Life, running, fitness, weight loss, recipes and healthy living!

Life, running, fitness, weight loss, recipes and healthy living!

Category: Family Life

Running to Obtain Clarity

Running to Obtain Clarity

My goal was to add the finishing touches to my blog over the weekend, but that didn’t quite happen. I am hoping that I get the chance to work on it today. There has just been a lot going on in my life right now and I have shifted a great deal of my attention so I can focus on it.

I have also been continuing my running training. Concentrating on my running has also been allowing me to clear my head, gain a bit of clarity and just really remind myself that I am stronger than I think I am. I have friends that always say that running is cheaper than therapy and that running is their source of therapy, I totally get it now. When I run I can choose to focus completely on my run or I can choose to sort through my life and emotions in my mind. I usually do a little of both during my runs.

On Thursday I went on a run with the jogging stroller, Tyler actually stayed awake during our run, he was busy looking at the river and the geese. I discovered on that run -a little over half way through it- that the handle on the stroller is adjustable and I was able to lower it down to my level. I then immediately realized why my shoulders/chest and back had been hurting so much recently, then I felt like an idiot for not thinking of that before. I ran a 5K distance with him Thursday, I also ran on a path that is a bit more hilly than I am used to running.

On Sunday, Tiffany was home to stay with Tyler while I ventured out on a solo run, the first outside run I have been able to take alone in quite some time. I went to the same path that I ran on Thursday, I figured I need to get used to occasional hills if I want to run in any race that may be a bit hilly in the future. At first it was a bit odd to be by myself running, I quickly found myself zoned out and focusing on my run. I ran over three miles before I remembered that I had to run back to where I started to get to my car. I wasn’t ready to turn around, I wanted to keep running, but I knew that I would already have to run, or walk another three miles back to my car. So, I turned around and ran for another 2 miles. Those 2 miles were not as comfortable as the first 3, the first 3 miles I had been running with the wind, when I turned around I was running against strong winds for 2 miles! Then I realized that I had just ran 5 miles! I haven’t ran that distance since last year around this time! I was proud of myself. I probably could have ran that last last mile back to my car and made it 6 miles for my run, but remembering that I was already pushing it with my distance increase (this was my first run over 5k distance since I started running again), I decided it wasn’t worth the risk of overdoing it. So I reluctantly walked a mile back to my car. It was the smart decision to make.

Today my body can feel those extra miles I put into my run. I’m not feeling injured or hurting in any terrible way, but just slight muscle soreness. I will do some extra stretching today, I will see how I am feeling tomorrow, if my body feels up to it I will go on a short 1 or 2 mile easy run. But I am not going to push it, I am trying to listen to my body this time around.

Other than focusing on my running I have just been trying to enjoy the last little bit of fall that is left, before winter takes over (my least favorite season of the year). So on the days that allow I have been going to various parks with Tyler, he likes to play with the leaves, I enjoy watching him and just being outside (when it isn’t freezing out). There is something about  being outside in nature that is relaxing and really helps me sort through some of the clutter in my mind.

Do you find yourself running to obtain clarity? Or if you do not run, what helps you obtain clarity?

I Don’t Feel Like Going to the Gym Today

I Don’t Feel Like Going to the Gym Today

Some days I just do not feel like going to the gym. Getting myself ready for the gym, then getting Tyler ready for the gym (if he is willing to cooperate with me that is), dealing with the dogs, driving there, lugging this heavy (but oh so adorable) baby inside – usually from the very back of the parking lot, getting him settled in child watch (then worrying the whole time if he is being good and is doing okay), then working out – usually for around an hour or so. Sometimes it seems like such a daunting task for an hour of gym time – when I look over what I just wrote, it really sounds like I am being ridiculous! Most days I feel it is totally worth it and it is not a big deal (especially those days when Tyler isn’t grumpy)! But there are some days that I really just don’t want to leave the house! Some days I tell myself that Tyler also wants to stay in his pajamas (which are always cuter than mine) all day, besides, the dogs totally want our company at home!

Luckily I do not feel like that the majority of the time, but there are certainly days I just feel too drained in general and spend the afternoon on the couch and on the floor playing with Tyler. Most of the time when I just don’t feel like going to the gym, because it usually isn’t when I am feeling lazy, I find another way to fit some exercise in. For example, yesterday I spent the majority of the day cleaning, cleaning and cleaning. Of course in between the cleaning I was playing with Tyler, feeding Tyler, feeding myself and then cooking dinner. I did stay in my pajamas yesterday, but I would hardly call my day a lazy day! It was hard work!

Then there are days where I just dread running on a treadmill that goes nowhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love the treadmill on most days, and the treadmill is much kinder to my knees than the pavement outside, so I try to do some of my running inside, but lets be honest, the treadmill does not provide the scenery that an outside run provides! So when the weather permits I also like to get out with Tyler with the jogging stroller and fitting in some running that way! But again, weather permitting!

So really, even when I don’t get to the gym, regardless of the reason, I usually fit in some form of exercise.

What do YOU do to fit in exercise when you can’t or really don’t want to go to the gym?

Enjoying the Fall Season and Beginning a Journey of Self-Reflection

Enjoying the Fall Season and Beginning a Journey of Self-Reflection

I know I haven’t posted in a few days, but no worries, I am still around! I have been working on transferring my blog over from wordpress.com to self-hosted and using wordpress software. If you were subscribed by email to receive my updates, please resubscribe on the right hand side of this page, when I switched over I lost that list!

Other than trying to be tech savvy (really I am not at all), I have been spending some time enjoying the season. I love fall, the colors, the smells, the slightly cool air.

Tyler and I went to Hueston Woods State Park yesterday, to drive through and admire the colorful leaves on the trees (and the ground). My grammy always took me to Hueston Woods when I was a child, especially during the fall season, I have so many fond memories that were created in that park. Yesterday seemed like the perfect day to make the drive there, it was a beautiful day, the weather was perfect. Tyler loved playing with the leaves and crunching them in his little hands, I loved watching the expressions on his face as he played with the leaves. I also spent a great deal of time reflecting upon my life and reminiscing about my childhood and time spent with my grammy, she was a remarkable woman, I miss her a great deal, and I especially missed her yesterday.

Today I spent more time enjoying the season. The weather has been amazing, I opted out of going to the gym today and instead strapped Tyler into the jogging stroller and took my run outside.

On my run today I saw red, orange and yellow leaves falling off of the trees and they landed all around me, I felt a slight cool breeze on my face , I heard the sounds of leaves crunching as I ran over them with my feet, I admired the yards adorned with pumpkins and other autumn decorations, I thought about the good in my life and the things that could be improved with the right amount of effort, I allowed myself to realize that I am stronger than I think I am and that it is okay to be perfectly imperfect.

Self-reflection and enjoying the season seem to be the current themes of my life at the moment. I think that is a very positive thing. I can not grow as an individual without taking an honest look at myself and my life.

My blog will continue to be focused on running, weight loss, fitness and health – as those are aspects of my life that are very important  – but I do plan on incorporating more self-reflection and tying in more bits of my life as a whole into my blog as well.

Are you enjoying the fall season? What is fall like where you live?

Choosing A Home Office Chair

Choosing A Home Office Chair

 aeron-chair-diagramMany places offer a wide range of office chairs in a variety of shapes, sizes, comfort levels and purposes and it can be a little overwhelming to chose a new chair. Some stores actually offer a buyers guide but sadly it’s quite rare and most places will try to sell you any chair just to make a quick sale.

  1. Ergonomics

Making sure the chair you purchase has good back support is important, a chair that offers very little can lead to problems later down the road, especially if you work long hours. Comfort is a must have during working hours or over various periods of time as certain studies have shown that it can lead to spinal problems and even arthritis.

Cushioning is also an important factor, you don’t want to have a chair with great back support but very little support for seating, it should be cushioned enough to support you as you are seated but firm enough as to not wear down quickly.

  1. Pricing

It is true that you get what you pay for and there are some budget chairs out there that offer great support but in most cases, if you pay cheap you are going to receive a cheap chair that either won’t last long or leave you in pain after just a short while.

  1. Environmental Properties

This might not seem like too much of a big deal but choosing a chair with the right wheels isn’t too much of a factor but let’s be honest, you don’t want to try and get up and go flying across the room.

You can choose chairs with different wheels for different types of flooring which are mostly for safety purposes.

The chair size comes into this also, as you don’t want to purchase a chair that is too big for your workspace or too small for you to be comfortably seated on.

  1. Adjustments

I would advise against purchasing a standard stationary chair with no possibility of adjusting, there should be room to adjust your chair with height and tilt functions. It will give you the appropriate movement to adjust the chair to fit your own body instead of having to stay stationary in one position constantly.

  1. Style

Some chairs are designed to look amazing, elegant and stylish but don’t be fooled by how the chair is presented! Just because the chair looks good doesn’t mean it is suitable for you, looks don’t count for much when purchasing a chair.

Yes, you may want to have one that looks good but these chairs that are designed to look amazing can sometimes run into the 1000’s price range just because they are styled to look fancy.

A chair purchased for your home office should be practical and comfortable as to alleviate any future pain problems and health issues, some people don’t believe that something as simple as a chair can cause so many problems.

Any office chair you decide to buy should promote good posture with the correct amount of support and adjustability to get the best use from it.

Spring Mattresses: What To Look Out For

Spring Mattresses: What To Look Out For

If you want a bouncy, romantic and a cool feeling in bed, you should definitely go for a spring mattress. Needless to say that with their widespread popularity, spring mattresses come in various qualities and warranty periods. Whether you go for an expensive one or a cheap one, there are always certain things to look out for when purchasing one. This is because certain spring mattresses are less durable and can wear off in no time, only to disappoint you and the money you put in. So here’s what’s important to look for during your purchase.

the best memory foam mattress

Decide on the type:  The most popular spring mattresses are innerspring and pocketed coil mattresses.

  • Innerspring: Innerspring is known for its cheap prices and therefore is very popular. The high-quality innerspring mattresses are usually comfortable and responsive to sleeping positions at night. When you test these types of mattresses make sure you don’t feel the spring units pressing against your back. Such poor quality ones can lead to health problems and restless sleep.
  • Pocketed coil: These are much efficient since springs are individually encased in pockets which avoid coils contacting and end up tangling with each other. It’s proven to be more comfortable avoiding motion pressure. So, it’s recommended for people with back pains and spine problems. The concern regarding this type is the fabric and the quality. Make sure the mattresses have come off with a good finishing so that the borders won’t get ripped off easily.

Check it on your own: It’s perhaps the easiest way to purchase a good spring mattress. Take your time looking for options and when you feel like you have found a good one, experience it. Most outlets will let the consumers lean on mattresses and decide on their purchase. This is because you will know it better if you lie on it and check for its comfort. It shouldn’t be too firm or too soft. Check whether the springs are too bouncy or less bouncy for you. It is your call!

The type of coil: The coils used to assemble the spring mattress decide the durability of the whole mattress. This is because low-quality coils will sag in no time due to your body pressure causing the mattress to shrink very easily. So make sure to check on its durability.

The materials used: Remember to look out for the materials that are used to see if they make the mattress much easier to maintain and don’t wear off easily. Today, pillow top mattresses have caught most of the market since this adds extra comfort by reducing the firmness caused by the springs. So, if you are going to purchase one, remember to look out for its fabrics too.

Look for the warranty: As sophisticated most spring mattresses look, they are less durable. Usually, luxury mattresses are high priced with a longer warranty period where ordinary ones have less. So, it’s vital that you get a good warranty period for the money you spend on your spring mattress.

Don’t go cheap: If you are looking for the cheapest spring mattresses, chances are that you will end up buying another very soon. Therefore be cautious and cut back unnecessary disappointments.

Quality. Warranty. Price. They play a huge role when purchasing any product. Same goes with a mattress. Last but not the least, make sure to purchase it from a trusted store since they are usually the best at guiding you to make the best choice.