Wednesday, February 03, 2010

what's in you wednesday

I received an e-mail a few weeks ago from a woman named Katie, who just completed her first 10K race. She signed up to run the race because she was inspired by what she read here.

Katie's comment inspired me to go back through my archives.

Heck, I was inspired.

Within the past 18 months... I've completed two triathlons, a few 5K runs, one marathon and one 60-mile walk. But with the exception of my 3-Day walk, those events were before I was working full time and my schedule was all wacky.

So these days, I'm a champ at making time to work and play with the kids and clean the blinds and sit down with the family for dinner. I'm even a champ about keeping up this blog. And I've significantly reduced the amount of sugar from my diet. As in: I haven't had any chocolate in two whole days. Or, one and a half. (I round up.)

But up until very recently - I lacked the fundamental ability to make time for myself to exercise. Even though there are studies that show people who exercise are healthier, happier and live longer. And from being in relatively good shape - not so long ago - I know, firsthand, how great if feels to be fit.

So why is it, that if I've got to carve time out of my day for some task, that allotment of time for "working out" has always been the first thing to go?

Since I've been working full time, I've gone from this...


To this...


For the past few months, there haven't been any physical goals to strive towards. And while looking good in a bathing suit and living four years longer are both awesome goals, they're not as urgent as dusting the bookshelf or changing a light bulb in the bathroom. I can see those things. They are tangible and real and something I can tend to, immediately. (Also, less painful than running five miles.)

So, to bring more commitment to the goal of exercise, I'm resorting to placing more full length mirrors up in the house and walking around in a swim suit. I've also been using a little something I'll tell you about this coming Friday. Because it's become a Favorite Thing of mine and has really helped me to get a cardio workout in (almost) every day.

I'm also resorting to signing up for some events, in addition to my 3-Day walk(s), which I'll tell you more about once I register. Because if I don't have a goal, I don't have the motivation to keep anything up.

Now enough about me!

What about you!

Are you exercising?

Are you participating in any athletic events this year?

(Watching the Olympics? That does NOT count.)

What are you doing?

Please tell me.

I might show up in a bathing suit and ringing my cowbell to help cheer you on.


  1. Yay, I actually have something good to report! I am on week 7 of the Couch to 5K Running plan, and my first 5K is on Feb. 27! I have NEVER in my life been a runner, or even an exerciser (except for gymnastics when I was younger). I have been reading your blog for a while now, and seeing all that you've accomplished without being the "athletic type" who works out every day has been very inspiring to me. So thanks for sharing your experiences (good and not-so-great) with us! And keep your fingers crossed that I can manage to not walk on this 5K!

  2. I am 3 months post-partum (3rd kid) and I am signed up for a sprint distance triathlon in June. My son is finally old enough to go to the gym daycare and I am ready to start training. Today was the first gym day and it went well. I need goals like this to keep me motivated too.

  3. Jen, you are an inspiration. Because of you I have decided that I want to run my first 5K before I turn 40 this fall. I've just completed the first week of Couch 2 5K. Something I never thought I could ever, ever do.

    And since I am going to run 5K I might as well make some money for someone doing it. So I am going to do the Race for the Cure in Connecticut. And since I am going to do it I might as well drag my sister, my brother's girlfriend and our mom too.

    I still have to work on the eating part. That's what is in me today.

  4. I have finally started exercising regularly again... had to sign up for a 5k in order to motivate myself to run, but that seems to be all the encouragement I need!

  5. It all started with the way you tie your shoes using the eyelets. My feet stopped falling asleep!

    Hopefully: a 16K in July, a 5K in October, and a marathon in January...or at least, the heart to keep running in the heat!

  6. Can't wait to hear about your new 'Favorite Thing'!!

    I'm in the same boat with exercise and not being in as good of shape as I'd like.

  7. I am going skiing in Lake Tahoe in 3 weeks. I have not been skiing in seven years. I hate hights, falling down, going fast, and physical exertion, but the kids will not be there, so I figured it was a better option than staying home. So I have three weeks to take my sedentary self up to a skiing level. Egads.

  8. My husband and I are doing a series of 5km fundraising races (4 races over 2 months). We also have the absolute pleasure of running 2.5km with our 3 kids within 20 minutes of finishing these 5km races (and they don't go slow on our account). As Jakarta fitness community is so small (when you are starving, paying US$11 for a race isn't top priority), there's actually a chance to place. So I have cut down from an hour running to practice solly on how quick I can get my 5km time.

    Also, just did 1 hour this morning of swimming (first time since September (thanks to ear infections). My 3 kids did the before school session (left home at 5:30, in pool by 6:15), so I couldn't sit on the side and watch them do exercise without doing some myself. Variety is the key I think.

    When I worked full time, exercise was the first thing to leave my calander. My husband trained for 8 ironmans while working full time and we had 3 babies in that period. I am sure 2 people can each train moderately, its just my experience is to have one person being fanatical (40 hours a week) and the other one sort of opts for family time over exercise.

  9. YES!!!!!!!.....23 miles on the street in January :) Did Pilates and some other assorted exercises today.

    Registered for the Irvine Lake Mud Run in April; may do an Amazing Race style one-day race in AZ in March (depends on schedule); want to do a 10K in summer and a ultimately a 1/2 marathon in the fall.

    Look what you've done to me! :)

  10. My husband and I have been on weight watchers since August. He follows his points and has made time to go to the gym a few nights a week after work. He's lost nearly 55 lbs. I, on the other hand, have only lost 13. I was doing okay with the points, but was going to school and working, leaving no time for the gym. I recently got a new job, so the hubs added me to his gym membership. To make sure I go, he asks the guy at the gym if I've been there. I don't want to bicker about why I didn't go, so I go.

    Plus, I've noticed that I just feel better if I go to the gym.

  11. The thing about working alot is that exercise is totally a holistic xanax. : )
    E-mail Heidi/Kristina! Come crash the run with us this weekend....I'm bringing whole wheat maple walnut scones this weekend for everyone.....

  12. hi there..thanks for the visit and kindness. You are an awesome lady...I can see that you are a great wife and mom. You have a really great way of writing, your blog is very interesting! Come say hi any time :D

  13. Yes!! I'm running in the Myrtle Beach Marathon next Saturday!!!! I'm a nervous wreck! I haven't exercised much b/c it's to cold!!! AND I don't know why I signed up in the first place ---- Oh Yeah! "MRS. I have an Idea! Lets...." Remind me again Why? YOU Aren't joining me?????
    Love, Marg.

  14. I've become a fan of Dr. Oz, particularly his "Real Age" website. There is so much good info. there and it's all free!!! I have been faithfully hitting the treadmill everyday for 30 min. for the past three weeks. Have gotten the stair stepper out again. Just ordered the resistance bands that Dr. Oz recommended from Amazon ($24)-great b/c you can take them more excuses when you're on the road. I'm not a spokesperson-I just haven't been this ready and excited about diet and exercise in a long time! The only junk food/sweets I've been eating is 1 or 2 pieces of dark chocolate a day (it's easier for me not to start with the other stuff than it is to stop). I have about 15 pounds I'd like to lose. Am feeling great. Thanks for the added inspiration & am looking forward to your favorite thing tomorrow!-Karen

  15. I couldn't agree more! I need an external goal to work toward because just working out to be healthy or fit is not enough motivation for me. Training for a race is the kick in the pants I need, which is why I'm likely to sign up for another triathlon this year. As time consuming as training can be, it provides the discipline I need to prioritize exercise (and myself).

    I look forward to hearing about your plans!

  16. You are so right, we put everything else first. I do it too. I work fulltime and am gone from the house 12-13 hours a day. Being gone for another 2 to make it to the gym doesn't thrill me. So I've been walking at lunchtime. I don't do it every day but I try. When I can't, I power walk around the building and use the stairs both up and down!
    I still need to do more but it's really, really, really hard to do.

  17. I love inspiring posts in the morning. You did and DO inspire me too! I would never have attempted the first half marathon without you :-)

    Haven't been doing much of anything just yet. We're getting 10-24 inches of snow in the next 24-48 hours and that puts a bit of a damper on taking the toddler out in the jogger to get some miles in - the toddler who is sick and wants only to nurse - so I haven't even been getting stuff done around the house.

    BUT . . .

    I did just sign up for walk 100 miles in 10 weeks program through the state of DE. They're giving away some prizes, but I thought it would be good motivation to get back into my regularly scheduled walking once the weather breaks. My goal is to get up to 5 miles 5 times per week AND to start jogging :-)

    In the long term, I'm hoping to complete another half marathon this year (either Pittsburgh in May or South Buffalo in Oct); I might even find out I'm ambitious and do them both.

    Still not sure how exactly the exercise goals dovetail with adding another baby to the family, but we'll cross that bridge when we need to.

    Sarah, formerly, smldada9801 but who broke down and got a google acct.

  18. Wow - Wow - Wow - you all are incredible! You've definitely inspired ME!

    I'm lacing up my running shoes this weekend. Or, as soon as I feel well enough to step more than a foot away from a box of Kleenex.

  19. Yes, I am. I am training for a 5 K this summer.
    I have not exercised in 10 years. YICKS!!! I started training on my traidmill and walking with the dogs.
    It's super hard when you have kids to find time to do it.
    You are my hero. Thanks for the example. Beautiful family!!!Come see my blog again!!

  20. Thought I'd give you one of the great tools on Dr. Oz's website. Holy Cow what an ab workout!


  21. Come on Jen - you can do it! Register for something and then you'll be back on track again. At least that's what I keep telling myself :) Since my first marathon October 11th, I'm now only running about 3 (or 2) days a week, I've gained 5 lbs and MAN, I'm grouchy! I'm currently looking to sign up for SOMETHING because if I don't have a goal in sight, I won't do it ;) (Even though I said I'd only do one marathon in my life - I may have lied!!)

  22. Oh yeah ... SO excited to read about your Fave Friday thing ... I need cardio other than running. And THANK you for your recent soul food posts. My husband and I are working hard on 'serving' one another and working on how eachother feels love. It feels good. You are our therapist ;)

  23. I'm doing a 35km walk for cancer research! Every Wednesday on MY Blog, I'm updating about my fundraising efforts and training!

    My first Cancer Walk Wednesday was yesterday, here's the post!

  24. Well, I've managed to lose only 13 lbs. since July 4th. I did start trying to do the treadmill while watching TV in the morning before work. I did not go on any specific diet, just tried to cut back. Since I really need to lose 70-80 lbs., I don't consider this very successful. Also, I took extra time off the week between Christmas and New Year's to get some projects done at home and gave up the exercise at that time and haven't started back up. I am trying to get motivated to get back on the stick here but had to have a mini-binge of a box of Entemenn's Chocolate Eclairs over a 3 day period. Actually ate only 4of the 5 cuz DH decided he wanted one. Chasing after my daughter's
    19 month old triplets and knowing there is another baby coming in July should be enough to motivate me to do it. Wish me luck and I will keep reading your What's in You Wednesdays to keep me on track! LOL!!


  25. I can't believe that it's been a year since we ran the Huntington Beach 5K together!!!

  26. Hmm, does putting our elliptical in the living and rubbing it count? At least rubbing it when I put my coat on it... :) Just KIDDING.

    Even though I look much more like a seal (an UGRUK) then a mink, I still play basketball twice a week, use the elliptical every morning for AT LEAST a half hour (cause my goal was five minutes a day, I'm getting good at that goal!) And, my kids, friends and I run (walk) a 5 K race every weekend up here in the north from about Mid June, when the snow melts off the ground, until about Mid September, when it starts snowing again. And we run (WALK) a half-marathon in the tundra on dirt roads in July...and we do the Alaska Run (walk) for Women in June each year in Anchorage. Our shirts say, "pikpagigiqpin miluks!" which translates from Inupiaq, to "I love my boobs!"

    And in the summer we play about 4 games of softball a week, plus non-stop tourneys on the weekends.

    And in the fall, when we hunt Caribou, we walk for miles and miles to get to the herds, catch what we get, butcher them in bear territory, and walk with the meat and organs and skins on our backs. (Even the 6 yr old has to walk in the tundra with her share!) (and to dog too.)

    Now that its a little warmer out (about five above to minus 10 below), my kids and dog and I go skiing out on the ocean. And have you ever had to walk a mile in snowshoes? Holy cow, it is HARD. But when you have to take your kids hunting for rabbits and ptarmigan, you have to be the bird dog and go find the ones they matter how hard and in the willows and in the middle of lynx territory they are.

    Uh, and my husband and I have lots of sex. That counts as exercise right??!

    OK, with all this "exercise" how come I'm still fat??! Oh yeah, I like to eat. Dammit.