Tag Archives: fitness

Little steps, good vibes

5 Jan

I will be the first to admit that I have a tendency to turn molehills into mountains. I know I worry about things other people wouldn’t bat an eye at and I know I lock up my troubles and fears until I’m at a breaking point.

This year I want to change that. I want to be more relaxed, to go with the flow, to let go of the little things. I read somewhere a quote about additude, it was about constantly choosing happiness, positivity and to be a positive force of good in the world, so that’s what I’m trying to do.

I figured the best way to change my outlook on the world was to first start with the outlook I have on myself. Good things in, good things out, right?!

Every morning I start my day with a big glass of water with breakfast. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not worth it to drink my calories and they say that a glass of water first thing in the morning helps to wake you up and jump start your metabolism. Sometimes for fun, I’ll add one drop (you really don’t need a lot!) of peppermint essential oil for a refreshing taste.

My drive to work used to stress me out also; it’s a new drive with more time spent on the expressway. And once at work, it’s trying to learn new processes and procedures, learning the ins and outs of a new work and team environment and trying to find where I fit on the already established team. I had no idea how draining that would leave me feeling at the end of the day. So to counterbalance both of those, I found a local christian raido station. The music fills my soul and recharges my batteries. I feel empowered to take on the world, or at least my little piece of the world that is.

Finally, my sleep schedule has been suffering lately and I realized it’s because I stopped exercising during the busy holiday season. But no more  excuses of being too tired after work, my waistline can’t keep expanding! One of my favorite workouts is the at home walking workouts by Leslie Sansone. I was so excited to find this 5K walk with a power boost on YouTube. I’ve used this workout twice now and it really gets your heart pumping, which for me allows for a more restful night’s sleep, allowing me to wake up in a better mood and more likely to make better choices through the day.

I’m hoping that as the days and weeks progress, these little things will become part of my natural routine and that I’ll be able to add more positive habits into my daily life.

What steps do you take to have a better day, life and outlook on the world? I’m still early on my journey and would love to know what’s worked for you!

Wellness Wednesday – 10/14/15

14 Oct

Tonight I am celebrating the farthest distance I have ever walked in a single day! So amazed at what a little determination, hard work and self-discipline can accomplish! 

I used to be one of those people who couldn’t understand how someone managed to work, take care of a family, have a social life AND still somehow manage to find time to workout. But when I started my Destination Chicago challenge through work (we have 60 days to walk the 365 miles from where our work is to Chicago), I began to notice all the times I spent sitting – reading, watching television/youtube, playing on my phone, being bored, talking, etc. and it got me thinking how much better that time would be spent if I was moving!

So this morning, I couldn’t eat breakfast because I was fasting for blood work, so I decided to take that hour I dedicate to breakfast and email and TimeHop and walk in place in my livingroom. I have two miles in before I got to work!

Once at work, I always arrive 30 – 40 minutes early to walk the track. But, since it was raining today I continuted my in place pacing in my office at a back cubical where people couldn’t see me until it was time to clock in. I was now up to four miles.

At 9:45 am I went to have my blood work done, and that was a little hike to another building and up a grand staircase. Then repeat to head back to my office afterwards. I was just under 6 miles. 

Then came lunchtime….still rainy and cold. Normally I would walk the track for an hour, but today I decided to check out the campus library. New this year is a treadmill desk and two stationary bikes with desks for students, faculty and staff to use. I prayed no one was using the treadmill desk on my walk to the library and then up the staircase to the fourth floor. And it was my lucky day because it was unoccupied! For the next hour I walked and watched youtube videos on my phone while connected to the wifi. I got some strange looks, but hey, if it’s there, someone outta use it! Even better, there was a tour group that came in of high school students and their parents and I overheard the guide point out that students use the walking desk to blow off steam or exercise between classes and then pointed my way like I was on exhibit. I tried so hard not to laugh. By the time I made it back to my office, I had in a little more than 8 miles.

When I got home this evening, I took a short break to catch up with my family and eat dinner before lacing up my sneakers once more. I completed the remaining miles while marching in place while watching youtube and a live Periscope broadcast. Then when I needed to stretch my legs I began walking up and down the hallway – you wouldn’t believe how fast the steps add up that way! 

And now, after asking so much from my legs and feet, it’s time to give them some love. A nice massage with doTerra essential oil Deep Blue Rub before bed and some easy stretches seem like they will fit the bill. 

How do you relax and take care of your legs and feet after being on them all day?

   New walking treadmil and stationary bikes with desks

  
The fastest this thing went was 2 mph. Still, not bad for a relaxing walk during lunch. 


    
 

Wellness Wednesday- 9/23/15

23 Sep

I know what you’re thinking…..where’s the wordless Wednesday post?! Truth is, I wanted to share my love for health and wellness and this photo from my workout this morning says it all!  
At my new work location, there is a 60 day walking challenge happening right now (I think we are on day 10 today) to walk the 365 miles from our town to Chicago, IL. I’ll do the math for you, that’s an average of six miles every, single day. As my job requires that I sit at a desk for eight hours of the day and I spend about an hour total driving each day, I was a little worried how I would find time to get in my six miles every day. That’s when I started getting creative. 

I have started getting to work an average of 30 – 40 minutes early each morning. This gives me time to get almost two miles in on the track. I work at a university, so it’s a very nice place to walk, although sometimes that early in the morning I have to find an alternate walking location as the ROTC students are running drills, but I digress… like usual, I got my miles in early again this morning! And it was chilly enough to break out my runDisney 2014 Wine and Dine half marathon jacket!

And then with my hour long lunch break, I decided to get up and move – once again you’ll find me out on the track doing laps with my headphones on, jamming out to my workout playlist all while waiting to hear the beautiful Runkeeper voice state that I have conquered yet another mile! And oh the joy that fills my heart when my FitBit starts to vibrate on my wrist letting me know that yes, I did just walk 10,000 steps all before 2 pm! (That’s a little more than four miles for the day so far!)

So, by the time I arrive home from work around 5:30 pm, I only have about two more miles to walk, but because I am an over achiever, I usually strive to have 8 – 10 miles by the end of the night. To get those miles in I do a variety of things – sometimes I’ll do a fitness DVD, if the weather’s nice I’ll go walking at one of the state parks that are close to my home, and more recently I’ve been marching in place in myliving room  while watching movies/TV shows; you’d be surprised how many steps you can rack up in a two-hour movie!  

And I want to end with a special thanks for Runkeeper and FitBit for making exercise fun and keeping me accountable!

*All opinions expressed here are my own. I did not receive monetary compensation for any of my product reviews. All reviews represent the opinion of The Undercover Princess and are based on my personal use and results. I did not receive any free products. My opinion of a product will not change if I receive it for free or with a discount for reviewing it. 

Wordless Wednesday- 9/9/15

9 Sep

This workout has gone to the birds…. 

 

#BeastMode – crushing FitBit goals

5 Aug

I crushed my 10,000 step Fitbit goal today! Realized hours later I did 10 miles in my runDisney Tower of Terror 10 miler shirt! Must have been some subliminal Disney magic pushing me on! This was the first time I have gone a distance of double digits since my half marathon, runDisney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon last November!

 

2015 Hershey 10K Race Weekend Recap

20 Apr

Hershey 10K 2015Standing at the starting line in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 11th, all I could think was this seemed like a much better idea in January when I signed up for it. But there I was, at 7:30 AM in somewhat chilly weather with my Disney sister, Catherine, waiting for the Hershey 10K to begin.

Actually, I’m getting ahead of myself in this story, let’s start with the drive to get there on Friday. I live roughly 5 hours from Hershey Park where the race was taking place, a drive that would consist of nearly 300 miles on the Toll Road through the winding mountains, and decided to use my Easter holiday at work so I could make the trip earlier in the day. I planned to arrive around 2:30 PM, which meant I would need to leave around 9:00 AM, which meant that my family had already left for work and school when I came downstairs around 8:00 AM. but much to my surprise, my little sister had left this very sweet note for me to find taped to the kitchen cabinet.

good luck letter from my sister

I have driven through the Pennsylvania mountains only once before when Catherine and I met up with a third Disney sister, Lisa, while she was attending Penn State a couple of years ago. From the trip, I already knew mountain driving terrified me as I live in the relatively flat mid-west. Now, to add to my anxiety about this long drive, as soon as I cross the state border I enter into a torrential downpour that does not let up until I am 10 minutes from my destination, Catherine’s boyfriend’s (Matt) parent’s house. It was raining so hard, I could hardly see five feet in front of my car while twisting and turning around these mountains and because that just wasn’t scary enough, there was this section that according to the signs is a terrible fog area. I felt like I was driving blind. I could see nothing to my left or right, nothing in front of or behind me. I have never held so tightly to the steering wheel before.

At this point, I would say my stress level is a 7 but it quickly rose to a 9 when I had to drive INTO the side of the mountains. Typically I’m not a claustrophobic person, but driving in those tunnels (and there were 6 total) my heart was pounding so hard in my ears I could hardly hear anything else. Deep breathing and pep talks got me in and out safely. Reflecting back what I find interesting is that I have driven through mountain tunnels before as the passenger and I’ve never had a problem with them so I wonder why being the driver in a tunnel makes me so nervous.

Just when I was beginning to think I was never going to get to Matt’s house and that I would be driving around lost in the Pennsylvania mountains forever, I heard the most beautiful words coming from my GPS “arriving at destination on right.” In that moment I could have cried I was so grateful to be done driving and to see Catherine waiting for me in the driveway!

Excitedly she tells me she has a surprise! Much to my amusement and Matt’s dismay, we found ourselves at a Disney outlet store, because where else would two Disney sisters go for entertainment?! We had a blast looking at all of the Disney merchandise, and as you can probably tell, we did not leave empty-handed! She walked away with some cute pjs while I bought an adorable Duffy pillow-pet that was 50% off – I couldn’t believe it! Mickey Ear hats

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After the Disney store, we drove around a bit looking for the Amish farm that sold milk and cheese, then it was dinner and back to Matt’s for some much-needed shut-eye. At dinner we determined that because the race started at 7:30 AM, we wanted to be at Hershey Park around 6:30 AM since Matt and Catherine had pick-up or packets already. We allowed for 45 minutes to get there from Matt’s house, which meant leaving at 5:45 AM. To make sure we didn’t sleep through the race, I set a first alarm for 4:45 AM and Catherine set a second alarm for 5:00 AM. And when that terrible sound pierced through my dream and startled me awake, I really wasn’t excited to be a runner, all I wanted in that moment was to be a sleeper. But I pulled it together, checked the weather like the non-newbie runner that I am and decided on pants and a jacket for the morning’s race.

Amazingly, Catherine and I stuck to our time schedule very well and only had a tiny bit of excitement in our journey to Hershey Park when my GPS apparently got a bit confused and started sending us in circles. But not to worry, we found our way and made it to the starting line with plenty of time to spare. And before we knew it, it was race time!

All 3,000 runners packed into the starting corral. It was exciting for me to see that some of the other runners were wearing race shirts from runDisney races I had also done in the past! I felt connected to these people, like we shared a bond of not only racing, but of Disney as well. Silly what your mind thinks about at different moments.

And just like that, we’re off! Now for those of you who may not be familiar with different race distances, a 10K is 6.2 miles – half the distance of a half marathon, which I completed in November. So with my music blaring in my ears, Catherine and 2,998 of my running buddies at my side and chilly mountain air in my lungs, I felt ready to tackle the course. However….there was one thing I forgot to plan for in my not-so-decent training for this race (hey, we had multiple blizzards this winter, made running outside a bit challenging!), ALL THE HILLS NEARLY DEFEATED ME!

I mentioned it once, where I live is really pretty flat in the grand scheme of things, sure we have some hills, but they are NOTHING compared to running on the side of a MOUNTAIN!

Hershey 10K 2015 course map

Catherine and I started off together, but eventually the hills and the chilly air got the better of me, and so I told her to go ahead, I’d catch up. I ran when I could and walked when I needed to, but I never once stopped moving. I knew that I needed to keep a 14 minute/mile pace or I would get detoured around the park and wouldn’t be able to run through – I wasn’t about to let that happen. About 2 miles in I settled on a rhythm – jog a little, walk a little, just keep breathing, jog a little, walk a little, just keep breathing. I had found “my people” – runners who shared my pace, runners who fought with every step to be runners, runners who didn’t “look like runners” but were, runners who kept me moving forward.

By the time we came to the first of two water stations, we had already gone under an over pass, up a small hill and crested a large hill to get up onto the main road. My energy levels and my spirits were beginning to drop. but then I heard someone cheering my name, telling me specifically great job, you’re almost halfway there. At the time I couldn’t figure out how they knew who I was – I was 5 hours from home, I didn’t know these people, it wasn’t until after the race it dawned on me, my race bib had my name printed under my number! Those volunteers with the cups of Gatorade and water will never know how much they encouraged me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Up another hill, around a corner and through a shopping plaza. I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever see mile 4. Just as I was losing hope I spotted a fellow runner who had finished cheering us on! From her Minnie Mouse ears and Sparkle skirt I wondered if she was also a fellow runDisney fan! As I went past her I heard her say one more turn and you’ll be in the park! One more turn, just one more and I would get my first glance of Hershey Park. I pushed a little harder and by golly if there wasn’t ANOTHER hill once I passed through the back park gates! Ugh! But the coasters – holy cow!!

With only 2 miles left on the course I was doing good until, you guessed it…MORE FREAKING HILLS and would you believe it, the beginning of a terrible Charlie Horse! But, at least the race photographers got some great photos of me in action! So glad I bought these!

With only a quarter-mile and two turns between me and the finish line, there was Minnie Mouse ears and Sparkle skirt again! How did you do that?! Didn’t I just see you about a mile and a half ago?! Once again she cheered “Mariah, two turns and you’re there! You’ve got this!” I was so tired and emotional I almost burst into tears! With pain shooting through my leg and the finish line in sight, I dug a little deeper and gave it my all as I completed my race with an official time of 1 hour 29 minutes and 34 seconds! It was great having Catherine, her boyfriend Matt and his dad there cheering me on at the end! This is what complete exhaustion and accomplishment look like!

And so, yet another race is in the books – this one however I have dubbed a one and done kind of race. I’m not meant to be a mountain race kinda girl and that’s okay! Finally it was time for some much earned breakfast (Catherine and I had split an English muffin before leaving for the race, but it was long gone by now!) I had the pleasure of enjoying the most delicious sourdough french bread at this cute little diner while we waited for Hershey Park to official open for the day.

Since I had a long drive home ahead of me that evening I wasn’t able to spend a lot of time exploring Hershey Park, but I did have a chance to go on the Hershey Chocolate World Factory Tour ride, Skyrush, Lightning Racer, and Wild Mouse. All day long I had been wearing my Fitbit Charge HR so it was fun for me to see what my heart rate was when we go off each ride!

And before I left on my long journey home, Catherine and I took a couple of celebratory photos with our shiny new medals!

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On the road again by 2:45 PM, this time in beautiful, sunny weather. Still hate mountain driving and tunnels, but way less stressful when you can actually see the winding roads you’re driving on. One insensitive to get home quickly was the large chocolate chip cookie that was in the snack pack bag racers received at the finish line. When I finally got home at 7:30 and went to take a big bite, much to my disappointment I discovered it to be a RAISIN COOKIE masquerading as a delicious Hershey Chocolate Chip cookie. What a let down! But cookie mix up aside, the weekend was a blast on so many levels! I got to add racing in a new state to the list, hung out with one of my wonderful Disney sisters, explored a theme park I’ve never been to before and once again proved to myself that while running may not come as easy to me as it does to others, with a little determination, training and a supportive running community, there’s nothing that will stop me from crossing the finish line of any race I commit to!   

My Priority Statement:

4 Jan

My fitness and health are my number one priority – I will honor this by committing to loving my body as it is today, while pushing myself to become stronger, trimmer, and healthier tomorrow so that I can be around for a very long time.

I will honor my priority when I feel love for myself and remember to use only words and phrases that will build up my self-esteem and confidence. I will remember that my body is just the shell where I live – it doesn’t define me or limit my potential; however it does house my soul and my true self.

I will commit to exercising 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week and will come as close as possible to the recommended 10,000 steps per day as I can. I will also be more mindful of how late I am staying up so that my body has a chance to fully recharge and recover during a full 8 hours of sleep each night. I will be more aware of the food I am putting into my body and why – am I really hungry or am I thirsty, tired, stressed, anxious or mad? I will choose water more often than ice tea and juice, even if that means drinking it at room temperature. I will do better at counting my calories and using the resources available to me (i.e. My Fitness Pal and my Jawbone Up 24 app).

I will not feel guilty when I turn down my coworkers offer to order out for lunch or feel obligated to eat a cookie or something sweet they brought in to share.

I will limit my time reading for pleasure or watching TV so I can fit in my workouts.

I promise myself I will notice one thing I love, that is beautiful about my body everyday. I will never talk negatively when clothes don’t fit right or if I have yet to master a simple yoga pose. I will stop comparing my body to my friends, family members and celebrities as we are all at a different place on the fitness journey.

I will work to not punish myself for “bad days” or “slip-up days”. I will acknowledge that I was not trying at a 100% and will start again tomorrow; I will get up and try again. Failure is not an option and is not in my vocabulary any longer.

I will know I am perfectly committed to my fitness and health when I feel pride and joy in my progress and power in my choices. I will see a girl who is confident, radiant, self-assured of her place in the world and a beautiful person inside and out. I will have a smaller dress size and a smile that lights up the room! I will have energy to spare, smaller body measurements, healthy lab levels, control over my emotional eating, knowledge of how to live a healthier lifestyle, the desire to share that knowledge with others and the piece of mind that my outside finally matches the beauty I’ve always felt on the inside. I will hear the compliments of people who’ve noticed my progress and want to know how I’ve done it, I will hear my breathing is easier, no wheezing in my lungs and my heart won’t be pumping as hard. I will hear the roar of the crowds cheering when I cross the finish line of future races!

I will know that I have done my best and that I gave it my all. I will know that I am worth spending time on. I will know strength, power, and freedom and have a clear understanding that I am in control of my life and that I have the power to change the things I don’t like with a little hard work and determination.

 

**Are you wondering how I came up with my personalized priority statement? Interested in creating one for yourself? Watch the same videos I did by Chalene Johnson – I’ve made it very easy for you to find the videos on this playlist! If you’re interested in following along with the worksheet she mentions, here it is: SSS Life Balance Worksheet! I hope that you’ll take what she has to say seriously to heart, I have a better understanding of the things I need to change and focus on in my own life now!