Week 57: Running the Numbers

Ragnar Relay medalI want to start off with a few numbers:

– 10 people
– 197 miles
– 4 legs
– 18 miles
– 45 minutes
– 2 times
– 28 hours

What do they mean?

Last weekend, I ran the Ragnar Relay race from Madison, Wisconsin to Chicago, Illinois. There were 10 people on my team. Together, we ran 197 miles over 30 separate legs (run segments). Of those, I ran 4 legs, which meant I had to run a little over 18 miles total in less than 24 hours.

My teammates and I waited at the starting line at 8:45am on Saturday morning, and that was the first time I wondered, Could I do this? I thought I was in shape, but was I really an athlete that could run 18 miles in less than a day? I’d soon find out.

Our first runner, Sami, started with a 9 mile leg at 9am, leading off our team on this loooong running trip across Wisconsin and Illinois. I didn’t have to wait too long to hit the ground running myself; by 11:30am, I was gearing up for my first leg of 7.2 miles. It would be my longest leg, so I was happy to get it out of the way first.

When my teammate before me finished her leg, she handed off our “baton” (really just a slap bracelet) and I took off. Watching the other runners all morning and anticipating my turn had my adrenaline pumping; I was aiming for a 10-minute-per-mile running pace for all my runs, but as I passed the first mile point of my 7-miler, I looked at my watch and saw a 9:12 flashing at me. Whoops! I tried to slow down so I wouldn’t burn myself out, but it was hard making my legs calm down. I don’t think I did a good job of pacing myself because by mile 5, I was starting to feel very tired. Not good, considering I still had two more miles to go, plus three more runs after this one! When I finally finished, I was pooped and hot and tired. But, I took solace in the fact that my longest run was over.

We traveled on to the next exchange areas for the runners on our team, and eventually our first 6 runners were done with our first legs—time to rest! We got some subs, and then we laid down on the ground on blankets for about 1.5 hours and just rested our bodies before it was time to get moving once more.

By about 9:30pm, I was getting ready to run again. I had a 4.5 mile run along a nice bike trail, but was a bit creeped out that I had to run on it at night. Luckily, there were many other runners all around me. I was starting to slow down (oh, the fatigue!), when another runner caught up to me slowly; we started chatting and she helped me pick up my pace again. We ran the last couple of miles together, before sprinting in to hand off to our teams. I was so glad this runner friend turned up just when I needed someone to help me through!

When we finally finished our legs, we had time to rest again—it was 1:30am and we SO wanted to sleep. Sadly, I only had about 45 minutes of sleep before it was time to go AGAIN. And this time, I was our first runner, so I had to wake up fast.

As I stood, half-asleep like a zombie, at the exchange point at 3am, shivering in the cold night and the misty rain that had started to fall, I wondered for the second time, Could I really do this? And, more importantly, Had I lost my mind?! It was 3am and I was about to run 4 miles through the streets of a not-so-safe town; WHAT was I doing? But before I could think about it too much, my teammate handed off to me and I began to run. Just run.

There were plenty of other runners around me, once again, so I quickly realized that I didn’t need to worry about my safety while running in the wee hours of the morning. While I groggily ran the four miles of my third leg, I tried to take in the peacefulness that comes with running in the middle of the night: bugs chirping here and there; a lone pair of tiny headlights slowly growing until they passed; the loud sound of silence that reverberated against the sound of my footfalls on the sidewalk. These were things I don’t normally get to experience during day runs. This was a whole new world I was running in. Before I knew it, the 4 miles was over and I was handing off the baton again.

But don’t worry—I still had one more leg to run! All I wanted to do was close my eyes and take a nap, but I only had about 1.5 hours until I had to run my final leg of 3 miles. As I sat stretching and guzzling Gatorade, struggling to keep my falling peepers open, I thought about how nice and easy a simple 3-mile run would be.

And then it was time. The baton came, I went. I can’t say it was an easy three miles, but, I did it. My legs and body were so tired that I just kept telling myself to keep going and finish—it didn’t even matter how fast I went.

But, of course, I still managed to finish at my 10-minutes-per-mile pace, because we know I can’t not care how fast I go… As I got to the line and handed off the baton for the last time, I took a (gasping) sigh of relief. I was done—I had run 18 miles and I was DONE!

Several hours later, our entire team crossed the finish line in Chicago, Illinois, 28 hours after we had begun the race the day before. I marveled at the fact that 10 people could run 197 miles in such a short amount of time—and reassured myself that even though I had many moments during which I wondered if I had lost my sanity out there on the pavement somewhere on the way to Chicago, at least I was in good (equally crazy) company.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

P.S. The medal we got upon finishing couldn’t be any cooler—don’t you agree? C’mon, it’s a bottle opener! You better believe I tested it out that night when I got home.

Just run.

Week 56: Girls on the Run

Last weekend, I laced up my running shoes for a great cause: Girls on the Run®!

My older sister and I signed up to race with the Northwest Illinois division, which included about 650 young girls, each with an older “running buddy” to guide and cheer them through a 5K race. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but when my alarm went off at 6am on Sunday morning, I was excited to see what was in store for me.

My sister and I got to the race area, and I met my 10-year-old buddy, Lexi, who was quiet at first. As we stretched with the decorated group of girls from her school, she fidgeted with the giant flower in her spray-painted hair and the plastic beaded necklace around her neck. (I got lucky and missed the hair spray-paint pre-race festivity…my sister, however, went home with green, pink and yellow striped hair!)

I asked Lexi about her school, how long they had been training to run, and was she nervous? She said they had been meeting twice a week at her school to run, talk about things going on in their young lives, and have fun with friends. The week before, they had done a training run of 3 miles. It was hard and she had to walk some, she said, but she finished it! So, she was nervous, but more excited.

“Did you do a training run?” she asked me.

“Oh…I did a couple.” I said nonchalantly. (I wasn’t sure what she might think if I told her I had run 13 miles a few weeks earlier!)

As we corralled into a mass of giggling, jumping girls and older (also bouncing around) adult buddies, we kept stretching and chatting away. I learned that Lexi was also in soccer, about to get her black belt in karate, liked playing volleyball, wanted to join track and cross-country in two years, and also wanted to start learning how to ride horses. Busy girl! We sang along to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and before we knew it, we were counting down to the start.


“You look like you’ll be pretty fast,” I said to Lexi. “Am I going to be able to keep up with you?”

“Don’t worry…I can slow down for you!” she replied.

I laughed to myself, and then, we took off. We ran slow and steady for the first several minutes, and almost a mile into the run, I was so impressed that all these young girls were able to run so far, especially with their legs half the length of mine! Everyone was smiling, encouraging each other, and cheering their girl friends along. It was inspiring to see all these young girls there for each other and helping each other.

We ran and walked our way along the 5K route to the sounds of encouraging parents and brothers and neighbors; when we stopped to walk, we picked a landmark ahead (a lamp post, a tree, a car) to start running at again. When we ran past others who were walking, we gave them a boost and told them they were doing great as well. When we finally got about a quarter mile from the finish, we figured out what to do as our victory pose as we crossed the finish line. Adrenaline kicked in, and Lexi took off—and this time, I was afraid I actually wouldn’t keep up! We sprinted our way to the finish, through the giant pink and green balloon arch, to the tune of cheering parents and friends. As we crossed the finish line, we threw up our arms and joined in the cheers. Lexi got her medal, her dad snapped a photo of us, and then we went to cool down and stretch.

The whole experience was so great: to see so many young girls there, excited to be running even though it was early on a Sunday morning, and their parents so thrilled for them, really made me so happy and inspired. To me, it didn’t seem like a big deal to join the 5K and run with my buddy, but in the end I could see the difference it made. I will definitely participate again next year, and I encourage you to see if there is a Girls on the Run division nearby you! You can check here: http://www.girlsontherun.org/map.html.

And now, I leave for my next running adventure. Pictures and stories to come next week, folks.

Fat Stats:
Starting weight: 166 pounds
Last week: 149 pounds
This week: 149 pounds
Goal weight: 145 pounds

Happy days,

Week 52: Six Years and 13.1 Miles Later

My cheesey medal!This past January, I printed off a 6-month calendar and wrote out a training schedule to prepare myself to run a half-marathon. Looking at the training plan then, it seemed almost impossible that I could build myself up from not running at all and coming back from an injury, to running 13 miles in one go. But, I also knew that with a plan in place, a goal in mind, and my stubborn motivation, I could do it.

I started with training on an elliptical, then running laps on an indoor track, until one day I decided that I was beginning to feel “in shape,” so I bundled up to run outside.

I ran through snowstorms, wind, rain, fog, fatigue, sunny days and quiet dusks. I got hurt, I got sick, but I didn’t let it derail me. I got better, and I got back on my plan. I didn’t follow my training schedule perfectly—I did what I felt like doing, when I felt like doing it, but I always did something, even if I didn’t always want to.

So, on this past Saturday, when I stood at the starting line for the “world’s cheesiest marathon,” the Wisconsin marathon, it felt surreal to me. I felt like I was just going on another one of my long training runs—only this time, with about 4,000 other people coming along.

It was supposed to be cold and rainy, but when the starting gun blasted and we began running, the clouds seemed to dissolve and the sun came out. We were off, off onto this 13-mile journey that I had waited so long for.

It took me the first few miles to get accustomed to running in a crowd. I enjoyed the sun on my face, the slight breeze, and the volunteers and community cheering on the sidelines as I passed by them. I grinned at them all. They couldn’t know it, but they were witnessing a rite of passage: I was finally running a half marathon!

About 6 miles into the race, I still felt pretty good, but I realized that I had been running faster than my anticipated pace of 10 minutes per mile. At mile 8, the fatigue started to set in, but the site of my boyfriend and friends cheering for me (and snapping a few photos) on the sideline put some energy back into my never-ceasing step. I kept moving, thinking about how I was already over halfway done with the race.

I turned the race into two goals: Finish the first ten miles, and then it’s a nice, easy 3 mile run after that. Mentally, it helped me to think of it as two goalposts, rather than just, 13 miles to go! But physically, there was no way to fool myself. By mile 10, I still felt pretty good, but I could tell I was getting tired. At mile 11, I hit the proverbial “wall” and knew the last two miles would be tough. And they were. My joints and knees ached, I felt hunched over due to the fatigue, and the sun had disappeared, leaving me to fight against a chilly, unrelenting breeze. But not once did I think, I can’t do this.

Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. My feet kept moving. Almost there.

And then I was there: I could first hear, and then see, the mass of people cheering along the pathway to the finish line. I had about half a mile to go, and from somewhere inside of me, the last reserves of energy and adrenaline were unleashed as I took off, running fast to that finish line.

2:11:52, the clock read as I crossed the line. Not too shabby.

I had done it: After 13.1 miles, I’d finished my first half marathon.

I told my mom later that now the half-marathon is over, I’m left thinking, What next? She asked if I would run a full marathon. I told her, “I’m not crazy—only crazy people would want to run 26 miles in one go!”

To which she replied, “I don’t know—I think running 13 miles at once is kind of crazy.”

You might be right, mom.

But then, you always knew I was a little crazy, didn’t you?

Fat Stats:
Starting weight: 166 pounds
Last week: 149 pounds
This week: 149 pounds
Goal weight: 145 pounds

Stay cheesey,
P.S. A big thanks to Jockey for paying my entry fee (and the fees for all my co-workers) and encouraging us to be healthy!

Running by at mile 8, and then looking cheesey & happy with my friend & co-worker, Sami, after the race.

Week 51: Vacation is tough work.

Highlights from my vacation week.Last week, I was on vacation in Florida. When I got back to work on Tuesday, I felt like I needed a vacation after my vacation just to recuperate. You see, we had great reason to celebrate…every day.

My thought process went something like this:

Day 1: Hoorah! We’re on vacation! At the beach! It’s warm and sunny! Now, let’s go to the beach-side bar.

Day 2: YAY! It’s only the second day of vacation! Let’s go to the beach! Boogie boarding! Dang, salt water up the nose hurts. Well, time for some fruity beach drinks!

And so on. You see the trend…

Ultimately, the vacation ended with my older sister and her fiancé’s wedding—the reason our families were all gathered in the first place. It could not have been more perfect and I don’t think anyone could have been happier. I do believe it was the best vacation I have ever been on!

If only I could have been a stow-away in the newlyweds’ luggage and continued on to St. Martin for the honeymoon with them. I just don’t think they would have enjoyed me as a third wheel. Might have been a little bit awkward, really…

So, here I am, back in Wisconsin and 45 degree temperatures instead.

However, I have bigger and better things (okay, not really, but still exciting) to be looking forward to: This weekend is the half marathon, the one that I have been training for over the past six months—it’s my first one EVER.

While in Florida, I still tried to squeeze in some training runs so I’d be ready for the half marathon. With such perfect weather and warm temperatures, I was itching to get outside in shorts and a tank and run around in the sun. Trotting past palm trees, extravagant beach houses, and along the beach definitely kept me entertained and raring to go. Before vacation, my longest run was 11 miles long (wow!) and during vacation I did a couple 3- to 4-mile jogs to keep my legs loose.

So, all in all, I think I’m ready.

But, I am nervous. And sore. And excited. Kind of wondering why I thought it a good idea to party my entire vacation…and hoping the stinky forecast for Saturday changes (50 degrees and rainy—boo). Yet, I’m still excited. I can’t wait to recap the race for you next week to let you know how it goes. Stay tuned!

Fat Stats:
Starting weight: 166 pounds
Last week: 147.5 pounds
This week: 149 pounds
Goal weight: 145 pounds

Wish me luck!

Week 40: New workouts, new gear.

Jockey SportTraining for a half-marathon can be painful, time-consuming, tiring, cold (when you train in Wisconsin in the winter), and a bit stressful.

But, at least I look good while I’m doing it.

Okay, I’m not a conceited brat, but recently I was given several pieces of our new women’s Jockey Sport activewear collection to try out. I have been given samples of Jockey apparel before, but these shiny new pants and bright, colorful tops are different. These are REAL athletic gear, and our customers and other employees who have tried them have been raving about them since they’ve hit the stores. I couldn’t wait to put them through my own rigorous half-marathon training test.

I know, I know—I work for Jockey, so of course you’d think I have to love the activewear. But, I am going to be 100% honest with you. (As I always have been—remember that I even told you when a bird pooped on me during a run? How embarrassing.)

And, keep reading, because there’s a special deal for YOU to try out our new activewear, too. (And gosh, do I love a good deal!)

I’ll start out by telling you about my highly exciting Friday night. Usually, when I get home from work, I drop my bags, change, and head back out the door to workout. But not this past Friday. Instead, I plopped on the couch and fell asleep for an hour. When I woke up, I thought there was no chance I would go workout; but, an hour later, I found myself at the gym. I got home later and changed into the Jockey Sport relaxed pant and active tee and headed back out the door. I’d heard people talk about how they could wear this pant out and about running errands and not feel at all frumpy, but as I am not a wear-workout-gear-to-the-store kinda gal, I thought I would be the ultimate say in this test.

And, I’ll admit…my grocery shopping just got a whole lot comfier. The relaxed pant is a wide-leg pant so it’s roomy and comfy, but the fabric blend it’s made of makes it smooth and sleek, not faded and cottony-looking like the other lounge pants I own. I wore the pants with cute flats, and it literally looked like I just had nice dressy black pants on! I could not believe it—I’m a convert. Also, one of the best things about the relaxed pant is that it comes in short, regular, and tall lengths, so I ordered the short length. I am definitely glad there is an option on length, because these pants are the perfect size for me; the regular length would be too long (I am about 5’5” tall).

Also, I love, love, love the active tee. It has seams that come down the front that flatter, and also pockets! It’s super comfortable, a good length, wide enough that I don’t feel self-conscious, and I like the bright colors (I got blue).

Final point: I thought the relaxed pant and the active tee were the ultimate relaxing comfy clothes, but I don’t think I’d necessarily wear them to go work out in.

Shifting gears here, I’ll tell you about my long run of the week, which I did on Sunday. The temperature here in Wisconsin is finally above -20, so I decided it was a perfect day to try out the modern pant from the Jockey Sport collection while I ran 5.5 miles outside. The wind may have held me back a bit, but the pants felt awesome as I jogged my way along the lakefront. The best part about the pants is that they come in short, regular, and long lengths, and up to sizes 2XL; so once again, I ordered the short version. For once, I didn’t worry about my nice pants dragging along the pavement or getting wet. I also like that there’s a zipper pocket in the back, which I could put my house key in, and the seams along the side of the pant curve down the front of your leg, making them look slimmer. Of course, these things didn’t help me run any faster, but I still finished my run and felt good in the process.

Another little-known perk that isn’t advertised about these pants: They hold up to dog bites! Yes, indeed, a little yippy dog bit me during my run, but rest assured that my pants remained fully intact…as did my leg.

Yesterday was my toughest workout of the week. Tuesday workouts always are… They are my “sprint” days. I decided it was time to up my performance at the indoor track. Before a few weeks ago, I hadn’t done a speed workout in MONTHS, so I am always kind of nervous to see how these workouts go. Plus, it doesn’t help that the college boys’ track team always seems to be on the track at the same time, and I imagine them snickering at my slowness. This week, I decided to channel a speedy workout via the Jockey Sport performance crop pant. I hit the track running, feeling kinda like a pro in my new crops, and before I knew it, I was knocking out 400 meter sprint repeats faster than I could scarf down a cupcake. (Well, maybe not that fast.) I felt awesome when I finished—tired, but strong, which I can’t say is always the case.

Usually, I don’t like crop pants because I have bigger [very muscular] calf muscles, which makes crop pants ride up and bunch under my knees. I was very skeptical of these pants, but decided to try them because of this small detail: The knees of the crop pants have ruching on them, so that when I bent my knees, the leg of the pant stayed in place but the ruching allows only the extra fabric to move. Thus, I didn’t get any bunching! My one complaint was that I usually wear a size medium, but these were a bit snug when getting them on, until I got moving around in them. Because they are a “performance” style, they are very form-fitting, which helps while running but also made me a bit self-conscious when just walking around. Bonus: I can’t wait until it’s warmer out, because these will be fabulous for biking! (They even have a mini key pocket—perfect.)

Another part of my workouts, besides running, is getting in some strength training. This can involve simply doing crunches and ab work, push-ups, lifting weights, or doing Pilates. I found that the seamless tank top rode up on me while I was running, which most workout tanks do, so I wasn’t surprised. But, for the strength sessions, it lets my upper body feel free since it’s free of sleeves and form-fitting; it stays in place, the material is soft and moisture-wicking, and it is PINK so it makes me smile. It also had a built-in bra, so for lighter workouts like Pilates, yoga, or strength training where you aren’t bouncing up and down, it does the trick.

And now, for reading my entire post, you deserve a treat! For those of you who read this fabulous blog, you can get any women’s activewear for 25% OFF on Jockey.com! All you need to do is use the coupon code AMANDA when you check-out online, and the discount will be applied. (Go see the selection HERE.)

And hurry, because my boss said she has to cut the code off on Friday at midnight. I would use the discount to try a pair of the pants that I talked about, because they are (in my opinion) by far the best workout gear we have, and 25% off will save you $15 on them!

Fat Stats:
Starting weight: 166 pounds
Last week: 148 pounds
This week: 148 pounds
Goal weight: 145 pounds

Happy shopping,

get 25% OFF women's activewear on Jockey.com with coupon code AMANDA. Valid through 2/18/2011 only.

Week 13: Don’t poop on my parade

watch out!Before you begin to worry too much about where on earth this post is heading, don’t worry—I promise it’s not too gross.

This morning, I was once again proud of myself for getting up at 5am to go for a run. I was trucking it back into my apartment parking lot near the end of my run, when I saw a flock of birds gathered in a corner. I felt a sudden rush because the finish line of my day’s run was just steps away, plus I was simply happy and feeling awesome because I enjoyed my workout, so I decided those birds needed scattering. So, like any sane 23-year-old woman, I took off on my final round of the parking lot and ran full-speed at the birds, watching them take off in flight while squawking angrily at me.

As I laughed to myself and walked to my stoop, I pulled my leg up to stretch my quad. I felt strong, I felt healthy, I felt so happy! Don’t you just love that great feeling after a good workout?

Then suddenly—as I turned my head to grab my other foot, I looked down at my shoulder in horror.

One of the birds had POOPED on me!!!!!

Well, it was a little gross (a little?!) but I didn’t let it totally ruin my runner’s high. I hurried inside to chuck my shirt off as fast as I could before I finished stretching. But what I will now refer to as The Bird Incident made me think about all the times when we think we are unstoppable, unbeatable, just on top of the world—and then something poops on our parade.

I really don’t think I’m pessimistic, just realistic: Sometimes when things are going 100% in the right direction, something is going to pop up (or fall from the sky) and try to make you swerve off track. It’s the expectation that these things may happen that allows us to deal with them.

But lately, it seems like not only The Bird Incident has been getting in my way. While my hip is feeling better and I can run again, I only run 2-3 miles at a time, and only a couple days a week. It’s frustrating, after having been able to run for 6 miles at a time earlier this summer. And on the eating front, I am getting tired of “dieting”. I’m not sick of “healthy” food—I don’t keep myself to a strict set of foods to eat, and I make some great meals. But, it’s just so hard to fit in going out to eat or having a couple after-work drinks when you’re on a limited caloric intake. As much as I’d like to have a glass of wine some nights, I know I shouldn’t cut out part of my dinner just so I can have that vino.

It’s just hard not being a “normal” eater like everyone else. Sometimes people just don’t understand why I can’t go get chicken wings with them, or why I don’t want to come out on a Friday night and tempt myself with all-you-can-drink beer.
And, as much as I have been trying to watch my calories these past few weeks, it just seems like the number on the scale keeps hovering. Still, I think I’m a pretty positive person, so I know that eventually I’ll get to my desired results.

But some days, it’s just hard to avoid the poop.

Quite simply, please tell me:
How do YOU deal?

Fat Stats:
Starting weight: 166 pounds
Last week: 152 pounds
This week: 151.5 pounds
Goal weight: 145 pounds

Watch the skies!

Week 8: Beyond the Blog

Attacking obstacles during the Mud Run
Looking back over the last two months, this blog has really kicked my butt into gear. Knowing that all of you will be checking up on me has kept me motivated. But there’s been so much more that I have learned beyond the blog, that has kept me moving forward…

Last weekend I partook in the National MS Society’s Mud Run in St. Louis (I cannot believe I am posting pictures, but there ya go). The run was SIX miles long, littered with 24 obstacles and a mess of mud, and trampled on by a whole lot of crazy, fun people. It took me 1 hour & 42 minutes to complete the run in the grueling sun and heat (it was 90 degrees when we started at 9am—yikes). By the end of the race, I was definitely glad to be done; all I wanted to do was sit down and not move another muscle. Heck, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t even finish my free bottle of beer!

That night, and for two days afterward, I was in pain. My hip had been bothering me from straining it too much lately, so I was limping around again. On top of that, it seemed like each muscle in my body was groaning with every movement I made. But I was happy and felt so lucky. That’s right—lucky. Lucky because I was able to run six miles in the mud, climb over rope towers and swim under logs in a pond, crawl into mud pits and back out of them with the helping hand of a complete stranger, and finally go down a giant mud slip-n-slide with my good friend to finish the race. But most of all, I thought about all the people out there who have multiple sclerosis, or other conditions that inhibit them from being able to even walk confidently out their front door, let alone run down the block. And here I got to travel to a new city to run six miles in the MUD. I’d say that’s pretty lucky. And blessed.

I think that once you realize that some people don’t have the option to be able to cook what they want, eat what is healthiest, get out and go for an early morning jog, whiz around on a brand new bicycle—that is when you realize that you don’t HAVE to do those things yourself. But you choose to, and you get to. And you’re lucky to have that option, because some people don’t.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll remember that next time I hit the snooze button in the morning and contemplate skipping my workout!

But what about those days where we DO want to go for a run or cook a healthy meal, but life just gets in the way? Last week, I talked about this conundrum in my own life, but this week I got to see it from the perspective of those that I look up to—people here at Jockey® who have families (and lots of pets) to juggle, long hours on the job, and more. Take a look at their challenges and how THEY overcome them—I have already decided to adopt a few of their good habits!

Challenge: Workout time, including the kids, and [unhealthy] food
“My challenge is finding time to exercise with two little kids and a full-time job. The only way I can consistently work out is to do it first thing in the morning before the kids are up. There are just too many distractions at night, plus I am too exhausted! My alarm goes off by 4:52 a.m. on weekday mornings, and I get out of bed and I work out. It is not optional! No snooze button. No thinking about it. Just get up and go. Also, we are lucky enough to have fitness classes offered on-site at my job, so I try to do these 2-3 days a week. On the weekends, I take a more fun approach to fitness that usually involves my kids. We have a “dance party” where we dance to our favorite tunes, or we get out the double stroller and walk around the neighborhood. I even have a fitness video where you can lift your toddler instead of dumbbells! I honestly don’t need much motivation to exercise since I have made it such a routine. It’s just a part of my life like brushing my teeth. I will say that I never want to be the 85-year-old woman who can’t carry her own groceries. I want to be the 85-year-old woman running 5Ks! I also particularly like that I can eat more because I work out. Healthy eating is a constant struggle for me, but working out really helps me maintain a healthy weight despite my love of cheeseburgers, fries, and hot fudge sundaes.” – Amanda, Modeling & Analytics

Challenge: Working out with long work hours & a family
“My challenges are eating healthy and finding time to exercise with work, my wife and kids in the balance. I bring my lunch in almost every day to force myself to each healthy. To fit in workouts, I would get up at 5:30am everyday and work out before work, or I ran at lunchtime at work. What keeps me motivated is signing up for races. When I know I have to compete soon I am much less likely to skip or cut short a workout.” – Mark, Business Planning & Analytics

Challenge: Being active but still giving attention to the family (and many pets)
“My challenge is that I have a wife, 2 kids, a dog, a cat, 2 fish and a pet frog all demanding attention when I get home from work. Not to mention a 24-hour business that also needs care and feeding. I really struggled with fitting in exercise after the kids came. Before kids it was no problem to disappear for a 40-mile bike ride on a weeknight, but after the kids I was lucky to fit in 10 miles. So instead I turned to running because you can get a great workout in 30-45 minutes without all the gear you need for cycling! The best motivators are the bright blue eyes looking up at me from my 5 year-old and the big smile on my 3 year-old.” – Tim, E-commerce & Interactive

And now for the moment of truth…

Fat Stats:
Starting weight: 166 pounds
Last week: 155 pounds
This week: 154.5 pounds
Goal weight: 145 pounds

Have a safe & fun 4th of July,