5 Benefits of Planking

If you’ve been around here for a bit then you know that I’m a fan of planks! In fact, one of my goals for the month of April is 5 minutes of daily planking (and no…not 5 minutes straight – I break the 5 minutes into intervals).

Everyone can benefit from strengthening their core – especially runners! So if you haven’t jumped on the plank bandwagon yet, I thought I’d share with you some of the benefits of planking!

5 benefits of planking

Target many muscles in one exercise: Planks engage every core muscle from transverse abdominus to the rectus abdominus; from the external obliques to the glutes.

Big payoff, small investment: Planks don’t require a lot of time, but can offer a big payoff by strengthening so many key muscles relatively quickly.

Improved posture: By engaging and strengthening all of those muscles, planks will help improve your posture. As your abdominal muscles activate they share the burden with your back muscles of holding you upright. When your abs are stronger, you sit and stand with your vertebrae stacked – so the added benefit is you’re less likely to develop pain in your neck and shoulders from slouching. Who doesn’t want to stand (or run) taller?

Increased flexibility: Planks help to increase or maintain flexibility by expanding and stretching the muscles around the shoulders, collarbone, shoulder blades, and hamstrings.

Better movement: By strengthening your core, planks help your stabilization and train your body to move better as a unit – your muscles work together, which means you move more efficiently overall.

Why runners should add planks to their routine #runchat #fridayfive Click To Tweet

I’m linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up!

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April 2017 Goals

April 2017 goals

I feel like I was a bit all over the map in March fitness wise, so I’m throwing down some goals for April.

Hit every workout — There’s not a lot of white space on my April calendar so I’m going to need to do whatever it takes to get my workouts in. Early morning, post-work, lunchtime runs, etc. – I’m committing to not missing a workout on my training plan.

Run 100 miles — If I follow through on goal #1, this should be doable.

Continue my plank challenge — While I did plank daily in March, I fell off my goal of 5 minutes/day, so I’m going to shoot for that in April.

Weekly yoga — I mentioned in last week’s wrap-up that I want to commit to a weekly session, so I’m doing it.

Meal plan — I’m great at regularly planning each week’s dinners, but I’ve been totally winging it on breakfast, lunch, and snacks. My choices over the past few weeks haven’t always been the best, as evidenced by the numbers creeping in the wrong direction on my scale, so time to fix that!

Do you set monthly goals? How was your March?

I’m linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up!

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January Runfessions

Happy Friday!

It’s the last Friday of the month so, of course that means it’s time to share some runfessions! Thanks to Marcia for this always entertaining linkup!

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Runfession: I have just a few days left in this month’s Winter Challenge, and I runfess that I’m ready to be done. I have so enjoyed the camaraderie of the other women on the BGR team, but I’m just not a streaker.

Runfession:  I’ve been a little…shall we say cranky since my slip on the oil slick. With the strength work I’ve been doing I was feeling pretty strong, and so this setback feels a little deflating.

Runfession: On the brighter side, spending more time in the gym cross training means I’ve been witness to a whole new group of gym characters! I confess it is pure entertainment and does make the time go by – though I wish I could unsee the older gentleman  who insists on wearing sheer tank tops (just no!)…and can someone please explain to me why 20-something guys think jeans are workout wear?

Runfession: It’s only January and I already may have to alter my race calendar. Family schedules are conspiring against me, and short of cloning myself I may end up having to take a pass on next week’s 5 miler. Luckily I had procrastinated registering so I won’t be out any money.

Runfession: I have fallen hard off the early morning workout wagon. It’s just been way too easy to just hit the snooze …ok 3 times…and then there’s no time to workout before the getting the kids to school, work, etc. But I dislike the feeling of trying to jam a workout in late in the day, so it’s time to chase down that wagon and climb back on.

5 Runfessions for January! What do you runfess? #runchat Click To Tweet

So c’mon share…what do you runfess? 

I’m also joining Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up! frifive2

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One word and 2017 goals

I love this time of year when everyone and everything seems full of possibilities. It’s a great time of reflection and for looking ahead and considering all that can be done in the next 365 (ok 362) days!

Looking back I did pretty good with my 2016 goals. Of the 5 goals I set: Returning to half marathons; Setting a half marathon PR; Losing 12 pounds; Continuing my strength program; and, actively managing my recovery – setting a PR was the only area I fell short. (In full disclosure I lost 9 lbs and consider that a win!) Best of all, my love for running returned!

So what lies ahead for 2017? For the last couple of years I’ve picked one word as the theme for my year, and this year’s word is “Belief.” Across all areas of my life, I want to be driven by belief in what is possible, and not limited by fear or self-doubt.

So, now for my fitness/running goals:

  • Mix up the distances — Last year I was very focused on getting back to the half marathon distance. This year, I’d like to mix it up more – training & racing different distances will keep me challenged both mentally and physically.
  • Find some speed  — I cannot expect to PR or just improve my times without pushing the pace. I have given the RC coaches the green light to push me out of my comfort zone.
  • Improve my nutrition —  I struggled with finding the right fuel for my runs. I also often didn’t do a great job of giving my body what it needed both pre or post run. Time to change this!
  • More strength — I love working with Trainer Stacy and made no secret last year that sometimes my time in the gym rivaled my time on the road. I’ve got great momentum here and want to keep it going.
  • Have fun! — 2016 was about recapturing the joy of running and above all else I want that to continue.  More blogger meet ups, more family running, more runs with friends – more fun 🙂
Belief and Goals for 2017! #oneword365 #goals #runchat #bibchat Click To Tweet

Have you set your goals for 2017?

rp_Tuesdays-on-the-run-150x150.jpgIf you need inspiration, check out today’s Tuesdays on the Run link-up with Erika, Marcia and Patty and see what others are planning.

Also linking with Rachel, Meranda and Lacey who are talking all about goals for this week’s Friday Five.

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Santa Must be a Runner

Hope everyone had a great Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus 🙂 We had a wonderful Christmas here in the RWA household and I’ve been enjoying a relaxing week with the family!

Since I haven’t visited my little slice of the blogosphere in while I thought I’d check in share a few of my favorite new things that were waiting for me under the tree for this week’s Friday Five.

Forerunner 235 – So excited to have a Garmin again! I’m still trying to figure out everything it does.

Knuckle Lights – These were on my gift guide for runners and apparently one of Santa’s elves was paying attention. Since I’ve had the luxury of running later in the morning this week I haven’t had a chance to try them out yet, but they’ll be getting plenty of use soon.

Oofos –  This girl loves a sport slide and these feel so good!

 

Momentum Wrap – Always happy to have a little extra motivation…and I especially love this message!

 

 

 

 

U/A Running Gear – Always happy for a new running outfit, and I’m loving this bright pop of color! (My photo skills do not do the top justice – it’s a great mint green) 

Medal Rack – (bonus #6) There was a lot of Rock’n’Roll bling earned this year so it only seems fitting that Santa gave me this medal rack!

Yep…I think Santa’s a runner 😉 (Much love to all of my family who gave me these wonderful gifts and fully support my running habit!)

Linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up! Thanks for hosting ladies!frifive2

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5 Things I love about StrideBox & a Giveaway

Rachel, Lacey and Meranda are inviting everyone to share holiday gift ideas for this week’s Friday Five. Since I have already shared my Holiday Gift Guide, I thought I would take this chance to share about a new favorite  –  StrideBox!

(Disclosure: This post and giveaway is sponsored by StrideBox. All opinions, as always, are my own.)

  1.  A great mix! – StrideBox offers a great combination of food/fuel options, running gear, and body care. This month’s box included a Bonk Breaker energy bar, GU chews, two packs of Run Gum, VFuel performance drink, Hammer gel and Essentials reflective safety shoe laces.
  2.  The Stride Guide. – In each box you get the Stride Guide, which is a nice cheat sheet on what’s inside the box with a suggestion on when to use each product (each item is coded for “before” “during” “after” or “always”).
  3. No long-term commitments.  – I really like that StrideBox offers an easy monthly subscription you can stop at any time.
  4. Affordable!  – StrideBox offers so much goodness for just $15/month.
  5. Makes a great gift!  – With each box offering such a great mix for both newbie and seasoned runner alike, and at a price that won’t break the bank, StrideBox is a perfect way to give your favorite runner lots of running treats from both well-known and new brands  – and delivered right to their door! What’s not to love?!
Check out my @StrideBox review & Giveaway! #stridebox #runnersgifts Click To Tweet

Want to try one for yourself? The great folks at StrideBox have offered to give 2 RWA readers a free box to try! The giveaway will run from now until 11:59 p.m. on 12/21. Winners will be announced on Thursday, December 22nd. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Runfessions – Thanksgiving edition

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I’m still on the road hanging with the in-laws, but am taking a short break to join in to share some runfessions with Marcia and others. Come join us and cleanse your sweaty soul!

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Runfession: I took a full week off from running after my Vegas adventure …and I didn’t miss it! I was t-i-r-e-d y’all and my body was clearly craving some down time.

Runfession:  My eating habits have gone way off the rails. I mentioned that there was some “indulging” in Vegas (how could there not be?!), but things have not improved greatly since then. Time to reel it in!

Runfession: Last month I runfessed, or gym-fessed, that I missed the gym crazies…well ask and ye shall receive! They have returned to my gym with a vengeance including the guy who insists on working out in jeans. I’m glad they’re back – they make going to the gym so much more entertaining 😉

Runfession: Over coffee earlier this month I had mentioned my casual desire for a new sports watch. Well now that I’ve started looking it’s turned into a full on obsession! I’ve been stalking product reviews like a champ, and am now dropping less than subtle hints to my husband. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the Forerunner 235 will be mine (…such first world problems, I know!).

Runfession: And speaking of first world problems…I continue to wrestle with local vs. destination races. While I have loved traveling these past 3 months for the Rock ‘n’ Roll races, there is a lot to be said for rolling out of your own bed on race morning, (easier on the wallet too, I might add!). If I want to take advantage of some great “early bird” registration deals on some local races I’ll need to pull the trigger soon, but that means giving up some destination races I’ve been eyeing. What’s a runner to do?!

I’m also joining Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up! frifive2

So tell me, what do you runfess? Have you started race shopping yet?
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Runfessions October 2016

A quick check of my past posts shows I haven’t runfessed since July – How is that possible?! What are Runfessions you ask? A fun link-up hosted by Marcia from Marcia’s Healthy Slice where she encourages everyone to share their confessions about your runs, swims or gym time…a chance to cleanse your sweaty soul.

So here we go…

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Runfession #1 — While I do rotate my shoes, more often than not I grab my Saucony Zealots ISO – love this shoe! And the miles have been adding up, so I thought I’d buy a new pair. The reviews on the ISO 2 are a bit of a mixed bag – (why do running shoe companies feel the need to mess with a good thing?!) So I’ve taken to scouring the web in search of the originals. I recently scored a new pair at half the price…I’m tempted to buy more and just hoard them away.

Zealots

Runfession #2 — While I am really looking forward to running the #StripatNight in Vegas, my training mojo has gone MIA. The downside of running multiple races over the past couple of months is that I feel like I’ve been following a training plan for a long time…looking forward to just running for a while.

Runfession #3 —  Of course, while I say I’m looking forward to taking a break from training, I’m already starting to map out my 2017 races. (Please tell me I’m not the only one!)

Runfession #4 — I look forward to running Sunday’s 5K with my son, but I confess that I miss the days when I could keep up with him. He’ll be waiting for me at the finish…

Runfession #5 — I miss my gym crazies! In the past I’ve shared stories of some of the more interesting characters/behavior I’ve observed at my gym. Well, of late things have been downright normal…and I must admit I’m bored. Gym crazies definitely help to keep it interesting and pass the time 😉

It's time for #Runfessions! Link up with @teamarcia and share! Click To Tweet

OK so now it’s your turn….what do you run-fess?  Do you hoard shoes?

I’m also joining Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the new Friday Five link-up! frifive2

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My Fall Fitness Goals

Happy Friday! And happy long weekend to those who get to celebrate Columbus day!

I’m currently enroute to NYC for the weekend! So while I’m hanging on the Acela I thought I’d share some fall fitness goals.

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Sharing some fall fitness goals for this week's #FridayFive linkup Click To Tweet
  1. Focus on recovery — Since the start of the school year, I’ve been jamming in my runs where I can…which means I haven’t been leaving enough time for proper recovery. Time to get back to rolling, Epsom salt baths, and more time in my compression gear!
  2. Make strength training a priority — The other downside of my tight schedule lately has been that my strength training is taking a backseat. I know if I don’t balance my runs with strength work I’m risking ending up back on injured reserve.
  3. Mix it up — To keep things interesting I want to focus on mixing things up a little. I haven’t done yoga or pilates in a while with any consistency – it would be good to add some back into the routine.
  4. Continue the slow & steady weight loss — I continued to lose a few pounds this summer and now I have just 4 lbs to go on my 2016 goal.
  5. Enjoy some family running – With races planned with my oldest son, husband and brother, there will be lots of opportunities for family runs.

Did you set any fitness goals for the fall?

I’m linking up with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for this week’s #FridayFive. Be sure to stop by and see what everyone’s sharing this week!

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Friday Five – RnR Philly Goals

RnR Philly Race Weekend is here!

RnR Philly

I’m on a plane to Philadelphia tomorrow morning to run the RnR Philly Half on Sunday. My husband J will be traveling with me, while my kiddos get a “guy’s weekend” with my brother. I’ve got a bunch of errands to run and packing to do, but I thought I take a moment to share some goals for this weekend.

Complete the distance, upright and happy — It’s been 2 years since I’ve toed the line for a half marathon, so above all else, this race is about returning to 13.1, enjoying the ride, and laying the ground work for more to come!

Start slow — Even in my recent long runs, the RC coaches have been urging me to start much slower. I know I’m going to be super psyched at the start of the race, but the goal will be to start slow for the first couple of miles and gradually pick up the pace.

Finish strong — My last long training run was 11 miles and I sputtered through the last couple of miles. For Sunday, I’d like feel strong in the final few miles and be able to push to the finish.

Pay attention to hydration — It looks like Sunday will be humid…seriously, where is fall?!? I’m still on the fence about whether I’ll run with my hydration belt or my handheld…or just rely on the water stops. But the goal here is to be smart and stay well-hydrated.

Enjoy all of the RnR goodness — From meet-ups with some #RocknBlog teammates, to bands along the course, to the VIP upgrade (hello indoor bathrooms!), to the great atmosphere that is a Rock ‘n’ Roll race! I’m going to soak it all in!

Who else is race-bound this weekend?

I’m linking up with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for the #FridayFive.

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