick protein shake with ice, water, chocolate protein powder, half a frozen banana and a scoop of peanut butter.
What do you listen to when you workout?
What I’m listening to when I run highly depends on my mood. Probably about 75% of the time, it’s either worship music or country. If I just need to refocus and put my mind on God or want to take the time on my run to pray and be with Jesus, then I’ll listen to worship. I especially do this if I have had a bad day or am sad or upset about something. Soothes the soul. Plus I always run outside so nature plus Jesus plus running is the perfect combination. Then most other times, I listen to country. My hubby thinks I’m crazy for not always having rap or hip hop to get me pumped up but I can’t think of anything better to get me excited about life but good ol’ American country music. “Makes me wanna take a back road” and go for a run. I do occasionally listen to some good pump me up music. I love me some N’Sync or Destiny’s Child Pandora. 😛 OH, and at CrossFit I definitely like anything to pump me up. Rap. Hip-hop. And my personal fave, Katy Perry’s “Roar”.
How do you motivate yourself?
One of the biggest things that motivates me to work out is something found in the Bible actually. And honestly I think it was this realization that made working out stick for me instead of being an off and on kind of thing. In the Bible it says that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. If I am the home and representation of the Holy Spirit, how important must it be for me to care for myself? Not only spiritually but physically as well. My body and life here on earth are a gift, and I need to do the best to take care of myself.
That being said, I still struggle just like everyone else with getting up and getting my butt out the door. Especially when it comes to running because YOU have to make YOURSELF do it. Nobody else will! But I usually just tell myself that by the time I quit arguing with myself about whether or not, I’m gonna go, I could already be done with my workout! And that kinda works. I also always try to go in the morning so that I don’t think about it all day long. At CrossFit, I’m motivated by the people and the competition and the fact that if I show up for the class, I basically have to do the workout of course!
How often do you workout?
I love working out. I would usually rather be out on a run than sitting in front of a TV. So to most people, I probably workout a lot. I usually run 3-5 times a week and then go to CrossFit 3-4 times a week. Yes, I will do both in the same day. I am very blessed to have such a flexible schedule that allows for more time for things I love (like working out and blogging!).
If you have any questions, comment below or email me! I would love to hear from you. I know this all may sound like I’m a crazy person, but honestly it’s just something I love that I have made a part of my daily life. I don’t make a huge deal about it. I just do it. And that’s what it takes. Just doing it. So get out and JUST DO IT. (*No, I am not being sponsored by Nike to say that but I really wish I was. :P)
P.S. I use the MapMyRun app on my phone for all of my runs! It records your pace and distance and saves all of your runs so you can look back at them if you need!