Thursday, February 23, 2017

6 Running Documentaries & Movies on Netflix

Planning on doing some binge-watching this weekend?  Want to watch something inspiring, instead of that seven part series you are tuned into?  Consider watching one of these running documentaries or movies on Netflix the next time you're streaming.  Or better yet, watch them while you're moving on the treadmill or elliptical.

From Fat to Finish Line documents the journey of 12 formerly obese people from across the country who team up to run a jaw-dropping 200 mile, Ragnar Relay Race.

The race spans from Miami to Key West, and is a scenic but challenging course that would test the endurance of even the most seasoned athlete. The team must continually run, day and night, to make it to the finish line. As they overcome the obstacles on the course, you’ll learn about the obstacles they faced on their weight loss journeys.

Amongst the team members you’ll meet Katie, a mom from Michigan who was inspired to lose weight for her young sons; Linda from New York whose obesity led her to give up entirely on herself and was often mistaken as “grandma” to her children; Jen from Maine who’s marriage was on the verge of destruction when she decided to take control of her health; John from California, a former US Marine who is everyone else’s biggest supporter but struggles to feel ‘good enough’ when it comes to himself; and Jennifer from New Jersey who battles with negative voices thoughts that continually threaten to undermine her efforts.

A grueling contest based on a historic prison break tests the mettle and endurance of athletes taking on a marathon many start but few finish.

"Finding Traction" presents the inspirational story of ultra runner Nikki Kimball and her quest to become the fastest person in history to run America's oldest hiking trail, the 273-mile Long Trail. The documentary asks what drives her to attempt such an incredible feat, and follows Nikki's journey from its beginning - training and racing in the Rocky mountains - to her actual record attempt through Vermont's beautiful but brutal Green Mountains. Throughout the film, Nikki's crew and support team provide an intimate portrayal of the courage, grit, and passion behind her record attempt, and interviews with the world's leading evolutionary biologists, including Bernd Heinrich, author of "Why We Run," shed light on the science and psychology behind Nikki's incredible race against time. For Nikki, this well-publicized run is more than a chance to inspire people to be active and spend time outdoors, it's her way of encouraging women and girls to take an equal place for themselves in professional sports. In addition to providing an inside look into the journey of an elite athlete, "Finding Traction" gives viewers a new perspective on the endurance of the human body and spirit, and informs us all us, regardless of our sex, of our true potential and inspires us to reach it.

A teenage track star and a former coach who each face difficult obstacles in life turn to each other to find comfort, stability and hope.

With the passion of a sport enthusiast, director Steve James paints a portrait of one of the world's most spectacular -- and inspiring -- runners.

Two roaming Kenyan bandits attempt to change t he course of their lives by exchanging their rifles for running shoes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

11 Ways to Embrace Portion Control

Many of us know what to eat, we just tend to eat too much of it.  We all know that we should eat more fruits and vegetables.  We should limit sugars and perhaps indulge in too many carbs.  It’s easy to think that we are doing all the right things.  But restaurant salads are often higher in calorie content than some other meals on the menu.  It’s easy to consume two or three servings of crackers or cereal when you are absent-mindedly grabbing food from a box or bag.  So, why not set yourself up for success?

Whether you are eating dinner around the kitchen table or eating out with a friend, here are eleven ways to embrace portion control at your next meal:

  1. Use measuring cups and spoons to avoid eye-balling portions.
  2. Invest in a food scale to measure meat.
  3. Buy portion control snacks.  They are a little bit pricier, but you will be less likely to tear into a second package.
  4. Invest in snack size baggies or small reusable containers.  Make your own snack size portions of cereal, crackers and fruits and vegetables.
  5. Use a smaller plate.  Many of us try to fill our plates and eat until the last bit is gone.  Using a smaller plate or bowl will give you less space to add more food.
  6. Fill half of your plate with fruits or vegetables.
  7. If eating leftovers for lunch gets you caught in bad eating habits, consider calorie counted frozen meals.
  8. When eating out, immediately ask the server to box up half of your meal or sandwich.
  9. Consider splitting a meal with your spouse or friend when dining out.
  10. Instead of bringing bulk foods to your work or office, bring only one day’s allotment of breakfast, lunch and snack options.   You won’t be tempted to reach into your desk drawer or cupboard.
  11. Use a smaller fork or spoon to make your meal last longer.

8 Steps to Develop Healthy Habits

A lot of us have goals, ideas or new habits that we want to develop.  But it can take a lot of strength, determination and accountability (and willpower!) to achieve it.  How often have you written down a list of things you wanted to accomplish for the week, only to have one or two items crossed off before the next week arrives?  How many of us have wanted to run a race every month, only to find yourself unmotivated or under-trained before your next event arrives? 

Here are eight tips to achieve your current goals or develop new healthy habits.

  1. Write down your goals or the habit you want to create.
  2. Make a long-term plan for achieving your goal and divide it out into small steps or a flow chart.
  3. Have a daily plan.  Set reminders in your phone or write appointments on your daily planner. Schedule tasks just like you would any other appointment.  For many individuals, scheduling the same time of day to complete specific tasks will make it easier to make a routine a habit.
  4. Find an accountability partner or group that understands your goals.  Post your goal publicly.
  5. Remove all distractions. Get rid of all obstructions and distractions that will help prevent you from achieving your goals.
  6. Visualize yourself achieving your goal and how you will feel achieving it.  Allow yourself thirty seconds each day to breathe and visualize.
  7. Educate yourself.  Do research on what it will take to reach your goal and use available resources and tools make your journey a little easier.
  8. Present daily reminders of your goals.  Place visuals on your bathroom mirror, on your car console or on your refrigerator.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Park Crawl for Runners - April 25 & May 16

Join Running Diva Mom for a runner's park crawl. Join for one or both group workouts. Runners will meet at local parks in Sun Prairie and run/walk together on local trails to several parks. We will complete core workouts at each park along the way. Runners will complete an out and back route and runners will run/walk at their own pace. No one will be left behind. This is a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. Seriously, everyone is welcome! Each workout will consist of 3-4 miles of running/walking and 3-4 short core workouts.

Tuesday, April 25, 6:00-7:30 pm, Stoneridge Estates Park
Tuesday, May 16, 6:00-7:30 pm, Wyndham Hills Park

Email me at runningdivamom@yahoo.com to pay by cash or check.

Mompreneur lessons.

When I started my journey as a mompreneur several years ago, I had no clue how much my life would change. It’s not just about doing what I love. It’s about having the ability to incorporate my family into this new lifestyle. And we (as a family) also appreciate the flexibility it gives us. 

So, when it quickly became overwhelming and time became limited, I had to make some choices. Can you have too much of a good thing?! Maybe. Or perhaps it’s how you navigate it. And the choices you make (again, as a family) to make your mompreneural journey a positive experience for everyone involved.

2017 day planner

I’m in constant contact with my customers and virtual coaching clients via text and email. Social media and smart phones no longer allow you to make the disconnect from work to home. It’s so easy to be distracted by notifications during critical moments of your family’s day. These times are meant to connect. Not to multi-task. We’ve set rules not to answer phones during dinner time or bed time. I’ve learned to be very open with my accountability groups and let them know that I will only be responding to messages very early in the morning (my power productivity hour of the day) or after my children are in bed. Setting these boundaries sets everyone up for success with attainable expectations.

I started using what I feared was a bad two letter word. I started saying “no”. If something didn’t align with my mission or my family’s goals, I said it. It isn’t easy to turn business away or let customers know you aren’t a good fit. But, you will become a better (and more credible) mompreneur because of it. If a timeslot doesn’t work for my family, I know I have to say no. If a type of customer isn’t someone that I’m trained to work with, I have to decline the offer. If my daughter needs a nap, I need to schedule my meetings around it.

Be flexible with yourself. People will understand. One of the main goals of having your own business is having the flexibility and setting your own schedule. If something comes up with your son’s school concert or your spouse being out of town, people will typically understand if you need to reschedule an appointment. They may even appreciate that you can relate to their personal calendar struggles.

Friday, February 3, 2017

(March) Step + Water Challenge with Running Diva Mom

(March) Step + Water Challenge with Running Diva Mom

Join Running Diva Mom for a three week challenge to jump-start your fitness! Each participant will set a goal to run or walk 10,000 steps and consume 70 ounces of water each day. Participants will receive a 21 day workout schedule and challenges to complete with their activity tracker or smart phone. Gain motivation from our private Facebook group.  There will be NO weekly weigh-ins for this group.

$30 to register.  The winner will receive entry into the April accountability group.

Challenge runs March 5 - 25, 2017

Please email me at runningdivamom@yahoo.com if you would like to pay by cash or personal check.

a&b Fitness Concepts | Creating a Fit Life | Tone and Tighten Program Review

Becky from a&b Fitness Concepts in Sun Prairie also is the fitness enthusiast over at Creating a Fit Life.  Check out her awesome fitness programs and videos on her site and Facebook page, if you haven't already.  Becky and I help many of the same clients achieve their goals in Sun Prairie.

Becky invited me to participate in her 15 Day Tone and Tighten program.  

The program is designed to increase your strength and burn calories to get participants on the right path to a more toned body and improved fitness level.  Becky provided a full packet of resource materials to participants, including fitness and meal planning tips, links to her fitness videos and workouts, and a sample workout schedule.

Participants also received sliders, which I had never used before, as well as a workout band in a cute little bag.  With this equipment, participants received several workout programs to use the equipment.  The workout programs were easy to read and instructions were easy to follow.

This was a virtual program to be completed on your own and Becky provided a few group emails with links to videos over the duration of the program.  There was also a time set aside at the beginning of the program for participants to pick up materials from her studio and get their starting information and measurements.  Becky was also available for consultation and email/text support during the duration of the program.

Running Tights that Don't Fall Down

I wore running shorts and running skirts for several years.  Early on when I started running, I just didn't feel comfortable enough in my body to wear running tights.  When I did wear them, I often layered them with shorts or running skirts.

After several years of chaffing and rubbing, I decided that it was finally time to be comfortable and make runs even more enjoyable.  Slipping on a pair or running tights or leggings wasn't easy at first.  It was difficult finding the right size or brand that wouldn't fall down.  Sometimes, drawstrings didn't even help.  My weight also fluctuates a lot with my training, making things even more difficult.  There is nothing worse than finally having the ambition to go out for your run - only to have your tights fall down off of your midsection and constantly having to hike them back up.

Many of my clients ask which brands I wear.  Here's my list of favorite running tights that don't fall down.

  1. Fabletics - I order these online.  But I had gotten roped into a monthly shipment, which was quite difficult to get out of.  I also got some great deals at the Fabletics store at Mall of America.  These are my favorite running tights and capris.  But, it's been difficult to get my hands on more.  I purchased them on sale - between $25-$45 a pair.  Worth every penny and super cute fabrics.  I even have a couple pairs with lace that are super comfortable (and don't itch).  The bottoms I've purchased from Fabletics do not have a drawstring.
  2. Danskin - Walmart carries several different AFFORDABLE styles each season.  I always stock up on leggings there for $10-15 a pair.  They also come in different styles and lengths for each season.  You can find your basic black or lots of fun patterns with matching tops, tanks and sports bras.  Some have a drawstring, but I don't find I need them to stay in place.
  3. Avia - I also purchase these at Walmart.  They are priced a little more than the Danskin brand at $15-20.  But, they are obviously still an affordable option.  I will typically find a bottom and matching top to purchase as a set.  I also LOVE the stability of the Avia sports bras.  And their design looks cute layered under a tank.

You've Got This - Speed Intervals

Many clients say that they hear my voice in their head while they are running on their own.  That's exactly what I want to hear!  "Relax your shoulders".  "Listen to your breathing; not your legs".  "You've got this!".

I've developed another fun interval workout for you.  This one is based on the most frequent phrase you'll hear in my studio.  "You've got this!".  Clients have been really pushing themselves HARD with this workout.  There are beginner and advanced options and both options have two different starting paces.  There should be a pace option for every ability.  The idea is that you starting out at your slowest running pace and gradually increasing by .2 MPH every five minutes.  You will end a whole MPH faster than you started.  Enjoy your two minute walk breaks in between.  You might need them!

Peak Training for Half and Full Marathon Programs

With my 5K and 10K running groups, I often have my small groups run the race route - or cover the 3.1 or 6.2 mile distance over a training run before race day.  As new runners, many are often nervous about running in a big event or being able to cover the distance.  With these shorter distances, I don’t feel that they are risk of over-training or being prone to injury if they stick to the training program - consisting of three runs per week, or every-other-day.

For new half marathoners, I have training peak at the recommended twelve miles and full marathoners at twenty miles.  These distances will adequately prepare these runners for the distance that they are about to cover.  Very few training programs will have new (or even experienced) runners complete distances beyond that.  If your goal is simply to finish the event or slightly even improve your finishing time, these training runs will more than prepare your body to run the distance.  I also encourage clients to embrace the taper, in the weeks leading up to the race.

The mental toughness that you have expressed while training for four of five months will mentally and emotionally prepare you to run that final mile of a half marathon or the final hour of a marathon.

I would rather have runners invest that extra energy in their one speedwork session each week.

If a runner is still concerned about completing the entire 13.1 or 26.2 mile distance before the event, I often encourage them to drive the course before their big day.  If the race is a local event, runners can also do several of their long training runs along portions of the course.  This will familiarize themselves with the terrain, opportunities for crowd support and scenery.

Unstoppable Women.

I have witnessed a whole other side of my clients over the past few months. I sometimes dislike calling them “clients”, because these dreamers and doers are also my friends.

Opening up the Running Diva Mom Studio in November was a dream come true for me.  I initially saw it as an opportunity to expand my business and offer safe year-rounds services to my customers.  But, running side-by-side on treadmills has offered so much more – to all of us.  Including me.
Having individual time together has allowed me to get to know many of them on a more personal basis.  Some I had only trained in a group setting.  And this intimate setting has allowed them to open-up even further to me. In the group setting, I usually get a few minutes alone with each client, to figure out what motivates them and check in on life events.  But having a whole hour to ourselves has been incredibly rewarding for me.
Large groups are fun, but it’s easy to get lost in the crowd and blend in.  These individual runs together have helped hold them even more accountable this winter.  It’s not as easy to skip a workout when you know that your coach (and cheerleader!) is there waiting to run with you – just you.
Music has moved them and pushed them to new limits.  I’m seeing a whole different side of people when I decide to crank up the volume – and the speed.

I’ve enjoyed opening up their eyes to new ideas.  To break up the monotony, we often run intervals.  Many have really enjoyed this.  After intervals became comfortable, I then introduced speedwork.  Speedwork can sometimes seem daunting – or even scary.  But I’ve gently worked it into their fitness routine – and I often get a huge sweaty thank you when we are done.  As we increase the speed, our conversations become quieter.  I then know that my clients are really pushing themselves at this point.  And I find it really rewarding.

Many walk in tired or unmotivated.  Most feeling guilty for taking an hour out of their day for themselves.  But they leave feeling energized, accomplished – and sweaty.  I witness different women heading back out the door and home to their families.  I see not only a stronger runner; but also an unstoppable woman, supportive spouse and more patient parent.

Unstoppable Women.

Weekly Workout and Meal Planning Worksheet

Planning is the number one key component to setting yourself up for success with diet and exercise.  If a healthy diet and routine exercise are not a part of your daily lifestyle, planning ahead will help make sure that happens.

I have developed this weekly worksheet to help set you up for success.  Look at your family's schedule for the week and plan when you can fit in your workouts (and rest days!) each day.  Maybe you will get up early one day to workout before work.  Perhaps you will take a walk over your lunch hour one day, because your family is busy with rehearsals and practice.  And maybe you will spend a Sunday afternoon completing a long run after doing your grocery shopping and meal planning in the morning.  Write down where you will be working out as well, if that helps you visualize your workouts.  Whatever your plan is - write it down and have a plan.

Also glance at your busy plan for the week and see where you can prepare healthy meals for the family, which nights will be grab-and-go or leftovers and which nights your family can plan to eat out.  Having a plan with your meals will help you stay on track, save money on groceries and eating out, save calories and help you consume leftovers.