A mommy field trip!

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I was lucky enough to spend most of yesterday at Reebok headquarters with some amazing bloggers. This was my second time at Reebok and it was as exciting as the first time. Not only is the space absolutely beautiful, but there is a constant energy in the building.

Most people are dressed casually, but even the ones coming in dressed up (clearly for meetings) had gym bags with them. Given everything they have at their disposal, it would be hard not to!

I know this, because I was almost an hour early and hung out near the entrance. Luckily another blogger was also early. We chatted fitness and family, it was fun. It’s always great meeting new people in the same industry. As we sat, more women joined us and we ventured off to our meeting.

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As we walked through the building, someone mentioned the athletic fields and the employees commented that lunch is often like recess. Many of the employees will go outside and play. How fun is that?!?! When I was at headquarters in October I was amazed at how many people were taking spin or body pump on their lunch hour. As I left yesterday, the amount of people walking outside was awe-inspiring.

It seems there is always something going on. Yesterday, they were preparing for the Spartan race that will be held on Sunday. I also saw (from a distance) three men from Arkansas who ran the marathon Monday with their prosthetic legs. While I didn’t have the opportunity to talk with them, it was inspiring just to see them and know what they had accomplished.

It was a day filled with talking fitness in a space that inspires everyone to put on a pair of sneakers and exercise. A perfect day, in my book :)

Does your company encourage exercise at lunch? What inspires you? Have you gone anywhere fun this week?

Time flies when you’re having fun!

This week has been pretty busy, but fun :) The boys began their vacation today and we will be home but having lots of fun! Hopefully the weather is nice and we can spend most of it outside!

BOKS

Twelve weeks flew by in a flash! This was our final week of BOKS. The kids had a blast and their commitment never wavered. They ran hard until the very end :)

This week, we warmed them up and then played a bunch of their favorite games. We started with circle relays, one child runs around the circle with the ball and passes it to the next child. Then came monkey ball, they bend over and swat rubber balls with their arms towards a goal. Crab soccer is always a favorite. They move around, crab walking, and kick the ball towards the goal and we finished with snowball fight. Each team has a bunch of small, foam balls and they throw them to the other side. The team with the least balls on their side wins!

As we wound down, we handed out certificates and jump ropes. The kids were adorable!!

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CLASSES

Classes were fun and full! We played with a few different planks this week. A favorite was starting in full plank for 10 seconds, chaturanga plank (elbows bent tight to the rib cage) for 10 seconds, forearm plank for 10 seconds and then repeat :)

RUNNING

Last Friday I went for a run with my husband. We decided to take it outside and try a route we will be running in May. It is 3.7 miles and absolutely beautiful! I didn’t stop for pictures, but I got this shot at the end. It’s an osprey building it’s nest in the beach parking lot.

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I was a little nervous about this run for a few different reasons. I haven’t run this far in a while and I wasn’t sure how I would do. My husband is quite speedy and gave me a five minute head start. He passed me about halfway through.

I have to say it certainly motivated me. Every time I wanted to walk, I remembered that my husband was waiting for me and I kept going. I finished the full distance without walking and felt great!! We are hoping to get a few more runs in before the race on May 18.

I also got out for a run/walk with my friend while the boys had flag football. We were able to get in 4.5 miles. It was nice to get out moving again!

I am hoping this will be my new routine :) Next week will be a little different, but it should balance out when the kids are back in school.

COOKING

I prepped again this week, nothing too spectacular. Our oldest is up next for cooking. He is skipping this weekend as we are going out to eat tonight, birthday party tomorrow and Easter with the family on Sunday. Cooking is meant to be fun and enjoyable, not stressful :)

How was your week? What’s your favorite version of plank?

One year, 246 miles and a lot of smiles later..

5k collageI can’t believe it was a year ago that I began my running adventure!! Honestly, I was hoping to make it a few months; I never thought a year was possible. It hasn’t been without its ups and downs, but wow – one year and well over 200 miles logged!

When I first laced up my sneakers, I did it to step out of my comfort zone and feel what my students feel when I ask them to step out of their comfort zones. I had support from my husband, kids and a few friends; but mostly people in my life didn’t understand why I was doing it. I was already “in-shape” why did I need to run?

A year later, most of my family and friends not only support me, but they have run along side me at a 5k or held signs and watched the boys. The perspective has changed for many of us.

Getting it done

Running is often the first activity knocked off the list when I have a busy week with the kids home. This no longer stops me from picking it back up the next week. Somehow, I have found time and not let busy weeks discourage me. This winter has been brutal and I have struggled with the treadmill. I came to peace with it and did what I could. Finally, the sun has come out and some days, it’s above freezing. I have run outside twice!

My outside running has happened on the beach. The first time, my music didn’t work and it was HARD! I enjoyed hearing the waves, but I could hear my heavy breathing and I was very aware of how difficult it was, while still enjoying the beauty. Thanks to the last year, I didn’t give up because it was a struggle and not perfect. I kept going and put in the distance I was determined to hit. I’ve learned how to cheer myself on and get it done! After my struggle, I killed it on the treadmill! It seemed so much “easier” and my determination was back.

This week at the beach, my music was working and I was determined to have a “better” run – and I did :). I was able to find a good pace, breathe and take in the scenery. I never thought I could run, let alone run at the beach. I’m not sure my times will be better this race season, but I’m hopeful!

Running friends

I’ve always known people who run. My husband, friends and co-workers all ran. Frankly, this intimidated me. I was slow and walked and any other excuse you can think of – I had it and used it to not run with others. As my friends (who didn’t run historically) began to join my journey, I realized the pace didn’t matter. I just wanted them to join me and have fun. I wanted to cheer them on!

I realized, I could run with my other friends. They might not want me on every run, but I shouldn’t make the decision for them. If they say it’s ok, I need to trust that and have fun. I also know how to say, I’m not going to keep up and go ahead. That’s OK too :)

My running posse has grown more than I could have imagined and I hope it continues to grow! I love being a part of a group and running is no different. I think that’s why I love 5Ks ;)

Mental strength

Some days are better than others. When I got started, I really put in the effort. I had a specific goal and really didn’t want to embarrass myself. As the racing season began to wind down, it was harder to find that mental strength. It was easier to justify walking and not pushing it as hard. Thankfully, I got through my slump and am re-energized. It always feels better when I finish a hard run that I know I pushed myself :)

The future

We are in the process of selecting 5Ks for this year. The plan is to repeat the ones from last year and add a few more. One of my friends and I considered working towards a 10k. That has been tabled for now. I am sure we will revisit it in the future. Currently, I’m happy working on and enjoying 5Ks. I can’t imagine what a year from now will look like :)

Have you stepped out of your comfort zone?  What’s the biggest exercise risk you’ve taken?

A fun week!

I had a great week! I began my week at our oldest’s Destination Imagination competition on Sunday and continued the fun with BOKS, LIVESTRONG, and running on the beach :)

Destination Imagination

When I was younger, I participated in Odyssey of the Mind. This year, our oldest was invited to join a Destination Imagination team. I was beyond excited for him! He met with his team every week and more often as the competition approached. I love the competition! I enjoy seeing all of the different ways teams approach the same problem. This year was no different. Every team did a great job and we saw a lot of creativity. Our son’s third grade team placed third (in the grades 3-5 division) and they were beyond excited :) Here are the teams waiting for the closing ceremonies..

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BOKS

We had a great week at BOKS. The move of the week was burpees. The form and energy was amazing! A favorite game was the burpee wave. They break into teams and each team forms a circle. The first kid does a burpee and then the next kid goes until it’s gone around the entire circle. We went around three times. On the third time, the kid sits down. The first team with everyone sitting wins :)

When they aren’t doing burpees, the kids are enjoying a lot of traditional games. The long jump ropes are one of the most popular stations during free-play. They also love the hula hoops. Often, they even challenge the adults to see who can hula hoop the longest :). Here is our youngest jumping rope…

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LIVESTRONG

Yet again, I was lucky enough to enjoy our LIVESTRONG group. This group will be graduating shortly and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them. This week, they included me in their group discussion before I taught them yoga. If you ever have the opportunity to work with LIVESTRONG, go for it. I can’t recommend it enough :)

Running on the beach

This week was a shorter, but more efficient run. The tide was out, allowing me to run on the harder sand. Much better :) I was able to find a steady pace and maintain it the whole time. I did use music and I enjoyed the scenery. Last week, my treadmill run felt great after running in the sand. I’m hoping for the same today ;). Here are some pictures from my run…

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Somehow, I’ve been running for a year! I’ve been working on my recap and it will go up this weekend so check back and see how my running year went :)

Overall, it was a busy and fun week! How was your week? Is the weather getting better where you are?

Xiomara is Simply Healthy!!

This week’s Simply Healthy feature is Xiomara! She is a busy mom of two little girls who runs a family market in Florida. In her “spare” time she runs :) You can follow her story about running, fitness and of course, the market here. Here’s Xiomara….

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What was your aha moment?
I can’t remember a time I didn’t have a gym membership, even while I was in college I regularly went to the gym. But I gained almost 50 pounds during my first pregnancy. So loosing the baby weight was a great motivator.

Did you go all in or build over time?
I started training for my first triathlon in 2005. After that race, I had a couple of babies so there really wasn’t much time for training. I started running again after my second baby was born in 2008 as a way to loose the baby weight. Luckily for me I only gained about 25 pounds. After a few of years of running, I finally made the decision to run my first half marathon in 2012. It took me a while to get the courage to run that distance but I’m glad I waited until I was physically and mentally ready.

Do you prefer exercising alone or in a group?
While I enjoy group classes like spinning, I find I never make it to them. It’s just easier to get my running clothes on and walk out of the door.

What’s your go-to form of exercise and time to workout?
Running! First thing in the morning while everyone at home is sleeping.

Does music motivate you?
Yes! I recently drove to the park only to find out I didn’t have my ear phones with me. I turned around and went home to get them so I could run with music.

What’s your must-have song?
Lately I’ve been running with Pandora’s Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout radio station.

How many nights a week do you cook dinner?
I cook dinner probably five to six times a week.

Do you meal prep or make it as you go?
I used to go to the grocery store with an idea of what I was planning to cook during the week. The results were mixed. I would come home and forget some ingredient. I’ve recently started writing it down and sticking with it which has made it a lot easier.

What’s your favorite recipe?
My favorite recipe would be my grandma’s beef stew. I recently made it and it keeps getting better every time I make it.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment to date?
My greatest accomplishment to date was given birth twice to two beautiful, healthy, smart and funny little girls. They make me want to be the best version of myself.

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What is your current goal?
My current goal is to run more trail races this year. Normally I mostly run road races, but this year I would like to run 3 trail races.

Blog: http://www.parkesdale.com/blog
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/xiomeeks
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/xiomeeks
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/xmeeks
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/xmeeks

Thank you Xiomara for sharing your story!! Please leave any questions for Xiomara in the comments :)

Interested in sharing your Simply Healthy story? Email me at SimplyModernDance@gmail.com