momswhotriblog

Train…Race…Inspire

Inspiring woman…be one

Inspiration comes in many forms. Many find inspiration in different places. When it comes to triathlon and running we are inspired by women who dare to step up to the start line for the very first time, women who have battled personal challenges, women who have found sport in their golden years or after having children, and women who have used sports to lose weight, get healthy, and take their lives and their future into their own hands.

Many of these women are not professionals and they may not and most times don’t win their races. Many have seen triathlon and running as yet another challenge and have gone on to compete with dedication, positive attitudes and fierce determination.

You may ask, “Who are these women? Where can I find someone like that?” My reply is to look in the mirror. Each and every person has the talent, ability, and drive inside of them to run that next mile, pedal over the hill, swim just one more lap. You are the inspiration… own it.

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Ancient Fitness Secrets

January is the hallmark month of weekend warriors. It is the a month of pledges, promises and possibilities. It’s the month of commitment, causes and conviction. It’s the month of gyms, joggers and jumping jacks. January necessarily beckons every American adult to set their sights on lofty goals and new achievements. What do you think is the top resolution for 2013?

You probably don’t need to call a friend or use a lifeline. You guessed it, it’s to get fit, according to the Washington Post.  It’s an admirable goal. You can count yourself exceptional if you actually follow through, that according to Time magazine online. 

I wonder what makes the difference between successful strategies and failing philosophies when it comes to getting fit? Could it be motivation? I won’t pretend to know what motivates you. There are dozens of articles with lists of 50 suggestions, 25 solutions, 12 scenarios and a half dozen secrets to achieving your fitness goals. But certainly, finding the key to your stick-to-it-iveness is what will work.

As we closed the chapter of 2012, I read through the Christmas story one more time. But this time, the familiar story brought new questions to mind. I wonder, have New Year’s resolutions always been a practice of forward thinking, successful people? Did Mary ever worry about her waistline? Did Joseph ever measure his biceps? I doubt it, but there’s no doubt this couple was fit, healthy and strong. What was their method?

The road from Nazareth to Bethlehem was no 5K. And with being pregnant before the journey started, Mary hardly had time to train. Despite the hazy, glowing portraits, there is no mention of Mary ever riding a donkey. No, the path that Mary and Joseph probably traveled was 80-90 miles, on foot.

Then, consider this: After Christ’s birth they traveled from Nazareth to Egypt and later back again.
Although only five trips are mentioned, Jesus himself likely made the trek from Jerusalem to Galilee nine times. Each trip was approximately 68 miles walking distance. *

New Year’s resolutions can seem daunting. That’s why most of us last until March before shrugging our shoulders in resignation. This year, instead of making big promises, paying big bucks for gym memberships or setting your sights on a marathon, what if you just said you’d walk more?

Do you think that’s doable? An achievable goal maintained is much more profitable than a daunting goal forfeited.

* Source: The Official Website of Arthur Blessitt and Yahoo Answers

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You are NOT Invincible!

What do you think is the most common misconception about exercise? Now, this answer isn’t scientific, but it is based on personal experience and observation.

I would argue that the most common misconception is that more is always better.

It’s this little lie that has led to countless injuries. Which, coincidently, force the participant to workout less for an extended period of time. So, my next gift to you this Christmas season is some tips on avoiding exercise related injuries.

First off…Know your body.

Are you predisposed to knee problems? Did you sustain a shoulder injury in high school? My mom remembers doing a handspring in high school and landing on her neck. Although she fortunately got up and walked away, to this day she has upper back pain. She needs to be aware of that when she begins a new activity.

Picking on my parents here, my dad has had the cartilage removed from both of his knees. Lateral movements like those involved in basketball and racquetball are not good choices for him.

Second…Are you from Mars or Venus?

It has nothing to do with a superior sex, but come on, admit it, we’re different. I confess to once feeling challenged to bench as much as the guy next to me. He was only in his second set, so luckily, my stupidity didn’t kill me. But I did drop the bar on my chest.

Women are generally more flexible than men. Gymnasts aside, most men won’t perform as well in yoga or Pilates, as women will.

Interestingly, some studies show that women are more susceptible to injury during their menstrual cycle. So, be extra careful during that time of the month.

Third…Be willing to ask for help. 

Hint, hint. Bootcamp is a great idea. Working out in a group gives you some accountability. A good friend of mine was anxious to get back to running after an injury. If not for her running partner pointing out that she was limping, she might have done too much too soon and really exacerbated her injury.

Also, at Moms Who TRI, trainer, Kristen Hench has a BA in sports medicine. Having a trainer who can offer solutions and alternatives when a certain activity is not good for you, is invaluable.

Next…Grow up. 

Or don’t. The possibility of injury is related to your age. As a rule, youth should not engage in heavy weight training, it’s not conducive to the maturation of their bones. On the other hand, the older you get, the more important resistance exercise is for the protection of your bones and prevention of osteoporosis.

Older individuals should not participate in high impact sports, simply because broken bones and other injuries take much longer to heal.

Fifth…Warm up. 

Who among us hasn’t been tempted to skip the warm up? It seems so pointless, like a waste of time. Shouldn’t we just get going? NO! Even if you’re short on time, do not skip the warm up. If you want to tear a muscle or sprain something, go right ahead full steam into an intense workout.

Muscles are like a rubber band. A good article on this can be found here:

The cold rubber band is the classic example of what a muscle is like prior to activity.  We need to heat the rubber band, or muscle, prior to activity.

Sixth…Back to our original concept… more isn’t always better… don’t overdo it. 

Don’t take it from me,

Rest and recovery in sports is just as important as training. Without allowing the body to recuperate, you compromise performance. Make it a priority to prevent injuries through rest and recovery. You sacrifice form when muscles are tired, and you are more prone to injury.

Everything needs rest, you are no exception. Cars overheat. Your laptop overheats. Things wear out and break. Lightbulbs burn out. So, do yourself a favor, if you don’t want to overheat, break or burn out… sometimes you just need a rest!

 

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Once a Year!

It’s awefully  hard to write about anything that doesn’t have something to do with the holidays this time of year. So bear with me, I have a few “gifts” for you and a little encouragement and a couple suggestions.

Gifts first. I heard that the best way to offer someone advice is to encourage or compliment them first. So, in the interest of hoping you’ll hear me out, let me give you something to chew on, literally. (:

Here are some great holiday recipes that are so good for you, you can eat them every week of the year if you like. And, I promise you, I’ve tested them out on company and they have passed with flying colors. First off, who can do Christmas without pie? Pumpkin or pecan, anyone?

It’s relatively easy to find a healthy pumpkin pie recipe, so let me offer you a great version of pecan pie. Brought to you courtesy of Chocolate Covered Katie. (I recommend her as an excellent resource for dozens of recipes.)

vegan-pecan-pie_thumb_3

Secondly, you won’t find eggnog on the shelves past New Year’s. That’s probably in your best interest, but still, who can avoid indulging once a year? So, here’s a version you can make that is ridiculously light, and the ingredients are available year-round. This one is courtesy of Hungry Girl.

1nononsensenog_sml

Now, for the encouragement. Another excellent health resource is Chantel Hobbs. She has a remarkable story of losing over 200lb. and keeping it off. However, that was after yo-yo dieting to despair. Now, she is an athlete, a bold Christian, a nutritionist and a personal trainer. Here’s something to keep in mind as you face down the holiday table:

Food isn’t the enemy.

In fact food is a gift meant to be fully enjoyed. Why else would we have built-in taste buds? The issue for someone who is struggling to loose weight, is how to find the balance between loving food in moderation and loving food too much, too often.

Lastly, I promise to keep the advice to a minimum. When you’re trying to decide what to put on your plate, consider choosing only those things you can’t have all the time. You can usually find mashed potatoes without too much trouble. Grandma probably makes her chocolate chip cookies fairly often. But, like the recipes above, there are a few holiday treats that only make a showing once a year. Enjoy them. And get your mashed potatoes next week.

Merry Christmas!

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Don’t Do Your Workout In the Kitchen!

I’m willing to bet that you’d rather put in a good, sweaty workout than join the crazy kitchen marathon that always ensues around the holidays. There are races to be run down supermarket isles, heavy lifting with shopping bags, too much work, too little rest and then more pounds to show for it! How does that work? At least with a quick bootcamp you can shed the extra pounds!

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from my little sisters. But this awesome tip from my baby sister, Rachelle, has to be one of the best. Before I share it, let me also tell you that Rachelle is the founding artist of WeavingSunshine.chelle

Rachelle and her husband both work full-time. Living in Dallas, she will spend half of her life stuck in traffic. She’s expecting and she has a fun puppy. She has far too many things to be wasting time in the kitchen. So last week, she decided to put in 5 hours in the kitchen one Sunday, so that she could reap the benefits of many a restful weeknight in the future. The recipes she used make more than enough for 2 people, so they will enjoy at least two dinners from every meal.

I found this set of recipes and the grocery list, courtesy of another group of sisters. I hope this saves you oodles of time and energy both during the holiday season and in the midst of many future busy, delightful days of life!

Six Sisters’ Stuff

 

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The Fifteen Minute Rule, No Excuses

My husband calls them ankle-biters. Those dastardly little things that gobble up all your spare time and linger on your to-do list. Those nagging commitments that require more time than you have to give. So often they end up procrastinated into eternity.

Am I singing your song? If that isn’t your jingle all year round, it certainly is the anthem of the holidays. Too much to do, too many people, too little sleep, too many presents, too many plans, too many finals, too many cookies, too much food, too little exercise, too much, too much, too much. I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.

Enter the 15 minute rule. I first read about this in my writer’s magazine. When an article or story seems too daunting and writer’s block has built a mansion and taken up residence right in front of you, it’s time to implement the 15 minute rule. This is simply setting a timer for 15 minutes and telling yourself that you are only promising to work on this project for 15 minutes. After that, all bets are off. After that, you just might get up and go take a bubble bath. After that, finished or not, you have the option to quit and walk away. Anyone can do anything for 15 minutes. Right?

This little trick worked so well! Somehow, removing the pressure of “I will sit here until I finish this,” gave my creativity wings. Instead of waiting for that beep to end my misery, I barely heard my timer ring. And 15 minutes everyday, quickly resulted in a finished product!

I just spent the Thanksgiving holiday with my wonderful 3 sisters, their husbands, daughter and my parents. Around the dinner table one night, my brilliant doctor sister gave credit to a mentor for helping her pass a critical exam. “She told me to set the timer for 20 minutes. After that, no matter how much I had done, I could quit. It worked!”

Don’t spend too much time trying to figure it out. It’s the human psyche that responds to the pressure of limited time and the relief of an end in sight. So how does this apply to you, to your fitness and to the holidays?

Less is more!

Instead of wondering how you’re going to manage getting in hour long workouts while you’re visiting family, simply promise to do  15 minutes of intense exercise everyday.

I recently practiced this principle in my own workouts. While in Missouri with my family, I told myself that I would only get up early enough to workout 20-30 minutes everyday. Getting up 30 minutes early wasn’t hard. The workouts were over before I knew it and it was enough to boost my energy, my mood and inspire me to eat healthily on vacation.

Why not try it? You can do anything for 15 minutes. 

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Winterizing Your Health

In spite of all the glorious aspects of autumn, it heralds an end to (un-bundled) hiking, water skiing, swimming and a myriad of other fun ways to sneak activity in our lives. Usually, more of our time is spent indoors with quieter hobbies. We shift our focus to look forward to once-a-year favorite foods, hot chocolate, good books by a fireplace and board games with friends. So what happens to your exercise routine? Can you maintain progress toward your health goals even in the face of chilly obstacles?

When I was a kid, my parents’ boat was the favorite summer pastime. As September slipped over the horizon, we begged to get in one more trip to the lake before Daddy winterized the boat.

In the marine world, winterizing a boat is the single most important maintenance duty. If it is done correctly, winterizing simplifies getting going again in the summer. It greatly extends the life of the boat and its engine by protecting its components during winter hibernation.

Our bodies are intricate machines. It makes sense that caring for them, especially in the slower seasons of life, will lengthen our lives, prevent injuries and keep us on track for toward our health goals.

So how do you winterize your body?

1. Establish a new routine.
Don’t expect to be able to keep the same pace that you did all summer. That doesn’t mean take it easy! It just means you might have to get creative in order to squeeze in workouts around the holidays, snow storms, etc. Find a couple workouts you can do without any equipment. Write them out and stuff them in  your suitcase when traveling. Find a couple workouts you can do in 16 minutes – try using the Tabata protocol.

2. Invest in a good pair of mittens and a good beanie cap.
Everyone has their preferences, but I tried everything before I found what I think is the best solution to miserably cold runs. A fleece lined beanie cap can make me start to steam, even in the coldest weather. Mittens keep your fingers tucked in close to each other, snug as bugs in a rug. And purchase some Hot Hands – those things are like magic!

3. Layer, layer, layer!

4. Find a couple workout DVDs that you enjoy.
Sometimes it’s nice to know just exactly how long your workout is going to take. Especially when you know that the rest of the house will be waking soon, or others are waiting on you to do something.

5. Throw a make-over party!
     Ask your friends about their healthy versions of your favorite holiday dishes. If no one has any, challenge them all to Google one, test it and share the results. Delicious, easy versions of nearly every recipe are out there! Check out Hungry Girl, Chocolate Covered Katie,  Skinny Taste and Eating Well. 

I’m sure there are other obstacles to winter workouts, but I’m just as sure there are solutions to every single one of them. What are your plans for a healthy winter and happy holiday season?

Boat winterization facts: Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/370702

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“I Should Do That” – and she did

This blog has told the stories of several women who put their physical training to good use. These ladies, of all ages, have shared how they used their passion for fitness to benefit others. Let me introduce you to one more, Diane Lindquist.

Diane just completed the Marine Corps Marathon. This is an iconic race, held in D.C. every October. It is known as the “people’s marathon” because 30,000 runners from age 14 to the 90-year-old veteran, Jonathan Mendes, who became the race’s oldest finisher in 2011, compete simply for the purity of the race. There is no monetary prize.

“I chose to do a marathon because when I finished the half marathon I had no injuries and I felt I still had some left in me. I heard so much about the Marine Corps marathon, I wanted to experience it myself,” Diane said.

The Marine Corps Marathon is famous in the race world. As soon as registration opens, the race is usually full within hours. Suddenly, at the end of a very busy day, Diane realized she had missed her chance to register.

“Why don’t you try running for a charity?” her husband asked. At first she was concerned about raising money, but she boldly decided to stretch outside her comfort zone. Diane chose to use her marathon to support Jill’s House. By race day, she had surprised herself, raising $1252!

Diane tackled training systematically. She selected a popular plan called, “Run Less, Run Faster,” by the F.I.R.S.T. institute.  Training isn’t supposed to be easy, but Diane found ways to make the most of every moment. “Running is my therapy,” she said. “It’s cheaper than therapy! But the hardest part is when I have to run alone, with no one to help pass the time. I’ve learned to use that time to have conversations with God.”

In fact, Diane credits God with getting her into running. She was inspired by her sister and friends who had begun running 10 mile races and half-marathons. “Then, God just opened my mouth and I said, ‘I should do that!’”

Diane says that running is teaching her to rely more on God. “I want to learn to be more positive and not become my worst enemy when the running becomes a challenge or there is pain.”

Post Marine Corps, Diane is staring undaunted into her next challenge. “I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon,” she says.

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Fit for Someone Else

Moms Who TRI clients are more about abundant life than anything else. They are determined to do everything they can to share that life, health and joy with everyone within their reach. And they start young.

Meet Anna Lauer. Anna is big sister to Sadie, a three-year-old survivor of neuroblastoma. Although she’s only 7 herself, Anna has a grownup passion for cancer awareness and finding a cure.

October 14th marked the Lauers’ third year participating in the Northern Virginia CureSearch Walk for Children’s Cancer. The first year, her mom, Erin, took the lead nicknaming their team, “Strolling With Sadie.” Even then, Anna had a vision and gave the team of friends and donors who helped them raise funds and awareness, “Sadie’s Stars.” It stuck.

Most of the participants in the CureSearch Walk are somehow connected to a child with cancer. The event raises money for cancer research specifically related to childhood cancer. “The money raised there helps children get better,” Anna said. Anna knows that empathy is a big motivator for people to get involved. “A lot of people aren’t interested,” she pointed out.

So this year my dog, Brave, and I joined Sadie’s Stars at Fairfax Corner for the nearly 2 mile walk. From beginning to end, a festiveness filled the air; the center square was chaos! There were clowns, balloons, a one-man band, face painters and more.

The excitement escalated even more when they announced the totals of an exceptional fund raising effort. Anna was a big part of that, and she was recognized publicly before the walk began.

An organized walk or race fits perfectly into the Moms Who TRI lifestyle, but don’t get the idea that Anna Lauer will be resting between now and next year’s CureSearch Walk. So far this year she has also participated in the Taylor Love Sprint Triathlon, hosted a lemonade stand during the Burke Centre Festival and helped with the Friends of Sadie blood drive. All of these activities support awareness and research for childhood cancer.

Exercise and fitness are excellent ways to maintain health and live and long life. However, sometimes things happen that can’t be helped – such as a child suffering from cancer. That’s where we can step in, following Anna’s lead. There are myriad ways that we can help others to live long, healthy and happy lives. What will you do?

 

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Don’t Get Stuck!

Once upon a time, what seems like a lifetime ago, in a land not so very far away, lived a scared little girl. She had accomplished the unthinkable. Having conquered her second marathon, she found herself on a crazy schedule of running 50 miles a week and nothing to train for. She wondered, What will happen if I stop running?

Have you been there? Maybe you’ve been doing a certain exercise regimen or diet and made wonderful progress. But life changes. Interruptions come and sometimes they’re not temporary. Or maybe you’re just tired of gutting out one more mile and getting up at 5a.m. to workout one more time. Maybe you’ve sustained an injury after pushing to and past your goal.

What will happen if you stop what you’re doing and change direction with your fitness? Years ago, in the peak of my distance running days, something terrible happened. My husband and I moved and I didn’t feel safe exploring the new streets in the early, dark morning hours. I didn’t have my running club. But, I worried that if I began running less, or started doing something different for my health that I might lose all that I had worked for. Would I gain weight? Would I lose my self-discipline? Would I get lazy?

It took an immense amount of prayer, our very big God, and courage that I didn’t think I had. I stepped tentatively, a few miles at a time, off of the proverbial treadmill and found myself where I am today.

Today, I am still fit, stronger than I have ever been and enjoying a wide variety of activities. Daily, I commit 30 minutes to an hour to exercise. Three days a week is usually a bootcamp style workout. Recently, I started doing yoga on the other three days and taking Sunday for complete rest. I am enjoying fitness more than I ever have before; I actually get excited for each new day’s challenge.

Don’t get stuck doing the same thing over and over simply because it worked before. Tons of things work and health doesn’t have to hurt. Switch it up or take a few days off. Add in flexibility work and long relaxing walks. Everything you do that moves you, that clears your head, that changes your pace and gives you energy is good for you. Try something new and enjoy the benefits!

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