Rid Yourself of Pre-Race Nerves with these 5 Thoughts

Today is race day! Woot! Woot! There’s such a difference between being in a live race verses training on the treadmill or even running outside solo. It’s invigorating. It’s waiting at the starting line anxiously to be let free! With all that said I totally get nervous before every race but let’s be real, what reasons do I really have to be nervous?

  1. Nobody else is paying attention to you. They’re all focused on their own running.
  2. Everyone else is pumped up too. We’re all there for the same main reason (to run! and many times for charity). Soak up that energy from around you!
  3. You really probably are not going to fall…and if you do, heck you have a story to tell now.
  4. Everyone is going to be sweaty and stinky during and after the race…we all look like hell. We just ran in the blazing sun.
  5. Pride. The pride and the sense of accomplishment you have after you get to the finish line…it’s so worth it, every time.

Not up for a live race yet? No worries, check out some of my favorite spots to sign up for virtual races. Virtual races can be done solo, on your own time, and anywhere – Like on a treadmill at the gym when there’s snow on the ground or throw one in on your training schedule to keep it fun.

www.virtualstrides.com

www.virtualpaceseries.com 

www.medalmiles.com

How I’m Tackling My Fitness Roadblocks This Month

I kicked off my morning with some strength training and a good heart to heart about nutrition with my trainer. I needed to get real about my challenges and why I’m feeling stuck. I am feeling stuck because I’m getting in my own way but I needed to be real too – what are the realistic solutions to my challenges, my roadblocks? 

  1. I’m not eating enough clean and nutrient packed calories. I’m not getting enough protein.
  2. I am not eating breakfast.
  3. I’m not drinking enough water.
  4. I’m strength training but I’ve been slacking on cardio.
  5. I wasn’t clear about what my daily caloric intake should be.

  1. I’m not eating a lot of junk food.
  2. I’m doing something active every day even if it’s just crunches in the evening.
  3. I’m going to personal training for strength training weekly.
  4. I’ve cut back on sugar in my tea.
  5. I’m getting better sleep.

  1. Add cardio to my week, at least 3 times. – Get up and go for a walk/run in the mornings before work.
  2. Start drinking water right after my morning cup of coffee – replace some cups of tea with water – continue to drink it through the day by always having a bottle of water with me.
  3. Track my food in my Fitbit app – focus on getting set amount of calories that my trainer set for me each day – more nutrient dense foods. If I plan ahead I’ll be able to manage this better.
  4. Have a protein shake or protein/granola bar in the morning. – I’m not a big eater in the morning so choosing light foods but protein packed I think will be key for me here.
  5. Plan out a more balanced exercise routine for the week that includes yoga, upper body workouts and cardio in addition to my personal training appointments.

My biggest roadblock right now is time. I feel like I never have enough time to get it all in one day but with some planning ahead, boundaries and time management I can tackle this! 

 

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Winning With Rheumatoid Arthritis – Overcoming My Fear Of Failure

Adrenaline was coursing through my veins. I started my Fitbit too soon, I had to stop it. I was nervous. I was anxious. I was excited. One by one, clouds of emotions rolled over me. Here I was standing under an over cast sky on an early Saturday morning in June waiting for the announcer to yell, “Go!”. I stood still, holding my balance strong while being bumped around by runners rearing to take off just as much as I was. I was at the starting line of The Baltimore 10 Miler. Thoughts of doubt, thoughts of disbelief, and thoughts of pride circulated through my mind.

Twelve years ago I couldn’t have foreseen this race on my calendar. I wouldn’t have even entertained the idea of running a ten mile race. I had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age twenty. I cried when I learned of my diagnosis. All I could imagine in that moment was myself crippled and helpless by thirties. I found myself taking nine pills a day and a bi-weekly injection just to relieve the pain from the disease, spending my twenties in a mostly zombie state from the medications. I passed on activities with my friends and spent many of my days on the couch or in bed, too tired to even play with my son. I felt lifeless.

Four years ago, my life was shaken when I was let go from a very stressful and long job. I lost my healthcare benefits and was left unable to afford my medications. Though I didn’t realize it then, this was one of the best things that happened to me. This was an opportunity for a transformation. It was in those moments after that I woke up and realized it was now or never for a lifestyle change or I would wither away, drowned by the pain and the frustration of the disease.  I started practicing yoga twice a day. I gave up fast food and junk food and I started studying my disease. I started reading how to manage it organically. I taught myself how to eat better. I started using essential oil therapies. I meditated, and I learned my limits and how to schedule resting and recoup time into my weeks.

At the end of April of this year I committed to The Baltimore 10 Mile Race. I only had a few weeks to train. My mind was reminding me how tough this was going to be but in my heart I knew this was something I needed to do. I started running about two years ago but not consistently. I hadn’t run more than three miles prior to this. My training was slack and race day came upon me fast. I set a goal for myself to finish the race in two hours.

Standing at the start line I shook, this was really happening. The first mile was awesome. I knocked it out in ten minutes. I felt absolutely liberated. By mile five, I was hurting. This was a challenge, but I refused to give up. I was determined to finish. I told myself to let the fear and doubts go. I told myself that pain was temporary but conquering this was going to change me forever. I continued to push on, through mile six, seven and eight. I made it to mile nine and tears rolled down my cheeks. It all hit me at once. I was beating my disease, and I was beating my fear. Almost every muscle and joint ached. My knees and hips were stiff. Yet I pushed on still. This was it, one more mile…uphill.

The moment I crossed the finish line was so much more than I thought it would be. In all of my life, I had never pushed myself that hard physically. The thoughts racing through my mind were chaotic. I was so proud, so happy, so relieved. I finished in two hours, 10 minutes, and thirty-six seconds. This event was truly a life changer. In that last moment crossing the finish line was the moment I knew from the bottom of my soul that I had made the decision to not let anything stand in my way of the life I wanted.

 

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6 Exercises You Can Do Anywhere Using A Resistance Band

Vacation season is among us and that means busy schedules and travel leaving us out of our usual exercise routines. Don’t give up on your fitness goals and don’t get stuck inside at the gym at the hotel. Grab a resistance band that packs away easily in your bag and work up a little sweat in the sunshine!

Bicep Curls

Squats

Shoulder Press

Rear Shoulder Pull

Leg Press

Row

Resistance bands don’t take up much space and can provide a great work out any where you are. Pick up the right weighted one for you, I started with a lightweight one with several repetitions. I picked mine up from ProSource, they have a great selection and great prices.

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page

Photo Credit: Anthony Machcinski. Check out more of his work here – Photos by Anthony Machcinski. His work is beautiful and each photo has a story behind it.